In this article, we review our approach to communicating with parents - what we issue, when and how you can and should get in touch with us as an organisation to process issues arising
Hatching Dragons prides itself on its openness and transparency with parents. We try to instill this through proactive communications, which this policy hopes to clarify.
- Consideration: Schools are busy environments where the teacher's priorities should be focussed on delivering exceptional welfare and education as a first priority; and the management and training of the staff as second
- Inbound channels: Parents can email the school directly and / or message via WhatsApp but are advised to submit forms from the quick links issued during induction (here for Canada Water; here for the City; here for Westminster) for all day to day notifications on sickness / absences / departures and / or holidays. Should you have a complaint, please raise a ticket via the Customer Portal (see below and our complaints policy)
- Hubspot Service Desk Access: Parents, upon enrolling in the school, will automatically be added to contact lists that permit access to our restricted educational content on our knowledge base, where all policies and procedures are mapped for your convenience. Enrolment will be in the form of an automatic email invitation issued to your registered email, which will permit you access once you've finalised the registration process on Hubspot. Should you miss this invite, you will not be able to review the content, nor submit tickets
- Admin team: All inbound communications will be fielded by the administration teams as a first response, triaging important notifications to the management teams. Parents are advised that our SLAs on response times on emails and tickets raised are 8 hours for a first response and 72 hours for issues / conversations to be closed. Feedback on their performance will be automatically issued at the closure of each ticket and we invite parents to do so, so we can monitor their KPIs.
- Management Meetings & One on Ones: The School Management teams have scheduling pages in which parents can proactively book time to discuss specific issues online - they are available for such discussions between the hours of 1-3pm Monday-Friday, and either at morning drop off or at collections. See here for the City; here for Canada Water and here for Westminster
- Onboarding and Settling In - After parents register with us, and upon confirmation of available space within their chosen school, a contract will be issued outlining our terms and conditions of service and fee schedules. As soon as the contract is signed, the child’s settling in is booked in and they are on-boarded into the nursery management system. Please see our settling in policy for more detail.
Nursery / Day to Day Communications
The nurseries use EY Log as a parent communications platform - it is a system that will track your child’s development with us and allow us to record nappies / nap times / meal times / developmental progress / key observations and learning journeys / accidents and injuries / medical dosage logs and much much more. Parents will be issued with their invitation to download the parent app and have access to the online parent portal upon contract signature as and when their profile is created on that system. For more information on EY Log and how parents can use it, please read the help pages here
The Key Person is responsible for:
Receiving the child at the beginning of the day and to receive all critical information from the parent upon handover; and
Providing handover to parents at the end of the day, transferring critical information to them upon the days end
Information to include: review the handover checklist in detail - Room Leaders should have this printed in their room folders as a guide for in-room training with their staff teams but principal information include:
The Wow moment - what did they do, what did they achieve and how can parents help nurture that development at home through home based activities?
What’s happening tomorrow - what do they need to bring, replenish, return to us or consider for the week; what are the staff movements / who is trialling and who is on holiday / who is replacing? Look at the school’s operating calendars (HR & Staffing for all recruitment candidates; Bamboo HR for all holidays booked; Settling In for all new children; the Room’s Education calendar for all activities planned
Nappy / Naps / Meals - how much did they eat, how well did they sleep etc
Parents will receive daily diaries from the team regarding their child’s care. Key Workers are responsible for completing the digital daily diary for their key children on a daily basis, reviewed by the Room Leader or Deputy Room Leader (depending on who has the closing shift) prior to publication. Should a staffer be off / on holiday or away, the deputy room leader or room leader will assume responsibility for completing the daily diary for the child. Please see EY Log guidance here on how to complete a diary entry
Critical areas that must be delivered:
Registering children as in attendance, absent, sick or on holiday can be done through the registration function
Daily Logs: Nappy changes, meals, nap times and lengths should all be recorded
Media / Observations: photos of the child’s “wow” moments of the day with a brief commentary of what was achieved in the day.
Group photographs of the child’s key group of children and a key activity that they have undertaken in the course of their day may be used for the “Wow” moment, along with a group description of the day for the group as a whole. This is because daily diaries, whilst fun and informative, do not replace formative assessment or observations that go into formative assessment, which is the developmental tracking analysis and assessment of your child’s developmental pathway within our school. For detail on the frequency of your child’s observations and learning journey, please see our teaching and learning practice procedures, and below for more detail. Practitioners and staff are invited to look at the EY Log guidance on group observations.
These communications need to be of sufficient quality to provide parents with a good sense of their child’s progress within the setting - single line commentaries will not be acceptable. These are then either submitted for review by the Room Leader, Deputy Manager or Manager and published every evening.
Baseline Assessment Review
Managers are required to book parents in for a 2-4 weekly baseline assessment review via their “Parent Communications” Google Calendar. This session is to allow the key person to present their findings on their child’s development in comparison to what parents may (or may not) have submitted as their own baseline assessment, which is typically (and automatically) issued post contract but prior to the child’s start date. Post contract, the manager will:
Book in the base line assessment review on the Parent Communications calendar, inviting the parents and key person via their emails, but ensuring that the boxes are unchecked that allow parents / staff to see one another’s contact details and / or invite other people
Liaise with the Room Leader and key person to ensure that they are aware that the child needs to have a baseline assessment completed on EY Log in the first 2-4 weeks of their time within the school as a mini summative assessment of their developmental progress
The manager will download this summative assessment prior to the scheduled meeting and attach it to the calendar invite, ensuring that participants have view access rights to it
The manager will print a copy of the report ahead of the meeting
Review deployment to ensure bank staff or the full time float are booked in to the cover the key person whilst off the floor - this needs to be done the week prior to the session being held so that adequate time is left to ensure contingencies are in place in the event that a staff member is off sick, on holiday. The deployment model should never be affected - perfect ratios on staff team, with a full time float need to apply at all times
Whenever parent meetings are held, the manager will ensure that the whole staff team will be aware of the session in advance and prepare coffee, tea and refreshments. The nursery will need to be inspected prior to arrival such that playgrounds, entry ways are clear and inviting and parents will need to be signed into the relevant visitor management system to log their attendance and inducted as to the health and safety arrangements for the school as a whole and the safeguarding channels available to them should they have a concern on practice during their time in the school (email firstname.lastname@example.org and relay Ofsted’s contact details)
Nursery Managers are then responsible for ensuring that they set up the parents termly feedback meeting. We hold one on one coffee mornings with parents that we schedule via diary invite to their email using the “parent Communications” calendar that has been set up for each school. This is to avoid our calendars getting too chaotic in having everything all booked under the one calendar - we can colour code and hide calendars, allowing managers to focus on specific items such as HR & Staffing; Marketing; Parent Communications; Settling In & Transitions - we have a calendar for them all and managers are responsible for ensuring that parents receive a termly (4 monthly) invitation to a coffee morning in which their child’s key person and themselves are in attendance. Managers will:
Book the termly update on the 4th monthly anniversary of the child’s attendance in the school’s Parent Communication calendar - managers can do this by identifying the date and setting a custom repeat cycle of every 4 months (set to the specific day of the week, rather than date in the month to avoid sessions being booked on a saturday)
Parents and key workers will be invited via email, with their emails hidden and the boxes unchecked for them to be able to invite others to the session
Ensure that notifications and reminders of that event are set to at least 1-2 weeks prior so that key persons have sufficient time to compile their reports on the nursery management system
Review the summative assessment and learning and development progress / learning journeys of the child in question at least one week prior to, to ensure that quality and consistency are clear and gaps are addressed (if any)
Follow the same procedures for the baseline assessment above and for hosting parent meetings
Please see our policy on summative assessments for more information
Managers will issue 2 yr old progress checks one month following the child’s second birthday. The report is a direct export from Ey Log and is taken as an assessment of all key areas of learning and development taken to date to identify areas for early intervention. See our SEND policy
Parents will be issued with an invitation by the nursery manager every term to update their information on EY Log such that we can be confident that we have the accurate medical and dietary / allergy information on your child. Parents have editable rights to their child’s profile information on EY Log and so are responsible for updating this information when they receive these communications. Managers will book in termly alerts on their Google Calendars to issue profile updates in this way, and check off the corresponding Task item on their Workast that the termly issue has been completed.
Accident / Injury Reporting:
Whilst the nursery continually assesses risk as part of its daily practice, there will be occasions when a child may injury themselves in an activity. During such occasions the accident and injury policy will be followed but parents will receive their accident form directly through EY Log. Staff are advised to fill out the form on the system and issue once Room Leader has reviewed. Please see here for guidance for EY Log and review Famly’s internal help on the portal and review our Accident & Injury policy for further guidance.
Parents Monthly Newsletter
Nursery managers will issue registered parents with an educational update each month on the nursery’s activities via Hubspot Email marketing. The newsletter will include:
The Theme of the Month - by age group to outlined the educational focus of the month
- The value of the Month - what value we're focussing on in our behaviours and how you can help role model at home
- Festivals of the Month - the international observances and cultural festivals that are the foundation of our cultural curriculum
- Songs / Stories of the Month - relevant to the theme, festivals and value in the mont
- Language list - what vocabulary we'll be investigating and learning and what you can do at home to help
- Key events & dates - openings / closures and things to attend
Employee of the Month: Votes for Employee of the month award
Nursery managers are responsible for organising and recording PTA sessions with parents on an ad hoc / termly basis and do so via Google Hangouts in an evening - these meetings must have a set agenda (see PTA template) and be accurately minuted by the deputy manager. Any relevant actions will be added to the School Development Plan (see template here) and tracked for completion in the You Said We Did sections of our newsletter and parent boards.