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Latest Ofsted statistics show drop in childminder numbers

The ‘Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 December 2015’ statistics – released today from Ofsted – show a 2% decline in the number of childminders in the UK since August 2015.
Since 2012 this number has dropped by more than 10,000, and the number of providers of childcare on non-domestic premises has also decreased by 0.8% since August 2015.
Neil Leitch, Pre-school Learning Alliance chief executive, said he remains extremely concerned about the ongoing decline in childminder numbers.
“To lose 10,000 childminders from the sector in four years demonstrates a complete failure of policy, and it’s clear that continuing to champion childminder agencies, when the sector has shown no interest in the initiative, is a waste of time,” he said.
“With the roll-out of the 30 hour free entitlement offer imminent, the flexible care and education that childminders deliver is more important than ever. The government must now engage properly with the childminding sector and look at what can be done to ensure that this vital source of quality provision is not wasted.”
The statistics did, however, reveal some positive news that the proportion of providers judged as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ has remained at an all-time high of 85% since August 2015.
“Despite the continued dual pressures of insufficient funding and ever-changing legislation, practitioners continue to deliver high-quality early learning opportunities to the children in their care, and the sector should be commended for this continued positive trend,” Neil said.