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Which Policies Must Be Discussed With Parents Before Child Starts?


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I'm in the process of inviting new starters after Easter in for taster sessions. I'd like to have an informal meeting with their parents at the same time but my mind has gone completely blank about which policies & other documents are to be discussed with them at this stage - I know it's Safeguarding but can anyone help with the rest? I don't want to overdo it & see them disappearing under a load of papers! Your help would be much appreciated.

Edited by Guest
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I would also discuss your Fees Policy with new parents so they are clear where they stand with regards to payments. mrsW.x

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I've been getting a brief outline together for a lot of our policies just to give them an idea, I still tell them that its important for them to read the full ones but this will give a gist and maybe make them interested enought to read the full documents.

Brief_outline_of_policies.doc

Edited by Rea
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I give our parents copies of all our policies, however, when they come in for tasters, I call their attention to Arrival and Departure Policy, Food and Drink Policy, Settling In Policy, as well as Safeguarding, and parent partnership. While checking current health status of the children with them I mention our Health and Emergency Policies.

 

Some of the others I would already have talked to them about when they came for a booking in visit and when they register they have the whole pack and sign to say they have received them - I don't insist on them reading them, I encourage them to, but I guess they don't!

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Thank you for all your very helpful replies. One more question: if you give full copies of every policy to all your parents, don't they feel totally overwhelmed? Our folder is getting so thick I find I can't always remember what's in there myself. Also I question whether all policies are of interest to parents. I currently have a brochure with main policies in, given to each family, but a full copy available on display. I think the briefer version Rea talks about is the way forward.

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Yes like Rea, when I was trawling all the policies and procedures for the new EYFS standards in 2008, I began to write up an overview of all our policies giving brief statements of what they were about and which area of welfare they were connected to, sadly I never completed this!!

 

I don't believe our policies are that overwhelming, we write them ourselves and keep them as user friendly as we can and we certainly keep them to a minimum - adding bits to other policies to cut down on extra ones!

 

I feel while it is manageable for my group to give them to parents we will continue to, but then we don't have too many for that at the moment.

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I havent shown it to the committee or anyone else yet so I dont know how it will be received, I just felt as a parent I never read them unless someone had got mey goat over something :o

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Guest jenpercy

We have 42 policies as I ended up splitting some that were so long I had no real idea what was in them any more. As an after-school club we based ours on the Getting It Right documents from 4Children - which you have to be a member to download.

 

to add to your list, in the Welfare Requirements, it states that you must tell parents about Lost Child and Uncollected child.

 

The summary is a good idea - although I think I will add a little more detail about the contents of some policies and will post it here when done.

 

For example, please ask for a copy of full complaints procedure etc

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Rea, I've finally been able to read your document thoroughly and I really like it. It was kind of you to share it.

 

I think one of the problems is that it can be difficult to work out the OFSTED expectations from those of our local advisors. I certainly have the feeling that ours are trying to insist on full versions for parents, which is probably why I said I felt it was overwhelming. I guess that, as in so many of these things, there are lots of local variations!

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Guest jenpercy
Rea, I've finally been able to read your document thoroughly and I really like it. It was kind of you to share it.

 

I think one of the problems is that it can be difficult to work out the OFSTED expectations from those of our local advisors. I certainly have the feeling that ours are trying to insist on full versions for parents, which is probably why I said I felt it was overwhelming. I guess that, as in so many of these things, there are lots of local variations!

 

Here is my version. As I stated above there is a list in the EYFS Strategy Guide stating what policies parents need to see page 23. Here is our version. As you can see we have a tremendous amount of paperwork. I was told that our policies should be on the noticeboard but we could wallpaper the room with them. Shortened form of Complaints policy is on the wall.

 

I think I am replying to wrong post so I hope th OP doesn't mind my amendments

Brief_policies.doc

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I've always been under the impression that the full version should be available but who really reads it? In 12 years I havent known even one parent ask to read them all, they have flicked through the folder but thats it. We cant make them read them, but at least I can show Ofsted and any other advisor that I'm trying to make it easy for them. We're thinking of doing away with our operational plan too after I read on here that not many people have them or are asked for them by Ofsted. We'll just have a few smaller folders of relevent information.

 

Thanks for including the missing/uncollected child jenpercy, I wrote my brief doc. off the top of my head as it were, but didnt think of those, I didnt think about looking in the EYFS either.

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Guest jenpercy
I've always been under the impression that the full version should be available but who really reads it? In 12 years I havent known even one parent ask to read them all, they have flicked through the folder but thats it. We cant make them read them, but at least I can show Ofsted and any other advisor that I'm trying to make it easy for them. We're thinking of doing away with our operational plan too after I read on here that not many people have them or are asked for them by Ofsted. We'll just have a few smaller folders of relevent information.

 

Thanks for including the missing/uncollected child jenpercy, I wrote my brief doc. off the top of my head as it were, but didnt think of those, I didnt think about looking in the EYFS either.

 

We are just strating an operational plan. The idea is that we can give the Inspector lots of stuff to lool at and she will be impressed with what we give her and not need to dig further. I have been told by my NVQ advisor that it shortens the visit. However, I am not going to put copies of working docs, but those folders will be handed over intact. We have to QA next, so when she's been I can canabalise the OP for that

Jen

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I've been given a great bit of advice from our EYA about the operational plan.

 

I was about to re-do a big folder of stuff that hadn't been updated for years. She said to me that all your OP needs to do is to let someone know where stuff is kept. So, mine now just lists where the keys are, where the plans are, where the policies are, where contact numbers are, etc. etc. etc.

 

I'm hoping to get it down to one double sided page!

 

On the policy question, we have ours out on the parents table, but obviously none of them read the policies. Personally I don't blame them and I'm not going to push it. It's hard enough for me and the staff to keep up with updating them!

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I just noticed on my list and on jen's that there is no fire evacuation procedure, although to be fair I havent read Jen's list very closely and it could be in there somewhere.

Is it something people tend to have? I've written a brief one relating to our setting, where the fire exits are, what we would do if we had to evacuate etc.

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Guest jenpercy
I just noticed on my list and on jen's that there is no fire evacuation procedure, although to be fair I havent read Jen's list very closely and it could be in there somewhere.

Is it something people tend to have? I've written a brief one relating to our setting, where the fire exits are, what we would do if we had to evacuate etc.

 

Thanks for the reminder. We do plan to have one but keep forgetting to contact school where we would go if evacuated. I think I saw it somewhere on a list but not sure where that originated. It was a checklist for getting ready for OFSTED though.

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I like the idea of giving parents an outline of policies and procedures stating the full list as providing the complete policies and procedures would be expensive to provide as well as not very eco friendly. However, how about giving each family a disc of all the policies and procedures as well as the outline, as well as a main copy accessible in reception?

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Guest jenpercy

do you honestly think any of the parents would be bothered to wade through this turgid stuff. The main purpose of policies is to satistisfy OFSTED, QA and other people who give us money!!

 

Non of my parents gave a monkeys about my inadequate OFSTED.

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In principle I like the disc idea, dasher, but would find it almost impossible to update as I'm found we're often asked to amend certain policies before their review date - the new OFSTED numbers is an example.

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Guest jenpercy

I'm not amending phone number until they send me a new poster. After all I don't "know" anything about that yet.

 

You could offer a disc and see if you get any takers. With a disclaimer ane an updating policies policy

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do you honestly think any of the parents would be bothered to wade through this turgid stuff. The main purpose of policies is to satistisfy OFSTED, QA and other people who give us money!!

 

Non of my parents gave a monkeys about my inadequate OFSTED.

 

Good for you!

 

Policies, targets, paperwork, tracking progress, sometimes I wish I could just chuck it all on the bonfire and concentrate on what's important - THE CHILDREN!!!

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We give our Parents the Safegaurding and Inclusion policies , the overdue fees and also our Parent Partnership agreement which has information on about uncollected children. The other policies are all available if they choose - one way we keep costs down is by having them all on a memory stick - we loan this to the parents who want policies ( and have a PC) and they can download the ones they need. As an alternative we email them to parents - saves paper and again they choose whether to read. This has cut our photocopying bill significantly. :o

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In order to comply with the EYFS (or so I thought), I give all my new parents copies of the relevant polices that I thought the EYFS stipulated. I bought nice professional folders to put them in, along with all the usual paperwork that parents have to complete.

 

I can't tell you the number of times that the folder has been handed back with all the policies still in there, despite me putting a cover letter in telling them they are to keep.

 

Parents really aren't interested, its just another tick box exercise

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Then we should stand up for what we know is best practice and refuse to waste this time and money.

 

It's not all about what Ofsted say, surely?

 

If it's going to be meaningful to give a policy, then the parents must actually read it. Otherwise we are just ticking a box and doing as we're told without thinking it through properly.

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It would be so much easier and effective if the main policies were written a boit like my brief outline. Short and snappy and to the point. I might start workjing on one, in fact I have a feeling I've seen or heard mention of something like that.

 

For example the equality and diversty could read...'We are open to everyone from every walk of life, with or without a disablitity. Please come in'.

 

Any others? :o

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