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Totally Overwhelmed!


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Help me please someone! I'm very new to this, just started up as a childminder and very confused when it comes to observations, learning journals and documention... :(


What am I observing? (god I sound stupid!) :( How do I record it? What documentation is Ofsted looking for? :o


Any advice welcome and sorry for this post! It's all so overwhelming what with all the paperwork and trying to set up and knowing what Ofsted want to see when they come look round.


Thank you in advance xD


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I am not a childminder but I have just seen your post. I'm sure some of our experienced childminders on here will be around later to give you some help and ideas. There is nothing Forum members like better than supporting others with ideas and suggestions.

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Have you got a copy of the EYFS guidance? You could start your observations by just looking at one or two areas of learning (I'd suggest personal, social and emotional development and maybe physical development). You could read down the development matters column to see the kinds of things that babies and children of different ages are likely to demonstrate. Then have a glance down the look, listen and note column. This will give you some ideas of what you are looking for.


Then: choose either a file or scrapbook-type thing for each child you are caring for and start to make some notes about what you see and hear the child doing, what they like/dislike, how they go about choosing activities, how they show an interest, how they cope with new activities and experiences. If you can, do take some photos of the children at play and stick in some of their work. When you've built up some observations you can start to match them up with the age bands of the development matters columns and begin to identify next steps for each child. Simples, as they say!

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I felt the same when I first started out, but there's nothing to be worried about. It's a breeze when you know how.


I used to have a little scrap book for each child in my care under 5 yrs old.

I wrote down the activity that we did and I took a photo of the child doing the activity.

Under the photo I wrote whether the child enjoyed the activity and something I had observed the individual child doing.

I used the little areas of learning and development dot stickers that you can get from the NCMA website to sign post which areas of learning and development the activity met. I then looked at the EYFS guidance and chose a next step that applied to one of those areas and was most appropriate to the individual child.

Ofsted was very impressed with it. I was inspected as Good.


Are there any intro to EYFS study days in your area? It sounds like you could do with a bit of support from your development worker.

Good luck.


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