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Childminders fight back

The National Childminding Association has hit out at the recommendation by Ofsted that ministers should consider only allowing childminders to deliver certain aspects of the EYFS. The NCMA said it feared that such a move would create ‘a two-tier system’.

Ofsted’s early years report highlights the fact that childminders have ‘performed consistently worse’ than nurseries and pre-schools since the EYFS was introduced. In the EYFS, all childminders are required to deliver learning and development requirements as well as those relating to children’s welfare.

According to Ofsted 10% of active childminders are outstanding and 61% are good. The figures for nurseries and pre-schools are 14% and 64% respectively.

The Ofsted report also proposes ‘a system of hubs and networks for childminders and pre-schools’ to evaluate quality more frequently and support improvement.

But Liz Bayram, joint chief executive of the NCMA, said many childminders were keeping their good and outstanding Ofsted grades, despite the fact that childminders were losing support from local authorities due to budget cuts. She also said that evidence showed that ‘excellent local authority intervention’ and childminders’ ‘own dedication to professional development’ did support improvement and she urged Government to build on that instead.

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