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Importance of Ofsted childminder grades

(10 Posts)
birdssuddenlyappear Fri 09-Jan-15 18:45:19

What is reviewed as part of an Ofsted childminder assessment?

Do Ofsted watch the childminder at work, or is it all paper based?

If a childminder has a 'met' grade, what does that mean?
Will 'satisfactory' correlate with less good care than a 'good' childminder?

Just wondering how much importance to place on their grades as I am wading through the long list from my local council.

Thanks.

HSMMaCM Fri 09-Jan-15 18:50:23

Ofsted spend about half a day with a childminder, looking at paperwork and how they are with the children. A satisfactory has now been renamed needs improvement and a good ahould be better. In practice I know from experience this is not always the case and you should read between the lines of the reports and not the overall grade.

You cannot beat visiting a childminder and getting references from other parents. This is a much more reliable method than reading Ofsted reports. The same applies to schools.

birdssuddenlyappear Fri 09-Jan-15 19:42:36

Do they publish their report?

When I looked I could only find the grade.

Cullercoats88 Fri 09-Jan-15 20:41:49

Only the grade will be available on the council list, but if you search for childminders within a certain radius of your postcode, you will be able to read through the local reports. You can also see previous reports. I would personally not bother calling a CM who has had several satisfactory or now called needs improvement.

I definitely second calling up and arranging a meeting with the childminder though. Even though paperwork is a fundamental part of our job, it's not the be all and end all. It's important to see how the children are, are they happy? does CM interact well with them? What about parent/CM relationships.

Ofsted is important of course but don't just base your search on reports

Cullercoats88 Fri 09-Jan-15 20:42:41

Sorry that should say if you search on Ofsted website for CM in your local area

birdssuddenlyappear Fri 09-Jan-15 23:02:06

Thanks, very interesting to read the reports. Unfortunately most of the childminders in my area haven't attached their name to the report, so they only have reference numbers. Should I ask the childminders I like for their reference numbers so I can find them, at what stage is it ok to ask, can I ask before I meet them?
Or should I be finding childminder s I like from the anonymised ofsted reports and asking the council who they are?

Cullercoats88 Sat 10-Jan-15 02:27:46

You could always call CM and ask them to send you a link to the report. I don't tend to give out my EY number until I know parent is going to use my services (this is what my LA reccomends)

DuchessofKirkcaldy Sat 10-Jan-15 02:43:37

My mum is a childminder (Scotland so not OFSTED) She has a love of children and a hatred of paperwork.
She is 61 and has been childminding for 28 years. She is godmother to 1 mindee and is now caring for a second generation of babies....ie the babies of previously minded children who still view her as family. She is still in contact with most families and has been to 18th birthdays/weddings. She refuses to go on council lists preferring to get work through word of mouth. She is always full.
She takes the kids to tesco, sometimes meets her friends for lunch and likes to watch the news with a cup of tea.
She also spends time reading, doing craft, going to the park and generally giving a lot of live and attention to the children.
Childminder or surrogate gran?
She is very upfront about this wth families and says she offers a home environment.
I write her policies for her as she wouldn't know where to start. ( she is far from stupid, just not confident with this sort of thing) OFSTED would not like her!
Think of what is most important to you about how you want your child cared for, speak to other parents, ask for references, watch interactions, speak with the childminder.
OFSTED is important and often a good indicator but go with your gut.

Bonkerz Sat 10-Jan-15 13:12:48

Ofsted are brutal. They watch and question and then trawl the paperwork for hours. Have had ofsted in twice in last year both times unannounced inspections (anonymous concerned public?) both times the complaints found to be malicious (wasn't even in the places reported at time of incidents). Both times graded outstanding. Even being the only setting including nurseries and childminders in my area with outstanding grade if say it doesn't mean much to parents.

Bonkerz Sat 10-Jan-15 13:13:33

Ofsted are brutal. They watch and question and then trawl the paperwork for hours. Have had ofsted in twice in last year both times unannounced inspections (anonymous concerned public?) both times the complaints found to be malicious (wasn't even in the places reported at time of incidents). Both times graded outstanding. Even being the only setting including nurseries and childminders in my area with outstanding grade if say it doesn't mean much to parents.

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