40,000 childminders have quit in the last year. This coincides with the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
EYFS has been introduced to streamline learning and development requirements in all Early Years settings. This means that childminders are subject to the same paperwork, assessments and observations as nurseries and pre-schools. This is obviously too much to expect of a single self-employed person.
Childminders' homes are not educational establishments, therefore there should be no need for the childminder to make assessments on children's learning and development. Until a child attends school it should be their parents job to assess them.
The government's ten year childcare strategy has the slogan 'Choice for parents, the best start for children'. Within the framework of EYFS, it states the need for consistency between early years settings. This defies such a slogan and actually removes parent choice.
People tend to choose childminders rather than nurseries because they want a relaxed, informal enviroment for their children - the requirements of this legislation directly opposes this.
Of course, childminders need regulations and assessments but this current system is really too much to expect of them. As long as a child is safe and happy surely that is enough. Many childminders are becoming frustrated becaused they cannot keep up with the paperwork and are leaving in their droves. The knock on effect of this is that children are losing their beloved carers. They grow attached to their childminders and to have to change carer multiple times is surely not an ideal situation.
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