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An independent focus group for childminders has been launched to seek clarification from the Department for Education about what will happen to childminders who do not join agencies.

Laura Henry describes how careful preparation and a strong understanding of the Ofsted inspector's role and the procedure to be followed will 'help the inspector to help you'.

The early years sector has urged caution over plans to introduce childminding agencies, as set out in the Children and Families Bill.

Local authorities will no longer have a role to improve quality in early years settings, leaving the future of the work of early years authority advisers and their teams unclear.

Plans to introduce childminder agencies and give early years providers the right to request an Ofsted inspection are included in the Children and Families Bill published today.

The Government is urging the early years sector to respond to an online consultation which will inform its review of how regulation for childcare providers is enforced.

Local authorities are set to lose their early years quality improvement role, as Ofsted becomes 'the sole arbiter of quality in the early years', in the Government's 'More Great Childcare' shake-up.

No official records are kept on the number of deaths, serious injuries and accidents that occur while children are in nursery or other childcare settings, a Nursery World investigation reveals.

A row has broken out between Ofsted and the National Childminding Association, after Ofsted used its first annual early years lecture to suggest that childminders were 'not up to the job' of delivering all aspects of the EYFS.

The National Childminding Association has written to Ofsted hitting back at suggestions that childminders should primarily deliver 'care' not education in the EYFS.

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