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Sessional In Childrens Centre?


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Maybe this has been asked before - I'm sure someone will know and point me in the right direction?

Is there anyone on this forum who is a registered charitable committee run pre school running sessional care from a childrens centre?

Would be VERY interested to hear from you all.

 

How does it work? Do you pay rent etc? Do you have your own policies? Who are you answerable to?

Got a meeting on Friday with a little chap who is involved in the running of the local Childrens centre (one mile away) - I am a little worried about the effect on our sessional pre school when this centre is up and running, as where we rent at the moment gives little in way of flexibility - just wondering whether sessional care/education could operate from a CC. Any answers before Friday would be really appreciated.

Thanks

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I assume you have been told they will be providing childcare.

we have 3 in our town and our local children's centre does not provide childcare as it would cause settings already successful to close, they direct parents to the local choices, The other 2 do but only briefly affected our numbers , what did get affected more was staff wanting to move for the higher salaries...

 

The one with a pre-school on site they closed and were interviewed and re employed at the children's centre..that said they had well over 50 applicants for only a few jobs so competition for them was high. They did all get a job there though!!

 

Inge

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Guest Wolfie

I would be very disappointed if the man didn't listen to what you had to say and take on board the success of your existing provision - it sounds like the basis for a very successful partnership if you ask me! Go armed with lots of facts about what you provide, numbers of families served, length of any waiting list, etc, etc, and illustrate just how good you are!

 

I'm attached to a Children's Centre and have identified that a sessional group is the one thing missing that's needed!!! So take heart from that...and let us know how you get on! :o

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We had a similar scare a last year, not only taking our children but also taking our premises!! We went to a rather heated meeting (lunch was good) where our premises were named as an ideal place for a new CC. As with Inge they were not going to offer childcare, as there was already provision in the area. Turned out they didn't have any funding and we have heard nothing since.

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Made me smile myhenroxanne xD 'a little man' got this picture in my head now!!! :o

 

 

oops not very PC was it???? maybe he's not a little chap, just sounded younger than I am - oops - am I being ageist now!?

 

Anyway - I'm not sure what's happening re; the childcare at the c centre, I think at the moment there is some sort of facility, but I don't know who's running it. I really don't want to draw the group into anything that isn't viable or what our parents want. Also got to think of the implications - a mile in the opposite direction - where there is a primary school (which most of our children feed into) who want to use us as their 'link', but they have no room to house us on their site!? I could do with someone with experience in CC sesional care advising on pros and cons.....please?

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Guest Wolfie

I would think that CC sessional care should be the same as sessional care anywhere else but I'm not speaking from experience as we only have a full day care facility - hopefully someone will be along shortly to help you more than I can....

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Hi

We are a sessional committee run group and we are due to move into a new family centre shortly to provide sessional childcare. I don't know all of the ins and outs but as I understand it we will operate exactly as we have before - with our own constitution, we will pay rent and we will have to share some facilities with the other centre groups. There are additional requirements - some paperwork and accountability to the centre management but we are moving from an old church hall with no heating and dodgy wiring to a purpose built unit with brand new equipment and facilities. We may be required over a period of time to extend our hours if there is a need for it. Maybe 9-3 but that is in the future. It will be a really exciting time and we can't wait.

Don't know if this helps but just to let you know that it is possible to forge a partnership with the CCs which benefits all. Will know more about how it all works once we actually move in.

 

Sally

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Hi henlady.

Im not an expert and I would expect that it will vary place to place. Have i understood you correctly that you are looking at the possibility of moving your group ointo the CC? Or more that you are concerned about them taking your client base if they open their own? One possibility is for you to become a satellite group but keepy your current premises?

We are opening our CC soon, and we will be registering our own playgroup, as well as opening a sattelite at a nearby school. The reason we are doing this is beacuse there is significantly more demand for places than currently available in the area. both will be sessional, but they will be run by the CC and trhe staff will be appointed by the CC. The day care facility is seapare from the CC and has a certain level of autonomy, will retain its own operational policies and staff, including hiring of staff, but will access funding from the CC, get support from us etc.

I cant say yet how it will all work though, time will tell.

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Hi Mundia

I'm not sure where to start -

Initially we were worried that a new childcare provider less than a mile away in the new CC would be a threat to our provision, but we have heard that the CC have been open since Sept last year, and cannot find anyone to run the childcare provision - as this is only based on hearsay, I am not sure how much truth is in it - BUT - the fact that our numbers remain unchanged and keep adding to our waiting list suggests this is possibly true. So not really too bothered apart from our current premises will not allow us to offer flexible 15hrs over minimum 3 days - so parents may start to look elsewhere.

Also, last July we were involved in talks with the LA re: us providing the childcare at the CC - but it was ridiculous terms ansd conditions and CC couldn't answer all our concerns. So we said thanks but no thanks.

We also want to remain sessional, term time for 2.5-4yr olds.

The other factor is the CC is a refurbishment of an existing premises joined onto a primary school, which currently none of our children feed into, and the school is very low in terms of numbers, with a poor reputation and most of our parents would not consider sending children there. However, the primary school in the opposite direction (we are right in the middle) likes to think that we are theirs!?

So this meeting tomorrow has come out of the blue. We didn't call the meeting, the LA running the CC did. So I am left completely in the dark. Any advice about what to do would be great.

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sorry Mundia - I rambled on - without answering your question - a bit worried that our client base will move, more worried that we will shut as we can't meet flexibility - would love our own premises, but don't know if we can remain sessional, term time only and operate from a CC if the terms and conditions were right. That's why I needed some advice.

Also meant to ask you what is and how does a satelite work?

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Guest Wolfie

It sounds to me as though you are in quite a strong position. Go and listen to what they have to say but don't feel pressurised into agreeing to anything tomorrow - gain as many facts as you can about the situation and any proposals and say that you need time and space to consider all the options. It sounds as though they need you more than you need them as the moment so you should be in a quite a strong position to state your needs and wants and what you are/are not prepared to do.

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Hello Wolfie - you were right! - We had our meeting and we are in a very strong position to offer sessional care at the CC. However - really worried now - a big commitment to move after 12 years of where we are. Terms and conditions would have to be VERY good. Lots of grey hair matters coming my way I think!! Worried that we don't want any rumors to run riot through our parents - as I know if there is any uncertainty, they may move their children from us now and we would no longer be sustainable. Also worried that some new privider might jump in and set up where we move from (village hall) and 'feed' the local primary school which 90% of our children go to - so we would lose out on numbers. Lots to discuss and ask - but LA are wanting it up and running by Sept!!!!!!!! So putting pressure on. That seems very close to make a decision by, but there again a good time to start with the new EYFS etc. coming into place.

 

HELP! What sorts of questions should I be asking the LA?

Anyone with any experience of relocating into a CC? what are the pitfalls for us to avoid if we considered the move?

Another meeting this Tuesday (at the CC - the LA want to show us around).

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As you are a charity with a committee i assume they are already included in all of the discussions etc so many will already be aware of a possible change...

 

I think I would be up front with the parents before any rumors got around which can tend to be inaccurate and just tell them what is happening... a discussion and just that.. also let them if you are planning tho stay until July so those going on to school will not have a move so soon to moving to school. There is always the risk of parents moving children but it may be less if they feel informed and in some control, and everything explained to them at each step.

 

Someone else setting up? always a risk But if the committee and parents are not in agreement to a move there is nothing to stop them doing so, or future parents deciding that it was too far to travel each day and a closer setting would be better, that happened in our village and they set up a group a few years ago.

 

Sustainability.. may be a different catchment area, I would look into need for a group in the area, same as if I were planning to start from scratch...how many other local settings, are they full or have lots of places...

 

Inge

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Thanks Inge, some sensible thoughts for us to ponder on. Trying to get hold of our committee chair asap, as we only heard of the opportunity last Friday. Have put a letter together to all parents, to reassure and keep them informed. Do you think it would be worth sending out a questionairre to families on the waiting list re; extending provision? With a move this could become a reality, whereas currently we are stuck with no room to expand sessions in the current premises.

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I would put out a questionnaire or consultant document to prospective parents to see how they feel about it and if they would be willing to move with you...

 

especially if you will need a new committee next year and it will come form those parents.

 

would you stay under the same structure as a charity etc or expected to change... another thought...

 

Inge

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As this is very early days we have lots to ask. However, we have been assured we can run sessinal, independently, charitable status, retain our name, policies, admissions etc, and keep the links with the other school. Just managed to contact our chair - not quite as eager response as we had hoped - wants us to stay exactly the same - in village hall as that's what parents want!? Now I can see we've got a lot of hills to climb - without parent supprt we cannot do anything - we know at the end of the day it is going to be difficult to expand where we are, and there's only so much furniture setting out every day we can do at our age!!

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Guest Wolfie

I would definitely go along the questionnaire route -when you explain all the possible options to parents, including the option to expand, you might get some surprisingly positive responses!

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Thanks wolfie - do you really think so - I'm entering into unknown territory.

 

Now you know what my next question to everyone is -

 

Has anyone got a pro forma questionnaire for parents which I could have a look at regarding expansion.

 

Also - any ideas how to break down the barriers which I just know some of our 'loudest' and most persuasive parents will put up regarding relocating further away from the local school to which their older children go to - not at all convenient for them in terms of walking distance and drop off/pick up times - suggestions please - and keep them nice :o

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