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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:
Katisha · 20/10/2007 18:38

It's bonkers - I hope you do send this thread to Ofsted. And to your local MP maybe?

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 18:39

I'm DEFINITELY sending to OFSTED and must admit, I spent a lot of time this afternoon wondering who else I could send it to for some impact??? I'm sick of it all, I really am!!

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MaureenMLove · 20/10/2007 19:11

Better late than never!

I haven't got anything to add really, that hasn't already been said. Although, I did get a satisfactory last time because I only had after school kids at the time and she came in August, so I didn't have any kids she could see me interact with! That and I'm not very good at the paperwork! Too busy looking after children! Told all my parents and they gave me the only praise I needed frankly.

I appreciate we have to have safety measures in place to protect us and parents, but they're just trying to turn us into nurseries. In some cases, the whole point of choosing a cm over a nursery, is because parents want a home environment for their children and not a sterile, almost school-like environment.

I absolutely love looking after my 'spare' babies and I'd love to do it forever, but I can't stand the rules and regs anymore. I can't stand all the paper work involved and tbh my parents don't get it either. So, I'm out of here. Sorry girls, but after Christmas, I'm going back to the rat race.

ThePrisoner · 20/10/2007 19:15

Inconsistencies, where we've had conflicting advice from Ofsted inspectors ... a few that I can think of which I've experienced, heard of from CM friends and, possibly, some which I've probably read on here previously ...

Some of these inconsistencies have, allegedly, made the difference to the grading that an individual CM gets.

Plasters - can we use them or not?

Stairgates - must we have them or not?

Cupboard/fridge locks - yes/no?

Visitors book - essential or not?

Saying "no" or "don't" - are we allowed or not?

Fireguards (even if the fire isn't used!) - must we have them or not?

I know there are more, I just can't remember them.


bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 19:16

Mo - that makes me very sad. How can you leave us, you're fab!!!

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ThePrisoner · 20/10/2007 19:19

MaureenMLove - despite what Ofsted say (ie. you cannot get a grade above "satisfactory" if you have no pre-schoolers present during the inspection), there are childminders out there who have been graded as "good".

There's another inconsistency, and is so grossly unfair.

MaureenMLove · 20/10/2007 19:23

Sorry mate, gotta go. I'm at that stage where there's no need for me to be at home for DD anymore and I want to wear nice clothes again! I want to buy a handbag thats big enough for my keys, purse and phone and not bloody wet wipes, nappies, first aid kit, etc! Its Ofsteds fault. I'd love to do this forever, but it just ain't gonna happen for me. I'm gonna miss it so much, but its not fun anymore. My babies are fab and frankly I love them and they love me, but no more. Will you keep a special chair for me in the Staff Room?, because I will still pop in as often as I can.

Megsdaughter · 20/10/2007 19:25

[sob][sob][sob] Mo

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 19:26

Mo - you BETTER still pop in the staffroom - we'll miss you VERY much!

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MaureenMLove · 20/10/2007 19:31

Its ridiculous TP. She even told me she was completely in orr of the play house I had made. It was a HUGE cardboard box, which the children had painted, inside and out. We had wallpaper on the inside and a flower box on the outside. DH had even wired up a battery bell! She said it so rare to see children playing with cardboard boxes these days and using their imaginations. I had all the 'right' toys, absolutely everything for the good of pre-school children, to have heaps of fun, but still satisfactory because she couldn't see me in action. Total b*llocks! One of my mindees even made me a badge that said Top CM and bought me some flowers. You don't get any higher accolade than that, do you!

BTW, I'm doing CM jobs right now! I've just checked all my hats, gloves and scarves and washed them all, so they're all nice and fresh for when someone forgets them over the next few weeks. Its 7.30 on Saturday night.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 19:33

Total, Total B*llocks as you said!!! How can they justify that FFS!

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saltire · 20/10/2007 19:33

I think it's ridiculous that you only get a satisfactory if you don't have any under 5s. What happens if someone only CMs for school age children. Ar ethey going to get a satisfactory, even if their 125 different consent forms are up to date, they ahve a fireguard, stairgates, etc etc etc.

Looney, I think you should email this to your MP as well, and we should all email our own MPs with a link to this. its getting out of hand.
Food premisies indeed.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 19:36

Good idea Saltire!!! Oh......can you PLEASE give your story....you know you have a story!!!

Can I just ask about food premises.....is this just for people who provide meals to mindees or do ALL childminders have to, even if they don't provide food? I provide all meals but if I found out I could avoid having to go through a whole new process, I may just stop providing food - I've had enough! Parents wouldn't be happy about that though!

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MaureenMLove · 20/10/2007 19:38

Saltire, hows it going with your registration? Another issue, I think. A perfectly good CM sitting doing nothing, because you need to register again in England and your references & registration in Scotland, can't be taken into account.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 19:42

And not only that, she's been told so many different things, no one has a bloody clue!!!

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ThePrisoner · 20/10/2007 19:46

We do all have to register as food premises, and I definitely don't provide food. I am very clever at putting lunchboxes in the fridge (which I clean on a regular basis and record in writing when I've done it, just in case I need to prove ny worthiness to Ofsted). At lunchtime, I am able to remove the lunchboxes and give to the appropriate child.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 19:48

HOW RIDICULOUS!!!! My husband thinks it's crazy and makes no sense!!

When is this compulsary? I've certainly not been told through my Earley Years team!

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saltire · 20/10/2007 19:49

I had my first ICP on Tuesday night. I got my CM1 &2 forms in the post a feww eeks ago from the area manager of NCMA, who I called to complain to. She told me there had been no need for me to go to the pre-enrollemnt session. I have filled the forms in, but as yet can't send them off as I don't ahve a spare £95 for the GPs form. The same GP who ahs seen me twice since I moved, adn on both occasions told me was running late and he would refer me.
I went to the thing onTuesday, and was told to go after an hour as I ahd filled my forms in "against our advice, I don't know why you filled them and why your were given them before tonight"
I could print my tale but I think you are probably all bored with it by now

ThePrisoner · 20/10/2007 19:50

Looney - you must stop swearing or Ofsted will get cross!

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 20/10/2007 19:54

As a parent I would not expect my cm to have to write observations about my 6yo. Its pointless. Nor would I expect her to have to put up No Smoking signs in her own home. I'm fed up with having to sign the stupid attendance register - its not a school the woman looks after 4 kids, I'm sure in the event of a fire she can rememebr how many she should be able to find without having to look at a register.

MaureenMLove · 20/10/2007 20:05

You know what hacks me off? Its only a little thing, by comparason, but still. I have to make sure all my toys are clean and sterile and can't let two babies share the same toy etc, etc, but they also expect you (quite rightly) to taken your mindees to clubs and playgroups etc, where the toys haven't been washed for years probably!

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 20/10/2007 20:34

Ooops, did I swear, oops, sorry OFSTED, I'm a bit hormonal at the moment blood you do really annoy me so bring that out of me I'm afraid!!!

Mo - I'm sooooooooooo glad someone said something about the toys - toddler group toys can be DISGUSTING yet we can't even share the same toys!!!

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ThePrisoner · 20/10/2007 20:50

The children are not supposed to share anything - a CM friend was pulled up during her inspection because one of the mindees drank out of another mindees cup, and the CM wasn't able to stop it in time. Yes, it's mentioned in her inspection report (compromises health/safety or whatever).

Don't tell anyone but, sometimes, my mindees even kiss each other ... now that really is going too far. Think of the germ-swapping going on there!! I wasn't sure whether it would be more appropriate to sterilise their lips or separate the children into "time-out" areas.

MaureenMLove · 20/10/2007 21:07

So I suppose when I blow raspberries on one tummy and then the other, thats a case for speading disease too!

D'you think I'd get in trouble for healthy eating reasons because everytime DH comes in from work, one of them asks him if he's brought doughnuts for him!

mymatemax · 20/10/2007 21:47

Sorry not read the entire message but as a parent who ahs always used a childminder my thoughts on OFSTED are:

My children are cared for lovingly by a wonderful childminder who is amazing, ds1 is a typically lively sports mad 7yr old & ds2 is 5 & disabled, he has CP & autism. She cares & provides for them both equally & I never worry when they are in her care. The ONLY time I ever see this superwoman flustered is when OFSTED are coming or if she thinks her register or paperwork is not up to date, or if she is behind with her studies & assignments that OFSTD say she must do.
So OFSTED if you are reading... the reason this superwoman MAY be behind with the paperwork is because she is busy looking after children & keeping them safe! So please less paperwork & form filling & more practicle support if they ask for it!

Oh & she is the 3rd childminder in 7 yrs the other 2 lovely ladies left because they didn't want all PAPERWORK! As my last childminder said, if i'm going to do that much paperwork I may as well work in an office at least the pay would be better!

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