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Hi

Can i just ask what other providers are doing if they don't have an outdoor space. We have been told that under the EYFS we will need to take all the children out for walks everyday. we are a sessional pre-school, this will be quite hard because of ratios... at the moment when we go out we have parent helpers to help but to do this everyday isn't practical. I have been told if i cant do this i should be looking for new premises with an outdoor space... just wondered how it effects everybody else.

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it is going to be a big problem isnt it? for lots of settings im sure! im sessional but lucky enough to have a garden but have been wondering how other settings that dont will manage - just wanted to wish you luck x :o

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Thanks Hali... i think i will need it as i have spent the last 2 weeks looking for alternative sites and can't find anything.... so not sure where i go from here!!!! I can only find sites that are quite a distance from where we are which will mean we will loose all our current children, we also have a waiting list for where we are...

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It is a problem isn't Simcity- and isn't it great that we havent had any guidance yet :o You are absolutely right that everday it isn't practical or possible to take the children out so as long as you can show that there are opportunties to go outside in your planning then surely that will help. maybe once a week- is there no yard that a small group could go out into for ring games perhaps?

 

Although we have a very large garden with allotment, pond mud pit sand pit etc, we have the problem of staffing. We are a 52 place part-time nursery with 4 members of staff. In order for there to be free flow access continually we will have to change the routine of the indoors ( not such a big problem) but I am concerned that there could be lots of children out there with just one member of staff- how do others get around this? I think we might have to limit it to 13 at a time to ensure that ratio of staff to child stays the same. Do other people stick to this when outside (i.e. within the nursery boundaries?)

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I've been told by our development worker that they have to be taken out every session....this is so difficult to do... has anyone else been told this. I sugggested we take them out once a week and was told this is not acceptable..

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yes, we've been told this too, though we're lucky enough to have an outside play area, plus a beautiful huge field next to us,and the added bonus of plenty of beautiful country walks, so no problems.I do feel sorry for groups which don't have the facilities and i just don't see how it can possibly be enforced?

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We're in a similar situation, 25 children. 5 staff, no outside space at all (unles you count the car park) We try to take some children out 2/3 days a week. To say that you have to take all children every day is ridiulous and just not possible. We do show this in our planning and have been told by our EY's advisory teacher that as long as we are seen to be doing as much as we can, even if it's just a walk around the car park to look at the cars then we're ok. To be honest even that is not always practical as we're in a church hall and it's a working car park. I cant believe that 'anyone would want to see thriving groups to close down just because they have no outdoor space. We still managed to get an outstanding in our OFSTED last year. With a 1:2 ratio there isn't time within the 3 hours we're open anyway to get all the children out, even if we had 2 adults at a time.

Edited by lynned55
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not sure where all of you are based but by the sounds of it fairly rural or in towns. In London we have City Guardians who help if we want to go out with the children, they escort groups which helps with ratios. Could you ask parents to help on a rota basis so at least some of the children get out daily if not all of them? I am very lucky as my daycare staff work with a ratio of 1:3 for all age groups, this certainly helps them to get out everyday, with a little help (encouragement) from me!!!

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We've been told to take our children out every day too.

 

Not a problem for us but have wondered how groups without much or any outdoor space manage. Now I know!!

 

Hope you get something sorted soon simcity.

 

The City Guardians sound very mysterious Wendles - who are they and where do they come from?? :o

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Must admit I am passionate about enabling children access to outdoors even if for only a short walk. I was based in a scout hall with flourescent lighting and just getting some natural daylight always seemed to benefit the children and staff. We were based in a housing estate, we had large fields, a beach, local shops and park nearby. Our risk assessment included consideration of dogs taken for walks off the lead :o , crossing small or main roads, the sea !, awareness of glass etc in the local park xD , dog mess in fields :( shared carpark with church next door so some limited traffic.

We opened all day but some children stayed only for a morning or only an afternoon session (some all day), so we aimed to go out twice a day. (am & pm)

When we used the public land surrounding the hall we would put up temporary fencing (the bright orange stuff seen around building sites).

When we went further, for a local walk we had 1-5 ratio, we would risk assess which children required an adult hand or not. We would walk in pairs, or sometimes use a rope for the children to hold.

Because the children went out everyday, this ratio worked because the 'event' was very familiar to the children, they always enjoyed going out so would, on the whole, behave. To help put in perspective the risk, in a 7 yr period I only once had a child run into the road, this was a child with special needs, (autistic spectrum) he was always fine with me or other staff but on this particular day we had a visitor from the other 'special needs' setting he attended, this person upset him by refusing to hold his hand, :( and so he ran across the road. (luckily no cars at the time).

 

We took the children for a walk to the local shops during our Ofsted Inspection with a ratio of 1-5, the Inspectors gave us a 'good' for 'positive contribution', (being known in the wider community). On feedback they said how much they enjoyed the walk, and saw the children did too.

Every time it was a child's birthday we would all walk to the local newsagents to buy a birthday card, this became a part of each childs 'birthday celebrations'. :wacko:

 

Obviously I am aware that not all Inspectors may be so enlightened as ours, however, if thought is put into 'I can', rather than reasons 'why not', then I think settings can get nearer to meeting the requirements of EYFS.

Also just like to add that sometimes the walks would take a whole session, sometimes only 30-45 minutes, the learning, the new experiences such as wonders of nature,(seasonal changes,), changing environments within the housing estate (ie: road works, new roofs being done, paths being laid with tarmac, for sale signs, postman, etc) and road sense plus lots more all made it valuable in terms of providing an holistic curriculum and meeting the 5 outcomes. Even the process of getting ready to go out was a learning opportunity, getting coats/wellies on in coldwet weather, or getting suncream/hats etc on sunny days. Sometimes we just went in the carpark and the children loved washing my car (which inevitably ended up going through the 'proper' car wash on the way home :( )

 

Simcity what is your local area like? What are your main obstacles?

 

Peggy

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Just thought I'd share some 'outing' pics to show the variety of experiences.

Guess who's in the bunny costume, local easter egg hunt......... :(:o ....yes and it was very hot. xD

From a simple thing like moss on a post, to patterns in the park to a walk to the supermarket. :(

We made a picture book once all about the trip to the post office and back, children and parents loved to look at it and talk about the route etc.

The tunnel pic we did a bear hunt, pretending it was the cave, a carefully placed teddy bear was waiting, ready to be found. :(

Oh happy days, this is what I do miss. :wacko:

 

Peggy

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Hi Peggy

I agree with everything you are saying. My problem is we have a large very busy carpark in front of us, the road into this is extremely busy. we have no green space anywhere within a half an hour walk at adult pace around us, to get to these we have to cross a dual carriageway....

 

When we go out in the past, i have arranged for parents to meet at a park near by and drop children off and pick up from the car park to the park, which means we spend all morning or all afternoon at the park, but to do this everyday doesn't seem realistic, we would never be in the pre-school rooms....., we go to the farm once a month but again we get parents to drop of and pick up from the car park of the farm..... i have tried taking a small group on the bus to the park, this works well but to do it everyday.....

 

I spoke to my development worker and said can we just go out a couple of times a week, she said that it had to be everyday, i don't understand why they can't be flexible and allow for groups like ours... we our trying to meet the EYFS but we are restricted by the environment we are in.... sorry to rant and rave but our development worker was really trying my patience.......her answer to our group not being able to go out everyday... find new premises..... very helpful!!!!

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Hi Simcity, dont pamic. Page 35, statutory guidance to which providers should have regard, 3rd papragraph...

Wherever possible there should be access to an outdoor play area...

In provision where where outdoor play space cannot be provided, outings should be planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example, unsafe weather conditions)

I think you could argue circumstances that make going out daily, inappropriate.

 

Dont forget, there is a difference in the language of EYFS between SHOULD and MUST, and this paragraph is in the bit providers should have regard to, not the specific legal requirements.

 

The first paragraph says that daylight should be the main source of light. Where in exceptional circumstances this is not possible the provider should ensure lighting is of good quality and children have adequate access to daylight.

 

I'd ask long long they need to be outside for, obviously its daylight whjen they arrive and leave!

 

If it cant be done I'd phone, or email Ofsted. Tell them you wont be able to go outside, that you're sessional and that as you've been established for x amount of years in the same premises, you would be at a disadvantage to have to follow the rule and what will the rules be for settings in a similar position?

I'm pretty sure that these days if you want to set up provision you would have to have a safe area to drop the children whereas that rule didnt apply some years ago. It didnt mean the end of existiong settings though, so I imagine there will be some leaway.

You could always put a questinaire out to your parents, they might not want their children walking near a busy road just for the sake of it.

Good luck

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Simcity I think that you HAVE thought in a 'can do' manner, and have planned to the best of your ability, and thanks to Rea for pointing out the EYFS facts on this issue. Your dvelopment worker should (or should I say Must) know the differention between the should and must of the requirements and was, as you say not very helpful and quite pedantic too. :o

 

I think there would be uproar if preschools were closing due to this requirement.

 

Good luck.

 

Peggy

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I was told years ago, when working in much the same conditions, that its fine to take the outdoors in. I used to collect fallen branches, blossoms, leaves, have trays of compost, collect rain, hail, snow. Obviously not every day but whenever available or if something gave me inspiration I'd be running through the car park to get something.

If your church hall doesnt allow messy stuff buy a massive dust sheet.

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Hi - could you arrange to take over a small piece of the car-park ? - I know that there is some funding available from local authorities to ensure that children can access the outside ? Regarding the questions re-deployment of staff outside, we always have one member of staff outside, and a second adult who is continually playing with the children, goes outside if they observe more have gone outside it works really wel with at our setting :o Dot

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We've been told to take our children out every day too.

 

Not a problem for us but have wondered how groups without much or any outdoor space manage. Now I know!!

 

Hope you get something sorted soon simcity.

 

The City Guardians sound very mysterious Wendles - who are they and where do they come from?? :o

 

 

They are everywhere!!! No really hope this link helps!!http://www.westminster.gov.uk/policingandpublicsafety/crimeandlawenforcement/cityguardians/

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Well it just shows how different it can be for all of us doesn't it?

We too have a busy working car park to cross before entering an extremely busy ( 3 lane ) main road to get anywhere. The thought of walking down a road this busy without holding onto an under 3's hand fills me with horror, not just as a pre-school worker but as a parent too, so there is absolutley no way we could ever operate on less then a 1:2 ratio living where we do. If you are able to access a beach or park or green fields within walking distance then maybe it's worth while taking the children out every day but for some groups the reality is that the ends do not justify the means. For us to take just four children out at a time, means leaving 3 members of staff with the other 21 children. yes we can ask parents to help, but trying to get them in every day is impossible. At the end of the day we only have the children for 3 hours a day and it can be difficult trying to fit everything else in. In an ideal world it would be wonderful to take them out each and every day, but for groups like mine, it just isn't going to happen. I dont work in a 'deprived' area either, in fact where I am we are classed as a fairly affluent

 

I do think your DW is being rather unreasonable and not very helpful. To say, find new premises is rather a fflippant comment I feel and not really the answer. She needs to work with you to find some simple solutions. I wouldn't stress too much about it- your circumstances sound very similar to mine and nobody is (at present anyway!!) giving us any grief. As long as we are showing that we are trying, that we do take them out as much as possible and that we do bring the outside in, then it's fine.

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