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I am looking at changing the way we report info about the child's day to parents.


Currently, we complete an A4 page per day per child. Each page consists of a checklist which passes on information regarding meals, sleep, and nappies. There is also a space where the keyworker can add the activities a child participates in and also new achievements.


The main problem we have with this is that we find we are repeating info as we also complete nappy changing charts in the changing area, sleep time charts in the sleep room and also the menus are displayed in each area of the nursery.


The parents rarely read the children's diaries and it takes a long time to complete each day.


I would like to make them more interesting for parents but also less time consuming for staff.


Can anyone describe the formats you use in your settings.




Any ideas? :)

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Dear Lucy,

I honestly think that this information is far too much to be giving to a parent. It takes a long time to create, write up, presumably store etc. Have you asked the parents what they actually want?


I am in the process of writing up my dissertation on this very thing and having interviewed my parents on all the communication we have with them - I think you will be suprised by the results. Why not create a questionnaire for parents or chat to them about what they actually want. As you have said most of the parents are not interested - too much information which is not relevant in most cases. This is called channel capacity or in other words - information overload. Clearly there are some things that parents like to have and some will always want lots of it but they don't all and you are as you say wasting valuable time. By creating a questionnaire, which is the hard bit, you can then show Ofsted that you are working with the parents, keeping the parents in the loop and can demonstrate you are actively involving parents rather than presenting them with information that you think they want.


Give the parents the choice, they might want other types of information which may be far more valuable to them. Maybe even work on a deficit - so that if a child has not eaten well, has had several full nappy, has been tearful/upset - then this would present information that was probably far more important to a parent. Put in a few achievements - bullet pointed so that the keyworker can trasnfer this to their folders - perhaps parents would like a page per week/moth on any significant achievements etc. Of course you must let parents know if there have been problems on the day but if the child has been happy, poohed, been fed then really there shold be nothing to report apart from a quick - yes they were fine, had a good day and parents can then talk about other things. This sort of written information often creates an overload on everyone and unfortunatley the important things get missed.

I expect some other people have some good formats to use which you can look at adapting but I agree it is time consuming which could be better spent on other things more relevant to the care of the child.


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At my nursery, we have a fairly large notice board with charts on, such as sleep times, bottle feeds, how the children have eaten and what was on the menu etc. These are laminated so the information can be recorded time and time again, without the need for lots of paper and the time it takes to change the sheets.


In the nappy changing area, we have charts to record the change of each child and also which member of staff did the changing. These are not laminated, but are filed at the end of the week.


Most of the parents like this format, but some find the charts difficult to read, especially parents with EAL. However, we find that at the end of the day when the children are collected, we can talk with parents about their questions/concerns rather than go through daily sheets with them which can often waste time and more often than not, as you say, the parents aren't all that interested anyway!


The only drawback we have experienced is that the charts have to be changed every couple of months because some pens rub off better than others and they get to looking a bit grotty.


Hope this helps!

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