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  1. #61
    Simona Guest

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    The number and ages of children providers on EY and Childcare register may care for

    I think you make a valid point AliceK in your post and worth reflecting on....very pertinent because it is your own experience of what happened and that is evidence.

    Inspections are a 2 way system...the inspector's knowledge and training are just as important as the cm's confidence and competence in evidencing facts at inspections and challenging inaccuracies when/where appropriate

    At the end of the inspections we receive a feedback...in fact ALL providers receive that...and that is the time to question any grey areas...inspectors have they own schedule to tick and we should have that 'evaluation' at hand...or at least know it well in order to question.

    When we receive a report we have a short time in which to raise any points about factual aspects in the report.

    I am getting replies from those I have sought help with this matter and.. so far... it is promising but I have a bit to go yet next week....I hope the DfE will respond.

    Factsheet 120117 can no longer be used...I have gone through it again and it refers to EYFS 2012...when EYFS was revised in 2014 the factsheet was not...so the reference in 120117 does not correspond to EYFS 2014

    The most important info in that factsheet was in Sections 1, 2 3 and allows Ofsted to judge if any increase is in line with EYFS
    120117 is not just for cms but providers on the childcare register as per Introduction on p3.

    Section 4 is even clearer and part of the assessment
    Section 5 is the crux of the matter 'cms may care for more children in the EY group but no more that 6 under 8'
    Apart from 3.39 to 3.41 there are other EYFS sections to take account such as 3.56 (space) and 3.29

    Section 9 is all about evidence to be presented in the form of a RA etc....again a very robust assessment of practice.
    All the above was in EYFS 2012 and still is in 2014 but the paragraphs have changed compared to 2012.

    For EYFS 2014 I think cms must look at sections 3.28, 3.29 and 3.30...the latter gets quoted all the time in the replies I now have and even DfE referred to it....alongside 3.39 to 3.41...that is the obscure bit!

    I have found 'continuity of care' mentioned but not 'new business'

    which wording would cms like to see reviewed if DfE was to tweak EYFS 2014?...knowing that would help.

  2. #62
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    I would like it to be very clear that if an existing clients work pattern changes and they wish to increase their hrs that it is acceptable to have 4 EYFS children providing we have risk assessed and it will not affect the care of all 4 children.

    Back to the OP original question. It needs to be clear that to provide flexibility to clients it may be necessary to have 4 EYFS children for an overlap, they could give a set time limit for this eg 1 hr.

    To help clients who work shifts could we be granted 4 EYFS children in order to provide those customers with the flexibility which at the moment is very difficult.

    Just examples that I know I have personally encountered.

  3. #63
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by natlou82 View Post
    I would like it to be very clear that if an existing clients work pattern changes and they wish to increase their hrs that it is acceptable to have 4 EYFS children providing we have risk assessed and it will not affect the care of all 4 children.

    Back to the OP original question. It needs to be clear that to provide flexibility to clients it may be necessary to have 4 EYFS children for an overlap, they could give a set time limit for this eg 1 hr.

    To help clients who work shifts could we be granted 4 EYFS children in order to provide those customers with the flexibility which at the moment is very difficult.

    Just examples that I know I have personally encountered.
    The very reason I contacted the DfE and Ofsted was about the original question about the 'overlap'.

    Both have said an overlap is allowed ...as long as ..a cm never exceeds 6 children under 8.
    I have reported what Ofsted said in their email and what the DfE also think...the latter will write to me with their view.
    Both DfE and Ofsted have quoted 'flexibility' as a reason to increase numbers when appropriate and following the required assessment process etc etc.

    I do not know why it is difficult to understand when both EYFS and the withdrawn factsheet say this very clearly but I appreciate the anxiety this causes.

    I will raise overlap at my meetings and ...of course...not name anyone.
    We do not get granted a variation anymore...that is up to us to decide...both DfE and Ofsted have confirmed that too....so I am worried you feel this is difficult to achieve....can you explain why?

    The ratio issue does cause a lot of stress and worry for cms from what I read...and possible loss of business ... the only way to get it clarified is to ask for a rewording of the EYFS and something from Ofsted.

    Thank you for your input...I see that over 1,300 people have read this thread but there have not been many suggestions on what we can do for those still confused that I can take forward....that will not stop me from continuing to see if I can get an answer.
    I never was, am or ever will be confused on this issue....so no gain for me personally!

    In addition in Nov 2012 I organised an Ofsted workshop for cms ...one cm here will vouch for that.
    The message was the same then as it is now...we can increase our numbers in the right circumstances and I have the minutes to prove that.

    On another note...another one of my threads in the independent section has been deleted...no reason or explanation...it was purely an info sharing post....so I am not sure if I post anything on this issue when I get a reply it will get accepted?

    I know many cms are interested in this issue so please contact me for further news or if you wish to input any ideas....I will continue reading this thread with interest.
    Last edited by Simona; 15-02-2015 at 05:55 PM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by natlou82 View Post
    I would like it to be very clear that if an existing clients work pattern changes and they wish to increase their hrs that it is acceptable to have 4 EYFS children providing we have risk assessed and it will not affect the care of all 4 children.

    Back to the OP original question. It needs to be clear that to provide flexibility to clients it may be necessary to have 4 EYFS children for an overlap, they could give a set time limit for this eg 1 hr.

    To help clients who work shifts could we be granted 4 EYFS children in order to provide those customers with the flexibility which at the moment is very difficult.

    Just examples that I know I have personally encountered.
    This letter is from Nick Hudson who is director of Early Years at Ofsted. This confirms that continuity of care exists.
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    I think the confusion is not so much for childminders, but for the inspectors, who don't agree with the childminders decision or say we can't care for more than 3 EY children at any one time!
    be it for continuity of care or for new business/overlap etc whatever! the problem is, that regardless of what Ofsted/DfE SAY the inspectors should do/think etc, they don't, and that is why I think we need it in writing. we all know of inspectors who don't follow their guidelines, but at least they are there! with ratio issues, there is not even a guideline to fall back on, and for all we are told to read the EYFS - we all know how differently that can be interpreted!

    I frequently have 4 EY children due to parents needing extra care and I am happy with this, and that all children still get quality care and attention etc, however, an inspector could turn up and decide that they didn't agree! ( because regardless of how well I look after 4 children, and however well it works, when an inspector arrives, the dynamics change and I could have all 4 children have a 'crisis of confidence' etc and the day could be horrendous and the inspector could/would assume that everyday is like that and that I shouldn't have the 4 children! )

    if we had it in writing EVERYONE was know where they stand, and childminders would have more confidence that what they were doing was ok!

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    I agree with Loocyloo. The uncertainty, confusion and reluctance to take on 4 EYs children comes from the way inspectors deal with it. No matter who we have letters and emails from (even the heads of DfE and Ofsted) if an inspector doesn't accept continuity of care as a reason to have 4 children there's not a lot we can do about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I agree with Loocyloo. The uncertainty, confusion and reluctance to take on 4 EYs children comes from the way inspectors deal with it. No matter who we have letters and emails from (even the heads of DfE and Ofsted) if an inspector doesn't accept continuity of care as a reason to have 4 children there's not a lot we can do about it.
    Well we can challenge this at the time or complain afterwards. What the letters tell us is that we know we are in the right and we have to challenge an inspector on it.

    All letters I have seen state that we have to demonstrate to an inspector that we can still provide high levels of learning and care with four EY children, so in some instances the inspector may deem that a cm isn't doing this but on the technical aspect of four EY children for continuity of care we have been told we can do it.

  10. #68
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I think the confusion is not so much for childminders, but for the inspectors, who don't agree with the childminders decision or say we can't care for more than 3 EY children at any one time!
    be it for continuity of care or for new business/overlap etc whatever! the problem is, that regardless of what Ofsted/DfE SAY the inspectors should do/think etc, they don't, and that is why I think we need it in writing. we all know of inspectors who don't follow their guidelines, but at least they are there! with ratio issues, there is not even a guideline to fall back on, and for all we are told to read the EYFS - we all know how differently that can be interpreted!

    I frequently have 4 EY children due to parents needing extra care and I am happy with this, and that all children still get quality care and attention etc, however, an inspector could turn up and decide that they didn't agree! ( because regardless of how well I look after 4 children, and however well it works, when an inspector arrives, the dynamics change and I could have all 4 children have a 'crisis of confidence' etc and the day could be horrendous and the inspector could/would assume that everyday is like that and that I shouldn't have the 4 children! )

    if we had it in writing EVERYONE was know where they stand, and childminders would have more confidence that what they were doing was ok!
    But it is in writing Loocyloo.....several times over ...so what else do cms need?
    Of course continuity of care exists as does new business...it is in the fact sheet...plain and simple

    What we need to demonstrate is in the EYFS...inspector must judge provision, assessment and much more...those who were downgraded...if true that was the main reason....must have It in their report...why not challenge?

    Good luck to you ....I can see this will never be solved if we continue to pass the buck on to inspectors and not look at a way to solve this issue

    There are reams written about increasing numbers and cms do it successfully all the time and get past inspections without a problem!

    I see there is no mention of why my thread was deleted either
    Last edited by Simona; 15-02-2015 at 08:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post

    But it is in writing Loocyloo.....several times over ...so what else do cms need?
    Of course continuity of care exists as does new business...it is in the fact sheet...plain and simple

    What we need to demonstrate is in the EYFS...inspector must judge provision, assessment and much more...those who were downgraded...if true that was the main reason....must have It in their report...why not challenge?

    Good luck to you ....I can see this will never be solved if we continue to pass the buck on to inspectors and not look at a way to solve this issue

    There are reams written about increasing numbers and cms do it successfully all the time and get past inspections without a problem!

    I see there is no mention of why my thread was deleted either
    I'm fine with it and I don't feel I actually need anything in writing but for those who need the security of a written unambiguous document, it would be helpful! Because I hear of inspectors that don't accept/read copies of letters saying it's ok and childminders who need support.
    An 'official' /endorsed document on the ofsted website would just help!


    And I have no idea about deleted threads, that's why I didn't mention it.

  12. #70
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    I appreciate your responses on this Simona, Rick and Loocyloo. As a new childminder I have read several threads in the past on here which have made me feel worried regarding increasing to 4 EY children for continuity of care. I have found this thread to be very informative and helpful in this matter and I would feel confident if I needed to do this in future - thanks :-)

  13. #71
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I'm fine with it and I don't feel I actually need anything in writing but for those who need the security of a written unambiguous document, it would be helpful! Because I hear of inspectors that don't accept/read copies of letters saying it's ok and childminders who need support.
    An 'official' /endorsed document on the ofsted website would just help!


    And I have no idea about deleted threads, that's why I didn't mention it.
    Yes you say it very well...'I hear' and that is where this is coming from...what we hear from other cms...on the FB page maybe?...but we need evidence and we need to see inspection reports which so far are not mentioned
    You also prove that you can be confident enough to increase your number while we read we have to be very 'cautious' here?


    natiou82......you confirm what I have said all along...Cms are getting worried when they should not be but good to read you feel better informed
    On we soldier with getting some breakthrough on this!!

    Rick...you say Nick Hudson also gave his input on this...would it be possible to see his comments?...thank you

    Sorry Loocyloo I did not mean to address the deleted thread question to you but to Rick who was taking part in the discussion

    I posted a thread with a link to pacey's survey and it has been deleted without warning or explanation
    Pacey have now added their survey to PLA and NDNA who also produced them but those were not deleted when I posted them...an explanation would be helpful

    This survey is actually also very good and asks some very pertinent questions on costs...I recommend cms go and look for the link elsewhere as I have posted it on LinkedIn and is very widespread on twitter.
    Last edited by Simona; 16-02-2015 at 09:46 AM.

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    We do not link to PACEY or provide free marketing for them.

    Our company used to pay PACEY to advertise in their magazine and they made a decision to disallow us from further advertising with them.

    They attempted to setup in competition with Childcare.co.uk and delete references to Childcare.co.uk from their own forums and facebook groups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Yes you say it very well...'I hear' and that is where this is coming from...what we hear from other cms...on the FB page maybe?...but we need evidence and we need to see inspection reports which so far are not mentioned
    You also prove that you can be confident enough to increase your number while we read we have to be very 'cautious' here?


    natiou82......you confirm what I have said all along...Cms are getting worried when they should not be but good to read you feel better informed
    On we soldier with getting some breakthrough on this!!

    Rick...you say Nick Hudson also gave his input on this...would it be possible to see his comments?...thank you

    Sorry Loocyloo I did not mean to address the deleted thread question to you but to Rick who was taking part in the discussion

    I posted a thread with a link to pacey's survey and it has been deleted without warning or explanation
    Pacey have now added their survey to PLA and NDNA who also produced them but those were not deleted when I posted them...an explanation would be helpful

    This survey is actually also very good and asks some very pertinent questions on costs...I recommend cms go and look for the link elsewhere as I have posted it on LinkedIn and is very widespread on twitter.
    My post (#64) contains a letter from Nick Hudson to another childminder stating continuity of care exists.

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    I know new business is not allowed in the 'over 4 under 5's' but it would help if we could do it if we knew it was only for a set period of time. We are all capable of working out if we can manage it with the children/routines we have and as they are openly telling us there is not enough places for childcare, this would help to ease this situation. I get many enquires for children to start in June/july but because all the children start school/preschool in september I have to say no. Then come september I'm desperate for a placement. This is where I find this 3 under 5 annoying. I was recently asked if I had a two day space in march next year for a 1yr old. I had to say no, but I have two leaving in july. It just doesn't make sense. Whats the difference between a sibling and a new child. It's still an extra child.

    Sorry just realised I'm having a rant!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    One of the frustrating things for my friend was that the inspector didn't even see her with 4 children. On the day of her inspection she only had 2 there, but the inspector could see from the register that she sometimes had 4. She initially said that continuity of care didn't exist, but when challenged on that agreed that it was possible, but from what she'd seen she judged that the cm wouldn't have been able to manage 4 children. My friend felt it was just an excuse to cover up the fact the inspector had been wrong about continuity of care not applying.
    This is happening with another colleague I am talking to right now.

    she was first told that 4 for coc didn't exist - so she challenged it.

    The inspector said - for the first time raising a concern now she'd been proven wrong on the coc - well I didn't think you were coping anyway so the judgement still stands

    Our colleague is devastated. She is doing everything right and still gets downgraded because an inspector doesn't want to admit she was wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    This is happening with another colleague I am talking to right now.

    she was first told that 4 for coc didn't exist - so she challenged it.

    The inspector said - for the first time raising a concern now she'd been proven wrong on the coc - well I didn't think you were coping anyway so the judgement still stands

    Our colleague is devastated. She is doing everything right and still gets downgraded because an inspector doesn't want to admit she was wrong
    That's my point all along. No matter what proof we have that coc does exist, we're completely at the mercy of any inspector who doesn't like the idea of it. I'm very confident working with 4 EYs children. I know I cope and I know the children achieve very highly, but I also know that an inspector could completely turn that upside down if they want to. I'll be back to 3 children a day by Sept at the latest and I can't wait. Much as I love working with 4 children, the uncertainty has completely put me off and I'll hesitate before doing it again. Unfortunately I'm likely to be inspected between now & then and I'll be very surprised if I don't have a problem with it

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    Because an inspector doesn't want to admit she was wrong
    And that is exactly why we need something in writing!

    I have heard of it happening elsewhere too :-(

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post

    That's my point all along. No matter what proof we have that coc does exist, we're completely at the mercy of any inspector who doesn't like the idea of it. I'm very confident working with 4 EYs children. I know I cope and I know the children achieve very highly, but I also know that an inspector could completely turn that upside down if they want to. I'll be back to 3 children a day by Sept at the latest and I can't wait. Much as I love working with 4 children, the uncertainty has completely put me off and I'll hesitate before doing it again. Unfortunately I'm likely to be inspected between now & then and I'll be very surprised if I don't have a problem with it
    I agree ... I'm at 4 several days a week and in September, just when I get it back to 3 I will have a baby sibling starting! ( hopefully that will be looked on better! )
    I haven't had an inspection for over 6 years ... They are bound to come at some point!

  23. #79
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    Thanks for the letter Rick...is it possible to print it?....although Hudson is stating the obvious...yes continuity of care is allowed and he seems puzzled by your questions?
    DfE replies...also state the obvious but thanks for the reminder

    Loocyloo....it is in writing already...I wonder if cms are reading a different document
    has anyone read 120117...all in there

    Thanks everyone for your input...invaluable.

    Richard.... about the pacey post .....it was not advertising pacey and nothing to do with commercial competition...it was an article by Nursery World
    You say you do not link to pacey...I am confused as you clearly do,

    As you know all associations have produced a survey...you may hear about this a bit more outside of this forum so pacey finally did their own
    Sorry if I can't see any connection to anything to do with reciprocal advertising or monetary gain etc etc...this was to allow cms to answer very good questions on their business in the never ending saga of childcare issues

    My worry is when a post is to be deleted...please inform of the reason why in advance so we are not left wondering what is that has gone against your principles.

    Thanks everyone
    Last edited by Simona; 17-02-2015 at 09:56 AM.

  24. #80
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    Rick...I have been able to magnify the letter and print it

    I would suggest though that the cm it was sent to be protected as her full address and email are in public view.
    I have made sure her private details are not raedable...if she is not worried then nothing needs doing.

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