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Network Or Not?


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This will be a mega-post......

 

My annual appraisal is due which involves a visit from the co-ordinator :( but also 3 pages of questions for me to complete xD

 

I just feel that on top of getting EYFS up & running, completing my SEF and starting my FD this involves paperwork for the sake of paperwork :(

 

I have 4 scheduled visits + 1 unannounced visit every year. At each of these we discuss how things are going, any good or bad things that have happened & any questions I may have. All recorded and signed for by both parties.

 

All in addition to planning, observing, recording for Ofsted.

 

The 3 page appraisal asks me to list how many Network meetings I have attended, what training I have undertaken in the last 12 months, when I was last inspected by Ofsted & the outcome - ALL of which they already have on record in the office :wacko:

 

Plus, what aspects of my provision do I think work well/could be improved? This is part of my SEF & Ofsted report...

 

I'm DROWNING in admin & they want me to collate all this information again - WHY? :(

 

A friend and fellow RCM commented we're doing it to keep justify someone else's job! Is she right?

 

I've tried to think of the pros & cons...

 

When I joined the Network it was to access support and a quality assurance scheme and the toy library.

 

The children's centres are offering childminder drop-ins & a toy library.

 

The EYFS training locally has been less than helpful & EVERYTHING I've done/used came from here.

 

I get support & advice here 24/7.

 

The parents aren't bothered whether I have a QA scheme or not.

 

If I resign I don't have to turn out in the evening 6 times a year after working all day!

 

Am I overlooking anything? Why can't I see any advantages to renewing my membership? Should I just jump through their hoops & hope I benefit later?

 

I LOVE CHILDMINDING. I LOVE THE CHILDREN. I THINK I HAVE A HANDLE ON EYFS ( :o )

 

WHY HAS THIS PUSHED ME TO THE EDGE??

 

Help, please.....

 

Nona

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Hi Nona dont worry you re not alone !!!

 

I have been pondering these same questions -and I m just joining a network -so far all I seem to have accomplished are 2 more files of photocopying !!!

 

 

I feel like I m drowning in paperwork and still need to complete my SEF and my EYFS is working ( I think!) but still needs tweaking l

 

I ve already got my quality assurance through NCMA and I get my support from here and we have a brilliant childminding co ordinator who helps all childminders not just network ones .

 

Orginally I understood that our children s centre would be working with network childminders,but its working with all of us -which is fine but theres nothing gained there.

 

We have a countywide network and the meetings are often held 30 miles away ,I dont drive so have to rely on others to give me lifts or I cant get there !

 

I keep wondering if there are hidden benefits that I ve not come across yet but like you are nt sure what ?

 

OH I nearly forgot I thought of one benefit -we got t shirts ,a bag and fleece oooh and a key ring !!!

 

Sorry dont have any answers but just wanted to reassure you youre not alone!!!

any one out there got any ideas ????

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As a profession of constant reflection, could you not ask the 'network' to reflect (and review) the cumbersome requirements made of you for your appraisal? Maybe jus take along the evidence you have stated, and remind them what they already have on file. xD

 

I'm not a childminder so not familiar with what a network offers. But is it a requiremet to be a member of a network to access NEG funding for your children, or is it the network is inspected and not the individual childminder? This may of course have changed with EYFS. :o

 

Peggy

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Thank you both for your replies.

 

The Network is just about to be visited by NCMA for it's re-accreditation. I was told "if it's not in your file and the NCMA pick yours at random to check we could be in trouble"

 

I've spoken to several Network childminders today and they're all unsure of the advantages, if any, of continuing their membership.

 

Is it better to go through the motions to renew or wait and see if it's worth re-registering later? The evil paperwork has to be completed either way... :(

 

I'm at a childminder drop-in tomorrow at a children's centre and we've agreed to chat it through and consider putting forward a joint letter setting out our concerns and, as Peggy suggested, asking the Team to reflect on other ways this information could be collated into our files.

 

As you can tell by how long I've been in here tonight I decided to let the paperwork slide and see how I feel about it tomorrow xD

 

I'm usually a glass half full type and am surprised by how negative I feel today :o but I DO feel better for having shared!

 

Thanks for your support.

 

Nona

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Guest peekleeds

Hi I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago and I resigned from the network I was part of. I was told at the time I had to attend the evening meetings but family situation meant I could not leave my three children with a babysitter when my husband worked away. At the time I left the network I also could not see what major benefits it offered, it certainly wasn't something my parents were worried about. Plus my co-ordinator always over ran her visits often making me late for the afternoon school run!

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Couldn't decide if I felt better or not when I woke up this morning, didn't go to childminder drop-in in case I infected others with my negative "bug" xD

 

Then had a phone call from a teacher & Mum of 12 week old , thinking of becoming a childminder asking if she could visit me for a chat about the pros & cons :o (soon put her off! :( only by asking her to question how it will impact on her partner & 10 year old daughter. She said I'd confirmed what she was already thinking))

 

Another phone call to Network asking for them to tell me the benefits of Network childminding as I honestly still can't see any (apart from the bag, t shirt, fleece which are bright red & VILE!)

 

Spoke to different co-ordinator who was brill!

 

Quite understood why I was ready to chuck the towel in and has offered to help sort paperwork for me & raise this issue in the office as I'm not the only one affected.

 

Says that for the first time being a Network childminder is mentioned in Ofsted "Are you ready for your inspection?" booklet and in the SEF - so will actually count for something, apparently.

 

Has asked me to go to Network meeting this week & talk it through with her in person.

 

Wouldn't say I feel positive about it but am marginally less negative - if that makes sense? :(

 

Nona

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  • 2 weeks later...

A quick update for all those who offered support and advice.

 

I took Peggy's advice and put my thoughts and feelings in writing and e-mailed them in.

 

The Network meeting was the next evening and I went along feeling a little apprehensive...

 

The Team announced that "after feedback" (!) they'd

 

* agreed to reduce the paperwork they asked us to complete

* apologised for not having thought of it earlier

* decided not to bring along the NCMA questionnaire that is part of their re-accreditation process as they had most of the information on file already and could complete this on our behalf

* send out only the questions they couldn't answer

 

:o A good result and one I hope is fair to both childminders and The Network.

 

Even if I decide that remaining on the Network isn't for me I'll feel I've made a stand on behalf of all those swamped in paper xD

 

Thanks everyone who posted to keep my spirits up!

 

Nona

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