Friday, 31 August 2012

2 year progress check - some thoughts

How do you intend to approach parents about their child's 2 year progress check?

Quite a few childminders have contacted me already to tell me that they are having problems - parents do not want them to write the check (don't test my child at age 2) and Health Visitors haven't a clue!

Here are my thoughts...

First - we have to write a 2 year progress check regardless of parents wishes - it will be a statutory requirement.

Second - the guidance document for the check, from the EYFS page of the www.foundationyears.co.uk website, says that the check should be written before the child's 2 year HV check, with input from parents AND given to parents to hand over.

Let's look at it logically for a moment here... we are constantly writing observations, assessments and individual / next steps planning for all the children in our care...

The majority of us are also writing regular summary assessments to share with parents and asking parents about what their children are doing and saying at home.

That is really all the 2 year progress check is... a summary assessment of a child's learning and development including input from parents

It might be on posher paper or you might have a form to complete from your LA - but it's still only a summary assessment.

So... we write it... we ask parents for input... we put one copy in the child's file (for Ofsted to see) and hand the other over to parents with the request that they share it with the HV.

Our job is done. We don't have to worry any more. If parents choose not to hand it over there is nothing we can do - the guidance is clear that we cannot approach the HV without parents permission.

If there is a problem with the child's learning and development we are going to be flagging it up anyway regardless of whether we are writing a 2 year check or not...

I hope this helps put it into perspective. Chat soon, Sarah :)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Revised EYFS - are you ready...?

Have you...?

- Updated your safeguarding policy and procedures to include information about mobile phones and cameras?

- Gone through requirement 3.72 and made sure you can say 'yes, I share all that with parents'?

- Changed the parent information guide on www.foundationyears.org.uk so it reflects your way of working?

- Updated your observation, assessment and planning documents to show the 7 areas of learning?

- Designed a new '2 year progress check format' that you are happy with?

- Made a new 'physical intervention' record in case you need to document an incident?

- Decided whether you are going to continue writing your RAs or explain them verbally during your inspection?

- Worked through all the EYFS 2012 to make sure you have all the required documents in place?

- Included the Characteristics of Effective Learning in the children's assessments?

- Decided whether you are going to make changes to the ways you present your policies and procedures?

- Explained the changes to the EYFS to parents?

- Made sure parents are aware that you will be sharing their child's learning with them so they can follow up activities at home from now on?

- Considered how you will note sharing with other settings / agencies so you can show evidence of this to your inspector?

- Changed the format of each child's Learning Journey file to include the new Development Matters guidance document and decided how you will show progression without using it as a tick list?

- Downloaded a copy of 'Working together to safeguard children'... and noted that it is being replaced soon? I do NOT recommend printing it - it's huge!

- Made sure your SEF is safely stored on your computer because Ofsted are going to be mucking about with their online SEF system?

- Taken time to read through all the information in free downloads at the top of the Childminding Forum... about changes to the EYFS, variations from Sept etc to make sure you are confident you will be ready to tackle the new requirements?

Now is the time to sort things out!! Sarah

Don't forget - I am offering free updates on all e-books you have bought previously - you just need to contact me and ask for them

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Speaking to parents before changing conditions of registration - variations from Sept '12

A number of childminders have asked for further clarification of this requirement. Here you go!

EYFS 2012 requirement 3.40 - ‘If a childminder can demonstrate to parents and/or carers and inspectors, that the individual needs of all the children are being met, then exceptions to the usual ratios can be made when childminders are caring for sibling babies, or when caring for their own baby.’

How do you comply with this if you don’t talk to parents? How do you prove the conversation took place if you don’t record it?

Do you think Ofsted will only relate this to changes for babies and not older children if a complaint is made against you?


My document on variations (in free downloads on the Childminding Forum) was checked by Ofsted and consulting with parents was something that was confirmed as required. You can find it here.


Penny has also spoken to Ofsted as well – the thread is here

Ofsted said -
‘We think each person considering whether to take on additional children needs to think about:
- The length of time they are providing care
- Whether their furniture and equipment is sufficient
- How they will deliver the learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to all the children they care for and help them make the best possible progress
- Informing all parents so that they understand what this might mean for their own child’s care
- How they organise their day so that all children get enough of their time.’


Current requirements -
It is a tick box on the current variation request document to state that parents have been consulted -

G. Discussion with parents
You should discuss your request with parents of minded children. You should make sure they understand how this will impact on their children if granted and seek their views and opinions.
I confirm I have discussed my request with parents of minded children


It is clarified in the new guidance document – page 6 – example 1 – ‘She consults the parent of the two-year-old before agreeing to take the twins.’

I have nearly finished a guidance document about variations including ideas for informing parents and writing your risk assessment - watch this space!