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Working With Other Settings


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There's a bit about this that worries me. Now I'm happy to work with anyone in the child's interest, but in market town that has 3 day nurseries and 3 preschools, it's ineveitable that some children attend several settings. How far can we reasonably be expected to go, especially when one provider is physically very close to us and definitely sees us as competition. It worries me a bit because of how EYFS is worded and the lengths to which we seem to be expected to go. Is anyone else concerned about it?

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Hi Weightman

I have concerns about this too. We have children who come to us and go to LEA nurseries in the afternoon, or have a couple of sessions with us and go to a day nursery for two full days etc. We also have children who go to childminders but are not necessarily picked up from us by them so we never see them. Are we supposed to work with them even though we don't have actual contact with them? If so, how do we do this? Do they come in to us, us to them or do we have to send information via parents?

I agree that everything we do should be in the best interests of the children but I am not too sure how we are going to be able to do this. We talk with staff at the LEA nurseries because we drop off there and can pass on information then, but are they going to have the time to discuss each and every child we take? How often are we meant to talk with them or pass on info and in what sort of format?

I have a meeting with one of our advisors on Monday-I'm hoping she has some answers. I'll let you know one way or the other.

Linda

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I too have an issue with this - we have a number of children attending many different types of setting in addition to our Pre School, it is going to be a paperwork nightmare, with evidence becoming lost - but the one main concern I have is that one of our parents has already raised with me the differences experienced by her child whilst attending two settings. Apparantly the parents have been approached by nursery 'X' re: the child's aggresive behaviour, something that hasn't been evident at all in our Pre School - infact we couldn't believe what the parent was telling us - so how can we 2 settings plan together - the child obviously has different behaviour patterns dependant on where he is. I have already had to raise the concern with the other setting about behaviour management techniques as they seem quite draconian for a three year old - so I don't think I've got off to a particularly good start there. Any ideas of how to start this 2 way flow (simplicity please) I too would be very grateful.

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I had a child who attended my preschool 2 days and another (next nearest) one day a week. We had a contact book which went with the child. We wrote observations of relevant interests and achievements, or any issues to consider such as when the child was very tired etc. The other settings notes tended to be very basic diary form, ie: X arrived happy, ate all her snack, left some dinner, did a painting, chose to play outside, wet herself, joined in singing, had a nap etc.

When we started adding our contributions we included more context and specific relevant info of her current development compared to everyday events, ie: X initiated conversation with Z, they role played Brown Bear story, then both went to snack bar. X didn't take the apple offered to her ( mother prefers organic and provides own snacks).

We ended our notes with an evaluation and action. ie X is very interested in the Brown Bear story, and can remember most of the sequence of animals. X showed she understands that she can only eat her own food. Action: Ensure brown bear props are available next session, reduce adult supervision at snack time to enable further sense of autonomy.

The result of them reading our 'notes' was that the other setting started doing more 'relevant and informative' notes too. :o

 

As previously described we were very different in ethos, the other focusing more on academic attainment, the child also had higher behaviour issues too. Our link person between the two settings was our SENCO so we did also visit each others settings for team around the child meetings.

 

For non SEN children maybe with the new requirements some barriers will come down and settings will change attitudes towards each other and have shared visits, meetings for all staff not just management etc, yes, maybe I have my rose tinted glasses on again, but I always welcomed other staff from other settings however near, to my preschool and these were always positive and productive in terms of ideas sharing for all who participated xD

 

Peggy

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I have always had a good relationship with one of the Preschool near us and have exchanged ideas etc and they have the Manager has in the past helped me with planning, I paid them a visit last week and some of our children were there that day and they were really pleased to see me they later told there parents I had been for a visit . We shared our progress on implementing the new EYFS and our plans and a few of the staff use the hall we use and they were very complmentary about our displays . We do have some concern how we are going to share records and make it work. We do have very different records.

We also have a all day nursery near us who see us as competiton and pressure parents to give their funding to them as they see us as just a place to send their children to play! Not sure how Im going to around that one.

 

Have just read your message Peggy and it Has reminded me that we have a homelink diary for one of our children with SEN and he has a second one from another setting he attends and Mum bring both to us so presume he does the same . I think I may suggest this to the setting most of children attend if I may steal your idea?

 

I think maybe I should look at it in a positve way and see it as a way of forming better relationships with the other settings. The nursery is opened all year round so I may see if I can visit as we have broken up.

 

Thanks Peggy

smiles

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I have always had a good relationship with one of the Preschool near us and have exchanged ideas etc and they have the Manager has in the past helped me with planning, I paid them a visit last week and some of our children were there that day and they were really pleased to see me they later told there parents I had been for a visit . We shared our progress on implementing the new EYFS and our plans and a few of the staff use the hall we use and they were very complmentary about our displays . We do have some concern how we are going to share records and make it work. We do have very different records.

We also have a all day nursery near us who see us as competiton and pressure parents to give their funding to them as they see us as just a place to send their children to play! Not sure how Im going to around that one.

 

Have just read your message Peggy and it Has reminded me that we have a homelink diary for one of our children with SEN and he has a second one from another setting he attends and Mum bring both to us so presume he does the same . I think I may suggest this to the setting most of children attend if I may steal your idea?

 

I think maybe I should look at it in a positve way and see it as a way of forming better relationships with the other settings. The nursery is opened all year round so I may see if I can visit as we have broken up.

 

Thanks Peggy

smiles

 

 

Your welcome smiles :o We didn't have two seperate homelink books, we both put comments in the same book, this enabled continuity. xD

And if I remember correctly it was the Mother who instigated this process, even supplying the book. :(

 

Peggy

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A great idea though Peggy. We intorduce homelink books for our two year olds as parents would often say they didnt get any information from them about what they did at preschool. As the children got older several parents expressed a wish to keep them, one parent always wrote me little notes as she found it difficult to mix witht the other parents. Our children all have a busy box - we took the idea from the other setting which they bring in with them each time they come and there picutures etc are put in them to take home along with anything else.

 

I like your description about what you put int the book - have copied it to show staff at our staff meeting. They all seem to fill the diaries out differently some writng lots other not.

smiles

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I appreciate where you are coming from Peggy and Smiles-we do get together with other settings where and when possible, speaking with childminders when they collect etc. Did you just have to do the book for one child Peggy? We counted up the other day that we currently have children going to 13 different carers other than us that we know of, and 21 children in total. I don't know where we are going to find the time to complete a detailed contact book for each of them. How, if at all, do other settings liaise with these carers?

Linda

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We share most of our children with one other setting but do have two or three who go to two further afield. We have a couple of children who go to three. We currently have about 35 children on register so would have to see in September the numbers and how feasible it will be.

smiles

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We have 21 of our children who will be at other settings and i like the idea of the idea of a communication book but i worry about how we will have the time to complete them, all the added paperwork will inevitably impact upon the valuable time key members of staff are spending with the children.

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I agree that 'additional' communication needs to be planned out in a way that is as manageable as possible. We did only have the one child that we did the communication book with. But am I right in thinking that quite a few settings have communication books with parents, especially with babies? If communication books are already in place then it just needs the parents to take these books to the other settings to have them add their notes.

We used to write notes on all the children most days for their achievement/progress files, so if my preschool was still running I might think of ways to duplicate these notes for other settings (not thought it through though). Maybe use duplicate books with carbon copies.

I think this is a requirement that will be met in different ways by different settings depending on number of children attending more than one setting, how the keyworker and staffing abilities and levels are managed within each setting (I say abilities because some of my unqualified staff were not as efficiently able to complete transfer notes as well as others) the partnerships (or not) developed with others settings etc.

What I do know is that the information gained through such partnerships is valuable to having a broader knowledge of the individual child as they do function (for want of a better word) differently within different settings.

Maybe note taking will not be an option and time may need to be planned to have get together meetings with other settings, although this option would be difficult for some and feasable for others.

 

I haven't as yet got familiar with the EYFS CD etc, is there any guidance in there as to how they think this requirement could be managed?

 

My first thoughts is still some type of communication book which travels with the child. Just had a wild thought, I have a couple of dictaphone recorders, obviously costs involved here, but maybe one of these could travel with a child, the recordings can also be downloaded onto CD's I think. :o

 

It will be interesting to see how others will adapt to meet this requirement. I still feel it is a good idea, as we all know, shared professional information / ideas / work does improve practice for settings (as evidenced by this forum) so this requirement will support individual childrens improved EY experiences. and I think it will be a good opportunity for staff too to broaden their knowledge of how other settings work to support individual children.

 

So sorry no real answers from me then. xD:( (just my usual waffle :( )

 

Peggy

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Thanks everyone.

 

It all sounds great but we really struggle to make any 2-way kind of home/setting correspondence work. We had folders and some parents asked not to have one as they were 'more trouble than they were worth'. Books get lost and are constantly being replaced. Currently we do a home/setting daily diary sheet that gives the information most of you have suggested. That works quite well but is 'one way'. I think I shall have to give it a lot more thought. Anyway, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who finds this issue tricky!

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  • 3 months later...

:o Hi there,

We currently have home-school link books at our nursery school. We introduced them in the summer and they are a real hit. They are A5 ring bound and in very bright fluorescent colours. Some of the children absolutely adore them and come into the setting clutching them lovingly.

 

The amount of information varies depending upon input by parents. Some use it virtually as a diary of what the child has done on days they don't attend, i.e. weekends, holidays etc. Others are only interested in what and how much lunch the child ate, or whether they had a nap. I plan to offer to send the books with the child to other settings (who knows they may already take them!), however, there would be confidentiality issues if there were photographs in the book, wouldn't there? Some parents might have different relationships with key people in different settings, but all in all, I think the idea of using one book that went with the child is a great idea and I will trial this next week.

 

Lesley

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After an initial phone conversation with two other settings we agreed to trial sharing our learning journey forms which are completed about every 6 weeks. Then, if any other significant things are observed we will ring and share............ after all we are only a phone call or e-mail away! So far so good....

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