I have been advised that I will be inspected next week - I have two children of my own. Dd1 is 4.5 and is due to go to school next August. She is in preschool in the mornings at the moment. Dd2 is 1.
All of the enquiries I have had are from sibling groups of 2 - usually a baby/young toddler and an older child around 3/4. I have asked to be registered for 4 children under school age, however, when I spoke with the inspector today it sounded like this is something they are reluctant to do? I know a few child minders locally who have changed their registration to look after 4 under school age, but they did not ask for this at the initial inspection.
Can you offer any advice with regards to how best I can argue my case for this? I feel that I am experienced enough to care for 4 children under school age, particularly a sibling group where they are of similar ages to my children. It would not be financially viable for me to have only 3 under school age due to my own children's ages and also I think I would struggle to fill the space given the enquiries I have had so far.
CMs in England are only allowed three pre school children except in exceptional circumstances. Needing to make more money is not an exceptional circumstance. You will be registered under current statutory framework which sets out these ratios. Inspectors cannot vary them.
Not sure if situation is any different in Scotland. It might be but unlikely. Once your eldest is at school then you could have 3 not at full-time school, though do check with the inspector when they visit as to what number of children in each age group you are permitted to have.
You can only care for 3 under school age. Taking on new work does not count. You can only have 4 in exceptional circumstances ie you already have 3 and another child needs to change days or start a sibling with you. 4 is not the norm.
The childminders who have had their registration changed, are you sure about this? Ofsted now don't change registration for numbers. You are registered for 3 under fives, but childminders can vary this themselves if they meet the criteria for it. The criteria is very clear that it is in exceptional circumstances only and only if all parents agree. Also, if ofsted turned up and didn't think the plan was working they can tell you to go back to the 3 under 5s.
Yes our CM has had her registration varied, as has a local friend. I should have said we are in Scotland and it is the care inspectorate who will inspect me, though not sure if that actually makes a difference.
I prospective parent is writing a letter to say that they would be happy for me to have their two kids while I have mine. Not sure if it will help my case or not. She isn't sure if she is going with me as it depends on her job.
National Standards says: Source ~~~ 1:6 for children under 12, of whom no more than three are not yet attending primary school and of whom no more than one is under 1.
These ratios include the childminder’s own children. The Care Commission will have regard to the number of children aged 12 to 16 who are likely to be in the house regularly, and will have the discretion to vary the ratios accordingly. The Care Commission will also have discretion to vary the ratios to take account of special circumstances, such as siblings under 1, special needs, awkward premises, etc. ~~~ (The National Care Standards needs updating, they still mention The Care Commission.)
So it looks like there is a 'special circumstances' clause so that there can occasionally be a change but they don't really say what circumstances that would be. At a guess it may be that if an existing client then had twins that might be a continuity of care situation and thus the more than one under 1 rule was amended only whilst caring for those children.
>I know a few child minders locally who have changed their registration to look after 4 under school age. Ask those childminders about the circumstances that resulted in that plus what conditions they have to comply with, such as it may be for a particular named child who overlaps by an hour or so due to school collection time. Hard to know what the reasons are so ask them.
These two 'new' children are not new business therefore not exceptional circumstances. If they were twins or you already had the older one in your care you could possibly take on the second child but in these circumstances you cannot accommodate these children- no matter what the parents want.
4 under 5s though - you have experience of wrangling your own two dc, fair enough, but have you thought through how to meet the needs of 4 under 5s. How would you manage mealtimes for eg, naps, staying safe whilst out and about, that sort of thing.