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Nice CM, "unsatisfactory" Ofsted report. Should I ignore?

(21 Posts)
yellowmama Tue 29-Jul-08 20:31:19

I am looking for a CM for my daughter, who will be 11.5m when I (unexpectedly) go back to work in 5 weeks. Have not found anyone available who I like til today. I met a lovely lady, with extremely well brought-up children, and great references, who seems perfect - except she has an "unsatisfactory" Ofsted report and doesn't speak English well enough for me to really question her properly about her policies. She explained that the report was because she had just come to the UK and didn't understand what they required from her, and that when the inspector came back everything was in order - but her report isn't on the Ofsted website so I can't check this. Didn't read the whole report when I had it in my hands, as she said she was told it was online. Also, her daughter sat in on the conversation to translate occasionally, and asked some pertinent questions that her mother did not.

So, do I go back to meet her again and go through this thoroughly (difficult because of her English); go with my instincts to hire her; or err on hte side of caution and keep looking?

giddykipper Tue 29-Jul-08 20:33:19

What in particular was 'unsatisfactory'?

And would you feel comfortable in not being able to communicate with her well?

KatyMac Tue 29-Jul-08 20:37:15

I would worry about communicating tbh

I often have to talk to parents about quite complex situations (eg when medication has been given, accidents, trips out) and I would worry about misunderstandings

Plus are you happy for your child to talk this lady's language because unless she has fairly good English (& I don't think, from what you said, she has) - it would be likely that your child will become bi-lingual

MatNanPlus Tue 29-Jul-08 20:38:00

Do you feel her spoken language will be of concern given your daughters age?

Think you do need to know what was unsatisfactory as surely she wouldn't have got her green light if it was major, and to see the review that was done after.

TBH tho her language would be an issue for me.

MaureenMLove Tue 29-Jul-08 20:38:41

I'm not sure I'd be happy with an unsatsfactory childminder, UNLESS what she said was true and she is now up to standard. I would still like to see the revised report, if there is one though. Could you maybe call Ofsted and ask them why its not online, when the CM says it is?

funnypeculiar Tue 29-Jul-08 20:46:53

Hummm, I'd be concerned personally.
I'd really want to see the paperwork proving that she had 'become' satisfactory, and also see exactly why she got unsatisfactory originally. Don't get me wrong, it could easily all be paperwork & Ofsted regs, but I'd want to see it myself.

I would have concerns about the language too, tbh - I would worry about how easily she would communicate with you if there was any problem.

That all said, I do believe in gut instinct with childcare - if you came out feeling totally confident, that would mean a lot to me.

imananny Tue 29-Jul-08 20:48:34

regardless of what the ofstead report said, IF your childcarer to be doesnt speak good english and need her daughter to translate, that would personally worry me incase you cant comminicate with her in an emergancy

allergictohousework Tue 29-Jul-08 20:50:12

FWIW I would keep looking - for Ofsted to say unsatisfactory there must have been something fundamentally wrong, unless you can see an updated report. The original report must have outlined measures she had to put in place to improve, did you see if she had made those improvements?

Also the lack of language to the extent that you couldn't ask her about her policies means that she could be doing all manner of things that you don't want her to (I don't mean anything properly dodgy but agree with KatyMac ie medication, allergies, illness, emergencies).

yellowmama Tue 29-Jul-08 21:05:20

Thanks all. Her English wasn't as bad as perhaps I've made it sound - I got the impression she was insecure about speaking English but understood it very well. I didn't believe that the really important things such as medication instructions, emergencies, etc, would be a problem for her to understand or explain - more that she was embarassed about not being as fluent as her daughters. I am not concerned about DD's lingusitic development too much as we are probably going to move abroad soon(ish - within a year) so bi-lingualism, in any language, is positively to be encouraged. I agree I need to see the Ofsted report. Have decided to call CM tomorrow to set up a second meeting and take DH along, so he can talk to her while I read it, and follow up from there. Thanks again!

yellowmama Tue 29-Jul-08 21:05:32

Thanks all. Her English wasn't as bad as perhaps I've made it sound - I got the impression she was insecure about speaking English but understood it very well. I didn't believe that the really important things such as medication instructions, emergencies, etc, would be a problem for her to understand or explain - more that she was embarassed about not being as fluent as her daughters. I am not concerned about DD's lingusitic development too much as we are probably going to move abroad soon(ish - within a year) so bi-lingualism, in any language, is positively to be encouraged. I agree I need to see the Ofsted report. Have decided to call CM tomorrow to set up a second meeting and take DH along, so he can talk to her while I read it, and follow up from there. Thanks again!

yellowmama Tue 29-Jul-08 21:05:54

Oops, sorry.

tatty33 Tue 29-Jul-08 21:13:20

IMO if you have a good feeling, and the references are from current mindees' parents and are decent ( were they copies of letters or did you get to speak to the parents themselves?) I wouldn't worry about the report. I met some childminders I would never leave my ds with but who had reecived a 'good' report

vInTaGeVioLeT Tue 29-Jul-08 21:31:16

i know an outstanding c/m who is absolutely awful - she got her grade by doing everything by the book and bullshitting on the day!
i would trust my gut feeling TBH but definately arrange a second visit and really read the report thoroughly - actually can you get her to send you a copy? Then you can read it at home and know what you need to ask her about at your next meeting.

goodluck.

yellowmama Tue 29-Jul-08 22:05:03

Will certainly ask for numbers of the referees so I can speak to them in person. Not so fussed about reading the report in advance, as I imagine that it will be clear whether or not the issues are serious. But it wouldn't hurt to ask for a copy, so I will do. Thanks again!

Roboshua Tue 29-Jul-08 22:48:48

I agree with yellowmama. If you're really keen find some satified clients. However I have to say I would be running for the hills. The whole situation sounds a bit suspicous to me. I don't know a whole lot about childminder regisitration but aren't they meant to go on course and things in order to qualify?? How has she done that without reasonable Englsih. I may also be concerned re any cultural differences in discipling (my MIL is from a different culture (where smaking is acceptable and I am concerned about leaving my kids with her)? How did you actually find her?? Is she genuinely registered?? Are they fake documents? It just doesn't feel right to me.

On a slight aside. My two went to a nursery and I rang the Twon hall to see if there had ever been any complaints and was told they couldn't tell me and I would have to ask the mangeress. She was actually really pleased I'd asked and said I was the only parent who e er had (the nursery had been going 5 years at that point!). My DP does say i'm overly suspicious.

Nefertiti Tue 29-Jul-08 23:17:17

I agree with Robashua 100%

yellowmama Wed 30-Jul-08 10:36:44

I founf her on the Childcarelink.gov.uk website and she did have documents to prove she had taken English qualifications, and the official childminders pack. Don't think there is anything fishy about her. Good point about disciplining though, I'll remember to ask her about it. Thanks.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Diane73 Wed 30-Jul-08 20:58:45

I would be concerned ofsted don't give out unsatisfactory for no reason some minders can be shut down for this. I would look around at other childminders - where are you based? I may be able to help i am reg. childminder with 15 years exp. excellent refernces.

BradfordMum Thu 31-Jul-08 15:57:49

I know a few satisfactory childminders who are brilliant - and I know some outstanding ones who I wouldn't leave a rabbit with.
Ofsted are so big on paperwork nowadays, that the Outstanding ones pass with flying colours, but their kiddy skills are poorer. The satisfactory ones are all superb with the kiddies, but their paperwok isn't up to par.
I know which I'd rather choose.

Sally

BradfordMum Thu 31-Jul-08 15:58:52

However, in this case, I'd look elsewhere.

Sally

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