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Before/ after school childminder- what should I ask? And are they all ofsted?

(14 Posts)
MrsGrumpyPants Tue 03-Jun-14 15:29:09

I've never used a childminder before, only nurseries. My eldest is off to school this autumn and I'll need a childminder to do drop offs and pick ups several days a week. Any hints and tips? Also how often should childminders have Ofsted inspections, or indeed do they have to?

I've found someone with space and will be going to visit then, but it's just all new to me. They would have to drive to take and pick up DC to/ from school, but I'm guessing in some ways that's safer than someone walking along with 10 kids trailing behind them?

Gah, nursery a lot easier! Thanks in advance

adsy Tue 03-Jun-14 16:08:48

CM's are all registered and inspected roughly every 3 years.
They follow the same rules and regulations as nurseries but with lower ratios and more one on one care.
Ask if they will provide dinner and what sort it is.
If you need term time only will you need to pay a retainer in holidays.
do you pay if your child is away on holiday / sick ( almost 100% will be yes)
Does she have a back up CM if she is ever off ( tends to be rare that cM take time off ill!!)
What happens if school is shut due to bad weather etc. will she still be able to have your dc for the full day ( usually yes for a fee)

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 03-Jun-14 16:25:50

In addition to the above I would ask: what happens on Inset days ie do you pay if you don't send them, can she provide all day care & if so how much will it cost; what about any bank holidays that fall on your contracted days is she open will you have to pay? Typical snacks after school? What activities does cm provide for school children? How many many children does she currently have on the days you want?

If you decide to go-ahead I would then around at nursery or school if anyone knows her (certainly round my way you wouldn't have to go far to find someone that knows me or the other cms) & ask to take up a reference from parent of current school child - these will be a far more realistic opinion than an ofsted inspection done 1 pre-agreed day potentially many months even years ago.

MrsGrumpyPants Tue 03-Jun-14 19:00:18

Thank you both, those are excellent points.

The last inspection on the ofsted website is from 2009, I was surprised there was nothing more recent?

GeneralGrevious Tue 03-Jun-14 19:12:02

Ok ask for references from current parents, do they cook dinner if so what kind of thing or will they provide a snack if you are giving dinner later.

What is the policy on holidays (usually you pay if you go away when they are available)

Consider a term time minder and play schemes for the holidays might be cheaper

Ask if they are able to collect from after school clubs (probably not in reception but bear in mind for when these start in year 1)

MrsGrumpyPants Tue 03-Jun-14 19:38:21

Thanks general, I'd been thinking term time only might be good, then holiday clubs during school holidays as I only work a couple of days a week

starlight1234 Tue 03-Jun-14 19:47:37

I would also ask about activities before and after school.

If your child is starting reception I would ask about what happens with the tired children.Most are absolutely exhausted first few weeks.

Most of all go on your gut feeling.

HSMMaCM Tue 03-Jun-14 21:08:02

My last inspection was 2009. I'm waiting for the knock on the door smile

Jinxxx Wed 04-Jun-14 13:22:44

I was told by OFSTED that they take a risk based approach to planning inspections, and the better your last report, the less likely you are to see another inspector soon. I actually think that is a bit unfair, as anybody who didn't know that might think the CM was somehow getting out of being inspected, or hiding inspection reports (which you can't as they are all on the OFTSTED website). But anyway, I think you should take no contact as a compliment HSMMaCM!

HSMMaCM Wed 04-Jun-14 14:02:56

I did get outstanding Jinxxx grin but it still seems a long time.

Lucylouby Wed 04-Jun-14 18:23:16

Re, how often cms get ofsted inspected, I was inspected twice within 12 months. When I queried why so close together I was told it was because they do inspections in cycles, I was inspected in 2011 (in the 2009-12 cycle) rated satisfactory. 12 months later they were on the phone again, the new cycle started in September 2012 and every cm had to be inspected in the 2012-15 cycle, starting with those who were satisfactory. According to the inspector, I won't be done till the next cycle which will be 2015-18. So in theory, it could be nearly 6 years between inspections. Does that make sense?

HSMMaCM Wed 04-Jun-14 21:06:32

Lucylouby that's what I heard too, so I'm expecting them any time

BobTheFly Wed 04-Jun-14 21:07:42

Yes that's right but the cycle is 47 months from September 2012 to August 2016. I was also last inspected in 2009. Xx

anewyear Sat 07-Jun-14 09:18:10

I registered in 2008, Satisfactory, and then didnt hear anything from them till 2013 for a 'No Children on Role' inspection.

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