Alliance welcomes Ofsted U-turn on childminder statistics proposals

24th February 2015

The Pre-school Learning Alliance has welcomed the news that Ofsted will not be proceeding with plans to remove childminder information from a number of official data charts.

The inspectorate confirmed that the proposal to remove the data from charts contained in the regular ‘Registered childcare providers and places in England’ reports would not be brought forward after being opposed by 82% of consultation respondents.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:

“We welcome Ofsted’s decision to scrap plans to remove childminder numbers from the official data charts on overall childcare places.

“Childminders are a vital source of flexible, quality childcare and currently provide a significant proportion of all early years places. To remove them from Ofsted’s official data charts on childcare places, therefore, would have essentially rendered these statistics meaningless as they would have no longer been providing a comprehensive picture of the early years sector as a whole.

“What’s more, the argument on which the proposal was based - that the introduction of childminder agencies would make reporting on childminder numbers unreliable as agency-registered childminders would not be registered with Ofsted - was fundamentally flawed, as it assumed that the majority of childminders would soon be registered with agencies. With only four agencies registered over the past six months, and the majority of childminders still strongly opposed to the initiative, this is highly unlikely to be the case.

“We welcome the fact that Ofsted has listened to the sector’s views on this matter and responded accordingly, and hope that it will continue to take this approach on all future consultations.”

For further information, please contact us.

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Notes for editors

  • In its Responses to Ofsted’s consultation on the publication of statistics on early years providers and places and inspection outcomes report, Ofsted stated: “82% (100 of the respondents) felt that childminder details needed to remain in the charts as well, despite concerns around data continuity that the introduction of childminder agencies could produce. In light of this feedback, we will not be taking this proposal forward.”

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE

  1. The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England.
  2. Through direct provision and its membership of 14,000 nurseries, sessional pre-schools and parent and toddler groups, the Alliance supports over 800,000 children and their families in England. The Alliance also develops and runs family learning programmes, offers information and advice, runs acclaimed training and accreditation programmes and campaigns to influence early years policy and practice.
  3. For information about the Pre-school Learning Alliance, visit our website: www.pre-school.org.uk

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