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Jenni B
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I was just wondering whatt other settings do regarding their admissions/waiting list? At present we have a large number of children returning to us in September and a big waiting list. In the past we have always held places open, for example we have children starting at pre-school in April/May and 4 children in June(tjhis year) Our Pre-school Learning Alliance Rep seemed astounded that we held places open for that long! What do you do?

 

How do you organise your intakes? Throughout the whole year or one or in takes per year?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

jx

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I think it very much depends on your financial situation and whether you can afford to hold places open when there are other children who would take the place up now? More and more settings are introducing retainers now as a way of families "reserving"their places without the setting losing out too much financially - I think families USUALLY understand the need for this and accept the practice to make sure that their child can start when they want them to. Do you have spaces at the moment and children on your waiting list who could start now that you are turning away because you have these spaces held open until the summer?

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I don't save places at all.One of my feeder schools still have 3 intakes so children don't have to wait too long for a place. When this school only has 1 intake I can see a problem though. If a child isn't ready to start in September and I have filled all the spaces they will have to wait until the following September. If they are a summer born child they may not have the opportunity to attend at all.

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It is not generally a problem, we usually seem to be able to accommodate everyone. However, this year we have had a situation on one day where a parent wanted to increase their child's session but the space has been allocated to someone on the waiting list who will start after Easter. So really we will have missed out on fees for 4 sessions. Would be interested to hear how others work their waiting list.

 

We are a sessional group, we might be able to increase the number of sessions we offer. Are you able to increase the number of sessions you offer ie offer afternoon sessions?

 

Am I right in saying also, that we are supposed to hold a space open for a number of weeks before the start of a term for any 4 year olds moving into the area, if it is financially viable to do so? That may not be exactly right but it's something like that.

 

We take children as soon as they are 2 years, 9 months, so take children throughout the year.

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We had a similar problem when we moved to our larger premises. We were increased to 40 children per session form 26, but because of the new location and premises we became very popular very quickly!

 

Our main feeder school has a single intake and we found we were unable to accommodate children wanting to start after Easter. We then started opening 1 afternoon a week after Easter and offered this to children leaving for school in the September. This is now a permanent afternoon and after this Easter we are looking at opening another afternoon, again with the view to it becoming permanent.

 

Due to our high rent charge we cannot reserve spaces or keep them open for more than 2 weeks, we used to keep a couple of spaces open for social services referrals and children moving into the area, but we can no longer sustain this.

 

We take children from 2.5 years and if they are this young in April/May they will still be under 3 years in September and will still have 2 full years with us even if they have to wait until then. If they are 3 years in April/May they have usually started after Christmas. We do explain to parents that after Easter we are usually full and will have to wait until September. We feel relatively happy if we can offer two full years with us. Sorry to ramble, I hope it made sense!

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Thank you for your replies. Yes we have had to turn two funded children away (twins who moved into the area) due to the places being held open! The schools in Hampshire only have 1 intake per year so this makes it harder but we do open 10 sessions a week already so cant extend the provision any further.

 

We have always held places open and managed financially but we now have much larger outgoings due to moving premises etc so we do have to be more careful with money.

 

I have not heard of having a retainer before? If its not too rude, how much do you charge (ish)?

 

jx

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It varies between settings - sometimes as much as the place itself..after all, you are losing money by holding that place open for the child......but usually not as much as that - maybe half what the place costs? Other people mught have more of an idea. was introduced to the idea by a parent who registered their child and EXPECTED to pay one until their child was old enough to start! :o

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We have a short waiting list for children starting after Easter and then in September. The children due to start in Easter will be allocated the sessions left available after giving the children already with us the priority (those that are going to be funded).

 

I always tell parents when they register to tick which sessions they would prefer but depending on the situation at the time I may not be able to give them those ones but alternatives...generally this is not a problem. This April will be the first time I am going to some will have to wait until September and hopefully parents will wait!!!

 

Do you charge a fee for registering children?? How much?

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We do the same as you Mrs B where the children who are already with us get the preference of sessions and the others have to be allocated when we know what is left. We introduced a £10.00 adminitration fee in January this year (after reading about someone who did it on here) and they pay a small deposit which is deducted from their fees. the deposit cheques are not cashed until they start with us!

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we admit by age and when parents register with us they are told this and that we will contact them 2 weeks before the child is due to start and sessions available will be offered to them.. We do not prebook places for longer than this, except in exceptional cirtcumstances , and these are discussed with the manager at the time. Only once have we kept a place for longer.

 

we do have 1 space each session kept for emergency placement, 4 yr old moving into area, or other similar reasons. This place is usually filled with a child on short stay for a few weeks and then moves on, we have had traveller children or social service placements, refugees etc.

 

we cannot charge a retainer or admin fee etc as we currently only have enough places for funded children

 

Inge

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Guest MaryEMac

When I work out numbers for the next year, I give priority to those who are staying with me and then I allocate some sessions for those who will start throughout the year. They may be able to have one or two depending on how many new funded children move into the village. I never let people know what sessions they will be allocated until they come for their introductory session. Also I would have no compunction in cutting the ones who are due to come after Easter down to just 1 session until the September, if there was need for a funded child to come in.

 

Mary

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We take a£10 deposit but tell parents they will have a space but that we cannot guarantee the days. so if near the time we can only offer 2 sessions then thats all they get. We contact them the term before they start and see what sessions they want but don't confirm until the end of the term.

Its not viable to keep a place for any length of time. if some one walks in tomorrow we give what we have got but so far we have always been able to give people on waiting lists what they want because we don't hold a waiting list for to far in advance.

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