Home visits & starting points
Choochoos provides a home visit for every individual child. Home visits take place at the start of a child’s journey at Choochoos or during a room transition. Choochoos has a home visit policy/procedure and risk assessment to ensure the home visit is a safe and positive experience.
Why do Choochoos offer a home visit?
- To begin building a trusting, positive relationship between the child, family and key person.
- To enable the key person to spend time with the child/family before the child starts Choochoos.
- Information sharing about the child from the parents/carers to their key person, giving them as much knowledge about the child prior to them starting Choochoos.
- Equip the key person with the knowledge they need to help support the child on starting their journey at Choochoos to make it smooth and positive.
What will happen during a home visit?
- The home visit is arranged to suit the parents/carers in a time that is flexible during Choochoos opening hours.
- It will take place after the parent pack and before the settling sessions at Choochoos.
- Can last for up to one hour.
- Completed by the key person who will travel to the family home or a neutral environment where the child is familiar and comfortable (within 5 miles of Choochoos). Outside of this radius a zoom home visit can be arranged.
- The key person will spend time with the child/parents/carers in an environment that is comfortable to the child.
- The key person will ask the parents/carers to share a typical day for the child, including daily routine, sleep, meal, toileting, care plans/medical needs, interests and more.
- The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance) will be used by the key person as a guide with the parents/carers to explore the child’s current development and progress.
- Together the key person and parents/carers will decide on 7 starting points covering all 7 areas of learning for the child, basing these on the child’s current development, with the aim to move them onto their next stage of learning.
- Parents/carers will be given a copy of these starting points to enable them to contribute towards sharing information from home with the key person.
- Photos will be taken of the child/family/key person during the home visit to be used to start the child’s online eyLog learning journey.
- The key person will make notes throughout and then add these onto the child’s online eyLog learning journey when they return to Choochoos.
- Before leaving the key person will remind the parents/carers of their first settling date at Choochoos.
What are starting points?
- A starting point is identified as a child’s next stage of learning/development.
- Starting points are created for a child during the home visit with the child’s key person and parents/carers.
- We use the EYFS, 2017, Development Matters as a guide when creating starting points.
- Each child will usually have 7 starting points, one each focused on the main areas of learning (Prime areas of learning, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language. Specific Areas, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Art and Design).
- During the home visit with parents/carers the key person will discuss each area of learning to decide how the child is developing, where they are developmentally and how we can support them to the next stage of their development.
- A starting point and next step allows us to see progress a child is making.
- It enables us to see if children need any additional support and if they are developing at a slower or faster pace.
- Parents/carers are given a copy and these are documented on the child’s online learning journey (eyLog) for parents/carers and practitioners to see and refer to.
- Observations, written and photographic are linked to the child’s starting points, used as evidence to show the starting points have been achieved.
- Starting points are linked into our daily planned activities/experiences to ensure all children’s individual development is being supported.
- Starting points are reviewed after a term of the child attending Choochoos, also before if needed.
- Starting points are shared with outside agencies if involved and other provisions if they attend, each term with parents/carers permission.
- If a child has attended a previous child care provision before coming to Choochoos we ask for permission from parents/carers to gather information from the previous provider to help us ensure we have meaningful starting points.
For more information on next steps, refer to section, ‘Starting points & next steps’.