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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

OP posts:
DeeMid · 12/01/2008 17:39

1st time on, but have been watching this thread since it started.

If you want to try to stop the fee increase, which is still at consulation till 20 Feb 08.
Go to and log your views. I was the 437 person to do so, out of 50,000 childminders I think we need people to log their views.

looneytune · 13/01/2008 09:48

Hi Deemid - welcome Thanks for posting that, lets all try and get the numbers up eh!!

Marney · 13/01/2008 10:50

Sorry thought other chidminders would be interested to know how childminders might be being pushed out i did not break any regulaton although i was accused of doing I am definetly for real .Yes im bitter yes im lonely sorry it was my attempt to let other people know what can happen
Sorry its gone so wrong Its pretty drastic if ofsted declare you unsuitable to work with children you are even banned from working with thm in a voluntary capacity.IF YOU SAW MY HOME SET UP FOR CHILDMINDING AND READ THE REFERENCES sorry gone to capitals by mistake you wold know i love being a childminder and maybe understand idont want a different job really i loved being a childminder. I THINK THERE ARE OTHERS ON THIS WHO ARE NOT FOR REAL;

looneytune · 13/01/2008 11:24

Marney, I do feel for you, I really do and yes YOU may love being a childminder but you really have to be stable and able to care for the children no matter what. I've recently not only had the worry about loosing my baby (which thankfully is ok now) but I had my sister in a state and I told her I thought she was having ectopic pregnancy and begged her to rush to hospital and had to carry on whilst worried sick as it can be life threatening (and turned out it was!) and other family things I won't bother going into. I'm basically saying that you could be a lovely person who loves this job but you have to be fair to OFSTED on this one as they really DO have to investigate when something like this happens. What is wrong of them is to not make a decision about your suitability, if they think the kids are at risk they should decide and remove your registration straight away otherwise say you're ok.

Right, as much as I sympathise, can we PLEASE get back to what I started. Feel free to set up another thread for getting it all out if it helps you cope but I really don't want one person taking over the thread otherwise we are going off the point altogether.


nannynick · 13/01/2008 11:45

Marney - I can't CAT you, so please e-mail me if you may feel I can be of any help.

If Ofsted are saying you are unsuitable, you need to go to the Care Standards Tribunal. There they will rule if Ofsted are right, or wrong and it may reveal far more information to you about the case that Ofsted have. As far as I know you don't need a solicitor, you could defend yourself.
How to Appeal Guidance
Timing is of much importance. If Ofsted have sent you a letter which cancels your registration, you have 28 days from the date on that letter in which to appeal. Have you had that letter yet - or is Ofsted just considering the option of cancelling your registration?

looneytune · 13/01/2008 11:48

Nick - she started talking about this at the end of October so it's been a while! Scroll down, there are LOADS of posts about it! Must dash, off out

nannynick · 13/01/2008 11:58

Sorry looney - didn't read all the other posts.

So Ofsted's issue I feel is that while some of their staff are great, know a huge amount about childcare regulation, others do not. Thus it is a pit pot-luck in who you get - especially if you call them! Not sure there is a way to resolve it, as it would not be practical for every phone call to be routed to a Childcare Inspector - admin staff are going to have filter the calls, as I would expect many calls can be simply resolved, by referring to published regulations and guidance documents.

Consistency between inspectors may not be an ideal way to go either - as you want someone who will use a Common Sense approach, rather than Tick Box approach. Would you rather an inspector said that a Dinosaur with a cut off leg was suitable as showing Disabilities - rather than them insisting that you had, a child in a wheelchair.

I think they do need to publish more... the National Standards documents need updating - so that everything is contained in one publication, not several. With the introduction of EYFS they have the opportunity to update the documents - so with luck Ofsted and DfES will get together and produce new Standards and Guidance documents, in an easy to read form.

hellywobs · 15/01/2008 09:12

I'm a parent. My son goes to a husband and wife team of childminders. The wife got outstanding, the husband good. Even though they work together.

Why? Because on one day they had failed to get a parent to sign their child either in or out. Ofsted said in their report that they feared that the children would not be safe in a fire. I'd be bloody worried if I thought my childminders only knew my son was there if he'd been signed in or out! Utter nonsense in my view.

Marney · 17/01/2008 14:20

have not had any letter so still able to childmind DOCTORS said i was ok but ofsted still supposed to be making up their minds
not used to emails yet so not sure how to e mail nannynick but thanks

Marney · 21/01/2008 10:30

I have been told its official I am a suitable person and my report has been altered wont bother you again but thought it reasonable to let you know how it ended

maximummummy · 21/01/2008 12:28

oh MARNEY i'm so glad it came good in the end

MaureenMLove · 21/01/2008 12:43

Thats wonderful news Marney! Good for you.

looneytune · 14/07/2010 22:01

Bumping especially for Virus

clare458 · 15/07/2010 00:03

I have Ofsted coming out on Friday!!! My paper work is rubbish as far as observations go. Policies, accidents, emergency contacts, risk assessments are in place. The kids I look after are great but to be honest, just 5 months in and I'm already sick of paper work. I look after three 2 year olds. We take each day as it comes. They have paint, playdough, dressing up, arts and crafts, walks, chickens to look after etc Why do I need to write the learning benefits etc of each play activity?????? The parents of each child didn't even look on the Ofsted website when looking for a child minder.
I felt like I had an estate agent round on my first visit. She looked in ALL my bedrooms even though I said children would be not going upstairs. The funny thing is, is I'd piled all the dangerous stuff in my bedroom. I was so embarrassed!

ThePrisoner · 15/07/2010 18:14

Wow, this is such an old thread, but I read through it as I was a bit prolific at times.

It's a bit sad that the things I moaned about then are things I still moan about now!

looneytune · 16/07/2010 09:30

TP, yes it's sad, same here!! But do you know what made me more sad when I read through it all.........the lack of seeing TP these days, we MISS YOU, you used to crack us all up no end!!!!

ThePrisoner · 18/07/2010 13:50

I still read everything every day, but tend not to post much any more. I still get on my high horse, but I get so frustrated, and more so than I used to!

I therefore made a conscious decision about an year ago to reduce the "childminding stress" in my life - I took myself off our county committee, and also took myself off the network. Everyone was a bit shocked about it, as there is a waiting list for the network, but I was being asked to fill in more and more unnecessary paperwork, which in no way related to anything that Ofsted would be interested in.

I also haven't attended any training courses for over a year, so have no idea how any of this will impact on my inspection, but I desperately needed to claw back some time for myself and my family.

And you know what, I am totally fully-booked (and with a variation in place!)

EmMum06 · 18/07/2010 15:18

ThePrisoner: i love your attitude. as a parent who uses a cm i was not concerned about the ofsted grading, i just wanted someone that was convenient in location that my dd and i liked and would provide her with opportunities to experience things and situations that she would with us.

i did read my cm'ers inspection report and it was all abit gombledy goo to me but i don't think the inspections or reports are a true reflection of cm's or what they offer to children in their care.

i am registering as a cm and i am going to see how it goes with regards to the paperwork but if i feel that it is too much i have no problem with resigning myself to doing only the bare minimum to keep my registration if it means i get to spend more time with my family and the children in my care.

octopusNanny · 21/07/2010 17:35

See, my old and possibly new employer wants me to be registered but all i hear are bad reviews about it - only one person i know has said it is good and i know for employment reasons it is, but some of these things the inspectors say just sound ridiculous!

I have always wondered with these spot inspections - what if it is when the child is ill? what if they come round when you are havign a play date? what if you are out in the morning? and what if they are asleep? (children, not inspector or you!!)

Seems like i am registering within the next month.. now you scared me!

pesto80 · 21/07/2010 21:05

Im not a lover of Ofsted either.
Iv had all the confusion over the rising 5 rule, and can't stand the early years age group rule where the child can only move into the over 5's when they have reached the 31st of august after their 5th birthday, my ds is born in december, so will almost be 6 before he reaches the next group, where as a child who's 5th birthday is on the 30th august will be in the over 5's straight away! i really don't see the point in this rule.

Before Ofsted took over and got so high and mighty, childminders used to know their inspectors and would get the same one each time, it was very informal and pleasant, and you really felt like you could ask her anything, now i feel like if i haven't ticked all the (unnecessary) boxes and asked the right question then they are going to strip me of my badge -so to speak-.

The last inspection i had was focused solely on paperwork, the toys were not looked at, my home was not checked, but because my register wasn't as in depth as they would have liked, and my risk assessment wasn't what they wanted i had to have the recommendation on my report as urgent.

I understand we need certain paperwork and written records for our (the childminder) protection as well as the children, but it seriously has gone mad!
We cant even take the children to the park without written permission!

And don't even get me started on the EYFS!!!!!
When will Ofsted realise we are CHILDMINDERS not nursery's or school's, we don't have a lunch break or a teaching assistant or a staff room that we can go to or ask for help when we need to write out plans and activities and portfolio's with observations.
I have 6 part time children on my books at the minute, thats 6 portfolio's to keep on top of plus the -by law- paperwork for each child.
We just don't have the time or support to do these things, personally after i have worked 8-10 hours each day then cooked for myself and ds put him to bed tidied up etc, i then don't want to be -or have the energy to- get out a load of paperwork, i do love Ofsted's solution to this though "why don't you do the portfolio's with the children" sure they can write the observation, and i'll stick the pictures in!!!!!

If Ofsted rang me tomorrow and asked what each of my minded children was capable of doing and what stage of development they were at, i could answer straight away, like i said we are not school's or nursery's who have up to 30 children per class to plan for and observe, i know what my children can do, i am with them from the moment they walk (or are carried) through my door until they leave.
Some children stay for a few months and some for a few years, either way, they get my full attention and they get the opportunity to learn and grow, wether i wright it down or not.
And as was stated before, would you rather your child went to a childminder who played and took care of your children or one who was to busy righting it all down to keep Ofsted happy!

Ok thats me done, ironically i now need to go and update my 24 policies!!!

I hope this thread is passed on to Ofsted, there are a lot of unhappy childminders out there who feel Ofsted are to big and things can't be changed, me included.

pesto80 · 21/07/2010 21:07

Oh just seen the date the original message was posted, ha ha im prob to late, but it felt good to have a moan, so thanks.

Ripeberry · 22/07/2010 11:00

I got an Outstanding and although very happy about it I did not like the report as some things seemed to be 'made up'
Such as "The children washed their hands and played nicely together".
I only have one full time mindee, there are no other children.

When I queried this, the inspector said that they had to 'invent' other children so that the child in question could not be identified

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