Unsupervised children and Ofsted
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  1. #1
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    Default Unsupervised children and Ofsted

    It's one of those scenarios everyone dreads - Ofsted turn up unannounced and you need to go to the loo....

    A number of childminders are receiving safeguarding actions for leaving children unsupervised while nipping out of the room for a few minutes... and further safeguarding actions are being given for children being unsupervised in different situations as a result of complaints.

    I have put some thoughts into a blog. I hope you find it interesting - and thought provoking

    Sarah's Blog: Unsupervised children, childminders and Ofsted

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  3. #2
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    Thanks Sarah, very interesting reading. What is saddening me is that the further Ofsted go dowm these paths the less I want to do the job. Something which is not a reflection on the children.
    Mum of three, 6,5 and 4. Now minding a few more too!

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  5. #3
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    Wow. I'm at a loss. That we cannot leave them with an Ofsted inspector while we nip for a pee is daft! The inspector is dbs'd, experienced... surely???

    My children are usually within hearing...I may not actually be able to hear them because they may be being quiet, but if they needed me, i.e. they cried, I would know about it.

    However, they are often not in sight in the playgrounds, they are under, behind or inside all the fab climbing frames etc! Sometimes, if I can see one on one side, and I'm with one on another, I probably can't hear them, and they may disappear from sight for a short while, but unless I'm to stop giving them the freedom to explore freely, how can that change?

    I choose not to use the parks as much in the holidays because they do get so noisy and busy, but we make up for this in term time. I don't want to be dragging one child across the Park the whole time?!

    Thank you Sarah for your blog, and for highlighting the risk, but right now I am struggling with the implications!

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    Thanks Sarah-food for thought xx

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    Thank you once again Sarah for this very interesting blog.

  9. #6
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    Without seeing the actual wording in the reports or the reasons for the safeguarding actions or knowing the conversation between the cm and inspector it is very hard to comment.

    Children have to be within hearing OR sight of a cm at all times...that is the present EYFS guidance and until we have a revised one we need to go by that.
    I assume that not all cms have a downstairs loo so yes they need to pop upstairs...how was that judged in previous inspections?
    I also assume a cms dining room is not miles away from the kitchen? if she pops in the kitchen to fetch something the children will be within hearing?

    Even during a schedule inspection a cm may want the loo and inspections from Nov 2013 will be 3 hours long for cms

    So what has changed from the present statutory guidance?
    or are we again back to individual interpretation by inspectors?

    if children will not be allowed out of sight AND hearing that has to be clearly stated which means cms may find it difficult to work on their own in the future unless they have an open plan setting and a downstairs loo

    What happens in nurseries when a carer changes a nappy? will she now need someone supervising her?

    Upstairs bedrooms are allowed with a monitor...that too needs to be looked at now according to Ofsted?

    Supervision in parks and outings has not changed...of course we need to be vigilant or shall we all buy one of those awful carts nurseries use for taking children out?

    Too many unanswered questions
    My feeling on this is to contact Ofsted and see if anyone can give an answer to this new development or we will have another worry on our hands

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    so really the best way to cover these problems is to sit in one room and stare at each other for 10 hours! When will Ofsted have inspectors with a little bit of common sense in their qualifications.

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    Thank you Sarah, very interesting reading
    Cath

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    Poor poor kids, they will end up having a panic attack being left in their own for a few minutes, how does this prepare them for life? Safeguarding my **** I can just imagine the police and SS interviewing me when a child went home reporting that I had been pushing something into my privates!! Where in all common sense would that be ok. One minute we have to provide privacy for a tiny baby who doesn't care, but it's ok for us to toilet in front of 3 small children..........

    Oh, on a different note can someone please inform holiday companies, theme parks, cinemas etc about the fact children are not adults until 18.
    Last edited by TooEarlyForGin?; 08-10-2013 at 10:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooEarlyForGin? View Post
    Poor poor kids, they will end up having a panic attack being left in their own for a few minutes, how does this prepare them for life?

    Safeguarding my **** I can just imagine the police and SS interviewing me when a child went home reporting that I had been pushing something into my privates!! Where in all common sense would that be ok. One minute we have to provide privacy for a tiny baby who doesn't care, but it's ok for us to toilet in front of 3 small children........,,..
    Brilliantly put! Wish I had a like button on the phone!

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    After reading this- I am reading this right that I am no longer allowed to have children sleeping in upstairs bedrooms? Where are they supposed to sleep? I work with an assistant so have 6 children everyday and 4 of them have at least one 2 hour nap a day- where would they sleep?

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    RE: visiting the loo, I would tell the inspector that I would normally leave the lounge door and the loo door open so that I can hear the children at all times and I will be happy to demonstrate if the inspector doesn't mind my toilet noises!

    How can we protect ourselves when all our policies would be conflicting themselves eg: how can I check on sleeping babies every 30 mins (they also have a monitor) if I can't leave the older children downstairs for 30 seconds?

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    I have collection times that fall over dinner. The children are at the table and my hallway is opposite and the door is at the end of the hall and I have never seen it a problem to open the door to a parent. What would I do instead?! I'm thinking maybe put a poster on door saying we are eating so please ring the bell so we know you are here and patiently wait until it is safe for me to answer the door? Maybe if children haven't finished by a set time they have plates taken away while I open door but seems a bit unfair and a rush? I don't really know how to change this. Is a written risk assessment of this time enough to still answer the door? :-/

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    I have a video of my daughter about a year ago before i started minding. She was 1.5 and followed me to toilet often. Now this video shows her coming across one of my tampons - unused I might add.

    My daughter then squats dramatically and tries to push it into her trousers in the correct area!!!

    As I was training to be a childminder and was aware of the toilet issues I keep this video as back up and have a policy that I make sure children are occupied and safe and I can hear them and I am only gone for a minute.

    I have not been inspected yet but hope that this video will help them see that as a parent I'd be devastated if my child imitated something so personal that they had witnessed their childminder do.

  20. #15
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    I hope we will reflect on this rather than generate panic and trying to think with our 'independent' hat on??
    whatever independent means to each of you personally....it this had happened at your inspection what would you do?


    These are results from 2 inspections, possibly far apart, possibly conducted by 2 different companies ...we have no idea what happened when the reports landed on Ofsted QA team and what they did with the gradee awarded by the inspectors??

    the 2 cms are not here to explain or guide us through this reflective exercise....so a lot will be guesswork
    and assumptions.

    I wonder if they raised an appeal after their inspection or reported this to any of the representing associations to look into....or even went anonymously on the #OBC and reported their experience? possibly not

    In my view they could be very much dependant on the inspectors' judgement ...as said without looking at the report and knowing all the facts it is hard to judge
    All inspectors start their new training very soon for the new framework...we need to concentrate on getting them trained in a similar way

    No we won't have to lock children in one room
    Yes we will still be able to use the upstairs rooms because many cms, in order to do so, actually get advice directly from the Local Fire Officer

    Please lets avoid turning this very serious matter into a gossip column....
    I would be happy to ring Ofsted and clarify but without direct information from the cms affected Ofsted will take it as 'hearsay' as they did when I reported that inspectors were 'passing by' and doing a schedule inspection

    Please lets concentrate on all the things that are happening at present and will happen in the near future but seem not discuss in this forum

    Maybe the forum would take the lead and try to clarify this new development with Ofsted ...come back and share with us?

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    Quote Originally Posted by samb View Post
    I have collection times that fall over dinner. The children are at the table and my hallway is opposite and the door is at the end of the hall and I have never seen it a problem to open the door to a parent. What would I do instead?! I'm thinking maybe put a poster on door saying we are eating so please ring the bell so we know you are here and patiently wait until it is safe for me to answer the door? Maybe if children haven't finished by a set time they have plates taken away while I open door but seems a bit unfair and a rush? I don't really know how to change this. Is a written risk assessment of this time enough to still answer the door? :-/
    I was about to write the same thing!!
    If I was to take a child's plate away every time a parent rang the bell, there would be no point in doing them snack or tea at all!
    The baby's high chair is in direct line of the front door, down the hall - as there's nowhere else for it to go anyway. So I can see over my shoulder immediately.
    What age do we trust the children to be allowed to keep their plates while I let parents in, - the table isn't in sight of the front door but is within hearing. Some of my High Schoolers are 11-15 do I REALLY have to take their plate away??? If I don't then the younger ones will think it's unfair and what about the "A is only 3 months older than me and he's got HIS plate" scenario? In nearly 29 years of Childminding I've never had a child choke while I opened the front door!

  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilac_dragon View Post
    I was about to write the same thing!!
    If I was to take a child's plate away every time a parent rang the bell, there would be no point in doing them snack or tea at all!
    The baby's high chair is in direct line of the front door, down the hall - as there's nowhere else for it to go anyway. So I can see over my shoulder immediately.
    What age do we trust the children to be allowed to keep their plates while I let parents in, - the table isn't in sight of the front door but is within hearing. Some of my High Schoolers are 11-15 do I REALLY have to take their plate away??? If I don't then the younger ones will think it's unfair and what about the "A is only 3 months older than me and he's got HIS plate" scenario? In nearly 29 years of Childminding I've never had a child choke while I opened the front door!
    No one said we should...this is a serious topic that is now been embellished with lots of speculation and sarcasm...we need to take it seriously

    I am also aware that we have parents in this forum and LAs members and others higher up who are reading our responses...what will they think if we react this way?

    Sorry to be on a different level on this but someone did say this was thought provoking...it is, or at least it is for me.

    This forum should offer support to those who may be feeling unsure and will need to think about it with positive suggestions not gut reaction
    We need to be pro active not reactive...I know this will make me unpopular but I will take that chance.

  23. #18
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    I had my inspection last week and during that time I took 2 children upstairs at different times to put them down for a nap. At the same time another child was downstairs having a nap in my quiet area. The inspector made no mention at all about me being upstairs whilst other children were downstairs.

    As someone else has said - the best argument is to point out that the inspector is a suitable person to be left with the children anyway. I would also comment that my house is not a mansion and children can always be within hearing for me.

    Sarah's bit about our own toileting and comparison to men is very good. I hadn't thought about that before and it strengthens the fact that I NEVER take a child to the toilet with me.......Oh, except if we are not at home when they do come with me but I try to ensure that I myself have been to the loo before we leave the house.
    I'm not paranoid - the world IS out to get me!

  24. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daftbat View Post
    I had my inspection last week and during that time I took 2 children upstairs at different times to put them down for a nap. At the same time another child was downstairs having a nap in my quiet area. The inspector made no mention at all about me being upstairs whilst other children were downstairs.

    As someone else has said - the best argument is to point out that the inspector is a suitable person to be left with the children anyway. I would also comment that my house is not a mansion and children can always be within hearing for me.

    Sarah's bit about our own toileting and comparison to men is very good. I hadn't thought about that before and it strengthens the fact that I NEVER take a child to the toilet with me.......Oh, except if we are not at home when they do come with me but I try to ensure that I myself have been to the loo before we leave the house.
    Thank you for confirming it is the inspector's individual interpretation that has triggered the actions in the cases we are discussing

    Yes I agree with the comments on our toileting too and it is worth pursuing whether the inspector can be left with the children when we pop to the loo as long as the children are within hearing of us...lots she could observe then!

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    This is really interesting. What I see is that we need to be aware of where the children are at all times. I too leave the playground when it is too full to see the children. I leave the loo food s bit open when I go to the loo. I listen to h when they play next door. I will now write this up as a RA. In a nursery I worked in 4 years ago we always changed nappies when there was another worker was present and this was in nappy changing time. I also would bring the changing things into the room of there was only 1 child to be changed.

 

 
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