Manifesto for Childminders 2024

To mark Childminding Week 2024, PACEY unveiled 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.

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.”