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Number of childminders continues to fall

By Rachel Lawler
 
childminder numbers
The number of childminders registered with Ofsted has dropped by 600 since December 2017. This continues a long-term trend, which has seen the number of childminders decrease by 15,700, or 27%, since 2012.
 
Childminder numbers
The figures were released as part of Ofsted’s latest statistics, which also show that the number of childcare providers on non-domestic premises has remained at 27,200 since December 2017.
 
This means that the number of non-domestic providers joining the sector has more-or-less matched the number closing down.
 
Outstanding providers
The percentage of childcare providers judged to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ has also remained flat in the same period, staying at 94%.
 
However, the gap between non-domestic providers and childminders has narrowed since December, with 95% of non-domestic and 94% of domestic providers judged to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.
 
Concerning trends
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “While we welcome the news that 94% of early years providers are rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, it is incredibly concerning to see that the number of childminders has continued to decline.
 
“To lose 27% of a workforce over less than six years is simply unacceptable, and it beggars belief that the government has still not seen fit to do anything to tackle this ongoing trend.
 
Flexible care
“Childminders offer parents a vital source of quality, flexible care and education and the services they provide are absolutely crucial to the sector as a whole, especially at a time when the government is trying to expand the childcare offer in this country.
 
“As such, we urge the government to finally take some action on this issue – and addressing concerns over excessive paperwork, substantially increasing hourly funding rates, and crucially, removing unfair rules preventing childminders from claiming funding for related children would be a good start. As this statistics have made clear, simply ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away.”
 
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