A GROUP of childminders says the livelihoods of members are being threatened by training programmes run by Kirklees Early Years Service (Keys).
Childminders who have worked in north-west Huddersfield for many years are angry that Keys is training new childminders and encouraging them to set up in the area by giving them grants.
The long-serving childminders say this has left the area with too many childcare facilities - and not enough business.
But a Keys spokesman said they were working simply to meet a need and help working parents.
A meeting is planned between the two groups, but a date has not been set.
Meanwhile, the worried childminders called a meeting at Gledholt Methodist Church to discuss the problem.
Linda Mitchell, who has been a childminder in the area for 11 years, said: "We had to fund ourselves and constantly have to pay for training, so we can keep up to date with Ofsted requirements.
"When I moved to the area there were five childminders. Now there are about 40. There is not the call for them and it is costing us money.
"We do this job because we love children and that is why we are sticking with it, even if we get less work. But it is a problem."
Keys is the body which trains and registers childminders.
Mrs Mitchell said she could not understand why the service was still sending childminders to the area.
She added: "We want to know why they keep putting them through the course and registering them and giving them grants when there are too many in the area."
A Keys spokesman said: "The 71-place New College Nursery closed in December, so demand for alternative childcare has recently increased in the area.
"We plan provision around need/ sufficiency and this informs our grant process. All new childminders have to prove demand to receive a grant.
"Sometimes this proof is a parent or parents with children waiting to use their service.
"Sometimes childminders in the area have vacancies, but limit the days and/or times the service is available. So they are not meeting the full needs of parents locally.
"It is not true that there are 40 childminders in the area.
"There are actually 28, but the area under discussion covers Lindley, Birchencliffe, Outlane, Oakes, Salendine Nook and Mount.
"There is not much flexible care available in the area in terms of childminders who provide a service in the evenings, nights, and weekends.
"New childminders may offer this flexibility and so get a grant.
"In Kirklees, we are responding to the Government's national agenda around parental choice.
"Ensuring parents' needs are met takes precedence over sustaining businesses which are not meeting those needs.
"We are not in the business of setting up unsustainable competition. We would welcome discussions with anyone who has concerns.
"We have offered to meet this group and hope we can respond to them directly soon."