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Responding to the Consultation on how Ofsted regulate early years prov


Guest lucyevans
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Guest lucyevans

http://discuss.bis.g...regulators/#chi

 

Thanks to Sarah at www.knutsfordchildminding.co.uk for these tips on completing the consultation.

 

It is open to childminders, nurseries and pre-schools - anyone who cares for early years children.

The Government wants to know how well Ofsted are doing at regulating childminders. They are not interested in how well the current legislation (EYFS, Childcare Register etc) works - the focus is on how well Ofsted enforcement (registration visits, inspections, dealing with complaints, producing informative factsheets etc) and Local Authority support is working.

 

Why has this review been set up?

The review is linked closely to the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan from the Department for Education / Liz Truss. More inspectors will be needed to regulate and inspect both independent childminders and childminder agencies and to manage other changes created by the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan such as targeting weaker providers and getting more children into school at the age of 2.

 

Questions asked by the review cover -

· How well do Ofsted deal with the registration process? Eg. conducting pre-registration visits and necessary documentation

· Do you think Ofsted are good at enforcing action such as checking that providers, including those who are not registered with Ofsted but may need to be, meet legal requirements for registration eg people who are working from their own homes for payment for more than 2 hours a day who have not registered as childminders

· Do Ofsted manage the enforcement process well? Eg taking action where requirements of registration are not met - including visiting early years providers after complaints have been made and following up on unsatisfactory inspection outcomes.

· How well do Ofsted manage the inspection process? Are Ofsted consistent during inspection? Be careful with this question - it might lead to Ms Truss saying that her agency model is justified because childminders want agencies, not Ofsted, to regulate them!

· How well do Ofsted target support to childminders who need it the most?

· Do you get good advice from Ofsted, local authority, advisors etc?

· Does advice you get from your local authority help you comply with the law? For example, have you been informed about registering as a food business, applying for planning permission if you care for more than 6 children under 8 at a time, registering with the Information Commissioners Office as a data handler etc?

· Do you feel that you are over-regulated? Do your Local Authority and Ofsted duplicate the advice they give you? For example, do your LA tell you to do things one way and Ofsted another (be careful how you answer this type of question because the Govt are looking to remove all LA support and make Ofsted the sole ‘arbiter of quality’ which will leave independent (non-agency) childminders unsupported if the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan goes ahead.

· Do misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the law make your job harder?

· Have you complained about eg the behaviour of an Ofsted inspector - and what was the outcome?

· How well does your local authority support you - and newly registering childminders?

· Do you think Ofsted and local authority requirements are excessive?

The review also wants ideas on how Ofsted can do their job better! They want you to share evidence of good practice so it can be used as a learning tool in the future.

 

Some important things to consider -

· The ‘More Great Childcare’ plan talks about Ofsted as the ‘sole arbiter of quality’. While we might agree that local authority support varies depending on where you live, do you want a situation where Ofsted are the only agency you can call on for support?

· The plan talks about ‘moving from process to outcomes’. I think most childminders will agree that we focus on outcomes for children - the whole campaign against the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan is based around the risks to children’s outcomes if the plan goes ahead. What they are paving the way for here is making changes to eg the floor space requirements so they can fit more 2 year olds into small rooms.

· The ‘More Great Childcare’ plan talks about agencies delivering’ intensive support to childminders, with regular monitoring visits and training.’ Do you think that you need / want even more input into your provision than you already get from your local authority? The fear here is that agencies will be asking childminders to jump through even more unnecessary hoops so they can raise their own profiles with Ofsted.

· There is a suggestion in one of the Govt documents (the Children and Families Bill) that newly registering childminders might only be able to register through agencies. If the results of this survey suggest that Local Authorities do not support newly registering childminders well and changes are made to the registration process - what effect do you think that will have?

· The ‘More Great Childcare document states that agencies will help remove barriers between home-based care and higher quality group provision” which suggests that home based childcare is not currently a high quality provision. The document also states that childminders ‘lag behind’ other providers - the majority of childminders take great exception to this statement and want to make their feelings known.
Edited by lucyevans
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The plan talks about ‘moving from process to outcomes’. I think most childminders will agree that we focus on outcomes for children - the whole campaign against the ‘More Great Childcare’ plan is based around the risks to children’s outcomes if the plan goes ahead. What they are paving the way for here is making changes to eg the floor space requirements so they can fit more 2 year olds into small rooms.

 

I think knutfordschildminding has made some fantastic points here. I think the headlines of the Truss report have focussed only on the ratios/qualifications/childminding agency issues, all of which are important, however there are some insidious aspects tucked away in there also that really need to be discussed such as removing floorspace requirements.

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