My Tweet to DfE and their response – and a little story about preparing for things and informing others   1 comment

This morning I sent a tweet to the DfE as follows;

@educationgovuk When are the government going to provide the details to the proposals in MGC, especially about childminder agencies?

A few hours later I got a reply, as follows;

@PSW26259 Childminding changes need primary legislation and are included in the Children and Families Bill:

Now I am grateful that the DfE took the time to respond to my tweet – and realise that the person replying may not know who I am, or know anything about One Voice but even so the question was not answered – not even an approximate date.


So I thought I would tell a little story for the benefit of the DfE and anyone else who does not understand that in most things in life – you have to do a little preparation – you have to state in your head or publicly your intentions should the thing you are waiting for becomes a reality.

My story relates to when I decided to leave my job with the LA and re register as a childminder

Although I knew that I could not operate as a childminder until it was legal to do so and I had my Ofsted registration certificate on the wall – this did not stop me doing a lot of preparation before that day arrived.

Plan when to give notice for my LA job

I located and booked myself on to the appropriate courses, paid and attended them

I filled in the Ofsted application form

I thought about what I wanted to achieve in terms of my setting and then I wrote my policies and procedures, and my parent pack  explaining how I would run my setting IF I became registered

I did some research into fees charged in my local area and spoke to other early years settings – then I set my fees

I decided that I needed to spread the word about my POTENTIAL childminding service – and so set up a website, making it clear that I was not yet registered and so the information was just to inform people of my intentions.

A lot of thought, a lot of research, a lot of work and sharing of information – all for something which may not have become a reality.

Of course as it turns out – I was re registered and went on to have my graded inspection a few months later – however things had changed, policies and procedures had already been updated and changed to meet my actual needs rather than my educated guess based ideas. My fees had already been reviewed and changed.

What I am saying of course is that in order to set up, register and operate as a childminder, I had to provide initial information- state  my intentions. This did not mean that I could not reflect upon or review my stated intentions – far from it – nothing was set in stone and unable to be changed, but people reading the information that I provided had a good idea about my ethos, what my practice would be like, how much my fees were likely to be, the hours that I would open and so much more.

So government – with childminder agencies – I understand that the law needs to be changed, I understand that you can not state how things will actually be until the law is changed ……..BUT ……………. I do not understand why you can not set out your intentions – what you hope will be implemented, what the approximate costs will be both to be part of an agency and to stay independently registered and inspected, how you see agencies and hubs working side by side, the role you see for membership organisations, the role you expect childminders to fulfill, how all the different aspects will join together and work together for the benefit of parents,  children and childminders.

At least if everyone knew your intentions, knew what you are thinking will unfold, everyone will be able to engage in professional debate, decide on the their own futures and make their own plans ready for day when the governments actual intentions are made known.

I know that there will be proposals already on paper, I know that meetings are already taking place with those interested in running agencies, I know that the government has a ‘grand plan’ for the future of early years settings and for childcare and education – so please share it with those that these plans, these intentions are going to impact on – and stop drip feeding snippets of information, that confuse, worry , lead to rumours and a great deal of distress, and do not appear to be part of any ‘joined up’ thinking.

And should the government really have no idea how agencies will look and operate …………………

One response to “My Tweet to DfE and their response – and a little story about preparing for things and informing others

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  1. Amen!

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