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Working as a childminders assistant what can you tell me about EYFS.

(12 Posts)
navyeyelasH Wed 23-Jul-08 00:07:32

Hey everyone I will be doing a stint as a childminders assistant in September for a few months and am one of those annoying people that likes to be all prepared.

Can anyone tell me what makes a great assistant and also anything to do with EYFS. I have read this and this but most of it seems to be psycho babble / armchair psychology and none of it seems very practical? Are there any parts you have been wowed by?

Also I have no childcare qualifications (just degree etc) & wondered if there are any courses (or even books) anyone would recommend. I have of course looked into NVq's etc but they seem to be focused on red tape issues rather than hands on nitty gritty real life helpful stuff. Also the colleges don't seem to know what sort of modules are involved with the courses!

Thanks everyone x

Arfa Wed 23-Jul-08 09:51:51

"they seem to be focused on red tape issues rather than hands on nitty gritty real life helpful stuff"

That just about sums up EYFS (and Ofsted, for that matter). Sorry to be so negative and not answer your questions, but the bit I've quoted is the reason that so many CMs are giving up. (11% and counting since EYFS was announced)

gooseegg Wed 23-Jul-08 10:20:37

What makes a great assistant?

Someone who asks why we do things in a certain way and is eager to question procedures and to suggest other ways of doing things.

Someone who is cheerful and relaxed, able to put aside their own personal problems for the duration of the working day to concentrate soley on making each child's day special.

Someone who can hide their own stress and irritation and be happy to go at a child's pace ie dead slow with lots of repetition and to allow time for children to practice their independent skills eg personal hygiene/feeding.

Someone who can work like a beaver behind the scenes eg meal preparation/setting up activities/tidying up.

Someone who doesn't day dream, but who can observe like a hawk and keep safety at the top of their mind.

Someone who is respectful to parents and who is acutely aware of confidentiality.

Someone who doesn't just recite the words on a page, but who can ad lib through a story book to make it interactive and engaging for children of all ages.

Someone with a sense of humour who isn't self conscious, and who is happy to sing/make faces/dance/dress up.

Someone who has a knowledge of child development or who is keen to learn. Like you!

A book that I particularly like is called People under three - young people in day care. By Elinor Goldschmied and Sonia Jackson.

I hope you enjoy your new position.

KatyMac Wed 23-Jul-08 20:08:20

Oh Gooseegg can I copy that for a job desription - that is fab

nannynick Wed 23-Jul-08 20:22:12

navyeyelasH - you could ask the childminder for details about a Safeguarding Children course. This is now typically done via e-learning (online learning) and is provided free by local authorities to registered providers (will vary by authority, some may still charge). A local authority near me publishes the login details for their Safeguarding Children e-learning course in their training directory. Another local authority issues the login details via e-mail, whenever someone requests it. So could be worth asking about that - the childminder could also do the course, to help update training.

gooseegg Wed 23-Jul-08 22:56:54

Thanks Katy - of course you can smile

navyeyelasH Mon 01-Sep-08 16:00:35

Just wanted to give this a quick bump seems as how today was my first day with CM and also EYFS D Day.

The CM I work with and I have been wondering how best to do observations: Does anyone know how many you have to do and if you have to show how they link back to each component of Eyfes? hmm

Thoughts? I'm going to scour the board and suppose I should read some of the confusing ofsted bumpf!

southernbelle77 Mon 01-Sep-08 16:25:51

As far as I am aware, observations do not have to be done that often. I am going to try and do it once a week but I don't even think it needs to be done that often really. I do an ob and then link it to whichever area of eyfs I feel is appropriate, not try to link it to all itms!

navyeyelasH Mon 01-Sep-08 17:37:52

Yes that is what we suspected the CM I work with is a bit worried as her inspection is in Feb time so she obviously is a bit nervous.

I think they way we will do it is write a short paragraph on each child per day something like,

"Whilst we waited for our lunch today X had great fun identifying the colour of the spoons the other children were using to eat. After we had spotted all the different colours X began to count the number of spoons in total that were at the table, he correctly counted that there were 6 spoons being used at the table being used by 6 different children. During story time we also spent some time talking about the letter X for X."

Then during each term make a booklet in it have cover sheet, age and name of child, few pages all about child and space for photos and pictures and outings etc, then an overview of EYFS progress just one a4 sheet, then in depth EYFS which will detail all areas off EYFS and we will just right an observation we have observed in relevant section; obviously depending on child not every section will be complete. Then give these to parents at the end of every term.

Does that sound like too much or not enough? I have a bit of a paperwork fetish so need to make sure I'm not getting carried away grin

jojo76 Mon 01-Sep-08 20:18:55

Hi, in our area, the ncma have advised that we do one "post it note" type observation (ie a brief one sentence such as " X stood unaided for the first time today" with date and time) per day that the child is with you, this should ideally be linked to the area of learning in the eyfs and should contain a note on "next steps" (how you plan to develop that skill further), they say you should do a longer observation every now and then, observing a child doing an activity or whatever for a few minutes and noting everything down, with next steps for that too. I think they said that these should be done weekly, and should also be linked into the relevant part of the eyfs. I have managed to keep up with the post it ones almost, but dont think i have done them daily, but havent managed to do any long ones yet.
this is just what my area of ncma are saying, i dont know if these are the official guidelines, I have also heard that cm's don't officially have to do any observations but it is recommended that they do. I have taken this to mean that they will get a poor rating after inspection if they dont do it, but maybe im being cynical grin

navyeyelasH Mon 01-Sep-08 23:07:25

jojo that is what the CM I work with also thinks and as her inspection is looming we do not want to take any chances! Why does Ofsted have to make everything so complex; why not say do observations an amount between X and Y is good, satisfactory etc. So much easier.

Arfa Mon 01-Sep-08 23:23:40

We have a letter off Beverley Hughes. the Children's Minister, saying that the EYFS will not cause any more paperwork and that the only statutory piece of paper is the Early Years Profile. My wife will have to wait until her next inspection to see whether Ofsted agree.

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