Home Time Handovers
When families collect their children from your setting, they will usually each want a run-down of what their little one has been up to during the day. But a handover could range from “they had a good day, no problems” to a minute-by-minute explanation of everything their child has done since they last saw them.
To make sure your handovers are time-efficient but valuable to both you and your early years’ families, That Nursery Life have put together some handy tips:
- Make sure you’re familiar with the policies of both EYFS and your particular setting. If a family member asks you about something and you’re unsure, it can affect their trust in your knowledge and capability.
- If you don’t know, know where to find out! If a child has had an accident you didn’t witness and you’re asked what happened, don’t say you don’t know. Instead, aim for “I wasn’t there but Kimo was, so I’ll just go get them so they can talk to you”.
- Be honest. Families can tell when you’re lying. Even if you’ve made a mistake – it’s much better to be honest than try and gloss over it. For example, if a child has tripped up because you forgot to put some toys away, or if a child has had an accident because you just didn’t have time to get them to the toilet quick enough, just say so. Your honestly will be much more appreciated.
- Be consistent. With restrictions as they are, to ensure you’re not spending 2+ hours speaking to families as their children are collected, you will only have a limited amount of time. Make sure you’re giving the same time to each child’s family and not getting caught up in a long discussion over one child. If there are important things to discuss, arrange for the child to be collected a little later when most people have gone home, so you can chat properly. Or, alternatively, arrange a call or face-to-face meeting later in the week to make sure everything’s been discussed.
- Be positive, but don’t be afraid to mention negatives. Don’t be afraid of having awkward conversations if it’s something the child’s family needs to hear. For example, if they’re not meeting the milestones you would expect for their age, talk to the family about it – they need to know and will trust you more than if you said everything was fine but they were noticing issues with their child.
- Make sure you are prepared and have regular training. We all hate role play exercises but practicing talking to families in training sessions with your team will ensure you’re as confident as possible when it comes to actually handing children over.
- Get to know the family’s names. For example, not just saying “Sarika’s parents” but calling them Anil and Prathvi. It will build relationships between you and the child’s family, showing that you’re paying attention to them as well as the children in your care.
- Be firm but fair. Be authoritative when needed so boundaries are set within the relationship between you and families – so you don’t get walked all over by a “pushy” parent.
For experienced practitioners, much of this will be second nature, but it’s always good to make sure what you’re saying to families is helpful and of value so you can work as a team to provide the best for their little one.