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Drop Off Time, Registration, Getting It Right


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We still don't seem to have got our drop off time quite right, so I'm after an outside viewpoint from you lovely people, please.

 

Here's what happens at the moment:

 

Parents arrive from 9.30 until about 9.45, as they come in a staff member meets them at the door and checks how long the child is staying (lunch club or not) and who is collecting, this is noted on a sheet (this works really well). When the parents leave, the staff member locks them out. The door is then reopened for free flow at 10am (in theory :o )

 

Now, the problem is that some parents turn up a bit late, and so one staff member gets tied up in filling out the sheet, then letting them in and locking up after them. Also, some parents hang around chatting, which is fine (admittedly sometimes me talking to people about committee stuff!), but again this means that a staff member has to go to the door to lock them out. This tends to have a knock on effect on the time that free flow starts (along with the fact that staff are still not convinced about the whole free flow idea). Anyway, what ends up happening is that first half an hour just goes by and often one or two staff are tied up the whole time dealing with parents, etc. Obviously the children are playing while this happens but it all seems a bit vague to me. But having said that, we don't want to put parents off from staying for a quick chat about their children.

 

We have a set of barriers outside the front door, which we use for freeflow. I was wondering if I could ask that the staff member stands here, rather than at the door, and then the children could in theory free flow as soon as they've registered? I'm just not totally convinced about how secure that would be - it would need a very vigilant member of staff.

 

Or does anyone have any better ideas?

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Could ou ask the parents to book their lunch club etc a week in advance? Give them a form to fill in and sign at the end of each week.

Your staff should think themselves lucky to be able to have free flow, we have no outside area at all so never go out.

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xD They only got it because I organised a garden to be built for them and got the committee to buy a set of metal barriers. Would be good if they were grateful :o
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Hi Suzie

 

Tricky this isn't it - I did write to my parents last year asking them to please arrive on time - I felt that was quite bold of me! :o

 

I explained (nicely) that I was losing 20 minutes of contact time with the children as I was stuck at the door meeting and greeting! Have to say that they all took this request really well and started to turn up on time after that! Sorry should have said......we open at 9 ..... no lunch club or anything like that to organise!

 

Really not sure what to suggest about the 'free flow situation' - sounds a bit 'risky' to me.......hmmm....that could just be me being over cautious.......

 

Not sure that is much help xD

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We have a member of staff on the door and a table with the signing -in sheets, communication book and register.

Parents have to decide when they enrol whether the child is staying for lunches or not otherwise how can you plan your staffing from one day to a next over the lunch period? And if you do know in advance why do they have to write it down again?

They sign the child in and member of staff marks them present in the register. The children move their character on the self-registration board.

We assume the usual person is collecting and if it is anyone else the parents write it themselves in the communication book. Any other people collecting should already be listed on our 'I give authority for the following people to collect my child' sheets filled in at start of year.

We open at 9.00 and man the table until 9.15 at which point I say " I'm locking the door now chaps' to anyone who cares to listen. We then go and do circle time but one member of staff remains floating in that area doing jobs/talking to parents until everyone has gone and locking door behind them. By locking the door at 9.15 it means any latecomers have to ring the bell which they find a bit embarrassing!

It's a tricky one!

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That's a really helpful idea, Sunny, I have written the letter and will send it out after half term.

 

I think we should stick with the current system as it works well, it's just that parents need to get there earlier.

 

What time do you set up to start at 9am!!??? My staff are only just arriving at that point :o

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Hi Suzie,

 

We have a written policy for arrivals and departures which parents have. The majority of parents are waiting to be let in at 9.15, we have the odd straggler after that.

 

One member of staff on door writes the time the children come in.

If a child is not going home with a parent, or nominated person on their registration form, the parent completes a very quick form for us, stating who is picking up their child.

At home time, we write the time the children leave with their parents

 

As for lunch clubs, whilst I have room to accommodate a child at short notice, i.e. on any given day, there are some terms when particular days are completely booked out.

 

Parents book their children in at the beginning of each term for lunch clubs on the days they want, they may pay for these flexibly, but most pay in full in advance, I do rebates for sickness/holidays etc., at the end of each term.

 

We don't go outside until the parents have left because part of our play area is the car park!

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We start at 8.50 with parents arriving anywhere up to 9.15 once all are in then we gather everyone to do good morning song followed by circle time. only after this do we then do free flow which is probably 9.45. At moment not going in garden far too muddy. but do go onto playgroup around 11.15 until 11.45 then home time at 12.00 for some and lunch for others.

 

I would not worry about getting out straight away.

 

buttercup

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Our session starts at 9.10am, and it is a flexible drop off between 9.10-9.15 all children arrive, self register then join the adult leading sticky kids/active songs until 9.15 when the children then all settle for group formal registration time, followed by Letters and Sounds. The door is shut and locked just after 9.15 and anyone later than 9.20 gets marked as late (like in the school, we are part of a Foundation stage unit).

 

We then sometimes do an adult led activity straight after, such as Movement in the hall or use the ICT suite or cooking, otherwise all other adult activities are on for children to join in with as they wish during free flow. Free flow starts 9.40 onwards on those days, or 10.15 on the days we do ICT etc.

 

They have free flow until 11.10 when we have snack, followed by story or songs and getting ready to go at 11.40.

 

At present we do not have lunch club

 

HTH

Clare xxx

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Hi Suzie

 

Tricky this isn't it - I did write to my parents last year asking them to please arrive on time - I felt that was quite bold of me! :o

 

I explained (nicely) that I was losing 20 minutes of contact time with the children as I was stuck at the door meeting and greeting! Have to say that they all took this request really well and started to turn up on time after that! Sorry should have said......we open at 9 ..... no lunch club or anything like that to organise!

 

Really not sure what to suggest about the 'free flow situation' - sounds a bit 'risky' to me.......hmmm....that could just be me being over cautious.......

 

Not sure that is much help xD

 

Thats great just by being a little braver with parents I love the quote 'losing my contact time' going to steal that thanks

Sue

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Hi SuzieC8 - I refer to your point:

 

What time do you set up to start at 9am!!??? My staff are only just arriving at that point

 

I am just struggling with this issue - when to set up?!! We are a pack away, three mornings a week setting and we start at 9am and were setting up beforehand. But after our 'incident' last week we have gone back to setting up the day before to ensure enough time to do it well.

 

Not satisfactory but how do others manage it - please let me know!! There must be an easier way! :o

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our session starts at 9.30, we start setting up a 9am, Parents sign their children in on a pre printed register one for each group each day, children then collect their name and velcro it to the welcome board in the quite room, where all children gather on the carpet for the morning welcome, they used to come straight into free flow, but I felt the children were missing out on being welcomed and we were missing an opportunity to explain what we were going to be doing today. It also gives staff an opportunity to model any resources new to the children, in it takes 15 minutes, then the children are asked their plans for the morning, which is noted in a book and then reviewed with them at the end of the session, this has also stopped parents arriving late, as the children chivvy them along so they dont miss good morning time.

 

Claire x

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