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Parents using their mobile phones


radish
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Hi All,

 

Mobile phones are so much part of life these days, how do you manage parents using them / answering them when coming into pre-school to pick up or drop off their children? Has anyone got ideas or info to share?

 

Thanks

radish

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Our setting states that is a mobile phone free zone. All parents are reminded not to use their phones if the are seen doing so. But more than this all professionals visiting are asked to hand in their phones and all staff have to keep their phones in their lockers in the staff room. This is not a problem when working with the children, but it can be when we are having meetings on the premises. Plus I keep my diary in my bag - I often need it in the classroom. My phone is also in my hand bag. I am constantly concerned that I will either leave my diary in the locker and not have it when I need it or leave my phone in my locker and ditto.

Do you think we are over concerned about mobile phone misuse?

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Personally, I suppose if this works for you cjules then fine but it does to me seem a bit over the top.

I don't know what kind of setting you are...

We are full daycare and our mobile phone policy states that staff leave their phones in the staffroom and can only use them in their breaks away from the children etc.

I wouldn't ask visitors to hand their phones in and to be honest, would feel insulted if I was asked to do so and would feel as if I couldn't be trusted to adhere to the policy etc. By explaining your policy on arrival should be enough (vis-a-vis taking photos etc.and safeguarding issue) Our development worker and other LA staff often take calls whilst at the setting and so do parents. Staff are always around and I feel confident that they are able to use their phones without putting children at risk.

Edited by Greenfinch
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Thanks for your thoughts. As staff we lock our phones away and parents are asked not to use them unless in an emergency if they are helping us for a whole session. We were having a staff discussion regarding our mobile phone policy and it was brought up then. I do feel that sometimes we can overthink things and parents are only spending a couple of minutes dropping off or picking up their child.

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No mobile phone policy for us.

Staff put them into a box, situated on a stage as in a village hall in full view of everyone, but within listening ear for emergency calls only.

We share with visitors our no phone rule on arrival, parents, visitors are very respectful of this.

Did have a parent of their third child I add, that took a photo recently of their child and i singing happy birthday to them with wooden cake etc, the child had just started and it was their birthday, but unbeknown to me had placed it on Facebook. I was told of this and had to remind the parent and they removed it.

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What do you feel the need to address?

Are you concerned that they might take a sneaky picture, not participate in the handover properly or something else?

The reason many settings introduced mobile phone policies was Vanessa George's use of one to record the abuse of children in her setting and share it with others. This can't be a particular concern when a parent comes into the setting speaking on one, can it?

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When in the setting I used to be irritated when a parent was stood on the phone and so I ended up getting the child ready to leave and not have an opportunity to discuss the child with the parent and often they were so loud that you could hardly hear yourself speak which is not helpful when trying to do handover to another parent and tell them the highlights of the child's day.

 

It does come down to rudeness a lot of the time....it is rude to try and engage with one person while on the phone to another. :angry:

 

Some people seem to be unable to click the 'decline call' button and then call the caller back at a more convenient time :(

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When in the setting I used to be irritated when a parent was stood on the phone and so I ended up getting the child ready to leave and not have an opportunity to discuss the child with the parent and often they were so loud that you could hardly hear yourself speak which is not helpful when trying to do handover to another parent and tell them the highlights of the child's day.

 

It does come down to rudeness a lot of the time....it is rude to try and engage with one person while on the phone to another. :angry:

 

Some people seem to be unable to click the 'decline call' button and then call the caller back at a more convenient time :(

Couldn't have put it better myself Sue :D :rolleyes: It is, in my humble, rude - no, extremely rude - to carry on a 'phone conversation when your child is leaving pre-school/nursery - wonder how parents would feel if we came to the door with our phones glued to our ears at home time? :ph34r:

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It is very rude isn't it?

However I did find myself trying to manage one daughter calling in tears from school because her taxi was late while trying hand over the other one to her drama teacher recently. I couldn't ask my older one to get off the phone because she was too distressed even though I'm sure I must have appeared very rude.

I'm not sure it's our job to address parents' behaviour in terms of rudeness although I love the idea of standing waiting patiently for them to finish before handing their child over :D

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I entirely agree with you Sue and sunnyday. I think that it is very rude to ignore the person handing over a child to parent.I also feel very sorry for the child is would be nice if all parents could spare the child just a few moments to say "hello what have you been doing today" If a family member meets me outside I wouldn't be very happy if they carried on talking on their phone and ignored me.

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It is very rude isn't it?

 

However I did find myself trying to manage one daughter calling in tears from school because her taxi was late while trying hand over the other one to her drama teacher recently. I couldn't ask my older one to get off the phone because she was too distressed even though I'm sure I must have appeared very rude.

 

 

 

 

Fair enough Upsy - there are times when it's totally unavoidable - I bet that despite having to attend to your distraught daughter on the phone you still managed to at least 'acknowledged' the drama teacher - a smile perhaps...... :1b

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Fair enough Upsy - there are times when it's totally unavoidable - I bet that despite having to attend to your distraught daughter on the phone you still managed to at least 'acknowledged' the drama teacher - a smile perhaps...... :1b

that should have been acknowledge - please ignore the 'd' :blink: :D

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Some of the settings I work with have a mobile free zone as a way of discouraging parents from chatting to others, and encouraging them to pass the time of day with their child. It is often part of a wider attempt to support language development by getting parents to talk to their child, and putting their phone away for a few minutes.

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Yes some settings have a sign up, but explain why to their parents, in some cases because they have done ECAT, or are sharing information from top talking tips, or starting a new project or piece of research, etc. They sometimes do the same thing with dummies. They would then share this information at induction so parents know from the off that this is the expectation.

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Yes some settings have a sign up, but explain why to their parents, in some cases because they have done ECAT, or are sharing information from top talking tips, or starting a new project or piece of research, etc. They sometimes do the same thing with dummies. They would then share this information at induction so parents know from the off that this is the expectation.

If I give them my very best (Paddington Bear style) hard stare - that works as well as any sign! ;)xD

Sorry - couldn't resist :rolleyes:

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Thanks for your thoughts. As staff we lock our phones away and parents are asked not to use them unless in an emergency if they are helping us for a whole session. We were having a staff discussion regarding our mobile phone policy and it was brought up then. I do feel that sometimes we can overthink things and parents are only spending a couple of minutes dropping off or picking up their child.

I haven't come across any of our parents talking on the phone at pick up time - but I do have to agree with some previous posts that I would find it very disconcerting and would probably ignore that parent until they had finished their call and were ready to receive their child and any feedback we had to offer that morning.

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I am really struggling to understand how Ofsted can justify this.

 

 

i guess it would depend on your policy...if you were operating against your own policy then this might be an issue! also our reception is not the same room as the children's so using a phone in there would not be a safeguarding issue.I do think 'ofsted' stories are sometimes a bit exaggerated!

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We once had a 'near miss' in the early days of mobiles. Moons ago now it seems! Parent was 'showing off' I guess, that she had one and standing by the gate chatting to someone at pick up time. A member of staff let the child go to her, and Mum opened the gate, so phone in one hand, gate in the other and child ran straight out and onto the road. Luckily nothing was coming, but it gave us all a huge shock - including Mum!!!

We now just stand and wait with children until they finish on the phone, no matter how much they wave 'come on' with their free hand - we just look the other way and hang onto the child's hand! Then in a loud voice 'Mummy's finished on the phone now, off you go'

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