Raising the standards of child care in Cornwall

A childminding project in Cornwall has been given a major boost with news of a further £76,000 in funding through Objective One.

Childminders Mean Business – which is run by the National Childminding Association – will get the money from the European Social Fund (ESF) to provide advice, mentoring, information and network co-ordination in Cornwall.

The childminding scheme was originally set up in 1996 in partnership with Cornwall County Council and Cornwall Childminding Association to deliver initial training to newly registered childminders. Since then it has established a reputation for the professional development of childminders and enabled women to realise their full potential in the workplace.

In delivering quality childminding services, the scheme has three fundamental aims:

To put in place high quality, accessible and affordable childminding provision which will enable women across Cornwall to participate more fully in the local labour market.

To raise the professional status of childminders as professional carers running their own businesses from home and provide them with a range of training programmes which include accredited national qualifications, unique to their provision.

Working with employers to increase family friendly policies that can improve job prospects for woman and to seek sponsorship for childcare within childminding networks.

Regional manager Julie Hathaway said: “The project has gone from strength to strength and enjoyed continued success in delivering training and support to childminders across Cornwall.”

Project partners include Saltash and Cornwall College at Camborne – in areas where there are two established “Childminding Networks”, formal groups of childminders working to a set of quality standards recognised by the DfEE (Department for Education and Employment).

Proposals include extending provision into Penzance and Isles of Scilly and a network linked to one or more major employers in Truro. Project partners also include Surestart Lescudjack, Kerrier and, from early May, Surestart China Clay. Project staff are now involved in early discussions with Surestart Carrick, which it is hoped will result in additional childminding support by the end of the year.

To complement the Objective One project, Childminders Mean Business will be further extending childminding skills through working with the Open University and Adapt. This project will provide a group of up to 30 new childminders with competitive business advantage through the development of IT skills.

Objective One director Bill Bawden said: “Good quality, professional childminding services are essential for working parents, but equally important is the education of employers in adopting family friendly policies in the workplace.”

In addition to the grant for the coming year, a retrospective ESF grant of nearly £41,000 was also approved through Objective One to pump-prime the latest project initiatives.

For more information about the project, contact the National Childminding Association on 01722 326079.


  • Editors notes:

    Jason Clark
    Communications Manager
    Objective One Partnership Office
    Castle House
    Pydar Street
    Truro TR1 2UD
    Tel:01872 241379
    Fax:01872 241388