In an early years setting paperwork can be a dreaded task that always takes so much longer than planned for…
As a previous nursery nurse and practitioner, I can relate to the exhaustive amount of paperwork and understand only too well how the continual changes to practice and delivery impact on this. However for me, I find reviewing the paperwork side of the role in the sector very rewarding. I always give thought to ‘How will this be received and executed?’, ‘Is it a duplication of what practitioners are already completing? Or is it, new?’ I work with staff and support them in their practice and develop systems to enable them to spend the maximum time with the children as possible. When I was a practitioner the rewards came from the attachments I made with my key children and the experiences we shared together.
Well on this occasion, no it is not duplication or a repeat of other paper tasks but a whole new world of less planning and assessment paperwork to complete.
How exciting does this sound? Very!! It will be music to some peoples ears, probably doubting if it is true, but yes it is!
We have thought long and hard about the measures we can take to improve the amount of paperwork, ensuring that all of the important information is recorded, documented and actioned, without becoming a task you resent.
At Busy Bees staff now have LESS paperwork tasks to complete than ever before with it averaging to take only 7 minutes and 17 seconds per child, per week, which amounts to 31 minutes and 34 seconds for each key child, per month for an average of 10 key children. This is compared to previous long term, medium term and short term planning which at times was repetitive.
I can hear you say, really? A lot of pondering and research has gone into the ‘less paperwork’ system at Busy Bees and we can now shout about it, as it really works! It has been tried and tested by regulators and is loved by parents, as the paperwork shows exactly what is being planned for their child and still ensures responsive planning that is unique to each child. By developing a system that is less onerous for the practitioner, this allows for more quality time spent interacting and engaging with your key children, and ultimately contributing to the high quality standards of childcare delivered in our nurseries every day across the country.
There is no set requirement to complete paperwork for each child, but in reality when managing a setting it is good evidence for regulators and it enables the child’s development and learning to be monitored and progressed. And of course, above all it gives a lovely keepsake for parents on their child’s journey at our Busy Bees nurseries.
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By Lisa Snell, Director of Early Years at Busy Bees
Lisa switched career later in life and embarked upon a life-changing journey that would take her from a nursery assistant, to nursery manager to director of early years at the UK’s largest provider of quality childcare.
Having successfully completed both a Bachelor's of Arts Degree and a Masters in Childcare and Education from the University of Derby, Lisa has both the hands on know-how and the in-depth theoretical appreciation of childhood development, education and care.