• Aug

Navigating the childminding landscape in 2023

Navigating the childminding landscape in 2023

In the ever-evolving world of childminding, this year has emerged as a year of transformation, bringing developments in funding, training, and government support. With the ongoing shortage of childcare providers across the country, 2023 seems poised to be a game-changer for those in the field, and for anyone considering stepping into the realm of childcare provision.

Government grants and childminder support

Funding has long been a concern for both childminders and families alike. The introduction of new government schemes offers a glimmer of hope for the childcare community. The Childminder Grants Scheme presents an opportunity for new entrants. With a £600 grant for those registering with Ofsted and £1200 for those registering with a childminder agency, this initiative aims to support individuals who completed their childminder registration after 15th March 2023. Applications will open this autumn.

The 2023 Spring Budget unveiled plans for additional childcare funding over the next two years, including an uplift in the hourly rate paid to providers. There is concern that the extension of entitlement funding in England will leave childminders at the whim of local authority decisions, and potentially with lower income, should the children in their care be underfunded. It’s hoped that the optional change to childcare ratios from 1:4 to 1:5 for two-year-old children and the anticipated increase in demand for childcare places will help to address any shortfall in salaries.

From 28th June 2023, childcare support for the 700,000 parents on Universal Credit is provided upfront, rather than in arrears. The monthly cap for childcare costs has risen, reaching £951 for one child and £1630 for two children. These adjustments promise enhanced assistance for parents, thus directly impacting the demand for childcare services.

The strain on childminders

Amidst these positive shifts, it’s crucial to acknowledge the challenges that childcare professionals face. Recent reports from Ofsted indicate an 11% drop in registered childminders compared to the previous year, accompanied by a 7% decrease in registered childcare providers. The educational sector as a whole has navigated unprecedented hurdles. The increased pressures have undoubtedly taken a toll on the overall well-being of childcare professionals.

Streamlining workload with the Childminder App

Last year’s Department for Education report ‘Voices from the childminding profession: Perceptions on challenges and opportunities’ revealed ‘Bureaucratic challenges’ to be a key concern for childminders. The time burden of paperwork and evidence preparation ahead of Ofsted inspections meant that research participants reported completing administrative tasks on weekends or evenings to avoid compromising the quality of their care.

It’s here that the Childminder App shines as a beacon of practical support for childminders. This user-friendly app empowers childminders to streamline their workload. From logging activities to sharing vital information with parents and guardians, the Childminder App transforms administrative tasks into efficient, on-the-go activities. Say goodbye to paperwork overload and hello to a more manageable and rewarding childminding experience. Download the Childminder App from the App Store today and take a step towards more streamlined childminding.

Further support available

Applications for the DfE Childminder Mentor programme are open until July 2024. The programme of support is focused on supporting childminders to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the youngest and most disadvantaged children.

The PACEY website is a one-stop information shop: from becoming a childminder to training, expert advice and peer support.

‘Help for early years providers’ from the Department of Education offers development training and resources, including EYFS activity ideas and general practice guidance.

By Ivy Steele