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Ofsted said no to our childminder having our twins

(24 Posts)
strawberrylace Thu 04-Aug-11 21:54:40

Hi Everyone
I have a 3.5 yr old and 9 month old twins. I have to return to work at the beginning of September, and had been planning to have my childminder (who looked after my eldest) look after the twins - she is great, and I really trust her.
However, Ofsted have said no to her application to look after the twins. She has her husband registered as her assistant, but because she will have another child, from a different family, who is also under one, they've said she can only have one of the twins.
Obviously I am really upset about this. As soon as they are one, Ofsted have said she can have them both. Which means for 6-8 weeks I have to find some other arrangement, which possibly means splitting them up, or settling them elsewhere and then moving them (I really want her to have them longer term).
Has anyone else had any experience of this? Can I get Ofsted to change their mind?
Any help you can provide me is much appreciated

PhylisStein Thu 04-Aug-11 22:09:13

Had the same prob with my twins so ended up in formal nursery which was not what I wanted :-(

cheekster Thu 04-Aug-11 22:13:47

Is there no way you can go back to work 6-8 weeks later by using holidays / parental leave? Or maybe your DH have some time off work. It seems such a shame for the sake of 6-8 weeks to have to unsettle your twins.

strawberrylace Thu 04-Aug-11 22:26:53

thanks for your replies.
Phylis - so sorry that you had the same problem - I am going to talk to some nurseries as well, but i'm not sure if that will work either, as I just want term time only childcare (yes I know i want too much!) How are your twins getting on in the nursery?
Cheekster - Unfortunately I can't delay the start of the job, as it's in a school, and I have to be there for the start of term. But as DH might not have any work at all in September, he may indeed be able to look after the twins (not that no work is an ideal situation either, but at least it solves the childcare)
I just wish Ofsted had been a bit more flexible. What would happen if you had triplets and wanted them to go to a childminder?

PhylisStein Thu 04-Aug-11 22:29:19

Nursery was OK - but in the end I went part time.

nannynick Thu 04-Aug-11 22:34:09

I think Ofsted's hands are tied on this one. You need to keep in mind that Ofsted are the regulator, they don't write the rules. You could take it up with your MP and ask them to raise it in the House of Commons to see if you can get it noticed by the powers at be, but it would take a long time, many years in my view to get any changes to be made to legislation and other legal documents.

You could also ask TAMBA what their view is on the situation (as it would effect parents who have triplets, quads or more) and if they have ever managed to get Government to consider allowing a childminder to care for 3, or 4 under 1's.

The problem is not that you have two children under 1... it's that the childminder is wanting to care for three children under 1. Ofsted will enable the registration to be changed to allow 2 under 1's but not more when it's only one childminder involved.

If two childminders work together, then Ofsted can give permission for there to be three under 1's - at least they could in 2009 so think they still can. See this inspection report (URN 979528, 22/09/2009) So if your childminders husband registers as a childminder in his own right, that could be the solution. However that would take time and he may not want to register as a childminder.

PhylisStein Thu 04-Aug-11 22:42:01

Yes - ask Tamba's advice - good idea!

QuintessentialShadows Thu 04-Aug-11 22:48:05

Alternatively you can find a new childminder for all your three children, seeing as your childminder is opting to have another child rather than both of your twins. (which to me seem to be what is essentially happening here). Is the other baby also a sibling?

Danthe4th Thu 04-Aug-11 22:49:18

The problem is the husband is only her assistant and not a childminder in his own right. Could the husband come to yours as a nanny for the 6 weeks?? or could you get someone else to nanny them at your house until they turn 1.

KatyMac Fri 05-Aug-11 07:47:06

That is what I was going to suggest Danth

HSMM Fri 05-Aug-11 08:08:33

I too agree with Danthe4th and KatyMac. It sounds like your CM would still be within her own numbers. If she has DC of her own that take her over her numbers, then her DH could bring them with him when he is nannying your children.

strawberrylace Fri 05-Aug-11 20:45:04

Thanks for all your responses, they've been really helpful. I was in full-on stress mode yesterday, as this was just another hassle I could do without, feeling stressed about lots of things at the mo. I've made an appointment to see a nursery with short term spaces, and my mother in law is rearranging things to see if she help too. I hadn't thought about the nanny thing so that's a good possibility. And I'm going to mention about my childminders husband getting fully registered- it might not help me, but could be useful for them in the future. Thanks everyone

mranchovy Fri 05-Aug-11 20:48:48

You need to keep in mind that Ofsted are the regulator, they don't write the rules

Ha. Do you think they will ever realise that?

nannynick Fri 05-Aug-11 20:53:15

Course not grin They like having power!

mranchovy Fri 05-Aug-11 23:19:27

Sorry for the hijack strawberrylace blush grin

leesax Sun 07-Aug-11 00:17:31

I am registered by ofsted to have 3 under 1's when working with my husband ( my assistant) - is the reason they have refused to increase the numbers due to a space issue?

Would she consider trying to appeal?

nannynick Sun 07-Aug-11 07:55:59

That's interesting. They could use your registration certificate information to lodge an appeal as it shows that there is no legal reason why they could not approve a childminder with an assistant to care for 3 under 1's.

What were the circumstances that led to you having 3 under 1's in your care? Could you cut and paste the certificate wording?

strawberrylace Sun 07-Aug-11 16:55:26

the reason they gave my childminder (I think, just remembering what she told me) was it had to be one-to-one care for under ones (not sure how that works though when you can have more over one at the same time, but never mind) and that it would be fine once they were over one, as she would be within her numbers, with her and an assistant.

Any info you can provide about your registration would be helpful leesax - not sure if she would try an appeal, but it would be interesting to know how you got approval - thanks!

nannynick Sun 07-Aug-11 18:48:13

It may be down due to particular circumstances such as having had a Good or Outstanding grading for quite a long time, number of years registered and other factors. Would be nice to know how they decided this sort of thing, alas I doubt we will ever be able to find out.

nannynick Sun 07-Aug-11 19:01:13

Have found this:
"when working with two assistants, may care for no more than 6 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 6 may be in the early years age group, and of these, not more than 3 may be under 1 year at any one time (Early Years Register, compulsory part of the Childcare Register)" EY337779
But in that situation there are two assistants.

Also found:
"when working with another childminder and an assistant at the above premises, may care for a total of no more than 16 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 8 may be in the early years age group, and of these, not more than 3 may be under 1 year at any one time (Early Years Register, compulsory part of the Childcare Register)" EY344848

So they grant 3 under 1 but it will depend on the number of adults and the registration type of those adults (childminder or assistant).

Oh and they will also grant 4 under 1...

"when working with another childminder and an assistant at the above premises, may care for a total of no more than 11 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 9 may be in the early years age group, and of these, not more than 4 may be under 1 year at any one time (Early Years Register, compulsory part of the Childcare Register)" EY403258
Again that is when the childminder is working with another childminder plus an assistant, so there are 3 adults present.

Google must like Ofsted's new website layout as it has indexed loads of these Childminder Registration Conditions.

It gets better... they will do 5:
"when working with another childminder and an assistant at the above premises, may care for a total of no more than 14 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 7 may be in the early years age group, and of these, not more than 5 may be under 1 year at any one time (Early Years Register, compulsory part of the Childcare Register)" - EY394130

Can't find 6 under 1 though, unless it's a nursery.

In all those cases there were 3 adults present... either childminder+childminder+assistant, or childminder+assistant+assistant.

leesax Sun 07-Aug-11 19:57:51

I already had a variation in place from my pre reg visit as I had twins due to start, so they put it on my reg straight away.

I then applied to have my numbers increased when working with my husband ( and it the column where it asked for the numbers I wanted I put 2 or if possible 3 under 1's), it took a while to come through, as I had only been registered for just over 2 months when I initially applied and they were deciding whether to inspect me early or not.

Then I received my certificate and it says
"when working with an assistant may care for no more than 12 children under 8 years; of these, not more than 6 may be in the early years age group, and of these, no more than 3 may be under 1 at any one time"

That is what makes me wonder if it is a space reason for saying no as they do work it out on m2 allocations per child based on the age of the children.

leesax Sun 07-Aug-11 20:01:04

I do have over 16 years childcare and education experience though prior to registering - including teaching, nannying and foster caring... so I am not sure this made a difference?

I do not yet have a grade as I am a new cm.

LesbianMummy1 Sun 07-Aug-11 20:31:06

I have two under ones alone three when with another childminder OR assistant but have been told we can have four if we want to request this. This fact sheet may help www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/factsheet-childcare-numbers-and-ages-of-children-childminders-may-care-for

sunshinenanny Fri 12-Aug-11 18:34:52

Just read this out of curiosity! If you had a nanny; she could look after however many children you and she felt capable of. It seems ridiculous you can't choose the person you want to look after your children because of such rigid rules

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