A childminder, registered in 2010, was graded by Ofsted as Satisfactory in July 2010 and Requires Improvement in September 2014.
What Prospects did
The Prospects Quality Adviser (QA) worked with the childminder providing target support, with 6 – 8 weekly visits. An action plan was developed and the QA identified a range of suitable training to support the childminder’s development.
Initially the QA targeted the actions identified by Ofsted; these were mainly around observation, assessment and planning. The QA explained how to use early years outcomes as a tool to assist in tracking, to record observations and assess each child’s individual learning. She then explained how to use this along with children’s individual interests to plan suitable and challenging activities for children.
Once the Ofsted actions and recommendations had been addressed the QA then began pre-Ofsted preparations, for example working through the evaluation schedule and supporting the childminder by completing observations of her practice and providing constructive feedback.
During these support visits the QA considered the childminder’s current teaching methods. The childminder had attended ECAT universal training and signing for childminders but was still asking children closed questions. The QA reminded the childminder about using open-ended questioning and role-modelled appropriate questioning for the childminder to use when communicating with children.
The QA arranged for additional support from the speech and language therapist as the childminder had concerns about a child’s understanding. The speech and language therapist made two visits to offer advice and guidance to the childminder to support the child.
The QA provided details of free online training to help raise the childminder’s awareness of the Prevent Duty and discussed how it links in with safeguarding duties, as part of this the QA provided some childcare related scenarios for the childminder to consider. The QA also worked with the childminder to raise her awareness of Fundamental British Values.
Once the childminder’s practice had developed to a good standard the QA used the Evaluation Schedule (Early Years Inspection Handbook, part 2) to support the childminder to identify that she was meeting the descriptors for Good in each of the judgements and provided coaching to enable the childminder to feel more confident at her next inspection in demonstrating the quality of the service she offers. This raised the childminder’s confidence in her abilities.
The QA was available to support the childminder with a face to face visit, discussions by phone and email in the lead up to her inspection; and offered to attend the Ofsted feedback on the day of the inspection.
Outcomes and results
The childminder was inspected in June 2016 and achieved a ‘Good’ grade for the first time since her registration in 2010.
Some comments received from the Ofsted inspector during feedback were:
• The childminder offers a reassuring role and a facilitator to the children, for example she asks questions such as ‘I wonder what would happen if’ and ‘why do you think that happened’.
• The childminder offers a good range of activities, children are motivated and engaged. The childminder is teaching them and they are finding things out for themselves.
• An effective tracking system is in place using early year’s outcomes and coloured highlighters which clearly shows children’s starting points, their progress and makes it simple to identify suitable next steps.
• The childminder has made good progress since the last inspection. She now has good systems in place which supports her with planning. She is using children’s interests, which is why they are so engaged in the activities she is offering them.
• The children are very polite, well behaved and considerate of one another. This is because the childminder treats them with respect and is an excellent role model.
• The childminder offers a safe, welcoming and accessible environment for children to spend their time in.
• The childminder has good links with other professionals such as the speech and language therapist to gain support for an individual child.
The childminder comments: “I told the Ofsted inspector I appreciated the support I received from my Quality Adviser.”