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Falling Numbers In Children


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Hi, has anybody else found that the number of children enroled has decreased please? We are currently struggling to recruit new children which we urgently need. There are many factors involved I realise as to the cause of this. In our situation our main reasons are that we have a children's centre just up the road from us and another nursery in very close proximity who is charging way less than us, (how I do not know as we are one of the cheapest nurseries in the area). Alongside this the credit crunch has caused us to lose a few children where parents have lost jobs etc. I just wondered if anyone else was experiencing the same thing and if anyone has any ideas how we can build up again please. We've been established a long time and were here before the afore mentioned settings andhave a good reputation. Have tried flyers etc but short of dragging children in off the street am running out of ideas :o

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Sorry to hear about that Von.

 

Have you tried making an appointment to visit the manager of the children's centre about this? Perhaps they could offer some support and direct some parents your way (after all surely as a government funded agency they shouldn't be competing with and elbowing out exisiting settings).

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We take children form two and several parents are waiting until their children are funded. We have aslso had parents take their childrne out because they cant afford it. We have several children centres in the area and private nurseries opening up which is ahving a knock on effect on us. We are trying a leaflet drop but not sure how much this will help.

 

smiles

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we've got a reasonable number of children on the books but not many on the waiting list, thats not so unusual for us

 

what we are finding is that although we open 4 mornings, parents are waiting till their children are funded before taking up all 4 mornings, in the past parents would be begging for more mornings.

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I'm afraid we still have families beating the door down, my waiting list has been closed since April 2008 and I have more than twice the numbers than I can handle for pre-school sessions

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We are also full up and the waiting list goes on! We have had enquiries from pregnant women (we take from 3 months) and have six viewings next week!!!

 

There has been a small drop off from full to term time, and one or two left, but otherwise still busy!

 

:o

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Looks like its just you and me Von with a shortage of children

No - I'm in that boat too for a variety of reasons. Couple of schools who I feed to are planning Foundation Units so I can't see it getting much better, frankly.

 

I haven't had much response to advertising in local magazines etc - so I'm going to go for the local approach I think. Parish magazines in the outlying villages etc (I'm in a rural group).

 

Good luck to all of you in finding more customers!

 

Maz

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Just wanted to give you some hope. We lost quite a few children and potential children a few years ago when a local school opened a foundation unit. Now our numbers are picking up again mainly from families connected to other schools and all based on reputation. It happened by chance we had a great relationship with a parent from a different school and impressed on her the need to keep numbers up. She has since done a fantastic word of mouth campaign to start recruiting more families and it is growing itself. A few leaner years but we have (I hope!) come through the other side again.

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Have you put notices up in local surgeries, Dr and dental, our local library also has a notice board for this kind of thing... we just go round every 3 months to check and put up a new one if it is no longer there..or rather our parents do!

 

How about an exchange of adverts with a local company (ours was an independent toy shop), they had an advert for us in the window and we advertised them.. we had a few come in from that.... and also with a local newsagent.... and bakers......

 

We also used an advert which was from a childs view.. eg my name is xxxxxxxxx and I go to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I have lots of friends or this is my friend xxxx and I / we would love to have you come and play with me. My mum says (comment about the setting) and ( recommendation from a parent) Come in to meet me and my friends.. we have a photo of children at the setting on the advert....(usually children of committee members with permission)

 

As it was different it did bring in some parents...

 

We also got advert/mention in local schools newsletters...

 

Do something to get in local papers.... not always easy, but it is possible.

 

we get health visitors who recommend us too.. think this has come from parents who have told them about us , but also from working with them.....

 

More recently many parents have said they got our details from CIF. May just be it is that we are the closed to their address... but there are others around and they come to us..so must be doing something right.

 

We had a few lean years when Childrens centre opened , and also a local school had a new FSU built, but so far seem to have come out the other side.

 

Inge

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We are only full to capacity on one day, in the older room we have maybe 4 or 5 spaces each day, in the younger room there are 4 spaces on a monday and wednesday and 6 spaces on a tuesday :o the worry I have is that we only have just over 50 on our books but 32 of those leave to go to school in september, at which point we will obviously be very low on numbers xD I know it's the same every september but this will be the lowest we have ever been......

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Guest MaryEMac

We started with low numbers in Sept but it is now picking up. We have restarted the afternoon sessions and begun a lunch club. Just last week though at the committee meeting a few of the mums asked if we would do a session for children between 2 and 3 yrs. This is because a nearby village pre school do one and they send their children there. We were actually told that if we didn't open a session then their children (who are registered with us) would stay at the other pre school. I felt like saying 'well take them there then' but being reasonable, it was discussed and a letter was draughted to send to the Tots group. The awful thing is that these parents are our future committee. Hey ho perhaps I will be retiring sooner than I thought.

 

Mary

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thanks for all your replies. we are putting up posters everywhere and we have just been given permission to put one up in a school which is rare these days as most of the schools round our way have nurseries attatched. We've also offered existing parents 5 % off their monthly fees if they introduced another child, and this morning I've had one parent approach me and say she is in the process of recruiting for us so fingers crossed! We have parents who have booked their babies in one is yet to be born so hopefully things are on the up. The children's centre has relocated to a small youth club so that should help too as there is very little space in that building so they won't be able to take many children. Thank you all for your advice and Smiles will let you know if I come up with any new ideas to help us both.

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Hi, I've just read through this thread and i can't get over how many settings are being affected by the Children's Centres! Wouldn't you think the Government would see the light and realise they could give incentive to pre-shools and Nurseries to have the services offered in house instead of wasting millions if not probably billions in taxpayers money building new premises which aren't needed and putting existing services in jeopardy? I know you like me do such a good job and lets face it the rewards aren't in the pay packet!

 

I would agree though that getting a good feeder school or 2 is the best idea as it means continuity for both parties - that's what we have done and touch wood we have never been busier - we have a new children's centre 100yards away.

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