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Can I Care For 7 Children Under 8?


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Could anyone help me with this. What I want to know is if I have an issue of continuity of care would I ever be allowed to care for 7 children under 8 for a few months until the eldest child turns 8. I have heard many conflicting reports, one childminder friend was told by somebody at ofsted that it is a possiblility under the right circumstances but when I have enquired I was told a definate no.

 

I don't need the variation til sept but I want to give the parent involved as much notice as possible if I won't be able to care for her child anymore as childminders in my area can be quite hard to find.

 

Has anyone been granted this variation and what were the reasons why you needed it.

 

Many thanks

 

Marie :o

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I haven't heard of anyone being allowed to care for seven under eights but Ofsted are often willing to make exceptions when it is for the benefit of the children involved. I don't know who you spoke to at Ofsted but, in my experience, you would be best speaking to an inspector in your area, preferably the one who did your last inspection. The enquiries team are not the most reliable source of information.

 

If you do call , make sure you can tell them how many hours a week you would be caring for seven, how the decision would affect the children and their families and what strategies you would have in place to ensure that they were all still receiving appropriate care.

 

Good luck. I hope you manage to sort this out.

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I haven't heard of anyone being allowed to care for seven under eights but Ofsted are often willing to make exceptions when it is for the benefit of the children involved. I don't know who you spoke to at Ofsted but, in my experience, you would be best speaking to an inspector in your area, preferably the one who did your last inspection. The enquiries team are not the most reliable source of information.

 

If you do call , make sure you can tell them how many hours a week you would be caring for seven, how the decision would affect the children and their families and what strategies you would have in place to ensure that they were all still receiving appropriate care.

 

Good luck. I hope you manage to sort this out.

 

They will not usually grant a variation for new children, so if the reason you need the variation is because you are taking on a new child before the existing one turns 8, then the answer would be no.

 

If it is because existing children wish to increase their hours/change their days, in the interest of the continuity of care for all the children concerned to be able to stay with you, they are more likely to consider it a yes. They usually expect you to write out a plan of how you would manage the situation (in terms of school run etc) so if the 7 year old is independent, no behavioural issues etc, this would all be supportive towards a variation.

 

I have always written straight to Ofsted for a variation, sent it recorded delivery, and given as much positive initial info as possible.

 

HTH

Clare

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I successfully applied for a short term variation for younger children. I first rang Ofsted and asked that the Inspector who did my previous inspection rang me to chat it through.

 

Following her advice, I put the request in writing with the ages, dates of birth and attendance patterns of the children concerned. It's a useful exercise to identify exactly when, and by how long, you will be over your numbers.

 

In essence, in my case, it boiled down to an overlap of 45 minutes, 3 days a week, term time only and for 6 weeks until a child reached the next age group! :o

 

I then had to make my case that it wouldn't affect the quality of care, didn't impinge on the younger children, raise any issues with transport etc. Make sure you apply early and stress that you need a decision by a specified date, and send it recorded delivery!

 

It took about 5 weeks for agreement to be given and a Deed of Variation issued.

 

Good Luck!

 

Nona

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