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27/01/2009
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Records are used extremely well to support children

Policies, procedures and records support successful management
Records promote children’s safety and welfare, learning and development
Records are shared with parents and other providers and agencies

Policies, procedures and records support successful management

The best providers use well-documented policies and procedures to monitor, review and improve practice. Recruitment practice includes thorough checks of applicants’ backgrounds and references to ensure staff are appropriately qualified and experienced. Records of staff performance, training, qualifications and appraisals are used effectively to support staff development and to maintain consistent high-quality provision for children. Providers also use records to demonstrate to parents and carers the quality of the provision they offer and the progress children make. Well-organised storage of records ensures easy access for those who need to use them while strictly maintaining appropriate confidentiality.

An inspector said: ‘Team leaders moderate assessments written by staff to help ensure quality and children’s progress.’ (pre-school)

Records promote children’s safety and welfare, learning and development

Children’s safety is at the heart of outstanding provision. Clear and detailed records, regularly reviewed and updated, help to monitor this, for example visitor logs and risk assessments. Managers assess safety and health risks frequently and use records effectively to monitor action needed and taken.

In well-organised settings a range of records and charts is kept meticulously and used to monitor children’s welfare, development and progress in their learning. Information includes details on the needs of individual children, activities planned for them, key workers, and priorities for the future. Records on babies include details of their growth and development, including sleep times, times of feeding and weaning programmes. Adults use records well to track each child’s progress, and to plan and make decisions for children’s next steps. They use records to help identify any concerns early, and share them sensitively with parents and with other agencies to ensure each child receives the best possible help where it is needed.

An inspector said: ‘Staff record weekly targets from their observations of the children; they use these successfully to help the children’s ongoing learning.’ (pre-school)

Records are shared with parents and other providers and agencies

In well-managed settings children’s records are shared with parents. This provides further safeguards and reassures parents about their children’s welfare and progress. It also helps to include parents in their children’s learning and development.

Providers use their records to support effective liaison with other providers: this promotes continuity of provision for children and smooth transition when they move on to another setting. In the best settings children and parents contribute to creating these shared records.

An inspector said: 'The proprietor has developed wonderful systems to record children’s progress throughout the child’s time at the setting. The records are a compilation of a variety of children’s work, pictures and observations which are scanned onto a CD, each child having their own CD. The children choose pieces of their work and pictures to store on CD and help scan their work. Headings include the child’s likes, dislikes, what they find difficult, and how they like to be comforted.

The records are eventually used at the time of transition when children move on to school. There is a section for parents to add their comments and any particular pieces of information they would like the school to know about their child.

Children feel particular pride and a great sense of achievement as they use their CD confidently with their new reception teacher. This helps in the building of new relationships and provides the teacher with good detailed information about the child.' (day nursery)