Childminder agencies will support childminders with training and business advice while providing parents with easier access to high-quality childcare. It will be entirely voluntary for childminders to join agencies and for parents to use them.
Agencies will cut costs and administrative burdens on individual childminders by matching them with parents, saving them from having to spend time and resources trying to fill their places.
Childminder agencies will also bring a number of benefits for parents. They will increase choice in childcare and make it easier to find help with holiday or sickness cover. The agencies will be registered and inspected by Ofsted, so parents will be reassured about their quality.
Trial of childminder agencies
After reviewing proposals from over 100 different organisations interested in being part of our trial, we selected the following 20 organisations to help us test and develop the scheme:
- Family Info Link
- St Bede’s Academy
- Liverpool Council
- Salford Council/Rochdale Council/Wigan Council
- @Home Childcare
- Entrust Ed
- Telford Council
- Buttercups Nursery
- Riverside Childcare
- Merton Council
- Broadclyst Community Primary School
- Trio Childcare
- Bournemouth Council
- South Gloucestershire Council
- First Year Childcare
- Calderdale Council
- Rutland Council
- Warwickshire Council
- Hampshire Council
These trials started in summer 2013 and will continue into 2014.
You can find more information about childminder agencies, including case studies on some of the trials, on the Foundation Years website.