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Childminder refused to disclose Ofsted number-normal?

(38 Posts)
queenofthepirates Japan Mon 12-Nov-12 16:19:46

In brief, I was speaking to a prospective CM for my daughter. All was going well until I asked for her Ofsted number so I could look at her latest report. She refused point blank until I had signed a contract with her, telling me she was rated good and that was all I needed to know. She told me she'd never been asked for her number in five years prior to contracts.

AIBU naive to assume that most parents would view their CM's report before signing up?

NatashaBee Mon 12-Nov-12 16:22:48

If she was rated good, then surely she'd want to prove that to all parents as a selling point? weird. I don't think you need her number to search for the report anyway, do you? I just looked on the ofsted website and searched for a random name and could look at their report.

FrostyTheShosheman Mon 12-Nov-12 16:22:58

I didn't give mine out till contracts were signed as have had people use it fraudently to claim tax credits. BUT I always had a copy with the number blanked out for them to take away and read.

KirstyJC Mon 12-Nov-12 16:23:42

Sounds very odd to me - walk away. I've only ever used a nursery but when we were looking at them, all the Ofsted numbers were offered straight away. How on earth are you supposed to make a decision without the facts?

Even is she is brilliant and the report is excellent - would you really place your children in her trust when you can't even trust her to give you relevant information? I wouldn't trust her from the start - not the relationship you want from someone looking after your kids!

Find another one!

fatfingers Mon 12-Nov-12 16:25:54

Ime it is normal for a cm not to disclose their number until contracts were signed. This is to prevent parents fraudulently using the number to claim tax credits.

My cm is "only" Ofsted satisfactory but I don't care about those labels tbh. I go with my gut instinct and I knew when I met her that she was the right carer for my child.

nailak Mon 12-Nov-12 16:27:34

some dont do this coz parents claim the tax credits using the number but dont actually send kids.

GrimAndHumourless Mon 12-Nov-12 16:28:44

same as Shoshe, trouble with fraudulent tax credit claims, but yes to handing over a paper copy with reg no blanked out

TBH it's not THAT hard to find the reg no and reports on the ofsted website but hey

HecatePropylaea Mon 12-Nov-12 16:28:46

I'd want to see the report.

Surely it can be printed off and shown to people? Not wanting people to see some number or other doesn't make sense as a reason to not let them see the report.

I would actually be concerned about that response. It's really snotty.

In five years, nobody has ever asked me for my number. I'm rated good and that's all you have to know?

That comes across as really rude.

I wouldn't use her.

surfandturf Mon 12-Nov-12 16:29:01

Mmm your request is not unusual and her reaction may have been a little OTT, although by giving out our ofsted registration no to complete strangers we risk that someone might submit it to claim fraudulently for childcare benefits. It may have been wise to ask if you could have look at her most recent report while you were there. If you search the ofsted reports online in your area it's usually quite easy to work out which childminder is which wink

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Mon 12-Nov-12 16:30:38

I do the same as Frosty.
I have had someone leave but not inform TC and it only came to light about 8months later when TC called me to confirm some details.

GrimAndHumourless Mon 12-Nov-12 16:31:01

massive x posts grin

but yes, RUDE to brush off a request, especially as looking at the report is a reasonable thing to want to do, it ain't like you are asking to see her tax return or peer in her wardrobe

colditz Mon 12-Nov-12 16:32:14

She will have been asked for an ofsted number, because you need to give it to the inland revenue to claim tax credit help with childcare. I wouldn't touch this woman with a barge pole. If she has an ofsted number, which I doubt, she has no reason not to tell you what it is.

queenofthepirates Japan Mon 12-Nov-12 17:28:44

Thanks all, glad you're confirming my gut instinct

Tanith Mon 12-Nov-12 17:31:53

I would think the most likely reason is to prevent you from fraudulently claiming tax credits. It's a big problem in some areas and, for a time, we were advised not to give out our Ofsted number.

At this stage, all you need is her report and she should be able to give you a copy with her number blanked out, as the others have suggested.

If you want to check she's registered, ask Ofsted to confirm; you only need her name and address for that.

ReetPetit Mon 12-Nov-12 17:32:31

all you have to do is look on the ofsted website by putting in her postcode and you can read her report. that way at least you will know if she has anything to hide.
it could just be she has a bad experience with tax credits. it happened to me once, a parent used my number to claim, i don't give out my number to parents but i do show them my report when they visit which has got the number on it. i just wouldn't be happy giving my number to people who email/call me until i had met them...
it may be perfect innocent so best not to jump to conclusions imo smile

minderjinx Mon 12-Nov-12 17:38:21

I think there may have been a breakdown of communication here. Many childminders can be a nervous about giving out their registration numbers as tax credit fraud is rife and some are even worried they may get into trouble or be under suspicion themselves if others abuse their details. In fact, as others have said, it is not that hard to get hold of the information in other ways, so there is in my view little point in worrying about this possibility. Perhaps she somehow got the impression that the OP was only interested in getting hold of her registration number and was a bit brusque as a result. I think it is highly unlikely that she is unregistered or has anything damning in her report, as that would come out immedoiately the OP agreed to sign a contract which would of course show her registration details.

piprabbit Mon 12-Nov-12 17:42:38

If she's registered with Ofsted you can find her easily on their website.
If you can't find her, I'd suspect the worst.

wishiwasonholiday Mon 12-Nov-12 18:35:30

Our children's centre gives out our ofsted numbers!

I have a link to mine on my website but some childminders are paranoid people claim fraudulently with it, they would need the full address etc too and tax credits sometimes check.

I wouldn't dismiss using her just because of that, look her up on the ofsted website.

Akasa Mon 12-Nov-12 18:48:03

Certainly not a good response from the childminder but was she aware of why the number was being asked for. I do know that in some areas, minders were being advised to withold their URN until after contracts/deposits sorted because of bogus Tax Credit claims.

As others have said you can probably work out which is her report on the Ofsted website unless of course she lives in a postcode where there are many minders. Where my sister lives there are seven minders in one postcode area so you have to be a bit of detective to work out whose report is whose and since four of them say "the minder lives with her husband and two children" (yes, I have read them all!!), it is a bit of a shot in the dark to work out who the C/M is..........

calmlychaotic Mon 12-Nov-12 21:36:37

agree with what others have said. if she had explained her reasons for not giving it then maybe but i would suspect hiding something, probably negative report. I have been asked for my number on numerous occasions

I agree about just putting her postcode into the Ofsted inspections website.

It may well be she has had tax credits problems but it's not like tax credits make the child minder pay it back! It sounds like she was a bit rude and defensive. I would want to see her report even though the reports don't hold a huge amount of sway for me.

anothercuppaplease Wed 14-Nov-12 18:41:42

We were told during training to not give out our ofsted number before signing the contract. Because of fraud. I was even called by a 'prospective parent' who wanted to pay me with childcare voucher, and wanted me to give her the money back, and then she would give me a fee to do this so that she would pay less tax. 4
I always show a paper copy of my report to prospective parents, highlighting the good bits and also the bits I need to improve, and what I now have in place to improve on my weaknesses.

I think she could now be suspicious of you!

Welovecouscous Wed 14-Nov-12 23:05:38

I wouldn't go ahead with her. It is very strange not to want to disclose something which is on the ofsted website anyway. Weird.

Our nanny gave me her number up front so I could satisfy myself she was indeed registered.

i dont give out my number until contracts have been signed....but...i do give a paper copy of my report with the number crossed out.

I have a copy on my website too with the number crossed out.

I have nothing to hide (i am good with many outstandings) but i have been aware of potential "clients" wanting numbers upfront. Just to claim the tax credits.

Last year a couple were ringing round the local childminders (me included) to ask for our numbers, they didnt want any care just our numbers. They were upfront about it and offered us money for the exchange!

lets just say i was polite but turned down their offer

anewyear Thu 15-Nov-12 14:36:57

I dont give mine out for the reasons mentioned above.

I also show a paper copy of my report to prospective parents.
I also thought it was considered best practice to do this too?

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