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Hi All

I manage a Pre School/ Nursery and am having trouble with staff only wanting to do their key child's learning journeys/ journals/ profiles in paid work time. Can anybody help me by letting me know what you do in your setting. Do staff get paid time to do them or are they expected to do them in their own time un paid?? Currently we have some great volunteers which means we are able to get time out to get these done, but this isn't alwasy the case! Some staff seem to think it's their right to get paid for time on these.

 

Any help, comments welcomed!

 

Nimatel

 

I should add that we are a small pre school only recently opened so budgets are tight!

Edited by Nimatel
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Hi - not at all sure that this is what you want to hear :o

 

But, to be honest, I think your staff have a point......my staff do an enormous amount of 'unpaid stuff' but they know that this is not an expectation.......

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Yes, here too. I pay staff an hour a week for non-contact time to work on their files and the children's files. I think it's important to do them in the setting when they can get some help if they need it. I value the work they do on this paperwork, so I pay them for it. As Sunnyday says, they do plenty of unpaid stuff without the burden of this too

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I know, some of my staff do loads of work un paid, but some don't and they are normally the ones that are very pro active in voicing their opinions. In an ideal world i'd love to pay my staff for all they do. I think they are on a fairly good wage (as good as it gets for our area of work), i work with the committee to ensure they are paid for all training courses outside of their hours but there is only a limited budget. If i can't get cover to allow staff time out and i don't have the budget to pay them for extra, what next.

 

I just wanted to know what other settings do.

 

Nimatel

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Currently the staff are getting at least 3 hours evry other week, i have a few that complain that isn't enough (based on 10 key children) I've tried to address this by accessing extra training, it's difficult when one member of staff is getting more time than the others as they would rather she had time!

 

Thanks for your comments, i really appreciate it!

 

Nimatel

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Well mine only get an hour a week, so yours are doing better than mine. They currently have 8 children each, rather than your 10. I'm not sure I understand your 'it's difficult' part of the sentence though...... could you elaborate?

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We are a small staff team myself, deputy and one other permanent member, we have several casual staff only one of which has key worker responsibilities. We know that one memebr finds it difficult to get her learning journeys done so we end up sacraficing our time so she has more. She has had a whole 3 hour session out for the past 3 weeks, and had the cheek to moan this morning when i went out to get my journals done. saying if she didn't get time then she'd have to be paid to do it in her own time! Of course she didn't say that to me!

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We get paid an hour each to do these at home. I have 7 key children - It's not enough but it's what we can afford. What doesn't get done in this hour is either unpaid or done in a few moments grabbed here and there during session time.

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We are a small staff team myself, deputy and one other permanent member, we have several casual staff only one of which has key worker responsibilities. We know that one memebr finds it difficult to get her learning journeys done so we end up sacraficing our time so she has more. She has had a whole 3 hour session out for the past 3 weeks, and had the cheek to moan this morning when i went out to get my journals done. saying if she didn't get time then she'd have to be paid to do it in her own time! Of course she didn't say that to me!

 

Goodness! :o What is she finding so difficult?

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We had one hour a week for 8 children.. . and we had to do it in the setting.. so none went home.. part time staff came in to cover the hour for others and complete their books... with 6 of us it was 1 days wage a week.. We had the staff do them with the child.. so they had some input and helped adding their own drawings and pictures as we did them.. they loved it. or we used to team the staff in pairs to do the journeys and they helped each other.

 

we insisted they all stayed at the setting... none to go home as we didn't know what would happen to them outside the setting, who could see them etc.. so confidentiality could be an issue...

 

Perhaps give her a different job she can only do in the setting (risk assessment and H&S spring to mind) and relieve her of the job she finds so difficult.. personally I would find that easier than constantly trying to get someone to do something they were not that interested in...

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We try to grab some time during the session to do these, but as the numbers of children has increased recently, the time is impossible to find. My staff take them home to do them - I'm not comfortable with this but it's that or they don't get done. This is my constant moan to the committee, as I really don't think staff on such low wages should be expected to do this in their own time. Unfortunately I haven't got anywhere yet though, but I will persevere!!

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I wish i could relieve her of her key worker duty, but she gets paid very well and she does have other dtuies such asdaily risk assesemnt and helath and hygiene (which she doesn't do that well either!) however that would mean that my deputy and myself would have 16 key children each! We already have enough that we do without pay that we don't moan about! It's part of the job and she's a level 3 so it really shouldn't be a huge problem.

 

I think it stems from being in a day care setting where every extra minute was paid as over time, we haven't got that kind of money, we pay as i said for training outside work hours which i believe a lot of settings don't!

 

Frustrating!

 

thanks for all your comments though

 

Nimatel

x

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We have an hour a week non contact time, with average 8 children each.

My staff would be more than happy to take home and do in own time- and are constantly asking me if they can! I do put my foot down though for two reasons, 1st) the whole confidentiality aspect etc, 2nd) We are privately owned and I really do not think the staff should be subsidising an owner that is not really that happy about putting money back into the setting.

 

Sometimes I do think that the whole learning journey issue can get out of hand. I have to keep reminding our staff to 'keep it simple' and that we are not here to produce a wonderful book that parents can treasure forever!!!

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Totally know where you're coming from Devon Daisy. This is what's happening to us at the moment - increasing numbers and add to that a child with behavioural issues means that there is no chance of anyone being released now for any time.

 

I really feel for my staff (and myself too as both manager and key person), since yes we too are lowly paid but trustees continue to deny any extra pay for this. And I too will keep persevering. Gosh - I'm full of moans tonight. Think I need to go open the wine!

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Sometimes I do think that the whole learning journey issue can get out of hand. I have to keep reminding our staff to 'keep it simple' and that we are not here to produce a wonderful book that parents can treasure forever!!!

 

Absolutely agree! :o

I've had this conversation with my staff this week - something along the lines of 'we're making a rod for our own backs here' - and I'm as 'guilty' as anyone.....

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We also have an hour a week paid to go through the children's diaries and write up any learning journies (we take this at lunchtimes). obviously this is nt long enough to get everything done, but it makes a good start. We also plan in to have an observing session each week and time to write up what we have found. We are lucky ti have such decicated staff that they even take much of theirs home (of course I do try to discourage this as we do need a break at some point!) It's one of those things where you have to find a way that suits you, your setting and children.

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We get £1 per file per week and we get it as a lump sum in the summer holidays, which is great as 6 weeks of = 6 weeks unpaid. I completely agree with keeping it simple, focused observations and clear next steps and keep the waffle out! I often get to work early to sort my files as there isn't time during the session.

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I think a bit of 'going back, in order to go forward' type staff training may be a good idea - an opportunity to highlight your expectations of staff with regards to learning journeys, including examples of good learning journey input (insuring something from the reluctant staff member was shown). Maybe staff are just putting too much detail in the journeys ?

I would show my appreciation for what they are doing, praising the effort they put into their completion, and reiterate the value of the learning journey's for children and families as well as outlining the EYFS requirement to record individual children's progress. Staff also given an opportunity to share their views on the learning journey's, and together as a team work out the best and fairest way to get them completed, with the intention of them hopefully 'buying in' to the process and having more enthusiasm.

 

I personally also think that staff should have time at work to work on their key children's learning journey's.

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  • 1 month later...

Well it has come down to the committee has decided that we are not allowed to take learning journals home! I can understand where they are coming from and reasons why.However, when the sesisons are run as they are (all hands on deck!) we are unable to complete them during the session. We are currently paid 1 hour per half term whereas I have 11 children and it takes me 8 hrs per half term. We take photos for scrapbook and do post it obs only for the childs profile doc (unless behaviour /SEN).

 

So now it will come down to doing it when you are not at work but actually in the setting. Hard when you are in there every day, doing all the hours you can then leaving as you have to pick your own up from school! Also unfortunately we have no table/office space to work on! Could end up with 18 staff fighting to use the table!!! This is something I think the committee really need to get sorted if they expect us to do them during opening hours. Many staff do take pride in their learning journals and scrapbooks and I think this may change. In fact as we are doing so much of this unpaid many staff have said they will now only stick to what they are being paid for ie doing less obs therfore less work to put in journals. Does this look good when OFSTED take a sample of them??

 

So working it out...per half term I get paid 5 mins per learning journal I do :o hmmm that means just gluing in the photos!!

 

Think the issue is..staff quite willing to do in own time but at home. If it has to be during opening times they will only do what they are paid for....hmmmm...have to think about this!

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Marley.. do them during session time with the child involved.. we used to sit at the drawing table or in the mark making area with the children and had the child help put in the pictures/ notes and look at and add to the file.. it became their property so they happily spent 10 mins a week doing this.. staff would rotate the time so only one was busy doing it at any one time, and was not actually out of ratio or not joining the session as they tended to end up with a focus group drawing or joining in with them.. I could work with 2 children at a time once they were used to this and it became quite a feature of the session.. I just spent a few minutes before deciding where to put them in as ours were in areas of learning but if chronological which I preferred it was very easy..

 

and the bonus was the children saw you writing for a purpose and joining in and all sorts of other bits that are actually mentioned in eyfs.. Ofsted loved the fact that the children were helping with them, and went home with the children's pictures all over their files as that was what they were used to doing.. adding and helping us.

 

We believed they were a tool for working with and whatever they came out as in the end was part of the childrens work too so even more meaningful .

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'It is clear that if practitioners are spending considerable time writing things down

because they think this is needed to guide child development, then they should

review their practice and ask whether the level of their record keeping is necessary.

It is the interaction between practitioners and children that helps promote the rich

learning environment the EYFS is seeking to create.This cannot be achieved if

practitioners are making notes, instead of talking and playing with children. It is also

clear to me that Ofsted and local authorities should not be asking to see overly

detailed records''

 

 

 

http://media.education.gov.uk/MediaFiles/B...ll%20review.pdf

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Hi All

I manage a Pre School/ Nursery and am having trouble with staff only wanting to do their key child's learning journeys/ journals/ profiles in paid work time. Can anybody help me by letting me know what you do in your setting. Do staff get paid time to do them or are they expected to do them in their own time un paid?? Currently we have some great volunteers which means we are able to get time out to get these done, but this isn't alwasy the case! Some staff seem to think it's their right to get paid for time on these.

 

Any help, comments welcomed!

 

Nimatel

 

I should add that we are a small pre school only recently opened so budgets are tight!

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Myself and my joint play leader both do learning journeys for 14 children each. Way too many children each but there is no one else to do them. We get no non contact time at all during the week and take them home and do them in our own time. We are very lucky and get paid for however long it takes. We love our learning journeys and so does everybody who sees them including; OFSTED, early years consultants, reception teachers, parents and most importantly the children. I think we have achieved a good balance of having a working progress and achievement document and a great keepsake for the family. Personally I would put as much love into these even if we were not paid to do them. :o

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Myself and my joint play leader both do learning journeys for 14 children each. Way too many children each but there is no one else to do them. We get no non contact time at all during the week and take them home and do them in our own time. We are very lucky and get paid for however long it takes. We love our learning journeys and so does everybody who sees them including; OFSTED, early years consultants, reception teachers, parents and most importantly the children. I think we have achieved a good balance of having a working progress and achievement document and a great keepsake for the family. Personally I would put as much love into these even if we were not paid to do them. :o

 

How about if you were told you couldnt take them home? We have been told by our EY advisor that they should are not to leave the setting as confidential...now I have to do 11 journals ie scrapbooks with their profiles in our time whilst the setting is open and been told that we cannot do it while in ratio. Plus we are paid 1 hour per half term..works out at approx 5 mins for each key child for me. Also we have to do the transition documents this way. Some staff now saying they will only do what they are paid for. We are all paid the same no matter how many you have although committee looking at paying a rate of £1 per keychild per half term. Some will therefore be paid less than what they currently get. I think my scrapbooks and profiles will be a lot more rushed as I just havent got the time to spend on them within the opening times of the pre-school whereas at home I can concentrate more on them.

I would love to put that statement mouse in at the start of the learning journals so that when OFSTED do come in and there are very few obs etc we can refer to this and the fact of the limitations of time. To be honest this issue is causing a lot of ill feeling at the pre-school at the moment. Staff are willing to do in own time but under their own terms ie at home.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest oldiebutgoodie

Hi there

I have found the comments made very usefull. We are just about to start doing learning journeys in September. Up till now we used the 0-5 tracker books which were complicated and very boring. I was going to let staff complete these in session time as then the children can be involved in choosing pics etc to go into them. We are a rural pre-school and each member of staff have 4/5 children. I will have to see how much work is involved before I approach committee to see if we can be paid extra.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi

I manage a small nursery and all keyworkers have non contact time to update their children's learning journeys and to plan for their group times for the following week. Although this was at first done off the premises because of the need to tighten the purse strings it is now done on the premises so that they can come back into the room should they be needed.

i think it is very unfair to expect staff to be updating Learning Journeys in their own time.

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