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Childminders .. what do you honestly think of OFSTED

21 replies

Twiglett · 09/05/2007 12:33

Because it seems a lot of bureaucratic stuff and nonsense to me.

When I did childmind .. a few years back .. my OFSTED inspection consisted of woman (who had the personality of an amoeaba) eating cake, drinking coffee and looking at some of my wooden ornaments and saying "I don't think I'll have to ask you about race equality"

It seems to have got more pointless, intrusive and paper-based since then and I was just wondering what you actually thought of it

OP posts:

KaySamuels · 09/05/2007 12:35

I consider them a necessary evil!
Just wish all inspectors were reading from the same page and it could be titled Common Sense!


Booh · 09/05/2007 13:02

I wish that you could call them and get one correct answer!

And I wish they would get things right the first time - my certificate is still no right after 7 attempts!


Shoshable · 09/05/2007 13:05

it was a lot better when we were under the umbrella of teh under 8's Officer, she would come in when she wanted, she would always answer questions, she knew you well and we were inspected yearly, not like now 3 yearly and everybody knows how easy it would be to fool the inspector, I have seen some of the wost CMs I know come away with a high resualt because they put on a 'show ' the day of the inspection.

And yes would be so much better if the all read from teh same page.


ThePrisoner · 09/05/2007 23:19

Ofsted? I absolutely love them! What's not to like??


SueBrom · 10/05/2007 00:15

Two things. 1. I am moving and was told that it would take 6-8 weeks to get the paperwork through. They needed to see the (empty) house, send 14 day variation letter, give chance for paperwork to be processed and then send new certificate. If that came midweek I have to move overnight instal safety equipment overnight as I have to be sleeping at the address on the certificate and the new cert overrides the old one and makes it invalid.
2. I was told by Ofsted on my inspection that I got good instead of outstanding because I had no nutrition posters in my kitchen and 'wash your hands' posters in the bathroom. The kids I look after are 6 months old, 1 and 2. It is my house not a nursery I live in. People bring their kids to me because I provide a home environment. If they wanted a nursery setting they would take them to a nursery. I think it's all getting too much. As long as the kids are well looked after and we do the same things with them as the parents would it should be enough. The birth to three is now being changed to incorporate the foundation stage. How many parents do that with their kids??


UCM · 10/05/2007 00:50

Can I interfere and say that my Childminder was recently inspected by Ofsted and fell down on one thing. She didn't have black dolls and nothing very ethnic. I was staggered. She minds and has done for the last 4 years 2 Asian children, 1 chinese child, 1 black child and 3 white children.

I definitely agree that it's all paperwork especially as to appease them, she filled a scrapbook with pics of old people, people with disabilities, 'Benetton Children' and every thing else you can think of. Lovely scrapbook, none of the children are interested in it. It even had a pic of elton & his bloke in it....what a load of rubbish. But hey, Ofsted are now happy.


nannynick · 10/05/2007 07:16

I feel that Ofsted should publish all their rules... as if they are to inspect based on those rules, it is rather unfair if they don't tell people what the rules are!
Maybe the new Prime Minster will take some action over getting Government departments to be more open.


AskABusyPerson · 10/05/2007 10:26

I agree that Ofsted inspectors need to be all 'singing from the same hymn sheet' and be more accomodating to childminders who yes, do work in their own homes but don't want it looking like a nursery.

I operate an ad-hoc, flexible service and have several children that I mind here and there, although do have one 2-3 days a week mindee (2yo) most weeks.

Sometimes when I say to parents we've done a Deaf Awareness Theme this week, or a Children Around The World theme, they look at me like 'Huh?'!! I feel that they just want their child cared for as if they were at home with them, i.e. warm, fed, loved, read books to, played with toys with and taken to park/farm/toy shop occasionally.
Some of the stuff I do I mentally class as being for 'my Ofsted folder'.....

And like UCM's childminder, I have various books/pictures etc about ethnic children, special needs etc which none of the children I mind or have minded in the past have been interested in. They prefer We're Going on a Bear Hunt for the 18th time!


looneytune · 10/05/2007 12:05


  1. would like same answer each time so I know where I stand

  2. They stressed the hell out of me when I was moving house - I can't be bothered to go into it but after nannynick found something on THEIR website for me I wrote to them again copying and pasting it and sent a risk assessment. To cut long story short, I got it from 'you'll be inspected within 3 months but have to stay closed' to 'yeah, no probs, here's your cert and we'll inspect you when next due!!' WTF?!!!!!

  3. Why can nurseries just get parents to sign form saying they can give medication whenever but need to phone parents to check first? (we have to get a form signed at drop off - what about teething babies etc, you'd have to get parents to sign EVERY morning JUST IN CASE they need medicine!!! )

  4. It's all paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, posters, posters, posters

    I could go on but you get my drift.........don't think much of them at all!!

tobysmumkent · 10/05/2007 12:28

Message withdrawn


UCM · 10/05/2007 13:02

Truly bonkers. This type of red tape isn't protecting children from dodgy childminders.

If my CM ever decided that it was all too much, I can honestly say that I would offer to pay her cash and be done with it rather than go to another who has fufilled every bit of bonkerism


Shoshable · 10/05/2007 13:22

TP Please tell me you were being sarcastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


tobysmumkent · 10/05/2007 13:26

Message withdrawn


ThePrisoner · 10/05/2007 21:18

Shoshable - me? Sarcastic? About Ofsted? How could you think such a thing!!

I just love their inconsistencies, their inability to answer a straight question, their ridiculous demands ... I love having 18 individual hand towels to wash each week, I love giving parents endless bits of paper to sign asking for permission for yet another stupid thing, I love worrying about whether or not I should/shouldn't have plasters in my first-aid box, I love the sheer panic of having too many mindees for 5 minutes because one of the parents is late collecting, I love having to register my home as a food premises, I love dictating to parents that they should only provide healthy food otherwise I'll get a slap from Ofsted, I love looking at my watch the minute children arrive so that I can record the exact minute I was/was not responsible for them, and I love spending my evenings and weekends doing paperwork and courses.

And I love having to think of the way of phrasing sentences and taking photos to put in a huge portfolio, and trying to link it all up with their Standards, Birth to Three, Foundation stage or the Nobel Peace Prize just so that I can prove to Ofsted that I'm probably OK to look after children.

(But they're lovely really because they let me have four under 5s for no good reason at all!)


cat64 · 10/05/2007 21:40

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

AskABusyPerson · 10/05/2007 23:33

at tobysmumkent being criticised for not having disabled dolls yet having a disabled ds....ridiculous and unfair.
I had no ethnic or disabled dolls (bar a Little People person in a wheelchair which I don't think the inspector saw) but had books on subjects like that and inspector said that was fine.

I know a couple of childminders who have said they will give up being a cm with the EYFS coming in...more paperwork, more time spent at weekends and evenings planning and doing paperwork, more time taken away from actually playing and interacting with mindees...I feel guilty enough when I sit down for 5 mins to update my mindees diary after lunch and then again just before she goes, despite mindees happiness at me doing it - she demands I 'do me diary' while she looks at books!


AskABusyPerson · 10/05/2007 23:35

Great post ThePrisioner, just the right level of sarcasm - praps you should send it to Ofsted and see what they say


eachpeachnallyplum · 10/05/2007 23:43

NCMA legal team requested some info from Ofsted a couple of weeks ago with regards to a dispute i am having with a parent of an ex-mindee. A letter then arrived saying that they would provide a response by 31 May what on earth is that about? They could type a letter and post it, but were unable, in that letter, to give them the info... maybe i am daft. i know they are busy, but it seems a long time to wait.


ThePrisoner · 11/05/2007 22:18

I'm not rocking any apple carts with Ofsted ... my inspection is due at the end of the year!!


looneytune · 12/05/2007 11:28

Can't they get anything right??!! I recently got approval to have 4 under 5's again and I must say they were VERY good (well, the person who was helping was). I emailed my letter in on the Friday and had a decision by Tuesday. But my envelope arrived yesterday with a standard letter where a paragraph should have been removed (it said as I HAD waived my right to appeal, cert was enclosed and also as I HAD NOT waived my right, I would have to wait 28 days!!) plus no certificate enclosed. I laughed and thought to myself 'can't they get ANYTHING right first time'. Luckily I phoned my chap up at around 3pm and he personally reproduced it and sent it out. It arrived this morning so that's good. I just wish they didn't always make these silly mistakes!!


Mum2Luke · 17/05/2007 23:26

I don't think OFSTED (or the Government) have the slightest idea what parents want!

We are expected to: write observations, assessments, daily diaries, plan activities.... the list goes on.

Some parents just want you to look after their child in a homely atmosphere, thats why they chose a cm in the first place. If they want a nursery (and I'm not knocking them, they are good for different work patterns).

I attend many courses in my own time and not paid, having been up since 6.30am and worked till 5.30, then got the tea for my own family then rushed to a course, I am tired and wonder if its all worth it. This EYFS coming in 2008 will deter alot from wanting to start and some very good childminders may leave.

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