Daily Diary - Is this bad of me?
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  1. #1
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    Default Daily Diary - Is this bad of me?

    I've looked after a little one since he was 6months old and now he's 32m

    I've always done a written diary for all my Preschool children and parents have always found it useful. Having three diaries a day does take its toll but I stuck with it. At first the parents of the 6m old used to read his diary as she used to comment on things I wrote but over the months and years she has stopped.
    I know this because:
    Mum will ask me questions about something that if she had read the diary she would know
    I find things that I have put in his diary are still in there weeks later
    I wrote holiday dates in it and when I reminded Mum a few weeks later she told me she hadn't read them
    If I write 'Easter party next week at toddler group' she is surprised when I tell her on the morning of the party
    If I ask her outright she tells me she occasionally looks through it on a weekend if she has time

    So, because I don't like wasting my time I've stopped writing in it and she's not mentioned it at all. Would anyone have continued with it?
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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    I've stopped for a few of mine at about the age children can tell parents what they've been doing. I do a verbal handover anyway as I'm sure you do so just duplicating info really. I think for babies it can be really useful for parents to know feeds and sleeps and they learn your routine of places you go - again verbal handover there too. Some parents contribute and some never do

  3. #3
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    Are they not required by OFSTED then? I thought they were? What do OFSTED want to see?

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    What age do you think they become unnecessary?

  5. #5
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    I am the same, I only write them for parents who take the time to read them.

    Others get a verbal update, which is normally more than i receive when they deliver their LO's. For example, one mum needs to know exactly what her LO has done all day to know what mood LO will be on collection. But I wasnt even told LO was on their 1st ever dose of antibiotics.

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    I have 7 children here through the week. 4 of them have the diary sent home every week, 2 have it once a month and the other doesn't have one at all. They all started off as being daily, but like you say, some parents just aren't bothered about them. I would often have 4 to write at the end of the day and found it difficult to keep up with.
    Now I say I will do them daily up util the child is about 2, weekly until they're three and monthly after that.

    I do use my daily diary as a combined LJ (including obs, assessment, next step planning and ideas for home), so I do like parents to see them regularly. The child who doesn't have one at all has a tracker and a LJ that I keep here and show her mum now & again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Are they not required by OFSTED then? I thought they were? What do OFSTED want to see?
    Diary's aren't required, its just one way of working with parents. You can do it verbally, online, email, book. Whatever works for you. If its written down its easier to show Ofsted.

    Communication and working with parents is required but I do this verbally and through progress reports. Sharing LJ's and talking about their child's development. The others still have a diary.
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

  8. #8
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    I do a diary in the form of a little A5 book for each of the children that I look after. It lives in a wall pocket (Kusiner from Ikea) at my setting, and I leave a gap at the start of every week for "News from home", which I write in if the parent tells me anything new that the child has done/or any new interest or place they've visited. It helps with my planning (and I suppose it also helps me to show Working with Parents).

    I no longer send the books home as:

    1. Parents didn't read them
    2. Parents didn't bring them back after taking them home the first time
    3. I often jot down/highlight observations in here (which I also put onto Tapestry).
    4. Some parents give the book to their child to play with, which results in a torn/chewed/useless book, that I then can't get back from the child
    5. Parents have actually lost the book/left it in a car/left it somewhere on holiday etc.

    With my new system, when the parent arrives, I hand them the book to look at and then get them to return it to the wall pocket. They all look at the books now. They also love seeing the "News from home" section. (It also makes handover at hometime much quicker but also more personal.)

    The child gets the opportunity of watching me writing in their (colour-coded) book - they each have their own coloured label on their books (trusty highlighter pens). They also love it when I read what I've written in their book to them (which I do either in a group, or one at a time) when I've finished the books just before home time. I actually think that, for them, this is their favourite story of the day.

    L

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  10. #9
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    I do mine via WhatsApp. Quick and easy

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    I love your system lollipop kid but if I got mine to read it at pickup I would never get rid of them - I have enough trouble as it is getting one particular (lovely) family off my premises each evening!

    I have two three year olds and my aim is to write in their diary every day but if I don't get it done I don't stress. When they were babies if I didn't get it done I would email the parents that evening with details on the day. Now I don't bother, because, like you say, they are old enough to tell their parents what they have done/eaten. I quite like the diaries as it does jog my memory if I get a bit behind on the LJs, so I don't want to completely drop them.

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  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I love your system lollipop kid but if I got mine to read it at pickup I would never get rid of them - I have enough trouble as it is getting one particular (lovely) family off my premises each evening!

    I have two three year olds and my aim is to write in their diary every day but if I don't get it done I don't stress. When they were babies if I didn't get it done I would email the parents that evening with details on the day. Now I don't bother, because, like you say, they are old enough to tell their parents what they have done/eaten. I quite like the diaries as it does jog my memory if I get a bit behind on the LJs, so I don't want to completely drop them.
    I know exactly where you're coming from, Maza. Before Tapestry, all of my observations were recorded in the daily diaries - a system that worked well for me since I started in 2008, but not necessarily highlighted. An Inspector visiting in 2013 who told me she couldn't follow what I did put paid to that - I now always highlight! (Just in case my next inspector is also blind ).

    I admit it is sometimes hard to get the parents to leave, but I have a brilliant assistant who's with me on two of my busiest days, and she is fantastic at handing the children over, coats on in readiness for a swift departure, so the parents just leave.

    I still use my diaries as a prompt though, especially when I'm writing up review documents. I just find it so much easier that way!

    PS: I tried emailing daily diaries for a while. Although it was easy/quick to duplicate information that was the same from one child to the next, I found that I couldn't keep it going. Especially when my PC died - twice!! Good old paper books never crash on you.



    L
    Last edited by lollipop kid; 26-03-2015 at 02:10 PM.

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    It really does just depend on the parents.

    I have had about 10 families here over the years and they have all read my diaries (EYFS age children) and all written a paragraph, or even pages, back to me every day- a real dialogue with family news, questions, requests for recipes, all about their weekends and evenings, wishing us a good day/weeeknd etc.

    If I had a family who were not reading it I would be asking- why? what can I change? am I writing the right things? how else would they like to communicate?

    Once the child is 3+ and can tell parents what they have done, once they are toilet trained so you are not recording dirty nappies, if they are good eaters so you do not need to record what was/wasn't eaten, once they are awake all day so you don't need to record nap times... then I would consider reducing the use of a daily diary or doing away with it depending on what parents want.

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  17. #13
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    Thanks all.

    I think the reason the parent isn't reading it is that she is too busy. She works 5 days a week sometimes long hours and has an 18yr old and 16yr old who does a lot of sport (so lots of travelling around at weekends) as well as the little one.
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

  18. #14
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    It really does depend on the parent!

    I have one who has just turned 3, after Easter we have agreed to stop the book (woohoo)

    Another who's writes in the book like its her bible, all over the weekend, fills in everything as if she were in the setting!! FAB FAB parent, always on Tapestry adding photos or whats app me

    last one, forgets to put book in most of the time, a bit care free and states she's happy, he is happy :-)

    lol, mixed bunch at mine! Although I changed to butterfly print when I moved here and do love them

  19. #15
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    I always encourage my parents to write in the book. I tell them they can write anything - reminders, comments, messages for me, things they have done at the weekend etc etc.

    One mum obviously look the "write anything" comment literally - she used the back of the book for her shopping lists

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  21. #16
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    Ive stopped doing daily diaires for my los now their at preschool. Ive always done verbal handovers as well. I know the parents enjoy reading them as they have told me so. But i was starting to find that im repeating myself in ljs. I had a new starter and parent lost the diary in less than 2 weeks.

  22. #17
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    With most of my families, one parent drops off and the other parent or grandparent collects so I send an e-mail each evening on a form that just says Morning activities / snack / Morning Outings / Lunch / Afternoon activities / Afternoon Outings /

    my form has a space on the bottom that says child's name - so child A child B child C
    then under their name I put sleep times and nappy change times (soiled or wet)

    The parent's don't mind being able to see how many nappies child A did in a day and Mrs O didn't say anything about it either - I just send a covering e-mail eg:
    Hi wednesday parents - here is the updated weekly sheet - thanks for the donations towards the Chatterbox Challenge and for all remembering to pack welly boots as requested.

    I use this e-mail to share useful links eg: the new "What, where, when" parents info or something I had read about a free first aid course for parents or free car seat safety checks etc

    I can't see the point of doing everything in triplicate

  23. #18
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    I agree it depends on the parents. At one stage I had 10 early years and 10 diaries. Only 2 families bothered to read the book.I found this out by not writing in them for a week. So I carried on with the ones that noticed.

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