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NEWS: PACEY launches its Manifesto for Childminders to mark Childminding Week 2024

To mark Childminding Week 2024, PACEY unveils its new Manifesto for Childminders calling for urgent government action to address plummeting childminder numbers ensuring children have the very best start in life.  

A declining workforce 

The early education and childcare sector is in a precarious state, with childminders in particular leaving the profession at a startling rate. A vital part of childcare  provision, childminding settings offer 166,000 of the 1.26 million childcare places available in England1 and 12,800 of the 79,000 in Wales2.  

Uniquely placed to offer a comprehensive early years curriculum in a home environment, they have particular value for children with the greatest needs (a third of PACEY members provide for children formally recognised as having disability or additional learning needs, with many more awaiting assessment)3.  

However, we now risk losing this valuable infrastructure, with the current rate of decline predicting only 1,000 childminders left in England by 20354. In Wales, the 2023 Independent Review of Childminding highlighted a similar concern with a workforce decline of 23 per cent between 2018 and 2022 and continuing at pace5.  

What does that mean?   

Childminders are highly skilled and passionate childcare professionals who are sadly facing multiple barriers including rising costs, inadequate funding levels, and a continued lack of recognition within the education sector. Over the years tweaks to  policies and the early years system have failed to address the rapid decline.   

 “I feel we are looked down on, looked as just a babysitting service, when we work as hard to help all the children in our care on their learning journey and giving them the best start in life that we can.” PACEY Childminder in England  

Read our manifesto in full here.

PACEY is using Childminding Week 2024 to: 

  1. Raise the profile of childminders and their vital role within the early years sector amongst parents and the wider public. Through our social media campaign #IAmAChildminder we encouraging childminders to share how their everyday work impacts families.  
  1. Lobby for urgent government action to help retain a passionate and skilled workforce. The launch of our new Manifesto for Childminders sets out key policy asks for urgent action, underpinned by a strategic long-term vision for the sector with quality at its centre, one which invests in its workforce and secures the best start for children.  
  1. Play a pivotal role in recruiting and enabling new and returning childminders to the profession. A new Registration Offer throughout May helps to reduce start-up costs and encourage new and returning childminders to register, combatting the workforce decline.  
  1. Celebrate and champion childminders and the vital work they do, encouraging others to join in this campaign. We are showcasing examples of best practice in local areas with announcement of our Regional Childminding Awards winners.  
  1. Support our members to provide quality childcare and education for all. We know that high quality provision has a significant benefit to securing bright futures for children with SEND/ALN and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through our partnership with Deloitte we are donating 200 laptops to early years professionals, prioritising those who have a key role in supporting these groups.  

Helen Donohoe, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:  

“Childminding Week presents an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate the fantastic work that childminders do, but we must continue this momentum to ensure a bright future for childminding. PACEY’s manifesto highlights what this future could look like, with rightful recognition for the workforce and a comprehensive, long-term strategy from government.  

Without meaningful action, many childminders will be left at breaking point with little confidence to remain in the profession. This is heart-breaking when we consider the vital service childminders provide to families in their communities, particularly those in highest need.” 

For further information please contact: 

PACEY 
Ka Lai Brightley-Hodges, Head of Membership and Marketing 

Email: kalai.brightley-hodges@pacey.org.uk   

PACEY Cymru 
Email: paceycymru@pacey.org.uk 

 

About PACEY

PACEY is the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years. Formed in 1977, we are a charity dedicated to supporting everyone involved in childcare and early education to provide high quality services, information and advice to children, their families and carers. Across England and Wales we provide training, expert advice, help and peer support to practitioners and practical and impartial support and information for families and carers and those advising them. We represent the views and experiences of practitioners and champion their vital role in helping prepare children for a bright future. 

About the research

PACEY’s Membership Survey 2024 surveyed 527 PACEY members in England and Wales between 21 February – 9 March 2024.