More childminders needed! Partnership working in the early years

Inderpal Mudhar (Indy) is a childcare partnership manager for Jobcentre Plus in Hillingdon. He works closely with PACEY to recruit more childminders to meet local demand for the role. Indy explains why he feels the Together for Twos project is so important in his area.

As there is a shortage of childminders in Hillingdon and Harrow, PACEY is running the Together for Twos programme to recruit more people into the profession. This will help more families access childcare as well as increase employment for local people.

Flexible home working

As part of my role in the Jobcentre Plus (JCP), I work with lone parents and I realised that this would be a brilliant opportunity for them as they could learn the skills needed to provide an income for their family, while working from home and being there for their own children. Childminders are self-employed. This is a good selling point as it is flexible work that fits around a family; childminders choose their hours and set boundaries for how they would like to work.


he first step for people claiming benefits is to access training in becoming a childminder. Work coaches in Jobcentre Plus can refer people claiming benefits to the childminding training if they are interested. We also work closely with the local authority and children’s centres, making sure that parents are aware of the programme and that there is demand for skilled, trained and registered childminders in the borough.

Although we have started referring people to the childminding training, it’s not always straightforward. People do have some barriers. They are worried about set up costs, accessing training and their ability to earn money afterwards. Our work coaches can help talk through those worries and signpost them to the right person for more information and support.

Access to training

Some people might be worried about training because they didn’t have a good experience at school or because they have dyslexia or other learning difficulties or English as an additional language. Our JCP work coaches can help people to figure out their next step. This might be a skills test at the local college or an English as an additional language course. We can signpost people and work with them to take any steps needed before they enrol onto a childminder training course.

Practical support

Just remember, there is plenty of practical support available, so don’t be afraid to ask. Whether from your JCP work coach, the local authority, college or networks of other childminders. If you enjoy working with children and want a job which fits around your family while helping others, becoming a childminder is definitely worth considering as not only is it a rewarding choice, there is a need for more childminders too.

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