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hi , im new to this and so glad i've found this site.ive been minding for 12 years.had my ofsted inspection wednesday.went ok.nerve wracking tho.dont know how they can say to just carry on as normal when they are in your face all the time.

i currently have 3 under 5's, 3 over 5's and one 8 year old. she misunderstood my numbers on the wednesday and called me thurs to say i was chilminding illegally as i'm over on my ratio after school.i became quite upset because it hasnt been intentional i have just been flexible and co-operative with my parents,as their work commitments are sometimes beyond their control, traffic etc.

she made me feel like a criminal.my grades on my check before this issue arose were "good". she explained that i should have notified ofsted each time i was over my numbers. i didnt do it purely because its the sake of an hour at the most and it wasnt all the time.

due to this she is grading me as inadequate.she told me i woud have to lose two of the children i mind, but one of them is over 8 so she isnt included in the criteria.so for the sake of an hour i have to now give notice to one of my childrens parents and cause disruption and upset to both parent and child all for the sake of an hour! is this taking the childs welfare into account??? i think not.instead of making me out to be a criminal, they need to concentrate on the kids whose welfare really is a concern! i have back up from all my parents over this as they agree that all i've done is be accommodating to their needs.

just wondered if anyone else has had a similar issue?? i am now ill through this and questioning whether i can carry on childminding as she has made me a wreck.

any feedback on this would be great.thanks

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Firstly welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear your news. I don't work in the childminding sector so sorry I'm not qualified to give you any advice. There are plenty out there who will though so sit tight- someone will be along in a mo xxxx

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear this. Could you not write a letter to Ofsted requesting that they reconsider, sometimes it depends on who you deal with what response you get. Maybe worth a try.

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear this. Could you not write a letter to Ofsted requesting that they reconsider, sometimes it depends on who you deal with what response you get. Maybe worth a try.

i called ofsted on the friday morning and spoke to a lovely guy.i just advised him what was going on and that i would have to be given some time to notify the parent and help her to find alternative childcare.he said he would pass this on to manager of inspections, and agreed with me that i cant just drop a child overnight.he told me not to panic or worry but its really got to me. its taken over my whole weekend because im so worried of the outcome.

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Well it's bound to, isn't it! Hope you get some better help this week

thanks. i do have some ammunition with the inspector, check as far as i was concerned wasnt thorough enough.she had my sef and all details of kids were on that.she didnt read it.she asked me if i had smoke alarms and did fire drills as she was leaving! took my word for it in other words! plus she took up both my sofas with all the paperwork leaving young ones nowhere to sit, and then she left her laptop lead plugged in and just left on the floor! horrendous in my eyes!

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[Welcome to the forum, chardonnay68

 

I work in pre-school so I can't really help I'm afraid - could you ask your local authority for support? Are you part of a childminding network?

 

I hope you get things sorted soon - I know how stressful having Ofsted involved can be.

 

Take care

Maz

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Hi and welcome to the forum

I for one have had plenty of sleepness nights over this job and i'm sure I'm not the only one. Be kind yourself and do what you can to resolve it.

Can you apply for an extension to your ratios to cover the additional time - if it's only an occasional hour I'm sure they won't say no. You have to put it in writing with a covering letter satting how you will meet each child's needs. I do think this is necessary, the ratios are made to protect children after all.

Perhaps once you've done that you could ask them to reconsider your grading.

We all feel like giving up when things go wrong I'm sure, I know I do, but I'm sure that would'nt be best for your children and parents.

hope you can work things out with Ofsted :o

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Hi chardonnay68

 

So sorry to hear about your situation. I am also a childminder and don't know personally but have heard of a chlildminder in my area who got found to be over ratio on her inspection it had been going on for nearly 8 months and Ofsted were not very forgiving apparently!! (not sure how many or for how long she was over ratio though)

 

How many are you registered for on your registation form under the differnt ages? Most people are allowed to have 3 under5's and 3 over and over 8's don't count. This is only as long as you do not have your own children under 8 though!

 

I think you need to write to Ofsted explaining the hours each of your children do and there ages, plus how long you have looked after these children and putting in when you will go over ratio and ask for a variation on your registartion. If like it seems to be it has happened because of parents changing working hours put this in also. There should be a continuation of care issue I would think! (unless you have just took some of these children on recently and that has made you over ratio).

 

I have had to ask for a variation due to one of my parents changing job and I would have had 4 under 5's (one my own child) for 3 hours one day and 5 hours another. I wrote to them with all the info I have said above for you to include and then about a week later Ofsted called me and talked to me for over half an hour about how I would meet all the childrens needs and then a week later got my new certificate stating the variation.

 

I hope you get this sorted soon and that you can then stop worrying

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Hi Chardonnay68, Some good advice already, just wanted to extend to you a warm welcome to the forum, and some empathy, I too have had 'difficult' times with Ofsted in the past (preschool) and I know how much it can impact on your self esteem / self worth. xD

You have found a good place for support on the forum, :o hopefully you can follow velvets excellent advice and gain a variation on your registration.

 

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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I dont know alot about childminding adult ratios, so this is a total guess but for the times that ofsted says your over numbers could you have an additional adult helper during those times (ie a crb checked friend who it available to cover those odd hours) so that the adult:child ratio increases..... maybe?

 

I hope you manage to get it sorted without havint to loose a child

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Hi, I hope you don't mind me responding to your situation.... but here goes :o

 

Although registration of childminders takes account of children under 8 years (3 under 5 years, 3 from 5 - 7 years), it is essential that the care provided for children over the age of 8 years does not adversely affect the care of younger children.

 

Whilst I empathise with you situation, the requirements of Ofsted/Children Act are very clear. If a mandatory requirement is not met, the inspection judgement is automatically 'inadequate'. However, if you say the extra child is over the age of 8 years, I would personally appeal against the judgement, as the regulation being used is solely for children under the age of 8 years. If you can prove the care of this older child did not and does not have an adverse impact on the younger children then I would suggest you have an overzealous inspector on your hands.

 

Just as a point of interest, sometimes local planning departments have an issue with childminders having more than 6 children on site at any one time, including their own children... but that is not Ofsted legislation.... it belongs to the LA.

 

Anyway, PM me if you want any more advice on how to fight back xD

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Hi, I hope you don't mind me responding to your situation.... but here goes :o

 

Welcome to the forum toystory and thanks for your contribution. That's what the forum is all about, one person asking for advice and support and others giving it to them. xD

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Anyway, PM me if you want any more advice on how to fight back :(

Welcome to the Forum, toystory! What a useful first post... you're not an Ofsted inspector are you? :o Or maybe an LA advisor? Go on - you can tell me and I promise not to tell anyone else! xD

 

Looking forward to reading more of your posts in future.

 

Maz

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Sorry I wasn't around over the weekend to see your post!

 

You've had some good advice already which I hope has helped to stop you worrying.

 

Although Ofsted are very strict on ratios I would definitely put everything in writing to Ofsted. State your concerns over the way in which the Inspection was done, and the Inspector acted. Be honest about your intentions and how you would do things differently in light of the information you have now been given (reflective practice!)

 

A childminder in my area sent in a letter of complaint about her Inspection 18 months ago. She had a visit from a Chief Inspector to discuss the issues raised. Her grading was set aside, she was re-inspected the following month and went from "good" to "outstanding"

 

Good Luck!

 

Nona

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Hi chardonnay68

 

So sorry to hear about your situation. I am also a childminder and don't know personally but have heard of a chlildminder in my area who got found to be over ratio on her inspection it had been going on for nearly 8 months and Ofsted were not very forgiving apparently!! (not sure how many or for how long she was over ratio though)

 

How many are you registered for on your registation form under the differnt ages? Most people are allowed to have 3 under5's and 3 over and over 8's don't count. This is only as long as you do not have your own children under 8 though!

 

I think you need to write to Ofsted explaining the hours each of your children do and there ages, plus how long you have looked after these children and putting in when you will go over ratio and ask for a variation on your registartion. If like it seems to be it has happened because of parents changing working hours put this in also. There should be a continuation of care issue I would think! (unless you have just took some of these children on recently and that has made you over ratio).

 

I have had to ask for a variation due to one of my parents changing job and I would have had 4 under 5's (one my own child) for 3 hours one day and 5 hours another. I wrote to them with all the info I have said above for you to include and then about a week later Ofsted called me and talked to me for over half an hour about how I would meet all the childrens needs and then a week later got my new certificate stating the variation.

 

I hope you get this sorted soon and that you can then stop worrying

hi velvet, its part my fault as my check 2003 stated no more than 4 in total.

and after my check 2006 i just carried on as you do and i was registered for 4 any one time ( had six in total at diff times) and due to peoples work commitments , family bereavements, traffic i have gone over my numbers only in last year.but now i am inadequate in my welfare section of my report and i have to reduce my numbers by two even tho one is over eight and the other over laps in my ratio sometimes by an hour at the most 4 days a week. i may be a little slap dash wiv my informing ofsted of this but at least my child care is consistant and the kids love me etc..

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  • 1 month later...
Guest tinkywinky

Hi Chardonney, really sorry to hear about your ofsted experience. I too was caught out when I first started with an overlap of 1 hour. Newly qualified I assumed she would be a bit more understanding, I had 1 3 year old one day a week and had just ( about 3 weeks before the inspection) signed a full time contract for a 13 month old. At that time I had 2 children under 5 of my own. Ironically if she had come on the day when I just had the 13 month old, she wouldn't have know.

 

It was near the end of the inspection when she clarified what my children did. She started off by saying "what you are doing here is really good" and then when I said my 4 year old was a pre-school she said it was illegal.

 

If I had told her my son was in reception she would have been non the wiser. I have since learnt that other childminders tell ofsted inspectors what they want to hear which is not always exactly the truth. I had another inspection 6 months later which was Satisfactory. She told me that it wasn't possible to give anything more following an inadequate score! what a load of rubbish.

 

Anyway my at next inspection I had a patio window which was shattered on the outside. Perfectly safe indoors as there are two panes of glass. The builder was coming he next day and yes, she wrote it in my report so for three years parents can read that I have a broken window - great!!!

 

Can't wait for my next inspection - I seem to be a bit jinxed or maybe I am not playing the game properly!

 

don't worry anyway because you will always get work through word of mouth and it sounds as if you are busy.

 

best wishes

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I have since learnt that other childminders tell ofsted inspectors what they want to hear which is not always exactly the truth.

This is just so annoying isn't it? I have heard of groups doing all sorts of things they don't do routinely in order to get a better Ofsted outcome and it is so unfair on the rest of us. In all conscience I couldn't tell Ofsted a half-truth and like you I'm not good at 'playing the game' as others may be. Who is to say which approach is right - I'm sure those people who weren't as honest as they could have been don't lay awake at night worrying about it!

 

I had another inspection 6 months later which was Satisfactory. She told me that it wasn't possible to give anything more following an inadequate score! what a load of rubbish.

So in other words even if you had ticked all the boxes for 'outstanding' she would not have been able to give you it because you had previously had an inadequate? I know that your inadequate wasn't given because of the quality of the care you provide, but how can we encourage settings or childminders to improve their practice when they can only ever get a satisfactory after an inadequate judgement? We should be striving to be the best childcarers we can be, not just to do enough to get through ofsted - but why would anyone struggle to be outstanding if they knew they would only ever get a satisfactory?

 

No wonder Ofsted get such a bad press!

 

Maz

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hi toystory,

thanks for your reply.i had the investigation team for ofsted come and see me .she was lovely.she talked me through reasons, but also empathised with me as she knew what i had done was purely an innocent error on my part.Even though the original inspector had given me two weeks grace for a variation to up my numbers to six children whilst i sort out which child had to go, the lady from the investigation team extended my ratio straight away.

although i still had to reduce my children by one, which i found very hard to do as the child was with me so little anyway and i know from experience that finding childcare for just an hour after school a couple of days a week is hard to find as in some peoples eyes the money isnt in it.

the investigation lady also seemed to be under the impression that i may have been inspected incorrectly even though the inspector explained to me that she had been doing her job for 22 years!

all i did was accommodate the children due to parents work commitments, and not to take on extra children purely for the money. i had great support from all my childrens parents in this as they all know how happy their children are in my care. and altho i explained i was upset as being put as inadequate their attitude was its only on paper.

the whole thing made me so ill and i doubted my job very much.i'm still uneasy now bout my next check as i was traumatised so much by all this and feel that i will be interrogated much more due to my inadequate grading.

i truely understand now why so many childminders are giving up, due to the demands we have to meet, the inspections and gradings, etc.the concentration seems to be on paperwork rather than the childs happiness ,and continuity of care from genuine people like ourselves that love the children like our own.

 

thanks for your advice and support.

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