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Sector loses nearly a thousand childminders between March and August

Ofsted has published its latest statistics on childcare providers and inspections, covering the period between 31 March and 31 August 2018. The key findings are outlined below.

The number of childminders registered with Ofsted has continued to decrease

  • There were 40,800 childminders registered with Ofsted on 31 August 2018.
  • This was down by 900 (2%) since 31 March 2018, and by 16,600 (29%) since 31 August 2012.

The number of non-domestic providers has increased slightly.

  • There were 27,300 childcare providers on non-domestic premises on 31 August 2018.
  • There were more non-domestic joiners than leavers between 31 March 2018 and 31 August 2018.

More than 9 in 10 providers on the Early Years Register were judged to be good or outstanding.

  • The proportion of childcare providers on the Early Years Register judged to be good or outstanding was 95%.
  • This remained broadly the same as 31 March 2018, but represents an increase of 21 percentage points since 31 August 2012.

The proportion of childminders judged to be good or outstanding is nearing that of non-domestic providers.

  • On 31 August 2018, 94% of childminders were judged good or outstanding compared with 95% of non-domestic providers.

PACEY’s Chief Executive, Liz Bayram, commented:

“PACEY was dismayed to learn that we have lost nearly a thousand childminders since the end of March. Since 2012, the number of registered childminders in England has dropped by a whopping 29%, mostly due to fewer new childminders registering. During this same period, demand for childcare has been growing. This steady fall in childminders has come at a time when more than ever (94%) are graded good or outstanding, and it is far from inevitable.

“PACEY is clear what needs to be done to halt this decline. Childminders need more support with start-up costs and registration, and a removal of the key barriers preventing them from delivering funded places, namely a sustainable hourly rate. However, last week the Department for Education announced that it would no longer be offering start-up grants for new childminders, and that the funding rate in nearly all local authorities will remain the same in 2019-2020 (and actually decrease in 13 places). On top of this, ongoing problems with Ofsted’s IT systems means that it is taking up to six months for prospective childminders to register.

“If the Government does not take immediate action, the decline in childminders is likely to accelerate, and families will lose an invaluable source of high quality and flexible childcare and early education.”