In England over the past 4 years, more than 9000 childminders have resigned. The main reasons given are: lack of demand in certain areas, competition from new nurseries, using family members as free childcare and the lack of continuity from Ofsted regarding rules and regulations.
Children under 3 can benefit from smaller environments where they have a lot of one to one attention. The transition to a larger setting is then easier as they will have acquired social skills, independence, and confidence.
Nurseries have had funding cuts, which leads to large numbers of children being looked after by fewer fully trained staff. Established childminders have no funding help at all from the local authority but still have to be fully trained, insured, checked and have age-appropriate resources for the children all of which has to be paid for out of the childminders wage.
Therefore, unless people use the services that childminders offer, their decline will be inevitable and will lead to less choice for parents.