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getting feedback?

(9 Posts)
Tombliboobs Wed 16-Sep-09 13:59:40

Argh, I am slightly blush at myself for asking this, having worked in early years myself, but do you have any tips for asking how your children are doing in pre-school?

DS (2.5) has settled in very well, but I feel like I want to know how he is doing and what 'sort of boy' he is there iyswim.

The staff are fantastic with the children, but lack confidence when speaking to parents and I don't want to seem too pushy, especially after being on the other side of it wink

I suppose I am looking for more than a 'fine, good session' comment in the early days, I would have expected this after a good settling in period, not in his first few sessions. It is not a case of time either as it is relatively quiet and always someone available.

Or maybe I should just back off!

Any advice gratefully received smile

cktwo Wed 16-Sep-09 18:23:04

We have a daily diary that is filled in by the key worker, not much more than a paragraph but it helps fill in those gaps.
Does your pre-school have anything similar?

Columbiancoffee Thu 17-Sep-09 20:09:39

Can you stay for a session and play? You will then see for yourself how he is doing and may help break the ice with the staff.

bellabeauts Fri 02-Oct-09 15:25:00

I really sympathise with this thread as am feeling very similar myself. I am a primary school teacher and really struggling now that my DD (2.6) has recently started pre-school. Being on the other side is difficult and I was feeling very anxious (though hid it well) on her first day and excited to get feedback when I went to collect her. However I was told, in front of all the other parents, 'she threw a tantrum and stamped her feet and was inconsolable after an hour' and that was pretty much all I was told. After pondering for an hour or so I called them for more information as felt this was not enough after her first ever session (and the first time she had ever been left other than with a grandparent). I discovered what had caused this out of character behaviour (a current OCD about washing her hands) but was made to feel like a pushy parent already just for calling to ask why she had got so upset and why they hadn't contacted me.
Now my DD doesn't seem to want to go to pre-school each morning (I know this is common at this early stage) and although at home she is a VERY chatty, confident little girl has suddenly become really tearful and frightened of things related to pre-school, often up until 9pm talking about things that have happened and the teachers and genuinely seeming worried about going the next day. Instead of feeling that I can explain my concerns to the teachers and supporting my DD I cross my fingers and hope she has a better morning. A daily diary would be really helpful as we have nothing like this and the teachers always seem so busy with the other children/parents at pick up times. I think more information about their session is definitely needed in the early days but feel that the teachers at our pre-school just don't have the time to give 'new' parents the reassurance that their child is settling well. Personally I want to know EVERYTHING about her morning but know this is unrealsitic but would be happy at this stage to have a line or two to say how she got on or who she played with!!

JoeJoe1977 Fri 02-Oct-09 15:35:50

The nursery I use for DS2 has a feedback sheet each session which lists
-all the food he has eaten (or not)
-wet/dry nappies
-what he has been playing with/activities he has done
-his named carer that day (usually the same person, but sometimes changes with staff holidays or sickness)
-time and duration of any sleep
-space for other comments if needed

They are also happy for me to 'phone at any time to check on him. If I have any queries when I read the sheet then I am directed to his named carer to discuss.

It was a bit of a shock when DS1 started 'big school' last month to go from having this much information to having nothing at all - apart from what he chooses to tell me! It takes at least 20 different questions to work out what he had for lunch.

bellabeauts Fri 02-Oct-09 17:49:12

Is that a governement pre-school/nursery or a private one JoeJoe1977? I think when you are paying you can expect more and carers feel obliged to provide you with more detailed information which personally I feel is wrong. Regardless of what stage of education the child is at I think parents need to feel that they can approach the teachers and discuss concerns about their child's daycare but this is often not the case. A feedback sheet/book is a great idea and I am not sure why it has not been adopted at out pre-school other than the obvious 'more paperwork' issue but surely this gets around 'quick chats' with parents either end of the day which takes up valuable time (which I really do understand so try to avoid!).

JoeJoe1977 Fri 02-Oct-09 21:40:09

It is a private nursery, but I don't get the impression that it's because we pay we are entitled to 'better service'. Good communication doesn't take more money, as the OP says, the staff are good with children but not so good with the parents. There were a couple of staff at our nursery who didn't communicate so well with the parents, but a bit of constructive feedback helped sort that out.

Most of the points covered on the feedback sheet don't take much time to fill in. They are preprinted sheets with tickboxes, the only handwritten bits are the activities and what they ate.

Tombliboobs Tue 06-Oct-09 20:42:47

Sorry I didn't come back to the thread and a big thank you to all for your replies

CKtwo, that would be great, but no, there is no written feedback either.

Columbiancoffee, I plan to stay in a few weeks once Ds has settled, didn't want to yet as I want him to get used to being left iyswim.

bellabeauts, good to someone else feels the same, it can be frustrating.

A feedback sheet is common in a private nursery JoeJoe, its a shame it can't be extended to pre-school, though as the sessions are shorter, I can see that they don't have as much time. Like you say, good communication doesn't take more money.

Elk Tue 06-Oct-09 20:59:44

My dd2 is in pre-school. We have a parents evening every term and a report at the end of the summer term. Her teacher also does a 'Learning Journey' Book for each child which details every time they hit a Early Years Target or do something for the first time, e.g. change their own shoes for gym. The book has photos in it as well, we can ask to look at this book at any time.

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