Nearly all Dorset childcare providers rated good or outstanding

Nearly all Dorset childcare providers rated good or outstanding

Published by Maria Greenwood at 10:01am 25th June 2019. (Updated at 7:04am 26th June 2019)

That's despite dwindling numbers of childminders.

Nearly all childcare providers in Dorset were rated good or outstanding at their latest inspection - despite dwindling numbers of childminders.

Of the 313 childcare providers inspected in the area, education watchdog Ofsted classes 69 as outstanding and 235 good, as of 31 March.

This means 97% were graded highly, in line with the average for the South West.

The regulator visits childminders, nannies, nurseries and preschools within 30 months of registration.

Inspectors judge providers on four categories: the effectiveness of the leadership, quality of teaching and learning, personal development and welfare, and the outcomes for children.

Those rated inadequate will be inspected again within six months, and they require improvement within a year.

In Dorset, one childcare providers are inadequate, while eight require improvement.

school child with crayons

There are also fewer individual childminders available. In Dorset, there are 194 childminders, 67 fewer than in August 2015.

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years industry body is working with the University of Plymouth to find out why fewer people choose to become childminders.

Its chief executive, Liz Bayram, called dwindling recruits "a major concern" when demand for childcare is at a record high.

She said: "Recent decisions to end the childcare business grant for new childminders, registration delays at Ofsted, unnecessary bureaucracy and low income levels due to reduced government funding are putting more and more people off.

"We need to work with government to tackle these issues and for them to work with PACEY to reinvent childminding as the perfect flexible career for 21st century parents, carers and others who want to work with children."