A Childminder's Guide to the new 2022 Progress Check requirements
This blog was also published on our childmindingbestpractice.com website on the 27/06/2022
It is a statutory (legal) requirement to write a progress check for every child in your setting between the ages of 2 and 3 years. If you are inspected Ofsted WILL want to see your progress checks for any children you have of this age.
The EYFS requirements were updated in September 2021 and so requirements for the progress check at age 2 have also been updated to follow suit. However, do not panic, you may find that you already do most, if not all, of what is now required.
Is the Progress Check the same thing as the Integrated Review?
You may also hear the term 'integrated review' when people talk about the progress check at age 2. This is when Early Years Professionals and Health Professionals complete their reports at the same time to give a more rounded 'integrated' view of the child. You should therefore consult with the child's parents to try and do your progress check at the same time as the review that Health Visitors also do on children at this age.
Why should you write a progress check and what should you do?
1) 'Partnership with Parents.' This was also an aim of the progress checks before the updates but there is much more emphasis on this now. The new Guidance Document published by the Government in May 2022 states:
'Knowledge of the importance of the early years is low in our society. For example, only three in ten parents recognise that the first five years are the most important for health and happiness in adulthood. The scientific evidence tells us that the period from birth to two years old is the fastest for brain development. However, one in three parents is unaware of this.'
Doing the progress check together with the parents is an essential opportunity to help parents understand how important this period of their child's life is. However, completing the progress check together should just be part of your continual communication with parents. Suddenly springing 'Partnership work' on parents just before the check needs completed is not a good idea. Working to build a constructive relationship with the parents throughout their child's time with you is much more productive.
When you have completed the progress check together you should ask the parents to share the information with their child's health visitor.
2) 'Action for Every Child'. The Covid Pandemic had a detrimental effect on many children. The Progress Check is meant to be used as a tool to help you support the child and their family and to help children catch up where necessary. DO NOT just write it then shove it in a folder and then forget about it. This would be missing the point entirely. Instead use the check to assess where the child has strengths and weaknesses and plan together how you are going to support the child with their next steps to catch up where necessary.
Don't forget to include the child in the process. After all it is about them! They may be able to tell you what they like doing with words or pictures or if they are very young just by what you do when you observe them.
3) 'Early Identification'. The progress check should be used to identify gaps in learning or areas in which they child may need additional support.
(Remember that children may not necessarily have a developmental delay, they may just not have had the opportunity to 'catch up' after the effects of the Covid Pandemic.)
It is important that you gather as much information as you can if you have serious concerns about a child's development in any area. However, it is NOT up to you to 'diagnose' a child and you should certainly NEVER tell a parent that you have diagnosed their child with something. That is up to the health professionals who should give you and the child's parents useful strategies to use to help support the child.
(You may also find our Super Summative Assessment and Gap Tracker kit' useful as the gap tracker contains lots of information about places where you can find more advice and support if a child needs it.)
Other things to think about:
The new guidance makes clear that you should not do more paperwork than necessary. However you should take into account the following,
4) There is not a statutory form that you have to complete, so unless your local authority has one which they ask you to use, you are free to use whichever format suits you and your parents.
5) You can use whatever guidance document you prefer to complete the check. The Birth - 5 Matters and Development Matters Documents are both useful. (If you use our Super Summative Assessment pack contains details from both.)
6) The progress check should focus of the prime areas of:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development,
Communication and Language
(In our 'Progress Check at Age 2' Pack we also include the Characteristics of Learning as we believe these to be equally important and think it is a missed opportunity if these are not included.)
7) You must include information about:
What the child is doing well
What they may need a little of support with
Where there is a concern that the child may have a developmental delay