Childminders left ‘entirely unsupported’ as one in four receiving reduced rates

CHILDMINDERS have been left feeling “entirely unsupported” and “underappreciated,” with one in four receiving reduced rates or nothing at all to care for key workers’ children.

Childcare providers have been “financially crushed” during the coronavirus crisis, childcare platform Yoopies warned today after publishing a shocking report into the problems faced by those in the profession.

Researchers surveyed 425 childcare providers including Ofsted-registered childminders, nannies (Ofsted and non-Ofsted registered) and self-employed babysitters.

They found that 25 per cent of childminders who are still able to work are doing so for a reduced salary or have offered their services for free, while more than two thirds of families have refused to pay a retention fee to support their childminder while they can’t work.

Despite assurances that childminders can apply for the government’s self-employment income-retention scheme, the report found that 57 per cent are not eligible for this support.

“I feel scared, I’m putting my family at risk every day to help NHS staff save lives,” one childminder, who is not eligible for the grant, said.

“If I don’t work for key workers’ children, I would have no money, as I only started childminding in August last year. As my husband is still working, we can’t claim universal credit.”

Other childminders said that the lack of support showed that the profession was still viewed as “bottom of the pile.”

“I feel very undervalued,” one worker said. “We welcome families into our home, putting our own families at risk with no protection or acknowledgement, even though we go through the same grading and inspections as schools and nurseries.”

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The full Yoopies report can be viewed here: http://www.yoopies.co.uk/c/childcare-report-covid19