Campaign aims to dispel misconception that childminders are babysitters

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A new campaign to dispel myths about childminders and promote the profession has launched today.

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A brochure created for the campaign includes common myths about childminders alongside the facts

Five childminding organisations across the UK and Ireland have joined forces to launch the campaign which aims to promote childminders and bust myths about the profession, such as that childminders are just babysitters, or are unqualified and unregulated.

Behind the campaign is the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), PACEY Cymru, the Northern Ireland Childminding Association (NICMA), Childminding Ireland and the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA).

Key myths the campaign aims to dispel about childminders include:

  • They are just babysitters, children just play and don’t learn as much with them.
  • That they are not regulated or inspected.
  • They can look after as many children as they want at any one time.
  • They are unqualified.
  • The job is just for women.
  • Parents can’t get help with childcare costs when accessing care through them.

The myths, together with facts about childminding are printed in a brochure produced by the group of childminding associations. There are also nine myth-busting cards that can be shared through social media using #ChildcareChampions and #ChildmindingVoices.

Claire Protheroe, national manager for PACEY Cymru, said, ‘There are many myths surrounding using a childminder for childcare which are totally unfounded. Negative assumptions about working in childcare can be frustrating for childminders, who know only too well the commitment and dedication that goes into the work they do.

‘While speaking as a peer group it was concluded that these frustrations and myths were common to us all. ‘

Maggie Simpson, chief executive of the SCMA, added, ‘Early Learning and childcare is continually changing. In Scotland by 2020, families will be entitled to 1,140 hours of funded childcare so now is the right time to do some myth-busting surrounding childminders and the professional services they provide. ‘

The campaign comes at a time when Ireland’s childminding sector is on the cusp of change, with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs working on an action plan for the profession.

Bernadette Orbinski Burke, chief executive of Childminding Ireland, explains, ‘With an estimated 35,000 childminders working nationally, childminding is the cornerstone of the childcare sector. Parents, in their thousands, choose childminders as they want a home-from-home environment for their children. We are pleased to be involved in this myth-busting campaign. Childminding must get the recognition it deserves.’

  •  For more information about the campaign click here
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