Alliance slams children and families minister's dismissal of huge decline in childminders 

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

“Childminders are an absolutely critical part of the early years sector: they are experienced, Ofsted-registered educational professionals who provide quality, flexible care and education in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

“To hear the children and families minister so casually dismiss the closure of thousands of childminders - and falsely imply that what they provide is just ‘care’, rather than education - is both insulting and infuriating. The level of disrespect shown to this vital part of the sector simply cannot continue. 

“Over recent years, we have seen more than a quarter of childminding professionals leave the early years. If this was happening in any other part of the educational sector, there would be an outcry – so why is it any different for childminders? 

“It’s high time ministers understood that care and education delivered by an educational professional in a home environment is of no less value that that delivered in a nursery, pre-school - or, for that matter, a school or college - and gave childminders the respect and recognition they, like their early years colleagues, deserve."