Childminding – The Whys, Hows and Whens of recording a child’s starting points

November 11th, 2012

A child’s starting points – For Ofsted registered childminders

Why should I record a child’s starting points?

When you first care for a child, it is a good idea to gain an understanding of that child’s starting points. This process will help you to provide appropriate care for the child as it will:

  1. Help you to understand what the child enjoys.
  2. Help you to organise activities and that will help the child to settle.
  3. Provide you with a starting point for your observation, assessment & planning.
  4. Help you in the future to look back and identify how the child has developed over time across the seven areas of learning & development.
  5. Provide evidence to your Ofsted inspector, that you are aware of a child’s starting points and can evaluate the child’s progress towards the early learning goals in relation to those starting points.

Point 5 is relevant as although the EYFS Framework does not dictate that starting points must be recorded, the document “Conducting Early Years Inspections” (this is a document published by Ofsted that provides guidance on how Ofsted inspectors should conduct their early years inspections) includes the following statement:

“Any evaluation of children’s progress towards the early learning goals must be judged in relation to their starting points, their individual needs, how long they have been at the provision and how often they attend. The Inspector should examine the information that the provision gathers about what children know, can do and enjoy when they start to attend. Evidence of starting points can also be gained by talking with staff and parents about the level of children’s social, communication and physical skills on entry, and, importantly, by observing children new to the provision”.

How should I record a child’s starting points?

Our new “My starting points” record can be used to capture a child’s starting points in terms of what they know, can do and enjoy generally and across the seven areas of learning & development. For children below the age of two you may want to focus just on the three prime areas of learning & development. There are two sections to this record:

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