This morning we walked down to the lady who use to mind Rye for me, when I worked at KDAAT. We were a bit late because Rye really dragged his feet - took us an hour to walk just over a mile! Last night I'd been checking out how far it is to walk to into town and the beach and it's approx 2 miles to town and almost 3 to the beach, reassessing that a little - still doable but I think it might be worth taking the pushchair with me in case little legs get tired, or I simply get tired of waiting for him to finish jumping on every water, gas, electricity and manhole cover imaginable on the pavement. Could take the mei tai but I think I might get tired too lol, not use to walking more than a few miles to be honest.
Anyhow, once at D's we chatted and she showed me her risk assessments (brilliant tick sheet, going to create my own based on it), and her observational folders. I had originally thought I would just have a scrap book that would have the daily contact stuff in it as well as the observations I have to make for EYFS. D commented that she's had a few contact books get lost (they are given to the parents at the end of each day) and advised not combining the two. She showed me her folders for the observations and they are fab! She's spoken to her parents and they all prefer photos rather than swaithes of words; so her observations are just that, photographs with 1 or 2 sentences and that's that. And she'll do more detailed observations that also show her planning etc every so often. She advised when she was inspected, her Ofsted lady suggested that she have a sheet at the front of each folder and when it's given to the parents to inspect, they sign it so D has evidence she's shared it with the parents, and also so they can add any comments too.
Does mean I have more forms to create; but in the long run should help with the daft amount of paperwork we're suppose to do. Bearing in mind we can't claim for doing any of the paperwork outside of childminding hours; so it's all suppose to be done while the children are with us... this includes the daily contact book, daily observations, daily risk assessments, fridge/freezer temp readings, planning of activities, accounts, any medical incidences, records of anything used on the children, which then also need to be signed by the parent too. The whole point, apparently, is to ensure we're engaging with the parents - methinks overkill. But anyway D's methods do what Ofsted require while reducing the paperwork a bit and thus not taking up so much time - time that should be spent with the children!
And, there was also a revelation too! We were talking numbers, insurance etc and I commented that my certificate says I can only have 2 under 5, so that means 1 more child. D corrected me, my certificates shows how many minded children I may have on the premises at any one time and this is why the certificate says 2 under 5 because Rye has already being counted as 1 of the 3 children under the age of 5 (maximum) I would be allowed.
As for the rest of the day, fabulous fun, hardly saw Rye as he played with the girls (D had 2 toddlers and a 10yr old with her today, plus a few of her own kids that weren't back at school yet) in the lounge, then he went outside to play for a bit. Later we decorated fairy cakes, which was a lot of fun - hehe, I think though, I enjoyed it more than Rye - he was more interested in just eating the cakes than decorating them.
D's daughter gave us a lift home, and within minutes of getting through the door Rye was snoozing in the chair. Took him up to bed and he wasn't going to sleep properly, obviously very tired but any sounds he'd open up his eyes. I waited a while to see if he'd drop off soundly, when he didn't, I gave him a kiss and told him I was going back downstairs and be back later. Not a peep. Mind he's been snoozing since about quart to 6, so it will probably be an early start tomorrow. Ah well, if it means he's in bed by half 6 or 7pm then I'm not complaining!