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Depressed about Childcare Reforms Crap!

(33 Posts)
SouthernPolish Sat 23-Feb-13 21:48:05

I am a newly re-registered CM, just starting up again after a house move (previously registered for 3 years).

I'm really getting very upset and depressed about the current uncertainty about the proposed Childcare reforms (see live Webchat thread with Elizabeth Truss).

I have spent the last couple of weeks writing, emailing, tweeting, participating in forums etc, in order to do something constructive. But the whole thing is getting me down and making me wonder if I should just start looking for another job.

The second reading is on Monday at 3.30pm (great timing huh?!), so hopefully some other MPs will raise objections and Truss will be forced to 'do a Gove'. But - what if that doesn't happen?

It's actually keeping me awake at night with worry :-(

Any other CMs feeling like this?

mum2akebk Sat 23-Feb-13 22:14:55

Yes I am too. I am worried about the future of childminding and what the proposals will do to our sustainability. I feel it is very unfair that we have only been provided with scanty details of how agencies will operate - as they are going to be trialled in September with a view to being operational in 2014 - surely such information is known by some!

SouthernPolish Sat 23-Feb-13 22:49:52

It's an absolute mess - not properly thought through and Truss is so far ignoring the majority opposing ratios and agencies. I'm planning on staying independent, but deeply worried about the possible inspection costs.

looneytune Sun 24-Feb-13 08:06:45

I'm not fully up to date with what is going on as it's my last day a month tomorrow. I had planned on keeping my registration going just in case I decide to go back to it after my maternity leave but the more and more I hear, the more I think I'll just have to do something else.

I do feel for you all as I'd usually be the same as you and especially if I'd gone through re-registering sad

WorriedMary Sun 24-Feb-13 12:19:11

It worries me when I think about it. So I don't. I intend to be out of CM by 2014 if I can.

Hoping to become a TA (I can dream can't I?)

ReetPetit Sun 24-Feb-13 12:40:06

i plan on giving up later this year when youngest ds starts school . am doing no more training . have no idea what this is all about but can't wait to be out of it!! feel being a cm is vastly undervalued and tbh pretty thankless

minderjinx Sun 24-Feb-13 13:59:20

It is depressing. I can't help feeling that OFSTED/government would really rather see all babies and youngsters in huge and very similar nursery settings as that makes it so much easier for them to regulate. They increased the burden of bureaucracy with the introduction of EYFS and childminders gave up in droves. Some of us stuck at it and put a lot of time and effort into training and putting in place new systems to meet all the new requirements, so they went and changed it all about with the new-and-supposedly-simpler EYFS last September. Before that is even bedded in properly they are proposing to more changes to the requirements and the introduction of Agencies. All this change is hard to take on board when you are the sole proprietor of a business, and most of us have family's needs to meet too. It's no wonder so many are talking about giving it up - if that isn't the intention then government must be very lacking in imagination not to anticipate that as a consequence. I don't think they are at all bothered about sustainable childminding businesses or about parental choice. We desperately need more parents to be making their voices heard - it's all very well childcarers objecting but that can simply be dismissed as self interest. Parents need to demonstrate to politicians that this is a vote-losing issue.

Tanith Sun 24-Feb-13 13:59:57

I think it's appalling the way Liz Truss has handled just the publication of her proposals, never mind the content!

She's drip-fed to the media for months - little hints and snippets of what could be included - and, even now, we have no concrete information on how she intends to implement her ideas because she doesn't know

She seems to have launched herself on a Grand Tour of Europe, written loads of articles for magazines and newspapers (*for which she is paid!!*), ignored the British experts and practitioners alike because they nearly all disagree with her, and tweaked her ideas here and there to try and placate the parents.

The result is that no-one really knows for sure what's going on, the vast majority hate what they've heard so far, and we're all worried and concerned at how her proposals will affect children and workers.

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 14:05:56

minderjinx - yes - agree with all you said.
Very worrying that there are still many Parents & CMs clueless about what MAY happen.
Beginning to wish I hadn't bothered re-registering.
I started just as EYFS came in and found it mind boggling and my first grading inspection was beyond awful - got the dreaded Satisfactory, despite working bloody hard!
Could not sleep last night again, due to fretting and worrying.
Really not in a good way at the mo.
:-(

OddBoots Sun 24-Feb-13 14:06:55

Practitioners don't like it, parents don't like it, babies and children will suffer yet she is still pushing for it.

The only people it will benefit are the owners of the big chains and (in the very short term) the state in terms of keeping 2-year funding low. The whole thing seems immoral.

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 14:30:37

It IS absolutely immoral!

Liz Truss is one thing, but also:

I hate dealing with Ofsted. Clearly they (from the top down) have a pretty dim view of CMs (remember Susan Gregory's Annual Report video?!). Inspection is so 'hit and miss' luck, depending on which inspector you get. It is just TOO HARD - only the really tenacious CMs stick at it and I'm not sure I have the strength any more.
I agree with risk assessments, health & safety and SOME of the learning & dev stuff, but what Ofsted expect us to do is STILL too much.

And yet: I love looking after babies and toddlers and I have a file of letters from happy parents, telling me how much their child loves/ed coming to my home.

There has to be a better way, but sadly I cannot see it right now.

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 14:36:29

I have not kept up to date with this because, well, I just haven't. But we have a CM and she is fabulous. I often fear her giving up & desperately hope she won't. Can anyone link to a simple description of the main changes?

It's so hard to find childcare that is suitable & works well. I'd be very sad if CMs were no longer able to operate.

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 14:42:30

Grockle - the problem is it's so unclear! All speculation...

But basically CMs are being 'encouraged' to join agencies and up their ratios.

See the live webchat with Elizabeth Truss on here and have a look at: www.togetherforquality.com

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 14:51:25

Thank you - I'll have a read. It doesn't sound good.

I worry so much about everything this government is doing. Especially all the 'no, no, we won't do that'... and then, 'Oh yes, we are doing that. When we said we wouldn't, that's not quite what we meant.' angry

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 15:06:51

The 2nd reading of the reforms is tomorrow (Mon) at 3.30 pm and I'm clinging to the hope that sufficient MPs will blast Liz Truss's poorly thought through ideas into submission. Labour shadow MPs are behind us, but ConDems are mainly ignoring us or sitting on the fence (including my own local MP).

We could really do with more parents supporting CMs - as it's no surprise we are being vocal. The Gov MIGHT listen if parents, en masse, rejected the reforms too.

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 15:10:51

I will keep an eye on the news tomorrow. At 3.30, I will be at work and DS will be with his CM hmm

I'd be very happy to speak out about changes that will have a negative impact on families and childminders. DS goes to an afterschool club one day a week (when his CM doesn't work) and he hates it sad

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 15:13:05

Jus re-read - to clarify - not a criticism of parents in any way (I am one myself!!!!). It's very easy NOT to know what's going on. What with all the other horrendous austerity measures etc, this is relatively low-profile. But it's still a TIMEBOMB!

CMs are making lots of noise because its our livelihoods at stake here.

Parents - please join with CMs and Nurseries and help make some noise!

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 15:15:55

Parliament channel 81 on BT Vision / Freeview etc. 3.30 pm 25 Feb.

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 15:26:29

I agree Southern - this impacts parents & children as much as it does childminers - parents should be aware (which i why I posted on here in the first place!) & should speak up.

SouthernPolish Sun 24-Feb-13 15:30:47

Grockle :-D
Ta - feel a bit better

minderjinx Sun 24-Feb-13 16:01:16

Grockle - basically Ms Truss reckons that by having childminders look after more children (and staff in nurseries more children per staff member) childcare costs will fall but quality will improve (nobody seems clear how this works). She also reckons that childminders should not be individually inspected and graded, but that they should join agencies so that OFSTED can just inspect the agencies. These agencies would supposedly take a lot of hassle from parents by matching children to childcare vacancies, dealing with the financial and contractual stuff and leaving childminders more free time to look after more babies. Most childminders I know can't see any benefit in having an agency interfere with how they work, and value the freedom to vary what they offer to families. They view the idea of having a middle-man with some mistrust as well as the idea that their hard earned reputations could be undone by the possible shortcomings of an agency over which they have no control.

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 16:07:00

Thanks minder...I thought the whole point of being a CM was running your home setting in your own way, within OFsted rules. hmm

I want to be free to choose my own CM without a 3rd party being involved. And I don't want there to be any more children. Sometimes my CM has 7 and although she is amazing, it seems like a lot.

I don't see how standards will improve. hmm

Tanith Sun 24-Feb-13 19:24:10

It's likely they won't improve. The agencies idea is currently being dismantled in Holland, where Liz Truss originally got the idea, because it led to lower standards and higher costs for parents.
She does know this: she's been told many times. She chooses to ignore it.

ChildrenAtHeart Sun 24-Feb-13 19:26:23

Childminders, parents and anyone working with children (anyone at all really!) this is the link to the comments page for this bill (apologies Mumsnet if this isn't allowed - assume you will edit it out in that case) http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/public-reading/children-and-families-bill/childcare/
You can post your opinions about childminder agencies here.
If you follow the One Voice campaign link www.togetherforquality.com there is loads of info about our concerns as well as links to two petitions asking for Government to rethink their proposals for allowing practitioners to care for more children.
We can't afford to let others deal with this - we all need to make a lot of noise. around 50000 people have signed the petitions so far but Government still aren't listening. Nearly every major childcare organisation and expert in the country have said it's a bad idea and Govt STILL aren't listening

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 19:43:36

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