I had my first OFSTED inspection on 22nd October, around a month after opening. My setting was given a ‘satisfactory’; the quality of my care was praised, but I will need to provide more evidence of how I plan activities to suit each child, to meet their learning goals and map their progress. After just a month of childminding, it is unlikely that I could have provided the volume of records and observations required to obtain a ‘good’ rating, but I’m confident that with the framework I have in place, I’ll have improved my record-keeping by my next inspection in around six-months time.
Here are some points made by the inspector which I think give a good indication of the type of care I provide:
“The childminder gives praise to the children while working together, to encourage sharing, turn taking and positive behaviour”
“Children have regular opportunities to develop their understanding of the world and enjoy regular walks and visits within the local environment”
“The childminder provides a safe and relaxed environment where children’s emotional wellbeing is supported appropriately”
“The childminder is a good role model, who constantly promotes positive behaviour. He encourages good manners and helps the children to take care of their environment”
“the childminder helps children develop a healthy lifestyle”
“The childminder is well organised and maintains clear documentation for the safe and efficient management of the setting…he ensures children are protected and supervised at all times”
I’ll get an electronic version of the full report posted on the blog soon.
This week has been intense. On Friday I received notification that OFSTED would be making their first inspection within the next 5 days. You might think it is odd that I haven’t been inspected yet, but I’ve only actually been childminding since mid-September. I did my training and completed my registration some time ago, and once you’ve done that you are able to open your setting. However, you then have your first inspection within 6-weeks of signing a contract with a parent. This is how you get your rating.
I’ve been working on my paperwork, of which there is a lot! I have a 32 page policy and procedure folder, risk assessments for every room, risk assessments for using the car, childminder car insurance…I’ve also been working on mapping the development of my three ‘minded’ children, and highlighting the areas to concentrate on. Naturally, after just over a month, there’s not huge amount of paperwork accrued, but I’m happy with what I have done. And so were OFSTED.
I haven’t received my report yet, but the inspector praised my rapport with the children and how I handled their varying demands and stages of development. She was very pleased with my practice. She did say that I don’t have enough documentary evidence yet regarding learning journeys, but that this was expected at such an early stage.
Also this week, I had my Food Standards Agency inspection and the hygiene of the house got a thumbs up (which Jo, being a Dr of Microbiology, was pleased to hear!). We just need to get a thermometer for the fridge.
So this week has brought two inspections. It’s also been parents evening (great reports, as expected), Jasmine has made her Brownie promise and Jo has given two important presentations at work. Hectic!
Nearly the weekend…
Today I’ve been working on some really exciting plans- I’m thinking of running a summer school programme. It will combine all the best ‘lesson plans’ I’ve come up with for EYFS supplemented with some ideas I’ve been talking through with my science side-kick Jo 🙂 We always struggled to find anything in Lancaster for under-8’s during summer time. There are some really great activities but you need to stay with your kids for nearly all of them, so they don’t suit working parents. Obviously they are not run by OFSTED registered childminders 😉
What could be better than dropping your kids off for a fun packed, educational day in a safe, OFSTED approved environment?
Look out for Launchpad Summer School- aimed at ages 4-7, taking place in August. Early bird prices will be available, keep watching this blog for further information.
This weekend I have mostly been building a fence. I also found out that although the car is enormous, it isn’t really big enough for two 6ft fence panels, 2 fence posts, Jasmine’s new bike and me.
I’m building the fence so that I can get the garden registered for childminding use. OFSTED felt that the area to the side of the house should be inaccessible. Fair enough really, as I can’t see round corners.
Just the gate to relocate now. Then all I have to do is figure out how to make the sun shine all summer so we can make the most of the huge garden!