September 2015

Quality of childminder provision

Report summary

Aims and Methods

This study comprised in-depth quality assessments with a sample of 99 childminders spread across five regions of England. Quality of child care was measured through half day observations of process quality in the setting as well as a structured interview with the caregiver to establish the structural characteristics of the setting and the characteristics of the caregivers. Quality visits took place between September 2014 to March 2015.

This study examines the key characteristics of childminding provision and looks at:

  • The characteristics and processes of childminder settings and what childminder quality looks like in practice.


  • The key components of process and structural quality for early years provision in childminder settings.


  • The relationship between the structural characteristics of childminder settings and the process quality of care and education they offer


Key Findings

The overall average score for quality across childminders was good. Very few had an inadequate or minimal overall quality score.

Three key factors were associated with higher process quality in childminder settings:

  • A favourable adult-to-child ratio (i.e. fewer children per member of staff)


  • More frequent training and Quality Improvement Programme or Quality Assurance Scheme support


  • More years of experience as a childminder