Childminders going over their numbers
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  1. #1
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    Default Childminders going over their numbers

    Last Friday I took the children on an outin to the local farm. I was suprised at how many childminders I saw and spoke with, that were over their numbers! Not siblings either! Some had 5 under 5. Just wondering how common this is. I think a lot of childminders think, now they can take on as many as they want and do not understand they just can not. Then again, I did hear from one ofsted inspector, who said the biggest complaint Ofsted had against childminders, was going over numbers. Would be interested to know if any one knew of childminders doing this!

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    It is frustrating when us CMs keep to the rules and others flaunt them or are just ignorant of them and the majority get away with it. If I was a parent coming for a viewing to find CM already had 4 children I would say no thanks!
    Occasionally a CM turns up at group with 4 but it is above board I think.

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    I currently have four because parents have changed working patterns and I know of one other who has four once a week for an hour to accommodate parents change of hours but haven't met anyone else locally who has more than three. There are some you never see out and about can't say how many children they have

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    I dont know any. I however have 4 most days and on one day I have 5 for 1.5hrs as they overlap. I already had full numbers everyday then had my own baby in Dec, non of my mindees left and I already had the overlap as a variation before. I do sometimes feel watched when I go out with *extras* even though they are lagit, I worry about getting reported even though I'm in the right I dont want to feel scrutinised. I prefered the old way of doing variations as at least when I had them before Ofsted had it on paper in front of them, even though I follow the rules with the new way I feel like I'm just doing what I like!

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    The problem with the present EYFS and its 'exceptional circumstances' is that it is open to individual interpretation and lacks any form of accountability
    The exceptional circumstances are also meant to be short time but I have read many times of cms who have had more children since the EYFS came out last Sept...is that short term?

    Much has been written on how to interpret it but in the end the EYFS is clear that, as long as cms DO NOT EXCEED 6 under 8, they can increase their numbers
    Those children may not have been siblings but the parents may have asked for extra days which would count as continuity of care...someone more expert can clarify

    My worry about this is that some cms are full and doing well, especially those who have recently employed an assistant... while others are struggling with not many children

    I have nothing against looking after the extra odd one on some days and also overlapping for a few hours but I worry if this is going to cause a problem of sustainability for cms in future ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by muffins View Post
    I dont know any. I however have 4 most days and on one day I have 5 for 1.5hrs as they overlap. I already had full numbers everyday then had my own baby in Dec, non of my mindees left and I already had the overlap as a variation before. I do sometimes feel watched when I go out with *extras* even though they are lagit, I worry about getting reported even though I'm in the right I dont want to feel scrutinised. I prefered the old way of doing variations as at least when I had them before Ofsted had it on paper in front of them, even though I follow the rules with the new way I feel like I'm just doing what I like!
    So long as you are happy you could explain it to Ofsted then that's all that matters. How do you find 5 LOs at once, I would have to seriously consider if I was asked to increase to 4!

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    I agree with Rick_Knight ...as long as you are happy do not worry
    This new system has also created a fear that others may be snooping, criticising or counting our children every time we go out...even reporting cms they feel are over their numbers....very unhealthy really and yet the system could be made accountable in a very simple way by tweaking a few things if the DfE wanted to.

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    I have 4 under 5's for four days a week. I had an Ofsted variation granted last July for a new baby sibling of an existing LO.

    I do feel that people have been head counting and some have made comments and I suppose I feel better saying Ofsted granted me the variation. The thing I find strange is variations are supposed to be for the short term and yet with the ages of the children I look after the variation was always going to be for a year until the two oldest LO's went to school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_Knight View Post
    So long as you are happy you could explain it to Ofsted then that's all that matters. How do you find 5 LOs at once, I would have to seriously consider if I was asked to increase to 4!
    No problem really, 4.5yr old (mine), 3yr old (mine), 2 X 2.5yr olds (mindees) & 5mth old (mine), one mindee has been with me a year & the other 2yrs so they just slot right in to the routines. I collect my eldest & one mindee from pre-school by car at 1, once home and have sorted coats, shoes, bags etc, put my 3yr old to bed, made everyone drinks theres only usually half hour before one mindee goes home. In that half hour we usually just do free play (in & out doors), read, colouring or something simple as theres not much time to do much. It really helps that my baby is super good, never unhappy unless hungry or tired but does go to sleep without help, she loves having the older ones around.

    Although I have 4 everyday, I dont actually HAVE 4 to hand much, my eldest goes to pre-sch 4 mornings (9-1), my 3yr old 2 mornings & 1 mindee for a morning, my eldest 2 go to the inlaws one afternoon a week, 4 days 2 have a 2hr afternoon nap and the other day 1, plus my 5mth old tends to have 3 X 1hr naps. My husband is registered as my assistant works shifts so is around 50% of the time to help out. Its busy but it works well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    The problem with the present EYFS and its 'exceptional circumstances' is that it is open to individual interpretation and lacks any form of accountability
    The exceptional circumstances are also meant to be short time but I have read many times of cms who have had more children since the EYFS came out last Sept...is that short term?

    Much has been written on how to interpret it but in the end the EYFS is clear that, as long as cms DO NOT EXCEED 6 under 8, they can increase their numbers
    Those children may not have been siblings but the parents may have asked for extra days which would count as continuity of care...someone more expert can clarify

    My worry about this is that some cms are full and doing well, especially those who have recently employed an assistant... while others are struggling with not many children

    I have nothing against looking after the extra odd one on some days and also overlapping for a few hours but I worry if this is going to cause a problem of sustainability for cms in future ?
    Sorry but this is NOT what the new EYFS states. If you read the document "The numbers and ages of children that providers on the early years and childcare registers may care for" Issued July 2012 for instatement Sept 2012 it states on page 5 section 7 " EYFS also allows childminders to care for more children in the early years age group through an overarching exceptional circumstances statement. We will normally interpret an exceptional circumstance as relating to the continuity of care for children and/or where sibling children are not babies. These are times when it may be in children's best interests to be with their brothers and sisters whoa re already with a childminder, or to remain with the same childminder where circumstances may change the number of children the childminder can care for, such as a parent extending their working hours. This type of arrangement would end when either the parent adjusted their hours or the child left the childminders care. IT DOES NOT GIVE PERMISSION TO OPERATE WITH MORE CHILDREN IN THE EARLY YEARS AGE GROUP AT ALL TIMES"

    Therefore the ratios are the same as before Sept 2012 but we just don't need to get a variation. The total number under 5yrs of age should NOT exceed 4 children unless there has been express permission given by Ofsted.
    I'm not paranoid - the world IS out to get me!

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    Some childminders in my area read the EYFS to say that you can have an extra if you own children was under 5. They all took on an extra one..

    Wouldn't want more than 4 on my own (I love 3 and is my preferred number)
    Debbie

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    When the new certificates came through some childminders thought that restrictions no longer applied

    a friend recently rang me and said she was confused and worried as she had 5 under 5 that day , and she hadnt even counted her 3 year old because he was at nursery

    She had a 6 year old at school that day and was going to collect 2 more after school

    so she had in total 9 children under 8 , 6 of which were under 5 , now I have no idea how on earth she did the school run that day

    I assume she asked a friend for help , but seriously are people really that thick

    I put her straight and she assures me its now sorted but I cant confirm it , she had taken 3 under 5s on as new business , so it wasnt even continuity of care

    My question is , why arent these childminders being reminded of the ratios , surely its drummed into us when we register , and secondly why arent parents questioning a house full of kids , she said she was run ragged and couldnt cope , well dont be so greedy then and learn to say No

    there are plenty of minders struggling to fill spaces

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  15. #13
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    I am sorry Daftbat...I had the EYFS in front of me and have it now...3.40 page 21 states clearly 'the total number of children under 8 must not exceed 6'
    Maybe I interpret it differently from you ?

    I also agree with the statement that many cms have vacancies they cannot fill ...many in my area are truly worried while others seem constantly full
    Last edited by Simona; 02-06-2013 at 11:46 AM.

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    Some places the demand for childcare is high and other places not, it all depends where you live. I have friends who live in the North unable to full their spaces but I live in the South East, so me not taking on more children will not help them!. In my area most childminders, the ones I know are full. I took on an assistant because demand for spaces were high, all went within 2 weeks of taking on an assistant. Still get lots of interest but able to pass them on to others.

    Yes you are right the childminders may have had reason to have 5 under 5, never thought of that!! Anyway the children were having great fun the minders very able to care, watch and manage!

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    If some of the children are 4, but in full time school, you could actually have 6 under 5s (3 pre-school children & 3 school children)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    If some of the children are 4, but in full time school, you could actually have 6 under 5s (3 pre-school children & 3 school children)
    So true! It's like how many conbinations one can do with under 5's but these children were babies/toddlers!

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    i reported someone earlier this year for having 5 under 5 - she may have been doing it with a legitimate variation - but not my job to check that out it's ofsted. They called her - funnily enough she's not had 5 since then

    I think the new certificates and variation rules make people think they can have as many of whatever age as long as it's within the 6 under 8's.
    if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got

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    Don;t think I would report any one, unless I see children being abused!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix2010 View Post
    When the new certificates came through some childminders thought that restrictions no longer applied

    a friend recently rang me and said she was confused and worried as she had 5 under 5 that day , and she hadnt even counted her 3 year old because he was at nursery

    She had a 6 year old at school that day and was going to collect 2 more after school

    so she had in total 9 children under 8 , 6 of which were under 5 , now I have no idea how on earth she did the school run that day

    I assume she asked a friend for help , but seriously are people really that thick

    I put her straight and she assures me its now sorted but I cant confirm it , she had taken 3 under 5s on as new business , so it wasnt even continuity of care

    My question is , why arent these childminders being reminded of the ratios , surely its drummed into us when we register , and secondly why arent parents questioning a house full of kids , she said she was run ragged and couldnt cope , well dont be so greedy then and learn to say No

    there are plenty of minders struggling to fill spaces
    I registered in march, mrs o quite clearly told me how many i was allowed! X the problem is there are such discrepancies in the way each visit is done

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    My understanding is it is 3 under 5 but variations can b given for continuity of care and siblings. Some days I have as little as 2 under 5 and then other days I have 4 under 5. One of my days I actually have 5 under 5 but this is all for continuity of care as parents have changed their working days!!!!!! I continuously worry that I am doing something wrong even though Ofsted themselves confirmed it was ok ages ago. I once got approached by another CM who warned me about my numbers! So I must admit I often question what is correct????? Personally I think that it's just not clear enough

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