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Meeting Chair Tomorrow About Ratios...


marley
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Hi all

Background on my query that Inge posted for me can be found below:

 

http://www.foundation-stage.info/forums/in...showtopic=14536

 

Once again a big thanks to all that took the time to reply.

Chair has called an emergency committee meeting tomorrow to discuss this and to ensure that all on the comm understand. Chair is coming to see supervisor and myself tomorrow afternoon to get our opinionsbefore the meeting (we are not going). I know they, like me were trying to get clarification from OFSTED but not sure what they have been told.

I have already given her an indication of what the replies were to my post here on ratios saying that this is a forum where experienced child carers can be found. They already have in receipt an official email from OFSTED I received about 2 months ago saying that although ages can be mixed but age related ratios must be maintained letter. Plus an official letter from supervisor stating that she feels that 3 staff are not enough ie she is included in ratios, feels that she cant give attention to any parents etc as she is supposed to working directly with children. Supervisor has also been in touch with PLA over it (she was also uncertain and actually recommended 2 parent helps).

I am not sure what else to say to chair. Only that if finances are so dire that they should consider in future maintaining a low number of under 3yrs ie 4 per day.

If anyone else can think of anything then would appreciate it. Going to get all my concerns/ideas tog and write them out so that I know what to cover with her.

Thanks

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Hi ,

 

good luck for the meeting results.. think the phrase that stands out is

 

" from OFSTED............ about 2 months ago saying that although ages can be mixed but age related ratios must be maintained"

 

Age related ratios to my understanding is you cannot have a under 3 in a ratio of more than 1:4 as age ratio would not be maintained.

 

think they are pending a lot on Agency staff at mo. and not thinking about the care their children receive...

 

Inge

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Hi Inge!

Yes that phrase at the moment is the one that is keeping me going with all of this.

Have also used that document that a kind person on here left on the ratios thread and used it to show chair that looking at it you can see straight away what staff and vacancies are available (should she go with my way of thinking of course :o ).

 

Busy day tomorrow at pre-school.., got PVI teacher coming in plus special needs teacher all to see supervisor while she is working directly with the children! Comm member is parent help so perhaps this may prove at least something. Lots of little ones too (hence why I am in!).

 

Will let you know.

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I hope that this is sorted out swiftly to everyone's satisfaction. I know that there is always a fine balance to be maintained with committees but safe staffing levels are of paramount concern to everyone.

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When we were faced with being stretched to the points ratio our supervisor clearly said to the committee "yes, we can care for the children but we cannot provide a quality service".

 

Perhaps the parents need to be asked as well.

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When we were faced with being stretched to the points ratio our supervisor clearly said to the committee "yes, we can care for the children but we cannot provide a quality service".

 

Perhaps the parents need to be asked as well.

 

 

Exactly what my supervisor says Shelley!

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Hi all

Well...where to start...

Chair would not say what OFSTED have told her (through email). But she assures us that she will follow what it says.....might be nice to know what it said!

 

She asked us what would be an "ideal world"...supervisor said 4 staff in so that we could get a chance to do proper obs and focused activity etc. Chair then said finances dictated no and we said a compromise would maybe 3 staff, 2 parent helps on Mon (like to see them try!), 4 staff in tues, wed, thurs (currently 4 in tues, thurs) , 3 staff fri. But chair did say this all may change given that we have more people interested. Both supervisor and I said we are just not finding the time to sit back and do obs but chair said this wasnt really important :o . So long as we were caring for the children then we could work on this later....errrm been trying to work on this since May :( Think basically whereas supervisor wants to bring the pre-school up (she got satisfactory OFSTED in May after taking it on in special measures last year) the chair just wants to carry on as it is.

Its all about coming to that compromise.

 

Been in again today and I managed to take 3 photos xD . The supervisor was busy with special needs tutors (funding being docked also for this area) and a prospective parent. It ran great and the kids had fun but as I said we are finding it difficult to do anything but look after them etc etc. Is this how it should be? Are we worrying too much? Or should we be doing a lot more?

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Marley, if you are running with bare minimum staff you can do nothing but provide good care. Have you spoken to your Early Years Adviser? Have you contacted OFSTED yourself?

 

It makes me so cross that when you are so keen to improve standards yet are unable to do so due to profit margins.

 

Just do as best you can and don't worry, if your committee are telling you that they only expect you to care for the children then that is all you can do. All you can do is express your concern.

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Marley, if you are running with bare minimum staff you can do nothing but provide good care. Have you spoken to your Early Years Adviser? Have you contacted OFSTED yourself?

 

It makes me so cross that when you are so keen to improve standards yet are unable to do so due to profit margins.

 

Just do as best you can and don't worry, if your committee are telling you that they only expect you to care for the children then that is all you can do. All you can do is express your concern.

 

 

We are just worried thats all. Anway chair off for emergency meeting with the rest of the committee tonight...she said it wont be a decision straight away. Our advisor we have left a message for as has the chair, PLA is going to meeting tonight also (we are not sure which way she will go ) so its just wait and see what happens. Thing is we are getting frusrated and the bad thing for me is that the committeee are all parents in my sons year at school (so desperately trying to keep all this separate from trying to form friendships for the sake of my son!).

 

Plus got to see chair again on thurs re my contract. It was up for renewal 1 Sept got it last week and they want me to be totally flexible in terms of which days, increase in hours decrease in hours so long as i am given 5 days notice. Is this a norm also? Last term i was just given set days to do. Not sure it would be worthwhile for me to do less than 2 days (this is my second job and already i pay for childcare, tax etc to do it ). I can understand the review it every term due to numbers etc but to kep changing it? Am i being unreasonable about that?

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I completely understand your concerns and frustrations sounds so similar to my situation this time last year. My hours were cut too, I was left with 6 per week. Not really worthwhile but kept it going as I was doing my EYPS based at the setting. My hours were subsequently increased after Christmas but thats not always the point is it. They EYA should be getting back to you, I'd chase it if I was you.

 

My son was at the pre-school with me, so I understand your concerns there too. But saying that all you are doing is expressing concerns about the quality of the childcare so surely as parents they ought to appreciate you standing up for this. Yes finances may make it hard but it doesn't mean you should stop believing that standards should be high. Perhaps you should suggest that it is the committee's responsibility to be the parental helpers then. They must understand too that it does not look good to new visiting parents if you have minimum staff in.

 

I worked at my setting for 2 and a half years and never had a review, never had a contract so can't comment on that one. This is why I moved on as sometimes they just don't listen and don't care.

 

Just stay strong you are doing your job well.

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Well supervisor just called me about the results of the emergency meeting of comm last night.....

 

Nothing is going to be done about my contract (Tues/Thurs) until after half term as they will look at ratios again.

Supervisor asked her exactly what did OFSTED tell them as she needs to know.....Apparently they said..

" 1:4 ratio for under 3 yrs old and any surplus under 3yrs old MUST be maintained in a 1:4 ratio"

 

Whooooooo....it means we were right!!! Not that chair actually said we were right just said the above

Not that the comm are getting me in on a Wed which we have worked out if all children turn up they need 4 staff. Supervisor says today she is ok as looking at children that have actually turned up there are only 4 under 3yrs so covered with 3 staff but as she says cant work like that. PLlus the parent help hasnt turned up today.

 

The above also means that they now have to be careful about offering more under 3yrs places (we are having quite a few enquiries at the moment).

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Imagine that; those of you who work in childcare BEING RIGHT!!!!!! Now ther's a turn up for the book eh???? Committees - you've gotta love 'em!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hopefully after the response from OFSTED all should be well with you. I'm sure your hours will sort themselves out. Finances can be incredibly tight at this time of the school year.

 

Good Luck!

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