How has your Ofsted grade affected you?
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  1. #1
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    Default How has your Ofsted grade affected you?

    I was lucky enough to have had a lovely inspector who decided to give me outstanding.
    Since then I've had very mixed reactions. I've had lots of enquiries after I put it on my childcare. Co . Uk profile and the ones that have visited have signed up straight away so I think the grading helped massively.
    Most of the local childminders have been really supportive of me and congratulated me but I've had one or two who have said I must've jumped through hoops to get it and been a bit scathing.
    Just wondered other people's experiences.
    BTW I didn't jump through hoops. I got the phone call on the Monday lunchtime and she came at 9.30 on the Tuesday. I didn't have time to jump through hoops

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  3. #2
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    I haven't signed any new families up since getting outstanding for the first time in January - I haven't got any spaces- so not sure if it will have an impact- I would like to think parents would be impressed. As for other minders, I've had lots of congratulations and also comments along the lines of "I wouldn't want outstanding personally cos of xyz" as if it is a bad thing. Mixed messages really. But I feel proud of my grade and work hard to give the children the best experiences. I think I would be gutted if I dropped a grade in the future.

  4. #3
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    I know what you mean hulahoops. I had two goods by Ofsted before I got an outstanding in Sept 2011. I was pleased as I know I do a good job and I know my colleagues do a great job too. I had some comments and at my local authority annual childminding conference I didn't receive any recognition as outstanding providers had before that as they were only celebrating childminders that had obtained a NVQ3 at that time.

    I didn't tell some would be parents that I had an outstanding until they signed up.

    Fast forward and a couple of weeks ago the inspector gave me another outstanding.

    I don't care what other people think now as I've had so much go on since 2011.

    Good luck to you.

  5. #4
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    I'd say my grade has had an effect, but not a hugely important one.

    The first noticeable effect after my first graded inspection was at the CM group I attended at the time. For various reasons, they'd never previously taken me seriously and it was very obvious I was seen as an "outsider". Once I got the outstanding grade they were all over me, although it was purely because they wanted to steal my paperwork. They seemed to think they were all perfect childcarers and only needed to copy my documents and then Ofsted would finally see they were the best in the world.

    I've had a few prospective clients comment they wouldn't have considered a male CM but made an exception because of my grade. Personally, I think that's a rubbish attitude, like saying, "I don't really like black people very much, but I suppose that Lewis Hamilton is alright since he's world champion." But then I suppose it is only to be expected. When women are trying to break into male-dominated careers, they had to be better than the average man to be seen as anything like equals.

    My favourites are the parents that come over all snooty with, "of course, we're only looking at good/outstanding settings because we want nothing but the best for our little Nigel." Then they start quibbling over fees and quoting the prices charged by the dire nursery that got an unsatisfactory not that long ago." (Jog on.....)

    The basic problem is that people see the grade and forget it is merely a half-day snapshot out of four years' work. Plus the whole inspection system (not to mention at least some of the inspectres) is biased and completely flawed. I've had more than my fair share of clients who work as teachers, TA's, nursery/preschool staff, etc. and they really aren't interested in my grade. They know what Ofsted/inspections are like, and so (very rightly) they would rather make their own judgments than trust Ofsted.
    Last edited by bunyip; 13-06-2016 at 08:48 AM.

  6. #5
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    To be honest a Ofsted inspector doesn't know you just see's things in the four hours they are with you. I honestly think it's not the grades to consider when looking for a childminder, it's the recommendations from others.Lots of people put on a 'show' when Ofsted come and it's not really them at all. I think it's best to act as you would without an inspector there and get given the grade they dish out, in my case 'good'. I'm happy with that as all I want is the children to be happy, safe and learning in a secure household.
    So no haven't been affected by my grade.

  7. #6
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    I don't think I've been affected by my grade as regards parents coming to visit, although, being able to say I was outstanding was a good selling point when I moved and started from scratch knowing no one.
    95% of my children now come from families seeing me around, or word of mouth.

    However, I have had comments from other minders 'you must have had a pack of trained monkeys' 'I already do loads of paperwork, I couldn't do any more' 'you just had a kind inspector' 'that's a long way to fall next time' 'your house must be like a nursery' ... No it's not, but I do have a playroom. I don't do loads of paperwork and I did have amazing children that day who had been together a long time and are just great!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I don't think I've been affected by my grade as regards parents coming to visit, although, being able to say I was outstanding was a good selling point when I moved and started from scratch knowing no one.
    95% of my children now come from families seeing me around, or word of mouth.

    However, I have had comments from other minders 'you must have had a pack of trained monkeys' 'I already do loads of paperwork, I couldn't do any more' 'you just had a kind inspector' 'that's a long way to fall next time' 'your house must be like a nursery' ... No it's not, but I do have a playroom. I don't do loads of paperwork and I did have amazing children that day who had been together a long time and are just great!
    I was the same on my inspection day - I had a 4 year old and 2 x nearly 3 year olds, they had grown up together but only got to play together once a week (because of Nursery) and really enjoyed each other's company - if my inspector had come on a different day, I honestly believe my outcome would have been very different.

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  10. #8
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    I don't think my grade makes any difference to potential parents. The majority of parents who come round haven't even read my report, I give them a link when they come and visit to read it online.

    My last two inspections on the otherhand have changed the way I work. At the beginning I was really wanting to please the inspector and I put a lot of effort into trying to achieve an outstanding. Everytime I had an inspection they had just changed the criteria so I could never win. My last inspection was Oct 15 just after they had changed the inspection framework.

    After silly feedback from my last two inspectors I've lost the drive to achieve an outstanding so I've relaxed a lot and its not what I work for. I've learnt over the 9 yrs that its all down to what inspector you have on the day, what they like and there's no fairness in it.
    I feel like it's comparable to the stall at the fair where you try to knock of a £20 note stuck to a can but they're all stuck down. No matter how hard you try and how much effort you put into winning it, you never can.
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrakers View Post
    I don't think my grade makes any difference to potential parents. The majority of parents who come round haven't even read my report, I give them a link when they come and visit to read it online.

    My last two inspections on the otherhand have changed the way I work. At the beginning I was really wanting to please the inspector and I put a lot of effort into trying to achieve an outstanding. Everytime I had an inspection they had just changed the criteria so I could never win. My last inspection was Oct 15 just after they had changed the inspection framework.

    After silly feedback from my last two inspectors I've lost the drive to achieve an outstanding so I've relaxed a lot and its not what I work for. I've learnt over the 9 yrs that its all down to what inspector you have on the day, what they like and there's no fairness in it.
    I feel like it's comparable to the stall at the fair where you try to knock of a £20 note stuck to a can but they're all stuck down. No matter how hard you try and how much effort you put into winning it, you never can.
    I feel your pain, JCrakers. Just keep doing what you're doing - the parents choose you for a reason, and I'm sure the children love you to bits!

    x

    LK

    PS: Had my inspection last week - Goodbye Satisfactory; Hello Good. (Grade doesn't matter to my current parents, but found my previous grade mattered a LOT to prospective parents, who just went elsewhere. Not that I've missed them, but it was a bit disheartening at the time. Onwards and upwards and glad to have the grade/recognition I've got now.)
    Last edited by lollipop kid; 14-06-2016 at 01:19 PM.

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by samb View Post
    I haven't signed any new families up since getting outstanding for the first time in January - I haven't got any spaces- so not sure if it will have an impact- I would like to think parents would be impressed. As for other minders, I've had lots of congratulations and also comments along the lines of "I wouldn't want outstanding personally cos of xyz" as if it is a bad thing. Mixed messages really. But I feel proud of my grade and work hard to give the children the best experiences. I think I would be gutted if I dropped a grade in the future.
    I've had people say 'I wouldn't want outstanding ' too. I've even had one saying that she would ask the inspector to change it to good.
    I don't know how I'll feel when I drop my grade. I'm saying when because I know I was very lucky to have a lovely, understanding inspector who happened to agree with the way I mind - I might not be so lucky next time.

  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    To be honest a Ofsted inspector doesn't know you just see's things in the four hours they are with you. I honestly think it's not the grades to consider when looking for a childminder, it's the recommendations from others.Lots of people put on a 'show' when Ofsted come and it's not really them at all. I think it's best to act as you would without an inspector there and get given the grade they dish out, in my case 'good'. I'm happy with that as all I want is the children to be happy, safe and learning in a secure household.
    So no haven't been affected by my grade.

    I agree with you that the inspector only gets a snap shot of what the minders are like and I'm sure many do put on a show, you see that from the facebook forums where minders are asking what activities to do on the day or saying things like ofsted will love these (usually about multi cultural toys). I personally did not put on a show. I have strong ideas about childminding and I wanted to be judged on those ideas and be told if ofsted thought it right or wrong. I don't have all the posters, parent notice board, labelled boxes, multi cultural toys etc in fact I hardly have any toys but I was able to explain my reasoning behind all this and thankfully the inspector was happy with this. I didn't even have a planned activity for when she came round , I just followed the children's lead and asked what they wanted to do which was jigsaws and play dough.
    I'm like you, not really bothered about my grade as I just want the children to be happy, safe etc. The outstanding grade is just a bonus

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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrakers View Post

    After silly feedback from my last two inspectors I've lost the drive to achieve an outstanding so I've relaxed a lot and its not what I work for. I've learnt over the 9 yrs that its all down to what inspector you have on the day, what they like and there's no fairness in it.
    I feel like it's comparable to the stall at the fair where you try to knock of a £20 note stuck to a can but they're all stuck down. No matter how hard you try and how much effort you put into winning it, you never can.
    I never had the drive to achieve outstanding, my drive is to do my best for the children and thankfully the inspector thought the way I go about it is outstanding.
    I think a lot depends on the inspector.

    We have had 2 inspections locally by the same inspector. She gave one requires improvement and was apparently a b**** and gave another outstanding and was as nice as pie. I suppose it depends on the mood on the day

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lollipop kid View Post
    I feel your pain, JCrakers. Just keep doing what you're doing - the parents choose you for a reason, and I'm sure the children love you to bits!

    x

    LK

    PS: Had my inspection last week - Goodbye Satisfactory; Hello Good. (Grade doesn't matter to my current parents, but found my previous grade mattered a LOT to prospective parents, who just went elsewhere. Not that I've missed them, but it was a bit disheartening at the time. Onwards and upwards and glad to have the grade/recognition I've got now.)

    Well done lollipop!
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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  21. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrakers View Post
    Well done lollipop!
    Thanks, JCrakers.

    Bonus for me was that, even though I was inspected with only two newbies, Inspector could see my setting as it is every day and still liked it. I didn't do anything special for the inspection. Inspector said it was a shame my longest-attending mindee went off sick just as she arrived, or my grade might have been very different. (Meant in a positive way.)

    I'm relieved it was such a lovely inspection after my last nightmare one, which I can now put behind me.



    LK

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  23. #15
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    In my experience it's me who is most effected by my grades. I don't put on a show, just work as normal as possible and let ofsted do their thing but I always worry terribly before they come. I registered pre ofsted, so very old, and Iv never had a parent/carer ask anything about my checks they are usually to busy telling me their needs. It's usually me who mentions I am registered but not my grade unless they ask.
    I strive to be the best I can for the children not ofsted. When ofsted first took over you couldn't get outstanding, good was the top grade, my first outstanding I kissed the inspector for saying she would leave her children with me which meant more than the grade. This has been followed by another outstanding and a met. As said before I felt a bit miffed about the met but after reading some of the terrible outcomes on here and elsewhere feel ok about it. As long as I can continue to work, which apart from a 3mth gap 10 years ago, still seems to be needed it's ok.
    I still wonder and am in awe that I am trusted with the most precious little people!!!

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