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Hi all

I've not lost my marbles, - just interested and not really clued up on Children's Centres etc. but was wondering how the Childcare provider bit actually works in practice? How do they operate? Do they rent the premises? Who is their employer? Who pays the childcare staff wages, insurance etc. Can they still be Private, Voluntary or Independant or is it usually run by the LA? The idea behind the Children's Centre principle fascinates me (am I such a sad person??) and I would love to find out more (only out of my own personal interest). As most of these Centres are built on existing school/nursery sites What happens to the existing children and staff who attended the 'old' nursery before it came a children's centre?

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Guest Wolfie

At my Children's Centre, all staff are employed by the local PCT - the lead partner - but I think every Centre is run differently!

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At my childrens centre we are run by a private company who employ the staff and pay a lease per year for the use of the premises and utilities and all over costs are met by the private provider.

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There's a big question. As Wolfie said they are all run differently. I am a childrens centre manager and I am employed by the school through the LA. However, the management governance can be anything but they are Surestart funded currently. Mine is a complete, or will be, a complete new build within a school. A CC should have members of the PCT, education, care, social and private and coluntary service providers on their Governance to ensure that there is true multiagency working and decisions can be made around the needs of the community. They should also have to have a parents forum who also feed and sit on the governing body of the CC too. I think somehwere I saw that there should be parents should make up at least a third of the governing body . Certainly the PCT should have a strong presence too as they are closest to the ground with their work with Under 5's.

If you search Children's Centres and Management Governnance you will see that there are lots of different combinations - one other good document you might want to look at is the Practice Guidance where it shows the type of services that need to be provided and these tie in with the Children's Tracker where CC's should be capturing information on their community and work out best how to serve local need e.g. I know I have fairly high rates of teenage pregnancy in my area so in conjunction and being led by the health visitors/PCT I will need to find out what services are required by them as they often require slightly different services and that may involve perhaps parenting education and maybe continuing education for the parent or involvement with housing and lone parent advisers. Likewise the community I work is has a lot of refugees and we need to look at the services we are providing them too.

So who pays the staff? Money comes from Surestart through the LA, so I have to manage the budget with higher than the norm staffing salaries as they are dictated by the LA and I have to provide low affordable childcare also dictated as to what I can charge to ensure that I meet the affordable childcare for parents on WFTC etc. Balancing the two to make it sustainable - not easy but ultimatley they should be self supporting but with these types of problems is not easy.

So can be run by anyone - but they are clear guildelines on what CC's should be achieving

Nikki

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Hi all

I've not lost my marbles, - just interested and not really clued up on Children's Centres etc. but was wondering how the Childcare provider bit actually works in practice? How do they operate? Do they rent the premises? Who is their employer? Who pays the childcare staff wages, insurance etc. Can they still be Private, Voluntary or Independant or is it usually run by the LA? The idea behind the Children's Centre principle fascinates me (am I such a sad person??) and I would love to find out more (only out of my own personal interest). As most of these Centres are built on existing school/nursery sites What happens to the existing children and staff who attended the 'old' nursery before it came a children's centre?

 

 

We are private, we rent the rooms from the school but they are "purpose built" in the sense that we ripped the place apart and had it arranged our way. The staff are employed by ourselves and we are led by a management committee. We pay liability insurance, contents etc... rent, contribute to the water and other utilities, own phone bills.

We operate as a private day nursery and out of school club for 0-11yrs and work alongside the school nursery who we take our over 3's who's parents wish to attend the school nursery as their free 2 1/2 hours, they call it seamless provision.

 

We have an excellant relationship with the school and hope to continue for a long time. We were here incidently before the school turned into a children's centre.

 

Its really not that facinating when you realise that its just a big name for little difference in the way we would normally operate, but it sounds nice.

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