New figures published by Ofsted reveal that the number of registered childminders has fallen by a fifth since 2015.

The data shows that childminder numbers have been dropping over an extended period and as of 31 August 2019 there were 38,500 childminders registered with Ofsted which is a decrease of 500 (1%) since 31 March 2019 and 9,500 (20%) since 31 August 2015.

However, despite the decreasing numbers of childminders, the number of childcare places increased by 1% since 31 March 2019, due to an increase in the number of places offered at non-domestic premises.

The Ofsted figures also showed that:

  • the proportion of childcare providers on the Early Years Register judged good or outstanding was 96%. This was only a slight increase since 31 March 2019, but represents an increase of 11 percentage points since 31 August 2015.

  • A higher proportion of non-domestic providers were judged outstanding, compared with childminders. At their most recent inspection, 23% of non-domestic providers were judged outstanding, compared with 17% of childminders. However, the proportion of providers judged either good or outstanding for both provider types was fairly similar.

There is concern in the sector over the significant drop in childminders with the early years funding shortfall being largely blamed for the pressure on small childcare providers.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), said:

“Every quarter we read from Ofsted that less and less people are choosing to become childminders, so fewer are replacing the dedicated childminders who leave after many years of service to children and families. This simply cannot continue. We know that it is challenging to register as a childminder in England today and whomever forms the next government has to take urgent action to save this much needed form of quality, flexible childcare that so many families rely on.”

The full statistics can be found here.

Last reviewed 2 December 2019