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Parents understanding of EYFS?(17 Posts)
Just wanted to ask parents what you know about the Early Years Foundation Stage? I've worked in childcare for nearly a decade and have seen many changes in planning,observation and assessment, but have always been used to working to some kind of framework.
Now as a CM I do developmental folders, and these are all linked to EYFS. I work hard to keep 10 folders constantly up to date with photos, art work, observations,and quarterly reports. Most of my parents love them,but I have one parent who will often say "I don't know why you are giving me this to me to take home I won't read it, it's all gobbledegook" or "just tell me are they going what they are supposed to yes or no". It's a but disheartening to hear this after all my effort, but is this a common feeling? Just because I'm used to EYFS doesn't mean parents are!? (I do provide a EYFS key terms sheet and a quick run down of what it is and give these to all parents, which she said she read...)
Any suggestions from other CMs? Parents- what do you find useful? Anything you wished your setting would do better when presenting you with EYFS folders/observations?
I get a mixed response from parents. Some are really interested and want to contribute actively to observations, have regular meetings, etc. Others just want to know their child is safe and happy and really don't care about EYFS.
Do you do anything different for the less interested parents to make it more accessible?
As a parent of a toddler, I don't currently know too much about it, because he's looked after at home and so it isn't (yet) relevant, or I don't think it is.
However, I am always interested in input and if someone went to the effort you have described, I would be interested and grateful. I can't believe any parent would just not care. But sounds as if most of your parents DO care, so if I were you I'd carry on as you are!
I think part of it may be whether the parent is interested in the EYFS or not?
For example, my CM does all the folders and reports, I like reading them, I find them interesting and I appreciate how hard she is working to follow the guidelines and provide my DD with learning opportunities, but... there's also a part of me that isn't too bothered by it. Because DD is a toddler, and I really just am happy for her to spend a day playing and being cared for by someone I trust while I'm at work. I do get the point of the EYFS, but also it feels a little like 'very early school'. She's not yet 3. Just let her play and flag up if there are any behavioural or developmental issues that you notice.
Does that make any sense?
I'm sorry its disheartening, it really must be, but I'd say some parents
I do the sme for all. If I find a way to make it clearer, I do it for everyone.
My parents have generally loved seeing the learning journals, but I do try to keep the more technical EYFS bits to a minimum and focus on what the child has been doing and how much fun they have been having. The vast majority of my observations are photos with 1-2 sentences attached. I include lots of art work too. Parents generally like looking through and seeing what their child has been up to. I think they are far less interested in the written reports/trackers/etc. so I only do these 3 times a year and try to keep them short. When my own dd was at preschool last year I loved looking at all the photos in her learning journal. It gave me a lovely glimpse of her life away from me, but to be honest I didn't bother reading any longer bits of text as I felt I knew her stage of development so well already.
Thanks for all your input- I think I will continue to do what I do now, maybe try keep jargon to a minimum, just enough to appease ofsted but not too much to get silly!!
I definitely understand EYFS can sound a little too curriculum and school like, the parent I was referring to is very happy knowing her little one is eating,sleeping and playing, that's all she is concerned about until school begins. (Not until sept 2016)
Personally I prefer having a quick chat with the nursery staff at the end of the day (a few minutes, we all have homes to go to) to find out what my son has been up to and generally how he's getting on. I like the rapport we've built up. I know there's a file there and I can look whenever I like but really I think I should know about it's contents without having to see it IYSWIM.
But I know you have obligations to Ofsted
Yes I agree flingingmelon although definitely easier said than done when you have several parents arrive at once...maybe I could do regular parents evenings (in the pub)
I used to enjoy looking at the CM's folder, and the nursery's folder too. The CM used to give her folder to the nursery to look at, and vice versa - it was a great way of showing that they co-ordinated in regards to the child, or whatever it is that Ofsted call it....
It also gave the CM an idea of how to do some of her checklists differently, and to simplify it for herself.
Have you ever seen your charges' nursery folders?
I only have two children at nursery and they both started this sept (with nursery- they've been with me for 2yrs) but I will definitely be asking!!
Yes it's always a good idea to work with other settings, gives the child more fluidity if nothing else!!
As a former CM, I understand the EYFS.
As a parent who now uses a childminder, I just want to know my kids are loved, well fed and occupied when I'm at work
It's nice to see the learning journeys simply because otherwise I'd not have a clue what they get up to
or how well behaved DS can be
I love all the photos and observations and stuff. DD's childminder gives us a daily sheet with details of activities and little pointers that are if I think about it linked to EYFS areas. So while we've only seen a formal EYFS type report for her 2.5 year check, we get hints of the planning and assessment as it goes on, and I can see CM puts thought into it. In a genuine "what stage are these children at, what would they enjoy and learn from" way not just a "what box do I need to tick for EYFS" way.
With DS's nursery it all felt more forced. The planning wasn't related to his development really, it was "this is what we're doing next week". At one point they started producing reports that looked like a copy-paste of bits of EYFS. It wasn't really about the child any more, it was tick boxes.
At the end of the day, we spend more time with DD than CM does, we know what she can do and what she can't. I've read through enough EYFS stuff to know what sorts of things to look at. It's nice to have it confirmed by a less biased observer that DD really is good at the things she seems good at, and making progress in the things that she's less good at. But it's a bit of a self-indulgence. Hearing how DD's been organising the other children into a tea party, however, is just lovely
Also as I'm not the parent who picks up, I particularly appreciate anything written that comes home.
I have a toddler and generally agree with what's been said. So, for me i view it as someone who knows about what the average is in terms of childhood development is keeping an eye out and can tell me if we aren't there. But it does strike me as paperwork for the sake of it when I get emails saying today she put the shapes into the shape sorters I'm not bothered. I trust the staff and rather then record all the detailsi would rather give me a general yep she's fine or we need to think about this area. Strikes me as a lot of paperwork when they could be trusted to just got on with their job
Thank you all- so interesting to hear other parents views!! I asked the same question to my parents this week via email and they have all said similar things...they appreciate the legal need for this paperwork but they often skip past to look at photos and art work first!! I think I will try and find a more slim line way of presenting reports and EYFS info.
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