View Full Version : How can we help you to stay independent?

22-09-2013, 10:16 AM
We asked our members what more we can do for you - to help you stay independent and successful... and we listened to your concerns...

We also looked at all the things we already do to help you to stay independent of agencies and we reflected on whether we do enough and what extra resources or support we might be able to offer you.

Some companies and a number of Local Authorities have recently announced that they are trialling childminder agencies. Some are currently in the process of inviting childminders to meetings to find out more. We have talked to childminders who have been to some of the meetings.

The agencies of the future are saying...
• You know us and trust us - we are going to be your agency instead of your current support network - we will give you all the help you need.

We say to you...
• You already know us and trust us to give you free, impartial, high quality advice and support. We are already out there, offering you these things - and we will always be free - we will never charge you or start an agency behind your back.


The agencies of the future are saying...
• You already have to pay for training because nothing is free any more - it won’t cost you much more than that to belong to us now we are an agency - look how well we have supported you in the past - aren’t you frightened to be going it alone?

We say to you...
• We offer you links to find the best priced training and support... with more free options to follow for both gold Childcare.co.uk members in the future. Peer support is important - which is why we have branched out onto Facebook to capture those childminders who prefer that medium - but members tell us that online training fits in much better with their busy lifestyles.


The agencies of the future are saying...
• Ofsted are going to be charging you a lot of money to stay registered with them. We can take all that worry away.

We say to you...
• We have no confirmation yet about how much it will cost to remain registered with Ofsted but we strongly believe that scaremongering and frightening childminders just so they panic and join an agency is wrong. Let’s wait and see what Ofsted say then we can make an informed decision about what to do next - and then we will help you to fight it if necessary.


The agencies of the future are saying...
• We will give you lots of free extras to join us.

We say to you...
• We already offer you lots of extra information and help when you log onto our various websites, groups and forums - there are 100s of free resources and support materials in files on both the Childminding Forum and Independent Childminders Facebook group and even more high quality documents written by Ofsted outstanding childminders and industry professionals on Childcare.co.uk - many now available for free members... and much more!


The agencies of the future are saying...
• Look at all the uncertainty with Ofsted inspections and costs - we can save you from all of that - we can allow you to continue doing your job with minimum interruption.

We say to you...
• We offer every member support and guidance for your business and advice is always available as you work towards your Ofsted inspection... you don’t have to wait for a visit! We are available any time the question you need to ask pops into your head and our admins and members have a wealth of information and advice at their fingertips.

The words of these fledgling agencies are already having the desired effect on some childminders, jaded by Ofsted inconsistencies and frightened by all the changes and an uncertain future.

We are fighting for every childminder who wants to stay independent - the Childminding Forum, Childminding Help, Childcare.co.uk, the Independent Childminders website and the Independent Childminders Facebook Group are working very hard to support those of you who do NOT want to join agencies!

For example, we have promoted information about the ‘Ofsted big conversation’ and we have written to Ofsted to share your inspection concerns -

We are committed to providing you with the help and information you need and we can assure you that we will NEVER become an agency.

So ladies and gentlemen... let’s all join together in a spirit of support, friendship and respect and make it clear to agencies that we neither need nor want them! :cheerleader:

22-09-2013, 03:43 PM
THANK YOU sarah.

xxx :magnificent: xxx

Mrs Scrubbit
22-09-2013, 06:25 PM
Thanks yet again Sarah, I'm independent all the way:clapping: xx

22-09-2013, 08:08 PM
Brilliant a huge thank you xT

22-09-2013, 08:16 PM
Hi Sarah.

That is great thanks. I have no intention of joining an agency and feel very confident that I can go it alone. I am not sure that the agencies will have any childminders to support.

Jo Jo
23-09-2013, 08:35 AM
Thanks Sarah
I also have no intention of joining an agency ! So glad I've got this forum for all the advice and support :thumbsup:

23-09-2013, 09:19 AM
Thank you Sarah :thumbsup:

23-09-2013, 09:36 AM
I think you have said it all Sarah, the forum is already an agency, ours, run how we want, :clapping::clapping::clapping:

23-09-2013, 12:49 PM
Well you know where I stand on this don't you Sarah?!
Thank you!

23-09-2013, 08:24 PM
Thank you Sarah.

30-09-2013, 07:02 AM
I am now studying the FAQs published by Foundation Years in addition to the DfE Policy Statement on agencies.

That will give me a very good guideline and add to the list, also reinforce what is needed in order to remain independent, retain quality, keep the Ofsted grade and match what is on offer to 'agency' CMs.

21-10-2013, 08:03 AM
Truss has given some extra bits of info on agencies but I am unable to post the link here as it will be starred out
If you want to read what she said the link is on the LinkedIn independent cms group

Lots is happening and we must try to keep updated anywhere we can