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How many key children do you have?


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Hi all

I know this has been asked before so apologies, we are a Day Nursery where many children just access funded sessions at different times during the week. Staff are part time but recently had some staff turnover which meant 2 of my main staff could have quite a lot more contact hours which they both wanted.This has meant, more key children too. We do share observations etc, and have a second person for each child too,I am talking mainly about collation,responsibility of record keeping etc and tracking....

Want to support staff in completing records/updating etc but wondering what others do. They have around 14 children each.

Do you give/get time for record keeping or are you mainly 'on the carpet 'as it were and expected to keep records up to date as well in own time/session time?Thank you.

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My two staff members who do 8 or 9 sessions (so nearly full time) have 14 key children each. The other staff members have about 5-6 usually. For the first time in over 3 years I now only have 1 and can actually attempt to be a manager and support staff in doing their records. I like to have 1 or 2 so that I can keep my hand in and know what I am talking about when asking things of others, and I have been using my 1 or 2 to 'train' up other members of staff. Staff get paid 3 hours per key child per half term at a lower rate of pay to stick in photo's/observation stickers and to complete assessments 3 times a year. They usually do this in their own time

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Staff in our Pre-school Room have about 12 key children now and about 14 each by the summer term. This is because of lots of part time children (we are a day nursery). All staff have two hours per week non contact time for record keeping but this can sometimes be VERY difficult to stick to! :1b

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I have none!! Haven't done for the last 4/5 years now as it was just becoming impossible for me to manage.

However as we are increasing sessions after Xmas I know I am going to have to take on 1 possibly 2 but we wil also be employing a new member of staff so will use these 2 children I have to 'mentor' our new staff.

Most of our children do everyday so my staff are quite lucky in that they only have 5/6 children each. They get 1 hour per month and we allocate the last 45 mins each day on a rota basis so each staff member gets time twice in a 3 week cycle non contact. Of course this is providing no one has wet themselves, had an accident and all the other usual things that stop us!!

However they moan sometimes about having six & lack of time maybe I should show them this thread.

How do you cope with everything for 14 children?

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I am in a day nursery. I work in the preschool room I have 2 other staff, one is doing her level 3 so is new to all paperwork etc and has problems with spellings etc. I have given her our 5 younger children so that she can get used to record keeping etc. myself and the other qualified have 9 children each with NO allowance for non-contact time at all. last year we had 12 children each. It is the hardest part of the job now keeping up-to-date with record keeping.

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Oh my goodness and we thought we were hard done by! Myself and my deputy share a key group of 12, we also have 3 other full time members of staff who have key groups of 12. By the summer Term it will go up to 14ish it has been as high as 16!

 

Staff are paid 2 hrs extra per week to update paperwork.

 

Debster

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have 10 key children at present, as well as managing the nursery and completing a degree, my boss has none and the other staff can vary from 3-9 depending on which children form an attachment to them. I try to give my colleagues 1 hr a week but this can be very difficult. I couldn't imagine having 14!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I work in a pre-school, we have 5 members of staff per session, all are part time.Our rota allocates 2 staff on outdoor play and 2 on indoor play, the 5th member of staff has an observation session. Each member of staff has at least one observation session per week.This allows time for planned observations to be done, written up and next steps planned. An average of 2 planned observations are done per session and creative work/photographs are added to their books at this time also. Staff have between 8 and 12 key children. Incidental observations are written on post-it-notes or stickers and added to the child's book as and when, they are very short and less time consuming.

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I am a nursery teacher (maintained nursery) and have a nursery nurse and a teaching assistant. Currently I have 34 children on roll (this changes regularly as new children arrive, so key children will increase); I have 12 key children and both my NN and TA have 11. I do wonder though, whether I should have more key children as I work full time (but have weekly PPA and management time), whereas the nursery staff work mornings only.

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Devonmaid - do your NN and TA get any paid time to update records etc? I had 12 key children up to Christmas (morning sessions only) but will have more (20+ I think) with 2 sessions next week. I do their observations etc but the Nursery teacher updates the grids etc as she gets PPA and I don't!!

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Devonmaid - do your NN and TA get any paid time to update records etc? I had 12 key children up to Christmas (morning sessions only) but will have more (20+ I think) with 2 sessions next week. I do their observations etc but the Nursery teacher updates the grids etc as she gets PPA and I don't!!

I organise the week so that each member of staff has a free morning to do whatever is needed - that could be to update LJs, do targeted observations or spend time with targeted key children - the time is our own to choose what we need to do. I have a timetable which is colour coded so my 'observation' morning may be e.g. Monday - the following week it will be someone else's observation morning. However, that said, it is not for the whole morning; the children arrive at 8.45 a.m., have 5-10 mins settling-in time (free play) then I do the register. After that we go right into Letters and Sounds (splitting into 3 groups) which is finished by 9.20 a.m. so the key person has from then until about 11.10 a.m. to do her obs or whatever she has planned to do.

We do not take time out on Wednesdays or Fridays due to other timetabled commitments. This seems to work for us (as well as can be expected!) - I still have issues with time and staffing workloads because there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything we need - and what about toileting accidents or first aid needs?! We just do our best within the time we have.

 

The staff do not get paid extra for updating LJs - they are expected to do everything needed within their paid time (not my decision I hasten to add - the Head refuses to pay additional hours; he says that no TA is ever expected to take home work outside of school - he has little understanding of Early Years needs!). So, the staff do as much as they can at school, but I know that they take work home. Reports are also done at home :().

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Thank you for your reply! I think our problem is that there are only ever 2 of us. I am a HLTA and EYPS so cover PPA for the teacher with another TA, but it means there is no opportunity for me to have any 'time out' to keep up to date. The teacher seems to like to update the records so she keeps on top of where all of the chidren are, but as we are likely to hit our max of 52 at easter I'm not sure how that will work. I often do the sticking into LJs and would happily bring that home if necessary. I don't think anyone in a school not working in EYs has any understanding of what we do at all!!

Letters and Sounds is our next major issue to address as there is pressure to push on. We were doing phase 1 anyway, but some of the children who start next week won't go to school until Sept 2014 so we need to do more splitting into groups and pitching accordingly, which looks like fun!!

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Thank you for your reply! I think our problem is that there are only ever 2 of us. I am a HLTA and EYPS so cover PPA for the teacher with another TA, but it means there is no opportunity for me to have any 'time out' to keep up to date. The teacher seems to like to update the records so she keeps on top of where all of the chidren are, but as we are likely to hit our max of 52 at easter I'm not sure how that will work. I often do the sticking into LJs and would happily bring that home if necessary. I don't think anyone in a school not working in EYs has any understanding of what we do at all!!

Letters and Sounds is our next major issue to address as there is pressure to push on. We were doing phase 1 anyway, but some of the children who start next week won't go to school until Sept 2014 so we need to do more splitting into groups and pitching accordingly, which looks like fun!!

Well, good luck Madmum! I guess I am lucky in that my Head allows me a TA, though this happened as we went over 26 per session a few years ago and I think he probably forgot that when the numbers reduced in the autumn term!

Could you call upon regular students to help out?

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