In 2008/2009, only 9% childminders were graded 'Outstanding' but with 55% making 'Good' and 30% 'Satisfactory', there's little to worry about in the provision of childcare on the whole. But what makes turns a Good childminder into an Outstanding one?
OFTSED recognise a number of features that contribute towards the award of an Outstanding review, and it's largely not about what you do in your setting, but what goes on around and outside of it.
The overwhelming contributing factors highlighted by OFSTED are those of continual reflection and improvement...childminders must never stand still! Factors include:-
- Continually working with parents and other carers to exchange information about the child and family (this plays a more important role in EYFS 2012 to be introduced in September)
- Continually reflecting on their provision and looking at how they might improve
- Attending regular training on educational and developmental matters and gaining recognised childcare qualifications
- Having an excellent understanding of the EYFS areas of learning
- Reviewing and revising procedures and policies on a regular basis
- Using external resources including OFSTED self-evaluation forms, childminder advisers and local network and quality schemes to help identify and implement improvements
Having all the toys in the world, cooking the best food or playing the best games with your children alone won't achieve Outstanding status. An Oustanding childminder almost needs to treat their work as a career rather than a job.