Last Updated 27/05/2022

If you are finding planning complicated and stressful it is a good time to stop for a moment and take stock of the observation – planning – assessment system you are using in your setting and check that it is suitable for your needs. Check that you aren’t making any of the following mistakes:

 Mistake 1. Creating overcomplicated planning systems

Remember that whatever system you are using for your planning, whether is involves written planning or not, needs to be usable by you every single week. The more complicated you make it, then less likely you will be to use your own system. If the system you are using is currently too complicated for you to maintain, then it may be time to try a new system.

Mistake 2. Creating planning documents that can’t be easily changed

Your planning system has to flexible; it cannot be a series of documents set in stone. It has to be easy to make changes to and it has to be adaptable. If your system does not allow for change, then you have not got an effective planning system in place at your setting.

Mistake 3. Planning for your setting but not for each individual child

If the system you use works for your setting, but does not take into account the needs of different children in your setting, then your system needs a rethink. A planning system must work for your whole setting AND take into account the needs and interests of each individual child.

Mistake 4. Not linking your observations to your planning

All of the ‘next steps’ you decide upon and record MUST link into whatever planning system you are using. Writing observations and next steps into your learning journeys is pointless if you don’t have a method to put those ideas into your planning.


If the planning system you are currently using is too complicated, or makes any of the mistakes described here, you may want to simplify your planning by looking at our Learning Journey Plus workbook which takes you step by step through creating a workable, flexible and ongoing planning system for your setting.

Creating a Planning System for your childminding setting doesn’t have to be complicated and won’t take you a lot of time if you follow the steps in the Learning Journey Plus Workbook. The Workbook will help you to create four planning documents which put together will comprise your planning system. The Workbook includes model planning documents that you can copy or overtype for your setting.