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Why is there a need to 'professionalise' childminding??

35 replies

Twiglett · 06/09/2006 16:33

Just wondering really

When I was looking for a childminder I wanted a warm, loving, confident and full of common sense childminder

I actually was a registered childminder for a while and hated the bureaucracy that comes with pathetically wimpy ofsted people and the whole rigmarole

The people I childminded for were happy I took their children .. we met and agreed that our belief systems were similar and everything was fine

I've considered returning to childminding but honestly can't be faffed with all the ofsted malarkey

Is it just me ... the ICP course was pointless (IMO) the house inspection was daft ...

I'm sure if you want to be seen as a 'professional' its great .. but personally I never really wanted to be seen as a 'professional' I wanted to be seen as someone who loved and was good with children and could look after them lovingly and competently like a friend would

just wittering I suppose

OP posts:

zoeuk1 · 06/09/2006 18:10

i agree with you. i want the kids to love coming to me. i dont want to have a heavily structured day. i want the children to feel at home when they are here with me.


zoeuk1 · 06/09/2006 18:11

sorry, im sure the children i mind do feel at home here!!, but i agree with you too twiglett


LoveMyGirls · 06/09/2006 19:49

i agree too. esp as i have ofsted coming soon and it just terrifies me - even though im doing everything right otoh i suppose its good they check because i might not being doing something i should but i've not known about it or something? and its good we get checked because i bet there are some people who dont do things properly.


smeeinit · 06/09/2006 20:22

im in agreement. i think having checks and certain training is absolutly vital. but it has gone too far imo.
common sense and parenthood counts for alot and no matter how many training certificates or quality standard awards you have it doesnt make you a good childcarer!!
i dont know about other cms but i personally feel preasured into doing training that i dont see neccesary just to keep ofsted happy.


fistfullofnappies · 06/09/2006 21:05

Well, parents do want to be 100% sure that all is safe, even stuff that isnt obvious, like covering water butts.
Im in 2 minds about it. On the one hand, childminders will be more respected if they arent seen as just mums making a bit of pin money. On the other hand, one of the best nursery nurses my dd ever had, had no certificates at all, her only qualification was her fantastic personality and experience with her own children.


Twiglett · 06/09/2006 21:13

trust me the ofsted inspection is just bollocks ... if you have small children then you have allowed for most issues

if you are an honest and caring person who wants to do this to make ends meet

if you are a manipulative sod and only want the money you could swing the ofsted inspection / course rubbish with a minimum of effort

but that's not the point really

again just witteing

OP posts:

Twiglett · 06/09/2006 21:15

I'm a graduate and I was made to go on a 4 day course and tbh they seemed interested in teaching me how to write a few page essay and ensure that I put sources on the bottom .. honestly .. I am not kidding .. although there was a useful first aid course

OP posts:

ThePrisoner · 06/09/2006 21:57

I also think that our Ofsted inspections are not what they ought to be.

When Social Services did our inspections, they used a tick chart to ensure that you had socket covers, stair gates, safety film (and covers on your water butts, I am sure!!) Ofsted only ask you what you do or have done to ensure that your house is safe. If you don't mention something, then they don't know about it!

They are hot on written information to prove that you work well - lots of policies (which prove nothing - I ask you, why do we need a Lost Child Policy ... "don't worry, I am a good childminder but just in case I lose your child, here's a copy of my policy to tell you how I will deal with the situation"), signed permission forms from parents covering everything you can think of, and huge slaps on the wrist if you do dangerous things like allowing children to eat blackberries straight from the bush without washing them or share towels when drying hands. I know all the reasons for all of it, but it sometimes smacks of Big Brother Gone Mad.

Someone I know got into big trouble when a child helped themselves (without asking) to some unwashed fruit during her inspection. It's even written in her inspection report.

Parents want their children to have cuddles and attention, not a 53 page essay on How Good I Am.


Twiglett · 06/09/2006 22:00

it is exactly that kind of bollocks that makes me say no every time people ask me if I'd consider minding their children for them ..

happens a lot once people know I used to do it ..

I'm still tempted by the money though

OP posts:

ThePrisoner · 06/09/2006 22:11

I'm going to write a Cuddles and Attention Policy, and will ensure that each child is allocated the same amount of time on my lap.


smeeinit · 06/09/2006 22:43

at the risk of sounding a bit rude(thats not the intention i promise!)
i have to say it would take a real shit cm to think that covering a water butt isnt obvious!!


ThePrisoner · 06/09/2006 22:53

smeeinit - I get a bit sarcastic when it comes to discussing Ofsted, sorry!!

What I meant to say is that if I chose not to tell Ofsted that I had something potentially dangerous (a secondhand car seat bought from a shifty-looking-geezer from a car boot sale, for instance), then they just wouldn't know. Social Services dutifully asked every year - "have you replaced any car seats/where did you get them from?" I would have had to tell a blatant lie to avoid mentioning the car boot purchase, whereas you just wouldn't say anything to Ofsted because they don't necessarily ask a direct question.

Can I please say that this is not the way I conduct my business - I don't know any dodgy chaps doing car boot sales, I just can't think of any examples!!!

Parents are assured that we have safety checks, but do they know that this relies on us to be honest (and I do know some shifty-looking childminders!!!)


Twiglett · 07/09/2006 08:32


its the same kind of governmental bollocks

we're supporting childcare for all ... aka .. lets instill useless bureaucracy, form filling and layers of sychophantic proles who are trained to fill in said forms

we're offering choice in education ... aka .. lets make it more difficult to get into your 'local' school and freak children out with the pressure

we're improving standards in education... aka ... lets put in layers of tests so teachers are encouraged to only teach how to pass tests


OP posts:

smeeinit · 07/09/2006 09:49

the prisoner, my "could come across as bit rude" comment wasnt aimed at you,
"Well, parents do want to be 100% sure that all is safe, even stuff that isnt obvious, like covering water butts"
i have to say i wasnt a cm when ss done the checks but my sis was and it seems alot less hassle then and alot less crap to do 2 keep ofsted happy.
ffs ive worked in nurserys where the level of care is pityfull and on many occasion was left on my own in a room with 14 under ones! ofsted need to put more effort in2 spot checking nurserys than making sure cms have enough paperwork to get them a decent ofsted inspection report!!
i was inspected late last year and got a good, the inspector told me that had i done more birth to 3 planning i would have got a outstanding, wot a load of bollox!


moondog · 07/09/2006 09:52

I agree.
My dd has just started with an after school chilminder (lovely girl,has been in the children's nursery for years)
The paperwork is staggering
She also has to fill in a diary for dd every day.
To me,the longer she spends doing paperwork,the less time she spends with the children.

I don't nned a book.I ask her what she has done and eaten when I see her.


zoeuk1 · 07/09/2006 10:37

im so glad im not the only one who thinks like this! the first aid course is vital. ive been encouraged to do the food hygiene course. i think its all common sense, surely. anybody knows that you dont use a knife to cut raw chicken and then use te same knife to cut the veg! i want to be at home, looking after the children, enjoying them and enjoying my job. i know im a good childminder, but i get stressed worrying about having to convinced the ofsted inspector that im doing everything they require!


Bozza · 07/09/2006 10:56

My CM had her ofsted. The inspector turned up on a day when she didn't even have any children! What is the point of that? She was asked about having a sword in her toys but pointed out that they were encouraged to allow the children to choose new toys and the child in question has an interest in knights/castles/Ivanhoe etc and had chosen it in Toys R Us. Was DS btw.

She was also reprimanded for not having her ofsted certificate on display. It is now blu-tacked to the door of the playroom. She used to keep it in a folder which she showed to new parents at the initial meeting but that wasn't good enough.


smeeinit · 07/09/2006 11:05

zoe,i totally agree, certain courses are vital but some are just ridiculous arent they?!!!
and now we have to show taht we are working from birth to 3 framework! ffs if i done all that ofsted wanted me 2 id have no time with the children i mind! if id wanted to do alll that id have opened a bloody nursery!
i think alot of cms feel the same way.


smeeinit · 07/09/2006 11:06

that said...ive worked in several nurseries in the past and not one of them was up to date with paperwork etc till they knew ofsted were coming!!


Twiglett · 07/09/2006 14:03

PMSL .. just said your name out loud .. very good

OP posts:

southeastastra · 07/09/2006 14:08

it's all people that work with children, we have ofstead come to our playschemes too. there are so many rules and regs now. we spend far too much time on paperwork etc. it's so annoying


smeeinit · 07/09/2006 16:05


Isyhan · 08/09/2006 09:39

I know this is going to wind people up but..Im now a childminder but before that I didnt consider looking for a childminder for my oldest girl because I thought all childminders were were young girls who plonked your child in front of the TV all day. If professionalising the job does anything it may help to stop that misconception. We had this discussion in nursing years ago but you may be quite glad one day when it is a profession and the government are trying to stuff you that you are part of a profession and you have a professional voice. It helped nursing because we would have been completely shafted by the Torries in the 80s otherwise. Sorry to rant!!


Twiglett · 08/09/2006 09:43

rant away .. no discussion without opposing views

OP posts:

looneytune · 08/09/2006 11:09

I agree about there being too much paperwork. Parents get annoyed about it all and what gets me the most is that people can make themselves look Outstanding yet be really bad carers (not saying that is the case as most I know are great, it's just the odd one or two).

One of my outstandings at my first inspection was because I had x paperwork. This doesn't make me an outstanding childminder (btw, my overall grade was good, not outstanding but that's pretty much because a) I used to change the towels every 2 days instead of every day and b) I didn't jump up and down and do a little praise dance because someone said 'please'!!)

Some parents I know are actually being put off childminders because it's become too OTT and all they wanted was a home from home for their lo.

That's my view on the subject Off now to pick kiddy winkles up from nursery

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