Bid to recruit more childmindersPublished Tuesday, 28th March 2017
Falling numbers of childminders has prompted council leaders to start a recruitment campaign.
Rotherham Council has seen numbers of childminders declining in recent years as people either leave or retire from the profession, coupled with interest waning in it as a career.
But now there is a real need to increase numbers to help cope with the predicted demands of the forthcoming 30-hour childcare offer. The Council is obliged to make sure there are enough places available for all parents and carers who want the free offer for three and four-year olds.
The quality of childminders in Rotherham is high with 96 per cent receiving either a good or outstanding judgement from Ofsted compared to 91 per cent nationally and the Council is keen to make sure this valuable source of childcare is increased.
In a bid to raise the number of registered childminders the Council’s early years’ services is offering free information sessions for prospective childminders, along with an attractive package of free support and a low cost training offer.
Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services said “We have seen a drop in childminders in recent years. This is a national phenomenon as well as a local issue. We need to change this here in Rotherham if we can.
“Childminders provide a unique, flexible home based service to children and their families and they will be crucial to delivery of the 30 hour childcare offer, coming in September. We want to ensure that we have sufficient childcare and we can give parents a diverse choice.”
The council is aiming to make childminding an attractive career option for local people. It allows people to combine a career working with children, working flexibly to meet their needs as well as working in their own home.;
Childminders need to be registered with Ofsted, have up to date paediatric first aid training, an up to date DBS check, and a safe environment to look after children. Childminders may care for a maximum of six children under the age of eight at any one time. Of these six children, a maximum of three may be young children, and only one child under the age of one.
The campaign to reach potential childminders involves advertising free information sessions on Twitter, Facebook and in libraries and children’s centres and using word of mouth via existing childminders talking about the benefits of taking this career path.
“There is an ongoing need to support for childminders both to ensure that childminders already in the sector remain in business and to feel confident about their future, as well as encouraging new entrants into the profession," added Cllr Watson.
“We will do everything we can to ensure new and current childminders have the support they need for training and development.”
Anyone interested in childminding in Rotherham should visit the Rotherham Families Information Service website or contact the Families Information Service