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Exchanging Information And Working Between Settings


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Hi has anyone got any ideas out there

I m a registered childminder and as with all settings we are required to deliver EYFS from September

My big issue is exchanging information between settings ,Has anyone got any ideas how we could make this work

I use diaries and have a verbal exchange between myself and parents in my setting .Im only allowed 6 children under 8yrs and I find keeping diaries and exchanging information can be time consuming and difficult at times .How are nursery or reception class staff going to manage when they have much greater numbers.?Especially if several childminders are picking up/dropping off several children each !!!!

Also the setting who the child spends most time with is meant to take the lead so if several c/minders bring lots of children to nursery and we ve all been doing something diferent in our settings how can school/nursery follow 6 different plans ?


Another thought if I collect three different children from 3 separte settings and they re all doing something different how can I follow three different plans?!! I might be an outstanding childminder but I m not a miracle worker



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Hi Janice 116,


You have a lot of good questions and I can't promise to answer them completely, but here goes;


We will be starting up home books for our children - they will have space for a comment for us to write such as 'likes the kitchen role play area..plan to make sandwiches later this week'.


As well as an area for parents to write in 'thanks for that, we'll try that too, also, sorry to tell you, but his gran's in hospital this week, please watch out for him'.


Obviously these books may not be filled out every day and may be forgotten by some families, but the intention is there and the childminders we have will be encouraged to contribute too as their role is as important as ours.



As far as following plans, I'd be inclined to follow one aspect which could be met easily - for instance, if one child is making sandwiches, another is focussing on touch and another on festivals..make a fantastic experimental festival sandwich..however, the main idea of the planning is that you should be aware of other settings plans, yet plan for your children as individuals and they may behave completely differently when with you..small steps rather than big leaps.


Hope this helps,


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Hi. We are also planning to introduce books like Cirhossa, and use them in a similar way. I have discussed this with the only childminder we have accessing our setting at present and explained although we intend to update them at least once a week for each child we understand she may not contribute to it as often. She is really onboard at the moment as she thinks it will really help build links for the particular family she cares for now. We have also got two other local settings to be involved with and one of them has also been interested. The other unfortunately is another story......


We are introducing these books after Easter so we have a term of testing them and getting feedback from other practitioners and families before September. We are hoping that the other practitioners will provide constructive criticism and help us build on the use of the books. At the end of the day, in terms of inspection of us sharing the information we intend to show the books and explain how they are used but it will be up to the parents to ensure they are passed along, and without that we cannot do much more.


Regarding the plans and following what other settings are doing - I wouldn't try to do this rigidly but if a child is doing something at preschool and starts to talk to you about this or re-enact it while with you, you could try to extend this, and note this in the book, also noting if the other children (from other settings) join in. This way other settings could have ideas for future development from your observations and the original setting would have feedback on how the first child had taken on board the activities. You would also be seen to be working from the children's interests in this way as they would have initiated the play while with you.


Hope that wasn't all too confusing! I would also be interested in anyone else's comments on this kind of scheme as ours is still very much in its infancy and I do anticipate issues arising.

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Thanks for the brilliant and encouraging replies,I feel reassured now that its workable .Its nice to hear too that you are open to working with other settings including childminders

Youre right in saying that although we need to comunicate it does nt necessarily mean we have to follow what the other has been doing,just ensure we meet the needs of the children when we're caring for them ,which at the end of the day is the most important thing .

I do feel sometimes that while we worry about planning observing and assessing the children the child actually seems to get lost in it and if we provide them with lots of fun interesting activities and experiences they will learn in their own way and time whether its planned ,recorded or assessed.

Now all we need is for Ofsted to work out what the want from us in terms of inspection,though thankfully I ve not long had my last one so that s a while away.

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Guest Wolfie

I think that the idea of books is a great one - we use them at our Children's Centre to communicate with parents - but also don't underestimate the value of those quick informal chats with other providers.


I think we all worry that everything has to be documented as proof for Ofsted but sometimes those unplanned spontaneous exchanges can be just as valuable - and less time consuming! There are times when you just need to let someone know why a child that they are receiving is tired/unhappy/angry/nervous, etc. - or equally while they are really hapy or excited - and a quick chat is all it takes.


We've been talking to nursery/reception teachers about how they want to share information and they all said that they tend to retain more information that has been told to them rather than written down.


It's all about getting a balance that works for everyone I think.....

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I agree with you regarding the informal chat Wolfie. We are stressing to our parents that these will still always be available. Unfortunately our local settings are very resistant to such methods and (childminder aside) this does not happen unless the parents have stamped their feet and demanded the other setting talk to us. We would love to be able (with prior permission obviously) to pick up the phone at the end of a session and just let others know what a child had been doing that morning. However we tend to find that they will only discuss if the parent has told them we will be ringing and that they want to discuss our conversation the next time they see them!

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