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Information You Give To Parents


wellerkaren
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WE ARE CURRANTLY LOOKING AT GIVING THE PARENTS IN OUR SETTING INFORMTION ON THERE CILDSDAY IN A MORE FORMAL WAY. WE CURRANTLY TELL THE PARENT WHAT THE CHILD HAS DONE THAT DAY. WE ARENOW HAVING MORE AND MORE GRANPARENTS, NANNIES AND CHILDMINDERS PICKING UP THE CHILDREN. HOW DO YOU GIVE INFORMATION TO YOUR PARENTS? IF YOU SEND INFORMATION HOME WITH THE PARENTS COULD YOU PLEASE BE NICE ENOUGH TO SEND IT TO ME THANK YOU IN ADVANCE

KAREN

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Hi Karen.

 

Over the holidays, I have been making daily contact books for the children, as a means of communication between home and the setting. These are going to be filled in daily by the children's key workers and then sent home, hopefully with a comment from the parents/carers as to how the child was at home. The only thing I'm concerned about though is whether the parents will take the time to fill in the books or even remember to bring them to pre-school with them the next time their child is due in!

 

I'm particularly keen for parents to fill in brief details of what their child has been doing over the weekend, as this may help us plan for their interests and also give them a topic to discuss with others during circle time.

 

I got the books from Staples as they were 5 for a pound (Special Offer! Bargain!! Stays within the budget!), I then made name labels for them and covered them (quite unsuccessfully) in stickly backed plastic.

 

We don't have to give details of what the children have eaten during the day as they bring their own lunch and we send home whatever has been left. They're just really a quick guide to what their child has been doing throughout the day.

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How manageable do you think that is going to be Clare? How many children do you have each day?

We have 32 children each session, with 53 on the register altogether. I don't know if we would find the time to fill in a daily book for each child. Will you give your staff non contact time to do this? And what sort of things do you think you will be putting in there?

I know a lot of settings do this, especailly day nurseries. I am just curious to know how it works.

Linda

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Hi,

 

The setting that i'm working at use daily diary books for all the children. In Pre-school there are between 8 and 16 children each session and 22 on the register.

We fill in what the children have been doing and what they have eatten as they have nursery cooked food.

 

I find the books really frustrating, as they take a long time to fill in, we usually complet them suring the children's meal and t.v. times, so it is time where you are not interacting with the children and parents do not complete, remember the books or have commented that they do not read them :o:(xD

 

I'm trying to get the manager to get rid of the pre-school ones as all the planning is outside the pre-school room and we usually have regular parents/carers collecting the children.

 

Good luck in your settings.

 

Lu

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I'm not sure to be honest Linda. I am hoping that with the amount of staff we currently have, it should be quite manageable! I am hoping to give staff non-contact time to fill them in, but obviously this will depend on the ratios etc. My manager is convinced they will be successful and after the fun I've had with the sticky backed plastic, they had better be! xD

 

I think the intention is to give brief details to parents of activities the children have been taking part in throughout the day. We are only open mornings, so it's not as if we have to record information across a whole day (luckily!). It's also going to be used for messages between home and setting, significant achievements at home or at pre-school, that kind of thing.

 

This is as a result of our registration inspection. One of the points raised was that there was not enough information sharing between us and the parents, so even if this isn't successful, at least we can show Ofsted that we have made attempts to try other ways of sharing information. We are also going to have 'meet and greet' sessions in the morning where basically I am going to float around in the foyer and be available for parents to talk to if they wish.

 

I also think, they will encourage some of our less enthusiastic students with their practice in report writing! :o

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Just so you know, I write in my class' home school books every day, usually about 3 or 4 short sentences. It takes me about 30 minutes to do! I only have 8 children in my class (special needs children- severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties).

It's very time consuming and most days I wonder why I'm doing it as I get very little response from most of the parents, but if I stop writing then I get the messages saying why haven't there been any messages!!!

What I used to do when I was in Reception/Year 1 in mainstream was write a little note on my computer for each week, talking about what activities we had planned for the week and I'd photo copy that and put that in the kids folders. They had reading record books so if there was anything important I needed to write or something specific I wanted to mention to a specific parent I would do this. Perhaps that is more feasible?

Just a thought.

 

Nich

xx

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With 80 children (and we see most parents at some point in the day )we only contact the parents if we have concerns or the child has done something special that day. I bought some pre printed letters from Thepadagogs.co.uk (someone on here recommended) its a matter of filling in details and the parents and children love them.

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Guest MaryEMac

We started using comment books in our playgroup last year and they are moderately successful. They almost always come back for every session and we have asked the parents to initial our comments so that we at least know that they have looked at them. We also have several grandparents collecting the children so we find that it helps communication. We have a maximum of 20 children in one session but we don't always write in every book. After we sent home 'Mother's day' cards and gifts, it was nice to get a reply from one of the mums thanking us for our thoughtfulness. We do put in if the child has had a few problems (but always finish with a positive comment). Unfortunately this did cause problems when one family was going through a custody battle and the father noted when his child had had a bad day and linked it to when she had been with mum, conveniently ignoring the fact that she had had the same problems after being with him. We will continue to use them as they are a good home/playgroup link :)

Mary

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Having spent many nights over the holidays covering the children's daily contact books, I was really fed up yesterday by some of the comments parents had been making, not realising I was standing behind them.

 

About four parents (really cliquey group) were having a browse through their children's books having a right old laugh at the comments that had been written in them. They were along the lines of ............... has been busy exploring the .............. today etc.

 

One of the parents was muttering to her friend 'as if we're gonna read any of this !@"%'. To be honest I was totally fed up about it, and just thought the parent was being quite ungrateful! I felt like mentioning to her that just because she wasn't interested, didn't mean to say that others wouldn't be either! :o She folded the book and stuffed it into a carrier bag, which she then left on the floor in a corner of the foyer. xD

 

I tried to keep my temper (it was one of those days) and explained to her that they were for letting parents know how their child was on a day-to-day basis, what they had spent their time doing etc and that it was for parents to write down any messages or comments they had whilst the child was at home. She shrugged her shoulders, shook her head and walked off, leaving me standing there!

 

On the other hand, though had some good responses from parents. Some were quite pleased with the books and today when they came back, some even had comments written in! I intend to perservere with them though.

 

Even the staff found them easy to use and were happy to fill them in for their key group!

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We use home/diary books and have done so since Septmeber. Some parents like them and others often forget them. We have 20 children a session but currently only fill them out for our new children i.e 2 year olds, once they are three we phase them out and this suits the parents. They are very timeconsuming as some staff like to write an essay in them. They have been very useful when settling in the younger children and Ofsted liked them on a recent visit. Like the idea of covering them with sticky plastic - might try that one. Very useful for evidence for my OU course as one parent frequently wrote notes in it for me.

 

Sue

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how often are staff writing in take home books? every day? week? as and when?

as a preschool in a community hall with all the putting away towards the end of the sessions I cannt see us ever managing to find the time to fill in daily or even weekly informtion for children to take home to parents. we write a mini report every term which most of the parents are happy with it just outlines what children do during sessions their prefered activities stengths and weaknesses and next steps.

 

our main way of letting parents know what has happened during the session is one of 4 possibles:

the child goes home wearing a sticker = good session

accident book needs signing = anything could have happened!

incident book needs signing = bad session

no stickers or books to sign = good/average session

 

we do find the time to chat at the start and end of sessions if any parents have questions or we need to address any issues.

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  • 3 weeks later...

we don't have take home books or anything like that.

 

we do have an information board where details of the daily activities are placed up, in visual format, ie a picture of a child painting, playing in the cars etc....

we then write what our story was / song was and group activity was.

(our daily menu is placed in the entrance all for all parents of the nursery to see)

 

we also have a monthly newsletter which tells parents of what were learning about and what skills we hope the children to develop, as well as home/nursery links. (will post it here)

the newsletter goes home with each child but is also displayed on the information board as well.

 

this method works for us because then we only have to write out one set of information and place it on the board, once parents are directed to it (its above the children's pegs) they generally keep remembering to look at it, and its had positive feedback.

 

Dawn

 

During_the_month_of_May_the_pre.doc

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  • 5 weeks later...

hi,

we have just received feedback from a questionnaire we sent out before half term.

 

one of the main things from it was information to parents.

 

we have home diary, but these are written in when something fantastic happens, like first time on potty, new starters and how they settle etc.

 

1) parents want them written in daily, and we dont have the time for that 2) when i let out (call in anyone to sign accident book etc) i dont tend to tell the parents what the children have done, because the size of the waiting area, many parents wait outside and come in when a bit clearer.

 

i do put a white board out (when i get time) saying what we have been doing. i often tell parents in general odd bits as i call their child out.

 

the children go at 12, and we have to pack everything away and be out by 12.30. if i stand talking to parents during this time, i would be of no help to clear away.

 

can anyone advise on other ways we could feedback to parents on a daily basis.

 

must admit, i dont feel comfotable takling to some of the parents, especially committee memeber parents as they are funny towards me.

 

but once again, the old favortite has emergrd from the questionnaire - yes, "fluffy duck syndrome" they want more craft, (i have craft out every day), but they want a set activity all done the same way.

now i have to put across the results of the questionnaire in a positive way!

 

but apart from that, any ideas on more feedback to parents.

thanks

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Ruthie,

 

Have you been looking at our questionaire results??? xD The communicating with parents came up for us too, with some kindly person suggesting the home diaries which is not a route I am willing to go down. We have achievement records for the children which the parents are free to look at (but don't generally) and write other things up on a whiteboard too. We also try to make a point of catching a few parents to tell them of something significant that might've happened. But as you say, when everything needs to be cleared away then it leaves very little time for these niceties. In your case, you obviously have to stick to a very strict time schedule. Working with parents has to be a two way partnership and part of that to my mind is that they should also be more understanding about all the things they are asking us to do. As far as I can see, you are doing everything you possibly can. :)

 

As for the arts and crafts ....................... :o

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beau,

 

are you sure your not one of my staff??

 

it sounds like we both have exactly the same problems and are both doing our best to overcome them.

i agree when you say that parent partnership has to work both ways, it just seems like their is no consideration towards the staff at all.

 

im leaving the setting at the end of the term so i shouldnt really care (as my husband keeps reminding me) but i do still care and want things to work well while i am still there.

 

but their we go, you can never please everyone, just wish the ones who are pleased would sometimes let you know it as well.

we did have one of the questionnaires came back which was fantastic to read, positive and full of praise for all we had done to support the child and family, it was great.

 

but we will all carry on regardless!!!!

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We've just started using the Keyworker books on a daily basis. The 0 - 2's have things written in them such as nappies, bottles and snacks. They are then useful to put little notes in where necessary, e.g. 'Please can you bring in suncream and a hat', etc.

The staff also put photos in from time to time.

 

The parents have started to put comments and photos in too, which is nice.

 

The 3 - 5's books arn't used daily, only when neccessary.

 

At the moment they are quite a novelty for the staff, especially as we're not up to maximum numbers in some rooms!!

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My children's school send home an A4 newsletter every friday briefly saying what their class have been doing that week. It's a really good talking point with the children without being overloaded with information. I am thinking about doing this at pre-school but on a termly basis, or maybe every couple of weeks, explaining to the parents what area of the curriculum we plan to cover that term and why. I am hoping by doing this they will understand the learning benefits from all activities on offer and not think if they haven't made some elaborate craft model then they haven't done anything.

 

This will also be a good way to ask parents to bring in from home anything we might need in advance.

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We use 'Daily Report' sheets in our nursery.

 

I devised a simple sheet for each age range, which comprises of tick boxes to show what activities each child took part in, space to record what and how much they ate each mealtime, for the younger children what times they had their nappy changed and whether they soiled or were wet, how much milk they had and at what times. For the 2-3's who are toilet training, workers must record what times they used the potty.

There's also space for the key worker to write a comment about the child's day. The parents are asked to sign a copy for our records and a copy is given them to take home.

These do work, however, I like the idea of a comment book going from home to nursery and visa versa - I'll think about how to test this over the weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi there

on the home/nursery books, we used to do them for 24 children each day and found it was toooo time comsuming, so now what i do is take photos of the activities that were carried out that day and put them on the computer so when the parents pick up there is a slide show of that day. just remeber over the week to take a photo of every child its awful if you miss one out and the parents are the first to tell you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

we have A5 files that each child brings each day and it goes home with them in this file we supply timetables, menus, topic information, and a weekly information form that tells parents what and how much their child has eaten, what they have enjoyed playing with and what topic activities the child has enjoyed. Their is an additional comments box and a parents communication box. i know this sounds like a lot of work but because it is filled in a little at a time each day it is very managable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your welcome :D

 

I have made a rod for my own bak though LOL, as i used to work in pre-school and didn't mind taking it home to do, now as manager i have said that i would like all rooms to do an information letter and that i would type them out, hmmmmm I am going to be busy once every six weeks lol.... but parents do like receiving the info..so its worth it.

 

Dawn

 

 

:o Hi Dawn i really like the information letter, this has given me afew good ideas :)

 

many thanks

 

Sue Bull

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  • 1 month later...

Earlier on in this thread, the keyworker books were a novelty - even to me. Now they are beginning to be 1 of my biggest nightmares.

 

9 times out of 10 I can drop into 1 room in particular, and the staff will be writing up their books (beautifully), whilst the children occupy themselves.

 

At our next staff meeting we are going to discuss them as a team, and recap our priorities!!!

 

I would wickedly love to take the keyworker books away for a week and see how a few staff in particular fill their day!

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careful they might start scribbling on the walls, just for something to do :oxD:(

 

seriously though, I used to give all my staff non contact time, this is the only time they could up records. Mind you, it would of been cheaper to have them dictate notes on a dictaphone and pay a secretary at top rates to type them up, the amount of actual record keeping that actually got done during their non contact time, so I scrapped that idea and had the achievement files to hand for staff to write in during times such as 'story time' ( don't need ALL the staff on the mat with the children) or lunch times (childrens' not staffs')

 

Peggy

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Peggy - they all get 1 and a half hours a week, which I think they are lucky to get compared to many settings!

 

It's top of the team meeting agenda.

 

When will work ever be plain sailing - when we can focus on fun things like making story sacks, ang games, etc!!!!!?

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They are lucky to get that. I would suggest that you ask them how much they have done in this time away from the children and then equate the amount done to cost. ie: Jenny has written in 3 comments in 3 childrens files in 3 hrs at a cost of £5.50 per hour - that equates to £17.50 / 9 = "1.94 pence per comment :oxD

 

Tell them how much you expect them to have written in the time scale. If they are seen to be doing the work outside of non contact time, let them know you would have to deduct this time out of their wages, to pay for the wasted non contact time costs.

 

Is the non contact time scheduled into the work hours or are they paid for this work to be done outside of normal work hours? It is harder to monitor productivity if it is out of the setting.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. The children and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with all the props in our story box for Brown Bear, Brown Bear today :D:( and I made some lovely lotto games last week. :(:(

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We have had a similar problem in that staff want to leave at finish time which is what we are paid up to and then all the writing up get's done by myself and my two colleagues, the trouble is my manager pays us from the time the children are there, she doesn't pay us to set-up or clear away which we have to do every day, this means up to 2 hours each day I am not paid for!!

She will pay me the 'odd' extra hour for planning, (I do about 2hours at least in my own time). The problem for me is I want to do my job to the best of my ability and that means writing up and collating information properly which inevitably means staying after time,(my managers argument is that it doesnt need to be done, it's her nursery but I wouldn't feel happy not doing it and Ofsted were soo impressed, don't know why she isn't) my supervisor has just left for this non-payment reason, she told me it would grind me down because you feel unappreicated, guess what - week one - feeling unappreciated!

 

Wondering whether to look for a TA job in reception, would really like that, as I am starting the FD I am thinking maybe a supervisory role with all this at home work is too much to do with my study? (Oh and massive home committments).

 

It's not really a good sign when all summer I have been on and off preparing for this term and been quite excited about my supervisory role and my boss says "You came in on Sunday - are you mad woman"

Well I am not mad but there is no way I would of been organised and ready to welcome new children into an inviting environment, I feel a little disheartened already, thank goodness for the lovely children I have to keep my sane. :D

 

 

 

Sorry didn't sleep well and got up and USED the forum to vent my worries, I think I'm in the wrong thread and gone off on a tangent, I will go and get my cup of tea, sorry.

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