Where are all the childminders?

Recent predictions from PACEY suggest that if numbers continue to decline at current rates, we will lose a third of all childminders by 2027. Fast forward just another 7 years and by 2034 there could be no childminders in the UK at all.  

Childminding plays such a crucial role in early year’s education, offering families a high quality and flexible childcare option. What’s more, childminding has proven to be especially beneficial to children’s communication, social and emotional development.

Through a genuine interest in each child’s wellbeing, childminders play an integral role in helping children advance, flourish and progress. They nurture young children, support their early learning and provide play activities that enable them to explore and develop.

It’s therefore crucial that this vital aspect of childcare is secured for future generations, as without it the choice to families will be drastically reduced.

With so few individuals choosing childminding as a career path, and so many childminders leaving the profession – we ask why? Where are all the childminders?

We know common issues why people leave the profession such as too much paper work and low income, but it’s essential to find out if the issues run deeper than this and find out what’s changed over recent years to see such a decline in people choosing a career in childminding.

To help answer this question PACEY launched ‘The future of childminding’ inquiry to understand the reasons and explore what more could be done to make childminding a more attractive career to both join and remain in.

It’s hoped that this research will provide us with the insight needed to make positive changes for the sector, so that we can reverse the decline and meet the ever-growing demand for childcare. It’s essential that those looking to pursue a career in childminding view the role as a rewarding, highly respected profession with the chance to make a valued contribution to society.

In addition to the work carried out by PACEY, Ceeda is also carrying a wide-ranging research project called ‘What is EY?’ which aims to tackle the sector wide recruitment challenges.

At CACHE, we’re proud to sponsor this project which will look at awareness and perceptions of early education and childcare across the generations and deliver much needed insight into how the sector is perceived, and how best to communicate the rewards and benefits it offers in the future.

Dr Jo Verrill, MD at Ceeda said: “Great things happen when early years colleagues come together, with many brilliant ideas being discussed at our recent workforce round-table. This is a vital first step towards a national communications campaign, and one which puts the sector firmly in the driving seat.” 

Launching this month, the project will tap into the views of different audiences within the sector. You can find out more about the project and get involved by registering for Ceeda’s newsletter.