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We are starting our Kitemark Quality Assurance scheme and have been advised that it "might be an idea to think about doing home visits before a child starts Pre-school".

I know schools do this but don't know of any Pre-schools in our area that do them. I have searched and found postings advising what sort of things to ask, appointment times, etc. but just wondered whether many Pre-schools visit the home before a child starts. Children and parents come and visit us and get to know the staff, other children, the routine, and the building - but as yet, we don't go to them!

 

Do many Pre-schools do home visits - and what are your experiences?

 

Sue J

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Our committee suggested this last week, and me, who's leaving anyway, shouted 'no way'. xD

I saw it as an added burden to the unpaid work we do already, and it's doubtful whether our committee would of stumped up the cash. You would also need to look at safety and go in pairs. I personnaly would of said no to a visit when mine were little. Too intrusive for my liking. Even our local primary doesnt do it. Others may well have other thoughts but I'd give a definite 'no'. :o:D

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We don't do home visits Sue because of time constraints and staffing. We could do them in the afternoon as we are not open but it would mean having to pay staff to do this and I really can't afford it. As Rea says for safety there needs to be two of you. Our local primary school nursery does home visits, the teacher and nursery nurse have a few days out of the nursery. They then bring in supply staff. They have had some experiences I have to say.

Linda

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Same as you guys - it would have to be the afternoons and that would mean extra expenses. Two of us would need to go for safety.

When I said that I wasn't sure that parents would welcome home visits as it is a bit intrusive, I was told that perhaps by 'offering' home visits some may take it up - others wouldn't.

 

Sue J

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We have just completed our Kitemark successfully. Home visits were never mentioned during the two years it took us to complete it.

 

The local primary school do home visits, which I think is fine, but I prefer to make time to talk to parents in our own setting.

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I have done home visits for the last three and a half years. I bought my business from someone who had owned the preschool for the previous 30 years. I visited 28 families during the summer holidays of 2001 before opening Sept 2001. This I believe enabled the parents to manage the change of ownership of the preschool.

 

Over the last three and a half years I have had a further 140 families through the doors and out of these I have visited about 98%. The parents have a choice whether to have a home visit or not.

 

As the owner I am on ratio (hands on) for 26 hours a week, the rest of my weeks hours are for administration, meetings and home visits. The visit times vary, sometimes during the day and sometimes evenings, especially if both parents are working. They normally last about an hour. I charge a registration fee of £20 which covers the cost.

 

I have a visit booked for Weds 7pm, although evening ones are quite rare.

During the visit we discuss B23 and FSC and any queries, complete the registration form and consent forms, go over policies such as Parents as partners, positive behaviour management, fees, settling in routines and child protection.

I involve the child as much as possible and leave the child a book to bring in on their first session.

 

For safety, my appointments are known by my deputy (or hubby in the evenings).

I phone when I arrive and if they haven't heard from me within an hour they phone me.

 

I have considered sending staff on home visits because of the benefits I gain from the visits. However, this will need to 1. be agreed by them and 2. they would obviously need training for such an important meeting.

 

I am in a fortunate position to be able to do home visits and understand that there are many issues to consider, as mentioned. I would like to add though that many a time a child has said, "when you came to my house........" (even six months after the event), or if a child is not settling I talk about something from home such as a pet I met or toys they have shown me and they seem to then feel more secure in being with me.

 

Peggy

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I think youve hit the nail on the head there Peggy!

That security is the most valuable thing to come out of home visits as far as I was concerned as the Reception teacher. It was also an opportunity to present yourself as a person and approachable and certainly eased parent teacher relationships.

 

We always went in pairs, we never accepted hospitality of any sort ( although never is quite difficult when its suddenly presented to you and in the Asian culture is very important to the host), and we always accepted that we had no right of entry! I was always nervous as I walked up the path to knock on the door and I have met elderly men in their PJs because the family had moved on without telling us the change of address but the disadvantages were far out numbered by the advantages.

 

As a parent on the receiving end, many years ago, I was happy to meet in my home the person into whose care I was going to entrust my child even if only for a few hours each day!

 

I would be surprised if you did not find this beneficial although obviously you need to find a way to overcome the constraints already identified! And if it really doesnt work, it wont be irreversible will it? :o

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Thanks for your replies.

Well done on completing your Kitemark Glen. Did you feel there was a lot of writing? We have been told the best thing is to use bullet points. The trouble is so far (only module 1) we all seem to have been written loads (only in rough). Mind you tomorrow we are meeting to go through it and decide what is to be included on the forms. I have a feeling this is going to be a long task - two or three years!!! :o:(xD ......then it will be OFSTED again!! :(

 

Sue J

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Thanks Sue

 

Yes it was al ot of hard work.

In Norfolk ours is in the form of lots of questions for each module, and cross referencing evidence to answer each question.

 

I was lucky enough to have a very supportive secretary who helped me.

Together we found the evidence and then I gave staff different questions to answer. We worked on one module at a time but as you go on there is lots of evidence that you can cross reference, so getting started is the worst bit.

 

It seemed to work well like that and we did have a very supportive mentor.

 

Good luck with yours - it will be worth it in the end.

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hi all,

 

firsty, i too am undertaking norfolk kite mark, 5 modules done 3 to go, although i used to mentor for the kitemark as well so i have seen the other side of it.

 

but anyway, back to home visits. we began home visits about 2 years ago. we are a very small rural village so when it can to security we knew most of the famillies in the village. we still went in two's the leading practitioner to speak to the parents and the keyworker to play and get to know the child. we found this worked really well.

 

only problem, again like most of you, time. we get paid for home visits but as i work full time its hard to find the time to get out of the setting and take another member of staff with me.

 

we always ask parents if they want a home visit, some dont, but 95% of parents do. most parents say that it is good to build up relationships before the child is due to start, also from the staff side, its nice to see the child in their own environment.

 

i agree it is hard work, but in my opinion its well worth it. also looks good for working in partnership with parents as far as ofsted are concerned.

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We are in a school Nursery and we do home visits. We normally have a week for them attached onto a holiday, (so in Sept, Christmas and Easter), and we offr us to visit them on Mon-Thurs, or they can come into school on the friday.

 

Home visits to us are invalubale. we get to meet the child and parent before school, and we get to see them in their home environment, and how this may explain problems with the child further down the line. We also get to see how their carer interacts with them .

 

When we go on the home visit, myself, the teacher), gets basic info from the parent, (religion, medical probs etc), while my nursery nurse works with the child on a short assessment, so we take an INSET puzzle, crayons etc.

 

We leave the adult with a pack about Nursery, and by asking the child to draw us a picture while we are there, we make sure that the child has something on the wall when they start to Nursery.

 

The home visit also provides a valuable time for the parent to ask something that they may not fel confident about when lots of other parents are around.

 

I give home visits a big thumbs up!

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