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New funding to champion childminding

Thanks to a grant worth almost £400k, PACEY will be able to support many more registered childminders to consider how to make their small businesses more sustainable and whether they could deliver funded early education places.

We know that many registered childminders in England are currently deciding whether to deliver funded early education (including the extension to 30 hours) or not. Two questions are key to many childminders trying to make this important decision. Firstly, how funded early education might impact on their long-term business sustainability. Secondly, how likely it is parents will choose a childminder to access their funded place?

Thanks to this grant funding from the Department for Education, PACEY’s members and other childminders will be supported to make this decision through our new EYE Childminding project.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, said: “Our own Building Blocks research shows many childminders have vacancies they would like to fill; around a third are considering delivery of funded places as the 30 hours offer is rolled out. Another third are still weighing up the pros and cons for their small business in the context of their local authority’s plans for 30 hours roll out. For some childminders the fee level in their local authority will not add up to a sustainable business so they won’t be able to take part, but for others it will.

“The DfE is generously supporting PACEY through this project to enhance the support it offers ALL childminders to review their business sustainability and consider how delivering funded places may work for their own setting. We’ll do this through both an online business toolkit and peer support, developed and delivered by childminders for childminders. Childminders already delivering the free entitlement are the driving force for this support because they are best placed to offer advice and support to their colleagues. As well as the business sustainability toolkit and peer support, PACEY will be addressing the other key concern many childminders have voiced – a lack of  parental demand for a funded place in their setting.”  

Sue McVay, Director of Partnerships at PACEY who is leading the project, explains: “Whilst any registered childminder can offer a funded place, we know the vast majority do not and for many this is simply because they have never been asked. Our project will not only support childminders to review their business sustainability, it will also champion childminding to parents and to local authority decision makers.”

“Working in partnership with the Institute of Health Visiting and with other parent networks, including Netmums, PACEY will promote childminding as a high quality option for parents wanting to use their 30 hours and will work with target local authorities, to ensure they have truly integrated childminding into their childcare offer, so parents can choose childminding or a combination of childminding and group care for their 30 hours.”

The EYE childminding project is funded by the DfE until March 2018 and the business sustainability toolkit and peer support will launch in summer 2017.

Read the full press release from DfE