What have we learned so far?
Childminding in the CHANGE project area
The Scottish Childminding Association define Childminders as ‘professional childcarers, registered with the Care Inspectorate, who work from their own homes’. There are only a small number of Childminders operating within the CHANGE project area. We have carried out extensive engagement work with families, children and professional to identify why this might be the case and what can be done to increase the level of provision.
Key points are:
Childminding numbers and awareness
There are currently three Childminders operating in the CHANGE project area. Across a similar geographical area in North Lanarkshire, which is less populated, there are eighteen Childminders.
In the CHANGE project area, Childminding has a very low profile and there has not been a registered service in some communities for several years.
Parents told us that they found it more difficult to find a Childminder compared to other registered childcare services.
Most people spoken to by the CHANGE team knew a little bit about what a Childminder does, although not many people fully understood the service.
When asked, most parents and carers said they would consider using a registered Childminder if one was available locally.
The most common reasons given for not wanting to use a Childminding service were parents preferring the idea of a nursery and concerns about the cost of a Childminding service.
Although cost was raised as an issue, many parents were unsure how much they would have to pay and believed it would not be affordable for them. However, current evidence suggests there is very little difference in the cost of using a Childminding service compared to using a private or third sector nursery for children aged 0-2.
Some people were unaware that they could access financial support to help pay for a Childminder.
When a nursery was said to be a preferred option by parents, this was usually because a nursery setting was viewed as being better at preparing a child for school.
Other reasons for preferring a nursery included a larger number of children (meaning more opportunity for social interactions), a smaller age range and more adults being around (leading to a perception of a safer environment, although all registered childminders operate within safety guidelines to numbers set by the Care Inspectorate).
Some parents were unsure how to check the accreditation of a Childminding service, which made them wary of using a Childminder.
The information in this learning summary was drawn from the following sources.
CHANGE Community Engagement Phase 1. This report summarises the feedback the CHANGE team received from children and families about their experience of accessing childcare. It covers summary of the initial community engagement work between October 2016 and June 2017.
Seldom Heard Voices report. This report provides a summary of the second phase of community engagement activity carried out by CHANGE. This explores some of the issues faced by families who may have additional barriers to accessing childcare.
Family Voices. Family Voices is an audio resource where parents, carers and grandparents talk about their experience of accessing childcare and other services.
Clyde Gateway Childminding Survey. CHANGE has been working with the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA), Jobs and Business Glasgow and Clyde Gateway on a project to increase the number of childminders in the Clyde Gateway area. Part of this work involved surveying parents and carers in the area about their views on Childminding.
Engagement with SCMA. CHANGE has a strong working relationship with SCMA. We regularly exchange information and progress updates on work related to Childminding.
Coram Family Childcare Survey 2019. An analysis of the cost and sufficiency of childcare in England, Scotland and Wales published by the Coram Family & Childcare group.
CHANGE Evaluation. The Glasgow Centre for Population Health has been evaluating the CHANGE project since October 2016 and has four key research questions. Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods they have explored the level of provision and use of childcare across the CHANGE area.