The government has an unrealistic view of the role childminders will play in next year’s extension of free childcare provision, an organisation has claimed.
Parents of three- and four year-old children will be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week from next year, double their current entitlement. The scheme will be officially trialled from September, although the rates of payment received by the participating nurseries have been a source of controversy.
Now the Professional Association for Childcare and Early years (Pacey) has claimed the still low rates will dissuade many childminders from taking part in the scheme and offering the free hours, despite the government’s interest in them doing so.
Pacey Chief Executive Liz Bayram:
“While it is good to see government placing such a strong emphasis on the contribution childminding can make to delivering this priority, Pacey has … again raise[d] concerns about how [the] government’s current approach isn’t enough to address the key issues facing childminders.”
The government was relying too much on the support of “the handful of childminder agencies that exist” but their influence was unlikely to be sufficient to help more childminders become involved in provision of the extra hours she claimed.