Variations...that old chestnut!!
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    Default Variations...that old chestnut!!

    Sorry for a variation question...im embarrassed asking but wanted to know everyone's thoughts

    If I have a 3.5yr old and a 18m old on a weds and have two enquires...

    1 enquiry for a 18m old 9am-1pm
    1 enquiry for a 3.5yr old 12pm-5pm

    Could I take them both on with the hour overlap?

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    JCrackers - please empty your inbox - tried to message you xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    JCrackers - please empty your inbox - tried to message you xx
    ok I have
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrakers View Post
    ok I have
    just messaged you

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    No you can't have 2 new children for new business if they will take you over ratios... sorry x

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    why don't u say yes ONLY if one gets picked up 30 mins earlier (12.30.. and other one gets dropped off 30 mins later.. 12.30.. then no over lap? x

  9. #7
    Simona Guest

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    Why not look at Ofsted Gill Jones's public statement on Cms ratios?
    I don't think cms have 'variations' anymore.

    check it out by calling Ofsted or clarify this with the DfE itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Why not look at Ofsted Gill Jones's public statement on Cms ratios?
    I don't think cms have 'variations' anymore.

    check it out by calling Ofsted or clarify this with the DfE itself.
    I've tried ringing Ofsted in the past Simona, they are no help which I'm always so confused even after years of this. That's why I always come on here for advice and different peoples thoughts because Ofsted washed their hands of it years ago. There should be a clear yes or no guide.
    I've had many variations over the years but when one comes up that your not quite sure about, its so annoying to let someone down just for the sake of 60minutes.

    Next week I have 5 under 5 because Mum is going into work for 2hrs...there's no problem with this as I've RA'ed but then I'm stumped on what to do for the 60minutes.
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  11. #9
    Simona Guest

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    Thank you for your reply JCrackers.
    At all the London OBC meetings I have attended I raised this issue.
    At the last OBC in January I also spoke to the HMI when she left the room but was available for further questions.

    My understanding is that cms can call Ofsted and get support ...also she recommended to look at Gill Jones' statement.
    I believe Gill has also recommended cms let her know if they are confused.
    Do you have access to her statement?
    Are you able to attend the nearest OBC to you?

    If you feel that Ofsted are not helping you need to raise this with them or the DfE since they write the EYFS...that is why I keep suggesting to cms 'check it out' with the depts. that are the official ones to offer advice....as you are correct the forum has differing opinions

    All this forum can do is offer support to cms so they can understand the ratio issue

    I can see this issue is very frustrating and there are several interpretations....all I go by is the DfE explanation of this in their several emails
    I also go by cms who seem to have no problem with this at all.

    Cms do not have variations anymore ...they are allowed 6 children under 8 as per certificate and you know the rest about RA etc etc.

    It maybe that our representing associations may need to push for more clarity in the EYFS...it needs to be raised with them

    I will continue to raise this in the hope the EYFS may be made clearer in future...hope never dies
    Last edited by Simona; 24-02-2016 at 12:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Thank you for your reply JCrackers.
    At all the London OBC meetings I have attended I raised this issue.
    At the last OBC in January I also spoke to the HMI when she left the room but was available for further questions.

    My understanding is that cms can call Ofsted and get support ...also she recommended to look at Gill Jones' statement.
    I believe Gill has also recommended cms let her know if they are confused.
    Do you have access to her statement?
    Are you able to attend the nearest OBC to you?

    If you feel that Ofsted are not helping you need to raise this with them or the DfE since they write the EYFS...that is why I keep suggesting to cms 'check it out' with the depts. that are the official ones to offer advice....as you are correct the forum has differing opinions

    All this forum can do is offer support to cms so they can understand the ratio issue

    I can see this issue is very frustrating and there are several interpretations....all I go by is the DfE explanation of this in their several emails
    I also go by cms who seem to have no problem with this at all.

    Cms do not have variations anymore ...they are allowed 6 children under 8 as per certificate and you know the rest about RA etc etc.

    It maybe that our representing associations may need to push for more clarity in the EYFS...it needs to be raised with them

    I will continue to raise this in the hope the EYFS may be made clearer in future...hope never dies
    I don't have access to her statement, where can I find it
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  13. #11
    Simona Guest

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    The message was on this forum as I recall posting it several times.

    It was made in June 2015 at a Pacey conference and stresses cms seek help if they receive confusing advice...so again it needs to be checked out each time if anyone is confused.
    It also stresses that the needs of all children need to be met when considering ratios.


    Here it is and I assume it is still valid as is the DfE clarification on the Foundation Years' website...check this out too if you are unsure.

    [B]At the recent Pacey conference Ofsted have clarified the issue of the ratios for CMs
    This is the message which also addresses 'continuity of care' and when this could be considered by a cm who wished to apply it

    ]''Following on from PACEY’s spring conference, where the issue of child ratios for childminders was raised, Ofsted has helped clarify the issue and has shared the following guidance, which has also been given to their inspectors and helpline staff:

    The EYFS provides the standard ratios but also recognises circumstances where these ratios can change so that the needs of children and their families are met. Paragraphs 3.30 and 3.42 advise that: ‘exceptionally, and where the quality of care and safety and security of children is maintained, exceptions to the ratios may be made’. For example exceptions can be made when childminders are caring for sibling babies or when caring for their own baby. There may also be other adjustments to the ratios, for example where children need continuity of care.

    Inspectors must ensure that the quality of care is not compromised by a childminder caring for more children and that they meet the needs of all the children in their care. Exceeding the ratio is not a breach in itself unless the childminder is failing to meet the needs of all children.

    The Department for Education (DfE) has published some frequently asked questions (FAQs) which provide further guidance.

    If you receive information that is different to the above guidance, Ofsted has advised that you take the name of the person, the date and time of the call and report it to them to investigate further''

    Further information can be found on the 4 Children Foundation Years website under the FAQs section
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Last edited by Simona; 24-02-2016 at 01:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    The message was on this forum as I recall posting it several times.

    It was made in June 2015 at a Pacey conference and stresses cms seek help if they receive confusing advice...so again it needs to be checked out each time if anyone is confused.
    It also stresses that the needs of all children need to be met when considering ratios.


    Here it is and I assume it is still valid as is the DfE clarification on the Foundation Years' website...check this out too if you are unsure.

    [B]At the recent Pacey conference Ofsted have clarified the issue of the ratios for CMs
    This is the message which also addresses 'continuity of care' and when this could be considered by a cm who wished to apply it

    ]''Following on from PACEY’s spring conference, where the issue of child ratios for childminders was raised, Ofsted has helped clarify the issue and has shared the following guidance, which has also been given to their inspectors and helpline staff:

    The EYFS provides the standard ratios but also recognises circumstances where these ratios can change so that the needs of children and their families are met. Paragraphs 3.30 and 3.42 advise that: ‘exceptionally, and where the quality of care and safety and security of children is maintained, exceptions to the ratios may be made’. For example exceptions can be made when childminders are caring for sibling babies or when caring for their own baby. There may also be other adjustments to the ratios, for example where children need continuity of care.

    Inspectors must ensure that the quality of care is not compromised by a childminder caring for more children and that they meet the needs of all the children in their care. Exceeding the ratio is not a breach in itself unless the childminder is failing to meet the needs of all children.

    The Department for Education (DfE) has published some frequently asked questions (FAQs) which provide further guidance.

    If you receive information that is different to the above guidance, Ofsted has advised that you take the name of the person, the date and time of the call and report it to them to investigate further''

    Further information can be found on the 4 Children Foundation Years website under the FAQs section
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Sorry, must have missed it...im not on here everyday

    Thanks
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    We've had something similar come up before and I will say the same again.

    The EYFS states a max of 3 under 5's (unless there is a continuity of care aspect). Taking on a fourth child who is not related to a child at your setting or an existing child who has extended hours goes against the EYFS which is a statutory document. I don't believe taking on new business is an exceptional circumstance.....there is no detriment to that new child, they simply find another option.

    If you take on a fourth child you must be prepared to explain yourself to an inspector if asked.

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  17. #14
    Simona Guest

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    Yes Rick....that is why each cms must check the information out as every case is different.

    This issue has come up hundreds of times in this forum and it is up to each cm to make sure any change in ratios suits their families, needs and the care of the other children....all the members can do is support a cm on this
    I am unclear who 'we' is in your comment.. And it is not what we personally believe but what is allowed in the EYFS

    Again we all need to check it out from official sources and , of course, at inspection a cm has to account for any changes in his/her ratios....there are hundreds of cms who have done so and passed their inspection with flying colours when the care of all children has been appropriate.

    The advice is for cms to attend OBC or write to the DfE if unsure....or refer the matter to Gill Jones at Ofsted....I think her role in Ofsted is to be trusted to be able to clarify.

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    Ok, I know its tiresome and reading a couple of responses I know some people are rolling their eyes as its a question that shouldn't have been asked, but this variation thing is a load of rubbish.... there I've said it!!

    It enables childminders to have more than 3 but doesn't help others who just want a slight overlap. A childminder down the road has 4 under 5 everyday due to a parent adding hours, so 40hrs of having 4 children and then it doesn't allow for someone to overlap for an hour.

    Its complete rubbish and someone needs to look at it to help parents find childcare and childminders make a living. I have a space available and it's not particularly in my interest to take on someone who only wants 5hrs as I make a loss of around £75pm but with another parent who also needs the other half of the day is perfect.

    Anyway...i'll find a solution and wont come on here to ask again as I know its tiring
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  20. #16
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrakers View Post
    Ok, I know its tiresome and reading a couple of responses I know some people are rolling their eyes as its a question that shouldn't have been asked, but this variation thing is a load of rubbish.... there I've said it!!

    It enables childminders to have more than 3 but doesn't help others who just want a slight overlap. A childminder down the road has 4 under 5 everyday due to a parent adding hours, so 40hrs of having 4 children and then it doesn't allow for someone to overlap for an hour.

    Its complete rubbish and someone needs to look at it to help parents find childcare and childminders make a living. I have a space available and it's not particularly in my interest to take on someone who only wants 5hrs as I make a loss of around £75pm but with another parent who also needs the other half of the day is perfect.

    Anyway...i'll find a solution and wont come on here to ask again as I know its tiring
    I personally don't think it is tiring at all.....frustrating yes for those cms trying to do the right thing
    It is important...vital maybe...that this issue is sorted and stops giving cms worries
    The ratio for other providers is very clear in the EYFS and it should be so for cms too....compared their ratio section which is pages long to cms which is a few paragraphs ....and badly written too

    Where does it say you cannot overlap?
    Cms need not lose heart on this and keep the pressure to get it clarified
    It would be in the interest of all parties to find a solution considering that childcare is in deep trouble with a severe lack of spaces as reported today....and the promise of double free hours

    I won't give up trying to get it sorted....hope you don't give up either

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    I completely agree JCrackers. I thought I was going to be in a situation of having 4 under 5 for 2 hrs on a Friday (not every Friday due to shift patterns) and only for 2 months! So short term and I didn't want to mess any parents around on this issue. I contacted Ofsted and the response was refer to EYFS. I believe this is an exceptional circumstance but would an inspector agree? I breathed a sigh of relief when shift child no longer needs Friday's! Problem solved! But I hate all the confusion and stress around this issue. It does seem ridiculous that you may not be able to have the the overlap whereas some mindees have 4 full time.

  23. #18
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by natlou82 View Post
    I completely agree JCrackers. I thought I was going to be in a situation of having 4 under 5 for 2 hrs on a Friday (not every Friday due to shift patterns) and only for 2 months! So short term and I didn't want to mess any parents around on this issue. I contacted Ofsted and the response was refer to EYFS. I believe this is an exceptional circumstance but would an inspector agree? I breathed a sigh of relief when shift child no longer needs Friday's! Problem solved! But I hate all the confusion and stress around this issue. It does seem ridiculous that you may not be able to have the the overlap whereas some mindees have 4 full time.
    If you feel you have not been helped/supported it would it be useful to get clarification on this issue should this happen again in future.

    My understanding is that inspector will look at your professional judgement if you have changed your ratios, look at evidence then judge the care of all children at inspection
    Would the EY team help you if you approached them?

    Having spoken at length with the DfE in the past and reading their emails I feel there should be no confusion
    Ofsted have also clarified what Cms can do, when and why

    My point is that, after nearly 4 years since the EYFS was reviewed, this issue continues to cause a lot of worry to cms and it needs addressing.
    I think there are cms here who have successfully increased their ratio...I personally know of several who also achieved excellent grades at inspection.

    All we can do is to keep trying on this issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    I personally don't think it is tiring at all.....frustrating yes for those cms trying to do the right thing
    It is important...vital maybe...that this issue is sorted and stops giving cms worries
    The ratio for other providers is very clear in the EYFS and it should be so for cms too....compared their ratio section which is pages long to cms which is a few paragraphs ....and badly written too

    Where does it say you cannot overlap?
    Cms need not lose heart on this and keep the pressure to get it clarified
    It would be in the interest of all parties to find a solution considering that childcare is in deep trouble with a severe lack of spaces as reported today....and the promise of double free hours

    I won't give up trying to get it sorted....hope you don't give up either
    In fairness it doesn't say you can overlap, it says a max of 3 under 5. If you take on a fourth child that has no existing relation to your business you are not complying with the wording in the EYFS. Of course we can interpret this any way we wish but I feel the wording as it stands does not allow any overlap.

    I had a message today from a concerned childminder who had been downgraded when applying continuity of care correctly for existing children so currently what hope is there that they would accept something against the wording in the EYFS?

  25. #20
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    In fairness it doesn't say you can overlap, it says a max of 3 under 5. If you take on a fourth child that has no existing relation to your business you are not complying with the wording in the EYFS. Of course we can interpret this any way we wish but I feel the wording as it stands does not allow any overlap.

    I had a message today from a concerned childminder who had been downgraded when applying continuity of care correctly for existing children so currently what hope is there that they would accept something against the wording in the EYFS?
    If cms were to ring the DfE all the ins and outs of CMs ratios would be explained....their emails to me make it very clear what Cms can do

    I am unclear why cms approach you and not those who can sort this matter....were does the EYFS not mention overlap?

    Do you recall Truss's statement about cms and 'overlap' just before the EYFS was updated in 2012?...I do and somewhere in the archives you will find it for reference

    I have spoken to Ofsted several times ...and DfE at length and also inspectors themselves and they have confirmed cms have been downgraded at inspection because the care of all children was the issue...not the variations itself....please get that checked

    I think it is time to stop confusing cms about this ratio saga....here in this Forum is the only place I read confusing advice, cms who give up considering the ratio because Ofsted will not agree...where doe sthe EYFS say so?
    there are cms who have used the ratio properly and kept their grades

    Rick...you said you would continue lobbying Ofsted ....maybe you could contact Gill Jones now and put the case to her , after all Nick Hudson did not really make this issue clearer....or you could encourage members here to attend OBC and put the question to Ofsted themselves.

    I am unclear why cms do not direct their worries to DfE or Ofsted when ratios are causing them anxiety, worry and confusion....those are the official places to get clarification

    Once again get clarification as it is not a case of the EYFS wording...it is a question of children receiving good care....check it out

    I am absolutely clear on ratios...when I read comments here is enough to cause confusion even to those who have no problem with this issue...time to sort it out!
    Last edited by Simona; 28-02-2016 at 08:07 AM.

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