I went to see a cm yesterday to meet her and discuss her providing before and after school care for my 4 year old daughter. I was so relieved to find someone who can help me after trying 27 other childminders in our town. It was all going really well until she told me that, because dd is under 5, I will also have to pay her for the time dd is in school because she would then be unable to fill the space with a full time under 5. I said that I thought the rule was that if they were at school then they were considered over 5 (my mum was a cm for 25 years). But she said that she has been advised to do this. I had a look on the NCMA web site which agrees with what I said. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Is it at the discretion of the cm?
OK, if your daughter is under 5 BUT attending 10 sessions (full-time)of school per week, she is a rising 5, so will not affect her under 5 ratio, so therefore should have no reason to charge any additional fees. If she was is in the process of starting school,ie only attending a percentage of the 10 sessions, then the childminder could request a variation from Ofsted or charge you an additional fee whilst she took the under 5 space. I was at a meeting with Ofsted recently and this was confirmed. They did say the childminder should let Ofsted know that they have a rising 5 on their books and this would be recorded on the childminders registration certificate, however they also said that they will let childminders know this when they inspected them.
footychick why do we have to inform Ofsted if we have rising 5's?
katalex most cm's don't charge when a child goes to school full time, usually just for the time they are with the minder, however CM's can state their own terms and has nothing to do with NCMA or Ofsted they do not have any regulations over business arrangements only quality of care.
If your DD is in the rising 5's catagory, cm can count her as an over 5 for the purposes of ratios / registration.
katalex My understanding of this from the meeting I had with Ofsted is that they are going to tell all childminders who mind rising 5's that they are going to impose a variation on their registration, and actually state that they have a rising 5. This will take away the 'holiday' issue. They do not want to cause panic and will inform childminders during their inspections.
sofew - I know what you mean. I would be very unhappy about having to pay full time fees but, sadly it's either that or I have to give up work and I won't be able to find another full time job when/if I'm made redundant in December.
Any ideas how I can tell her without causing offence i.e. implying that I didn't believe her?
Hi Dan. It seemed to go ok. I told her that it had been confirmed that Katelyn would not be counted as one of her under 5s. She said that she had been told different and was once told off for having too many under 5s, one of which was a 4 year old at school. I asked her if she would be able to look into it and get back to me. She agreed but she hasn't called back yet. I'll let you know what she says when she calls.