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Staff Bringing Their Own Children To Work


radish
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Hi All,

 

We have not been faced with this senario for quite a few years now as staff have managed to find alternative child care for their children. There is an infant school closure day looming and I think a member of staff is going to ask if she can bring her daughter into work.

 

What is the current thinking on this?

 

Thank you

 

Sorry should have added that I work in a pre-school

Edited by radish
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I don't know what the legalities are but my head lets me bring in my daughter to school when she has inset and we don't as I strugggle for childcare in those situations. I teach in reception and my daughter is 10 so she's at the age she can be useful (I usually park her infront of the laminator making resources!) she is not allowed however to go into the staff room like the rest of the children in the school so we eat lunch together in the staffroom.

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always depended on age of the child.. if under 8 they have to be included in ratio so could be an issue... ( but dont ask where I found the info it was so long ago- really cannot remember.. but did have an inspection once with older child in and she did check this)

 

We often had the older children in but they tended to be ex pre-schoolers.. who knew me well and knew the rules so would tend to blend in and join in helping the younger children.. it was often a bonus or good thing for us.. my son also came regularly, he grew up with it and was always good to have around.. very popular with the children.

 

It only became an issue for the child who was disruptive, and demanding while with us.. in these cases the parent was aware there could be an issue and used to swap shifts with someone else.. or occasionally if more than one child involved one would do the childcare at home and the other work..

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sometimes it is the case that unless you allow their children in you will be short of a member of staff, which can cause more hassle!

 

All the schools in our are do different inset days a real hassle for us

having other children in (which does not happen often) has benefits and the children love having older children to play with.

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We all do it when we need to - insets , closures and the children at Pre-School love it - older children at their beck and call all day, colour this , cut that , make me this !!!!!!! We always work with 4 members of staff when we would be in ratio with three so that side of it is covered - for us it hasn;t caused any problems and our children and the pre-schoolers all enjoy it.

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I totally agree with all the benefits of occasionally having older children in but whilst I don't want to be a killjoy I wonder what the OFSTED registration and the insurance position is?

 

Our registration says up to 16 children from 2 -5yrs on the premises so by having an older child in are we in breach of registration??

 

.. not suggesting we are just musing really and hadn't really thought about it in detail until now.

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I have always understood it to be over 5's and U12's not on premises. I would most definitely check your insurance. I was told not so long ago that our EY's had been into a setting and was horrified to find a staff members child in with them (dont know age but school inset day so over 5) She (quite obviously doesn't have children!!) She did say though that if the child is in preschool with you then who is responsible for that child? If it is the parent then your ratios are down as parent cannot 'do two jobs at once' if preschool then you need to check on your insurance regs and see if they allow for an older child. however good they are with the younger children they are a distraction and it doesn't look professional. Yes, school inset days are a pain in the neck for working parents, but they are seldom sprung on us and therefore should be able to make appropriate arrangements- even if it means swapping shifts or losing a days pay.

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I think there are many reasons why it might not look professional to have an older child in pre-school, from experience. I've known practitioners who struggle to manage their own children's behaviour when they come into work with them, and I've known children who would rather be anywhere else in the world than at pre-school with their parents on an inset day. If an early years adviser had been there in these circumstances, I can well imagine they might feel uneasy about the effect of having the older child in the setting on practice!

 

It is a difficult call to make, speaking with my employer's hat on. It is rare that inset days are sprung upon us, as lynned55 says and unless everyone's children go to the same school then it should be possible to swap with a colleague if it is deemed inappropriate for the child to come to pre-school. From memory the welfare requirements state that care offered to older children must not affect the quality of care offered to children in the EYFS age group. If you have a disruptive older child who takes up much attention of the grown ups to manage their behaviour then this is going to have an adverse affect on the younger children's care.

 

However, if the children know the staff well and understand what the boundaries are then there is much to gain from having older children in the setting. The littlies really look up to older children, who can bring a lot to the learning experience. I guess it depends on the individual child, and parent as to whether it can work or not.

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we have allowed this situation in the past (especially with my own children!) i think you'll find that your ratios are set like childminders and as long as they are over 8 or included in your 1/8 ratio if under this age then you are ok. Everyone is covered under public liability insurance...or you wouldnt be able to have visitors!! Make sure that they are signed in the visitors book and ensure that the responsibility issues have been discussed. I always give the older ones jobs to do (they are very patient at playing role play games!) and i tend to adjust this to the child's interests. My daughters are now very knowledgable practitioners because of all the time they have spent in pre-school over the years and my oldest now works for me! so dont dismiss the younger set they have much to give! :o

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Why does it not look professional?

 

Hmmmm..........I'm afraid that I tend to agree with this - it's a bit like the debates we have had about 'mobile phones', 'drinking coffee' and many other similar topics.......

 

I wouldn't expect to go into my bank and have the clerk's child sitting next to her, or for her to be having a 'coffee break' on the job, or for her to be engaged in a phone call (even if it was from her child's school :o )........

 

Speaking as someone who has been involved in Early Years for a very long time.......I think that maybe, just maybe this was deemed appropriate a long time ago.......however, we have all come a long way....and I for one want to raise standards and want my setting and my practices to be seen as a 'professional' '

 

OK - take aim......... fire!!! xD

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Hmmmm..........I'm afraid that I tend to agree with this - it's a bit like the debates we have had about 'mobile phones', 'drinking coffee' and many other similar topics.......

 

I wouldn't expect to go into my bank and have the clerk's child sitting next to her, or for her to be having a 'coffee break' on the job, or for her to be engaged in a phone call (even if it was from her child's school :o )........

 

Speaking as someone who has been involved in Early Years for a very long time.......I think that maybe, just maybe this was deemed appropriate a long time ago.......however, we have all come a long way....and I for one want to raise standards and want my setting and my practices to be seen as a 'professional' '

 

OK - take aim......... fire!!! xD

well sunnyday when i can pay the same wages as a bank clerk gets paid i might change my rules!

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We allow older children in but only if we have space and only if no other option available. I would say the majority of staff have children who go to the same school and quite a few have no family locally and there are no school clubs that run in the area. Its a difficult call. Im ok as I am the only lady who does not live in the village and hence my sons inset days are different. We also have a school club that runs all day should there be one. Unfortunately because of no places at school club I cant cover anyone elses shifts!

My daughters secondary school has all their inset days a week before xmas...at only 12 i didnt feel i could leave her all day and to be honest my parents are ok for a couple of days but for a week????? Hard as a full time staff member for me to be covered at work and hubby a teacher so cant take time off. My daughter ended up coming in with me. Now at 14 i feel that she will be ok. However 2 ladies at my pre-school will have daughters starting the same school in sept so they will have the same problem.

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well sunnyday when i can pay the same wages as a bank clerk gets paid i might change my rules!

:oxD:(

 

All 3 of my grandchildren are here now.......perhaps I should say to my daughters-in-law - "hmmm could you both ask your bosses if you can take them to work with you"! :(:(

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:oxD:(

 

All 3 of my grandchildren are here now.......perhaps I should say to my daughters-in-law - "hmmm could you both ask your bosses if you can take them to work with you"! :wacko: :(

well they are very lucky to have a granny around...my family live abroad so i have never had that support :( and my MIL lives two hours away and runs her own business so no help there either.

as to the looking 'professional' approach ...i actually rather like the idea that our pre-school is like a home from home and the odd cup of coffee and older sibling help to give the impression of a 'family' ...lets face it these children are still very young and they dont need us to look professional.....even if we do for their parents.

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well they are very lucky to have a granny around...my family live abroad so i have never had that support xD and my MIL lives two hours away and runs her own business so no help there either.

as to the looking 'professional' approach ...i actually rather like the idea that our pre-school is like a home from home and the odd cup of coffee and older sibling help to give the impression of a 'family' ...lets face it these children are still very young and they dont need us to look professional.....even if we do for their parents.

Point taken about them being lucky to have extended family for support - I do understand that isn't the case for all!

 

We will have to 'agree to disagree' on the 'professional or not' front! :o

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Point taken about them being lucky to have extended family for support - I do understand that isn't the case for all!

 

We will have to 'agree to disagree' on the 'professional or not' front! :o

 

 

Sunnyday, I can't put my hand to it at the moment, but didn't you once post on here a safeguarding handout from about family members coming into pre-school.

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Sunnyday, I can't put my hand to it at the moment, but didn't you once post on here a safeguarding handout from about family members coming into pre-school.

I did Panders! :o

Think it might be in 'resources' now.....

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Ah yes! I remember that! Thank you

 

I think it's a toughie this one, as so much depends on the child and the unique circumstances. My children used to come in and loved it and were loved by the Preschoolers in return. My son particularly was the only one at one time who could calm an autistic child and staff used to beg me to let him take a day off school and come in!! He also came to all the Brownie meetings and events when he was younger because I had no childcare.

 

Having said that, I've had some staff children in who were hard work - and staff don't like you telling their children off, so there needs to be rules and explanations of acceptable behaviour and consequences explained fully to the staff member and the child.

 

Also, it helps a great deal if the child WANTS to be there, if they'd rather be home on the playstation and is ticked because Mum doesn't think they're old enough to be on their own, then naturally they're not going to be happy.

 

I know what Sunnyday means about the professional side of things, we've come a long way to establish ourselves as professionals and I suppose in some eyes, taking our children to work makes it seem more like a creche.

 

Oh - and one last thing - IF you are allowing it, make sure that ALL staff are happy with it, if just one isn't, it can be an uncomfortable day for everyone! (speaking from experience)

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I guess I'm coming at it from a different angle but, as a childminder, my children and other older childminded children are very much part of my setting after school and in the holidays.

 

I hope that doesn't mean that I would be considered unprofessional. Clearly if there were behavioural issues involved that would be a different matter but that would be an issue for a very, very tiny minority and applies to children of all ages.

 

I don't really understand how the presence of my own children, assuming they are within my ratios, either at the same age as those who are minded or older, could be considered detrimental to the children or the setting. They bring a great deal in terms of ideas for play, role models, sensitive playmates, an extra pair of eyes, more arms for cuddles, someone to dole out drinks and snacks,..... the list is endless.

 

I can't see how the presence of a ten-year-old would enhance the experience of customers in a bank, or on a telephone help desk, fair enough. However, an older child in a Early Years setting could be a very valuable resource offering a new dimension to the experiences of the children, particularly those who do not have older siblings themselves. It is our job to give the children we care for wide and varied experiences and who is to say that adults are the only people well-place to do this? Older children have a very different outlook on life and can provide a wonderful link between the generations.

 

One lovely aspect of the presence of older children in my setting for my childminded children is that when they start school there is an additional familiar face in the playground which can make all the difference to how they feel in those scary early days. My 14 year old spends ages building wonderful dens for the little ones from materials and in ways I would never think of. A childminded 10 year old spent a whole day with a pre-schooler I care for, making toys cars follow very carefully laid out routes and routines, something his peers would never have tolerated.

 

I don't think that we look unprofessional if we include older children in settings occasionally. I think it shows that we can see the value of children learning from everyone and everything around them and, if we manage it well, that our setting is highly professional and inclusive.

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I don't think that we look unprofessional if we include older children in settings occasionally. I think it shows that we can see the value of children learning from everyone and everything around them and, if we manage it well, that our setting is highly professional and inclusive.

 

Yes, I agree, but it's that 'if we manage it well' and if it works. Imagine one of the older children you were looking after was rude, swearing, disruptive and stomped about the place, it wouldn't make it such a nice experience for everyone. Not an experience you want your 'paying guests' to have at all.

 

I guess it's like the nursery rhyme about the girl with the curl - when it's good, it's very, very good; but when it's bad it's horrid!

 

I think we all agree that it's not necessarily ideal, but it happens and when it works well it's great for everyone concerned. As I said before, check your insurance and your ratios and ask all the staff

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Yes, I agree, but it's that 'if we manage it well' and if it works. Imagine one of the older children you were looking after was rude, swearing, disruptive and stomped about the place, it wouldn't make it such a nice experience for everyone. Not an experience you want your 'paying guests' to have at all.

 

 

That sort of behaviour would be very very rare and could come from children of any age included those who are part of the setting. It doesn't seem reasonable to judge the majority because of a very tiny minority.

 

 

 

I think we all agree that it's not necessarily ideal, but it happens and when it works well it's great for everyone concerned.

 

 

I wouldn't agree that it's not necessarily ideal. I think that older children can be a great bonus to a setting. they certainly are to mine and I'm not just speaking about my own girls. The positives they can bring far outweigh any disadvantages you risk because once in a blue moon one setting might end up with a stroppy pre-teen on their hands.

 

Let's face it you can always confine them to jobs in the kitchen or the office if you were that unlucky. My guess is that staff would be loathe to bring their child with them if they felt that sort of behaviour would ensue because of the judgements which would be made about them in their workplace.

 

Yes you have to manage it well but that's the case with every other aspect of running an Early Years setting.

 

I'm sure that the sheer number of members on this site means that someone will be able to come up with one or two horror stories but in my experience including older children in childminding settings is very positive. I think that managers of group settings should see staff wanting to bring their children in as an opportunity rather than a problem.

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I think a childminding setting is very different from a group care environment, and as you say Upsy Daisy, your own children are very much a part of your setting. When parents decide to send their child to you they are sending them to your home and everything that goes with it. When parents send their children to my setting my own children are not part of the bargain, and to an extent nor is the way I parent them.

 

When parents entrust the care of their children to me, they have a right to expect that our sole focus will be on them and their needs during the time they are with us, and I think they would be within their rights to complain if adult attention and time was being taken up with managing our own children if their behaviour is difficult to manage and is threatening the normally calm and settled atmosphere. In a childminding setting the childminder's own child can go to their room if they are getting fed up and need some space. We don't have that facility at nursery - short of shutting them out in the rain! Although believe me that has seemed very tempting sometimes!

 

I've seen it from both sides within my own group - incredibly tolerant and patient older children scaffolding learning and bringing a different dynamic to the younger children's play. I've also seen family tensions played out between mother and child to an extent that the atmosphere quickly became tense and anxiety inducing for all concerned. The problem comes when you have both these scenarios within the team at the same time, especially when both children attend the same school and so will potentially be in the setting at the same time. What you'd really like to say is yes to one family but no to the other because the latter situation definitely adversely affects the care of the children who attend the setting.

 

How can you manage that effectively and honestly without offending one of the parents? I think that is why settings might be tempted to have a blanket 'no' to older children attending!

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I guess I'm coming at it from a different angle but, as a childminder, my children and other older childminded children are very much part of my setting after school and in the holidays.

 

Hi Upsy - of course, that's a completely different matter.......

 

Also - each to their own........I just feel it's not an arrangement that suits my setting........this has just been discussed - a staff members daughter (11) will not be at school when we return in September...."can she come here"?

Well, no, not really - lots of new children + lots of new parents.......

 

Can you see where I'm coming from? :o

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I think I might have a touch of PMT today but I just can't see how it's different for childminders.

 

I expect high standards of behaviour from all children including the older ones and can't see how a difficult older child is harder to cope with than a difficult younger child unless it goes to ridiculous extremes of course. I would not be happy if any one child were dominating the attention of the adults but that applies to the usual pre-schoolers too.

 

Maybe I view it differently because the older children are also paying customers in my setting. Perhaps a solution for other settings would be to say that older children must also be paid for (assuming this is ok for insurance purposes) when they attend with their parents as they would have to be included in the ratios. Then the enormous advantages of having older children around would still be present but the difficulties would be offset by the fact that they were included in the ratios and would therefore not be depriving other children of attention.

 

I would love to hear what Ofsted's take on this would be but I fear it would be passed quickly back to the setting managers to make their own decisions!

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Maybe I view it differently because the older children are also paying customers in my setting.

I think that is a crucial difference. As such you are responsible for the behaviour of those children anyway, whereas in my setting ultimately their parent is responsible and it can be very difficult to 'discipline' a child when their mother is there and you feel she doesn't manage their behaviour effectively!

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So is the solution that those children who are not old enough to be volunteers become temporary 'clients' and are paid for in the usual way?

 

I don't know if Ofsted set maximum ages for Early Years settings. The only issue I can see managers coming up against is that they will have to make it clear that age appropriate activities cannot necessarily be provided and that all play must be suitable for the regular 'customers'.

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