From education to employment

Twinkl’s Insight: From funding to resources, how can childminders get the support they need?

childminder and child

As part of Childminder Appreciation Week, Twinkl is exploring how recent reports and government funding could enhance the support available for childcare providers, whilst sharing Twinkl’s free resources and tools for childminders during all stages of their careers. 

Childminder Appreciation Week and a look at 2023

Childminder Appreciation Week is a way of acknowledging and valuing the work of childminders and saying thank you for all their hard work. Childminders go above and beyond every day, welcoming children into their homes and supporting families and their local communities, however, the role itself can have some challenges.

With recent developments in funding, training and government grants (not to mention a shortage of childcare providers in many areas of the country), 2023 looks to be changing for those within the field and for anyone thinking of becoming a childcare provider, this could be the right time to take those next steps. 

One Twinkl member said, “As childminders, we offer very flexible and unique settings where siblings can be cared for together and children can mix with different age groups, which in my setting works really well.  We don’t seem to have enough childminders and as the new funding comes in I’m not sure how parents will access the childcare they need, and like everyone, funding is an issue, especially as we tend to wait so long to be paid after term starts.”

Funding is a concern for many childminders and families across the country, the new schemes issued by the government are hoped to provide what could be a turning point for many through the childcare community. 

What is being offered?

Childminder Grants Scheme

The government has confirmed that ‘…the £600 grant for those who register with Ofsted, and £1200 for those who register with a childminder agency, will be payable to any individual who has completed their childminder registration on or after 15 March 2023. New childminders will be able to apply for the grant from autumn 2023.’

Additional Funding

In the 2023 Spring Budget, it was announced that plans had been put in place for additional childcare funding to become available over the next two years. This is great news for childminders who are currently or plan to accept funding, as there will most likely be an increase in demand for childcare places once these come into effect. 

The budget also announced additional funding of £204 million from this September (2023) rising to £288 million next year (financial year 2024 to 2025) to increase the funding paid to nurseries for the existing free hours offered.

Universal Credit Payment Improvements

Along with plans for expanding childcare funding, it was also confirmed that from 28th June 2023, childcare support for the 700,000 parents on Universal Credit will be paid upfront instead of in arrears. The monthly cap of £646 per child is set to increase to £951 for one child and £1630 for two children. 

Further information can be found on the government’s Universal Credit website.

Full details exploring all the funding available can be found in this blog published by Twinkl last month, it can be accessed here.

Another Twinkl member said, “Funding has improved but is still below my hourly rate. It would be better if it was advertised as assisted or a set figure that parents can access rather than Free. It needs to be easier for practitioners to add the difference rather than having to say it’s a voluntary contribution.”

What recent data shows for childcare providers

Recent reports from Ofsted found that the number of registered childminders was down 11% on last year, and the number of registered childcare providers is down by 7%. These findings show the decreasing number of childcare professionals, and it leads to wonder as to why?

It is no surprise that educational professionals as a whole have struggled in the past year, with many professionals facing not only challenges within their role, but as a whole are seeing an increase in pressures which are putting strain on their overall well-being.

The number of active providers on Ofsted registers has been falling steadily since 2015. It has been shown that the decline in the number of providers is due to more providers leaving than joining the childcare sector. It is hoped that the increasing number of available government funding options, it could provide a much-needed boost across the community and give providers greater support in their roles.

How can Twinkl help?

Whether you’ve already fully researched it or you’re just considering the potential of a childminding career, here at Twinkl we’re here to help. Our resources cover a wide range of subjects to support you, whether it’s with business tools to support your business or advice for setting up your own childminding service, to forming business plans and accounts procedures, Twinkl can help you with your career goals. Twinkl’s offerings also include a dedicated hub to support Early Years providers with their Continual Professional Development (CPD), further information can be found by accessing the hub here.

Twinkl’s Segment Manager Alicia R said, “Childminders and childcare providers support families and their communities across the country. They enable children to learn and engage with one another in comforting and nurturing environments, and at Twinkl we understand and appreciate the role that they play in the lives of children and their families. Throughout Childminder Appreciation Week and beyond, Twinkl are committed to providing access to the necessary tools and resources that can support childminding professionals at every stage of their career.”

For more information about the work, Twinkl does to support educators can be found here. To stay up to date with Childminder Appreciation Week at Twinkl you can follow us on social media on Instagram and Facebook.

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