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hi bridger (pre-school not school) we only do home visits if we feel the parents or children woud benefit...so some of my sen children or those who may find settling difficult. I cannot afford to support 2 staff going to all 50 childrens houses and having spoken to many parents, they do not usually want or enjoy them. They often feel they are being judged or checked up on and i'm not sure that they are worth the money as young children do not always transfer information from one area of their lives to another...only my opinion of course.

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We offer home visits to all our new families. And these take place just before they start, sometimes in the holidays or in the first week of term. We know most of the families who join pre-school so only one staff member goes in most cases.... which makes it easier.

 

We take along their new book bag if they haven't already got one, and talk to parents about our induction form, how our general policies work, what they are expecting and any worries they might have.

 

It's a brilliant way to get to know the familiy, and the child, what they enjoy and I think that if it is done near enough to their start time (ie. don't go in June if they are started in September!) then they do remember when you went to their house - only my opinion of course - we had one little boy who settled really well and kepy asking his Key Person when she was coming to play again, so she went for 3 or 4 home visits!

 

They have proved very useful, for example one little boy spent the whole time outside (well worth noting) while during another visit the mother spent the whole time trying to get her son to show off his counting and letter recognition skills - another thing worth noting!

 

Of course it's much easier when there is only 8 or 9 visits to do and not 30!!

 

Give them a try and judge for yourself whether they are beneficial. We had a member of staff who was quite reluctant and just thought of them as another chore.... until she went to one family and had such a great insight into them, formed a relationship with the mum just by chatting over a cup of tea and not having that 'power' thing, and no there is no stopping her!! She actively encourages parents to take up the offer now.

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Thanks Finleysmaid :1b we are pre-school too. Can i ask did you do a questionaire with parents to find out whether they felt they would be useful or some other means.

I am working on an engaging with parents training, delivered by Pen Green and am interested in what others do, whether it has been successful or not.

We also have approximately 40/50 newbies for September and needing to think about the logistics of doing this against the positivities this may bring.

If only there were more hours in a day. ;)

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Thank you mps09 :1b

I know from my experience in the past with some families that have joined us a home visit in an informal way may have been really useful, but for others they may have seen it as an intrusion into their homes.

I presently sit with the parents/cares at their induction visits which take place the half-term before they join us, this does currently work well, although sometimes they don't tell us things until their child has started.[ I'm not sure even a home visit would change this].

My idea is to go along with maybe a book to share, their forms to fill in and a short time for a general chat, play,picking up on a child's likes, disikes.

I would love to get across that as they are their child's main carers/educators,the huge importance of us all working together. :1b

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Hi Bridger.

I know we have discussed home visit before, I'm not that familiar with the search facility yet, but you might like to try it out.

 

Im a huge fan of home visits, and I would absolutely say they are well worth the investment of time and energy, because in my experience children settle better, Its a great start to the partnership with parents, and children really do remember it years later.

 

I was school based, and we were able to start nursery a few days later than the rest of the school, and only have children in the mornings initially. This left us with plenty of time to carry out the visits. With 4 staff, we went out in two pairs and could cover 8 in a day or 2-3 in the afternoons.

We had a strict home visiting policy, that covered our own safety as well as what they were for and what we did on them.

 

I did home visits for 6 years in my last school, they were very much part of the school culture, and in that time I only ever had one who didn't want us to visit. Children remember the visits year later.

 

I work with one setting who just started them last year and have also found it makes a huge difference to how well they settle and the relationships. Parents often reveal things that they wont in the nursery environment.

 

Good luck with your decisions, do think carefully about it, it isn't a decision to take lightly, but in my opinion, worth every bit of effort.

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Thanks Mundia, that's my other query if we delayed our newbies starting on our return and did them then and they are funded how would that work as we are a pre-school. I really do want to do them as I can see so many opportunities to start our partnership with parents. Its just how is my quandary.

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Bridger this is from conversations with our parents and trustees both new and old (and those who have been through a 'visit' from school) we also have a large quantity of parents who work, so they would have to take a day off work. We worked out that if we did 50 visits for 2 of us plus travelling time you are probably talking £1000 easily. I felt this could be put to a better use. We couldn't take time off when term starts as we have funded children who we are required to provide care for for the 38 weeks and if we take time off this we get penalised. Home visits have been helpful for some of our sen children but some children with a diagnosis of asd may find it difficult to accept you at home and in another setting (we have a chap at the moment who's brother is like this!!)....it's always a balancing act isn't it :rolleyes:

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Guest babyjane31

we are a pre-school and do home visits for all our new children, as we have children starting all through the year it isn't such a huge problem for us although we generally have about 30 new starters each september.

 

The visits take place during our non contact time which we luckily enough we have 3 hours of every friday afternoon. Myself as manager and the child's key person go along to the visits, I take along all the regsitration paperwork and fill it in with the parents which often means I am able to ask extra questions and gets lots of extra information that i wouldn't have got had they completed the form, the key person takes along an all about pre-school bag with a photo albums and a selection of toys to play with and spends the time getting to know the child. At the visit we will also take a photo of the child which will then be displayed on our pre-school family display and if they have chosen to do a drawing, we always take paper and, we ensure that is displayed ready for when they start to.

 

We have been doing these visits for 3 years now and find them extrememly beneficial I can honestly say we have not had settling isssues with a single child since we started them and that must be more than just luck, the children often talk about our visit to their home right up to the point they leave us so it obviously impacts on them. Never had a parent qusetion why we were going or seem to mind, we make it very clear why we are going and the benefits to the child and it really helps us strike up a partnership with parents from the off.

 

Can you tell I'm a real fan of home visits!!

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Um, very interesting everyone. I did home visits many years ago and always found them very useful.

 

In my current private nursery have always said it wasn`t practical, mainly for money reasons. However recently have re-thought this and am seriously considering putting them in place so this discussion has been very helpful.

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