Challenging my LA

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Never done a blog before, but need to have something of a timeline to refer back to if needed, so here goes.

My LA are still insisting that to be able to offer funding we must be part of the childminding network, and have a level 3.
I know from this forum primarily, that this changed in September 2013 (Statutory guidance:
Section A3 and A4 has the relevant information

I have verbally challenged the information the LA was giving previously, and was shot down, and to be fair, didn't feel confident enough to challenge it further as I am not part of the cliquey set, generally keep myself to myself, and didn't have the relevant documentation to hand or understanding to stand up further.

One of my parents asked me about her LO staying with me rather than going to a nursery. She had heard about CM's being able to do funding.
I told her the details as I know them, and the last I had heard, my LA were still insisting on being part of the network, which I wasn't prepared to do at this time.
I have recently completed my Level 3 (sick of paperwork!), I have more pressing things going on in my personal life at the moment that take priority over completing unnecessary paperwork.

I did however reassure mum that I would make an enquiry to see if the LA position had changed since before Christmas, although I hadn't heard anything - that however is not unusual as our LA don't keep us as up to date on childcare issues as they should anyway! I get more information from here than I do from the DO!

Now, I must point out that I do not have any objections to networks per se. I absolutely see the benefits in being part of one, and up until recently was planning on joining ours. It was one of the reasons I undertook doing my level 3 in the first place.
Now, I'm in two minds.
I know the information being given out is incorrect.
I feel that when I raise my concerns, I have been labelled a troublemaker - it's the look I get whenever I go to say something that gives me that feeling
How can I be a part of something when I don't feel I would be made welcome?
Personally, I have too much going on at the moment anyway
I have already received a good inspection with more support from here than from the LA, I actually don't want to be 'outstanding' which would be the point of joining the network anyway I guess.

I made enquiries about the funding, and was told the criteria:
Good or outstanding Ofsted grading, NVQ3, and be part of the childminding network.

Sarah posted a thread containing a letter from Truss that yet again confirms that we do not have to be part of the network to obtain funding
Independent CMs - DfE reassurance

So now, it is a point of principle.
In these uncertain times of the future of childminding I need to secure my place in the market as an independent childminder, and the sustainability of my future business.
Funding for 3 and 4 year olds is actually much less than I charge anyway, so I'm not convinced I even want to do funding, but the fact is, I should be allowed the option to make that decision for me and my business without having to seek LA approval.
Having the LA barrier, is preventing me from having a choice in my own business, and I'm not having it anymore.
I'm self employed for a reason.
I have to make a stand, even if no one else will.

I don't have anything in writing to justify the LA's stand, only what has been said verbally, so that is my first port of call - getting their argument confirmed in writing.

Letter sent today stating
- the relevant guidance from the Statutory document
- the quote from Truss' letter to CM's
- asking for the LA's justification to deviate from the Statutory Guidance
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