Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years

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Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years
PACEY logo.png
Abbreviation PACEY
Formation 1977 (as National Childminding Association);[1] relaunched as PACEY, 18 March 2013[2][3]
Legal status registered charity[4] and professional membership organisation
Headquarters London
Region served
England and Wales, Isle of Man and Channel Islands[5]
Official language
English; Welsh
Chief Executive
Liz Bayram
Main organ
The Childcare Professional (magazine, published every two months)[7]
£5 million[8]

Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) is a charity and membership organisation based in London and working in England and Wales. A standard-setting organisation, it promotes best practice and support childcare professionals to deliver high standards of care and learning.[9]


PACEY was founded, as the National Childminding Association (NCMA), in 1977 by a small group of registered childminders, local authority staff and parents.[1] Originally the Association covered the UK, but the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) [1] and the Northern Ireland Childminding Association (NICMA) [2] now support childminding in Scotland and Northern Ireland.[1] NCMA changed its name to Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years in March 2013, to reflect the broadening of its membership to include nursery workers as well as childminders and nannies and the growing recognition of its members' professionalism.[6]


PACEY's President, since March 2013, is childcare expert and author Penny Tassoni.[2][3] The Chair, since November 2014, is Jane Comeau, a full-time registered childminder.[10]

Liz Bayram has been the Chief Executive since December 2005.[11][12] From 2009[13] until July 2013 she job-shared in this role with Catherine Farrell, who has now left PACEY.[14]

PACEY's head office is in Bromley, Kent. It also has an office in Cardiff, Wales.[15]

Registered childminders and nannies[edit]

Registered childminders care for one or more children under the age of eight for more than a total of two hours a day, usually in the childminder's home, for payment. They are usually self-employed and are inspected by Ofsted in England [3][16] or the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), [4][17] to ensure they are providing a safe and stimulating environment for these children.

Unlike registered childminders, nannies are employed by parents, and work in the family home. They are not required to register with Ofsted in England or with CSSIW in Wales. However, to reassure parents that they have had an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check, first-aid and basic childcare training, nannies can join the voluntary Ofsted register or CSSIW's Voluntary Approval Scheme.[18]

PACEY has campaigned against misuse of the term "childminder" in the media. In a letter to The Sun, Susanna Dawson, who was then the organisation's Chair, complained about the newspaper's incorrect use of the word "childminder" when referring to illegally paid unregistered carers.[19]


At its 2005 annual conference, the organisation's then-President, British childcare expert Dr Penelope Leach, outlined details of the findings of the longest and most detailed studies of UK childcare, which concluded that young children who are looked after by their mothers do significantly better in developmental tests than those cared for in nurseries, by childminders or relatives. It found babies and toddlers fared worst when they were given group nursery care. Those cared for by friends or grandparents or other relatives did a little better while those looked after by nannies or childminders were rated second only to those cared for by mothers. The study, by researchers led by Leach and colleagues Kathy Sylva and Alan Stein, began in 1998 and involved 1,200 children and their families from north London and Oxfordshire. Mothers were interviewed when their babies were three months old and again when they were 10, 18, 36 and 51 months.[20]

In March 2013 PACEY's report Childcare – not just a job, a vocation, based on research carried out in association with Nursery World magazine and NannyTax,[2][21] found that low pay and poor status are concerns across the childcare profession – among childminders, nursery workers and nannies. In spite of this, the study found that for every £1 childcare workers are paid, they generate between £7 and £9.50 worth of benefits to society.[22]

In September 2013 a survey by PACEY of more than 2,000 UK childcare workers, parents and teachers found that social skills and independence were rated more highly than key academic skills as indicators of young children's readiness to start school.[23]


In 2001 the Association campaigned for a reversal of new government regulations which allowed childminders to smack babies and toddlers and to smoke in the presence of children with parents' consent.[24][25][26]

In April 2012 it launched a campaign, Individual Inspection Matters,[27] calling on the Government to retain individual registration and inspection of childminders in England. The campaign was launched in response to concerns that the Government is planning to take childminding out of the current inspection and regulation system and that this could lead to deregulation or regulation with a "lighter touch".[28][29] It expressed concern that stepping away from individual Ofsted inspection threatened childminders' professional status.[30]

In March 2013 Catherine Farrell, PACEY's joint executive, criticised government plans to increase the number of children that childcare providers can look after in England and to introduce childminder agencies as being "likely to reduce quality for children".[31]


PACEY's magazine, The Childcare Professional, is published every two months.[7]

Members have access to three helplines – a health and wellbeing helpline, a childcare and early years helpline and a legal helpline.[32]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History of PACEY". PACEY. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Gaunt, Catherine (18 March 2013). "NCMA re-brands to widen membership to include nursery workers". Nursery World. London. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Learner, Sue (18 March 2013). "NCMA changes name to PACEY and now represents nursery staff as well as childminders". Hungerford, Berkshire. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  4. ^ PACEY is registered in England and Wales as a charity, no 295981. "295981 – Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years". Find charities. Charity Commission. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Pudelek, Jenna (22 March 2013). "National Childminding Association rebrands as Pacey". Third Sector. London. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "The Childcare Professional". PACEY. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Annual report and financial statements 31 March 2016" (PDF). 30 July 2016. p. 4. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "About PACEY". PACEY. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Board". Structure and strategy. PACEY. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Making a vision reality". Children Webmag. December 2005. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Hofkins, Diane (17 June 2008). "A thorny transition". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Lynch, Andrew (21 April 2013). "Leading Edge: Liz Bayram". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Jozwiak, Gabrielle (16 August 2013). "Pacey co-chief Catherine Farrell stands down". Children & Young People Now. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "PACEY in Wales". PACEY. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Being inspected as a childminder or childcare provider". Ofsted. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales". CSSIW. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Voluntary Approval Scheme". CSSIW. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Letter to The Sun" (PDF). NCMA News. PACEY. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  19. ^ Roberts, Yvonne (2 October 2006). "Official: babies do best with mother". London: The Observer. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Hinchmore, Jon (17 March 2013). "Childcare – not just a job, a vocation". PACEY Local. PACEY. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  21. ^ Hinchmore, Jon (18 March 2013). "Low pay and poor status are shared concerns for childminders, nannies and nursery workers". PACEY Local. PACEY. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Hannah Richardson (28 September 2013). "Social skills 'key to good start at school'". BBC News. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "New rules that say smacking is okay". TES. 11 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "Parents 'ignorant of risks of passive smoking'". Daily Mail. London. 31 May 2001. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  25. ^ Mercer, Alison (8 March 2001). "Hodge replies to smoking question". Nursery World. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Individual Inspection Matters: campaign survey final report" (PDF). National Childminding Association. 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  27. ^ Gaunt, Catherine (3 May 2012). "Campaign to stop childminder deregulation". Nursery World. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  28. ^ Moorhead, Joanna (15 May 2012). "Childminders warn against 'lighter touch' regulation". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  29. ^ Andalo, Debbie (6 June 2012). "How to get ahead in ... childminding". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  30. ^ Richardson, Hannah (22 March 2013). "Nursery ratio plans criticised by government adviser". BBC News. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "Benefits of membership". PACEY. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 

See also[edit]