Agency Model will Fill Gap in Support for Childminders
Agency Model will Fill Gap in Support for Childminders and Result in Better Care for Children.
The Government’s recommendation to develop ‘Childminder Agencies’ will allow childminders to deliver better care, according to Yvette Oliver-Mighten, owner of childcare provider @Home Childcare, which already delivers childcare under an agency model.
The proposals, which have been announced today as part of the Childcare Reforms, recommend the introduction of an agency model which would change the way childminders and possibly home childcare providers such as nannies are currently registered.
While many have focused on the changes to ratios and qualification requirements also announced, Yvette believes the introduction of an agency model would do as much if not more to improve the standards and regulation within the childcare sector.
“Changes to the way childcarers are currently registered shouldn’t be perceived as deregulation or ‘dumbing down’” she said. “Surely what matters is that the regulation of quality is maintained and continuously improved.
“Ofsted inspectors call on childminders just once every three years. Introducing the agency model will ensure childminders who would like further support receive it and lead to more frequent quality assurance agency visits and higher standards as a result.
“It would also relieve childminders of much of the burden of paperwork and bureaucracy, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best - caring for children.
“This in turn could help to promote the development of more home-based childcare and consequently drive up the professionalism and visibility of home childcarers, especially nannies, who are often referred to as the invisible children’s workforce, thus giving families more choice.”
@Home Childcare specialises in providing part-time, flexible childcare to fit with parents’ work or study hours. Childcare is provided in the family’s own home and home childcarers and Ofsted registered so parents can use tax credits and childcare vouchers to help with funding. Home childcarers are trained and employed by @Home Childcare.
Since October a pilot based on the same model has been in place for childminders interested in extra support and quality improvement - one of the first childcare providers in the UK to offer this.
Yvette and two of the childcarers she works with are available for interview.
Kathy has been a childminder for over 14 years. She is confident running her own business but finds it helpful to have a mentor to whom she can turn for development support and continuous professional development training when she needs it.
Tola has been registered for just 18 months. She has had help to understand how to plan and organise activities and resources and is also keen to hand over some of the business issues such as marketing and advertising.
For further comment, opinion or case studies please contact Yvette Oliver-Mighten on 0115 978 3399 or email