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starsdance

Full FSF Member
  • Content count

    143
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starsdance last won the day on November 3 2013

starsdance had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

60 Good

About starsdance

  • Rank
    Feet firmly under the table!
  • Birthday December 26

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Buckinghamshire

Previous Fields

  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education
    Nursery practitioner
  1. DBS

    I know this has been answered before but I just wanted clarification that it is still the same and hadn't changed and I had missed it! 2 members of staff whose DBS's were done 4 and 5 years ago are mithering about needing a new one - I don't think they do as there is nothing in writing (that I can see) to say they have to have a new one. I get them to fill in a staff suitability form at every supervision so 3 times a year. One of them will also be leaving in the very near future and I know my Chair will not be too happy spending the money on hers for her to sign up to the update service and leave us very shortly. We have had major money issues this last year but are now back on a even-ish keel. I understand that some LA's say it's 'good practice' to get them done every 3 years but isn't this just spending money for the sake of it? Hope someone can shed some light on this for me.
  2. Claims for funding

    We have always had to fill in the days attending as well as the hours. This is so when they audit they have an accurate record of any days off. It is also a legally binding document so if the parents put down that they want 3 hours on a Monday but never turn up you have the paperwork to back up your right to take away the space or for the LA to reclaim funding from you.
  3. Claims for funding

    Have just reread ours and even though the 3 year old one is 5 pages long the last page is an amendment sheet so if any changes are requested they only have to fill out this sheet and not all of it again. We are not required to take any copies of BC/Passport, just note down which one we have seen and sign it. We are always told that we do not need to keep any copies of BC/Passport on the premises (the same with DBS certificates - just take a note of the number). It astounds me that different LA's have different rules. Ours is in colour as were the last ones that we had to complete and there wasn't any problem with having a master copy printed and the ones which were completed photocopied (so black and white). I'm sure I would be telling them to take a running jump if they wanted it in colour. It's like the safeguarding documents that were updated each year - they had to be printed on different coloured paper so they could see at a glance that we had the right one displayed. This soon changed to being allowed on white paper as providers complained that unless they were provided with the paper they weren't going to buy a ream of orange just for 20 sheets! That reminds me there is a new updated one to be printed.
  4. inset days

    We have the BH in May off and still get funded as our LA with fund a full week as long as we are open at least 3 days in that week. So technically we could have next Thursday off (polling station) but our parents wouldn't forgive us having two days off in a week. God forbid that they would have to look after their own children for two days in a week!!!!
  5. Additional charges

    After reading the model guidance it doesn't look like it so will have to think of another way.
  6. Additional charges

    We have the new 'draft' agreement and this will be their stance on charging: Charging The entitlement is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week of free, high quality, flexible childcare. However, providers may charge for meals and snacks as part of a free entitlement place and they may also charge for consumables such as nappies or suncream and for such services as trips and yoga. These charges must be voluntary for the parent. In circumstances where a parent is unable or unwilling to pay for any meals or consumables, providers who offer entitlement places are responsible for setting their own policy on how to respond. Options should include waiving or reducing the cost of meals and consumables, or allowing parents to supply their own. Voluntary contributions from parents must be voluntary. They cannot be included on an invoice and parents must not feel obliged or pressurised into paying them. Where parents raise concern with over voluntary contributions, then will investigate. We may look at how many parents pay the voluntary contribution suggested by the provider, and if there are any repercussions to parents who do not pay it, to see if it can be concluded whether it is accurately deemed as voluntary. Providers must deliver the free entitlements consistently, so that all children accessing any of the free entitlements receive the same quality and access to provision, regardless of whether they opt to purchase additional hours or services, or pay for their meals or consumables. Providers must be completely transparent about any additional charges being presented to parents. Their invoices and receipts need to be clear, easy to understand, and itemised allowing parents to see that they have received their child’s free entitlement completely free of charge, and then be able to clearly understand any additional fees relating to additional hours or services. (A sample invoice can be found on So I presume if I want to charge a voluntary contribution or make charges for services I need to do a completely separate invoice. I can't actually look at their sample invoice as their website has crashed!!
  7. inset days

    We don't have inset days - the days we are open are the days we get funding for. Therefore we only do 'full' weeks which sometimes means coming back a couple of days later or finishing early.
  8. Additional charges

    Sorry I haven't been on for a while so have only just seen this. Here is an excerpt from our provider agreement which sets out what you can and cannot charge for. This is from 2015 as the new one won't be ready until sometime in May. Purchase of Services Visits/ Specialist Services: Providers may make reasonable charges for visits and specialist services such as music provision or language tuition taught by a qualified teacher. Parents should not be required to pay for these services as a condition of a place. An alternative quality learning and development experience that meets the requirements of the EYFS must be made available for children who do not participate in these activities. Services that can be delivered by a practitioner such as cookery or PE must not be charged for. Voluntary Contributions Parents may be asked for a voluntary contribution but these must be entirely voluntary and parents and children must not be penalised as a result. Meals: Providers may make reasonable charges for meals however; these charges must not be a condition of accessing EEF. There should be the option of providing a packed lunch. Providers should inform BCC of their charging arrangements for lunches; BCC will challenge where prices are considered to be unreasonable. Snacks: Snacks are provided free of charge and the cost to provide this is factored into the Early Education Funding rate. Uniforms: Uniforms may be made available for purchase but this must be on a voluntary basis, not mandatory. Registration Fees/ Deposits: Under no circumstances should a registration fee or deposit be charged for accessing an EEF place. Registration fees may be applied to additional hours/services that do not form part of the EEF stand-alone offer. Nappies Charges may be made for nappies but personal hygiene products e.g. soap, cream, wipes, must be readily available. There should be the option to provide their own.
  9. Part-time staff and keyworkers

    We are sessional with only me working full time. I match the children to the keyworker who will be in on the majority or all of their days. We are a small setting so we all work very closely with all of the children. We don't manage keyworker groups due to not all of the children doing every day - I think after Easter I don't have any doing all week so some days I might only have 2 key children in. When Ofsted came she asked the question about what happens when staff are off or not in and I just explained to her that the keyperson was in charge of their learning journeys, sorting out next steps and talking to the parents if needed but we all took a role in helping that child progress in their learning. The parents also know that they can speak to me or my Deputy if their key worker is not in. She was happy with that.
  10. Additional charges

    They don't say wipes must be provided but if you do you can't make a charge for them. They are classed the same as tissues as if you have them they are part of the basic provision. Hope that makes sense.
  11. Additional charges

    You are not allowed to charge for wipes as they should be part of the basic hygiene of the setting. You can charge for nappies though. We put a voluntary donation of £10 per half term on all invoice and I presume most of the funded children pay it but we don't discriminate against any that don't (I don't actually know who pays and who doesn't as it all goes via bacs and the treasurer deals with it). We will probably also start asking for a donation towards Action Kids who we have in once a half term but don't have anything else we can charge for - all children bring their own lunches. September will be interesting, if we are still open. There doesn't seem to be the children out there that there used to be even with the 30 hours coming in.
  12. 30 hour funding and how to offer it.

    My LA's directory specifically states that we are not allowed to charge for snack, uniform or registration fees. We can ask for a 'reasonable' charge for extras i.e music provision or a language class. But parents shouldn't be excluded if they can't pay. Also, anything like cooking that can be provided by a practitioner should not be charged for. We can charge for nappies but things like wipes, soap etc must be readily available and they must be given the option of providing their own. We are allowed to ask for a voluntary contribution but again this should not be a condition. The only thing we ask for is a voluntary contribution of £10 per half term and I'm not sure who pays this. I think all the funded children will possibly pay but not the fee paying parents. Is there going to be a new directory issued if people are saying that you are going to be able to charge for items?
  13. Celebrate your inspection! Autumn 2016

    Thank you for all your lovely comments - we have got chopsticks coming out of our ears now!!! Our last one was October 2013, just before they changed to the new criteria. We are off out for Afternoon Tea on Sunday to celebrate (a present from the committee)
  14. Celebrate your inspection! Autumn 2016

    I received our report by email today but have to wait until it's published to let everyone know It's really hard keeping shtum but we are saying to anyone that asks that it 'went good'
  15. Staff meetings

    How long are your meetings. We can never seem to get that much done in ours.
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