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Parent Helpers


SazzJ
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When I rang and asked Ofsted this a few years ago (and somebody else will probably get a completely different answer!) I was told it was entirely at the employers discretion & the employers responsibility if anything went wrong. However when the ISA was about to go live, THEY told me: If a parent spends time in the group on a regular basis (i.e more than 3 times a month it is classed as regular) than yes they would need to be registered with the ISA and should have a CRB done as well. My thoughts are we have such a problem getting parents into help on a regular basis and it is such a pain getting crb checks done, not to say the time just for committee that the thought of getting them done for every parent fills me with horror! Do we really need to mistrust everyone all the time, none of our parents are ever left on their own with a child anyway and presumably yours wouldn't be.

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We were told similar in preparation for ISA.

I do think we should be allowed to use our common sense, its not as if we've just landed for goodness sake. What about a child who needed mom to stay for more sessions or part of sessions?

We'll get to a point where the whole nation has a CRB and then what do we do?

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I agree re the issue of trust and mistrust (guilty until proven innocent, and yet all the CRb shows is that they haven't been caught), though sometimes the CRB and reference processes are also useful.

 

My understanding is 3 times in a month and they need a CRB. They are then classed as a regular volunteer and can be included in the overall ratio at the manager's discretion but are usually limited to what they can do (ie no personal care and would never be left alone with children).

 

Also, have you started submitting CRB applications on line? We use Capita as our umbrella company and they advised me to use the online process rather than the new from. There are still some hitches with the online system regarding editing, but I get the applicant to fill out the old paper form, transfer the details myself on to the online version, note the ID that I have checked, submit - and have been getting results within 72 hours, and sometimes within 24 hours. Far different from some of the paper copies I have submitted which have taken months.

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I use TMG too and wasn't aware that they are doing it online. My guess is that if TMG as an authorised CRB company are doing it then Ofsted must have given it their blessing. Otherwise there would be little point in doing it really!

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There i another thread re this somewhere (doing it online I mean) We use TMG and have just got one back week before last that was sent to them in Sept, nobody said it could be done online and I am still trying to work out (apart from the physical logistics) why doing it online should take only 24/72 hours yet a paper copy takes 3/4 months. Also wondering if these are enhanced checks why Ofsted aren't using or telling us to use these methods? Sorry not doubting anyone just curious that's all.

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I agree re the issue of trust and mistrust (guilty until proven innocent, and yet all the CRb shows is that they haven't been caught), though sometimes the CRB and reference processes are also useful.

 

My understanding is 3 times in a month and they need a CRB. They are then classed as a regular volunteer and can be included in the overall ratio at the manager's discretion but are usually limited to what they can do (ie no personal care and would never be left alone with children).

 

Also, have you started submitting CRB applications on line? We use Capita as our umbrella company and they advised me to use the online process rather than the new from. There are still some hitches with the online system regarding editing, but I get the applicant to fill out the old paper form, transfer the details myself on to the online version, note the ID that I have checked, submit - and have been getting results within 72 hours, and sometimes within 24 hours. Far different from some of the paper copies I have submitted which have taken months.

 

Are you sure they can be counted in ratio? I quizzed ofsted about this as when my child was at setting I was a regular parent volunteer (and I've got QTS in early years) but they were definite that I could never count in ratios. I had even completed EY form for committee but apparently not all the bits that staff had to fill in, so therefore not able to be within ratios.

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Hmm - not that I ever do actually count volunteers into ratio, but my understanding was that - as long as the volunteer attended on a regular basis, then yes they could be counted into ratio - yet again maybe there is a variance between Ofsted Inspectors!!!

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Ofsted told me I could count parents in the ratio!!! But then the Committee said they wouldn't want to as the parents are unreliable!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

With regards to CRB checks of parent helpers I was also told it was good practice but not essential to do it as parents were never left alone or did toileting etc

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I was told only staff who had health declarations and references could count in ratios (although students also if they were on EY course and had CRB for our setting).

 

It seems they tell different things to different people!!

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When we are checking regular volunteers, they go through a process very similar to that of a paid member of staff - with an application form, at least two references, an interview (not based on skills but on suitability and mutual benefit) and a CRB, and would eventually be required to register with the ISA. It does put some volunteers off but as we accept people via the Volunteer Centre (and not just people we already know) we need to be careful. These volunteers could be included in the ratios if they were capable. Sure there is something in the EYFS about this - will go and look :)

 

We used to include parent helpers/committee on an emergency basis (we had an emergency cover list and CRB-ed those on it) but avoid this nowadays. They could technically count as the 3rd in a team of 3 where the first was level 3 and second level 2, but even committee members have not had thorough checks - an EY2 and then all the details repeated in a CRB with Ofsted where we don't seen the main form!

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