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OFSTED are idiots! How can I help my FAB childminder?

(12 Posts)
Strix United States Thu 15-Nov-12 10:34:09

My childminder, who is absolutely fabulous, has been suspended by OFSTED due to an incident that happened outside of her working hours, when none of the mindees were present. So OFSTED (while meaning well but in my view rather misguided) has suspended her effective immediately pending investigation.

Have spoken to other parents and we agree we want to come forward and do whatever we can to get her reinstated.

She is lovely, and there is no better care for my toddler. I have no reservations about the welfare of the children in her care.

Anyway, constructive advice urgently required by the wonderful collective wisdom of mumsnet.

What can the parents do to support her and get her business back up and running as quickly as possible?

HSMM Thu 15-Nov-12 10:43:54

Depends what the incident was and why they think it would affect her work (or CRB check?). You can all write to them.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Thu 15-Nov-12 10:55:26

I think it depends what happened? I would think it must be quite serious for Ofsted to be getting involved in something that happened outside of working hours?

Strix United States Thu 15-Nov-12 10:58:46

Incident with teenage child (of her own). Child is having som problems, got physical/aggressive and she snapped back. Out of respect for her I will not give any more details than that.

How long might this process take? How do I find out who I can contact? How serious/common is it to be suspended?

She is lovely. I cannot say that enough. Any advice on how we can get her registered would help us get our children back to the best care for them.

OFSTED was wrong to suspend her. It is NOT in the children's best interest.

Strix United States Thu 15-Nov-12 11:03:11

Maybe I could file a complaint against the ignoramus who saw fit to rip my lovely happy child from his absolutely fabulous carer.

wishiwasonholiday Thu 15-Nov-12 11:06:44

It must have been a serious safeguarding issue, you could all write her statements of support and send them to ofsted, not sure you could do much more.

Could you all create a nanny share until she is reinstated as a cm, she'd have to work from your houses though.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Thu 15-Nov-12 11:06:51

I don't know the childminder so I can only take your word that she is lovely, but I think Ofsted have done the right thing here.

Losing your temper and being agressive (I assume this is what happened) towards a child (or an adult for that matter) does warrant investigation.

I think a letter/character reference would be helpful, but other than that all you can do is wait I think and if you're able/willing employ her as a nanny while you wait for her to be reinstated.

MrAnchovy Thu 15-Nov-12 11:09:23

Information about suspension here.

She can appeal to the Care Standards Tribunal. I would imagine that letters of support from parents would be taken into account; these should be sent as part of the appeal rather than writing direct to the Tribunal before the appeal is lodged.

The CST site could be clearer (they deal with many different kinds of appeals and it is not clear exactly what parts of what form you have to fill in as a childminder) so I suggest phoning them on 01325 392 712 in the first instance.

Strix United States Thu 15-Nov-12 11:24:50

OFSTED has in my view:
1. Overstepped their remit (family incident outside of business hours)
2. Made a very bad judgement call
3. Harmed rather than protected the children by removing them from her care
4. Unnecessarily damaged this family's income just in time for Christmas
5. Damaged this childminder's reputation

This has left me questioning the value of OFSTED in the care of children. I was joking about submitting a formal complaint to OFSTED.

I could understand perhaps an investigation of the incident if they left the children in place. But yanking all the kids out is completely inappropriate, and not in their interest.

MrAnchovy Thu 15-Nov-12 11:32:13

How long might this process take?

The suspension is for an initial period of six weeks, but Ofsted can lift it earlier than that if they are satisfied or extend if if they are not. Note that if the suspension has been put in place because of an invistigation by another body (e.g. Social Services), Ofsted will wait until that body has reported.

How do I find out who I can contact?

You can't, but see my last message.

How serious/common is it to be suspended?

I can only find numbers for the year to August 2009: 134 childminders were suspended for an average period of 47 days. There was only one appeal, which was unsuccessful. 7 of the 134 eventually had their registrations cancelled.

twinkletoescare Thu 15-Nov-12 11:35:48

I feel for your son and the other mindees, aren't ofsted all for "continuity of care"?!
Unless your cm committed an actual assault on her own teenager I don't see how this can or should affect her childminding.
One of my DSs was hell to live with (although not violent or aggressive) through his teenage years BUT this never affected my childminding.
I think ofsted may be being a tad over cautious?

givemushypeasachance Thu 15-Nov-12 12:31:46

Suspension is a pretty big step, and to be fair you're only going to have got one side of the story here from your childminder - who may quite understandably have been attempting to minimise things. As an example Ofsted would not suspend someone based on a complaint saying "Mrs X shouted at her teenage son". Most suspensions happen because of safeguarding investigations, so where the police or children's services are involved. If, let's say, there has been a complaint that Mrs X snapped and slapped her teenage son and that has been reported to the police as an allegation of assault, then Ofsted would be behaving quite reasonably in suspending her childminding registration. You can't go leaving someone registered to provide sole care of several small children if the police are investigating an allegation that she's physically assaulted a minor.

It can't be a nice process but there do need to be safeguards in place if something like that has happened, to allow agencies to fully investigate. Hopefully whatever the original incident was will be resolved quickly one way or another both for her sake and for you.

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