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Make Childminders Exempt From EYFS

(47 Posts)
taffy101 Tue 21-Jul-09 20:39:57

I have submitted a petition to the no.10 website to make childminders exempt from the Early Years Foundation Stage. If you agree with these sentiments please sign the petition grin

Here is a link to the petition:

I will post a copy of an email I am circulating so you can copy and paste to circulate too if you wish.

Many Thanks

NB I am not a childminder, just a concerned parent!

taffy101 Tue 21-Jul-09 20:40:42

40,000 childminders have quit in the last year. This coincides with the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

EYFS has been introduced to streamline learning and development requirements in all Early Years settings. This means that childminders
are subject to the same paperwork, assessments and observations as nurseries and pre-schools. This is obviously too much to expect of
a single self-employed person.

Childminders' homes are not educational establishments, therefore there should be no need for the childminder to make assessments on
children's learning and development. Until a child attends school it should be their parents job to assess them.

The government's ten year childcare strategy has the slogan 'Choice for parents, the best start for children'. Within the framework of
EYFS, it states the need for consistency between early years settings. This defies such a slogan and actually removes parent

People tend to choose childminders rather than nurseries because they want a relaxed, informal enviroment for their children - the
requirements of this legislation directly opposes this.

Of course, childminders need regulations and assessments but this current system is really too much to expect of them. As long as a child is
safe and happy surely that is enough.
Many childminders are becoming frustrated becaused they cannot keep up with the paperwork and are leaving in their droves. The knock on
effect of this is that children are losing their beloved carers. They grow attached to their childminders and to have to change carer multiple
times is surely not an ideal situation.

Take 30 seconds out of your day to sign a petition to make childminders exempt from EYFS

It is completely confidential (OFSTED will not be given your name!). You will receive an email from the no.10 website to confirm your
'signature', but don't worry Gordon Brown will not start spamming you!

T H A N K Y O U !

TheIronLady Wed 22-Jul-09 14:34:52

Thanks taffy101

kkey21 Wed 22-Jul-09 14:38:51

Done-big thank you! x

Pinkranger Wed 22-Jul-09 14:43:24

Have sign! i Quit childminding on Firday, have been doing it for 4 years but to much now with the EYFS. it was very sad saying goodbye, espically to the little boy i had since he was 13 months old -

buggylovinmummy Wed 22-Jul-09 15:27:59

All done

navyeyelasH Wed 22-Jul-09 16:04:30

Just to be devils advocate here (don't throttle me!) why shouldn't childminders take part in EYFS? My [admitedly fairly limited] understanding is that a CM does not have to "assess" children. It's more a case of going, "hmm bugger x doesn't know her shapes yet and will start pre-school in 4 months. Let's crack open some shape puzzles/games/books etc" [/simplified version]

I bet all good CMers would do this anyway as a natural thing, it's the recording it down that eveyrone seems to be tying themselves up in knots about.

The point is that all parents were first time parents at some point and you may have had 100s of children through your door. You (as a CM) would have a better understanding of what a child can/can't do. Before EYFS if you had a 16 month old that couldn't sit up unaided wouldn't you be mentioning it to the parents; not leaving it to them to "assess"? Basically EYFS is making sure that you provide a minimum standard of care and surely that can only be a good thing?

I think EYFS is great it's the implementation of it that sucks and the blanket cover approach to all settings they have adopted - typical of a system that operates on nil common sense IMO. I disagree that a setting has to become more formal.


looneytune Wed 22-Jul-09 16:16:26

navy - well from my inspection, although i did very well, it was EYFS that let me down. I had done loads of obs and put them down in writing but didn't have pics and hadn't linked them to the framework yet. I did do some 'next steps' though. Anyway, this wasn't any where near enough. I think that maybe they should have 2 names for childminders. One name for the old sort and one name for the ones who do EYFS and then let parents decide which type of childminder they want!!

RosieGirl Wed 22-Jul-09 17:45:16

I don't think any of us would mind as much if it was "guidance" rather than "statutory".

It has been pointed out many times that nothing actually needs to be written down by childminders, so OFSTED seem to be over zelous with their inspections.

The thing is Navyeyelash is that we all do a good bloody brilliant job and were already under lots of rules and regulations before the EYFS. Someone who is a brillant person with children isn't necessarily good with paperwork. I don't feel I am qualified enough to do development plans and plan all their "next steps". The government already took a back step taking the word "curriculum" out of it in the early days. I am not degree educated and worry that at some point a childminder will be held responsible when a child doesn't do well at something. Many of us don't earn a fraction of what primary school teachers earn and yet do more. I have children from 7.30-6.00pm, 50 weeks of the year, many have already been to school and want to have fun in a relaxed atmosphere, I actually refuse to do any "note taking" during the summer holidays as I feel its unfair to older children, if I take time to do paper work about the little ones, taking my time away from just having fun with everyone!!!. I do loads with all my children, and am very proud, but don't understand why children under 5 are "documented" for 52 weeks of the year when no other child is.

I would like to see a special set of rules for us, we are a individual type of childcare. The EYFS is so built towards larger formal settings. Much of what is written we do anyway on a day to day basis, we shouldn't have to note it all down. I wouldn't mind if the inspection was a couple of hours over a few days or weeks and more input from parents and children who are actually here - a more "holistic" approach. Lets face it some are good at paperwork and can make things look better than they really are.

navyeyelasH Wed 22-Jul-09 17:46:28

looneytune did the inspector suggest ways to improve? Would it have been better to have done less obs, link to eyfs and where possible have a photo?

I think some CMrs (not aimed at you looneytune) seem to think it's about quantity rather than quality. The problem is that ofsted wont say, "you don't need more than [say] 3 observations a year per child". Most CMers seem to be doing 1 observation, per child per day - with that workload I can see why so many think it's rubbish!

I think they key is to remember ofsted are just checking that you basically don't let the children watch TV all day and that if you see some behaviours (ie. pulling up on chairs) then you know how to encourage "normal" development (ie. provide opps for cruising and standing).

It so simple that to a good CMer it just seems pointless to record such inane basic common knowledge things - hence why I think so many are finding EYFS tough?

Also the phrasing of certain EYFS section are way too jargonistic. Keep it simple I say.

SillyMillysMummy Wed 22-Jul-09 18:28:31


navyeyelasH Wed 22-Jul-09 19:45:59

Rosiegirl I totally agree with you abot over zealous inspectors - I think the problem is that CMers seem scared of inspectors. One inspector was so so rude to a CMer I know; if anyone else had spoken to her like that she'd have ripped him a new one but she kept schtum! I think you have to be able to challange any inspector and explain clearly that you do it this way and you believe you meet that meets their "goals".

I also agree that good childminders are loosing out because they aren't so good with paperwork. And I think Ofsted place more emphasis on paperwork than anyhitng else, sadly.

I also agree that it would be better if each "setting" (preschool, nursery, CMer etc) had their own specific EYFS as the wording is just to stupid. It tries to include everyone as the EYFS if for everyone but it really excludes CMers IMO.

On the basis of fees I have no idea why CMers charge so little; I think that needs to change. IMO a CMer is the next best thing to a nanny, then after a CMer is a nursery. Why in gods name to nannies get paid £10ish an hour, nurseries get about £5 an hour and CMers get £3ish I'll never know?!

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 22-Jul-09 21:52:28

I thought EYFS being introduced for childminders was quite good. It means that those who only do it for the money/to stay at home with their own children actually have to provide a good early years standard.

It also means choice for parents as (bar nannies) all will be working on the same structure albeit a nursery probably follows early years more closely as they tend to have different ages per room etc.

anastaisia Wed 22-Jul-09 23:01:19

except if the parents want to choose not to engage with the EYFS.....

danthe4th Thu 23-Jul-09 09:25:43

I'm a childminder and am sort of happy to follow the eyfs, it's taken months of paperwork and training to get my head around everything. I carry out simple obs with postit type notes on a when it happens basis and also slightly longer obs on a 1 every 4/6 weeks basis. What I am not happy with is the training which is usually held with nurseries during the week, the nursery staff get paid to attend but I have to take it out of my time and that is if it falls on my day off. I have attended training for approximately 80 hours this year, unpaid.Many childminders can not attend as they would be letting down parents. The saturday training in gloucestershire has been cancelled due to lack of funding.
Depending on which county you live depends on the amount of funding you receive, I get nothing but 5 miles down the road childminders are able to access capital funding and many have got up to £2.500.
This is unfair, I get £4 per hour and have 2 children during the day, out of that I have to buy all my resources.I had to buy a new laptop,printer etc just so I could carry out the eyfs, I have no idea how people manage without internet access, and the eyfs cd rom.
I have 4 children of my own and it is hard work,I feel childminders are becoming very competitive with the eyfs and how they deliver it, I here of some childminders that are run like mini nurseries which is great but I don't have the space in my house and have had to buy a huge shed to store all my resourses but I will be penilised for this as children should have free access so I will have to take a million pictures so children can choose from a book. Do you get the picture that all childminders can not be the same, I offer a daily outdoor outing, some never leave the house as they can not fit the children in their cars. But we are graded against what we can deliver in respect of the eyfs.
But on the whole the eyfs is a good thing but it should have been toned down for childminders, we should have had the paperwork given to us so it would be delivered in the same way acrooss the country. I have decided to offer term time only and emergency care and living in the cotswolds there is not a huge demand so whether I carry on I'm not sure.
Sorry if I started waffling!!!

TheIronLady Thu 23-Jul-09 10:07:54

Happymumofone, I just wondered why you would think that those childminders who decide to childmind to stay at home with their own children wouldn't be educating / playing with / doing activities with their own children anyway? or maybe I have misread your post.

I think that you may find that whilst some childminders can make an acceptable living out of childminding there are others that don't.

Navyeyelash, For me, caring for three 2's and under each day, commands my full attention and that any paperwork relating to the EYFS HAS to be done in my own time, for me, (although you haven't mentioned this but) it is not a question of, I don't get paid for the extra time I am having to put into paperwork but purely and simply, at the end of each day, having spent 10 hours with the littlies, nurturing, caring, entertaining and getting involved in the activities that we are doing, once I have cleared up at the end of the day, spent an additional say half an hour on thinking and preparing what we will do for the next day, I want to switch off and get on with my life. I certainly do not want to be doing paperwork at weekends either, most of us have a life and a very busy one at that, outside of childminding (I know that you are also a childminder smile.

Before EYFS, we had Birth to Three, yes it is very similar but the BIG difference is we now have to record it all on paper. I have always followed the B23 framework anyway, probably like most childminders but now it all needs to be related to the six areas of learning on paper, weekly plans, short, medium, long term plans, everything on paper relating to the six areas of learning, (ooops sorry repeating myself there!) it seems to me that it is almost like writing an Individual Education Plan for each child, we also write down exactly what happened when we did our fire drill, what the childrens's reactions are (or have I got it wrong? maybe I don't need to do that) share information with nurseries and complete Transfer Packs (I think that is what it is called) when one of our mindees starts at pre-school, I for one, physically cannot find the time for this type of paperwork. Please tell me I have got it wrong if I have misunderstood what is expected of us with the EYFS. I belong to a childminding network and have been told that I should be doing 2 written obs a week per child, I have six part-timers including 1 at pre-school!

Somebody else mentioned paperwork relating to the business: Of course there is paperwork relating to the business side of childminding in the same way that there is with any business and this is not what childminders are complaining about, the EYFS is not what I call 'paperwork relating to the business side of things'.

Can you tell that I am stressed because of bloody paperwork Argh. By the way have no mindees today just in case you are wondering what I am doing on here grin In fact I hardly ever get time to come on here at all.

TheIronLady Thu 23-Jul-09 10:12:44

danthe4th you are not waffling smile

anastaisia Thu 23-Jul-09 10:33:07

If I was to choose child care I would be making my decision about the person based on the care they give. I don't want early years education - we are an autonomous home educating family, I don't plan or assess DD but some how she miraculously learns things anyway.

Where is the choice for me, or for parents who choose to follow alternative philosphies of eduation (Montessori, Steiner, etc) if nurseries and childminders all have to follow the same scheme? Yes some are smart enough to get around it as best they can - but I don't want them to have to, if I choose a certain type of care for my child it is because I believe that type of care to be best for her. Why would I want someone to have to compromise that care to meet someone elses standards...

missymoo2411 Thu 23-Jul-09 16:26:17

well i follow the eyfs as best as my abilitys im dislexic and find it difficult for it to sink in and still not sure ived always work on spur off the moment like yesterday we had a break in the rain so me and another cm whent to the park which is a 15 min bus ride away and took a picnic with us a foot ball and had a great time took loads of pics so when im ofsted again ill prob get done 4 not forward planning and linking stuff together which im still not 100% but my kids n familys r happy so ill keep stumbling and hope fully get it right ....and well done with trhe pertition.

sallyssuperstars Thu 23-Jul-09 20:03:06

'Just to stay at home with their own children'??? how awful!!! Wanting to give their own children the best.(HappyMummyOfOne) Some of us do care very deeply for our mindees, they are not a means to make money, but a career choice, there is very little money to be made, its nice to be able to cover costs, anything else is a bonus..
We are being hamstrung with paperwork, one to one, home childcare,for under 3's should not be the same as over 3's in early years education. We (childminders) have always liased with parents on a day to day basis about their child's development and progress,
proving it to a third party (Ofsted inspectors, who do'nt sing from the same hymm sheet) is overkill... And as for being scared of Ofsted inspectors(NaveyeyelasH) well they hold our registration in their hands, they can make or break us.....

Katisha Thu 23-Jul-09 20:14:43

I have signed and am in total agreement with what it says.

Ripeberry Thu 23-Jul-09 20:30:24

Danthe4th, I'm down the road from you in South Gloucestershire. It's quiet down here as well, lots of famillies are using unregistered care.
There is a childminder at the school who is not registered and she is always being asked to look after children.
A neighbour down the road looks after 4 children who are not her own, but they are over 8yrs old.
But she gets paid for it hmm.
It's amazing that in some areas of the country they can't get CMs as demand outstrips supply!

vInTaGeVioLeT Thu 23-Jul-09 23:50:41

happy mummy of one "I thought EYFS being introduced for childminders was quite good. It means that those who only do it for the money/to stay at home with their own children actually have to provide a good early years standard."


how outragious that people childmind for the money and so they can stay at home with their kids? shock

emskaboo Fri 24-Jul-09 09:02:58

I want to reinforce that this should be about choice. HMof1 I actively don't want my child to be placed under the kind of 'educational' regime used at nurseries. My ds' CM is brilliant, she proivdes a normal family environment for my child and he loves her, that's what matters to me. I've signed and fully support the petition.

thebody Fri 24-Jul-09 11:56:33

Agree with so much of the above especially Rosiegirl. I too dont feel qualified enough to judge a childs progress, obviously I know the basics but I havnt had any specific training in this area and I cant afford the time or money to progress..

I had my inspection yerserday and am starting a thread on it.

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