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Childminders’ fear over attempt to end their Ofsted inspections
CHILDMINDERS have spoken out against Government proposals to end them being monitored through Ofsted.
The proposals would mean that, rather than the Government regulating childminders individually through Ofsted as it does now, it would license a small number of childminding agencies to regulate them instead.
Clair Puschnik, of Grange Park has been a registered childminder since 1999 and says the move would have devastating consequences for her.
“Parents rely on a childminder’s Ofsted inspection to define what they see as high quality and choose childminders that hold a registration with Ofsted,” said the mother-of-two.
“However, if childminders are not regulated by Ofsted we will lose the equal status and I believe it will be the children that suffer.”
Clair, who has a BA Hons in education studies and gained early years professional status in 2012, was awarded a grade of ‘outstanding’ after her latest Ofsted inspection.
“With an Ofsted inspection and regulation, parents can be assured that childminders are committed to high standards in respect to the early years foundation stage, including safeguarding children,” she said.
“Without an Ofsted regulation for childminders, I am concerned children will be put more at risk.”
Kerry Eagles, of Freshbrook, who has been a childminder since 1998, said each council used to have its own inspection system, but having Ofsted makes it easy for parents to compare them.
“The only way that people can compare childcare is through Ofsted. We have all gone a long way to do all the courses and study everything we need to do to get this far,” she said.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “We have got to maintain quality and safeguard children. “But if there are ways we can loosen the burden of red tape so we still maintain those priorities but make it easier for them that has to be a good thing.
“The Government hasn’t made up its mind but various models are being looked at. It is just a question of getting the balance right.”
Mr Buckland has written on Clair’s behalf to Education Minister, Liz Truss.