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Everything posted by Stargrower

  1. I wish we were being paid the £4.27 an hour that is always quoted as the average. £3.85 for us. If only the government had 'sold' this to parents as subsidised childcare, not free. We would all be happy. Parents would still get a massive discount, and we would be able to charge the difference between what the LA pay us, and what it costs to provide the places.
  2. Additional Hours

    We haven't yet been able to claim the additional hours (over the universal 15) for children using up to 30 hours funding. Our headcount day was 21st September and there was a technical problem on our funding portal, meaning we couldn't enter any additional hours. This still hasn't been fixed and now we're nearly in mid-November without being able to claim. I emailed my LA yesterday and received an automated reply saying they will respond within five working days. I'm now reminding parents to renew their codes for next term and we haven't claimed this term! I wondered if anyone else had experienced these delays? PS We have been paid for the universal hours claimed - thankfully!
  3. Additional Hours

    Thank you Finleysmaid, I have emailed our MP...received another automated reply but we will wait and see what happens.
  4. Additional Hours

    All our children's codes have been checked and verified, the delay is with the LA who are still saying we can't yet claim the additional hours.
  5. Scam

    We get calls like this as well, often saying "Thank you for supporting us last year and we hope we can rely on you again this year" when we have never supported them at all. You have to be so careful!
  6. The financial pressures are all too real for those of us in Local Authorities whose funding has been cut. With the introduction of the 30 hours, our funding was cut by 10% so not only are we having to cope with a big cut, we don't have the 'buffer' of charging the full price for the extra hours that children attend - as these are now funded as well. I'm sure that some nurseries are doing well financially from the 30 hours if their funding has stayed the same or increased, but certainly not all of us. We get regular emails from our LA asking for expressions of interest for nurseries and pre-schools that are facing closure, but I can't see anyone risking the investment in time or money when the future of childcare provision in my county is so insecure.
  7. We do this fairly regularly too but don't have a separate risk assessment for it - just plenty of adult supervision and common sense. It is a great activity with lots of learning potential as Mouseketeer has said.
  8. Small mallets

    Exactly what we do! :1b
  9. snack time

    Always at the table for all of the reasons above!
  10. Setting up new nursery - eek!

    i have staff working 7.30 - 4.30, 8 - 5 and 9 - 6. They have an hour for lunch, unpaid. They work the same shift all the time (other than the occasional swap). As far as possible, we try to allocate key children so that key people see them in at the beginning of the day or are there at the end of the day but for children attending 8 - 6, obviously you can't have both. Parents and children soon get to know the other staff though, so it works fine.
  11. Stretched Offer

    I'm quite confused about stretching funding... If a child is eligible for 30 hours funding each week and, for example, they attend for 20 hours, can the parent claim more than 20 hours so that when the funding is stretched over the year, they are getting their 20 hours free all year? I thought that the point of stretching the funding and the 30 hours offer was to help parents who work all year. If they can only stretch the amount of hours their child attends, there is no benefit to them, other than spreading the cost over the year, rather than paying during the holidays. Please can someone enlighten me? Thank you! :1b
  12. Stretched Offer

    Thanks for your replies. I have just spoken to my LA (after a lot of trying!) and they have clarified it. So a family entitled to 30 but only claiming 20 can claim enough hours to give them 20 free hours for 51 weeks a year. Phew!
  13. Lunch Breaks

    Do you have others who need to wait until the late ones return so that they can go on their breaks? That is the line I've taken in the past...If you're late back, the next person can't leave which makes them late back etc etc !
  14. Nappy bags

    We use a bigger version of the Sangenic nappy bin and they are excellent. We are full daycare 0 - 5 so lots of nappies and you get no smell from the bin at all other than when you empty it. The cassettes that go in the bin (which dispense the bag) are an expense but for us, it's well worth it. We've used the bin for years!
  15. Are you taking in ironing?

    What makes me cross, is that they lump domestic tasks such as ironing and providing meals with childcare. Does the service we provide for our families have the same value to the people who thought of these ideas? Cleaning, ironing, cooking, providing drinks, oh and a bit of childcare. Don't worry about the education bit, that can be left to schools. GRRRRRR!
  16. Are you taking in ironing?

    When I read that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. As the manager of a nursery in the second lowest funded local authority in the country, I can't really say any more!
  17. Heating child's lunches

    We've never had a problem with heating lunches (although we're not a pack away setting). If you are re-heating previously cooked food, it needs to reach 75 degrees, if it hasn't been cooked or heated before, it's 65 degrees. You will need a food temperature probe but these are quite inexpensive. You will also need to record the temperature and time somewhere. If you have a Safer Food Better Business folder, you can record it there, or just in a notebook otherwise.
  18. Preschool business software

    I have used Instant Nursery Manager for a number of years now and find it good. They do a 'term time only' package. They have a website with demos of the software and there is helpful telephone support.
  19. 30 Hours Funding - how will you allocate spaces?

    I couldn't limit the places available as about half our existing families are eligible so I couldn't give to some and not to others.
  20. DBS - who do you use?

    We use Online Disclosures. They used to be called TMG CRB.
  21. Claims for funding

    Ours are five pages plus 6 appendices!! We have to keep a copy of date of birth evidence then scan and email securely to LA if they ask to see it.
  22. Policies - Contents Page

    Here's ours.... Index.doc
  23. What's your take on this?

    Yes, we were inspected during June half term and Ofsted looked at what we were doing on that day as well as in general (although they didn't look at planning at all but focused quite a lot on progress so you would need to show how you helped children made that progress). I think with the introduction of 30 hours and more parents stretching their funding over the year, this will become more and more important for those of us open all year.
  24. What's your take on this?

    Wow, I'm shocked by that! We run in a similar way - we are full daycare and run a holiday club in our Pre-school Room during school holidays. We provide activities for 3 - 9 (ish) year olds and try to do things that everyone enjoys such as cooking, messy play, lots of art and craft and outdoor play. This means children can enjoy this at their own 'level' and everyone can join in. We have lots of continuous provision that everyone can use too, such as Lego, blocks, sand and water etc. etc. The majority of older children actually enjoy some nursery activities with none of the pressures of school - they have a bit of a regression and love it! We still run in the normal way for younger children - key person, obs etc but our planning is more activity and fun-based rather than EYFS and learning outcomes. I agree - if they are paying for their child to attend, they should be getting a good service and their child should be happy and cared for.
  25. Outings

    For local outings we usually keep normal ratios but it depends which children we have and where we are going. We often do a trip to the park, library or castle with a 1:8 ratio and manage with no problem.