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Hi

Just wondered if any of you monitor them and how you do this?

Do you get parents to write down why their chid has been absent ie use any particular forms?

If a child is absent and you do not know why do you chase it up?

Would just like to know what others are doing.

 

We have a child who has attended sporadically for the last month or so (he is funded). Supervisor is friend of the mum (makes it difficult) and says mum just brings him when convenient or when she can be bothered!! Supervisor now thinks that she has to make things more official and get it in writing from mumt exactly why the child is not coming etc etc. This also raised a point in that we are aware that children are on holiday (verbally told by parent) but should there be a written form to complete for this and for illness etc??

 

 

Our admissions etc is covered by a committe member and so far as I am aware thy nor the local LEA have ever asked to look at attendance figures. We are thinking more along the lines of safeguarding issues

Any advice appreciated.

Edited by marley
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Hi

We only record on the register when a child is absent and don't do any additional paperwork as to why they were absent.

 

Children not present are marked in red on the register with either 'H' 'S' or 'A'

H is holiday (when we have been notified verbally or in writing)

S is sick (usually get a phone call the morning child is due in)

A is for children who 'don't turn up'

 

We have very few 'A's' but when the child comes back we say we have missed them and usually the parent will give an explanation. If a child is absent for a few sessions in a row with no message we phone to check everything is OK

 

It seems to work for us and am hoping someone isn't going to say we have to keep a separate record :o

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Hi Geraldine

You must have read my mind as have now put that very same key down at the bottom of the register!

 

So how would you deal with this parent then? Not sure if it is down to different LEAs re attendance?

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Your NEG funding requires you to keep a record of why any funded child is off.

 

If the child is off for more than 10 days (2 weeks) per funded year, then the NEF office can withdraw the funding. When you are audited they will want to look at these records.

 

We have a child at the moment who since the end of January has had 18 days off. I have spoken to mum who was shocked, I told her that her funding could be withdrawn and that she would have to pay me if this happended. The child has been off twice since I spoke to her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so I didn't have much impact on her did I :o

 

We keep a record with the register. I also keep a record in the child's learning Journey. This way when the Learning Journey goes home, the parents can see that you are monitoring it.

 

Absent_record_2.doc

Absent_record_1.doc

Edited by BrendaS
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This is happening in my setting at the moment too. I have informed parents that if attendance doesn't improve, we will have to charge them as we won't receive funding. She is still off and no word! Also only contact number we are given is dad's work when I know mum has mobile and landline and is at home!

 

How often is a setting audited? Mine hasn't been in the 18 months I've been there.

 

ppp

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If a child stops attending a setting completely, my understanding is that we are obliged to inform Ofsted as this could potentially be a safeguarding issue (parent moving child from setting to setting possibly) or keeping child away until bruises fade etc, etc.

 

Sam

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Your NEG funding requires you to keep a record of why any funded child is off.

 

If the child is off for more than 10 days (2 weeks) per funded year, then the NEF office can withdraw the funding. When you are audited they will want to look at these records.

 

Absent_record_2.doc

 

I had no idea there was such a requirement - can you point me in the direction of where this is stated? (not that I don't believe you but so I can show it to my manager)

 

We have a child who was off earlier in the year with chicken pox and has just returned after two weeks holiday abroad (which we were notified of)

 

I know that in schools the situation about taking term time holidays is subject to all sorts of rules but as far as I am aware it doesn't apply to pre-schools.

 

When you say 10 days does this mean 10 sessions?

 

Looks like it is an area I will have to investigate further and maybe come up with (yet more) paperwork :o

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I'm with geraldine. Had no idea that we had to keep a record of reasons for absence or that funding would be withdrawn. Please can we know if this is statutory or just a recommendation.

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once again funding issues and it comes back to local authority regulations.... not all have same requirements.. and while ours does have some they do not withdraw funding after a 2 week period of absence..

 

when audited they do look at your attendance records as well s funding received etc.. and may question why long or frequent absences.. if no good or sufficient reason then they may withdraw funding...

 

In our case for absences the LEA insist on us getting a letter of absence everytime ,which we keep with the register, if a parent arrives back without one we have a book they have to records reason of absence in...

 

 

we to had one parent who was constantly keeping child at home , her reason that child was too tired to come.. at least 2 days a week, not always the same ones as we were busy we suggested that as it was so often that she reduce days so another child could use the place... child attended every day after that...

 

I do think that the letter everytime is a good reminder of how many days a child has off to parent, and as schools require it a good 'habit' to get parents into..

 

Inge

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I'm with geraldine. Had no idea that we had to keep a record of reasons for absence or that funding would be withdrawn. Please can we know if this is statutory or just a recommendation.

 

As said before, many local authorities are different, so ours may not be the same as yours, however, in our Early Years and Childcare Service funding guide, there is a section called - The Monitoring Process. Within that section there is a visit report that the FABS team will complete. We need to comply with all the items in that report. 1.3 states 'registers should clearly indicate the reason for absence'

 

I didn't actually say that they DO withdraw funding after two weeks, I said they CAN if they wish. When we were audited she said that they can (not definately do) withdraw funding if a substational amount of days have been taken off. It was our auditor that suggested the 2 weeks mark. I suppose it will be up to each auditing authority how they decide to monitor this.

 

We haven't been audited for a couple of years now, so it may well have all changed and I have sent you all into complete panic for nothing :o

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We are the same as BrendaS.....being in Leicestershire too. When we were audited last year we had to chase up absences for children who had already left us and were now in Reception!!!!!

 

We now give parents absence forms every half term, something like the ones BrendaS has posted earlier. They need to sign them and give a reason for the absence. We too were told by our auditor that the funding can be taken back for children who are absent a lot. Not sure the exact amount of time.

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I wouldn't panic too much, in the 15 years I have worked at my setting we have never been audited, most definately have never been told to inform Ofsted that a child has stopped attending the setting (goodness they dont even kow when a child starts so why should they care if a child stops??) and have never been asked by our LA to monitor absences. School is different it's compulsary, we aren't. The only thing our LA states is about repaying funding if a child is on holiday for more then a certain amount of time. However if this happened I really dont think you can be allowed to charge parents instead as if you read EYFS statury reqs- it states something about it being free at point of delivery (which is why you shouldn't charge non refundable deposits to funded children) Much of these rules down to each LA's own funding requirements. We have enough paperwork without worrying about haing to keep records of why children are absent

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I worked in Aberdeenshire and we were required to have an absent child policy. I think it was a knee jerk reaction to a case down by the borders where a mother had died and she had a small child but the absence wasn't picked up by the preschool the child attended. I can't remember if the child also died or not.

 

We were also required to monitor attendance for funding purposes.

 

This is far as I had got with the absence policy before I left. I don't know what they ended up with.

 

ABSENT CHILD PROCEDURE

 

This procedure has been drawn up using the guidelines for Schools and Nursery Classes and for Partner Providers issued by Aberdeenshire Council

 

• When a child has been recorded as absent and no prior notification has been given of the absence by the parent/carer, playgroup shall attempt to contact the parent/carer using the emergency contact number provided.

• Playgroup will attempt to contact all parents/carers of children who are recorded as absent with no prior notification as soon as practicable and in any case within one hour of start time on the first morning/afternoon of absence.

• Parents/carers will be responsible for providing and updating emergency contact information.

• Where contact is achieved by telephone with the parent/carer, the reason for absence will be established and recorded in the register

• Where no contact can be achieved by telephone on the first day of absence a letter notifying the parent/carer of the absence and requesting an explanation of the reason shall be sent by first class post on the second day of absence.

• If the pupil is deemed to be at risk by: being on the Child Protection Register, is, or was previously, the subject of a Child Protection investigation, on Home Supervision; or causing concern, the setting should make appropriate referrals to staff responsible for home visits such as home link worker, family support worker or social worker.

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the problem with this is that nursery is not compulsary

and it is difficult to enforce attendance however annoying or frustrating it is

really difficult when they are funded usually the threat of that being withdrawn is enough to make them contact me when a child is not going to be in

 

some years ago our authority tried to impelement holiday forms they didnt last and were withdrawn because i thinkof the above reason - it is not compulsary

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i was audited earlier this week and there is a 10 session per term level which they dont seem too bothered about. but we have lots of children with more than 20% absence and will be receiving a bill for the EYFE for the unused hours. I have to write to explain the absences and they may decide not to withdraw the funding.

 

It is very difficult as we are in an area of disadvantage and most of our parents are:

single

disorganised

poor

ill educated

and it is very difficult to get them to understand that children should attend regularly. I was told we CAN charge the parents if the funding is withdrawn due to poor attendance. in one case the chikd is always picked up early (not our choice as it is disruptive) and the auditor is not happy as this means he is not using his full hours.

 

we now make parents fill in a form when the child returns stating the reason for absence. and we have been told to put codes on the register indicating the reason for absence. I know some are genuine illness but many are due to parents' hangover, shopping trips, family holidays, child deciding they don't feel like coming in, lack of routine at home so child goes to bed so late they won't get up in the morning - what are the official codes for all these I wonder?

 

the fact that children are not yet statutory school age is not considered an excuse!

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forgot to mention all settings are audited every three years so whoever it is that wasn't audited in 15 years is blooming lucky!!

 

Well that would be me, but I dont think I'm alone here. Where does it say that all settings are audited every three years? Or is this perhaps just your LA?

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Must be just us, its in our funding agreement .

 

It is very stressful I can tell you! But I agree parents shouldn't take up spaces when they don't bother ensuring good attendance - we have a waiting list so its not fair. I just don't think we should be penalized for something we can't really do anything about.

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we do ask for absent letters, but what do you do when mum phones and says so and so isnt well and wont be in today ......child then comes in next day saying i went to beach/park/grandmas......yesterday ?

 

 

Nothing, they dont have to be in a pre-school setting and quite honestly I sometimes kept my youngest sone at home to do something differnet wiith just me. I feel they are in compulsary education for so many years, that playing hookey a couple of times before they start isnt too bad. However, it was only ever the occasional day as I didn't want him thinking he could have a day off whenever it suited. I cannot understand why LA's would penalsie settings for parents not attending. I wonder do they recall funding for maintaied nurseries or schools if children are off a lot?

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I wonder do they recall funding for maintaied nurseries or schools if children are off a lot?

 

No, they don't. Good point. But they do what's called 'claw back' I believe if a child leaves mid-way through the year!

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We had to hand money back for a child who left without telling us, and we felt it was a bit mean. We actually found out about this time last year that he had moved to the south of the country as his family had gone suddenly to look after an ill Gran. We'd kept his place open since the half term break and I texted and rang but didn't get any answer until I rang from a different phone and Mum answered! HAH! The county took his money right back from half term break rather than just for the last 3 weeks of term. We felt that this was very unfair as we could have filled his place with a paying child if we'd known he wasn't going to be coming back.

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Hi all

i was audited recently (i am in leicestershire) and one childs funding was threatened with withdrawel due to constant absenses, all due to a mum who knows child should be in the setting but is finding it hard to part from them.

i spoke to mum and now she comes to stay and play sessions in the setting.

funding wasn't withdrawn as a solution was reached.

sounds like leics is a strict LEA compared to other we have codes in register and a sheet in learning journeys and we ask parents for a letter explaining absenses which are often fictitious illnesses as being in a small area we know the real reasons lol

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Maybe a paragraph in your admissions policies to state that Free funding is available for eligible children on condition of compulsory attendance. How harsh does that sound, but it is the way it appears many LEA's are working. I also think that LEA's should have regard to preschool / Nursery fees policys, ie: terms notice or fees in leui of notice. The Lea's should fund the settings for full terms and any absences then they should target the parents for a 'refund' and not expect the settings to do it. :o

 

.................and pigs may fly. xD

 

Peggy

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When children are eligible for funding, parents should be informed that attendance is compulsory (except for illness or holiday). If they don't attend sessions they should be informed that they will be responsible for paying money back (I agree with you Peggy). Our setting was audited a year ago and we had to pay back thousands of pounds of funding. We were audited over a 3 year period. We were unsure if parents had been made aware of the importance of regular attendance because all the staff who work in the Pre-School were new at the time of audit. Paying the money back has almost crippled us financially. mrsW.

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we've also never been audited since neg was introduced

Nor have we.......hope we haven't tempted fate there :o

 

I always get my parents to complete a 'Parental Declaration Form' - this is produced by our LA - but it is up to us to decide whether or not to photocopy and ask parents to complete.......I 'share' some children with other settings and these other settings don't use them......parents have asked why they have to do this for me and not others.....I am always completely 'up front' about this and explain that I want something to show if I am audited - they completely understand then......and a little reminder that this public money and needs to be 'accounted' for.

 

If I know children are going to be absent....holiday...illness ...I always offer their places to other children....but of course the spaces are not always filled. A scary thought that we could be required to 'pay back' money for these days.

 

I use the codes on register - A = Absent (no explanation given), S = Absent due to illness - notified by parents, H = Holiday.

 

I have one little girl who, this term, has been 'missing' on almost all Monday afternoons - mum is lovely, but she admits herself - totally disorganised - I'm thinking now that I should have been much more proactive about this situation xD

 

My goodness we have so much to think about - deep sigh

 

Sunnyday

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