Getting to know each other:
Ideally your first visit to the little fishes will be either outside of my working hours or when I have time to show you around and answer your questions possibly quieter times of the day. If it is while I have children I will ask you to not to use your mobile phones due to safeguarding issues with cameras on phones. I can take photos and email them to you if you want to show your partner our indoor/outdoor spaces.
I will go through the hours you ideally want and I will see if I can accommodate this.
After your first visit I will provide you with a welcome pack by email that contains all our policy’s as Ill as other useful information. I will give you a contract which states the agreed hours, fees, and terms and conditions. My contracts are reviewed annually as I realise parents needs change as do the cost of running a childcare service. The contract will need to be signed before your child can be left with me as it contains information I must have by law.
I will ask you to fill in a child record form. It tells me important legal information as Ill as the kind of things your child likes to do and eat and things that make them happy should they be sad. You know your child better than anyone else so the more information you can share with us the easier I can make it for your child to settle in. To make the ‘little fishes’ feel as much like home as possible I would like your help with any additional languages that are spoken at home so I can include them in my setting, and any cultural or religious festivals or occasions you celebrate.
I understand that sometimes leaving your child is not easy, so I encourage you to come and stay with your child for an hour at a prearranged time before your child starts (for some children the first meeting is enough for others more time is needed). Please see below routine on settling in children if you require more settling in sessions:
1. First settling in session (1 hour with parent/s)
2. Second settling in session 1-2 hours (ideally without parent/s)
3. Third and final settling session 2-3 hours (ideally without parent/s)
If a child needs less or more settling sessions this can be discussed with myself and their start date can change slightly subject to my conformation.
Second settling in session routine:
On the first morning you are leaving your child I will endeavour to have planned something you have told us they like to do especially for that first session. If you are worried for the first couple of settling sessions you can always call me on the home phone or email me about how your child is doing. I cannot confirm that I will respond to the email straight away.
Day to Day:
For under twos and those still in nappies I will fill in daily report sheets letting you know about bottles/meals, nappies and any other relevant information about what your child has done that day. Medication forms are in the welcome pack for you to print if you need them, as are the “bumps and bruises” forms which will need to be signed and sent in when you drop them off if they have had an accident at home. I will also ask you to sign our accident form if your child has an accident while in our care. It provides a useful way to communicate if you are in a rush, I can let you know what I have been doing and you can let me know what the children have been doing at home. This makes the gap between home and here smaller and helps make your children feel more secure. I am also happy for you to call if there is something you need to talk to me about or I can arrange a meeting.
For preschool children I am required to keep learning journals and assess their development. Your child progress will also be assessed and documented on an IPad (with your consent) which will be available for you to look at if and when you want. If a child’s progress in any area gives us course for concern I am required to discuss it with you and agree how to support your child. This may mean helping you to link in with other services (EYFS 1.6) I will keep you up to date with their progress and development within my setting (EYFS 2.2) and appreciate your input as Ill. I know children behave differently in different surroundings. (EYFS 3.68) Your child’s journals and records are always available for you to look at, within the Data protection Act 1998.
By working closely with you and sharing information between us I can progress through each stage of development with you and your child right up until their transition into school and beyond if you continue to come to me before/after school and the holidays.
Information about your child will be kept confidential. I may store information about your child securely on electronic devises and I am registered with the information commissioner’s office. If I am required to share information with certain other professionals I would ask you to sign that you agree with this. When your child goes from us up to school I are required to share information with them, also if your child is in another setting as Ill as with us I am required to share information with them. I am also required to share information with Ofsted and our local authority. I am required to keep information for 3 years after your child leaves us. It is also helpful you share information like your child’s two year check with their health visitor (this helps form a more complete and meaningful picture about your child) or any new setting you are sending your child to (EYFS 2.5, 2.9, 2.11) I will also ask for you to sign a permission slip so I can to take photos and observe your child. In the event of a safeguarding matter I may be required to share information without your permission if I have reason to believe it would increase the risk to the child.