Alliance responds as childminder numbers continue to fall

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

“If we want a flexible, quality early years sector then childminders are a vital part. It’s deeply troubling to see the number of childminders continue to fall at such a dramatic rate.

“This is a long-standing problem not helped by government interventions, such as childminder agencies and the business grant scheme, which have been high on cost and low on impact. The government needs to get a grip, stop playing around the edges of this crisis and start addressing its root causes. Like all providers childminders are struggling with funding but they are also unfairly punished when it comes to looking after for related children.

“If the government want childcare at its most convenient and affordable then childminders need to be at the centre of their early years policy.”


Notes to editors 

Amongst the key findings was the continued falling number of childminders. There were 39,000 childminders registered with Ofsted on 31 March 2019. Numbers have been falling over an extended period and were down by 800 (2%) since 31 December 2018, and by 9,000 (19%) since 31 August 2015.

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About the Early Years Alliance

  • The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
  • The Alliance represents 14,000 member settings and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
  • The Alliance website is