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CHILDMINDERS & PARENTS - step this way.......opinions needed on OFSTED and their paperwork and inconsistancies!!

322 replies

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 19/10/2007 22:36

A lot of us on here have moaned away about OFSTED and how they are getting worse and worse. Good childminders all over the country are quitting because they've had enough of the endless paperwork, training etc etc.

I want to get as many opinions as possible and send this thread to OFSTED as I feel very strongly about all this (yeah, yeah, probably hormones but still, felt like this before!)

So.....if you're a childminder....tell me what you think - I know a lot have said but please put on this thread.

Parents - what's more important to you....that we care for your little ones in a home environment, show them love and attention, play with them, take them out in the community etc etc or that we make sure you sign the attendance register, put posters all round the house, have 'wash your hands' signs in the toilet and 'no smoking' signs on all walls of the house, spend time writing endless observations as we go through the day etc etc.

I could have put it a lot better than that but I'm really tired, my eyes are getting blurred! I was going to wait until I was fresh tomorrow but I thought I'd strike whilst I feel so strongly!

ALSO....CHILDMINDERS.....what do you think of the INSPECTORS/INSPECTIONS? Fed up with them all saying different things and making you not know where on earth you stand? Fed up with some inspectors saying they'll never give out an 'Outstanding' grade just because that's them? Fed up with phoning up and being told one thing just to get into trouble for that info not being correct?

Give me all your thoughts as I really do want to send this to OFSTED but we need LOTS of you to come forward!!

Thanks, I'm off for my dinner now

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Megsdaughter · 19/10/2007 22:50

Can I start! might not finish tho!

I live on a Army estate we all live in exactly the same houses, with the same garden fens and gates.

3 CM's in the same street.

CM1 told she must extend her gate as it wasnt high enough.

CM2 was told to put lock on the other side from where children could reach.

CM3 told it was fine.

The Inspector was the same one to each CM.

That is my first contribution.

By tomorrow I will have remembered some more!

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 19/10/2007 22:52

Perfect example to start with - this is the sort of thing I hear all the time,, we're all fed up!!

I know it's late but if people can think about it and post when they are ready, that would be very much appreciated.


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Megsdaughter · 19/10/2007 22:54

Oh being told by Inspector that she understood that my setting was a home and not a nursery, so wouldnt write down that the children didnt have free painting out all the time, especially as they had access to drawing and chalking materials.

And then put it on my report as a action !!!!

Megsdaughter · 19/10/2007 22:58

or the one that said the children should have free access to all toys at anytime.

Why wasn't the lego within reach when a4 year old asked for it?

well would that be the fact that I also had a 8 month and 13 month as well, and the older children went in the living room with the Lego which meant that I carried it in for them so that the babies didnt swallow it?

Put on Action, that children didnt have free access to age appropriate toys

Told you not to start me!

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 19/10/2007 23:01

Oh FFS!!! What next!??!!!

At my inspection I had a nearly 3 year old who said to me 'I want that' really bluntly....I'd worked very hard on manners and she understood how to ask nicely and therefore I said to her 'oh, remember your manners sweety' and she said 'please may I have that' and I said 'oh, that's much better, thanks for asking nicely' and guess the end of the inspection the inspector showed me how I should have majorily praised her and done a little happy dance for asking so nicely. Right....not being funny.....this little girl had been asking nicely for a long time and always got praised but is it really necessary to go over the top EVERY SINGLE TIME she uses the nice manners??? If I was like that in public people would probably think there's something seriously wrong with me!!

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bloodsuckingLOONEY · 19/10/2007 23:04

OMG at the lego - bloomin heck, this inspector surely can't have ever have had kids herself surely!!! A child could *DIE8 if they choked on something like that - I'm outraged!!!

[Looney's going to bed in a minute and somehow I don't think she'll sleep.....think she'll be thinking of all the negative things she's heard about OFSTED from other people......oh.....I may not sleep for the rest of the year! ] more thing I'd like to say. I've heard of childminders who are FANTASTIC and being very business like on paper but are TERRIBLE when it comes to actually looking after the children - what's more important I ask you!!!!!

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tobysmumkent · 20/10/2007 00:07

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tobysmumkent · 20/10/2007 00:08

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StrawberryMartini · 20/10/2007 07:18

Gosh you lot are starting to worry me. Only had my first pre-minding inspection and that was fine - she was really laid back. Will be having one in a few months.. so will begin my panic now.

Megsdaughter · 20/10/2007 07:32

Or when you phone Ofsted, because you have a 4 year old who does 10 sessions at Nursery so counts as a 5 year old for numbers, who is starting school, but will be going only mornings for the first term.

So you ask them does she still count as a 5 year old or does she go back to being a 4 year old?

They cant answer you because according to the woman on the phone e have never been asked that question!!!!!!

Then told well they have to be in 10 sessions, so when you then say to them,

So she is 4 has counted as 5 for the last 6 months and now you are telling me she will be back to being 4 for 3 months so that I will be over my number, how is that possible! She is surely 4 or she is 5 till she goes to school full time!

I got a variation!

But when I sent in for the variation, got a letter asking why I had asked for the variation as she counts as 5, I then had to point out again that she would go back to being 4 for 3 months!!!!!!

Sorry are you still with me!

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 07:37

tobysmumkent - I remember reading that originally and so for you. How DARE they treat you like that!!! For goodness sake, you could borrow a few toys/books etc. for a week when you knew the inspection was coming and then never had them again for a long time yet you have a REAL LIFE child with SN and they behave like this. Truly discraceful in my opinion and exactly the stupid thing I hear all the time - you need to 'tick all the right boxes' with OFSTED and it's not about how good you are with the children - terrible!!!

Strawbs - I'm afraid the real inspection is very different to the pre-registering inspection. Don't get me wrong, not all inspectors are so crazy as some mentioned but guess what......I got a GOOD with 2 parts being OUTSTANDING and do you know what I did when the inspector left.....burst into tears!!!! (no I wasn't you know what at the time). She made me feel that small. I dread my next inspection yet I know I'm a good childminder.

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bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 07:38

MegsD - the stupidity of it all is actually starting to crack me up!!! I can't wait to send this to OFSTED

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Megsdaughter · 20/10/2007 07:39

I seem to be writing a lot

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 07:41

MEGSD - as you've been childminding for something like 28 years, can you let us know if it was better before OFSTED took over?

Oh.....Where is TP????

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Megsdaughter · 20/10/2007 07:59

Looney, before Ofsted I was inspected by a Under 8's Officer, she was brilliant, she was 'your under 8s' she knew you well, knew you setting, was always there if you needed her, and came as often as she felt was needed, came without announcing so those that 'talk a good Ofsted' would have been caught out.

She saw us in all our mess, and came to local Mums and Tots, community rooms, soft play ect. so saw us all there as well.

yes we had to keep records, sensible ones, accident book, who we had, contact details sort of thing. But not all the rigmarole we have to do now.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 08:11

MegsD - why on earth did they change it??? Oh, and I LOVE your comment about 'doing a good OFSTED'. Yeah.....I'm always shouting and smacking the kids and gafa taping them so I don't get a headache - but of course when I know OFSTED are coming, I'm the BEST childminder in the WORLD!!!

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Megsdaughter · 20/10/2007 08:26

I knew one CM, who got one of the 1st Outstanding s in the area.

When she knew ofsted was coming out came the boxes of artwork, obs, photos etc, that she kept just for Ofsted.

Same with toys and such.

I would not have let my dog go to hers. The children were expected to sit silently watching TV, cos she couldnt stand mess!!!

She bragged one day at the school that she had spent 5 hours cleaning her cooker till it was like new, While she had the kids there!!

I asked her where the kids where, and she said she had left them in there cots!

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 08:32

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bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 08:34

I'm off back to sleep now but can you make sure I come back and rant about MOVING HOUSE and the inconsistancies there please!!! Oh....I'll be having a field day!!

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tobysmumkent · 20/10/2007 08:51

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saltire · 20/10/2007 09:28

My neighbour - who only CM's for after school children was told that she needed to put all teh make-up, perfume etc on her bedroom table into a locked cupboard, she had to put all the jewellery into teh same cupboard. This was so a child couldn't reach it, even though the children didn't go upstairs and she ahd stairgates at top and bottom of stairs, and on all bedroom doors!
They make the Care Commission seem sensible

ayla99 · 20/10/2007 09:45

I haven't had a problem with my own inspection but I do have some thoughts/questions for Ofsted

  • do they EVER do spot/random checks on childminders? As we clearly have a good idea when they're coming due to their need to check our routine to ensure they don't call when we're out. If they had to do a spot check for, I dunno maybe every 10 standard inspections, for example. When they visit one childminder it doesn't take the whole day, they could try a few doors of other childminders in the area. They will waste a bit of time when they call on people who are out but chances are someone would be in. The spot check should be quite short to compensate for the probability of finding childminders out, perhaps just 20 mins or so to tick a few boxes on a sheet, how many children present, are they all safe, suitable activities etc.
  • can't all inspection reports go through a manager/checking system to ensure consistency in grading? Eg one childminder getting an inadequate because they had no current first aid certificate whereas another without current first aid gets a satisfactory grade
  • do the staff who answer the phones get any training? Ofsted themselves told me not to rely on anything I'm told on the phone - always get them to confirm in writing. Surely they ought to have staff who have sufficient training to give correct up-to-date information.
  • do ofsted employ enough inspectors? Has there been a surge in childminders since ofsted took over? Because we all used to get an annual inspection and now many of us wait 3 years (or MORE in some cases, I'm told!). I've been told this is so that they can give more time to new childminders and those that didn't do so well at last inspection. Doesn't it also free up enough time for a few random inspections?

    Just to keep the balance I'd like to comment that every inspector who has visited me has been pleasant and full of common sense. Now I've put that down I'll probably get a right ogre next time!
bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 12:26

Thanks to everyone so far.

We really need some PARENTS views don't we.

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hennipenni · 20/10/2007 13:51

Have put a link in the chat topic.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 14:02

Thanks henni

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