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The government proposal for Childminding Agencies (as set out within More Great Childcare) remains a real possibility and the government are pushing ahead with the pilots from August 2013 – March 2014. With first evaluation in early 2014 and final evaluation in March 2014.
These pilots are not actually full blown pilots as there are elements that can not be piloted due to the fact that it is not legally possible to do so.
It is thought that some childminding networks will be used as a base for the pilots which will not provide conclusive evidence as networks are different in many ways to agencies.
It is also thought that some aspects of the pilots will be ‘paper based’ – so discussion and ideas – rather than actually trying things out.
There is concern that these pilots will not produce sufficient evidence to say if childminding agencies are viable, sustainable or will achieve the intentions stated by the government.
Information from the government is rather lacking – certainly not a lot of detail. One thing is clear though – there is no government funding available and so childminders (and quite possibly parents) will have to cover all the costs – including the profits of those who set up the agencies.
Meanwhile, the Children and Families Bill – which is where the legal changes needed are being put through, have reached the House of Lords – and so have passed through the first stage which was through the House of Commons.
The major organisations which represent childminders do not believe that childminding agencies will achieve the governments aims and will create a two tier childminding sector – with some childminders registered with Ofsted and some registered through an agency – and not through Ofsted.
If you are against agencies – please take a look at the Stop, Listen, Consult petition Link to petition and if you agree with the call to the government to STOP the implementation of More Great Childcare, to LISTEN to the concerns of parents, childminders and childminder organisations, to CONSULT fully before moving forward – to sign the petition.
If you think childminding agencies are a good idea – please add a comment in the comment box on this page, because so far no one has publicly said they are in favour and if so the reasons why. It is important that a balanced view is given, and all sides of the discussion considered.
If you click on the menu – you will find other pages with information about childminding agencies