Childminder Agencies etc.

The Children and Families Bill would make changes to the law relating to childminder agencies and childcare provision.

Key provisions include:

  • Clause 73 and Schedule 4 contain provisions for childminders to register with a childminder agency rather than applying directly for registration with the Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills.
  • Clause 74 and Schedule 4 would enable the Chief Inspector to charge a fee for inspections or re-inspections carried out at the request of the childcare provider.

MPs are particularly interested in your comments on the practical implications of specific clauses of the Bill. Please make clear whether your comment relates to a specific clause or schedule.

This forum is now closed.

282 Responses to Childcare

Emma B says:
February 26, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Why are you not listening to the hundreds of childminders who have already voiced their opposition to childminder agencies already? They will do nothing but replicate good LA advice teams and the Family Information Service, at additional cost to hard working parents and childminders.
Z AND B says:
February 26, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Emma B says:
February 26, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Childminder agencies will basically replace the functions of the LA with advice, guidance and training and Family Information Service. They will need to be self funding so presumably childminders will have to pay for this, or parents will. How will this reduce the cost to parents?
Maria H says:
February 26, 2013 at 05:02 PM
This is a terrible idea for many reasons. I will not be able to afford to pay for an agency as I try to work the hours that suit my responsibilities as a mum, I would have to work longer hours and more days to be able to pay an agency! I have studied over many years to be able to get to where I am right now and am very happy to be inspected as an individual. Agencies will not care which childminder is good and which childminder is not so good, they will just want their fees. I wish to remain independent and for my ofsted inspections to be carried out on my quality as a childminder and not have everyone else piggy back on your hard work. This will put a lot of childminders off working. Is it better to get people on benefits? We work for ourselves and wish to remain that way. Parents prefer the one to one care but this will force them to go to nurseries, which is a real shame because children will no longer get the quality of care they do now, and for them to remain in a family invironment rather than 1 of many in a nursery.
Sandra p says:
February 26, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I totally agree with carol B,this would be a huge mistake if it happened!!!!!'
jim r says:
February 26, 2013 at 04:52 PM
The most obvious outcome of this will be that childminders will need to charge more for their services. In my experience whenever an agency is involved costs soar. E.G. Estate agents, football agents, showbiz agents etc. How will the system be policed ? Who will control the agencies ?
W. Mck says:
February 26, 2013 at 04:47 PM
The thought of registeing with an agency at a cost is definately not a good idea, I will have to increase my fees and parents are already paying so much as it is.
I want to have control over how I advertise. This is my business, If I wanted a parter I would have looked for one.
The Childminding Support Team, Bristol says:
February 26, 2013 at 04:41 PM
At present the local authority provides impartial support and advice to childminders,the Family Information Service provides information to parents, while Ofsted inspection judgements on childminders are independent of the local authority. With the creation of 'one stop shop' childminder agencies, how would the agency maintain impartiality across the services of support, inspection, information and brokerage to parents, placement of vulnerable or funded children, while at the same time sustaining a viable business model employing childminders? Would agencies be in competition with each other, so prefering to select high functioning childminders and leaving childminders with weaker practice to fend for themselves?
It would seem that the proposed introduction of childminder agencies is a major upheaval for the childminding workforce, with flimsy evidence that there would be an increase in the quality of care and early education, while at the same time driving down the cost of childcare.
Sema says:
February 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Iam totally opposed to childminder agencies. I feel these will undermine the good reputation registered childminders have built. They will also leave parents open to unscrupulous agencies, I feel that ofsted are doing a great job in regulating child minders and keeping us part of the whole education system.
karen l says:
February 26, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Childminder agencies are a superb idea.

I assume this will eventually make them more answerable and easier to monitor. At the moment Ofsted make arrangements for inspections with childminders. How does that safeguard children? These people work alone with more children than nurseries are allowed. There is no one to turn to when a busy testing day is unrolling. No respite from that crying baby.

There are superb childminders out there but the world is full of unsavoury characters and better inspections and control is required.

Related information

What is Public Reading?

Public Reading is an initiative to give members of the public the opportunity to provide their views on Bills before they are made into law. This is the first Public Reading to be run by the House of Commons and is a pilot of the process. Comments on the Bill will be made available to the Committee of MPs responsible for examining the Bill in detail so that they can take them into account when deciding whether to make changes to the Bill.

About the Children and Families Bill

The Children and Families Bill contains provisions to change the law in several areas relating to children and families.

Explanatory Notes

The Government publishes explanatory notes alongside a Bill to assist readers in understanding the proposed legislation

Additional Comments?

Comments on areas not covered by the listed Bill topics, or broader comments on the Bill as a whole (including anything that you think should have been included in the Bill but is not) should be posted as an additional comment. As this Public Reading is a pilot, we are also keen to hear your views on the public reading process itself.

Public Bill Committees

A Bill Committee is appointed for each Bill that goes through Parliament and is named after the Bill it considers. Public Bill Committees have the power to take written and oral evidence. The Committee examines the Bill line by line and reports its conclusions and any amendments to the Commons, where MPs debate the Bill further.

Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Some provisions in the Children and Families Bill were published in draft form last year so that MPs could scrutinise them and recommend changes to be made before the Bill itself was introduced to Parliament. Four different Committees from the House of Commons and the House of Lords examined draft clauses.