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  • Community Calendar

Found 36 results

  1. Hi, Just wondering if there has been any progress on the newsletter function that was suggested as a possibilty a few months ago? We tried having a false child and adding all parents but we had complaints from parents that they could see each others names. Is this going to happen soon? Thanks
  2. Inset Day Credits

    Hi, I am looking for a bit of guidance - For children who are funded and also pay for additional hours accessed what formula do you use to credit on an inset day week ? TIA Jo :wacko:
  3. Preschool business software

    Hi. I am looking into purchasing software for administration purposes. I need it to deal with, funding, invoicing, occupancy, holidays, starters, leavers, birthdays and adult/child ratios. Can anyone recommend a package please? Our setting has approx 65 children on role and we are a term-time setting.
  4. Committee versus Board of Directors

    Hi there, I am just wondering if anyone at a Preschool has changed from being Committee-led to a Board of Directors, and if so, how was it? I would love to hear of anyones experience as we are thinking that we may need to go down this route. Any advice/tips welcome! Thank you.
  5. I have been trying to find out exactly when this Early years National Funding Formula begins? I am sure I read somewhere it was from April? Please could somebody point me in the right direction? Also, I believe some settings in particular areas are not going to be offering the additional 15 hours due to the rates being too low. I can totally understand this, when I have worked out our new approx. funding rate reduction! Our problem is that we live in a "deprived" area and many parents can not afford to pay privately for childcare, so we kind of depend on the funding. - If this new rate is to come into force from April, we will lose money! How is that fairer?!
  6. The following website is a campaign to stop the "School Cuts" http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/ This is understandable because when the NFF is implemented they will lose money from their Pre-School children funding. So this raises many questions in itself! Q1) Why do Maintained Pre-School settings get approx twice the amount of funding per child, and have done for years? A1) The obvious answer is qualifications of course. The public sector like to pay themselves good wages no matter how they perform! Q2) Are better qualified staff, better for children? Just because a person has qualifications, does this make them a better role model for children? A2) I don't agree fully with this personally and I feel, although it's great to have knowledge, you really need to have a passion for working with children and have that communication with children and personality comes into it too. Q3) Why do School's appear to have a much louder voice and seem to have more political power than us in the Nursery or Childminding sector? We both do the same job..! A3) I can't answer this except that Public Services seem to get this privilege due to tax payers money being used.. not really within the public's control though!! I will leave it this for now and see what others feel or want to add..
  7. Investing in our Children

    I am going to start this article by asking a question and then explaining my answer to this question. The question is: Why do we give parent's of children "free" childcare? The obvious answer is so that all children can benefit from an education from an early age. Educating children from a younger age should hopefully improve the development of more and more children and this is seen as a positive and fair thing to do. Taking away parents requirement to pay for childcare gives every child the same opportunity and morally this is correct and pretty much unquestionable. However, many people, especially tax payers who do not require this free childcare, may voice their objections from time to time. If we bring Politics into this, and we should, we have Democrats to thank for this fair approach to people's needs. I happen to agree that this seems the best way to run things although at the same time I do not agree with this economically! We have the financial systems to blame for this and huge changes here are required if we ever want to move forward as a stronger society. Should money really be more important than a person's life? We have Billionaires on the one hand, and starvation on the other! Back on topic and my answer to the original question. I feel the Government and investing in our young people rather than funding them. The ultimate aim from education is to produce more intelligent and more useful members of society. If this investment pays off, then the government would have helped to create people who are capable of getting a job that pay's well or entrepreneurs and therefor paying taxes for 40-50 years of their lives. They should hopefully increase the Countries productivity and be a huge benefit economically. They hope to reduce welfare payments in the future with this increased and capable workforce being invested in today. We always here about a Countries GDP and this seems like a very important indicated of how investable a Country is. The more outside investment into our country again improves our economic outlook. To summerise, we have 2 main reasons for funding children, economics and humanity. It seems, economics are always put before humanity as we can see from the distribution of wealth in our Country. Many people relying on Food Banks whilst others have heated swimming pools is a clear indication of this. Yes it is fair to say some people work harder or they have more luck in life financially and others, whom do no nothing to help themselves financially and it is just the way it is and always will be. "That's Life" as Frank Sinatra sung so elegantly, whilst getting very rich in the process! So, is this 30 Hours Free Childcare going to change anything?
  8. A very interesting report from Ofsted "If we get the early years right, we pave the way for a lifetime of achievement. If we get them wrong, we miss a unique opportunity to shape a child’s future" "However, there were still around 80,000 children – nearly a third of all those eligible – whose families did not take up a funded place in 2015. That equates to a staggering £200 million worth of potential investment that has failed to reach the children for whom it is intended." Early education has the potential to drive social mobility and improve outcomes for the next generation. We should not let them down. Sir Michael Wilshaw My question is this; So has the money already gone to the local authorities, in anticipation of there being children to fund? If so where is it now? Have they had to give it back? or has it been used for something else - surely it was ring-fenced? If the Gov't still has it, what are they intending to spend it on - if they had already budgeted it for early years then surely it should remain for early years children? You can read the full report here
  9. Even though we know the Government didn't give this idea much thought (as usual) and simply wanted to win the General Election, using this 30 Hours free childcare idea, it should still be a positive thing! The government are giving many parents' 30 Hours of FREE care for their children!! On the surface this is a very nice thing to do, right? They are also generating more money for childcare providers, albeit at what many believe to be a low rate of pay. I personally fail to understand this even though it has been explained to me many times! 3/4 year old's ratio 1:8 as we know. 1:13 with a EYT or QTS.. even though we should actually never even contemplate this ratio, it transpires usually to a 1:6 ratio in many settings. This depends on individual children of course and quality of provision and staff. The government can not be blamed for the difficult child or useless management and/or staff. Anyway, let me use 1:6 as the ratio for financials. 30 hours x £4 per hour is a fair figure. £120 per child per week for these 30 hours. 9am - 3pm each day ideal model. So 6 x £120 = £720 p/w Staff costs for 30 hours per week approx £10 x 30 (higher end) £300 p/w Factor in other costs p/w for rent, business rates, insurance, HR, bills etc, and yes it eats into this profit.. hard to say an exact figure.. If we care for 30 children per day.. 30 x £120 = £3600 p/w income. Staff x 5 @ £300 = £1500 p/w out Are you telling me the extra factors ie Rent would come to anywhere near £2100 p/w??? Am I missing something here? Except yes, we never get the perfect model.. so in reality the figures above are not the case but still... Maybe this is the reason the Government can't understand why childcare providers are "kicking off"? Anyways I am sure this can be explained to me again.. and I do realise many settings can not manage this kind of perfect model, and that 2 year old's and below are a factor.. longer opening hours and full time childcare is a factor etc and maybe many more...
  10. Hi - Pretty new to this so any advice welcome before registration inspection. We run a setting for 2,3 and 4 year olds - many therefore funded for 15 hrs over 38 weeks but we are 48 week setting that opens 07.00 - 18.30. During holiday times when there is no funding on offer, but parents pay to attend, are we obliged to provide the same experiences for children as we do in term time ? Naturally we follow EYFS guidelines but we don't intend to provide the activities in holiday periods that we do in term times. We have big outdoor facilities and all indoor resources are the same during holiday periods and can be used however we have a term time only early years teacher and will utilise different staff in the pre-school to accommodate her and others on TTO contracts, for example. Monitoring and assessment will therefore be less prevalent during holiday time. We also don't intend to provide workshops or visiting music/dance/ craft/ storytelling etc classes during holiday times - we make a loss on these during term time as it is, with our NEF rate being so negative so don't feel that we are in a position to provide them constantly throughout the year. Are Ofsted likely to visit in holiday times, if so - does anyone know how they would feel about the financial argument that NEF is now crippling so many so we choose to provide certain resources and experiences to all during term time only when ALL children attend and when we obliged to offer 15 hours of free child care ? Already seeing and experiencing the financial pitfalls. Parents seem to have this illusion that 'free' hours entitles them to everything that comes at cost to us but should be free to them and I've tried explaining that if hey want some of the experiences that we are trying to offer then they need to pay for them. At what point does everyone draw the line at 'free at point of delivery'. Am I being a bit naive ?
  11. Funding Forms

    Hi - I have inherited the funding file and we have EY1 forms but then FE1 forms as well as/in place of. Can someone tell me please if I need to have both or whether the FE1 (which seems the most up-to-date and thorough) is the only one I need? Thank you.
  12. Pre-school Practitioner Hours: 18 hours per week, term time only 8.45am – 2.45pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday A fantastic opportunity for a highly motivated, creative candidate/individual who is passionate about Early Years to join the team at this popular Ofsted Outstanding pre-school. You will need a Level 3 or above recognised Early Years qualification and experience working in an Early Years setting. For further details and an application pack please visit www.dolphinspre-school.co.uk Closing date: Monday 20 June 2016
  13. I've put a brief article up on the home page which links to all the key discussion points. I'd like to assume that we have some agreement on the key points: providing additional funded childcare hours for parents is a good thing providers are worried that the currently proposed levels of funding fall short of the actual cost of providing the hours Currently most providers ‘cross subsidise’ (i.e. they put prices up for hours outside the funded hours) the existing funding shortfall by increasing costs elsewhere in their provision With the increase in hours the opportunities for ‘cross subsidising’ funding are limited I thought it would be useful to hear what providers are doing in preparation for this ... practical ideas, costing calculators, cunning timetabling ... Let's be positive and put our collectively brilliant brains together I look forward to hearing from you!
  14. Here is a link so that you can watch the discussion. It begins at 2.30pm today. I haven't managed to work out how to record it yet ... I'm still looking. It's a live stream on t'internet. Click here: Public accounts committee. If there is a clever person who knows how to do it can they tell me?!
  15. raising funds

    We are raising funds that will enable us to purchase a self contained building. Our current premises are no longer suitable. We have applied to the national lottery. Does anybody have any experience in this and can advise on other places to approach. Many Thanks
  16. Well i am not ashamed to admit we recently had the dreaded visit and after a nightmare few hours where everything that could go wrong did we ended up with an Inadequate judgement! Yes this is embarrassing because we only recently closed another smaller setting that was judged Good and had to close this setting for financial reasons The small setting had the same staff files and same practice of the now merged setting we have just been judged on. The brief reasons for this inadequate judgement where not having our staff files in order with regards to 2 Reference checks and qualification certificates at hand that day. Yes this is poor but some of these staff have been with us 5-10 years! Also Supervisions where not rigorous enough ie training not linking in for needs of the setting. So we fell short to say the least on Leadership and Management! Also we recently changed our setting layout and removed a a small old office block that on the wall removed contained our "safeguarding board" and this board was then not put back up! Very silly mistake! Also near our entrance area we have a shelf on the wall at medium height and children use this area when going to the toilets. Upon this shelf was left a medicine bottle and a wall stapler!!!! So if a child was to drag a chair over and get on it they could of reached these dangerous objects! So if no staff had been around for a few minutes (not very likely at all in any scenario) or not been vigilant then a children are put at risk of course!! Very silly once again! There might have been a few more points like not being able to put our hands on things in the office on request etc.. or the one bit of paperwork needed not being around for various reasons! So overall these stupid mistakes cost us dearly.. and resulted in us losing our 2 year old funding of course and also the possible removal of 3/4 year old funding if the LA decides we are not fit! Albeit we have easily rectified these mistakes and have everything needed for the next inspection (within 6 months) at hand and we have learned a lot from this awful experience! Even though i can understand the judgement given i still feel we are a good nursery for everything we do and how the last 10 years children have developed well, and even parents on reading our Ofsted report are happy with us and have told us so. Yes it's tough at the moment but we can't wait for Ofsted to visit again now and want to get the Good or even better we deserve! Moral of this experience, don't make silly mistakes!
  17. Hello everybody I'm thinking ahead to the new year and hoping for some inspiration! I'm taking over a mixed reception/nursery class in January and have been told hat the the whole school Spring term topic is 'old and new' I'm struggling to think of ideas for this age group apart from old/new toys - Ive also been told the head likes planning to be based on a book....any help appreciated x
  18. Im sure other settings will have received theirs also but i wanted to make a thread about it and to quote the positive part financially at least.. So what do you make of this?! And will this sway you to want to now give the 30 hours free hours?
  19. Hey all, i want to hopefully get a good response from all many members regarding the 3/4 year old funding. I appreciate it is different rates per LA and that some benefit more than others it seems but i want to find out the following: 1) What LA area is your setting in? 2) What is your hourly rate per child this term? 3) Will you benefit from the new 30 hour scheme? If we get enough feedback from this post it should lead to a nice discussion on why it benefits some and not others. I understand if you don't want to share personal information but it would be very interesting to see the results. Thank you
  20. Hey everybody i wanted to be even more intrusive into our Nursery Businesses and i hope some of you can help again With the success of our last survey regarding nursery funding amounts and how i am hoping it might have actually helped highlight the different amounts per LA, i was hoping to now gather information regarding staff wages per area. Even though the cost of living is higher in certain areas of the country we do still have a National Minimum Wage and soon to be Living Wage come April!! HELP!! If you don't want to be specific as adding the amounts below, please just include a few sentences about how the National Living Wage will effect you in April 2016. SO the questions i would love answers to are: How much do you currently pay the following staff; Room Leader = £7 Manager = £10 Dep Manager = £8 Apprentice = NMW 18-20 Year Old = NMW 21 - 24 year Old = NMW Over 25 year old = NMW Any other roles ie SEN Champion = NMW Any other ___________ = So in April - when the Living Wage comes into effect @ £7.20 per hour for 25 years and over It will increase costs, but we are only a small setting so it won't be a major increase. We are also in the North West so the cost of living is quite low in comparison to the average i believe. Hopefully we can gather some realistic data again
  21. Dear Early Years Practitioners, There is currently a petition on www.change.org called "Fairer funding for Early Years, fairer services for children" which gets signatures surprisingly slowly. I checked it yesterday and it had only 666 signatures so far. It will be sent off as evidence to the DfE by next week, so we have only a few days to go to boost the number of signatures. Would you all be so kind to sign it, if you have not done so, and if you have a Facebook page, a Twitter page or a member of any other social media groups, please ask your followers to sign it. Remember that the petition can be signed by anyone, not only by EY practitioners. https://www.change.org/p/sam-gyimah-mp-nicky-morgan-mp-priti-patel-mp-rt-hon-david-cameron-mp-fairer-funding-for-early-years-fairer-services-for-children
  22. Hello, i wondered if anyone could offer some advice. We are due our Ofsted registration visit for our full day outdoor childcare provision-7.30-6.30 and all we have for indoor space is a yurt with electricity. Any tips on what documents to have prepared for registration visit in general would be VERY welcome! Anything specific to outdoor education/nature kindergarten/forest school would be very welcome. Even a simple check list of things to have ready would be useful-I feel like we have so much going on that I cannot keep track of everything so a master list would be great.
  23. Hello, I would really appreciate any views on this topic. We have some parents who only want to use 10hrs of funding with us for their 3yr olds. This is difficult as we obviously need to do the same amount of paperwork for all the children - but this is financially difficult as we need to take on even more children to fill places - which in turn leads to more paperwork. Does anyone else have this problem or say that parents have to do at least the full free 15hrs? Thank you!
  24. I thought this might be a useful discussion topic and a chance for us to find out what's going on around the country, both good and bad. As an early years supply teacher, I've been aware of: New format IEPs or the introduction of 1 Page Profiles Very stressed SENCOs, teachers and support staff The same long waiting lists for services, particularly input from Educational Psychologists Lack of funding and additional support for children and their families As a trainer, I've been aware of the above as well as: Cuts to support and funding from the Local Authority becoming worse, at least one Local Authority is removing the additional inclusion funding (for children without an Education, Health and Care Plan) completely from April this year SENCOs still being expected to "do everything" for children with SEND, despite it being clear in the new Code of Practice that it should be the responsibility of all staff Continued Health Visitor shortages The continued dedication of practitioners to meet all children's needs What else is there? It would be great to have some good news ........
  25. I work at a private nursery in Fulham and have been searching high and low for new courses to send practitioners on but am having a lot of difficulty, I have even looked at the tri-borough courses but some do not even apply to early years! Also want to avoid overpriced courses! Thanks