View Full Version : Garden not used - how will ofsted react?

04-03-2013, 11:04 PM
My garden is currently out of bounds to little ones as it needs quite a bit of money spending on it to make it safe which I just haven't got at the moment - think steep garden with old stone steps, uneven & cracked patio, unfenced levels, unsecure fencing, high steps down from house etc.
I go out everyday with the 2 babies I mind (who have only just started crawling) to various groups, the park, woodland walks, school run etc. I also have a 3 yr old just 1 morning a week but this has become our outing morning (farm, bus to library, leisure centre play session) so he's barely at my house more than an hour most weeks.

So whilst I'm happy all my mindees have ample fresh air & chance to explore nature/the outside world, I'm worried Ofsted (1st inspection imminent) won't be happy about the lack of free access into the garden or lack of opportunity to do things like mark making, mud kitchens, gardening, outdoor sand & water play. I am planning on creating a small fenced off decked play area but this is a project for later this year & obviously it's just my word on this!

Anyone else either have a garden they don't use & how did Ofsted react? Any suggestions on how I get around the issue?

blue bear
05-03-2013, 01:06 AM
Whilst not ideal it's not the be all and end all, there are childminders living in high rise flats, they certainly don't have a free access garden. Sounds like you meet all the children's needs to me, write it up in your sef along with your plans for the future.

05-03-2013, 09:09 AM
I could have written your post and I got a good in my inspection. I'd highlighted my garden as my area I want to improve in my SEF and so she put it as my ways to move towards outstanding. She highlighted in the report that I get them outdoors everyday and was happy with me.

hectors house
05-03-2013, 09:19 AM
I know a childminder who doesn't have access to a secure garden, she shares it with other neighbours but luckily she lives near a park so they go there every day instead.

05-03-2013, 09:32 AM
I've never been happy with my garden. In the summer it's dry & dusty. In the winter it's a muddy mess. It's my permanent area for improvement.
For my last Ofsted insection I wrote an action plan for the garden. I wrote what was wrong with it now, how I overcame the problems (going for walks, going to the park, playing on the front drive, using pop up fencing to create safe areas, visiting cm friends who had lovely gardens! etc) and what I planned to do in the future - fencing, patio area, covered area etc.
The inspector was fine about it. She said her garden was exactly the same so she understood the frustration! She said the fact that I'd indentified it as a problem and worked around it was good.

05-03-2013, 10:00 AM
You are providing an outdoor experience every day and as has been said before many people mind without a garden

and as for sand , water and mud play , we do that indoors , yes it can create mess but you just have to be prepared for that and you find ways to minimize the clearing up after

05-03-2013, 10:05 PM
I live in a flat and have a communal garden which isn't ideal and so I use it like I would a park space - risk assessed, clean up other people's mess if necessary, plan what we are doing,go out for a set time and then come back in!