Following the change in guidance from Welsh Government on childminders providing childcare for related children, who do not live with them and the published news story on this. PACEY Cymru has updates to share on lobbying work. We are also calling for the support of childminders in gathering evidence to support our work.
Currently The Child Minding and Day Care Exceptions (Wales) Order 2016 states that a person who looks after a child under the age of twelve on domestic premises for reward does not act as a child minder if the person is a parent, or a relative of the child or is a foster parent for the child. The Exceptions Order goes on to define relative as ‘a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of the full blood or the half blood or by marriage or civil partnership) or step parent.’ Welsh Government have confirmed, following consultation with their legal team, that any other relative (e.g. great aunt) does not fall under the Order’s definition of a relative. They are therefore able to act as a childminder for a great niece/nephew and receive funding through the Childcare Offer.
We are aware of situations where this change in position has meant families with long term private childcare arrangements with childminders are having now to make a choice as to whether to continue with their current private childcare arrangement, and the financial cost of this, or move children to a setting where they can access the funding greatly disrupting continuity of care. This can be particularly detrimental if the child has a disability or special educational need. We do not believe this supports key Welsh Government aims around emotional well-being for children or sustainability of childcare provision. We also know this issue will grow as the Childcare Offer is rolled out further across Wales.
We need your support- a call to action!
PACEY Cymru have written to the Minister for Children and Social Care to raise concerns around this and to highlight the issues faced by members. Read the letter. Once a response is received and further discussions held we will update this page. Claire Protheroe, Direct Services Manager (Wales) for PACEY Cymru has also had a meeting with senior Civil Servants from Welsh Government to put pressure on the government to change their position in relation to this. They are looking further at the position and any evidence or case studies we can gather will be used to support our lobbying work in Wales.
If you are a registered childminder in Wales that is:
- affected by this position currently,
- are likely to be in the future
- or have a view on this (even if you are not affected)
we would be grateful if you would complete our online survey and share with other childminders in Wales to ensure a good response rate. The survey should not take more than 10 minutes and all views shared will be treated in confidence.
The survey is available for childminders in Wales in English here
The survey is available for childminders in Wales in Welsh here
You can also contact us on email@example.com to share any specific concerns, queries or experiences.
Welsh Government also is looking for feedback to support the development of the Childcare Offer in Wales through their Talk Childcare campaign. They are currently seeking the views of childcare providers and it would strengthen lobbying work for as many childminders as possible in Wales to share their thoughts in writing with Welsh Government.
Please take the time to share your views on this important issue for childminders in Wales