One of my biggest concerns when lockdown and setting closures were announced was “How will I stay in contact with my children and families?”
But I found a way to maintain that dialogue, which was vital for me and continues to be, even now as we reopen our settings. Digital systems have been vital for me to be able to stay in touch with my families and I have been using Kinderly’s Postcards from Home feature which enables parents to share photos and videos of what their child(ren) are doing at home and allows me as the practitioner to comment in response.
It’s a joy to be able to see the experiences my minded children have been having at home and it has also enabled me to help parents identify and support their child’s next steps.
It has also been wonderful to share activity ideas and next steps with parents at the click of a button. I have been able to make notes of ideas for activities and play that parents can take part in at home and easily link these to their child’s specific next steps. Not only has this been very supportive for parents in continuing to help their child’s development, but also for me to continue to track the children’s progress and support their learning, even when they’re not with me.
As part of Kinderly’s digital support package, I’ve been using their weekly EYFS based and age appropriate activity plans to inspire me and to supply really well thought out activities that are fun, stimulating and encourage learning and development. I make these activities accessible to parents and they’re simple and practical for them to carry out in the home learning environment too.
The support Kinderly has given me over lockdown and beyond has felt like a lifeline, and I’m so pleased that they are continuing to develop their digital package further as I’m keen to continue my own professional development. I’ve made use of Kinderly’s free weekly webinars, accessible to all (not just Kinderly users), on a wide range of areas of pedagogy and practice. These have been informative and helpful, and have included reflection tasks to help me continue professional development and keep me on top of my learning so I can be at my best for the children.
I was recently very pleased and proud to be invited to join their team of Brand Ambassadors who are Kinderly users that are experienced early years practitioners. We work alongside the Kinderly team sharing ideas and good practice and making recommendations about useful tools for our colleagues. It is so important to me that the support package that we are all receiving is influenced directly by those for whom it is intended.
Why not join Vikkie? Visit: https://bit.ly/Kinderly_Support to access your FREE 60-day free package (includes Kinderly Together the PACEY recommended learning journal and accounting software!)
Find out more about Kinderly here including their free trial and discount for PACEY members here - www.pacey.org.uk/kinderly.
About the author
Vikkie Murray is a registered childminder from Banbury, Oxfordshire, where she lives with her husband, two children and cat, Elmo. Vikkie has been a qualified teacher for 15 years and has had a wide and varied career. As well being a childminder, she has also been a primary school early Yyars teacher, SENDCo, early years specialist teacher for a national daycare company and done basic Mandarin teaching training in Beijing, China. She is passionate about child-led and family-centred learning, and bases her practice around this.