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CM CLUB: What happens if I disagree with the PC stuff in policy stuff {Disability and Racial Awareness}?

(17 Posts)
RTKangaMummy Mon 10-Sep-07 12:52:34

I have got my inspection this week

So I have been busy writing policy documents

BUT I don't feel right about some of them

The FORCED PCness of it all.

My DS is SEN, he goes to school with children from all religions, different backgrounds etc.

We have friends that have children with Downs Syndrome and our son just sees them as James and Sally, rather than James and Sally with Downs Syndrome.

So what will happen if I tell the inspector that I don't agree with making a special point of shwoing that SEN children need a policy to show that they are just children and so should be treated the same and have the same opportunities as everyone else.

The same with the PC idea of having dolls with different coloured skin {I have got these just because the dolls came as a pair and are really cute}

Why can't we promote the idea that children are children, whatever skin colour or religion or how their body works?

Why do we have to have a policy to show that we are PC?

Why can't we write one that says we will treat all children the same?

I have probably completely missed the point of all these policy documents

I know that if I tell the inspector that we go and play with James and Sally she will be really excited and pleased that I am promoting the equal opportunities etc.

The same as when I was last inspected I told her that and she was impressed which I think is insulting as James and Sally are children not things to be used to impress an inspector.

Also last time she was impressed that although I was looking after boys I had got a play kitchen - I told her it was my son's kitchen and she said that was really good getting boys to play cooking - my response to that is I can name alot more famous MALE chefs than I can female ones.

Also my son loves cooking so why have all this PCness????

What do you feel about it???

Katymac Mon 10-Sep-07 13:46:47

Do you like this:

Equal Concern

This policy covers sex/gender, ethnicity, differing abilities, sexual orientation, social class, age, religious background and special educational needs.

• Non-gender stereotyping toys and play i.e. girls can play with cars; boys can play with dolls.

• Teaching children about other cultures/religions in a positive manner.

• Not making assumptions about a child’s preferences.

• Meeting individual children’s needs in a sympathetic, positive manner.

• Helping children to deal with discrimination, racism and bullying (encouraging them to develop appropriate Strategies and Skills).

• Raising awareness that they are not expected to deal with discrimination alone and should seek help of adults they know and trust.

• A wide range of equipment and toys available to meet developmental needs of children in my care.

• Challenging other people’s prejudices and discriminatory practices when necessary.

We would encourage a child to develop their sense of identity within their racial, cultural and social groupings and to learn about cultures and social attitudes which are different from their own.

Having equal concern means meeting the needs of individual children - not treating all children the same!

RTKangaMummy Mon 10-Sep-07 13:54:47



Sorry what I meant was treating them all as children cos that is what they are IMHO

ie James and Sally and children first and children with Downs Syndrome 2nd

My DS is a boy 1st and a boy with hypermobility and dyspraxia 2nd

I mean they are children although they all have different needs and different help needed etc.

ie DS needs extra time for exams so it gives him the same chance as other children, needs PHYSIO and OT to help him with how to help his body work, strengthen his legs and knees etc.

But 1st he is a 12 year old boy iyswim

ThePrisoner Mon 10-Sep-07 20:19:09

I think I understand where you are coming from, although my policies say all the right things because I don't want to argue with an inspector during my inspection!

I currently mind and have previously minded children with varying degrees of "disability". When any new child starts, you say, "John is coming to play today." You don't say, "John is coming to play today, he has Downs Syndrome." I might say someone else is coming who uses sign language (everyone gets very excited about that one!)

You also don't tell mindees that a child of a "different ethnic background" is coming to play! Children just accept each other.

What is intensely irritating is that, even if you have mindees with disabilities or are from different ethnic backgrounds etc., all the children just play together happily - but you have to "prove" that this is so by producing a policy!!

RTKangaMummy Mon 10-Sep-07 20:33:21

Yes Prisioner that is what I mean smile

DS just sees James and Sally as James and Sally and that is how I think it should be

In our group of friends they just join in with everyone else

The same with DS classmates they are from loads of different countries {India, Japan, Poland, Italy, Kenya etc.} and every religion, most with English as a 2nd language.

Children don't need a Policy to play with other children. They just get on with it!!!

ThePrisoner Mon 10-Sep-07 21:14:02

Perhaps the children should be reading the policies!

RTKangaMummy Mon 10-Sep-07 21:15:17


SenoraPostrophe Mon 10-Sep-07 21:17:24

rt - the problem is that many people are not like you, and that they might, without thinking, reinforce some stereotyping. I can see your point, but I don't really think those policies are pc. just uneccessary in your case.

RTKangaMummy Mon 10-Sep-07 21:28:15

Thanks smile I guess that is true

I think that is going to be the problem when I have the inspection

That I won't be the "normal" type of CM so won't tick her tick boxes, I had a phone call SURVEY from the council and my answers weren't what the boxes wanted iyswim grin

I only mind for friends' children or collegues of my DH and so haven't minded for 2 years and don't expect to for another year {new baby expected next year}

RTKangaMummy Mon 10-Sep-07 21:29:22

I will go by the rules and have used KMc policy


ThePrisoner Mon 10-Sep-07 21:37:16

Unfortunately, I know of childminders who have cribbed policies from other minders (without editing them to suit their own circumstances), just use the NCMA examples and have even bought them from ebay - and no thought has gone into them whatsoever. The policies have to say what Ofsted want them to say.

A policy may state that a CM has "non-gender stereotyping toys and play" (to copy Katymac's words), but that really doesn't mean that the CM does.

I think I am being a bit of a grump, but I do have a real problem with all the paperwork required by Ofsted.

MaureenMLove Mon 10-Sep-07 21:37:46

Don't you just love Ofsted! grin My favourite story was when my dd first started school. There was a little girl in her class who, although she was British, her parents were originally from India. She came to me and said that 'P' was different from everyone else. So, I was ready to chat with her about how there are lots of different people in the world etc. etc. So I started by saying, whats different about her then dd? And she said, she wears trousers instead of a skirt! So, clearly the fact that her skin was a different colour from hers, hadn't even crossed her mind! grin

MaureenMLove Mon 10-Sep-07 21:41:07

I too have a big problem with the paperwork TP. Once upon a time, it was about the children first and the paperwork second, but these days you just can't avoid filling something in or having to waste time on ridiculous paperwork. I do understand that its all there for the protection of the children and us, but it really gets on my wick!

mummymagic Mon 10-Sep-07 21:48:11

I know exactly what you mean - I don't want to 'promote' children playing with supposedly non-gender-appropriate things but merely allow it when it happens. As Head of Drama department in a school, I am v used to writing policies on things that you would expect people to just do anyway hmm. So hopefully this will be useful when becoming a CM!

If it is the same as school policymadness then you could write one based on what you have said -

eg (off the top of my head - these things take ages... it's maybe a bit woolly...)
Children are treated as children first and foremost. All children in my care are given the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, in whichever way suits them best.

Children are provided with a variety of toys and encouraged to experiment and roleplay different situations. Toys are reflective of the world we live in.

ThePrisoner Mon 10-Sep-07 22:13:21

I am going to write a policy on how to interpret my policies ....

blessingchild Tue 11-Sep-07 11:57:02

I also wonder why we have to be PC. I am new to childminding and like you, I think I am going to argue with my inspector when I have my first inspection. I don't believe in impressing any inspector. My job as a professional childcare provider is to provide a safe, happy, stimulating and nurturing environment for the children. I have not bought any multicultural toys because children see real people from other cultures everyday and IMO, that is enough.

It looks like Ofsted can not differentiate between a childminding setting and Nursery schools.

I am also going to express my feelings about the policies I don't agree with when I have my first inspection. I feel childminding requires love, understanding, patience, common sense than all these policies. Some of the childminding stuff I see on ebay make me laugh.

ThePrisoner Tue 11-Sep-07 19:46:15

There is no way on this planet that I will rock the boat during my inspection - I feel that the inspector can look at my policies and, hopefully, get a feel for the sort of person that I am through us talking (which is worrying in itself!!)

Depending on the inspector that I get, I might voice my general concerns on the amount of paperwork, but I would not risk anything that might affect my inspection (which could mean that my mouth will remain firmly shut).

I save my ranting and raving about Ofsted for our county committee meetings, my involvement with my childminding network and, of course, the poor parents who I childmind for! I wouldn't risk a bad inspection report to make a point.

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