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Good or Outstanding?(10 Posts)
Think of it like the Driving Theory and Practical test. If someone got 100% in their theory test it doesn't mean they are a better driver than someone who got 90%, it probably just means they had better luck with the questions on the day. If you want to know whether you will feel safe with them driving you need to get in the car with them - and if you want to know how good a childminder will be with your children, you need to take them to see him or her.
I agree with the others, you really must visit them and go with your instincts and not just off a report.
Also you have to bear in mind that those graded outstanding might not be the best fit for your child due to personalities, ratios, activities etc. however they may fit in beautifully with another who was rated good or satisfactory.
I am still in touch with many of the childminders who I completed the training with and we have all been inspected in the last 6 months or so. Most of us received a good rating which we were really thrilled with for a first inspection. One received satisfactory, however, knowing her as I do and how she works with the children she would be top of my list should I ever need a childminder above some of those who received a good. Her paperwork let her down but her interaction with the kids is great and for me that is what would matter most.
OFSTED is more concerned with paperwork and covering their own backs than they are a loving and stimulating environment where children are happy. Visit the minder and go with your gut.
I run a vacancies scheme for my local cm group and often have mums ring up and ask for nos of outstanding graded minders only. I always tell them that the grade is not the most important thing to consider (and I have an outstanding grade) I have to do hours of paperwork to have any chance of maintaining my outstanding at my next inspection (due any time now-gulp!!!) I can understand why most minders are happy to have a satisfactory or good grade.I'm sure thay they are just as good a minder as me but with their weekends free!!
Gut instinct every time and that's from a cm whose graded as excellent (scottish system). Sorry know that looks like I'm being all big headed and smug, don't mean to be honest! Just mean that you need to be in someone's home and see how comfortable you feel in their company to gauge how happy your child will feel there. From what I've read on here about ofsted gradings I wouldn't rely on them alone tbh. Good luck, hope you find someone lovely.
Just to say our CM who we had to report to OFSTED for serious safety concerns has apparently just been given a "good" - as she was viewed while closed with no children.
Don't go on OFSTED
Childminders don't have any influence over when they are inspected, so having a more recent grading doesn't imply that they are better or worse than those who were last inspected a few years ago. In fact, childminders with no actions or recommendations on their reports (which is likely to be true of those graded outstanding) are at the bottom of OFSTEDs priorities when scheduling revisits - so in practice are unlikely to be inspected more than once every four years or so (so a last inspection in 2009 is not surprising). As far as I can judge, inspection standards have not become any harder or easier. It might arguably be harder to get an outstanding just at the moment as the EYFS has just been overhauled and some may inadvertently fall foul of minor changes to requirements, but that was also true four years ago. In other words, I don't think a given grade now is any better or worse than four or five years ago. You could think that a particular childminder's standards may have dropped because it is a while since her last inspection, but you could equally assume that she will be keen to be on top of everything because she will be anticipating a revisit any time!
HSMM you are right visit them and trust your instinct. I would visit and make up my mind after the visit. You can ge outstanding in the past but what are you offering now?
Visit at least 3 or 4. Prepare your questions and make up yr mind from that.
All the best with your serach.
I would visit them and trust your gut instinct. They are only a grading for that time. The goods may have improved and the outstanding may have slipped, but they could also have gone the other way. The not met could be because the person didn't complete some paperwork, but is great with children. Read between the lines of the Ofsted report and trust yourself.
I have just started my search for a childminder, I have found a handful in my area who have been rated 'good' in the past year and one who has been rated 'outstanding' in 2009. I wonder if a recent good is better than an old outstanding, iyswim? How often do they get checked?
I was also surprised by the large amount of 'not met' or 'unsatisfactory' in the area too. Just interested in others thoughts, please. It's a bit of a minefield!
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