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PACEY responds to inaccurate stories on childminders

PACEY was frustrated and dismayed to read articles in the Sun, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail newspapers that claim that children that go to nursery do better than those looked after by childminders. This highly inaccurate claim is based on research carried out in France by researchers at the Sorbonne University in Paris. However, the articles imply that the findings can be applied to childminders in England, despite the fact that childcare is regulated differently in France than in the UK. Research carried out in England from the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), which has been tracking 6,000 children from the age of 2 since 2014, has found that children attending a childminding setting have fewer emotional symptoms (e.g. anxiety and stress), and more behavioural self-regulation (e.g. more likely to think before acting and be persistent).

Statement from PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram to the Editors of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph:

“PACEY represents thousands of registered childminders in England and Wales, and we were frustrated and dismayed to read an article in your newspaper that wrongly assumes that French childcare research can be applied to England's childcare system. The two systems are regulated and operate completely differently, and there is a wealth of independent research that shows that childminding provision in England is high quality and extremely beneficial to children and families. Indeed some aspect of children's early development and learning are better supported by childminders than nurseries and pre-schools, notably cognitive development (and verbal ability in particular) and behavioural self-regulation.

“All childminders in England, like other childcare provision such as nurseries and pre-schools, are regulated by Ofsted and have to meet the same standards as any other form of childcare and deliver the statutory early years curriculum. The overwhelming majority of childminders – 94% – are currently graded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.  Your article has misinformed readers and misled parents who are using childminders currently. Please can you do something to present the facts using the latest research on England. Comparing the English and French childcare system is like comparing chalk and fromage! If you contact us, we'd be more than happy to help.”

3 October 2018 update - PACEY's comments have been added to the articles in the Sun and Daily Mail. Thank you to the members who alerted us to the inaccuracies.