Phew! Finally giving up minding, have given official notice.
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  1. #1
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    Default Phew! Finally giving up minding, have given official notice.

    I have finally made the decision after weeks and weeks thinking about it, I am having a break from Minding! I have given notice to my one and only full time mindee, and it felt like a weight had been lifted!

    Its been a hard slog, all day every day, with a small break in-between for pre-school. The effect on my own 3 children 6/3/2 has been noticeable, I don't get time to read, learn spellings, or do all the things I should be doing with my own kids, as i was too busy doing it with somebody else's!

    My plan is to dedicate lots of time to my own little ones, then maybe just maybe come September when my 3 year old starts foundation, and my 2 year old starts pre-school, I may consider a mindee during school hours.

    I never realised that minding would be quite so in depth, I love caring for little ones, but all the paper work, constantly feeling like your jumping through hoops to please Ofsted should they turn up! it takes over your life, and its very consuming, its all I ever seem to be doing!

    Anyhow this forum has been a fantastic support for a newbie like me, and I am sure it will continue to be in the future.

    Emma.

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    good luck for the future, keep in touch and let us know what you are doing

    xxx

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    Well done for getting there and putting your family first. Hopefully hear from you in September. Have fun being a mum again!

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    Glad to hear you've made your decision and already know it's the right one for you.

    Like you, when I first started out I had 3 young children (5, 2 and 1) but it was so much easier. We had minimal paperwork, no Ofsted and an annual visit from Social Services when they came to the house, had a coffee, chatted about what we were doing, asked a few questions, then went. It wasn't even called an inspection in those days. There was no grading and there was no fear about it. Social Services were there to help you not put the fear of god into you!

    Take a break, spend precious time with your family and maybe we'll see you back later in the year

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    I wish they'd get rid of ofsted and bring back the social services visit you describe, sounds lovely, it's horrible worrying about ofsted and inspections and possibility of complaints from neighbours leading to investigations etc etc I feel constantly on edge and worried by it, but at the same time love what I do.
    I had a tough afternoon with my own 3 year old screaming the place down when the others all played nicely in the garden, And I said to my husband flippantly 'what must people think?!' and sitting here this evening I am worrying yes what are people thinking of the child having a tantrum while I 'ignore' him (my trying to calm him prolongs it until he has calmed himself a little). I dread to think what neighbours must think, they wouldn't know he was completely worked up because he wanted a jug filled with water, but could see I was stacking the boxes in the shed so rather than do it himself he wanted me to do it and so the tantrum began!
    And then I feel guilty that he only had the tantrum because he was tired and wanted some attention and me to himself but I had to get cleared up and get the dinner on so everyone was fed before pickup, so it's my fault really, yet if I wasn't doing this I'd be having to go out to work to earn and see so much less of him. It really is so hard and the constant worry about ofsted turning up out of the blue to grill you for several hours I find really ruins it.
    So I totally get why you're having a break from it all, enjoy the time with your little ones while they're still little, sorry for my post hijack, it was a tough afternoon here!!

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    Glad to hear you've made your decision and already know it's the right one for you.

    Like you, when I first started out I had 3 young children (5, 2 and 1) but it was so much easier. We had minimal paperwork, no Ofsted and an annual visit from Social Services when they came to the house, had a coffee, chatted about what we were doing, asked a few questions, then went. It wasn't even called an inspection in those days. There was no grading and there was no fear about it. Social Services were there to help you not put the fear of god into you!

    Take a break, spend precious time with your family and maybe we'll see you back later in the year
    This is what we have here. An annual inspection that lasts an hour. No written observations or next steps etc. So much easier and relaxed
    Tess1981

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex__17 View Post
    And then I feel guilty that he only had the tantrum because he was tired and wanted some attention and me to himself but I had to get cleared up and get the dinner on so everyone was fed before pickup, so it's my fault really, yet if I wasn't doing this I'd be having to go out to work to earn and see so much less of him. It really is so hard and the constant worry about ofsted turning up out of the blue to grill you for several hours I find really ruins it.
    So I totally get why you're having a break from it all, enjoy the time with your little ones while they're still little, sorry for my post hijack, it was a tough afternoon here!!
    Don't feel guilty when your child has a tantrum hon, we all have to work. If you weren't a childminder and had to go out to work, your child would be in childcare and see less of you.
    Ah I've just re read your post and see that you have put that lol!
    Childminding IS really hard work but I've found it more enjoyable than any job I've ever had.
    With regards to Ofsted, the only hard and fast rules they really have is to safeguard the children and ensure they are developing. If that's what you are doing and you can prove it then you're doing a good job.
    I think too many childminders try to be nurseries which makes other childminders feel inadequate. We've got to run our childminding home as we want to so believe in yourself and do it how you want to do it.
    I do.
    I do minimal paperwork, do what I want to with the children which includes taking them to the supermarket, Dr's etc if I need to and most of all I enjoy it. If the parents don't like what I offer then they can go elsewhere.
    I do things for the children and myself - not for ofsted.
    I am graded outstanding too!

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    I am very envious you only had one lot of parents to tell that's the part im dreading Enjoy your family time sounds like you have done the right thing for sure xx

  13. #9
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    The recent OFSTED statistics released a few days ago show that around 900 Cms have left ...this leaves the number around 48,000/50,000
    10,000 cms have been lost in the last 4 years and I am sure this govt will blame the previous govt for it
    The whole sector has around 76,000 providers in total...so Cms are still the vast majority.

    When Cms hand in their registration I don't think they are asked why they are leaving...Ofsted then state what the reasons maybe...this is true of the latest statistics as well if you read the publication.
    It would help a lot if we were able to give a reason for it to form a good opinion on the cms drain out of the sector.

    Many Cms quote overwhelming 'paperwork' as a reason for leaving but the paperwork required is only what is strictly necessary...maybe too many are doing too much 'just in case' to please Ofsted?
    The CIF focus on 'teaching' not paperwork anymore so may be good to reflect what is being done that is not required

    Many providers are coming out with paperwork that does not take staff away from the children...I have to admit I have never met a cm who does her paperwork during working hours but I have seen nursery/preschool staff do just that.

    The requirement for EYFs is ongoing formative assessment and a short summative assessment but it looks like so much time is taken on LJs...why?

    It maybe time to distinguish between 'paperwork' as that needed for evidence such as financial and other records and 'documentation' which is reporting on children's progress.

    Also agencies may have scared Cms off...something the govt is not willing to accept and continues to pursue

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    I try and do paperwork .. Be it learning journey stuff or accounts whilst I'm working ... But with a max of 1 1/2 hrs each day when LOs sleep during which I also clear up from the morning & lunch, prep and cook tea, write diaries etc, I do have to spend an hour or so every weekend keeping up to date and then a few hours each month planning etc. We don't have the luxury of someone else to care for the children whilst we do it in our working day.

  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I try and do paperwork .. Be it learning journey stuff or accounts whilst I'm working ... But with a max of 1 1/2 hrs each day when LOs sleep during which I also clear up from the morning & lunch, prep and cook tea, write diaries etc, I do have to spend an hour or so every weekend keeping up to date and then a few hours each month planning etc. We don't have the luxury of someone else to care for the children whilst we do it in our working day.
    If cms' children all sleep at the same time then yes that is a good opportunity to jot down obs or do minor bits of paperwork....tidy up or think of cooking dinner....or just flop with a cup of coffee and a bite to eat
    I was referring to comments made by nurseries who do things differently and where staff actually do paperwork during working hours...a bit different I know but I have witnessed it and it leaves me puzzled.

    Planning is also mentioned by other providers...the key words now are 'on the moment' planning...whichever way one wants to interpret this I think they mean follow the child's lead which is what EYFS requires....I am not sure if we are required to do hours of planning each month? But we are different of course

    As agreed by many paperwork is unique to each provider as a child learning is unique to each child

  16. #12
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    I only plan long term, books special days etc...so that I can organise resources and my environment.
    I plan for next steps of children to ensure I remember to take them down that pathway in their play, so it's more a possible activity when they are playing with......

    I spend my time on writing a daily detailed diary ( when they are asleep and at the end of the day) which doubles up as observations - the software I use does the rest. Once a half term I analyse their progress and review next steps and sometimes review my practise / the children's experiences/ resources in light of the analysis. In order to ensure my LO's are gaining the characteristics of learning, I spend time creating resources and thinking about activities that help with problem solving, make them enthusiastic etc....mainly loose open ended play opportunities. But I rarely write these down.

    Very minimal apart from the diary/ obs. I do have a mind set that I am not finished until the photos have been attached and diaries finished, but I also do have a DH that cooks, tidies up what is left at the end of the day, makes playdoh, cuts things out, creates resources etc... Which, like having a good TA in a classroom helps us tick along easily.

    When I was inspected last year my planning was not discussed, a sample was in the folder so she may have seen it, but the emphasis was on what she actually saw and where the children had started compared to where they were in her opinion and my data, taking into account where expected attainment is.
    In my other life I have worked with teachers who spent hours meticulously planning, but did not have the ability and skills to put that planning into action with success in children making progress, it's the daily practise that is more important. However some people like to plan in detail, because it helps their daily practise to flow, we are all different, so it's not how you get there really it's just the progress the children make in their learning that counts......and their happiness .....not forgetting the important area -developing their characteristics for learning.

    There are times when I can answer an email for the county, upload photos for learning journey, do a bit of prep for another day, pop something into my accounts whilst the children are in my sight but absorbed in play that I am not involved in, I am there interacting but not 100% with them. I find when I do this it helps them to take their play to the next level, communication and language develops etc.. Sometimes I might chat to a LO and we work out together what I should put in the diary that day - they like watching me type too and they press some keys too.
    I think you can be very creative with your time and still get little bits of PPA and paperwork completed whilst you are with the children.
    I take my hat off to those doing school runs at each end of the day and cooking full meals, I can see how it leaves little time to do this sort of thing during the day, which leads to exhaustion and dissatisfaction sometimes.

  17. #13
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    Another good reply Flora Dora and one to reflect on.

    As you say we can all be creative with our time and do specific tasks when the children are under our care...when they sleep etc etc.
    As an example ...printing photos with our children...takes care of 2 tasks in one go.

    I believe the DfE is referring to 'prolonged periods' when practitioners are taken away from caring for the children to do paperwork...so I feel that is not the same as the good examples you have described but something nurseries and preschools are taking very seriously...I am very curious to see evidence of this new way of doing paperwork and I will have the opportunity to do so soon.

    Diaries also are optional and not a requirement...I am in 2 minds whether they are actually doubling up on the online LJs many do?...not sure and I would like to explore that too.

    Planning...another point of contention...where in the CIF does it refer to planning or state how it should be done?...does anyone do general planning?

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Another good reply Flora Dora and one to reflect on.

    As you say we can all be creative with our time and do specific tasks when the children are under our care...when they sleep etc etc.
    As an example ...printing photos with our children...takes care of 2 tasks in one go.

    I believe the DfE is referring to 'prolonged periods' when practitioners are taken away from caring for the children to do paperwork...so I feel that is not the same as the good examples you have described but something nurseries and preschools are taking very seriously...I am very curious to see evidence of this new way of doing paperwork and I will have the opportunity to do so soon.

    Diaries also are optional and not a requirement...I am in 2 minds whether they are actually doubling up on the online LJs many do?...not sure and I would like to explore that too.

    Planning...another point of contention...where in the CIF does it refer to planning or state how it should be done?...does anyone do general planning?
    Simona this issue frustrates me no end. I'm glad it is being addressed. As you know, I am back in a school setting and the amount of time the TAs are away from children - sticking dates and learning objectives into books, printing out photographic evidence which is already evidenced somewhere else (the list goes on) makes my blood boil. At the end of the day, the Head wants to see beautifully presented work books and evidence of 'teaching'. For example, some literacy work was put on display on a wall, nothing new there and great practice, BUT there sill had to be a date and learning objective stuck in the Literacy book and a photograph of the work on display stuck in the books and then a comment about whether the learning objective was met or not. You can imagine how long it took he TA to print out the same photograph 30 times, strim them all etc. How many children could she have worked with during that time?

  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Simona this issue frustrates me no end. I'm glad it is being addressed. As you know, I am back in a school setting and the amount of time the TAs are away from children - sticking dates and learning objectives into books, printing out photographic evidence which is already evidenced somewhere else (the list goes on) makes my blood boil. At the end of the day, the Head wants to see beautifully presented work books and evidence of 'teaching'. For example, some literacy work was put on display on a wall, nothing new there and great practice, BUT there sill had to be a date and learning objective stuck in the Literacy book and a photograph of the work on display stuck in the books and then a comment about whether the learning objective was met or not. You can imagine how long it took he TA to print out the same photograph 30 times, strim them all etc. How many children could she have worked with during that time?
    Thanks Maza...the issue in schools is one I am not very good at addressing but you are basically saying it happens there too....duplication and taking an expert pair of hands out of the classroom ...what for I ask? to tick a few more targets? how can that happen in a class full of 2 year olds when you need 6 pairs of eyes not just 2?

    It also looks like TAs...such a valuable source of support to teachers...are now being recognised for the expertise they have...remember when Gove wanted to sack them all?

    It boils down to overload and unnecessary red tape which teachers cannot do on their own....many spend long hours at home doing paperwork.

    My worry is with nurseries/preschools where practitioners have time off to go and do the LJs...when this happens they need to be substituted with other staff and I have seen this....a question of economics there....how much money is being spent on extra staff to complete LJs?

    The whole point is to recognise what is actually required and what is optional and allowing providers to use their own initiative and skills to understand the EYFS and provide evidence to Ofsted that is 'necessary' but not produced 'just in case' to please them....without also producing additional burdens imposed by the ever thirsty and demanding LAs who never stop asking for more paperwork.

    Sorry for the deviation from the OP...this remains a very important issue to resolve or we will all die under a 'paperwork avalanche'

    The system needs simplifications especially in view of those blessed 30 hours when several settings will be producing several LJs...what for?

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    Exactly Simona. Couldn't agree more.

    The example I used about sticking a photograph of a display in the child's Literacy book was purely for senior management - so that when they take in a sample of books to 'supposedly' monitor the teaching and learning that has been going on, they can't turn around and say that there isn't much evidence of work in the books. Why they can't trust the teachers is beyond me (particularly relevant in that school for some unknown reason). Why they can't just ask the teacher why there was no work in the books for a particular week and then go and look at the lovely display themselves is again beyond me. Not quite sure how any of this benefits the children in their eyes. Sadly, I doubt Ofsted will see through this and bring it up, but I could be wrong.

  21. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Exactly Simona. Couldn't agree more.

    The example I used about sticking a photograph of a display in the child's Literacy book was purely for senior management - so that when they take in a sample of books to 'supposedly' monitor the teaching and learning that has been going on, they can't turn around and say that there isn't much evidence of work in the books. Why they can't trust the teachers is beyond me (particularly relevant in that school for some unknown reason). Why they can't just ask the teacher why there was no work in the books for a particular week and then go and look at the lovely display themselves is again beyond me. Not quite sure how any of this benefits the children in their eyes. Sadly, I doubt Ofsted will see through this and bring it up, but I could be wrong.
    If you have the time spare a few minutes to watch the NUT conference and Nicky Morgan address to teachers.....ouch!

    There is a flurry of news today with regard to teachers' overload and new publications by the DfE...worth looking into it
    It looks like this issue of overload is one that is shared by the EY sector as well as teachers.

    Have a great Easter!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Another good reply Flora Dora and one to reflect on.

    ...

    Diaries also are optional and not a requirement...I am in 2 minds whether they are actually doubling up on the online LJs many do?...not sure and I would like to explore that too.

    ...
    I use online LJ and paper note-book diaries. For me they do not double up at all and I make sure they don't!
    LJ is for obs only- wow moments and recording moments to show progress and interests.
    For me, diary is for noting nappies, naps, food and drink, where we've been and who we've seen, requests for things and info about up coming events etc, for parents to write about their child's weekend, how they slept and eaten. (This is all for EYFS children who can not reliably tell parents/me all this themselves)
    Much of this is doubled up by some CMers with doorstep chats and that could be seen as unnecessary- but then there maybe a second parent who does not get the doorstep chat who appreciates the diary to read at home. Some use email/whatsapp/text- all fine if it suits the parents.
    I do not have long doorstep chats as all my parents arrive at the same time and I have no area by the door for them to stand/wait/chat out of the rain or without the cold blowing in with the front door open! So my hand-overs are short and sweet, we all know everything is in the diary.
    But I see the diary as different to the LJ.
    There are, of course, online packages that included daily-diary-functions and LJ-functions!

  23. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    I use online LJ and paper note-book diaries. For me they do not double up at all and I make sure they don't!
    LJ is for obs only- wow moments and recording moments to show progress and interests.
    For me, diary is for noting nappies, naps, food and drink, where we've been and who we've seen, requests for things and info about up coming events etc, for parents to write about their child's weekend, how they slept and eaten. (This is all for EYFS children who can not reliably tell parents/me all this themselves)
    Much of this is doubled up by some CMers with doorstep chats and that could be seen as unnecessary- but then there maybe a second parent who does not get the doorstep chat who appreciates the diary to read at home. Some use email/whatsapp/text- all fine if it suits the parents.
    I do not have long doorstep chats as all my parents arrive at the same time and I have no area by the door for them to stand/wait/chat out of the rain or without the cold blowing in with the front door open! So my hand-overs are short and sweet, we all know everything is in the diary.
    But I see the diary as different to the LJ.
    There are, of course, online packages that included daily-diary-functions and LJ-functions!
    As I did say documentation is unique to each provider so we choose what we feel suits us.....I hope we can remain indoependent and unique and not just follow the trend whether it is Tapestry, Orbit or recording on the events during the day for a baby....they are all commercially produced and can be easily devised by us to be online and serve the same purpose.
    We choose and it is right we have that option.

    For me personally I believe a quick chat on the doorstep is much more productive...I do not feel ...again it is personal...that everything has to be online to save time....or to do with Apps and instant notification to parents which encourages more use of smart phones and less vocal interaction.


    I do not know if so called online journals save time as I can only guess from what providers say...some seem to log on every day...some every now and then
    LJs can be used for whatever we need to put in them ...generally they record the learning process....but I don't feel we need to record every observation...just the important ones taken from the ongoing formative assessment....then write a short summary with the outcomes.


    That is my interpretation of EYFS and did not entails a huge amount of documentation....just a few hours every term.
    Whatever we choose the aim is to reduce the burden not add to it

 

 

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