Childminders put off by red tape, say Tories

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The Independent Online

Twelve childminders a day in England have quit the profession since the Government introduced its new curriculum for toddlers, analysis by the Conservatives has revealed.

At least 4,277 childminders abandoned the job during the first year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), a new national framework including 69 targets which childminders and nurseries have a statutory duty to teach to three-, four- and five-year-olds. The Conservatives' spokeswoman on families, Maria Miller, warned that the figure could be even higher as many childminders may have left the job without informing the authorities.

The Government introduced the EYFS in September 2008 as a national framework to cover what every child should learn either in nurseries, school reception class or in the care of a childminder. It includes 69 "early learning goals" or targets which childminders are expected to deliver and verify including toddlers writing "lists, stories and instructions".

Official figures show that there were 59,323 registered childminders in England this autumn compared to 63,600 the previous year.