Ofsted figures released today show that the number of registered childminders has fallen by a fifth since 2015. As of 31 August 2019 there were 38,500 childminders registered with Ofsted, this is a decrease of 500 (1%) since 31 March 2019 and 9,500 (20%) since 31 August 2015.
PACEY Chief Executive, Liz Bayram, comments:
“Every quarter we read from Ofsted that less and less people are choosing to become childminders, so fewer are replacing the dedicated childminders who leave after many years of service to children and families. This simply cannot continue. We know that it is challenging to register as a childminder in England today and whomever forms the next government has to take urgent action to save this much needed form of quality, flexible childcare that so many families rely on.
The solution is complex, poor levels of government funding for early education play their part, but as important is the lack of any start-up grant to help cover the significant cost of establishing a childminding setting; the fact childminders operate on small ratios but cannot claim funded early education for related children in their care and most challenging of all is that parents don’t get advice on what childminding can provide, from government, from their health visitor or from their local authority. This means they cannot make informed choices about the childcare that best suits their child. All this leads to childminding being seen as a low paid, little valued form of childcare."
PACEY and its 25,000 members are calling on all political parties to follow our three recommendations in their manifesto pledges for early years and childcare.
1. All commitments to government funded childcare and early education must be fully costed and sustainably funded.
2. The skilled practitioners who work with pre-school children must be better recognised and rewarded
3. Families and carers, as well as the professionals who advise and support them, should receive more information and guidance on childcare and early years."