Trio Childcare Connections is the first organisation in the South West of England to launch a childminder agency, a scheme that was introduced by the government in 2013.
The organisation has been supporting childminders since 1996, running quality improvement-focused networks for local authorities and training childminders and other early years providers. Julia Hinns, managing director, said: “Introducing a childminder agency feels like a natural progression, building on everything we have done. I believe in the quality improvement aspect of a childminder agency and our team is excited about this new chapter in our organisation.”
Trio currently delivers support, advice and training to Ofsted-registered childminders in Swindon, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, as well as providing initial pre-registration for childminders nationally.
“A lot of good or outstanding childminders want support, advice and training to ensure their quality doesn’t fall, but budget cuts have meant there aren’t enough funds to support childminders who are not in need of improvement. The agency will fill that gap for good childminders who still want to improve their quality.”
Trio already offers three levels of paid membership plans to Ofsted-registered childminders to help them meet the challenges of the Early Years Foundation Stage.