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Childminder refused to disclose Ofsted number-normal?

(38 Posts)
queenofthepirates 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?

Welovecouscous Thu 15-Nov-12 14:38:14

How is it protecting you if parents can get the number from the ofsted report anyway?

anothercuppaplease Thu 15-Nov-12 14:45:12

You are absolutely right. On their 'new' website you can search by address or name of childminder, and their unique ref number is there.

It defeats the point really.

I was told when I was trained (two years ago) that I shouldn't give out my ref number before signing the contract, they are confidential and can lead to fraud.... But it's there for anyone to see.

GrimAndHumourless Thu 15-Nov-12 15:16:19

I think it's to do with volunteering your ofsted reg number?

Acepuppets Thu 15-Nov-12 15:23:46

I thought they had to display registration certificate on the wall any way.

anothercuppaplease Thu 15-Nov-12 16:17:48

You volunteer your name, address and post code, I don't remember ticking a box for ofsted number.

Differentangle Thu 15-Nov-12 16:38:32

I understand that there is an issue here with regard to tax credit fraud, but as a parent, I definitely wouldn't leave my child with someone who refused to show me their ofsted report before I signed a contract. The ofsted report forms part of how you might make a decision as to whether you would be happy leaving your child with the childminder

MrAnchovy Thu 15-Nov-12 18:20:26

You volunteer your name, address and post code, I don't remember ticking a box for ofsted number.

There isn't a box to tick for Ofsted number, that's what is shown on the site already. The point is that you are agreeing (or not) for your name and/or address and/or post code to appear as well.

ChildrenAtHeart Thu 15-Nov-12 18:21:34

It is a legal requirement to display your registration certificate so parents can see it and to provide a copy of your report on request. Refusing to give out your reg number has been 'recommended' in the past to prevent fraud but as this information is in the 'public domain' and parents are encouraged to check that CM is registered and to check the report it isn't a terribly good idea really. You can now opt to have your contact details published on your report and it is pretty easy to identify a cm (along with their reg number) by post code on the Ofsted website, plus many FiSs list the reg number with your details too so witholding it is a fairly pointless exercise. If a parent wants a registered childcare reg number they could look on the Ofsted website any get any nursery or presch reg number too.
Having said that the cm the op spoke to seemed to be a bit off and I would have alarm bells ringing.

Welovecouscous Thu 15-Nov-12 18:25:43

Sounds like the NCma should be advising cm not to withhold their number.

I work in a regulated profession - wont say which - and if someone asked for my professional registration number I would always give it.

Tanith Thu 15-Nov-12 19:16:06

When tax credits were first introduced, childminders were held accountable for fraudulent use of their numbers: at least one, to my knowledge, was prosecuted. The NCMA campaigned to take childminders out of the equation and we were advised not to give out our numbers.

For that reason, I wouldn't necessarily treat this childminder with suspicion.

ChildrenAtHeart Thu 15-Nov-12 23:35:34

Tanith, that is because at the time cms had to sign a form from tax credits to say they had the child, how many hours, how much fees were etc. Once that procedure was stopped some time ago cm's couldn't be held accountable any more so the guidance is outdated and irrelevant. Many cms are unaware of this or still feel uncomfortable about giving out their number however. Maybe this cm is one of those but she could still have offered a copy of her Ofsted report minus reg number

procrastinor Thu 15-Nov-12 23:39:53

I must admit I didn't know about the tax credits thing. She should have just explained it that way rather than coming across as incredibly rude.

anewyear Fri 16-Nov-12 08:39:48

Just another thought,
An Ofsted report is only a tiny snap shot a (few hours) of a childminders (same as a school!!) day.
I wouldnt look at an Ofsted report and think 'this childminder is crap because she only has a satisfactory',
I would rather make my own mind up by visiting and talking to her/him.

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