Voluntary Sector: Childminders' campaign stresses language role

Britain's private childminders are campaigning to demonstrate how they offer better care than nursery school workers - their main business rivals.

The National Childminding Association (NCMA) will campaign to persuade parents that childminders provide superior childcare, because they look after fewer children than nursery workers and can deliver one-on-one support.

It will highlight the role they can play in a child's speech and language development, during the organisation's annual National Childminding Week, in June.

'Childminders can offer a unique contribution because they care for much smaller groups of children than nursery workers, so they are able to give more personalised support,' said NCMA director of policy and public affairs Liz Bayram.

'If you can give children support early on, speech and learning difficulties can be minimised later in life,' she added. The charity will highlight research showing that the earlier speech or language difficulties are tackled, the less likely it is that those problems will continue.

NCMA is seeking the support of celebrities who have suffered speech or language difficulties, either themselves or with their children.

Broadsheets will be targeted with details of innovative methods childminders use to help children overcome language difficulties, while case studies of trained childminders for children with speech problems will be sent to tabloids and regional press.

MPs will also be invited to an event where children will speak and sign with their childminders to reinforce the role the latter play in childcare provision.

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