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I am a nursery teacher in a large primary school. Every year my TA and I make home visits to 52 children in the first 2 weeks of September before we start to welcome children in. The benefits of visiting children are extremely valuable but I feel they are at risk of ceasing. This is because as from this April nursery classes I believe, are required to be open for 38 weeks of the year in line with main school. Our head is going to pose this question at the next Headteachers' conference but as yet the nursery teachers I have all spoken to have no idea how we can be open from the beginning of September and make home visits. Any ideas or ways around this please! :oxD

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Hi Sarah, I can see your predicament. I am also in a nursery in a large primary. We take only one week to do our visist but we have more staff and because we are full time, we can do visits in the afternoons when the children first start, they only come in the morning. Im assuming from your staffing that you are 52 FTE and actually take 26 am and 26 pm? Thats a lot of visits.

 

We have no intention of changing our admissions at this moment, we stagger our intake so some chidlren dont start until the end of September and we've not had any complaints about that as yet.

 

Im afraid I dont have any real answers for you except to fight to be able to continue your visits, I find as you do, they are absolutely crucial for the settling in of our chidlren and I would hate to not be able to do them.

 

perhaps one of our other members will have some answers fro you?

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I don't know if Nursery's attached to primary's have the same funding rules as we do in preschool. Yes, we will have to offer 38 weeks but it is still only 2.5 hrs per day for funded children.

 

If like Mundia says you have two groups ie: am & pm then it will be very difficult if not impossible. I do my home visits prior to children starting whatever date in the year, I am fortunately not on ratio though. I also think they are invaluable and should be maintained if at all possible.

 

good luck.

 

Peggy

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Currently I do not do home visits. I see the parents once a week for two hours at the group for one year prior to their children starting with us. I have felt this is sufficient but I am beginning to have some doubts - Ofsted were more than happy with this arrangement last time - I feel that I get to know my parents and their children very well before they start with us, I get to know family circumstances, history, likes, dislikes, parenting styles etc.

What are the extra benefits of home visits and should I do this as extra bearing in mind I see the parents and their children nearly every week for a year.

Nikki

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Hi Nicola

 

I think circumstances vary a lot and we all make decisions we see as best for our children and their circumstances. We lknow that we learn much more about a family situation by visiting them on their ground than we would ever do by them coming to us, even every week. Its personla and individual, we know that our parents tell us things in their home that they wont tell us at school. The chidlren value our visits years later. We have an unusal populatio in that we have a high number of refugess and a lot of families newly arrived from overseas. They find coming into school very daunting, they worry about the safty of their chidlren, they worry that they wont be understood, so going to them breaks a lot of these fears and worries and makes for an all round better relationship. Personaly I would be gutted, and so would our parents, if we were told we couldnt do them ay more.

 

having said all that though, you know your situation better than anyone else, and if OFSTED are happy with what you do, and you are, then dont feel pressured to change it. I wouldnt advise anyone to do home visits if they felt really uncomfortable with the idea and it does take a lot of invetsment of both time and staff to do it. Perhaps you could ask your current parenst how they would have felt about it and see what they say. They may ssay, 'yes I would have liked that' or 'no cant see thepoint, we see you every week'. Then you can show OFSTED if they should ask, that you have considered it but that you are sticking with your current arrnagments and why you are doing so.

 

Does that make sense?

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Thanks very much Mundia for that. In fact I don't think there is one family out of my 50 who we haven't seen in their home environment as we often babysit for them. You are right - perhaps what I might do is to include this in our welcome pack to parents and give them the opportunity of saying whether or not they would like a home visit - most in the past have said that they do not see the point as we see them so often but there will always be some that perhaps would like this - so this will then cover every angle and give parents the choice and then have evidence for Ofsted.

 

We are jsut about to do our annual review of our policies and procedures so its good timing really - I can include this within our Parents as Partners policy - and I expect that some would like this but are not sure about asking. So yes I should do this in addition to the carer toddler sessions.

 

Now all I need from someone is a sort of pro forma of information that parents like sharing - those who are experienced in this area of what information should be shared that is beneficial to both parties - without it being like an interview - so anyone out there who can help???? Please???

Nikki

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We are a Foundation Stage Unit and do not do home visits as it would be very difficult for us to do so. Our LEA policy is to admitt children in the week they are 3 so we have a continual intake throughout the year. It would be nice to have the option but a nightmare to put in practice. Children have a number of pre entry visits with parents staying with them then we opperate a staggered intake 1hr first day gradually increasing to the full session 21/2hrs but this depends greatly on the child.

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  • 3 months later...
Thanks very much Mundia for that.  In fact I don't think there is one family out of my 50 who we haven't seen in their home environment as we often babysit for them.  You are right - perhaps what I might do is to include this in our welcome pack to parents and give them the opportunity of saying whether or not they would like a home visit - most in the past have said that they do not see the point as we see them so often but there will always be some that perhaps would like this - so this will then cover every angle and give parents the choice and then have evidence for Ofsted. 

 

We are jsut about to do our annual review of our policies and procedures so its good timing really - I can include this within our Parents as Partners policy - and I expect that some would like this but are not sure about asking.  So yes I should do this in addition to the carer toddler sessions. 

 

Now all I need from someone is a sort of pro forma of information that parents like sharing - those who are experienced in this area of what information should be shared that is beneficial to both parties - without it being like an interview - so anyone out there who can help???? Please???

Nikki

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Hi there Nikki,

Been looking through the old posts for info on transition & home links. Did you manage to get a pro-forma together of any kind? If you did or found any good web sites could you let me know? :D

Cheers (NQT begining to teach YR in Sept,06) :o

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I also work in a nursery attached to a primary school we have intakes every term and at the moment spend the first week of each term home visiting new children, like most of you I agree home visits really help with the settling in process and with building relationships with the family parents are much more relaxed in their home and chats seem much less formal.

 

It was put to us that we would have to start opening for the full term but must still offer home visits.

 

We are a 52 place nursery and at the moment aren't full so their are 3 members of staff it has been put to us that the way round this is to employ casual staff for the begining of term to cover nursery leaving one of us behind to work with the casual staff and two to go on the visit!!

 

While I thinK it's good for nursery children and parents to have the same number of weeks education as the rest of the school, I do feel this is highly unfair on the staff, the children who return to school (who have unfamilar staff to get used to) and the schools budget (there will be no extra money put forward as far as I know to fund extra staff!!!)

 

Unfortunately I know that experienced trained teachers and nursery nurses wont be used for this cover as they never are in the nursery it will be other staff like dinner ladies who will cover and it will probably be a number of different people during the week.

 

The member of staff left behind will be run off her feet as she will be the only one who knows the children routines and parents.

At the begning of term you need to settle the older children back in again reminding them of rules explaining that their will be new children joining etc how is one person supposed to do this on their own.

 

The members of staff who go out on the visit will then have to return and be with the children and those of you who do home visits know how tiring they are.

 

We work hard in the first week back we are lucky enough to not have to all go on the home visits but take turns so the person remaining back in nursey prepares the nursey for the start of term and gets things ready for the new children we are going to lose this time!

 

Are we now expected to do all of this work in our own time I think this is unfair as I don't get paid to stay after school which leaves the teacher to do it all and she can't possibly do any more than she already does!!!

 

I'm sorry I don't know what the answer is I just feel that more and more is expected of nursery staff and we are not consulted just expected to do it!!!

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You certainly have my sympathy. I worked as a TA in an Early Years Unit to gain experience to get onto the teacher training. I couldn't believe the wages as they do, in my opinion, undermine the 'job'. If it hadn't been for additional financial support, there would have been no way I could afford to live independantly.

I cannot also see how the system in place works for your nursery holisticly. The children attending and distruption to the day must have additional consequences and I would imagine these have to be measured in the gain from home visits. In some cases a new way of looking at the problem, even if not ideal may provide a better alternative and compromise.. such as special afternoon visits to the nursery and time to discuss issues with parents in the setting? Bringing in photo's or special toy etc. to help brake the ice? I think I'm loosing it now

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