This will come as a very welcome announcement for all the working mums out there.
Legislation is set to make the lives of childminders and working mums much easier, we're happy to hear.
According to an announcement made today by the Education and Childcare Minister, Elizabeth Truss, the government plan to cut the red tape surrounding childminders and cut the costs of childcare for busy mums.
Not only will childminder fees (the money that childminders has to pay to Ofsted) be frozen at a low £35 per year, but the changes are also focused on offering training and support to childminders, ensuring parents have access to quality care for their children.
Elizabeth Truss says, 'I want parents to have better access to affordable, high quality childcare. Freezing fees and reducing the bureaucracy will encourage new childminders to enter this vital profession. We know that good early education gives children the best possible start in life. Childminders are an important part of this and offer huge flexibility for parents - we want to see their numbers increase.'
A new consultation process will be put in place from September 2014 which will look at the following:
- the annual fee agencies will pay in line with that of nurseries at £220
- the number of hours of professional development offered to childminders
- the number of quality assurance visits provided by the agency
- the number of hours of direct support from agencies to childminders
- the role of local authorities, particularly the power they have to intervene in local markets and their role in delivery
The government has also announced further help for working families, including the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme. As part of the long term economic plan, Tax-Free childcare will enable more parents to go out to work, if they want to, to provide greater security for their families.
Are you a qualified childminder or do you use the services of one? Let us know what you think about the news plans in our comment section below.