Back in the summer, with University of Plymouth, we launched a research inquiry into what might need to change for childminding to thrive in the 21st century. We had an enormous response to this survey, from childminders at all stages of their career, from local authorities, parents and others who care about home-based childcare. Together they have given us a valuable insight into their current experiences and we are now working with University of Plymouth researchers to analyse the findings and, in particular, compare the experiences of newer childminders to those who have been in the profession for some time.
This analysis is still underway but initial results show that while many of the age-old problems continue to contribute to the decline in the number of childminders, there are new and emerging issues to be tackled too, especially for new childminders. Our further analysis and investigation will include working with Plymouth to create a number of in-depth case studies focussed on the key problems to be overcome and the solutions we believe are needed. Whilst some of these problems have obvious solutions e.g. improved funding levels for funded places; others may require new innovations or approaches.
Thank you so much if you were one of the thousands of people who responded to the survey, spoke to our researchers, or took part in focus groups.
We’ll be in touch again soon with full details of the research, plus information about the next steps and how you can be further involved.