Number of childminders caring for disabled children soars

The number of childminders caring for children with disabilities and special needs has rocketed, according to the latest National Childminding Association (NCMA) membership survey.

While in both the 2009 and 2010 surveys one in six members reported caring for children with disabilities and additional requirements, the proportion has jumped to one in five this year. Meanwhile, findings show that 15 per cent of childminders care for children funded by social services, the same as last year.

The number of childminders with a childcare qualification at Level 3 or above has now levelled out after an increase between 2008 and 2010. This year, 51 per cent of members were trained to this level, just one per cent more than last year but 10 per cent more than in 2008.

The figures also show that the typical NCMA childminder member is aged between 35 and 44, has been childminding for more than five years and looks after six children.

The average fee charged is £3.90 an hour, up 6p on last year’s average.

These latest figures are among early findings from the NCMA’s latest membership survey. Further findings are expected to be unveiled later this week.