Task and Finish Group for agencies
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    Default Task and Finish Group for agencies

    We have a list of people who are on the Task and Finish Group from Ms Truss -
    Child Minding: 3 Jun 2013: Hansard Written Answers and Statements - TheyWorkForYou

    Let’s look at each of them and consider why they might be there -

    Ofsted - we know that Ofsted are pro-agencies and the driving force behind agencies because they are saying that childminders are too expensive to individually inspect. However, in the next breath, Ofsted tell us we can continue to be self employed and work outside of agency control.
    Our focus needs to be on ensuring we are treated fairly. I am supporting a number of childminders at the moment who feel they have been very unfairly treated by Ofsted ... we need to fight for consistency in inspections.
    I understand that there will be a consultation in the future - we will all need to be ready to respond.

    National College for Teaching and Leadership - Enquiries : The Department for Education
    The website states that their aims are ‘improving the quality of the education workforce and helping schools to help each other to improve’. I wonder why they feel childminders fall within that remit.

    4Children - info@4Children.org.uk
    4Children have self-employment business information on their website for childminders. Does anyone know about it? Do you use it? What is their interest in agencies? Do they intend to become one?
    They are also focussed on high quality early education and care in a very positive way.

    Family and Childcare Trust (previously Day Care Trust) - info@familyandchildcaretrust.org
    They are nursery orientated, concerned about nursery sufficiency and staffing. I wonder - what is their interest in childminders?

    National Day Nurseries Association - info@ndna.org.uk
    The NDNA are focussed on the issues surrounding nurseries, lack of demand for spaces at the moment, low wages for staff etc. I would like to know why they feel qualified to speak on the subject of childminder agencies.

    National Children’s Bureau - enquiries@ncb.org.uk
    NCB have already stated that they want to provide ‘better incentives for providers to concentrate on what matters - the children’. We need to ask NCB how they feel agencies will fulfil this if childminder morale is lowered even further because of sufficiency and training concerns.

    Pre-school Learning Alliance - we already know that PLA are supporting childminders and do not agree with agencies. We need to ask them what they are going to do to continue the fight.

    Northamptonshire Childminding Association - info@childmindingnorthants.org.uk
    Northamptonshire were asked by Ms Truss to provide attendees at a recent meeting who agreed with her ratios and agencies plans. There was an outcry and I understand the meeting was cancelled.
    We need to find out if Northamptonshire are for or against agencies so we can ask their members to lobby them to support independent childminders as well.

    Norland College - enquiries@norland.co.uk
    Norland is a nanny college. Why are they interested in childminder agencies I wonder?

    Independent Childminders Social Enterprise - Contact Us | Independent Childminders Social Enterprise CICIndependent Childminders Social Enterprise CIC
    We know that IC-SE were recently set up by a childminder and an ex NCMA employee. They were initially very vocal but seem to have disappeared recently. They have said that they are in the meetings as observers. We need to find out how they will support independent childminders.

    Bright Horizons - generalenquiries@brighthorizons.com
    Bright Horizons are a nanny agency - are they interested in becoming a childminder agency? Why else would they be there?

    Busy Bees - Contact Busy Bees National Support Centre
    Busy Bees are a nursery chain and a voucher company. Are they interested in becoming an agency?

    Kidsunlimited - Enquire about our UK day nurseries - Get in touch - Enquiry form - kidsunlimited
    Again, Kidsunlimited are a nursery chain...

    Association of Nanny Agencies - margaret@anauk.org
    Quote from website - ‘ANA has been in consultation with the government regarding regulation and registration of childminder agencies and how we can advise the government on these proposals using our knowledge and experience. We are part of a large group of childcare professionals all contributing our thoughts.
    We are currently waiting for further information on the government’s proposals on this matter. The following papers have been published as a statement of policy intention and draft indicative regulation which will give you further information on the plans:
    Children and Families Bill 2013 - About the Department
    ANA is representing Nanny Agencies at this consultation and we would be happy to hear your comments.’

    ARK Academies - info@arkacademy.org
    ARK operate 18 academies through the country! I am at a loss to know how they have any understanding of the needs of childminders.

    Redgrave Children and Young People’s Centre - denise.poore@luton.gov.uk
    Luton based centre offering childminder drop-in groups...

    Trio Childcare - info@triochildcare.co.uk
    Personally, I thought Trio might want to set up an agency. They already have a childminder network so it is not a surprise to me that they are in this group.

    @Home Childcare - info@homechildcare.co.uk
    We already know that athomechildcare want to be a childminder agency. We need to find out how independent childminders in their local area will be supported.



    I intend sending the following message to as many of the above as possible. I hope you do the same. Let’s make them aware that childminders want a say in what is happening to US!

    Dear Sir / Madam
    We understand from Lucy Powell MP, who asked a recent question of Liz Truss on ‘They work for you’ (Hansard, 13.5.2013), that you are part of the Task and Finish Group which is currently meeting and commenting on agencies for childminders.
    Bearing in mind that the vast majority of childminders are against agencies, please can you confirm -
    • Whether you are for or against agencies for childminders.
    • Whether you are listening or advising on agencies for childminders.
    • Your level of understanding of the unique needs of childminders.
    • How many childminders you have consulted with so you can give their views to the Task and Finish Group.
    • What you intend to offer childminders in the future.
    Thank you.

    I think that once we have some replies we can focus better on what we want to say to them next.


  2. #2
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    We have a list of people who are on the Task and Finish Group from Ms Truss -
    Child Minding: 3 Jun 2013: Hansard Written Answers and Statements - TheyWorkForYou

    Let’s look at each of them and consider why they might be there -

    Ofsted - we know that Ofsted are pro-agencies and the driving force behind agencies because they are saying that childminders are too expensive to individually inspect. However, in the next breath, Ofsted tell us we can continue to be self employed and work outside of agency control.
    Our focus needs to be on ensuring we are treated fairly. I am supporting a number of childminders at the moment who feel they have been very unfairly treated by Ofsted ... we need to fight for consistency in inspections.
    I understand that there will be a consultation in the future - we will all need to be ready to respond.

    National College for Teaching and Leadership - Enquiries : The Department for Education
    The website states that their aims are ‘improving the quality of the education workforce and helping schools to help each other to improve’. I wonder why they feel childminders fall within that remit.

    4Children - info@4Children.org.uk
    4Children have self-employment business information on their website for childminders. Does anyone know about it? Do you use it? What is their interest in agencies? Do they intend to become one?
    They are also focussed on high quality early education and care in a very positive way.

    Family and Childcare Trust (previously Day Care Trust) - info@familyandchildcaretrust.org
    They are nursery orientated, concerned about nursery sufficiency and staffing. I wonder - what is their interest in childminders?

    National Day Nurseries Association - info@ndna.org.uk
    The NDNA are focussed on the issues surrounding nurseries, lack of demand for spaces at the moment, low wages for staff etc. I would like to know why they feel qualified to speak on the subject of childminder agencies.

    National Children’s Bureau - enquiries@ncb.org.uk
    NCB have already stated that they want to provide ‘better incentives for providers to concentrate on what matters - the children’. We need to ask NCB how they feel agencies will fulfil this if childminder morale is lowered even further because of sufficiency and training concerns.

    Pre-school Learning Alliance - we already know that PLA are supporting childminders and do not agree with agencies. We need to ask them what they are going to do to continue the fight.

    Northamptonshire Childminding Association - info@childmindingnorthants.org.uk
    Northamptonshire were asked by Ms Truss to provide attendees at a recent meeting who agreed with her ratios and agencies plans. There was an outcry and I understand the meeting was cancelled.
    We need to find out if Northamptonshire are for or against agencies so we can ask their members to lobby them to support independent childminders as well.

    Norland College - enquiries@norland.co.uk
    Norland is a nanny college. Why are they interested in childminder agencies I wonder?

    Independent Childminders Social Enterprise - Contact Us | Independent Childminders Social Enterprise CICIndependent Childminders Social Enterprise CIC
    We know that IC-SE were recently set up by a childminder and an ex NCMA employee. They were initially very vocal but seem to have disappeared recently. They have said that they are in the meetings as observers. We need to find out how they will support independent childminders.

    Bright Horizons - generalenquiries@brighthorizons.com
    Bright Horizons are a nanny agency - are they interested in becoming a childminder agency? Why else would they be there?

    Busy Bees - Contact Busy Bees National Support Centre
    Busy Bees are a nursery chain and a voucher company. Are they interested in becoming an agency?

    Kidsunlimited - Enquire about our UK day nurseries - Get in touch - Enquiry form - kidsunlimited
    Again, Kidsunlimited are a nursery chain...

    Association of Nanny Agencies - margaret@anauk.org
    Quote from website - ‘ANA has been in consultation with the government regarding regulation and registration of childminder agencies and how we can advise the government on these proposals using our knowledge and experience. We are part of a large group of childcare professionals all contributing our thoughts.
    We are currently waiting for further information on the government’s proposals on this matter. The following papers have been published as a statement of policy intention and draft indicative regulation which will give you further information on the plans:
    Children and Families Bill 2013 - About the Department
    ANA is representing Nanny Agencies at this consultation and we would be happy to hear your comments.’

    ARK Academies - info@arkacademy.org
    ARK operate 18 academies through the country! I am at a loss to know how they have any understanding of the needs of childminders.

    Redgrave Children and Young People’s Centre - denise.poore@luton.gov.uk
    Luton based centre offering childminder drop-in groups...

    Trio Childcare - info@triochildcare.co.uk
    Personally, I thought Trio might want to set up an agency. They already have a childminder network so it is not a surprise to me that they are in this group.

    @Home Childcare - info@homechildcare.co.uk
    We already know that athomechildcare want to be a childminder agency. We need to find out how independent childminders in their local area will be supported.



    I intend sending the following message to as many of the above as possible. I hope you do the same. Let’s make them aware that childminders want a say in what is happening to US!

    Dear Sir / Madam
    We understand from Lucy Powell MP, who asked a recent question of Liz Truss on ‘They work for you’ (Hansard, 13.5.2013), that you are part of the Task and Finish Group which is currently meeting and commenting on agencies for childminders.
    Bearing in mind that the vast majority of childminders are against agencies, please can you confirm -
    • Whether you are for or against agencies for childminders.
    • Whether you are listening or advising on agencies for childminders.
    • Your level of understanding of the unique needs of childminders.
    • How many childminders you have consulted with so you can give their views to the Task and Finish Group.
    • What you intend to offer childminders in the future.
    Thank you.

    I think that once we have some replies we can focus better on what we want to say to them next.

    Thank you Sarah for finding the emails and making such a good list

    In addition to those mentioned below, Ofsted Principal Officer, Dee Gasson, informed us at her PLA conference workshop that Ofsted has received interest from:
    Head teachers
    LAs
    Employers ( did not specify who or why)

    Worth asking our LAs if they are setting up an agency? I certainly will and know cms who have been told their LA is interested but vague details

    I get the feeling that some groups have 'been invited' rather than expressing an interest in agencies because last Wednesday at the 'Achieving 2 year olds' conference NDNA's CEO, Purnima Tanuku, said to me they are not interested and in fact against agencies

    Family and Childcare Trust Policy Director, Peter Grigg, said they are worried about agencies and keeping their eyes open too
    4Children CEO Sue Robb said they are keeping their eyes open on agencies
    PLA's Neil told me at the conference he is not interested in agencies but I know PLA was invited and he said he is there to listen

    None sounded pro agencies but by their look seemed concerned

    Would Head teachers be interested because if they get young children they will need cms to do the wrap-around care? worth asking

    CCentres will be interested as above and also part of the new 'blended' childcare where cms and CC work together but are not necessarily agencies (4 Children confirmed when I rang them they want to look at blended childcare which also translates into childcare hubs)

    Like Sarah I will writing as well as there is too much secrecy and we need to know
    Today I have written to my MP, the Business Secretary, asking him to reject agencies and value our small businesses.
    I copied the letter to Nick Clegg, his boss!!

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  4. #3
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    thank you.

    I shall be emailing

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    thanks Sarah.
    if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got

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    Thanks Sarah will be emailing.

    What is interesting is that the headteacher at my DDs school is now looking to provide wrap around care before and after school and has asked me to go in and have a chat about it, so if anything interesting comes out of it I will let you know.

    Sam x

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    Thanks...that's a very comprehensive list

  9. #7
    Simona Guest

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    So Head teachers are already making their first move...they teach a while cms do the care...no way in my reckoning!!
    Do let us know what comes of it

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    Will do it is particularly interesting as they have never even considered wrap around care until now, when I chatted to her briefly after I fronted her about it (as I have a number of after schoolies) she merely said they were looking at it because of the demand but it does seem slightly convenient given everything else that is going on.

    Hoping to go in on Friday and find out more so will let you know.

    Sam x

  11. #9
    Simona Guest

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    Find out whether you will be setting the fees or the school will for the wrap around care
    Also find out if you will you be taking the kids to school and leave them or required to look after them until they go in their classroom?
    if so what of the other children in your care? where will they go?...what do their parents think?

    If you leave them there will the parents have an agreement with the school or will they be under your cm contract?
    When would you collect the after school children ..at 3 pm or later?

    This is linked to schools having restrictions removed by Oftsed...at present they cannot offer care to younger children and to be inspected there is a different agreement ...all in the Ofsted workshop on Friday

    One more question: is the school a state one or independent, free or otherwise?

    It is getting very interesting while still shrouded in much secrecy...

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    My DD2's infant school recently doubled its breakfast club spaces. Hmmm....

  13. #11
    Simona Guest

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    Lots of things have been happening with regards to agencies, LAs, 2 year olds, childcare hubs and the rest which we hear about all the time

    Remember we were really concentrating on the ratios??...important as they were we did take our eyes off agencies for a while and also concentrated on remaining 'independent'

    Off to email my LA now and ask if they are turning into an agency...they are certainly behaving rather strangely!!
    Last edited by Simona; 10-06-2013 at 08:01 AM.

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    I know of Bright Horizons as being a provider of funding for training courses in Wiltshire - I live on Somerset / Wiltshire border so often did training in Wiltshire rather than travel 25 miles for training in Somerset - I always had to pay the college full fees for my training but other students from Wiltshire had proportion of theirs paid by Bright Horizons.

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    I posted this a few days ago but it really follows on from here



    Some some clarification from the Northamptonshire Childminding Association.

    " I had been involved with the DFE in the past on different consultations so when they were setting up this group to look at how agencies could work in practice I agreed to be part of it, on the grounds that it was at least an opportunity to influence the final decisions. I made it clear from the start that, not only are we against it in principal but we don’t feel it would work in practice ad I have tried my best to represent the feelings of our members at every opportunity."

    Very pleased to hear this.


    However in Hansards I see



    "To ask the Secretary of State for Education

    (1) whether he plans to offer financial incentives to encourage the formation of childminder agencies;

    (2) what representations his Department has received from child care experts in support of the creation of childminder agencies;

    (3) what (a) organisations and (b) individuals his Department has approached regarding the establishment of pilot schemes for childminder agencies.

    Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 16 May 2013, c381W)


    Elizabeth Truss (South West Norfolk, Conservative)
    At present we do not have any plans to offer financial incentives to encourage the formation of childminder agencies.
    We have received support from a number of organisations and individuals for the introduction of 'childminder agencies', including the members of our Task and Finish Group, and Her Majesty's chief inspector.
    In relation to pilot schemes for childminder agencies, we have actively encouraged all those with a potential interest in working with us on trials of agencies to contact us directly."


    Now this is not what a number of the members of the Task and Finish Group group are saying. They are against childminding agencies. I get so cross with the Government for saying all these organisations support them on this issue and using them to justify pushing ahead with agencies. I have sent this to the NCA so they can get it corrected. If anyone has contacts with the other members could they forward the Hansards Q and A so they can also protest. I think the opponents on this group need to get together and make a joint statement correcting the idea they are all supportive of agencies.

    Anni (still campaigning in my own little way)

  16. #14
    Simona Guest

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    That is what causes the most frustration...all say they are not interested...all we need to hear is why they are there and feedback to us, a bit of reassurance would be welcome

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    I spoke to Trio Childcare last month and they told me that in Swindon they are contracted by the LA and they cannot be an agency whilst they are in that contract

    I have good relations with them and am happy to ask any questions.
    Debbie

  18. #16
    Simona Guest

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    Please do Chatterbox...I am not sure why there is such secrecy about this Task and Finish group?
    The DfE did say in one of their emails that those developing agencies do not wish to be 'named', @Home Childcare are the only ones very open about it...how are they going to find customers then?
    and then all the major charities are saying they are not interested...

    I am puzzled but also getting a tiny tiny bit cross with all this nonsense!

  19. #17
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    Feedback from nearly all the contacts on that list say they are not interested or cannot become agencies.

    Only @homechildcare have been honest and said 'we want to be an agency'.

    So that's Nottingham / South Yorks covered then ... where are the other agencies for the rest of the country?

  20. #18
    Simona Guest

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    I would like to know which LAs have expressed interest...that to me is very important as my question is how would they manage agency and independent cms, what would be the difference in support/training??
    I have been told the following:
    'Local authorities can't run a business as such. They would have to set up something similar to an ALMO (arms length management organisation) like they do for social housing'

    I asked for clarification but did not get it...does anyone know what it means?

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    Hi Simona

    Thanks for your pointers re the questions to ask at my meeting tomorrow afternoon. I think that Heads are trying to get ahead of the curve as when I saw one of my childminding friends she has told me that her and another childminder have been asked to run a breakfast club for their local school too - v interesting!

    Will update you after tomorrow.

    Sam x

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    @homechildcare will get no where in sheffield

    The LA support is too good...

    (at the minuted)
    boo

 

 
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