Agenda item

Agenda item


To receive a verbal report from the Early Years Quality Assurance Lead.


The Early Years Quality Assurance Lead provided Members with an overview of childminders across the city.  She reported that Manchester had 327 registered childminders, although not all would be currently providing childminding services.  She informed Members that nationally over the past 10 years the number of childminders had decreased by 50% but that in Manchester the number had only decreased by 25%.  She reported that 291 of the registered childminders were on the Early Years register, with the remainder only working with children aged 5 and over.  She informed Members that 16 childminders in Manchester were part of the Tiney Childminding Agency so did not have individual registrations and were recruited and trained by Tiney. She informed Members about grants which were available for new childminders registering with Ofsted but advised that the government scheme offered more money for new childminders to register with agencies.  She reported that her team offered the same support to childminders who were registered with Tiney as it did to other childminders in the city, including visits and access to the Forums, and that the Council had a working relationship with Tiney.  She reported that around 200 childminders in the city could offer free entitlement childcare and that some childminders offered overnight care.  She reported that some childminders worked as a group and that approximately 60% worked with an assistant and that her team supported the childminder on their leadership role where they employed an assistant.  She explained planned changes in relation to space requirements in the home, which would include kitchens from next year, and the relaxing of the qualification requirements for childminders.  She informed Members about the wide range of training and support offered to childminders, including pre-registration training, visits, termly Forums, an allocated Quality Assurance Officer, support from local Children’s Centres, support and training on working with children with SEND, safeguarding training, a professional development programme and peer support.  She reported that 13 childminders had been judged outstanding, 211 were good and 9 were judged as requires improvement or satisfactory, although 6 of these had no children on roll.  She explained that settings which were due an inspection but did not have children on roll could have a “no children on roll” inspection which resulted in a judgement of met or not met but that the grade awarded at the previous inspection would be counted for the figures.  She reported that, if settings which had since received a judgement of met were discounted, there was only one provider in Manchester currently judged as inadequate.  She informed Members that 93% of childminders were now judged as good or better, compared to 58% ten years ago.  She highlighted some of the issues for those which were less than good, including not keeping up to date with requirements such as first aid certificates and insurance when they did not have any children on roll, which her team regularly highlighted to the providers, and self-evaluation.  She explained how her team prioritised their visits to childminders, with priority given to childminders who were due an inspection, had been judged as less than good or were struggling.


In response to questions from the Chair, the Early Years Quality Assurance Lead confirmed that the Forums were used to share good practice and she reported that the SEND support childminders attended the Forums and had delivered presentations at the most recent Forum about what they did and the support they could provide to other childminders.  She informed Members about SEND training that the Rodney House Outreach Service Early Years (RHOSEY) had recently delivered to childminders, as well as SEND training available from Dingley’s Promise.  In response to a Member’s question, she informed the Subgroup about a Level 3 SEND course which was available online to providers through the Best Practice Network.   In response to a question from the Chair about identifying children with SEND, she reported that childminders needed to carry out the 2-year-old development check and that a lot of childminders had undertaken Wellcomm training and worked closely with Children’s Centres on the Wellcomm screening of speech and language development.


In response to a Member’s comments about SEND training, the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer reported that parents of children with SEND could access the Dingley’s Promise training.  A Member asked for a link to this training to be circulated to Members.


In response to a Member’s comments about the need to recruit more childminders, due to the expansion of the free childcare entitlement, the Senior School Quality Assurance Officer reported that a delivery plan for the expansion was being developed and that an update on this would be provided at the next meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee.  In response to a further question, she provided information on the Wrapround Childcare Programme and stated that further details of this would also be included in the report to the Committee.  A Member expressed concern that parents would need to pay for the wraparound childcare.  The Senior School Quality Assurance Officer clarified that the aim of the Wrapround Childcare Programme was to ensure sufficiency of provision.




To request that a link to the Dingley’s Promise training be circulated to the Subgroup Members.