The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the professional practice of Scottish childminders

Bethan Davies, Deborah Holt and Deborah Fry

Abstract

Successive reports by the Care Inspectorate have acknowledged a consistent decline in the number of active childminders in Scotland since 2014. The purpose of this study was to examine the decline in the number of active childminders in Scotland, with a key focus on the further implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. This mixed-methods study had a total of 82 childminders completing an online survey, with 11 opting to participate in an online semi-structured interview. Participants were selected through a stratified random sample and convenience sampling to ensure the study had a representation from across the wider geographical area of Scotland. Qualitative data were analysed through thematic and content analysis. Analysis of quantitative data was through descriptive and bi-variate analysis. Childminders expressed concern for the sustainability of childminding in Scotland. A lack of economic support was cited by participants as a reason why they would have to leave the profession, with the pandemic bringing increased job insecurity. Childminders believed that childminding was not seen as a legitimate childcare service and, therefore, many were left feeling undervalued and underrepresented. Childminders believed that they need increased support to operate in a post-pandemic world and wanted recognition of their key role during the pandemic. It is clear that an improved understanding of the childminding role and their contribution to child development and educational practice would be key in raising awareness of the childminding profession and improving the perception of childminding.

Davies, B., Holt, D. and Fry, D. (2023) The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the professional practice of Scottish childminders. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 14(1). Available at: https://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=20863 [Accessed 27 May, 2024].