Susan, who has been a child minder for just over a year got in touch and asked if I could offer some advice on transition documents.
There are many documents available to buy or download on the market, but I used to make my own using the computer. Basically they need to include the child’s name, date of birth, your contact details ( I also added my Ofsted Reg. No) roughly how long the child has been with you and how they have progressed during that time. The document has to be signed by the carer and parent.
I recall a particular child, Harry, who had a significant speech delay when he first came to me. I have written about Harry in more detail in a post titled Double Dutch When Harry was ready to leave my child minding setting to go to a school nursery
, I had never written a transition document before, I wanted and needed to include the speech delay, but knew I had to be respectful of him and his mother who never took him for a hearing test
. My first thought was not to mention it at all, but I realised that his teacher would soon discover this for herself and may think that his child minder was not very good as she never said anything about it.
What I did was to write that Harry was a happy child who got on well with his peers and had shown signs of speech delay when he first came to me but that he was now making progress.
I had another parent who worked as a special needs nursery nurse, ask for my opinion about her son, ” Do you think there is something wrong with David?” she asked me.I did think that there was something not quite right, but would never say anything to upset or offend a parent, so I replied that, “In my experience, he was a little slower in his development than the average child, but as all children are different, I wouldn’t worry too much, monitor his progress and mention it to your health visitor at the next appointment” she seemed happy with that, David was diagnosed with a mild form of autism after leaving me so my instinct had been correct.
Back to the document, you can make it quite simple, Susan with only the essential information, but I have heard of early years settings who include a photo of the child and even some of their artwork
I think that child minders have an advantage over other early years settings as we tend to work more on a one-one basis , having fewer children than a nursery or pre-school means that we can get to know our children really well which should make writing this document easier. also there shouldn’t be too many children leaving at once, unlike a larger setting who may have a dozen or so . leave to start school.
I hope this has helped Susan and given you a few ideas, if you have any further questions you know where I am!
As always questions/comments are welcome