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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:
nannynick · 29/10/2007 23:04

Ofsted have a replacement for HMI 1400. Early Years Inspection Record - so they did remove the old one, and replaced it. But it's only PART 2, what is PART 1? Where is PART 1?

Now, wonder if the other documents are also around somewhere. As they can be obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, surely they should be somewhere on Ofsted's website.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 30/10/2007 08:18

Not read last few posts as had no internet last night and about to do school run.

Quick update

BBC reporter confirmed no one to do the chat. They are now waiting for me to get better and ready for interview (not sure how long that will be tbh). Unless anyone else in the South East/London area would be willing to step in????

Will keep you posted

OP posts:
lottiesmummy · 30/10/2007 09:44

I've recently found out that there are 32 childminders in my town (not a huge area) no wonder its so hard to find work..

kat69 · 30/10/2007 13:55

Only just found this as have been on holiday.

Just wanted to add my support to anything you want to send in protest.

As per Katisha and others, I chose a cm for my kids so they would be in a home environment. They have had exactly that, with 2 big "sisters", extra pets, an honorary set of grandparents.... On day 1, I handed over my precious baby and said "treat him as though he is your own".

My cm (who has looked after my 2 since they were 18 weeks, now 9 and 6 years) has just told me enough is enough - she has been told by ofsted if she doesn't work for her nvqs that she will be "unsatisfactory" - she is deregistering as a cm by the end of the year...

my cm now only has my 2, and only for after school and holidays - she doesn't have little ones at all, and they certainly don't need more structure to their out of school and holiday time - that is the time they get to relax... they already get far too much homework out of school as it is....

What I want to know is - why was it fine 8 years ago for a CM to offer a safe, family environment without most of the rules, regs etc, and yet now its not....?

Marney · 31/10/2007 13:43

I GAVE THE ONE CHILD LOTS OF THINGS TO DO SO SHE COULD SEE HOW MANY THINGS WERE AVAILABLE AND THIS BECAME ON THE REPORT children flit from one activity to another This one child isnt at school yet I THOUGHT young children should have the option to play freely sometimes anyway

Marney · 31/10/2007 13:53

I GAVE THE ONE CHILD FOOD AND THIS BECAME on the report children frequently negtiate requests BUT the child was hungry ,It was time for this child to eat

Marney · 31/10/2007 14:10


Marney · 31/10/2007 18:15

Im just learning to type!spellings negotiate and threatened cant spell and type

Marney · 01/11/2007 11:36

If the ofsted must do things really matter youu know for health and safety why dont we get alist

lottiesmummy · 02/11/2007 18:17

saw the news, well done... just hope ofsted listen... bet they don't, they never do, we're all expected to turn our homes into little nurseries it seems

I fell out with my hubby the other day because of all this rubbish, "ITS OUR HOME NOT A BLOODY NURSERY" he said and I agre yes it is... try telling ofsted that tho

Marney · 02/11/2007 21:59

I dont know why our reports have to go on the internet its not for our benefit is it 'my report was on before i had a copy'WHICH OTHER JOBS MEAN YOU HAVE TO FACE ANYTHING LIKE THIS'especialy when you realy like your job or when you are the only adult working in your home Itwould probably feel realy good to do a report on the inspector i had and make a few things up or just misread things like they do so well BUT IWOULD BE PROSIECUTED CANT SPEL THAT BUT IWAS CHILDMING AT 6AM THIS MORNING 1984 WE REALYHAVE ARRIVED BIG BROTHER YOU WIN

AskABusyPerson · 02/11/2007 23:21

Gosh what a long and interesting thread, I've laughed, cried, groaned with sypmathy and gasped with disbelief at some of the Ofsted things.

I am a CM, have been for nearly 3 years. I provide an ad-hoc flexible basis to a couple of families in the village I live in and one regular mornings-only school-run. Although my first full inspection went well (inspector v nice and also I had a week to get in order cos I had no children booked in until the week after the inspector phoned me) I am dreading the next. For example in the last three months I've minded a set of twins 6 times, the mum is a supply teacher with two sets of grandparents available to take the twins, I'm the option if both sets are out! What I'm worrying is that Ofsted are going to expect me to be all EYFS-y with children like this that I only occasionally mind. How will that work?!!! Also I quite often get asked at the school gate to take a mindee back with me for eg the morning. Are Ofsted going to expect me to have written plans 'in case' a mindee comes round?!

I am a bit mad and do like paperwork but do feel overwhelmed by the amount we have to do; when I minded a 4 month old on a fairly irregular basis for 2 months whilst his mum finished her uni course, she was astounded at the contract, permission forms, child record form, and other things she had to sign, read and take away.

It also annoys me that a CM who I know, where the parent seems perfectly happy with the care, leaves the child playing and 'keeps an eye on the mindee' via a video monitor....and yet Ofsted (who obviously didn't get told that this sort of thing went on all the time) gave her good - and I know she got things out specially for the inspection, told them she did art and craft stuff (I know she does not as she has told me this previously) and did things like removed glass cupboard doors just for the day.

I think spot inspections would be a great idea, an inspector could spend a day going round an area to just pop in and see how the CMs were doing, none of this anxious preparation and worry leading up to a stressful 2-3 hour session trying to deal with your out-of-character acting-up mindees as well as telling the inspector how often you wash the toys / do risk assessment / etc etc.

I have had to ask Ofsted for a variation twice. The first time, not long after I started, was for one afternoon when all three families I had on my books at the time needed me and the overlap time was 2.5 hours when 2 of the 5 (I was only registered for 4 even though I only had dd at the time) would be napping. The day after I sent the letter I was called up and asked loads of questions as if I'd asked to take the children to the moon.... I got the variation but felt it was very reluctantly given. The second time I've asked was 16th Oct this year, i.e. last month. I've yet to hear from them depsite 2 chaser emails...the variation needs to be in place from 12's to ask to have 5 children instead of 4 permanently to ensure that the twins, 2 sisters and the one school-run can all be at mine together probably only 8am-9am occasionally - I still only have one child of my own. By the time they get round to doing it the one in my 'special tummy' () will have arrived and I'll be writing to tell them that instead!!!

Ok, rambling session over, sorry!

BSLooney - are you in same boat as me re special tummies or have I mis-read your messages?!!

Marney · 03/11/2007 10:41

I WANT TO KNOW why ofsted are not in shops yet lots of children go in shops' But i dont have to sign any policies The shop assistants dont even have reports on the internet Are they suitable people'SHOULDNT they have attendance registers in case of fire Ofsted are really missing a chance the money they could be earning

Marney · 03/11/2007 11:47

Help list for new childminders IHAD ALL THESE POLICIES FOR MY INSPECTION behavior'sickness'rules uncollected children Eqyal opportuntities child protection 'Special needs 'working with parents policy lost children policy fire safety policy fire / fire escape plan ' general safety plan confidentiality policy ' Accident and emergency policy Fire evacuation record of practice and record of complaints forms'ive never had any complaints BUT IONLY GOT SATISFACTORY IDID HERE A RUMOUR THOUGH THERE IS ANEW ONE MOVING FROM ONE ROOM TO ANOTHER POLICY i would appreciate anyhelp in writing this or if anyone knows of any more ive missed

Marney · 03/11/2007 12:19

BACK AGAIN ISOMETIMES GIVE CHILDMINDED children ice ceam is it allowed'ive also seen children eating unhealthy food even sweets onbeaches in this country where are the ofsted inspectors

Marney · 03/11/2007 14:40

JUST ONE MORE THING IREAD THE TELEGRAPH ARTICLE and thought what a load of users ofsted are' I HAD MY INSPECTION RECENTLY AND GUESS SOMEONE MUST HAVE HAD THE SAME inspector OR HER FRIEND/i had a really pretty sign in our bathroom saying wash your handsThe inspector never mentioned it when she saw it or on my report/IALSO HAVE BEEN USING AREALLY GOOD METHOD OF ENCOURAGING HEALTHY EATING WHICH DIDNT GET ON MY REPORT 'BUT IM WAITING TO SEE IF CHILDMINDERS ARE HAVING IT SUGESTED AS A WAY THEY COUld get a good now' at this rate ill be able to type soon'

Marney · 05/11/2007 08:54

Another helpful list I HAD all these parent permission forms in use at the time of my inspection but on my report it was implied there could have been more PERMISSION TO TAKE ON ROUTINE OUTINGS SUCH AS TO THE PARK PERMISSON TO USE SUNCREAM PERMISSION TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT PERMISSION TO GIVE PARACETOMOL OR CALPOL IF LIKELY TO NEED IT also to use video or take photos does any childminder out there KNOW WHAT WAS MISSING OH ID GOT PERMISON FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREAMENT

Marney · 05/11/2007 09:02


Marney · 05/11/2007 09:33

i need asolicitor but apparently ofsted have one you can use when you have gone through the CORRECT PROCEDURE FIRST but ive been trying to do all the ofsted procedures for a few years now Perhaps ineed to change into a robot then iwouldnt care any way But am iwrong to question the independance of the solicitor they recomend IF THEY EVENTUALLY DECIDE IM REASONABLY SUITABLE AND THEY ARE NOT STOPPING ME CHILMINDING AFTER ALL OVIOUSLY IWONT NEED TO KNOW BUT SURELY THEY CANT CONTROL WHICH SOLICITOR YOU USE ASWELL IKNOW THERE IS ANOTHER SITE NOW FOR DISCUSSIONS but id really like some answers is there anyone out there just of now to listen to my favorite song at the moment BRING IT ON ALISTAIR GRIFFIN

ThePrisoner · 05/11/2007 18:41

Marney - have you been at the sherry?

maximummummy · 05/11/2007 20:19

oh my god - reading those posts by marney have tired me out !!!!

maximummummy · 05/11/2007 20:25

this post is too long for me to read all of - but i feel i must be missing something here - my mindees come in the morning i look after them all day , take them to pre-school if appropriate feed them , toilet them , wash them , play with them (shhh . . sometimes they watch tv )read to them , take them to the park etc etc

the only paperwork i do is sign them in and out on the register - fill in my expenses - occassional invoice and new contracts . . .

am i missing something?

maximummummy · 05/11/2007 20:27

i only got a satisfactort grading mind you

Katymac · 05/11/2007 20:28

What about permission forms Maximummy?

OFSTED want complaints forms too

Written Risk Assessmsnets from Sept 08 when EYFS comes in plus recorded observations

Plus written recoreds for Food hygiene

All either legal now or will be legal in Sept 08

looneytune · 06/11/2007 03:32

Just got up to have something to eat (woke up sooo hungry) and had an email from my ex support minder about the training for EYFS stage she went on last night. We're going to talk about it at the drop in tomorrow but she said she left leaving lots of angry childminders with the trainer. I'm really curious now as I've not got my training for a while yet. I've got a feeling I'm going to be really p'd off when I hear about it tomorrow. I just want to care for the children, play with them, keep them safe and happy etc. Yes, I teach them things like I did my own son, INFORMALLY, I don't see how taking time away from the children to do observations is going to help them at all???? Staff at ds's school nursery do observations of the children but whilst they are doing this, other staff are still interacting with them/playing with them/teaching them - whilst we do the observations are we just supposed to tell the children not to disturb us and that we can't play with them atm??? They find it bad enough when I say 'sorry, I'm just quickly doing the diary's....' I'm getting really worried about all this now and even I am clutching at straws thinking about what else I can do if I decide to quit childminding next year!!! This all makes me very sad.

Right, off to bed now.....that was a bit heavy for this time of the morning!

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