Landlords Urged to Allow Childminders to Work From Their Rented Homes
Housing associations, landlords and developers in England are being urged to allow childminders to work in their rented properties, to help encourage entry into the profession and increase availability of childcare for parents. This is being driven by the Children, families and wellbeing Minister, Claire Coutinho, writing to the relevant parties urging them to relax any restrictions that they have in place that limit childminders working from leasehold properties.
Childminders are usually faced with strict restrictions about using their accommodation for business purposes. These include some landlord’s mortgage agreements explicitly state limitations on what the property can be used for, including using it for business, and the tenancy agreements having clauses preventing using the property for a business. These challenges have resulted in one in eight childminders stating that failure to complete the registration process was due to failure to gain permission to work from their home.
Removal of these restrictions could help encourage more people to consider becoming a childminder and is another attempt by the government to increase the number of childminders in the England. It follows the announcement in March that there will be a grant of £1,200 for newly registered childminders, however, this grant is yet to be rolled out. There are also talks of changes to the registration time and ensuring that local authorities pay childminders monthly, but these are yet to be confirmed.
The removal of one potential barrier for childminders is generally a good thing for the industry but leading voices have issued caution about the impact the change would have and there have been calls for more reforms to ensure the long-term, effective change. We will have to wait and see if these changes are implemented.