View Full Version : Working in partnership

11-03-2016, 03:33 PM
I have a baby starting with me soon who is also starting at nursery - he will be with them for more time than me. I have spoken to Mum to say I would do a letter of introduction to the nursery explaining I am a CM and that we should be sharing information. Mum has spoken to the nursery who are keen to share information and also meet up. All good! I just want to know how I should be using the information they give, especially as they will have him more hours. Should I be working towards the same next steps as them, and/or creating next steps based on my observations? Any advice on this would be great.


11-03-2016, 03:50 PM
I'd wait and see what you get from them- make sure you are agreed on starting points and any issues/delays that are of concern, shared next steps are good but there may be specific next steps to do with your setting so you might want to write your own too. Every partnership between CMer, parent and nursery is unique, so just shape things to suit you all. You can talk about sharing newsletters, sharing obs- are they using an online system you can both access? etc.

11-03-2016, 06:07 PM
I have a similar 'shared care' arrangement with one child who is at an excellent local nursery 3 days a week, and with me 2 mornings a week. We've had several shared children one way or another over the past few years. We have a very good relationship and have occasionally 'transferred' children between settings who failed to settle, or whose parents needed a different arrangement.

I'm always kept informed of the lo's key worker and we have regular conversations: usually by phone, but his current key worker also does the school run to our local school, so I see her frequently. I've also visited the nursery and have a good relationship with the manager and some of the other assistants.

The main means of information exchange is a 'communication book'. This is an exercise book which passes (via mum) between our 2 settings and acts a bit like a diary. Because it is passed on by mum, she is reassured that we are communicating effectively, putting the child first and she can see everything, so there's no confidentiality issues.

I follow the nursery's lead on 'next steps' but that doesn't stop me keeping my own learning journal and updating his DM/EYO charts for whatever I observe here. I use a lot of extracts from the communications book in his LJ too.

We also share periodic reviews (i.e. summative assessments), EY tracker updates, etc.

We do letters and occasional questionnaires to check the partnership is working effectively, and this serves as evidence for Ofsted too. Less formally, we all know we can pick up the phone for a chat anytime.

It's very interesting to compare and contrast how he is between the two settings. He'll achieve some developmental goals there for which he shows no signs of progress here, and vice-versa. It's great to have both settings looking out for his developmental needs: an extra pair of eyes and ears, etc.

In fact, I'm beginning to think, whenever I hear mums discussing the relative merits of CMs versus nurseries, that all children might do well to attend both. :thumbsup:

11-03-2016, 06:17 PM
Wow, well done Bunyip for establishing and maintaining such a useful relationship. Just out of interest, have you ever had a parent reluctant to let you share info with the nursery?

11-03-2016, 06:28 PM
Yes well done bunyip. I also have a very good relationship with my local preschool but it does require effort by both parties to keep it going. I gives me a great feeling of satisfaction knowing we are working together to benefit the child plus I actually do enjoy going into the preschool setting and seeing them operate.

11-03-2016, 06:50 PM
Wow, well done Bunyip for establishing and maintaining such a useful relationship. Just out of interest, have you ever had a parent reluctant to let you share info with the nursery?

The nursery started the ball rolling with the communication book, although I'd have enquired about ways of 'partnership working' if they'd not been so proactive. Once I responded positively, everything else just flowed from there.

Now the mindee has moved up from the baby room, I get a printed monthly plan of the themes and activities he'll be doing, including things like 'song of the week' and 'sign of the week'. It's a little more structured than I'd ever look to do, but still very useful.

I've not had any parent reluctant for me to share with this nursery, but I've had 2 cases of parents who were, shall we say, "very selective" about what they wanted me to share with a preschool. In both cases, it was about the parents not wanting to hear any opinion that differed from their own. There were pretty obvious, though quite minor, issues with the children the mums just didn't want to address. In one case, it was communication and the parents were resisting S&LT referrals or hearing tests. In the other it was about behavioural matters. They didn't like it when I or preschool suggested there was something that needed dealing with, and so they disiked EY settings 'comparing notes' in case it proved there was something there which needed attention. :(

One of them gave me notice. There were various issues around the family and I felt a bit sorry for the mum because she was isolated from her own extended family and got a lot of criticism from inlaws who felt she did everything wrong and dad could do no wrong. The other stayed with me until the mindee started school, but I'm prepared to accept that was possibly only out of convenience and a lack of alternatives.

The maddening thing is that school has now picked up on the very issues I and preschool previously identified, and the mums wholeheartedly support school in seeking a solution. A rather sad case of EY settings not being taken seriously, but of course school is so much better, isn't it? And the children get a much later positive intervention than they might've had if the mums hadn't been so arrogant. :(

11-03-2016, 07:33 PM
Yes Bunyip, I had the same with a parent of a child with minor behaviour problems - parents were 'selective' (perfect word) over my communication with the nursery. Funny that, isn't it?!