Childminders concerned about their future as council spends millions on childcare for toddlers

Motherwell and District Childminding Group at their Safari Party, they meet in the Daisy Park Centre every Monday and Wednesday. Pic: Alan Watson
Motherwell and District Childminding Group at their Safari Party, they meet in the Daisy Park Centre every Monday and Wednesday. Pic: Alan Watson

Childminders fear they could go out of business if North Lanarkshire Council continues its focus on pushing nursery care for toddlers.

The council invested £2.7m on seven nursery rooms for children aged two and three after the Scottish Government expanded the scheme for free early learning and childcare.

Motherwell and District Childminding Group held a Safari Party in the Daisy Park Centre to mark National Childminding Week which aims to improve recognition of the job childminders do.

The group has 70 members from Bellshill to Overtown and believes childminders provide the best service for children of that age.

Dawn Sharp from North Motherwell said: “On National Childminding Week we wanted to make a statement to the council that we are here.

“They’ve spent millions on new nursery rooms to take advantage of the extra Scottish Government funding, yet given no consideration to us.

“Childminders are not glorified babysitters, we are regulated professionals and are worried that if the council continues pushing parents towards nurseries it will put some of us out of business.”

The council says it is up to parents who they want to look after their children.

A spokesman said: “Where a two-year-old child is eligible for free childcare we send their parent or carer a supplier list of local providers.

“This includes local authority nursery classes and family learning centres, childminders and private/independent partner nurseries.

“It is then up to the parents/carer to choose the service that meets their individual needs.”