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Childminder- Maximum number of children

(23 Posts)
ThereGoesAnotherOne Tue 28-Feb-17 11:59:48

If there are any childminders reading, could I ask a question? What is the max number of children you can have at any one time/ in a day?

A neighbour is a childminder, has been for years but has recently took on a lot more children than she's had before.

She has talked to me many times before about her job and has bragged that because she has scored a certain amount on previous ofsted inspections, she only gets reviewed every 4-5yrs. She said when she expects this to happen, she ensures that her numbers are low enough that she can meet the targets in terms of paperwork filled out per child.

However, I am concerned that she has too many children on non-inspection years. At the moment, she has 22 children on her books. She doesn't have all of the same time/on the same day, but on most days, she has 11 children for the 1-2hrs after school.

She has said before that she is allowed a certain number of children depending on ages- I cat remember the exact number/age range but something like 1 under 1, 3 under 3s, 6 under 5s, 8 under 10s. When she spoke of this, she added all her numbers up and said "so I can have a max of 18 at a time". I queried his and said surely the numbers are the max you can have (e.g. If you are looking after a baby under 1, that would take up all your time so you couldn't possibly have 8 under 10s at the same time?) and she said that was incorrect, as long as she didn't have, for example 2 under 1s, 4 under 3s and 9 10yr olds she was allowed however many she wanted.

She is currently looking after a baby but by the time the parents pick them up, the older children have gone home and I don't think that they realise that the childminder is actually looking after a lot more children- I mentioned to them previously "baby has had a busy day with all the other children then!" (Not trying to stir things, this was what made me realise she perhaps wasn't being truthful) and childminder quickly jumped in and said she'd had a few more children than normal due to half term but it would be 'back to normal' after the holidays. On this day, there were actually less children than an after school day but they were there for 4-6hrs each rather than the normal 1-2.

I have tried to look for her ofsted rating online (my own children go to another childminder down the road and I found her rating prior to placing my children with her) and I cannot locate any record of her. She has always lived at that address yet the only people registered in our village is my childminder and one other person who has recently taken another job so is no longer childminding.

Does not being able to find her mean she isn't actually ofsted registered (or used to be and isn't anymore?). And do her numbers sound right to you?

Yukbuck Tue 28-Feb-17 13:03:21

I think you will get some responses which say mind your own business and stop being so nosey. But I actually agree with you. There's no harm in contacting ofsted anonymously.
I know a childminder who has too many children too and am thinking of doing the same as she doesn't watch them properly when at groups!
She's stupid to think she can have 1 under 1 AND 3 under 3. A 1 year old is still under 3 so counts as that ratio.

MyschoolMyrules Tue 28-Feb-17 13:13:07

It call Ofsted directly. They are actually quite friendly and helpful. 0300 123 1231 .

ImLadybird Tue 28-Feb-17 13:18:33

You're right - it's usually three children under age three with no more than one under the age of 12 months. Three additional children between the ages of three and eight. The care of over eight year olds isn't regulated in the same way, so then it becomes as many as your insurance will allow, which in my case used to be 10 children in total (so I could have four more aged eight and over (which I didn't!)).

Lindy2 Tue 28-Feb-17 13:22:04

Without knowing the exact details it is hard to know exactly what she is doing but that does sound like a lot of children.
In England generally a childminder can have upto 3 children who are under school age. One of those children can be aged under 1.
A childminder can care for a maximum of 6 children in total who are aged under 8. This includes the preschoolers/baby. It's not in addition to the younger children.
The number of over 8s that can be cared for isn't usually specially stated but is usually limited by floor space ratios, insurance policy maximums etc. Children over age 8 aren't included in the maximum of 6 children figure.
If there are assistants or more than one childminder working together the number id children permitted increases. Larger childcare businesses operating from a home may need planning permission as well as Ofsted registration.

Doglikeafox Tue 28-Feb-17 13:34:24

It doesn't sound too unusual to me. A childminder can usually have 1 under 1, 3 under 5s and 6 under 8s. After that it is up to your floor space, local authority and various other factors. I am allowed another 8 over 8 so therefore 16 in total. However it is quite possible that she is allowed more, and could have applied for more under the age of 5 too.
Personally, unless you feel like she cannot cope with all the children based on something you have seen, you need to keep your nose out. If she is coping fine with the children, and they look happy and well-looked after, it is nothing to do with you.
I had a neighbour who reported me because she saw children playing on the road outside my house and assumed they were my mindees- I was on a course 4 hours away on the day that she saw it happen. I had to have an emergency inspection, it messed up all my plans and it caused me unecessary stress and worry. It is not a nice thing to be reported and you don't really seem like you have any solid information to base your accusations on.
You say that the baby's parents don't know about the other children- I find this unlikely. Most childminders have a blog or Facebook page or something where you will quite clearly be able to see how many children are there. There will be times when the parents of the baby need to drop off/collect early and will see the other children. The baby will soon be able to talk and will start naming all the other children that are there.. it just seems very unlikely! Also that leaves all the other parent's who definitely do know how many kids she has, and don't seem to be concerned. Maybe let them worry about their own children?

Cindy34 Tue 28-Feb-17 13:52:36

Some insurance policies limit to 10 children simultaneously, others may have higher or no limit.

The regulator only regulates care of children under the age of 8 years.

ThereGoesAnotherOne Tue 28-Feb-17 15:43:27

Thanks for responses- it sounds like she is probably within her numbers then as she had said "under 10s" to me so there's probably a few 8-10yr olds that she has after school.

I wasn't going to report without knowing the rules (hence the post). As I said, I was just concerned that she had seemed to add her age categories up and had been quick to tell the baby's parents that she doesn't normally have that many children (and that she purposely takes less children in years she is expecting an inspection).

However, now I know the rules, I'll keep my nose out! smile

fuzzyfozzy Tue 28-Feb-17 18:38:18

It's definitely 3 under school age. One of which can be a baby.
They then limit it to 6 under 8 yr olds (the previous 3 are included.)
Above that, Ofsted state that the care of older children cannot impact on the care of younger ones.
This is only applicable in England.
Ofsted will listen and would only visit if they felt there was a need.

jannier Wed 01-Mar-17 13:17:17

Fuzzyfozzy......the general rule is 3 under 5 of which 1 under 1 but there is now something called continuity of care that allows you to go out of this if you have your own baby to continue with existing children, if the existing family have a new arrival or if existing families need to change days/times. You now can risk assess and do this without referral to Ofsted providing existing families are in agreement and you can meet the needs of all children in your care. You are never allowed to go over 6 under 8. It does not apply to new business. so if you had a new baby and then a child leaves you could not fill that space.
If a child is 4 and at full time school they count in the 5 year ratio.

Maryann1975 Thu 02-Mar-17 21:56:36

I would be concerned you can't find her on ofsteds page. As far as I'm aware all childcare providers on the early years register (which she would be looking after little ones) are listed on the ofsted website, along with their inspection reports and grading.
If you can't find her, this would indicate to me hat she isn't actually registered and therefore isn't insured for all those children she is being paid to look after.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 03-Mar-17 15:17:15

you should be able to find her via ofsted

She has said before that she is allowed a certain number of children depending on ages- I cat remember the exact number/age range but something like 1 under 1, 3 under 3s, 6 under 5s, 8 under 10s

if she said this then yes the first bit is true,1under 1

but thought it was 3 under 5, and 6 under 8

not sure how many over 8's allowed

thisgirlrides Fri 03-Mar-17 15:46:58

Over 8'are only limited by your PL insurance and how it impacts on your eyes children (plus something about LA planning being needed for change of use to a business if you go over a certain number. I've always had 10 in mind as a legal maximum but personally know I couldn't properly care for 3 under 3, 3 under 8 plus another 4 over 8 unless they were old enough to be self-sufficient (or helpful!)

Maryann1975 Fri 03-Mar-17 22:30:22

I thought my insurance said 12 children in total (including the under and over 8's). To be honest, my home insurance is more limiting. I can no have no more than 6 childminder children, plus my own. That is plenty. I have 8 here in the morning (including my daughter and her friend). It's mad, I can't imagine fitting any more into my head or house!

Ladybirdtinselturd Fri 03-Mar-17 22:38:54

You would can request not to have your details displayed from a postcode search on the OFSTED website. I can only be found by searching my own EY number, which I give to all prospective parents.

hookiewookie29 Fri 03-Mar-17 23:36:44

At any one time she can have-
-only one child under the age of one
-plus another 2 under the age of 5 unless they are at full time school ( so a 4 year old in full time school does not count in her under 5 ratio)
-plus 3 children aged between 5 and 8 years.
-depending on her public liability insurance she could then have another 4 over the age of 8 (my insurance covers me for up to 12 children)
HOWEVER any children of her own under 8 must be included in her numbers, and if she provides continuity of care for another child under the age of 5, so she has 4 (eg if one child has a new sibling) then she can only have 2 children between the ages of 5-8. On no account can she have more than 6 children under the age of 8 at any one time. She cannot have 6 under 5's, or an under 1 year old plus 3 under 3.No way. And because she's waited several years between inspections, she feels that she can get away with it so she knows she's doing wrong! She needs to be careful-Ofsted usually leave at least 3 years between inspections, but there are many childminders being inspected after just 2 years.
Having all these children also makes her public liability insurance void, so if any of them had a serious accident then she'd be up shit creek!

insancerre Tue 07-Mar-17 06:49:15

Just call ofsted and report her
They will be able to check her registers and work out how many children she has on any particular day

Doglikeafox Tue 07-Mar-17 09:18:10

'Just call Ofsted and report her'
hmm
The amount of stress and upset caused to someone who has been reported is not something to be taken lightly.

insancerre Tue 07-Mar-17 13:40:12

I know
If she has nothing to hide then she has nothing to worry about
I have dealings with ofsted myself

Snap8TheCat Tue 07-Mar-17 21:36:57

'If she has nothing to hide then she has nothing to worry about'

That is completely ridiculous. To be reported maliciously is one of the worst ordeals an independent childminder can go through. I've known some give up based on the stress and anxiety such a callous action can make.

I believe you work in a nursery (?). I don't think you can compare the OFSTED experience when you have colleagues to lean on and a work environment you can leave behind and go home. Where you are completely depend on your income to provide for your family (as opposed to being employed and paid regardless).

Very insensitive to be so casual about reporting.

insancerre Wed 08-Mar-17 06:36:48

I agree that malicious reporting is unacceptable
But, malicious reporting is not what we are discussing here

HSMMaCM Wed 08-Mar-17 08:12:09

People should not be afraid to make genuine reports. That is what keeps children safe. The facts of the ages of the children can be checked and if she is over ratio, she is operating illegally. Ofsted checking registers is unlikely to work, as the CM will just not record some children. In this case it seems the CM may not understand her ratios.

1 under1, 3 under 5, 6 under 8 does not add up to 10 children, it adds up to 6 children. Over 8s are another issue.

Imi22sleeping Thu 09-Mar-17 08:26:22

Im a childminder in scotland we are allowed a max of 6 kids at a time the breakdown is 1 under 1 3preschoolers and the rest schoolkids you can have just 6schoolkids and no wee ones if you like.
Some get an extention to 8 and if you have an assisitent you can have more.

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