ChildLinks Issue 1: Childminding

Barnardos. (2024). ChildLinks Issue 1: Childminding.
In February of this year, The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) announced the launch of a public consultation on new regulations governing the childminding sector in Ireland. This step marks a key moment in efforts to improve and enhance the quality and assurance of childminding services, and is an opportunity for childminders and parents to voice their opinions. The regulations are part of the implementation of National Action Plan for Childminding 2021-2028, which is designed to ensure a smooth transition for childminders, offering them increased status, access to public funding, and extensive support. In this issue of ChildLinks, we consider the challenge now being faced by childminders and policymakers alike in balancing regulation and reforms with the preservation of the unique individuality that defines childminding. The first article is this issue from DCEDIY offers an overview of the work underway in implementing the Childminding Action Plan and the next steps to be taken. This is followed by an article from Childminding Ireland that acknowledges the particular attributes of childminding when compared to other types of early learning and care, and asks, will childminders decide to adapt to a new reality of regulation? Later in this issue, Dr Miriam O’Regan, Research Centre for Psychology, Education and Emotional Intelligence, Technological University Dublin examines the current practices and pedagogy of childminders in Ireland and considers how an understanding of these could inform changes in the sector. Further articles examine childminding internationally. Rosanne Sluiter from Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam outlines a comparative study undertaken on socialemotional development in centre-based and homebased childcare settings in the Netherlands. Dr Kay Aaronricks, Associate Professor and Head of the School of Education at Anglia Ruskin University, shares details of an action research project that explored the professional development needs of a group of childminders in the UK. Finally, Tina Maltman, Executive Director, Childminding UK gives an overview of the key findings from a survey seeking views of childminders on the sustainability of childminding in light of new funding arrangements in England and offer some recommendations to ensuring the sustainability of the childminding sector in the UK.