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Advice Please!


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Here's the scenario: on the way home tonight, I stopped at my local newsagents to post a letter. I scanned the adverts in his window and saw one for summer holiday childcare. The number looked familiar and on checking, it turns out to be one of the mums from my setting.

She has two boys of her own, aged 3 and 2. The younger one needs lots of attention and mum is often short-tempered with both boys. She is honest in her advert and says she is NOT registered, but will provide:

home-cooked meals

trips out to paces in her car

nature walks

reports on the children's activities.

fees are negotiable

 

she says she can care for children from 7am-7pm and will take any age

 

So my worries: no qualifications ( apart from being a mum of course)

NO insurance

NO safeguarding training

NO CRB

No fod hygeine training

NO first aid training

 

 

what would you do??

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In my experience childminders are really hot at reporting each other for any problems. So she is pretty unlikely to get away with it for long.

Sadly, as always, it comes down to what you could live with on your consience if anything major went wrong.

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Wow, well there is being honest or down right stupid :o , does she also say anywhere that she is in the process of registering?.

If not then i would be really concerned. We cannot presume she has no food safety training, first aid training, insurance etc but as your instinct suggests probably not.

Without whistleblowing as it were, i feel i would have to either ask her outright that you had seen the advert and see what her response is.

If you then feel uncomfortable with her answers then i would have to inform the relevant bodies to safeguard all concerned.

 

Duty of care does not stop when we leave the workplace but is embedded in all we do.

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no, she has no training of any sort................and now it all makes sense: she was asking me recently 'what kind of hoops' I had to jump through to do my job and when I said all of the things necessary, she said oh god no, I couldn't be bothered with all that, it's just babysitting anyway, isn't it?

 

No, the advert says in big letters at the bottom, please note, i am NOT a reigistered childminder, but I can provide refs if needed.

Forgot to say, it also says she would consider weekend care as well.

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You could phone her and let her know that she would be breaking the law and could be prosecuted, especially as she's declaring in her advert that she's knowingly breaking the law.

 

You could tell her that someone is very likely to report her to Ofsted, that it isn't too difficult to get registered and she could get it through before the summer holidays. You could even offer to talk her through the paperwork if you were feeling kind.

 

If she decides to ignore you then someone, perhaps you, will inevitably report her.

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No I'm sorry but now knowing what you know, I would either have to inform her that legally she cannot do what she is attempting to do and could be prosecuted, or contact the safeguarding bodies, Ofsted, or your local Child Protection Authoriy.

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I wanted to have a long 'think' before adding any comment........think Upsy Daisy has said it all really.......

 

Depending on my 'relationship' with her I think i would want to give her fair warning before taking any 'official' action........however, I'm fairly sure that I would indeed have to take this action if she didn't withdraw her advert.....to be honest the whole thing makes me 'shiver' :(

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narnia how will you know if she decides not to go ahead and childmind illegally? She might already have made contacts with people so that even if you speak to her and she agrees to take the card down and abandon the idea, she may already have taken children on for the holidays regardless of what you might say about the dangers.

 

I can't remember what sort of community you live in: if you live nearby and can 'monitor' the situation (for want of a better word) then having a word in her shell like might do the trick. However if you have any doubts that she is likely to go through with this idea then maybe calling the Local Authority/Ofsted is the only way forward.

 

In which case, you might prefer to do this anonymously so as to continue to have a working relationship with the parent.

 

What a dilemma - I'm not sure I've helped much! :o

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I'd have to whisper to her that she could be in for all sorts of trouble if she's found out, more trouble than bothering to register would be.

It sounds pretty awful but on reflection can you really imagine someone leaving their child with her knowing she has no qualifications and isn't a registered childminder?

OK, so some nitwit might leave an older child who can fend for themselves, but I'm willing to bet she wont get any takers anyway. Lets keep our fingers crossed though.

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Its a scary situation but I am not sure that anyone would be able to do anything untill she is actually minding children.Its also scary to know that if a childminder used the childs home as the base , or if the minded children are 8+ registration is voluntary.

 

I would have to say something to her though,making her aware that the penalties for illegal childminding are a substantial fine, imprisonment or both. Also she would not be covered by insurance.

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narnia how will you know if she decides not to go ahead and childmind illegally? She might already have made contacts with people so that even if you speak to her and she agrees to take the card down and abandon the idea, she may already have taken children on for the holidays regardless of what you might say about the dangers.

 

 

That's a very good point - I must stop thinking that everyone lives in a small village like me.........everyone knows what's going on here :ph34r:

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I've been in a similar situation. Person in question was a member of my staff who was leaving our setting and I heard on the grapevine she was planning to childmind without registering. I raised the issue obliquely in a staff meeting by saying something about how childminders need to register, what it entails, etc. She went ahead anyway without registering. The stupid thing was she was level 3 qualified and had first aid, safeguarding, etc from working for us. What really bothered me was what would happen if a child in her care came to some harm, both for the child and for her as she had recently become a single parent. In the end another childminder in our local area reported her and the LA came out to support her registering. It caused tensions in the local childminding community but if that childminder hadn't reported it I think I would have felt I had to once I knew for certain she had started to mind.

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That's a very good point - I must stop thinking that everyone lives in a small village like me.........everyone knows what's going on here :ph34r:

I couldn't remember what kind of community narnia lives/works in - I get the feeling it is pretty small, but couldn't be sure. In a very small community it does add another layer of complication, doesn't it?

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It's small!!

 

Well in that case you'll know if she's gone ahead and it's easy enough to find out if she's registered by searching for a report on the Ofsted site or your local Family Information Service.

 

I hope you manage to sort this without conflict Narnia. I know from bitter experience how difficult it is living in a small community when there is ill-feeling.

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I've started two replies to this thread. I don't know the answer, but I've been thinking about when I was a Nanny - no qualifications, no insurance, no first aid, drove them in my car - yet I don't' think I did a bad job really. I also took my own child with me - finished when No 2 came along though. If you did decide to confront her head on, maybe you could put a positive spin on it by suggesting she worked out of the other family's home instead of hers.

 

Honey

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Bit of research here as it does worry me that anyone believes it is ok to look after children as it is just babysitting.. and that any parents who may decide to ask about it are highly unlikely to know the correct questions to ask such as insurance etc.

 

picked this up from the Ofsted website on Registration not required.. under 8, on own premises, and for payment it definitely is... between 6 pm and 2 am does not need registering as it is classed as babysitting.. Interesting read..

Registration not required.pdf

Edited by Inge
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Bit of research here as it does worry me that anyone believes it is ok to look after children as it is just babysitting.. and that any parents who may decide to ask about it are highly unlikely to know the correct questions to ask such as insurance etc.

 

picked this up from the Ofsted website on Registration not required.. under 8, on own premises, and for payment it definitely is... between 6 pm and 2 am does not need registering as it is classed as babysitting.. Interesting read..

 

I think section 11 is the loophole.

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Reading the notes it does say they have to give coaching and expect them to have particular skills in the activities they were providing that would help children get better at them. that supplying a few items would not qualify as coaching - not simply providing tools and letting the children have a go.. but tuition would be needed .

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Oh dear ! I've mulled this one over and know that I'd HAVE to do something but how?

 

Not sure I'd approach the parent direct to avoid a confrontation and/or bad atmosphere within my own setting

 

so, maybe run it past a friendly contact in the LA

 

or....

 

snap a photo of the ad in the window when no-one was about, print and post it to the LA and Ofsted and leave it to them :ph34r:

 

Nona

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update: telephoned LEA and they said to telephone Ofsted. So called O people today............result?? Yes, it is completely illegal for her to do what she is offering, BUT not until she actually does it. An Ofsted officer has to actually catch her at it, so they asked if I would keep my ears open and if I hear she has gone ahead, to then call them again. ............

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update: telephoned LEA and they said to telephone Ofsted. So called O people today............result?? Yes, it is completely illegal for her to do what she is offering, BUT not until she actually does it. An Ofsted officer has to actually catch her at it, so they asked if I would keep my ears open and if I hear she has gone ahead, to then call them again. ............

 

Oh for goodness sake :o:( how ridiculous is that? :(

 

Well done you anyway for taking that action...........can't believe that you are now expected to play 'detective' - honestly humph :(

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