Another problem with all this talk of ratios
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  1. #1
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    Default Another problem with all this talk of ratios

    Is that the threat of agencies will happen. Everyone wants to talk to me about ratios as they understand that. But if I mention agencies no one understands, or only thinks it sounds a good idea ( those who are not childminders or involved with childcare/childminders that is ) it is a much harder topic to explain.

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    Agree, they are already making them sound appealing to parents by saying they will arrange cover if your childminder is sick. I'm more worried by the potential for agencies that ratio increases. With ratio's (without agencies) childminders can still choose what number of children they care for, they do not have to work to maximum ratios. With agencies, although it's claimed they will be voluntary, I think once they are set up and running. they'll become compulsory. The only ones to lose out will be childminders. The govt. will save on Ofsted inspections, the parents are already being fed the benefits of agencies. Parents generally don't like paying alot for childcare so the way I see it, the only ones to suffer our childminders, as agencies will probably still charge the same hourly fee, but we will have to give a percentage to the agency. Inevitably we will have to take on more children to equal our wages now. I wonder if this is why the govt are pushing for an increase in ratios or like someone else has said, ratio's act as a smokescreen for agencies to be introduced.

    Cathy

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    I know many childminders who think it's a good idea as well.

    I was going to post something similar this morning.

    For childminders, the increase isn't really that huge. It's one extra child, it's not compulsory, you have to have the children there to be able to do it and how many struggle now to get 3 now never mind 4. Many CMs are already saying they won't increase their numbers. Others already do it through variations and exceptions.
    I don't see it as so big a deal that it should be the main focus of debate.

    Truss has been very quiet on how these agencies are going to work. She's been quite specific on ratios, which is possibly why it's more debatable. Now she can sit back and let the arguments fly.
    But for every argument put forward, I bet the answer would be " that wouldn't happen if you joined an agency".

    I think now is the time to be asking questions about agencies. How exactly are they going to work? How are they going to be funded? What are they actualy going to do?

    My personal opinion is that agencies will have a bigger impact on childminding than ratios. So why are we ignoring them?

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    I completely agree. I have had quite a few variations over the years for 4 children and, with the right mix of children, have still been able to provide a quality service. I know under the new ratios 4 children would be the norm instead of the exception but childminders do not have to work to capacity and it is up to each individual to decide what is best for them. The agency proprosal worries me a lot more and doesn't seem to be getting a lot of publicity. I know we are told they will be voluntary but if there is no call for 'independent' childminders then there wont be much choice really.

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    And where are all these extra children going to come from?
    They might have a plan but we should not join any agency even if its voluntuary. Put a spanner in the works.
    Need a laugh? Visit my website: www.unclegargy.deviantART.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripeberry View Post
    And where are all these extra children going to come from?
    They might have a plan but we should not join any agency even if its voluntuary. Put a spanner in the works.
    But first of all we need to know how the agencies will work. To present a credible argument against joining them, we need to know what the plans are.

    If you said to a child, we're going to do X today and they said, I don't want to, you'd say " well, you don't even know what X is yet. Let me explain, then make up your mind". if they still didn't want to do it and could tell you why, you're more likely to listen than if they are simply saying "don't want to" out of pure petulance.

    To say "well, I just won't join an agency", without being able to say why comes across as that petulant child! You're much more likely to be listened to and, more importantly, supported by others if you can make informed arguments against it.

    Let's start demanding some facts about agencies!

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    From other posts it seems as if some LAs are already on the ball with agency ideas.

    Do we need to be quizzing them? Do they know more than they're letting on?

    How and where do we find the facts? Has anyone seen any information on when further details are going to be released?

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    Yes it is the secretive nature of these agencies which are going to be introduced which is extremely concerning. It worries me that they are going to completely change the nature of childminding as I know it and I feel so much is probably going on behind the scenes but childminders are purposely being kept in the dark.

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    I realise I am new to this forum and that I am only just registered but I am passionate about young children having quality relationships and experiences in their early years and I think it is important to remember that while childminding ratios are not negatively impacted by the proposals, nursery ratios ARE.

    Picture in your head a room with 3 adults and 12 babies/ toddlers under 2. Or 2 adults and 12 2yr olds!

    I've worked in nurseries that genuinely care for babies and children's well-being and it is challenging enough at current ratios. I can see conscientious nurseries resisting, but then having the LA say "but we need to place these vulnerable 2yr olds, and you have the spaces", or finding that other private nurseries around them are doing it and so they have to to compete. (Who knows what will happen to fees, but if the nurseries find a way to undercut childminders, then cash strapped parents may reluctantly choose nurseries over them even with the higher ratios.)

    I think we need to campaign for details of agencies asap so we can formulate a coherent argument AND no increase in NURSERY ratios, and no 'schoolification' of the early years: Truss' talk of 2yr olds in schools and 'traditional' nursery classes pushing 3yr olds to read and write, as well as the new EY Educator and Teacher titles, all undermines the way the the EYFS and all those who work with it currently support children's learning and development.)

    *picks up soapbox and runs back to corner*
    Last edited by lisbet; 02-02-2013 at 01:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripeberry View Post
    And where are all these extra children going to come from?
    They might have a plan but we should not join any agency even if its voluntuary. Put a spanner in the works.
    It seems as though some local authorities are already planning agencies. I think new childminders are going to be targeted to join agencies through briefing sessions, as well as satisfactory childminders and anyone struggling with the paperwork side. I don't think they are going to be too bothered about getting the rest of us to join an agency until they are fully up and running. Lol agencies will probably find well-established childminders too troublesome at first, querying polices etc

    I agree though, I think it needs to be established exactly how agencies will run: what they will have control of (policies - our own or the agencies? matching parents - how? training? payments? whether once we sign up if all our work has to come through the agency? will agencies be able to refuse c/m's eg those that are satisfactory, as afterall the childminders who register with an agency are going to affect their grading from Ofsted and this could result in creating a tier system of agencies.)

    Cathy

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    Im thinking that the entire document needs to be kicked out - say NO to more great childcare.

    I have said before losing the little increase in under 5's is acceptable, let it remain the same, if the entire document got thrown out

    No to increased ratios for cms, nurseries, pre schools.

    No to ofsted being involved in the funding hours. A fairer system to say who can and cant deliver it nationwide.

    No to agencies.

    No to schools being allowed to take children from 2.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    think its time we all formed a trade union

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  22. #13
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    That is the trouble isn't it. As individual childminders it is difficult to make ourselves heard and even more difficult to be taken seriously. I'm not sure NCMA will be good at representing us as maybe they are looking to set up agencies themselves - so More Great Childcare could be a positive idea for them-or maybe I am just cynical. However, we really need to know what we are opposing as there is too little information - we should be informed this affects our futures and before they start piloting these agencies.

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    So if agencies can arrange cover when childminders are sick, if we are sick do we get sick pay then??
    x helen

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    Quote Originally Posted by watgem View Post
    think its time we all formed a trade union
    I always thought that my membership to the NCMA was similar to a trade union, someone to stick up for us however I decided last June to not renew my membership and just have my insurance through MM as I felt that the NCMA was going along with everything that Ofsted threw at us regarding EYFS and that didn't keep me informed as to what I needed to do to meet all the changes - I thank the forum for that.

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    A CO's in my LA impression of the CM 'agencies' was they would form part of Gov new sch academies and would work alongside nurseries per-sch inc 2yrs.

    The academy would get their own 'pot of money ' and use as they see best fit. Funded 2 and 3yrs etc.

    Down side being the whole academy would have one overall ofsted grade :-0 !!!

    Im guessing therefore CM would b used only for the wrap around care service as all the other LO's would b stuck in sch ....

    My son thinks sch finished for gd in the christmas hols (started in sept) imagine if i told him he could if been at sch from 3mnths to 18yrs 7am-7pm and I'm guessing they will scrap holidays too - oh unless we apply 2yrs in advance and pay for the privilege of our own children's company. /:-(
    Last edited by tori4; 02-02-2013 at 07:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mum22 View Post
    So if agencies can arrange cover when childminders are sick, if we are sick do we get sick pay then??
    Lol we can wish!!
    The only way they can cover sick childminders is to get other childminders to cover for them. I don't think I want to fill up all my odd spaces with children, it will be unsettling for both them and the children i already care for.
    You can almost imagine it can't you, your parent notifies the agency that their child is sick and you then get the space filled for the day with a 'replacement'!

    Cathy.

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    Here are a few questions about agencies - from me and from things childminders have said to me.

    Any more thoughts welcome


    http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/fo...ml#post1206158

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    Quote Originally Posted by cathyd View Post
    Lol we can wish!!
    The only way they can cover sick childminders is to get other childminders to cover for them. I don't think I want to fill up all my odd spaces with children, it will be unsettling for both them and the children i already care for.
    You can almost imagine it can't you, your parent notifies the agency that their child is sick and you then get the space filled for the day with a 'replacement'!

    Cathy.
    I don't know many parents who would allow a stranger they've never met let alone that their child has never met to care for their child.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by funemnx View Post
    I don't know many parents who would allow a stranger they've never met let alone that their child has never met to care for their child.....
    i've 'met' a few !!!

    i've had phonecalls in the past asking 'is that the childminder?' i'll drop X off tomorrow morning! and not impressed when i explained it didn't work that way!


    i also do holiday babysitting and most of the time the parents have never met me before! i always try to go round at least earlier in the day to meet them & the child, but doesn't always work like that! i used to babysit for a hotel and sometimes barely even saw the parents!

 

 
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