I thought it might be useful to put together a blog to share latest information and links so everyone can stay up-to-date and informed.
Over 9,000 childminders so far have joined the Independent Childminders Facebook group – a group dedicated to offering free advice and information to every independent childminder who asks for support –
Managed by Childcare.co.uk, the group runs alongside its sister forum, the Childminding Forum, which is an invaluable resource for all childminders -
Some good news to start us off! Childminder fees have been frozen at £35 for the year again! We can stop worrying about how much independence is going to cost us for another year… Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “I want parents to have better access to affordable, high-quality childcare. Freezing fees and reducing the bureaucracy will encourage new childminders to enter this vital profession.”
Ofsted wrote their April newsletter in which the new Deputy Director Early Education Gill Jones introduced herself to us all. She says that she looking forward to working with us all which is good because we all have lots to say -
The Ofsted Big Conversation is gathering momentum – members of the Manchester Ofsted Big Conversation group met with Ofsted last month and, during a very informative meeting, were reassured that Ofsted is listening to our concerns and some changes are being made. You can join up with the Ofsted Big Conversation here -
And on Facebook here –
Sir Michael Gove wrote to HMIs recently to tell them that we are now teachers (pity we don’t get the same salary) who need to prepare children better for school …!
He then went on television and in the news to tell parents that nurseries are not preparing children properly for school and that children really need to be going to school from the age of 2 to make sure they are ready -
Ofsted published its annual report which continued to bash the early years and completely fail to recognise the amazing difference we often make to the lives of small children - http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/earlyyearsannualreport1213 and we all wondered when they would leave us alone!
Nursery World magazine reported the sector’s reactions to the latest annual report –
Meanwhile, back at the coal face, our inboxes pinged with the latest offering from Ofsted – a guide to preparing children for school – I will be writing more about this for Childcare.co.uk gold members in due course -
Oh and the rules have changed about inspecting childminders with no children on roll. If this applies to you, then you need to read the latest information –
It’s always a good idea to subscribe to the latest Ofsted newsfeeds –
Department for Education news…
We found out in March that childminder agencies are definitely coming… they are now law… and most established childminders made a commitment to ignore them and hope they will go away if nobody joins them.
This article in Nursery World magazine will give you more information if you are interested –
The Childminding Forum is committed to supporting all childminders including those childminders who want to join agencies and a new childminding agency section has been introduced -
And in other news…
Revised EYFS 2014 - we now have a copy of the revised EYFS 2014 which will be law from 1st September. This will be new legislation, making changes to some of our day-to-day working practices. You can download a copy of the EYFS 2014 here –
What are the changes? - I have written a document detailing the main changes which I hope you find useful –
Under 5s from Pre-School Learning Alliance (which welcomes childminder members and actively campaigns against agencies on our behalf) wrote a changes blog as well –
Food business registration - there have been recent changes to food business registration which have confused a lot of childminders. Be reassured there aren’t any changes for established childminders who are already registered – it’s simply making things easier for new childminders to register because Ofsted will do it for them.
New blog for childminders - Let’s talk about death – not an easy subject but one a lot of childminders have asked me to write about so I was happy to support them -
Morton Michel - have updated their policy to offer enhanced cover for childminders. This is a big step because it will make sure childminders are covered if they are called to give evidence in civil court cases (as happened to a colleague recently) –
Childminders who work with an assistant – after lots of requests from childminders, I have added a new page to our Independent Childminders website and blog to focus on questions childminders are asking about working with assistants. I will add further information over the coming months as questions are asked -
No changes to qualification requirements – the ‘Introduction to Childminding Course’ will be the only required training for newly registering childminders and established childminders will not have to take further training courses. This was announced in Nursery World magazine, after the Government ignored the recommendations made by Professor Cathy Nutbrown.
It is good news for some (especially those who are unable to access funding for level 3 courses) but disappointing for others who wanted to see the early years up-skilled –
Childcare voucher changes - the Government announced changes to the childcare voucher scheme from autumn 2015, which are detailed by Kiddivouchers here –
Morton Michel explain the new tax free childcare scheme in their newsletter here –
This news will affect every childminder who accepts childcare vouchers – and every family who pays by childcare vouchers, so I suggest you give the links to parents in your next newsletter.
Nursery milk scheme changes – the Government has announced changes to the nursery milk scheme which will affect many thousands of childminders who get free nursery milk for the children in their care. The changes were reported in Nursery World magazine –
Teaching schools – more teaching schools are to be set up around the country by the Department for Education. Nursery World magazine report that the schools will ‘link up with early years providers’ to offer support and raise outcomes for children. The more paranoid among us are wondering if it’s yet another way to bring in childminder agencies by the back door, forcing childminders with lower Ofsted inspection grades to join up with local schools for support… time will tell I am sure!
I think that’s about it for now! If you want any further information about changes in the early years world please log on to the Childminding Forum or independent Childminders Facebook group and ask!
I hope to see you there! Sarah x