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Childminder numbers continue to fall

By Rachel Lawler
Children playing childminders
The number of childminders in England has continued to decreased, according to the latest statistics from Ofsted.
Released today, the figures show that there were 40,800 childminders registered with Ofsted on 31 August 2018. This is a decrease of 900 since March 2018 and a drop of 16,600 – or 29% – since August 2012.

Non-domestic childcare providers
The figures also show a slight increase in the number of non-domestic providers. Ofsted had 27,300 childcare providers registered on non-domestic premises. This is a slight increase since 31 March 2018.
The number of childcare providers rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted remains high at 95% and this has remained steady since 31 March 2018.
Shocking figures
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: “Childminders are a vital source of quality, flexible early years care and education, and so for us to have lost nearly a third of the childminding sector over the past six years is nothing short of a scandal.
"This is not a new trend or sudden drop: successive Ofsted statistical releases have shown a persistent decline for some time, and yet the Department for Education has yet to even acknowledge these shocking figures.
Concerning trend
"With childminder agencies shown to be a complete waste of investment, and the recent scrapping of the Childcare Business Grant Scheme aimed at attracting new childminders into the sector, it remains unclear how, or even if, the government is planning to tackle this concerning trend.
"It is vital that ministers look to identify and address the challenges facing childminders, such as consistently inadequate funding rates, and unfair rules around claiming funding for related children, as a matter of urgency. Inaction is simply not an option. The government has promised parents affordable, flexible, high-quality care – childminders are a vital part of being able to deliver this."
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