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someone reporting me to ofsted

(30 Posts)
7secondmemory Wed 24-Oct-12 20:15:39

I work with an assistant we had 6 children today, we had met up wih a friend and her children in the playground so there was a lot of us. I have a new mindee who is very autistic and will run away so was watching him like a hawk and of course my other mindees. My own little boy always stays near me so i tend not too worry too much about him, however today he gets out of the playground and sets off down the path, we saw him and my friend headed out of the other gate and ran round to catch him, he is 2. I was really upset, there was no harm done and he hadnt got far before he was spotted but obviously you think what if, and i felt guilty that i was watching my mindees more than my own ds. Then somene came up to me shouted at me and said she was going to contact ofsted, she knew i was a childminder and said my mindees are at risk because i wasnt supervising them well enough she said she had seen several of them escape the play area and other people in the park had stopped them and brought them back, this is totally not true, she had no way of knowing which children were with me anyway, its half term and crowded in there but regardless it didnt happen. I said the one who had escaped was my own little boy and not a mindee, she said that made no difference and she would get me closed down,i feel awful about it all. she has a point, whether it was my own child or not someone in my care did get out the playground, he was never out of sight the playground is in a big open field but i didnt immediatly realise he had got out. It probably looked worse because we didnt run directly after him, he was going along a curved path and my friend went out of the other gate and accross the grass to cut him off so he looked to any one watching to be on his own longer than he was. She also said i had more children than i should, it's not true, but it probably looked like my friends children were with me. What will ofsted do if she does complain? I only registered in April, hate the idea of a complaint against me.

LingDiLong Wed 24-Oct-12 20:42:52

Oh dear, that sounds stressful all round. I have no experience of complaints to Ofsted but I was threatened with a complaint to CSSIW (I work in Wales). I rang my inspector to discuss it with her first. She was lovely and very helpful. I never did have a complaint made in the end but I think it looked good that I'd pre-empted it.

It may not come to anything with you but just in case I'd write down what happened today fully while it's all fresh. I'd also make sure all your paperwork is watertight - did you do a risk assessment? Do you have persmission to be out with the kids?

Italiana Wed 24-Oct-12 20:56:05

Agree with above...write everything down
you + assistant can look after 6 kids...your register will be your proof of which children were with you on the day
Your friends in the park will confirm your version of facts

In a case like this I would ring Ofsted myself and preempt the caller (totally my opinion)
I would also tell the parents exactly what happened

I wish you good luck and hope all will will be resolved..

apotomak Wed 24-Oct-12 21:23:55

I would not be ringing Ofsted and telling the parents as the only child that got out was not a mindee. I would however write a bit for my own records and reassess how I make sure it does not happen again. Maybe write a new Risk Assesment if you like.
If Ofsted do come out for this they'll come with a full inspection even if you've just had one. If they think it's not serious enough they'll ring or write to you.
Do not worry and just tell them how it was. They do get a lot of time wasters ringing up and complaining.

Italiana Wed 24-Oct-12 21:51:32

If Ofsted were to carry out an inspection due to a complaint they would want to see what the c/ms has done in response (complaints log etc and what actions taken) that remains the sma in EYFS 2012....in other words someone has complained about her service and said she would report her...what did the c/m do?
I do not think it would matter it was her child as he/she is part of the ratio
Not telling parents would be noted...as said it is my view and interpretation
I would want to cover all aspects

LingDiLong Wed 24-Oct-12 22:27:01

Also, I hope I don't sound unduly judgemental here but you've taken on a lot in a short space of time - 6 children, one of whom is autistic and included in that is your own toddler. Don't just worry about Ofsted or what passers by think, are YOU absolutely sure that you haven't taken on too much - either generally or just on that day, trying to go out to a crowded park during half term with a lot of children, some with high needs.

HSMM Wed 24-Oct-12 22:30:17

I would write it all down and store in my complaints log.

happychappy Wed 24-Oct-12 23:12:11

My son was always the escapee (he had reigns which no other child I have every cared has needed). Your own children always cause those sorts of problems. nothing else to add

wishiwasonholiday Thu 25-Oct-12 01:13:11

I've had 2 malicious complaints made against me, one that i let all the kids out to play unsupervised (they just turned up at my door to check and it obviously wasn't true) and one that I dropped a child and didn't do anything ( was with a cm friend that day who wrote a statement to say it was rubbish) that time they just wrote to me. Get your friends to write a quick statement explaining what happened and keep it on file in case they turn up.

lisaro Thu 25-Oct-12 01:23:14

I have to say that if you are unable to keep your eye on a 2 year old then you have too many charges for your capabilities. I'd see this as a warning and adjust accordingly.

Italiana Thu 25-Oct-12 07:37:42

Is this leading to the dangers of EYFS 2012 where we can decide how many to look after and the 'public' decides to complain against us?...
it has been highlighted by many c/ms that this sort of thing will happen more and more because many do not understand what EYFS says (page 21) and complaints will flood in

I only hope that we have no major accident..this reinforces that 5 under 5 can be too many

poopnscoop Thu 25-Oct-12 11:33:09

As Italiana says, be proactive... if Ofsted do rock up then you have evidence that you took appropriate action afterwards. Might be worthwhile revisiting your Outings Policy and risk assessing that park again... ensuring it does not happen again... no matter that it was your child, it was a child in your care, as you note. Reflective practice is good practice... sometimes these things make us re-evaluate, which is good.

minderjinx Thu 25-Oct-12 12:09:56

I find it easier when I have a bit of a crowd of children to keep together as a group and avoid joining up with friends etc as that does add to the potential for confusion or distraction. So if my son and the other after=schoolers want to play outside we tend to go to the park closer to home rather than the one by the school where I know I will have lots of parents and children saying hello and expecting to chat.

Schnakes Thu 25-Oct-12 14:01:47

As the incident concerned your own child, Im pretty sure Ofsted wont be interested.

Any idea why this woman has taken such a disliking to you?!! Must be horrible.

jhe Thu 25-Oct-12 17:31:23

under the new eyfs we still have to stick to the eyfs numbers,3 under 5 and 3 over, unless we have the same sort of variation as before. Instead of ringing ofsted we have to do risk assesments etc. This can only be for continuity of care not for new buisness. You had an assistant so were not over your numbers also the gate had to be opened by someone else and they let your child out. This happened to me as I was catching a falling child and some mother let their child leave the gate open and one of mine went out. I wrote it up and told the parents. I then reassesed my risk assesment. it never happened again.

Italiana Thu 25-Oct-12 21:50:34

No jhe ...under the EYFS 2012 you decide how many under 5's you can have after careful consideration...look again at page 21
I have it here in front of me ...nowhere does it mention 'continuity of care not new business'

This is an increase in ratio via the back door as Truss advocates and it is being trialled at our expense.....
Please lets stop guessing and start acting against this...firts step attend the ofsted workshop on 17 Novand ask Ofsted's Liz Elsom yourself...it is free and for c/ms
you will never get another opportunity as no representaive organization is remotely interested in putting one on for us

Reading about the Ofsted inspection reports coming in we are seeing the first cracks appearing through the inspectors individual interpretations of practice
Lets act while we can

looneytune Thu 25-Oct-12 22:10:21

Interestingly when I queried that it 'looked like' we couldn't have extra for 'continuity of care' due to the wording on page 21, this was Ofsted'd response:

Thank you for your query regarding the revised Early Years Foundation Stage.

You ask about the removal of the criteria for continuity of care. I can confirm the revised EYFS does not explicitly mention continuity of care and would appear to prevent you having more children if a parent of a child already with you wanted to extend their hours.

The EYFS is not Ofsted's document. It is produced by the Department for Education and you may wish to check your understanding with colleagues there. We will also follow it up on your behalf and produce any additional guidance when we update our current factsheet on numbers and ages of children that childminders may have.

I personally do not feel that the wording on page 21 could in any way give you the impression that you could have extra as new business and I think this is what jhe was saying, she didn't 'quote' anything, was just saying how it read.

Italiana Thu 25-Oct-12 23:10:03

We have again another interpretation in your words Looneytune
In the end whatever we interpret we have to explain that interpretation to Ofsted...I am aware that it is the DfE who reformed the EYFS but they are the ones judging us on it

jhe said 'we have to stick to the EYFS numbers, 3 under 5' ...that is no longer valid and it will show when your new certificate lands on your doorstep very soon

Tanith Fri 26-Oct-12 08:10:28

As a matter of fact, it doesn't matter what OFSTED or the DofE say. We are restricted to a certain number of children by our insurance terms.

They can increase ratios by the back door all they like, but we are insured to care for a finite number of children and will not be insured if we exceed those numbers.

I, too, have been told by the Network and by the council Childminder Support team that we can only increase our ratios for continuity of care. It would seem to be the common interpretation.

Italiana Fri 26-Oct-12 10:21:37

I recently received my renewal for my househld insurance from the company I use via NCMA
I decided to get another quote just to compare...both ask the number of children we look after and said 'according to your registration' howvere now we are allowed to increase the under 5s it will have an effect on the premium
The more we have the more the insurers classify us as 'a liability'

Tanith your question about 'continuity of care' seems to pop up often and obviously we are either confused or being told by LAs what to do...they too are interpreting so best for c/ms to ask directly at workshop and act according to their understanding...we do not want 152 LAs each telling us what to do...we can think for ourselves?

QuickLookBusy Fri 26-Oct-12 10:33:29

If she was just a random woman in the park, she probably doesn't even know your name so won't be able to report you.

It's probably an idle threat.

looneytune Fri 26-Oct-12 10:38:26

I've had the new certificate for some time so yes, I know it doesn't mention numbers and just refers to the EYFS.

I personally will not take on new business of over 3 under 5s, even though I know I could cope with many combinations (have done many times), simply because I wouldn't feel confident in justifying why I thought this was ok. At the end of the day, in my opinion, the revised EYFS makes it clear that this is NOT for new business with their wording when childminders are caring for sibling babies, or when caring for their own baby. The only issue I had with this wording was the fact it didn't cover other 'continuity of care' situations like a parent needing extra days etc. and this is where my email to Ofsted came in and what I put in my last post was their reply (which they said they would look into as it DOES read as though those situations wouldn't be allowed). I don't know how ANYONE would interpret that as meaning 'new business' was included in this going over a maximum of 3 under 5s?!

Italiana Fri 26-Oct-12 11:40:49

Looneytune...no one has the new certificate yet...Ofsted still have to send it to us all

The reason for this forum is to debate...we are all interpreting differently...many I hear are interpreting it just like that....who is right and who is wrong?
I think that Truss wants an increase in ratio and has never said it should not apply to new business...or has she?
Again at the Ofsted workshop we can ask...are you coming to clarify this point?

looneytune Fri 26-Oct-12 11:52:53

Sorry I don't want to argue but I DO have the NEW certificate, I got it about a month ago. I know most haven't but I got mine early.

That's totally fine what you're saying but I'm happy to stick to my 3 and just have 4 for continuity of care reasons.

looneytune Fri 26-Oct-12 12:24:19

Sorry me again.

Italiana - as you know a lot, I presume you have read the fact sheet on the Ofsted website that was produced in July? Here's the link if not

In this link the following is stated:

Exceptions to the numbers and ages of children

Looking after more children in the early years age group

5.In some circumstances, childminders may care for more children in the early years age group, providing they do not exceed the maximum number of six children at any one time. These circumstances are exceptional and are not intended to be the norm

7.Paragraph 3.29 in the EYFS also allows childminders to care for more children in the early years age group through an overarching ‘exceptional circumstances’ statement. We will normally interpret an exceptional circumstance as relating to the continuity of care for children and/or where sibling children are not babies. These are times where it may be in children’s best interests to be with their brothers and sisters who are already with a childminder, or to remain with the same childminder where circumstances may change the number of children the childminder can care for, such as a parent extending their working hours. This type of arrangement would end when either the parent adjusted their hours or a child left the childminder’s care. It does not give the permission to operate with more children in the early years age group at all times.

Yes lots of people interpret things in different ways but I find all this pretty clear tbh and don't feel any need to attend something to ask this question which has been pretty clarified on their own website.

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