Working with Parents Policy
We aim to work in partnership with parents and carers to meet the needs of the children we care for.
We respect that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and are the central and most important relationship in a child’s life. When parents and childminders work together it is recognised that the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning.
We treat all children and adults equally and create a welcoming, inclusive environment in the house.
- We keep up to date about working in partnership with parents and carers and with relevant legislation by taking regular training and by reading information from Ofsted, the Childminder Agency, Foundation Years as well as other sources.
Prior to looking after the child
- We draw up and sign a written contract with parents before the placement starts. The contract is signed by the parent/s and ourselves and dated. We give copies to the parent/s and any other party involved in the contractual arrangements.
- Go through the policies and procedures documents, and explain that the latest versions will always be available on the website.
- Discuss the personality, likes/dislikes, current routine of the child.
- Discuss any particular medical /cultural /dietary /educational /additional needs of the child and gain a clear understanding of what we need to do for the child in this respect.
- Understand what would comfort the child if he/she is upset when we first care for him/her.
- Talk to the parent about the setting, our children and what a typical day would look like for their child when we care for them.
- Ask them to provide a change of clothes/outer wear/ sun lotion etc as appropriate.
- Ask if they could provide any familiar toys, comforters, blankets, muslins or dummies to ease our first care of their child.
- We meet parents’ requests for the care of their children according to their values and practices, preferences and attitudes. (Obviously requests can not contradict our Inclusion and Safeguarding Children Policies).
- We keep records of these requests with the child record forms which also contain emergency contact numbers, dietary requirements/preferences, food allergies, health requirements, and information about who has legal contact with the child and who has parental responsibility for the child. These records are revisited and updated during regular reviews with parents.
Whilst looking after the child
- Encourage parents to let us know of any changes to their child’s medical /cultural /dietary /educational /additional needs.
- On a weekly basis display the activities, groups and outings we plan to take the children on.
- Keep a weekly record of the activities and meals and give this to the parents each week (for babies and toddlers).
- Discuss any special events or achievements of the child.
- Discuss any particular behavioural issues if required, or any other concerns we may have.
- Inform the parent of any accidents or incidents affecting their child.
- Talk to the parents about what the child has learnt and encourage continuity of teaching in the home.
- Ask the parent if they would like us to encourage the child to learn anything specific in order to provide continuity.
- Attempt to gain permission for any ad hoc outings we would like to take their child on.
- We review the contract with parents every 12 months or when circumstances change.
- We work together with parents to make sure that the care of their child is consistent this is very important to make sure that your child does not become confused by different standards of behaviour and boundaries and that your child is settled and feels secure in our care.
fLEXIBILITY and Continuity of care
We fully understand that parents’ child care needs evolve or change either on a short term or long-term basis. Additionally, it is important that the children have continuity of care as changes can sometimes be unsettling for them. We aim to be as flexible as possible in working with parents to support them if their needs change whilst ensuring that the quality of care and safety of other children is not compromised. Where possible we will:
- Enable parents to increase sessions on a short term or long-term basis
- Alter hours or days with prior agreement
Ofsted recognise the importance of continuity of care and permit childminders the flexibility to support parents by doing this as long as all parents agree. Your agreement to this and our other policies is noted though your agreement in the contract to our policies
Communication with Parents
- We make time for discussion about a child’s needs by sharing information with parents about daily routines and activities in our setting and in the child’s home.
- Ways of sharing this information can include inviting parents to add to children’s online learning journal, email, telephone, face-to-face meetings, and informal day to day feedback.
- We appreciate as a working parent there are many demands on your time and so to ensure that information can be communicated effectively between us we use a whiteboard in the hallway and the online learning journal. Daily sheets are provided for babies and will have details of your child’s sleeping, eating, activities, achievements etc. Parents can email, text, phone or discuss face to face any information it would help us to know about their child e.g. a disturbed night’s sleep, teething, off their food, changes in routine and circumstances etc.
- Any changes to your child’s routine or circumstances or anything that may affect our care of your child will be discussed with parents.
- As your child grows up there will be issues which we will need to discuss such as toilet training, weaning, starting school, starting nursery or managing behaviour etc. Your wishes and thoughts will need to be discussed so we can work together to include them in our routine with your child.
- We have regular discussions with parents to about their child’s learning and development, to share observations and discuss next steps.
- If we have any concerns about your child we will share them with you and if necessary work with you to seek support from outside agencies.
- All significant incidents are recorded in an incident book and will be shared and discussed with parents so that we can work together to resolve any issues.
- If you have any concerns or issues regarding the care we are providing for your child please do let us know. Often a concern is a simple misunderstanding that can be easily resolved, unaired it can fester and become a major issue.
- We welcome parents’ feedback on our service. Please refer to our Compliments and Complaints Policy on our procedures for managing feedback.
- We display our Ofsted/Childminder Agency registration certificates and the Ofsted/Childminder Agency’s posters for parents which introduce Ofsted/Childminder Agency's childcare responsibilities and give Ofsted/Childminder Agency’s contact details.
Ofsted/Childminder Agency inspections and Self Evaluations
- We will notify all parents in advance when we are to be inspected by Ofsted/Childminder Agency so that parents can contribute their views to the inspector.
- We will supply parents with a copy of the Ofsted/Childminder Agency report within five working days of receiving the report.
- Annually we will complete a self-evaluation on our childminding service and we will ask for parents’ views when completing this.