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Well OFSTED are back with the idea of closing me again. I give up

(27 Posts)
KatyMac Thu 17-Jul-08 19:11:12

They have produced a document - it's called "Follow up to the Local Authority briefings" - & of course I can't find it on the OFSTED website - these paragraphs are the problems - 65, 72, 74, 88, 94, 95, 96, and 97

Basically if there are more than 4 of us during a day we are not childminding anymore

The council won't allow us to run daycare or nursery provision in my house do I am basically stuffed.

So sad

nannynick Fri 18-Jul-08 07:03:54

Oh dear, does not sound good.

Is there a reference number on the document?

KatyMac Fri 18-Jul-08 07:55:08


But my dad read it & says I should just be oblivious to it & assume I am right hmm

TracyK Fri 18-Jul-08 07:57:44

as in 4 childminders - rather than 4 children?

nappyaddict Fri 18-Jul-08 08:00:47

i thought they said this before and you dound a way around it?

KatyMac Fri 18-Jul-08 08:01:52

That's right Tracey - I manage a group setting

NA - they did, I did, they have changed their mind again but I may have a way round

KatyMac Fri 18-Jul-08 08:02:35

Whoops sorry for spelling you wrong TracyK

nappyaddict Fri 18-Jul-08 08:04:48

argh this sucks. why do they keep changing their mind. why is it ok one minute and not the next?

LoveMyGirls Fri 18-Jul-08 08:07:24

Sorry to hear this Katy, hopefully there will be a way round it but it's still so fustrating, they make something simple into something that hurts your head! Fingers crossed you can sort this out. You work so hard and run such a great business it's madness to even consider closing you down!

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 18-Jul-08 10:49:45


youngbutnotdumb Fri 18-Jul-08 10:59:00

Could you perhaps talk to the other staff and perhaps try and set up a new plan and try and get a lease for a small daycare?

Arfa Fri 18-Jul-08 11:36:31

Very sorry to hear of your dilemma.

I just love how Ofsted constantly move the goalposts. It's almost as if they arrive with a hidden agenda. They also get paid a lot of money for making CMs lives a misery. Did you know that Ofsted childcare inspectors earn between £23,484 and £29,731 a year for a 5 day, 36 hour week with 32 days holiday and a generous pension?

nannynick Fri 18-Jul-08 18:39:50

Ofsted are only guessing as to how a tribunal may rule... Ofsted can't know for sure how a tribunal would rule... the tribunal may see it differently - after all Ofsted would be in effect asking for you to be disqualified from childminding, due to you working a job-share due to medical grounds. A tribunal may not side with Ofsted on that... they may decide that the law means that not more than 3 people can provide the care at any one time... rather than over a specific period of time.

nannynick Fri 18-Jul-08 18:43:52

The Childcare Act 2006 actually says:
96(5) Early years provision on domestic premises for reward is not early years childminding if at any time the number of persons providing the early years provision on the premises or assisting with the provision exceeds three.

The Act says "at any time", not "on any day".

nannynick Fri 18-Jul-08 18:45:21

Could I just say, that when I worked for Ofsted, I didn't get paid that much!

KaySamuels Fri 18-Jul-08 18:47:40

KatyMac - sorry to hear about this, must be like a rollercoaster for you. sad

Arfa shock I am in the wrong job!! grin

I am meant to be on an SEF training course next monday, which has been canced as Ofsted have changed the form again! hmm The co-ordinator who called me sounded as fed up as everyone else about it!

KatyMac Fri 18-Jul-08 19:09:31

I know Nick - did you get my email?

Arfa Fri 18-Jul-08 22:19:25

When there are 4 adults are they all actively involved in caring for the children at the same time? If somebody is preparing food, keeping records up to date, cleaning up or taking a break then they can't be caring for the children at that time. Or does that mess up your adult to child ratios?

Incidentally, I got the details about Ofsted's package from here (page 4) and their salary from here. This will make you laugh and this will show you that not everyone in government is happy with Ofsted.

nannynick Sat 19-Jul-08 00:02:34

I think the 'assisting with' may cover that. Though could be debated, as in a childminding setting, a registered childminder who wasn't on duty, could still be on the premises - if they lived there.

KatyMac Sat 19-Jul-08 10:08:34

Tricky - the new document says 4 in any day

But if we have 3 F/T positions that are job shared that is 6 in a day

I am regularly not on duty (rota'd off) and I do paperwork (invoices/accounts/policies etc) is that caring for the children or not?

Plus if we have a staff intensive activity eg Preparing veg/fruit (children using knives) or had a child in that needed 1-2-1 we would just up ourr ratio for that part of the day


Arfa Sat 19-Jul-08 11:16:27

If you are doing paperwork then you can't be classed as minding. If you employed a book keeper they wouldn't be included in the totals so if you are doing the same thing then neither should you. Also, I would suggest you try to argue that people are job sharing because then I think you can argue that 2 people = 1 job although I'm not sure whether that would work if there is any staff overlap.

I would also suggest drawing up a chart for each day (you could use a spreadsheet) and split it up into hour or half hour rows. Then group the columns something like this: Using one column for each child, put the children all together and change the background colour of each cell to signify when they are present and leave it white when they are not. The next column should be a number showing how many children are present in that time slot. Now do something similar for the adults only this time start with a total column. For the adults, you will need two colours to show whether they are minding or doing something else such as book keeping. Leave the cell white when they are not there or on lunch etc. and then count up the number of adults actively minding in each time slot and put that number in the total column.

Now check how many adults are minding at any one time and as a final check, make sure that you haven't exceeded the adult child ratio. It might take a bit of time, but if you can see a visual representation it may help to get your head around the problem.

I would also try contacting the local paper or even some of the national papers - the Daily Mail love stories about heavy handed officialdom. You could even try contacting Woman's Hour. They did a piece a few months ago about EYFS and the fall in the number of childminders and they said they would be returning to the subject before September so they may well be interested in talking to you.

KatyMac Sat 19-Jul-08 12:10:15

I use vertical gantt charts as timetables for children & staff - staff are only represented when in ratio ( A lovely MNetter designed it for me) & I NEVER have more than 3 on duty - The biggest problem are the school runs - but I can get rid of some of them, I guess

Umm Woman's hour was me blush <<Oh & a minder giving up & The head of NCMA - but obviously I was the star>>

Arfa Sat 19-Jul-08 14:59:57

Small world isn't it? The minder giving up was my wife (and I thought she was the star) although she desperately wants to continue, but can't see how she is going to cope with EYFS and Ofsted now that they have the heavy hand of the law to hit CMs with.

Incidentally, ever wondered why the NCMA are so strongly in favour of EYFS and not standing up for their members? Could it be the £1.9m grant they received from the DfES (as it was then) that is revealed in their 2006/7 annual report? This is, of course, in addition to the money they are receiving for providing EYFS courses etc.

KatyMac Sat 19-Jul-08 16:25:17

Maybe we both were <<I think we can agree that the NCMA lady wasn't>>

I have problems with EYFS not limited to my particular circumstances (which I didn't think it fair to air on the radio as it wasn't what I was asked there for), however I don't think that all childminders will have major problems.

The stuff is generally do-able, if harder work for most people of average education/intellect - my worry is for childminders who for what ever reason) can't (which would be my DH)

nannynick Sat 19-Jul-08 16:36:07

Can Ofsted actually change the law by issuing a guidance document? I'm not sure they can. So while Ofsted may feel the 4 people in one day applies, the law (Childcare Act 2006) doesn't say the same thing. Trouble is, until a case gets to a tribunal, we will never know what the situation is.

Katymac, given your current situation... what can Ofsted actually do? While they may like you to change provider type, what happens if you don't? Will they insist upon de-registration? If they did, then I suspect you would take it to tribunal, as there are several points of issue - job-share, medical grounds (thus possible discrimination), and of course how the law is to be interpreted.

Have Ofsted contacted you about what their intentions are?

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