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Lunchbreaks In Preschool


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Guest valletta

we are now doing full day care on a wed and friday till 3.00pm

 

how do you cover lunchbreaks with the staff - from 12.15 to 1.15 is lunch then the p.m. session starts from 1.15 - 2.45

 

do you have half an hour then a member of staff covers you, or a hour?

 

we have been trying to get the staff to c over this but finding it difficult - any suggestions would be very grateful

 

half an hour is very short and most of the time if shopping locally have to wait in queues - do yo have to leave the premises?

 

also how do you get the children to eat lunch then calm down - do you introduce a short sleep with in mind that they are 3-4yrs, or quiet structured play?

 

after yesterdays disaster, children just wanted to run around and we had 12 children in and me and another member of staff - do you suggest we have another member of staff in? I would like to plan this more effiently and at the moment it is not working - any ideas on this too please thanks

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Have you got any parent helpers that could cover lunch breaks.

 

The nursery i used to work in the children had a sleep for about 1 hour, they used to lie on a mat and we would pat their backs until they fell asleep.

 

You could also try a video or a story tape to calm them down after lunch. :)

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Have lots of physical play opportunities during the morning then replace these whilst children are having lunch with quieter activities. Arrange the room so children don't have a clear space to run. When I find that children have a clear flight path to run I put a activity there to stop them.I hope this works for you.

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Guest valletta

to maisy

 

the parent helpers are not police checked so cannot leave them with the children.... would we have to pay them? for that hour.

 

good ideas coming through though - liked the idea about the sleep after lunch, or put out more tables so that they do not run... I do put on calming music have dolphins and whales calling and babbling brooks etc... maybe that is what is sending them all off to the loo he he!! the trouble is after they had there lunch yesterday, they seem to all want to go to the toilet and with one member of staff in the toilet wiping bottoms and me in the other rooms with the rest of the children - it just seemed to go manic!!

thanks for your help

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  • 1 month later...

|Hi, just been reading all your responses. At my nursery after lunch we get out cushions for the children to sit on. Some of the children like to lie down whist listening to classical music or story tapes.They do this for about fifteen minutes just before the parents start to arrive and it gives us a chance to tidy up after lunch and set the toys out for the afternoon. It has been working well, especially during the hot spells! The children also go home in a calm and relaxed way allowing for their food to go down.

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Hi we run 2 seperate sessions on a wed and fri (to keep us sessional).

 

Morning finishes at 12 and afternoon starts at 12.30. Staff should get a 30 min break then but in reality they only get 20mins and i get even less.

 

We run a lunch club fore kiddies on a Monday which is covered by the committee but i am always around and they are all police checked

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we too are full day care, and find lunches a nightmare.

 

I have 5 staff in on a morning session, working till 12.30 so at lunch time (12.00) 2 staff take lunches 2 staff set up for the afternoon session and the other 1 has lunch break from 12-12.30, she then comes back on at 12.30, 2 staff go home and 1 other takes a break from 12.30-1.00. the final staff takes her break from 1-1.30.

 

Its all quite complicated but it does work. the only problem i have is as we only have 2 qualified staff, we both have to stay in the building through our break, so we have to eat in the same room as the children. We dont mind this, but it does restrict us if one of us needs to pop to the shops.

 

hope you can arrange your system to suit the staff and the children

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As I am taking over a new group and combining it with my own I shall have to consider opening afternoon sessions also. So today I phoned Ofsted to check1) the length of a break between the sessions.

2] If the same children can attend a.m. and p.m.

I was told to phone the citizens advice bureau so get my answer to the length of the break as Ofsted no longer stipulate a time.

Children can attend both sessions as long as they vacate the premises for the length of the break even if I only have a very short break. All staff will have staggered lunches as I do not count myself in on the staff ratios.

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We have the same thing going on in our setting but ours is called 'lunch club' and it starts at 11.45 (end of playgroup) till 12.45 (start of pre-school). The way we get around this is by having one lot of staff working in playgroup and a couple of them of diff days stay on to do lunch club and then leave, so really they dont need ther lunch as they have had a morning break, but they do tend to have a sandwhich with the children, this is also a good way to encourage the children to eat their lunches if they see you eating. One member of pre-school will also run lunch club and follow straight on from lunch club to pre-school then go home.

Thats how our system works, thought id explain as it might just be of help.

 

Zara xx

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Children can attend both sessions as long as they vacate the premises for the length of the break even if I only have a very short break. All staff will have staggered lunches as I do not count myself in on the staff ratios.

Bubblejack are you saying that the children HAVE to vacate the premises, that they cant stay for lunch.

 

Sorry if i am misunderstanding you!!!!!!!

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Catherine I am only registered for sessional care which is 4 hours. Children could leave the premises with their parent/carer and return them back for the afternoon session but Ofsted would not tell me how long this break has to be. I have use of the hall every morning but only 2 afternoons and I don't think it would be cost effective to registeras full day care.

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We were told by our inspectors that we needed to leave a 15 minute break from one session ending to the next starting. This was to give us some time break if parents were late picking up. We are a sessional pre-school.

Linda

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Sorry Bubblejack

That was the minimum time she felt we could be closed for. Our main session finishes at 12pm and our wrap around closes at 12.30pm. So she felt we couldn't reopen until 12.45pm. So if children were going to return in the afternoon they could leave at 12 without lunch or 12.30 with. Does that make sense? We actually didn't have any children returning in the afternoon because we didn't encourage it. And they could only attend 5 sessions each week.

Linda

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Thanks Linda I understand now. In normal circumstances I wouldn't encourage children to attend twice in one day. As I no longer have the use of my hall I am moving to another hall nearby which is already registered and used as a pre-school so I have to combine both pre-schools into one.

Some parents are getting annoyed because their child can't have extra sessions. Some already attend during the mornings of the 2 afternoons I have use of the hall. I don't want to change their days as they have already settled and made friends. What makes it worse is all these children are funded and some of the parents cannot understand why they cannot automatically have 5 sessions when most of them are only attending for 2/3 sessions. My children are in a different building and the children who already attend have all different staff. In January I have lots going to school so by then if their child has settled they will be offered extra sessions.

If they give 2 yearolds funding I hope parents will understand that their child may not be able to attend all 5 sessions!!!!!

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Two of our children do both the am and pm session (go home at 12 r back for 12.30) thats what their parents want them to do. Also occasionally the term before they go to school some of the 4yr olds do this too......................

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Yes we were told that too. We had to extend our hours in order to ensure there was an hours break. We have a number of children attending 2 sessions in one day.

 

We received the new terms and conditions today and it clearly says that they no longer stipulate a time for the length of break. Typical really but we do find an hour is a good length of time to ensure staff get a break too.

 

Letter also says we can now finally spread funding over the 14weeks if need be. I sense some happy parents at last. :o

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