More childminders needed in Rotherham

Published Thursday, 17th May 2018 More childminders needed in Rotherham

Falling numbers of childminders has prompted Council leaders to offer to pay for people to train in the profession.

Rotherham Council has seen numbers of childminders declining in recent years as people either leave or retire. This is coupled with declining interest in it as a profession.

But now there is a real need to increase numbers to help cope with the demands of the new 30-hour childcare offer locally. 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 current quality of childminders in Rotherham is high; with 96 per cent receiving either a good or outstanding judgement from Ofsted compared to 93 per cent nationally. Now 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 to cover the cost of the initial training sessions - a potential saving of up to £150.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services and Neighbourhood Working said:  “We have seen a drop in childminders in recent years. This is a national trend as well as a local issue, so we are looking to build on the quality of childminding in Rotherham by recruiting more if we can.

“Childminders provide a unique, flexible home based service to children and their families and they are crucial to our childcare offer. 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.

 “We will do everything we can to ensure new and current childminders have the support they need for training and development,” added Cllr Watson.

“Not only will we fund your initial training but we will continue to support you once you become registered. There will always be someone on hand to offer help and advice.”

Funding of up to £150 is available for all new childminders for a limited period only. Further funding of up to £255 for training costs plus £100 worth of early years resources is available to people who live in certain areas in Rotherham.

Anyone interested in childminding in Rotherham should visit the Rotherham Families Information Service website http://www.rotherhamfis.co.uk/be-a-childminder or contact the Early Years Training Team on 01709 822691.