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Poor Attendance


thumperrabbit
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What strategies do you use when a child has poor attendance?

We have no safeguarding concerns, just that some mums prefer to have a morning off to do something with their children rather than them coming to us (how lovely!)

I'm just a little concerned that this seems to be an Ofsed focus these days; and I know a lot of our mums choose to stay with us rather than go to school nursery because they still want to have this freedom.

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Tricky one - but as preschool/nursery isn't compulsory I would log every call detailing why child is off just to show that you are aware and questioning. Having been through 2 inspections between sept and Christmas at different settings attendance was not questioned, purely the number of children in role. Accident records and injuries outstanding the setting were checked but absence not mentioned.

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I would have thought the only people concerned about absences would be the LA if and when they do an audit. Keep a record of what is happening. I have a little one who I am not concerned about but does go absent fairly regularly - mum picks up odd work as a beauty therapist and granny look after the little one, but the jobs are not on set days and times so it's hard for her.

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I would have thought the only people concerned about absences would be the LA if and when they do an audit. Keep a record of what is happening. I have a little one who I am not concerned about but does go absent fairly regularly - mum picks up odd work as a beauty therapist and granny look after the little one, but the jobs are not on set days and times so it's hard for her.

Yes this is a similiar senario to one of mine.

What made me ask the question was after reading an Ofsted report today where it was mentioned about the setting working with parents to ensure good attendance.

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Yes this is a similiar senario to one of mine.

What made me ask the question was after reading an Ofsted report today where it was mentioned about the setting working with parents to ensure good attendance.

Do you know the setting? Wonder if this was checked because of the amount of vulnerable 2 year olds maybe. Mrs. O. didn't even ask to see our register back in the summer. Could be that the setting flagged it up as a positive step they do and inspector thought they would write it in.

 

Keep an eye on the absences - be ready to answer any questions with firm reasons.

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This was discussed at our resent inspection.

Mrs O was very down-to-earth and said 'as long as you know your children, you know why they are off and have no safeguarding issues'. She took this opportunity to talk about Prevent and FGM, but wasn't overly concerned about a particular child we have trouble with her attendance saying we could only do our best.

 

Fortunately our LA [touchwood] are not really hot on this......at the moment anyway. When I read some posts on here about having to submit actual attendance hours I do think we are very lucky.

 

If we had to do that we'd be doomed! We are near an airport, have quite a few parents from Eastern Europe, and we often have mums/dads coming in at home time saying they've just got a last minute cheap ticket so are off to visit grandparents for a week or two so wont be in tomorrow :o :lol:

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Do you know the setting? Wonder if this was checked because of the amount of vulnerable 2 year olds maybe. Mrs. O. didn't even ask to see our register back in the summer. Could be that the setting flagged it up as a positive step they do and inspector thought they would write it in.

 

Keep an eye on the absences - be ready to answer any questions with firm reasons.

No I don't know the setting but yes it could've been a vunerable 2yr old, didn't think of that.

 

On page 41 of the EY Inspection handbook point 160 - it does seem to be looking at vunerable children.

Thanks all for your thoughts

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OFSTED asked us how we 'manage' child absences, and when would we be concerned etc

Also if in receipt of funding , we have to inform the funding dept of any repeated absence - and It can affect if they receive their full funding

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I had a concern this week when I noted that one of the children who attends my setting (and is funded 3 year old) had been absent for 2 weeks consecutively without a phone call or e-mail.

When I brought it to the rest of the teams attention, they said this was usual for the child to not come in for periods of time. As I am new to the setting I was not aware of this, however past practice has taught me that if the child does not show for their session then I would send out a courtesy e-mail or phone call to 'check in' with the family incase there were any difficulties or illness.

However, when I attempted to contact this child's family, non of the contact details, four mobile numbers, house phone numbers and e-mails were answered. I don't know where else to go now, but pray that the child returns to the setting Monday. But if she doesn't, then what options do I have? Any advise would be great, as I would ask Manager, but she hasn't had this happen before and due to cuts in the local authority, our named early years advisor doesn't work on Mondays...

 

Appreciate any suggestions

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I had a concern this week when I noted that one of the children who attends my setting (and is funded 3 year old) had been absent for 2 weeks consecutively without a phone call or e-mail.

When I brought it to the rest of the teams attention, they said this was usual for the child to not come in for periods of time. As I am new to the setting I was not aware of this, however past practice has taught me that if the child does not show for their session then I would send out a courtesy e-mail or phone call to 'check in' with the family incase there were any difficulties or illness.

However, when I attempted to contact this child's family, non of the contact details, four mobile numbers, house phone numbers and e-mails were answered. I don't know where else to go now, but pray that the child returns to the setting Monday. But if she doesn't, then what options do I have? Any advise would be great, as I would ask Manager, but she hasn't had this happen before and due to cuts in the local authority, our named early years advisor doesn't work on Mondays...

 

Appreciate any suggestions

If the team say this is usual were they able to give a satisfactory reason why? If not I would have a chat with your LA LADO no harm in seeking advice

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Maybe try the local health visitor? We are lucky we have a good relationship with our local team. They may have more information - might not share it though. Does the child have older siblings in school - are they attending? Whats in your policies? You could ring for consultation with children's services safeguarding team.

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I had a concern this week when I noted that one of the children who attends my setting (and is funded 3 year old) had been absent for 2 weeks consecutively without a phone call or e-mail.

When I brought it to the rest of the teams attention, they said this was usual for the child to not come in for periods of time. As I am new to the setting I was not aware of this, however past practice has taught me that if the child does not show for their session then I would send out a courtesy e-mail or phone call to 'check in' with the family incase there were any difficulties or illness.

However, when I attempted to contact this child's family, non of the contact details, four mobile numbers, house phone numbers and e-mails were answered. I don't know where else to go now, but pray that the child returns to the setting Monday. But if she doesn't, then what options do I have? Any advise would be great, as I would ask Manager, but she hasn't had this happen before and due to cuts in the local authority, our named early years advisor doesn't work on Mondays...

 

Appreciate any suggestions

We have had something similar...we were advised to contact the police and report them as a missing person...interestingly once I emailed this to the parents they made contact!!!!!

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In my school nursery attendance was monitored just like any other child and children were expected to be there every day - regardless of it being non statutory. We would do first day absence contact just like we would for a school age child and only authorise absences if we thought they were valid! That was our strategy!! in school when a child starts reception it can be a shock to some parents that it is the school that authorises an absence, as per law, not the parent!!

 

As tax payers fund the (therefore actually not) free education of 2, 3 and 4 yr olds, maybe chidren should have to attend regularly as part of that "social contract". Irregular attendance uses up a space another child could use maybe....discuss!!

Cx

Edited by catma
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In my school nursery attendance was monitored just liikke any other child and children were expected to be there every day - regardless of it being non statutory. We would do first day absence contact just like we would for a school age child and only authorise absences if we thought they were valid! That was our strategy!! in school when a child strate reception it can be a shock to some parents that it is the school that authorises an absence, as per law, not the parent!!

 

As tax payers fund the (therefore actually not) free education of 2, 3 and 4 yr olds, maybe chidren should have to attend regularly as part of that "social contract". Irregular attendance uses up a space another child could use maybe....discuss!!

Cx

Actually I agree with you Catma; we want to be treated the same as maintained settings so therefore we should follow the same rules, but it's one of the main reasons our parents don't go to school nursery so that they can have the freedom - it does impact on the child's learning though and I make sure I point out poor attendance when I send journals to Reception class.

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I had a concern this week when I noted that one of the children who attends my setting (and is funded 3 year old) had been absent for 2 weeks consecutively without a phone call or e-mail.

When I brought it to the rest of the teams attention, they said this was usual for the child to not come in for periods of time. As I am new to the setting I was not aware of this, however past practice has taught me that if the child does not show for their session then I would send out a courtesy e-mail or phone call to 'check in' with the family incase there were any difficulties or illness.

However, when I attempted to contact this child's family, non of the contact details, four mobile numbers, house phone numbers and e-mails were answered. I don't know where else to go now, but pray that the child returns to the setting Monday. But if she doesn't, then what options do I have? Any advise would be great, as I would ask Manager, but she hasn't had this happen before and due to cuts in the local authority, our named early years advisor doesn't work on Mondays...

 

Appreciate any suggestions

I have had this same situation, the family are very hit and miss with attendance for their 2 children. recently they didn't attend for the week with no phone call and both mobiles were not working and no answer from the home phone, i wasn't overly concerned as this has happened a few times but when they still didn't turn up the next week, i wrote a letter asking them to get in touch and decided to hand post it, but instead i just knocked on the door hoping they were in and at least i had the letter in case they weren't. Luckily they were in and they are now back to attending each session again. Sometimes they just need a kick up the rear!

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I would document that you have tried to contact them and put it in the register as an unexplained absence. Each day it happens try their numbers and document it then if you get audited by the funding department you can show that you have tried all reasonable efforts to get in touch. I would also send out a letter to all parents stating that they have to let you know either in advance or on the day of each absence and how it could affect their right to a funded place.

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Many thanks for all your wise words and sharing examples of your practice.

 

We have decided to implement an on the day of absence communication, sending an email to all parents to remind them that they must let us know as it effects daly routines if a child is not in and additionally their right to a funded place.

 

In regards to my original concern, the parent has answered her phone to us once over the last three to inform us that her child has accepted a place at a state school. She has yet to confirm whether the child will be returning to us as she has not answered her phone since then.

This now leads to two other issues...she has not given her 1 month notice and also we're receiving her 15 hours funding entitlement.

 

We have policies in place to deal with these concerns and have our LA coming in on Wednesday so will run things by her.

 

Thanks again everyone

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