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CM club - trying to hold it together so the mindee doesn't think I've lost my mind (p'raps a manly pat?).....

(14 Posts)
Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 14:32:27

I'm so upset (thankfully mindee is asleep and I'm deep breathing to hold the tears), just had Ofsted lady round to talk about my two under ones variation request.

She said no. She will talk to her manager but still thinks it'll be a no sadsadsad

I take full responsibility for one thing - I stupidly haven't kept records for three years. I had a huge clear out as the paper work piles were getting ridiculous (and I live in a small flat), only kept this year (the fool that I am)

But the main thing she was stressing about is my stair case outside my house to get to my front door. There is a flight of 13 concrete steps leading up to my front door. I have a safety gate inside my front door so, when I'm loading the buggy (one child at a time) no one can fall down the stairs Ofted lady said "ah but that means there will always be one or two children left in the flat on their own" I know this is a fair point but it's perfectly do-able and no parents have any problem with it.
They are on their own for the few seconds it takes me to grab one child, close the gate, go downstairs, secure him/her in buggy and run back upstairs again. They are completely away from danger and I can see them the whole time. In fact, it takes me longer to go to the loo on my own than it does for me to load the buggy!

I said, if I could afford to I would live on the ground floor or I would install some kind of lift! It's not my fault I live up a flight of stairs (I didn't say that last sentence btw)

I've got so much experience with children, I know how capable I am.

I've got three sets of parents after my vacancy in Jan but their children are all under one. I desperately need to fill the vacancy and it would be so nice for my little boy (under one) to have a playmate of the same age.

She said, when DS turns one in March, then I'd be allowed. It's no good as the parents all need care from Jan.

I can't believe it, I was so sure they'd allow me. I didn't even think of the stairs being a problem as it never has been before sad
There's me thinking I'd have to choose which child to take on, now I can't have any.

I suppose it'll teach me to be so smug.

The parents and children are all so lovely, I wish I could choose one of them.

She said, they normally only allow two under ones for continuity of care eg, siblings.
I have a CM friend who was allowed which made me assume I would be too.

Sorry for the rant, It's helping a little.
Please be gentle - I know what some MNers can be like and I know it's a safety issue - I'm just feeling a little fragile sad

FABIsInTraining Wed 14-Oct-09 14:39:58

I don't think you were being smug.

I would call the parents asap and say it might be a no.

Sorry for you.

Could you use a sling so a child isn't on their own? Carry one and walk the other?

Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 14:44:30

I think I was a bit smug, I was telling everyone "oh I can't see it being a problem at all" hmm

I've told one parent it's a no, she was really sorry as she really wanted me to look after her little girl - saying "oh I won't go back to work till March" (in a jokey way)

Better go and wake up mindee so I can fetch my DS1 from school....

Thank you for being understanding btw smile

Actually, it's making water come out of my eyes.....(stop!) can you be mean instead? grin

looneytune Wed 14-Oct-09 14:51:13

I've posted on your other thread, please read it! <hugs>

FABIsInTraining Wed 14-Oct-09 16:26:32

I don't do mean.

(unless it really warrants it!!)

Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 17:40:48

Thanks guys smile

Looney - Thank you, I've read it (I managed to post two threads as the page kept saying "not responding" so I got a bit trigger happy smile

I will see if I can appeal, how do I go about doing that? What if I get the new prospective parent to write a letter to Ofsted demanding I look after their child? Can they do that? Surely, ultimately, it's the parent's decision? (probably not hmm)

squirrel42 Wed 14-Oct-09 18:08:39

You can write to Ofsted and ask them to reconsider their decision/complain (not too sure whether there's an informal "appeal process" against a decision not to increase your numbers before you get into the standard general "complaint" process).

Ultimately it's down to the parent whether they let you care for their child, yes. But also it's ultimately down to Ofsted how many children you can legally have in your care at once. Otherwise what's there to stop people saying "oh I think I can cope fine with a baker's dozen of under five year olds" and carrying on regardless? If you're over numbers that is a breach of conditions and an offence, even if Ofsted don't usually prosecute anyone before they've had several warnings.

The standard restriction to one baby at a time might be arbitrary but they had to draw the line somewhere. Sorry I realise that's probably not what you wanted to hear though!

Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 18:11:34

But I won't have more children than I'm allowed, just that two in within my number would be under one - and only for about 6 weeks!

atworknotworking Wed 14-Oct-09 18:19:10

How many of those weeks will you actually be working FB are any over xmas? Maybe if they are you could write that it will only be for x weeks and draw up a plan for how you will manage the steps in light of the inspectors comments, the sling thing sounds like a good idea. After all if you have two little ones upstairs you would still have to negotiate a way down if it was in your home. Sounds a bit unfair feel sad for you.

xoxcherylxox Wed 14-Oct-09 18:21:37

i would appeal it for the sake of 6 weeks losing out on gettin the child do a risk assessment of how you would cope. i had to do this when i increased my numbers when i took on my assisstant. i also got a varition when my daughter was 10months nearly 11 the other child was also 10 months nearly 11 i got it for the 2 months but they told me i could only have 2 after schoolers instead of 3 which was fine as i only had 2 and hadnt had ann enquiries

Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 18:41:05

going on honeymoon for 10 days during those weeks, now you mention it! So less than 6 weeks

Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 18:43:45

I'll wait until I've had a confirmed "no" then appeal it, I hope it doesn't take long, I really don't want to lose these children and end up with no one to fill the space

squirrel42 Wed 14-Oct-09 18:43:53

Your conditions are worded may care for X number of children in total and then specify the maximum ages within that number. So the age requirements are still part of your conditions, and having two under one without the variation would still be a breach even if you were within your "total" numbers.

Fruitbatlings Wed 14-Oct-09 20:03:47

Oh I know, I would never try to breach my contract, not worth the insurance risk.
I just don't get it, why would it make any difference (going up and down the stairs) having the same number of children but just having one younger?
I'm just totally thrown as I was so sure they would allow me. I couldn't see any reason for not allowing it. Especially as a friend of mine was allowed to have two under ones which had nothing to do with continuity of care.

I'm just shocked. I really had to fight back the tears when the inspector was here. Why did she bother coming at all? She's been before as she inspected me last time and remembers it well. She sat me through a load of questions then refused me! Saying she's always been a bit weary of my staircase.

Maybe it's just down to luck, some inspectors aren't as fussy as others perhaps?

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