Parents head vs practitioners head

I often get asked for advice, not sure if from my years of experience as a nursery manager or because I have four children of my own? However when in work how do you deal with this? I literally tell parents that this is with my practitioners hat advice or my parents hat, and I make it very clear which one I am wearing. Now you maybe asking why would I do this? Well sometimes I think for all the knowledge and research that is out there, sometimes that’s does not help with busy, time-strapped parents who needs something that works and doesn’t take away what precious time they do have with their children.
Surely the time that we spend with our children should be meaningful, fun and stress free, so if that means you don’t always parent by the book – well so be it.

New EYFS Changes

I received a letter from Ofsted last week, to inform me that from September with the new EYFS that managers now would be checked by the registered provider rather than themselves. It got me thinking, what if a manager has been dismissed? I’ve already raised questions about references, how would any employer know? Now that Ofsted have taken away the failsafe, whereby when you submitted the suitable person form, they would be able to tell you. Now that’s gone!

You could argue that ISA would be able to help, but actually how many people have submitted information and had nothing come of it, or if the reasons for dismissal doesn’t relate to safeguarding issues, how would you ever find out.

You interview people, ask for references, maybe have them in for a trial session. Always a 6 month probationary period so that you can actually see how they work. Mentor and be there for them, you get the references back, they tell you the most helpful things such as name, dates of employment and what their role was, no mention of any concerns, disciplinaries etc…..

Then when it all goes wrong, Ofsted will say well you should have managed them, you should have checked them…… yes thanks for that Ofsted and during all of that there was a little note sat on a computer that would have informed the provider of that.

Meals for children

The last two weeks I have spent experimenting with the poor children’s lunches, most of which have been a success and in need of some minor tweeking. Today was homemade baked beans – they need cloves! However the children that like baked beans loved them – so big pat on the back for me! Yesterday I did chicken nuggets in a thyme breadcrumb there was nothing left at the end.

I love cooking and more so when the children so obviously enjoy the food, however as a business where do you draw the line between cost effectiveness and good quality meals?


So I’ve been thinking as I’ve had to do a couple of references recently for previous employees, why don’t Ofsted issue a reference form that is compulsory for education and early years to use. That would eliminate the “what do I write?” questions that constantly plagues me when I have to complete one. Shall I use their forms, shall I just use the bare facts? However then that means that people who may not be suitable for childcare or a particular post may continue to work in those situations. Surely that throws up another set of questions, Ian Huntley, Vanessa George and many others. I know the ISA is in place but they concentrate purely on safeguarding issues, and sometimes that is not the concern. What if someone has applied for a room leaders post, you know they don’t have the necessary skills at the current time but they are more than suitable as a practitioner, does that not raise safeguarding concerns in that the room wouldn’t be run effectively, children’s learning and development could be hindered. As an employer do you abide by employment law or Ofsted?