You may have noticed that I took a break from blogging. I'm back, not that I've been anywhere. I have just been busy and other things have taken priority.
Childminding is quite overwhelming sometimes. The amount of effort it takes to run even the smallest of settings seems at times disproportionate to the number of children 'on the books'. I think it is due to doing everything single-handedly.
People may think that once I close my doors at the end of the week that I have nothing more to do than enjoy my weekend. Nothing could be further from the truth. Its takes 15 minutes to tidy the playroom, deal with the nappy bin etc. Then I carry my planning folder into my office along with the childrens folders and spend the weekend writing observations, cross referencing where the children are in their learning and thinking about the next week.
At the moment I'm also preparing summative 'reports' as we near the end of another term. And I need to write up some notes from a training I recently attended, and as a result of the training I am reviewing a policy. I say reviewing, what I mean is totally rewriting. I do a lot of research online, anything from formula feeding protocol to the benefits of children being/playing outdoors. The list of jobs is endless. True, not all I choose to do in my own time is completely necessary, but as any small business person knows 'you get out what you put in'. That applies to the children too.
When I last bogged the world of childminding was sitting on the edge of a precipice. We'd lost our Networks, Elizabeth Truss was attacking with calls for the 'French system' and everyone was worried about the quality of childcare as we believed ratio's were about to be eroded. Not much has changed, and then again everything has changed. Childminding Agencies are being piloted in certain areas and will be rolled out next year. There appears to be quite a lot of trumpet blowing about what a great thing a Childminding Agency is. I do not believe a word of it.
Ofsted have also joined in the attack on childcare by 'toughening up' the inspection process. I personally really do not think childcare is of such a poor standard in this country. I have my own little theory on all this nonsense. Its not a matter of raising the bar, its more about moving it so we have to find it again. So Ofsted will inspect using the new Safeguarding, Safety and Teaching criteria. We will see an overall lowering of grades given, but as settings adjust and learn what Ofsted are looking for we will notice a gradual improvement once again in the grades. And soon Ofsted will be able point out how they 'improved the quality of childcare'.
This is the tip of a massive iceberg of change taking place now. The problem is the government is not listening to my professional colleagues, they are too focussed on money and statistics to notice the iceberg will melt, and sink us all.
I've mixed metaphors. Never mind.