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Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


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Hi

 

I would be most grateful for some advice!! To cut a long story short, staff at my setting have previously been paid just one session (half day) per year for training. If they attend training and loose sessions, they just dont get paid. We also get £5.00 for attending a two hour planning meeting each half term. Both of these were introduced in September 07.(previous to that, there were no payments at all)

 

I did post a little while ago asking what other settings do and received some very useful help/information. We then received £700 from the LEA because I had completed my level 4. This money was to be allocated to staff training. I put forward a proposal for the directors (committee run but company limited by guarentee) on how I thought the money could be allocated. Basically paying for complusary training eg First Aid and for particular areas of responsibity eg Sen Co- ordinator gets paid for attending SEN, Child Protection Officer for CP course etc, then the planning meetings being upped to £10 and extending the time (currently 2hours) to allow cascade training.

 

Anyway the directors have met and decided that yes they will pay the token payment for allocated areas of responsibilty training but not if they attend in their own time, only if they are due to work and have decided NOT to up the planning meeting payments or pay for First Aid.

 

They have decided that parents should be asked to come in and help on the days that a staff member has to be on a training course or make a voluntary contribution each term towards staff training!!

 

I have got myself in a Tizz over this because for a start you cannot ask parents to pay for staff training because then the government funding will not be 'free' will it?

 

I feel strongly about staff development and feel that it is always placed at the bottom of the list of priorities!! All the response I get is, well we are a charity and all staff know they must do certain things in their own time etc etc. Of course I am well aware of this and feel that staff do enough in their own time already!!! All childrens records are completed in their own time etc etc etc.

 

I really feel like giving up (again)!!

 

thanks for reading

 

jx

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Hi

 

I would be most grateful for some advice!! To cut a long story short, staff at my setting have previously been paid just one session (half day) per year for training. If they attend training and loose sessions, they just dont get paid. We also get £5.00 for attending a two hour planning meeting each half term. Both of these were introduced in September 07.(previous to that, there were no payments at all)

 

I did post a little while ago asking what other settings do and received some very useful help/information. We then received £700 from the LEA because I had completed my level 4. This money was to be allocated to staff training. I put forward a proposal for the directors (committee run but company limited by guarentee) on how I thought the money could be allocated. Basically paying for complusary training eg First Aid and for particular areas of responsibity eg Sen Co- ordinator gets paid for attending SEN, Child Protection Officer for CP course etc, then the planning meetings being upped to £10 and extending the time (currently 2hours) to allow cascade training.

 

Anyway the directors have met and decided that yes they will pay the token payment for allocated areas of responsibilty training but not if they attend in their own time, only if they are due to work and have decided NOT to up the planning meeting payments or pay for First Aid.

 

They have decided that parents should be asked to come in and help on the days that a staff member has to be on a training course or make a voluntary contribution each term towards staff training!!

 

I have got myself in a Tizz over this because for a start you cannot ask parents to pay for staff training because then the government funding will not be 'free' will it?

 

I feel strongly about staff development and feel that it is always placed at the bottom of the list of priorities!! All the response I get is, well we are a charity and all staff know they must do certain things in their own time etc etc. Of course I am well aware of this and feel that staff do enough in their own time already!!! All childrens records are completed in their own time etc etc etc.

 

I really feel like giving up (again)!!

 

thanks for reading

 

jx

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Goodness this doesn't sound very good at all.

 

Our EYP says we are allowed to close for 2 /3 days a year which is for staff training. Now clearly this doesn't always mean that the 2/3 days we close are when the training takes place but this does enable us to pay the staff for their time (as we jolly well should by the way!)

 

I personally feel that as a pr child care workers we should be paying staff for their time. This is their job not a flipping charitable act !

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Have you thought of checking with your LEA as I thought training money was counted in the Grant money. i think you will find that training is part of the contract that you sign to take the grant and that it is factored in the money so how can they charge parents for it. Its meant to be in a pre-school budget to find moeny from the grants to go towards training. Sounds very un-ethical to ask parents.

It has nothing to do with being a charity government meny has to be spent in the way it is dedicated to be spent.

Who are the committee? if they are parents surely they are charging themselves. If not why trustees charge parents.

It really does sound as they are not managing their budget very well.

Have you talked to some one in your LEA about it . or the the PSLA rep.

Good luck

Steph

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Hi Jenni B,

 

I know how you feel with the ahhhhhhhhh! sometimes!!

 

We are a Pre school, sessional day care, 4 mornings a week (with three lunch clubs)

 

At the moment we are paid normal hourly wage for any training on a normal working day (minimum pay on non working day at whatever level) but current Chair (committee run) is looking to change for the better.

 

Our staff /planning meetings are paid hourly at each staff members rate.

 

Congrats on your level 4 (even if it was some time ago) and don't give up !

 

Rachel

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Jenni B - understand how you feel - hang in there.

 

When it comes to paying staff, some committee members. although not all, just don't seem to see reason.

 

It is very difficult, last year there simply wasn't any money in the pot for training - there should have been but there wasn't.

 

This £700 you mention should be spent on training as that is what it was intended for.

 

Even at £10 for 2 hours, that does not meet the minimum wage so aren't the committee acting illegally?

 

We now get around £6 for 1 hour every week for planning. We always do at least 2 hours every week but at least it is a token. Everybody gets the same rate at these planning meetings.

 

We also get our obligatory courses paid for such as first aid.

 

Staff attending a course on their working day can take time off in lieu of payment. Staff are not really happy about that though. Staff who attend training on their day off do not get paid which is a bug bear but the present committee want to look into that.

 

Do not think charging parents for training is fair or necessarily legal. Having parents come in to cover staff on training was also suggested to us last year but how can parents replace trained members of staff, what about ratio's of trained staff?

 

We are run by a charity as well, but committee members forget that we are paid members of staff not volunteers. Been there, got the T-shirt.

 

Have you read Maz's thread with a link to a document entitled something like 'For love nor money' about low pay in the early years sector? I would suggest you give the directors a copy.

 

A representative of our new committee have started attending our weekly planning meetings which gives them a really good idea of all the work we already do unpaid and they are totally supportive this time. Could you suggest something similar?

 

Don't let them get you down, chin up!

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I am shocked at what Jenni B wrote in this first post. Her committee says "we are a charity and all staff know they must do certain things in their own time". WHY ON EARTH SHOULD THEY?????? This is appalling and it will not stop until we professionals demand it does!!!

 

I work in a charitible committee-run preschool and by all accounts do not get paid too badly. I get an extra 2 hours paid weekly for any work done at home, (updating childrens' files etc) Any staff meetings, training, in-house or outside, cleaning days - ALL these extra hours are paid as overtime at the normal hourly rate. Why on earth would we expect people to do it for nothing, would we expect teachers to do this?

 

Is it beacuse the majority of us are female and we don't want to make a fuss? Do we think that "well its always been like that" and refuse to think it can ever change? Is fair-play and inclusion only for children, parents and OTHER professionals? Don't we think WE are professional enough? Thre nursing profession used to be thought of like this many years ago as an excuse not to give this a proper wage - "they do it because they love it" was what used to be said about them. Of course we love what we do BUT it is still a job. We do it the best we can and its only right, proper and fair that we get a fair wage for ALL the hours we put into it.

 

There, nuff said. :o

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Thank you so much for all your replies! I am still feeling really angry about it all!! E-mails were flying backwards and forwards all day yesterday! With me trying to make them understand that staff do soooo much in their own time already, the fact that we are going through an accrediation process which places high emphasis on staff training etc etc, but the same reply kept coming back, that we are a charity, that we had a pay rise (2% but we didnt get one last year!!!!) and that they are now paying for planning meetings (£5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

I have applied to top up my level 4 to a foundation degree, but now I really really dont want to do it with an organisation that appears to have so little regard for staff development!!!

 

The committee is fine, they would agree to whatever the staff wanted regarding training etc and are really understanding and at times shocked at what we are expected to do in our own time! They are not the problem, its the directors!! The directors have responsibilty for the finances and since they took out a loan to fund a timber lodge they have to watch the finances carefully (obviously I understand this fully) but in my humble opinion you can have the most wonderful building, fab resources etc etc but if the staff arent happy and trained then you dont have a brilliant pre-shool at all! Most parents choose a pre-school because of its 'feel' its staff, its ethos etc, not ust because it looks nice!!! A great building with no staff because they have all got so fed up of being a 'volunteer' is no good for anyone!!

 

I will take up your suggestions and phone the LEA and the pre-shool dev worker and see if they can help in anyway!

 

Thank you for your understanding! x

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Yes apparently so, we are a company limited by guarentee! They changed themselves to this because of taking out a loan with the charity bank!!! The directors are only really there to oversea the financial obligations and the committee runs as per a 'normal' pre-school.

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I agree with others on getting assistance from LA about this as we have found many of our parents who are on the committee have personal backgrounds in running their own businesses/being part of a large organisation. However when it came to applying rules from local and central government they were clueless. As a result they tried to make the pre-school fit templates which were not suitable. Fortunately we have been able to take the lead in explaining why we cannot spend x on y and have been supported even if they were not happy. I don't know the background of your directors but it could be something similar that they are simply trying to be frugal in a business sense, but don't realise fully how strict spending rules are on money from LA.

 

Also you mention wanting to do FD. If you were to complete this and continue onto EYPS after you would be able to attract more money to your setting from Graduate Leader Fund, which as far as I can ascertain is to be spent on staff training, wages, etc so staff have the opportunity to become as professional as possible, and valued for the time they spend working. It may be a couple of years or more away but if you are motivated anyway it might be worth considering and looking into when exactly funding like that would be able to be applied to your setting (I think it differs from LA to LA). It might help to provide further income to help you support your staff in training and help ease the situation.

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Are you part of the PLA? I know you can be and still be limited by guarentee.

You need someone to clarify to the directors that if money is given for a purpose, then thats what it should be spent on, otherwise future funding can and will be reduced or even stopped.

Being a charity is part of that too, if for example you fundraise for a climbing frame and then decide to buy bikes, you could be in trouble unless you've asked for permission from those who raised the money. Could you suggest to the directors that staff dont train at all? Ask them to phone Ofsted for their response to staff being untrained in certain areas!

 

 

The bit Steph refers to about the grant is right to a point too, or certainly used to be, I've been out of the loop for too long. If say you charge £5 per session but you recieve £7 grant per session, the extra £2 should go to training or something that will benefit the children, i.e. by rights it shouldnt be swallowed up with rent etc.

 

The whole of the PVI sector is dominated by staff who work unpaid at home, in their own time, including training, but that doesnt make it right.

I agree wholeheartedly with dublinbay and Chill, but until the whole of the childcare sector is seen as something other than 'babysitting' then thats where we'll stay.

 

 

Just a thought...are the directors voted on/off? Where did they come from? Who over see's them? Do you still have a treasurer? If so, isnt that the person with responsibilty for the groups money? I'm very confused by this!

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Rea - Wel the directors are made up of the treasurer (not sure how ethical that is??) a past parent whose friends with the treasurer and the husband of the previous supervisor (who set up and worked very hard for the new building before leaving to be the manager of the afterschool club which is part of the pre-school) and a present parent and no they arnt elected.

 

I have just received a new set of minutes from their meeting and they have now said that they WILL pay £10 per staff member attending a course, for a maximum of 5 times a year (basically £50.00 per year for training per staff member). This is much better than the first offer!

 

However, they are still insiting that they wish to look to parents to pay the shortfall in training monies!!!

 

Holly, yes I have looked into the EYFS but have my doubts as to whether the money would actually be used for what its meant to be used for!! Just like the £700 just received!! Basically they wont introduce anything which cant be sustained. ie paying more than a token gesture for training days!

 

What they have offerered is not what staff deserve and they will still loose money by going on training courses but at least its better than the first offer!

 

jx

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I have some concerns at this setup jenni. You might want to talk to the charities commision or to the PLA if you're part of them.

Surely, all members need to be voted on whether or not you are limited by guarentee.

Do they take a wage? Who are they answerable to?

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Rea, they are not answerable to anyone! But no they are not paid either, just voluntary. And I do know that financially they are only viable for £1.00 each.

 

The After school club which was set up to help to pay for the loan etc is all part of the 'pre-school' (but not run by me, we share the building but thats about it) and I did a few months ago ask our PLA rep about whether or not we should have separate accounts because its all lumped together and you cant see where the money is spent ie resources for pre-school and afterschool are lumped together in the accounts! PLA rep says that they should be seprate because if the LEA want to check where the goverment funding is going they will need to see Exactly where its gone and that it is being spent on the children who are entitled to it not the after school club kids who are 4 - 11 years!! I have tried to get this changed but they dont want to! PLA advised me to keep chipping away until they separate the finances.

 

The Pre-School is full to capacity, we have introduced a small admin fee to pay for starter packs (thanks to information from this site) and a small retainer for holding places open past April (again thanks to this site) This is why I get so frustrated at the lack of money left over for staff training because we cant possibly do any more financially to ensure there is enough money for training!!

 

Sorry gone off on a tangent there but hey!

 

jx

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Jenni, my only other comment re the funding available from you undertaking the EYPS is that, in my area at least, the contract for getting it insists that you will complete an ongoing audit trail of where the money is going and there are quite strict stipulations as to how it can be spent. If the directors knew the money was only given to be spent on such things they might look at it as another source of funding which would then free up other money for repaying the loan. Good luck.

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Goodness, what a complicated set up! I am interested in what your contracts state - do they say that the responsibility for training to the required level for the job they are employed to do lies with individual staff members? Also, do you have any sort of policy relating to the training of staff? Perhaps all these things need to be laid out in black and white and made clear when they recruit staff. :o

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