NEW VARIATIONS RULE 09.2017 - for children who are rising 5.

**NEW** Ofsted state that a child can be classed as ‘rising 5’ when they start reception class at school: childminders do not have to wait until the child is in full time, 10 sessions a week school any more to class the child as ‘rising 5’ for ratios.

Ofsted have confirmed this new rule on the Childcare Registration Facebook page and state that childminders can organise a variation to cover the child’s settling-in period which, depending on school policy, can stretch to 3 or more weeks.

Link to clarification on Childcare Registration Facebook page - Soon it’ll be time for reception-aged... - Childcare Registration | Facebook

In all cases, a variation can only be organised if the childminder is confident they can manage the care and learning needs of all the children well and if the childminder stays within the statutory ratio of 6 early years children under the age of 8 years old. I wrote this variations risk assessment many years ago, with input from Ofsted – it is still relevant.

Sample variation risk assessment – Changes to Conditions of Registration

Questions arising from this new rule have been answered by Ofsted

Question: When is a child ‘rising 5’? Is it when the child is in full time school – or is it when the child is out of the setting for a full school-equivalent day? For example, if a childminder picks up a child from preschool who attends for their 30 hours, can the child be classed as wraparound care and the childminder care for 4 other children aged under 5?

Ofsted reply: A child is rising 5 when they are attending school as part of a ‘normal school day’. So that’s 2 sessions a day from 9am -3pm or 5 days / 10 sessions a week pre-school or reception attendance or when the child is settling in to reception part-time for some weeks.
A 3 or 4 year old child in pre-school or nursery cannot be rising 5.


Question: What records need to be kept for children when they are ‘rising 5’?

Ofsted reply: when a child is only cared for before and after school and in the school holidays, early years providers do not need to record information about their learning and development: this is clarified in the EYFS and Early Years Inspection handbook (below). However, providers must comply with the statutory requirements relating to safeguarding and welfare until the child moves into the Childcare Register age range.
Source of information: EYFS - footnote 5 page 7; Early years inspection handbook - 120 - 122 page 24.


Question: If a 4 year old child is about to go into school and a childminder receives a request for a new starter we have always had to say ‘no’ until the school child is in full time, 10 sessions a week. Does this new rule mean that we can say ‘yes’ now and accept new business as a variation?

Ofsted reply: Yes – we want childminders to have new business. The key to think about is how they would meet all the children’s care and learning needs – and the provider must keep to 6 children or fewer.


Question: DfE have confirmed in a recent guidance document that when a childminder’s child is off the premises they do not count in ratios. Can this be extended to include childminded children?

DfE variations guidance document -

Answer: Yes, the ratios in the EYFS refer to the number of children cared for ‘at any one time’. If for any reason the arrangements made to care for the child off the premises fail, the childminder must still maintain the correct ratios.


Question: can childminders look after 2 babies under 1?

Answer: The ratios refer to the number of children cared for ‘at any one time’. So childminders may have, for example, 2 babies under 1 on their books, but 1 baby attends in the morning and 1 baby attends in the afternoon - that would be fine. But if both babies attended for the morning then it would be exceeding the ratios and they would have to explain how they were able to meet both children’s needs in those particular circumstances.

We have also asked Ofsted to ensure Ofsted inspectors and Local Authorities are fully aware of the new rules because changes like this have traditionally caused problems at inspection and during support calls. If you are given the wrong information during support calls please let me know – I will need date, time and who told you what so that I can take it to Ofsted.

I hope that clarifies. Sarah