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Childminding 'inadequate' figures come under attack.

Byline: Sarah Dale Reporter sarah.dale@trinitymirror.com

CHILDMINDERS in Redcar and Cleveland are twice as likely to be branded inadequate than the England average, according to data provided by the education watchdog Ofsted.

One in 32 - 3.1% - of childminders in the borough, who were active as of March 31, are rated as inadequate by Ofsted, compared to 1.6% across England.

Nearly two-fifths of childminders - 38.3% - are rated as satisfactory/requires improvement or inadequate, way above the England average of 23.9%.

But 83% of nurseries in the borough were judged good or outstanding.

However, council chiefs at Redcar and Cleveland have hit back at Ofsted's figures because they are six months out of date.

Councillor Joan Guy, Redcar and Cleveland Council's Cabinet member for children's services and education, said: "The figures reported reflect previous inspections published by Ofsted in March 2014.

"At the present time, there are currently 155 registered childminders, with the majority of providers having been judged to be outstanding or good.

"Current data shows a marked improvement in the outcomes for childminders in the borough, with less than 2% of our current registered childminders being classed, by Ofsted, as inadequate, and we are working with these providers to address issues and support continuous quality improvement."

In neighbouring boroughs, there are no inadequate childminders in Middlesbrough and one in Stockton, according to Ofsted - although Stockton Council chiefs were quick to point out there are no inadequate childminders now.

Cllr Ann McCoy, Stockton Council's Cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Childminders play a crucial and much-valued role in giving our children a great start in life and as a council we offer them a range of support to help them be the best that they can be.

"We are seeing the benefits of this approach because, contrary to this outdated data, no childminder in the borough is currently rated 'inadequate.' .' "One of the things we do to support our childminders is offer our 'A Journey to Outstanding' document. The document includes all kinds of advice and guidance to help childminders improve the quality of care they provide and is well worth a look."

Cllr Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for supporting communities, said: "The ratings given to Middlesbrough's childminders by Ofsted reflect the high quality childcare offered to parents and carers in the town.

"For our part, childminders in Middlesbrough are continually offered and take up support provided by the council's 0-19 Service. This includes training, information, advice and guidance."

The figures provided by Ofsted Authority No of providers No inadequate Percentage Redcar & Cleveland 128 4 3.1 Middlesbrough 61 0 0 Stockton 165 1 0.6

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 27, 2014
Words:445
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