Are you doing too much? Post 2
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  1. #1
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    Default Are you doing too much? Post 2

    Childminders are a dedicated lot - but that does not mean we have to let the job take over our home and family lives!

    In my post 'are you doing too much?' I talked about cutting down on written observations, getting children's Learning Journey files to a 'sustainable' level and ensuring observations are meaningful - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/fo...-too-much.html.

    We observe all the time - every minute of every day when we are playing with the children - there is no requirement in the Eyfs or any other Ofsted / DfE document I have ever read to constantly write things down.

    During our recent inspection, our inspector browsed the children's files looking for evidence of parental input and checking that they reflected what the child can do and how we were moving them forward - but she was far more interested in how we explained their progress.

    My 2nd 'are you doing too much?' blog focuses on Early Years Outcomes (EYO) and one of my bug-bears of the moment - childminders who tell me 'someone' has told them that they must link every observation to a statement in EYO... and then use it like some sort of ladder, moving children through the statements sequentially.

    EYO is guidance - and yes it is Ofsted's guidance of choice to check children are making progress - but it is not and was never meant to be a tick or check or dated list. I respectfully draw your attention to the comments I have quoted from Nancy Stewart who co-wrote Development Matters with Helen Moylett...

    I look forward to your feedback - Early Years Outcomes is not a tick list..! - Independent Childminders.

    Thank you

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    I absolutely agree with you Sarah. Unfortunately since EYO it appears that more childminders are indeed using it as a tick list. I have always been against tick lists and how narrow observations can be when EYO is used in this manner. I actually think what parents are happier with is a personalised description of what their child has been doing not some pre determined statement that is often meaningless and can not effectively convey children's individual learning and development needs.
    I will get off the soapbox before I get more exasperated!

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    Since starting childminding 24 years ago, I have always done "life with me" books they started as scrap books but now do folders as easier to move bits around. They are a mostly pictorial record of a child's time with me whatever there age.
    I still do these books but they now have at the front the relevant pieces of Government development guidance so at mo it's EYO.
    I have never ticked/highlighted or marked off in any way at all. I don't have a planning structure I go with the individual child's passions and interests.
    I tend to write comments to go with the photos in non child care lingo as much as possible, children, parents, grandparents, teachers and ofsted love them.
    Yes they take time to complete but I don't pressure myself I preferred to do them every couple of months.
    Choose a way that suits you and yours you just have to be confident and able to explain what and why you do what you do.

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    Rather annoyingly, my recent Ofsted inspector picked me up for not having highlighted trackers.

    I explained that I don't use EYO as a tick list, but that I can tell her exactly where each child is at in their development and how I spot any gaps in their development. She said she didn't see how I could spot gaps if I wasn't highlighting a tracker - I gave her several examples. I told her that the way I do it works. She had to agree with that, but still told me she didn't want to see observations and planning. All she wanted to see was a highlighted tracker, no evidence, just a nicely coloured in tracker

    I've ignored her 'advice' and will carry on doing it my way

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    It's sooo unfair that they all give such different standards. My answer to why I don't highlight is that EYO is not a tick list just guidance and also in my experience parents/carers panic as they assume because you've not ticked/highlighted an area that there child is behind/not normal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watford wizz View Post
    It's sooo unfair that they all give such different standards. My answer to why I don't highlight is that EYO is not a tick list just guidance and also in my experience parents/carers panic as they assume because you've not ticked/highlighted an area that there child is behind/not normal.
    My previous inspector liked the fact that I didn't use development matters (as it was then) as a tick list, yet this one said all she wanted to do was open a tracker and see where the child is at and how they've progressed. She told me that I should be highlighting EYO every term and that's all I need to do - no written observations etc. She said she was helping save on paperwork. I told her I hadn't asked her to and didn't want her to! I explained the same as you, that some parents panic if an area isn't highlighted and some get very stroppy if you say a child hasn't yet reached a certain level but they insist they have.

    Hopefully I won't get her back again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    Childminders are a dedicated lot - but that does not mean we have to let the job take over our home and family lives! In my post 'are you doing too much?' I talked about cutting down on written observations, getting children's Learning Journey files to a 'sustainable' level and ensuring observations are meaningful - http://www.childmindinghelp.co.uk/fo...-too-much.html. We observe all the time - every minute of every day when we are playing with the children - there is no requirement in the Eyfs or any other Ofsted / DfE document I have ever read to constantly write things down. During our recent inspection, our inspector browsed the children's files looking for evidence of parental input and checking that they reflected what the child can do and how we were moving them forward - but she was far more interested in how we explained their progress. My 2nd 'are you doing too much?' blog focuses on Early Years Outcomes (EYO) and one of my bug-bears of the moment - childminders who tell me 'someone' has told them that they must link every observation to a statement in EYO... and then use it like some sort of ladder, moving children through the statements sequentially. EYO is guidance - and yes it is Ofsted's guidance of choice to check children are making progress - but it is not and was never meant to be a tick or check or dated list. I respectfully draw your attention to the comments I have quoted from Nancy Stewart who co-wrote Development Matters with Helen Moylett... I look forward to your feedback - Early Years Outcomes is not a tick list..! - Independent Childminders. Thank you
    Hi Sarah, how come your inspector also checked the children's files for copies of eyo if they are not expecting to see it highlighted/ticked/dated other?

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Hi Sarah, how come your inspector also checked the children's files for copies of eyo if they are not expecting to see it highlighted/ticked/dated other?
    EYO is Ofsted's tracking guidance of choice - the inspector wanted to see that I was using it as a guide to make sure the child/ren are making progress

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    EYO is Ofsted's tracking guidance of choice - the inspector wanted to see that I was using it as a guide to make sure the child/ren are making progress
    So just by having a copy in the children's files she was satisfied that's what you were using? But you don't highlight or tick or annotate it in any way?
    Do you use a tracker of any sort?

 

 

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