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NEWS: Government launch Childminding consultation in England

Today the Department for Education (DfE) launched a new consultation with Childminders, parents, providers and local authorities asking how Government can attract and retain Childminders.  

It also announced that applications for 15 hours of government-funded childcare for working parents of 9-month-olds will open on 12 May ahead of September 2024 rollout. 

Childminding consultation 

PACEY worked with DfE on this consultation which includes some key areas that we already know are contributing to skilled and passionate Childminders leaving the profession, such as funding payment schedules, wraparound care and making it easier for childminders to run their businesses from rented properties. 

Most importantly there is an opportunity for Childminders to feedback what in their opinion would help recruit and retain this workforce. 

There are six key areas of the consultation: 

Recruiting new Childminders: 

  1. Change to new childminder GP health declarations  

They are consulting on a new approach to how Childminders can obtain them including nurses, pharmacists and occupational therapists. 

2. Understanding property barriers 

Where local authorities can support childminders to work from home by working with the property sector to address issues surrounding restrictive covenants on new build properties and linking up childminders who have been refused permission to operate a childminding business from their home with other childminders who have received permission in their local area. They have highlighted Cambridgeshire County Council as a good example. 

Retaining existing Childminders: 

  1. Change to LA entitlement payments 

The DfE are concerned that not all providers in all LAs are being paid monthly where that is their preference. PACEY has s have consistently told DfE that the timing of entitlement payments is creating an issue for Childminders and making it harder for them to run their businesses. The DfE could encourage LAs to make these changes through amendments to the early education and childcare statutory guidance or require LAs to make these changes through new conditions of funding or legislation. 

  1. Supporting Childminders 

Gathering more evidence about what is most effective in supporting childminders to remain in the profession, where childminders currently access this support, and how to make any future support as accessible to childminders as possible. 

  1. Entitlements and wraparound care 

Gathering to understand how best we can support childminders to make the most of the new opportunities these offers represent as well as any challenges childminders may experience such as later years training and registration requirements. 

  1. Giving CMAs more flexibility 

Proposing to reduce the required minimum frequency of quality assurance visits from once per year of registration to once per every two years of registration and making the practice support that CMAs provide to their registered childminders and providers of CODP optional rather than a legal requirement. 

You can view and complete the full consultation here

15 hours of government-funded childcare for working parents of 9-month-olds 

Applications for the second phase of the expansion of ‘free’ childcare in England will open on 12 May, the government has announced today (Friday 15 March). 

From that date, eligible working parents of children from 9 months old will be able to register to access 15 hours of government-funded childcare a week, with the offer beginning from September 2024. This is the second step in their plan to grow the economy and give every child the chance to succeed through accessible, affordable and quality childcare. 

Comment from Helen Donohoe, PACEY Chief Executive: 

‘’We of course welcome this consultation and the chance for Childminders to have their voice.  

It comes after so many of our childminder members have expressed their frustrations at the challenges they face in delivering their first-class home-based early education and childcare, and so, in the coming weeks, we will be focused on making sure as many childminders as possible can have their say.’’ 


PACEY member Annette Kingsley-Scott appeared on GMB this morning after a visit form the minister (available to watch back soon). LBC report on the visit and speak to Annette, read the full story here Parents urged to ‘act now’ and apply early for September childcare as 150,000... - LBC

PACEY policy work  

At such a crucial time for the sector, PACEY is working hard on behalf of our members to improve working conditions for Childminders:    

  • Continuing to urge housing associations, social landlords and developers in England to allow childminders to work in their rented properties that have restrictive clauses in contracts which stop them from working in their homes. 

  • Making sure Childminders play a pivotal role in the Governments wraparound scheme.

  • Campaigning for related children to be included under the funded entitlement scheme.  

  • Challenging DfE and local authorities where funding has been unlawfully withheld. 
  • Highlighting the issues of moving Childminders from Tax Credit to Universal Credit impacting their income and working with DWP to treat Childminders differently.