The Department for Education (DfE) has just released a statement to clarify that “funding for the free entitlement to early education for two-, three- and four-year-olds cannot be claimed by or spent on individual childminders providing childcare for related children, even if they are in receipt of funding for other children. However, it is not the Department’s intention that this should apply to children related to members of staff in group settings, such as pre-schools or nurseries.”
PACEY has highlight how unfair this is in the past and continues to challenge this guidance.
PACEY chief executive Liz Bayram commented: "We take every opportunity to raise this issue with government, as it is unreasonable to have one rule for nursery settings and another for childminders when both are registered settings are working to EYFS standards. Whilst the current coalition government has refused to level the playing field, we will soon have a new government and a further opportunity to call on government to make this change on behalf of our childminder members. It is particularly important to change this anomaly as it is a significant barrier to many childminders delivering the free entitlement. If childminders are caring for a number of children, including some related children, they should be able to draw down free entitlement just like a nursery.”
PACEY believes that permitting all registered childcare providers who care for children to whom they are related to claim EYE funding with respect to those children would:
- Distribute funding more equitably across all types of childcare setting
- Improve the sustainability of childminding by encouraging more childminders to deliver EYE
- Bring EYE funding criteria in line with other forms of childcare support
- Provide a positive message of confidence and support for childminding
Read this NurseryWorld article featuring PACEY members telling their story, and our views on the guidance that we're calling to be amended.