Networking raises childminders’ game

The development of approved childminding networks has raised the
status and profile of the job, new research has found.

A study by director of early years at the National
Children’s Bureau Sue Owen of nearly 50 National Childminding
Association “Children Come First” childminding
networks finds that almost three quarters of childminders said they
would be more likely to continue as a childminder because of their
network membership.

The childminders rated training as the most important element of
network activity, but also valued access to resources such as toy
libraries and equipment loan schemes and the chance to meet other

“It is clear from the study that networks have a
significant positive effect on the quality of childcare
practice,” Owen said.

“Childminders on a CCF network are much more likely to
have a higher level of qualification, with 51 per cent holding a
qualification of level 3 or above, and a further 22 per cent are
working towards one.

“Historically, only around 20 per cent of childminders
held a level 3 qualification, so networks have made a dramatic
difference to the workforce profile.”

However, the report finds few financial incentives for
childminders to take on the extra work involved in accreditation or
community childminding for vulnerable children and recommends that
this should be considered as a separate aspect of the
Children’s Workforce Strategy currently out to consultation.
Strong feelings also remain about low status and patronising

Children Come First from

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