4Children, a national charity for children and families, is helping to support nurseries, schools and local authorities to open new childminder agencies. This comes as the Department for Education renews its drive to expand the scheme across England.

This week, the charity is holding events in Birmingham, Taunton, Manchester, London and Leeds to help provide more information to people who have expressed an interest in setting up a childminder agency.

Local authorities, private nurseries and schools are amongst the list of organisations that are considering setting up agencies.

There are currently just 8 organisations registered with Ofsted as childminder agencies, with only one of these being run by a local authority.

Launching in 2013, the scheme, set up by former education minister Liz Truss, aims to provide childminders with a range of services such as training, quality assurance checks, professional development and business support.

Chief executive for 4Children, Imelda Redmond, said: “We are pleased to play this key role in supporting the Department for Education to make childminder agencies a success.

“Childminders are hugely valuable to the early years workforce but many are struggling to see it as a sustainable career choice.

“Childminder agencies can offer practical guidance and help with the challenges they face, offering ongoing training, business advice, and a strong support network.”

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