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Hello

 

One of my Grandsons schools has just introduced free fruit for Reception and Years 1 and 2 (for some reason, not year 3). Is free fruit available for Pre-schools and Nurseries and if so, where can I apply for it - does anyone know?

 

Sue J

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Stockport have had free fruit and veg for nursery, reception and years 1 and 2 for a while now Sue. But pre-schools and private day nurseries have not been included. I'm hoping that it will happen soon, seems a bit unfair to me that state school children get them but not the children on the nursery grant in the private and voluntary sector.

Linda

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I quite agree Linda, it is unfair that Pre-schools don't get the free fruit. Perhaps I should phone the school and ask them where they get their supplies from. I should imagine it must cost 'someone' quite a bit to supply all that fruit for that amount of children!

 

Sue J

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The fruit is on trial at the moment - not all areas are participating, the funding comes from Lottery money so I'm sure that under equal ops all children under 7 will have a chance soon. By the way you can get free milk for under 5's but you have to pay for it and claim it back.

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Yes Mimi, I know about the free milk as I have been claiming it for years.

 

As you say all children should have the chance of free fruit - it costs quite a bit to give the children at Pre-school fruit - we have it at least once a week. One of the nurseries here, I know ask parents to bring in at least 3 pieces of fruit a week, that way they can have fruit every day apparently. They also have to supply a box of tissues and toilet rolls!

 

Not resorted to that yet!!!

 

Sue J

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Is this a private nursery Sue or LEA?? They will be asking for washing up liquid and bleach next!!

We have always claimed for the milk we have for the children. It would be nice to have the fruit too. We have fruit quite often as well as cheese, cucumber, carrots and toast. Probably the favourite is toast! That way they could have their fruit and some cheese or raisins as well.

Linda

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In our area it is the state nurseries ,reception classes that get free fruit.

It would be lovely if preschools got it.We tried asking parents to bring in fruit but it is always the same few who do! Now we buy not every week as it would be too costly.

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It's a pretty sorry state if schools are asking for tissues and toilet rolls!! I know that budgets are tight but surely they should have the basics provided??? Most of the LEA nurseries here ask for a contribution of £1 a week for snacks, even though they are getting the free fruit. I don't feel at the present time that I could ask parents to bring in fruit as I am charging fees for all of the children. Perhaps after Christmas when most of them are going to be funded would be an idea.

As to your uncertain face with regard to sweet biscuits this links to the conversation in the Divali topic. I think all things in moderation is the way to go. I know Stockport has a healthy eating policy for pre-schoools and in it it states that no sweet food should be provided either for snack or as a take home when it is a child's birthday. We give any sweet treats to parents and tell the children they can take them home and eat them after lunch. Children need to learn about making healthy food choices and that there are some foods which should be eaten regularly and others whcih should be saved as treats. How can we expect them to make informed choices later on if we just deny them everything right from the start?

Linda

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The free fruit for schools scheme is a govt initiative for children from nursery upto Y2. I think it is maintained sector only. The fruit is delivered by a local supplier to the school. Some areas like mine were in the pilot about 3 or 4 years ago and then I had thought it had been rolled out nationwide but maybe not if some lea's don't have it yet. it's not an LEA initiative though.

 

Although a nursery class in a Primary school I had Nursery fund which bought all the cooking ingredients, pasta, food colouring, photo developing etc etc that we got through. It wasn't going to come out of my salary!!! I also used to put what we had spent it on on the newsletters every term so parent's knew it wasn't going into a blackhole somewhere! It was a voluntary 50p a week - not all gave but it did help. I think technically if it's an educational activity taking part in the school day you legally should only ask for Voluntary contributions anyway, even for trips out and no child can be denied access to educational activities through not paying. Schools fudge this and it gets quietly ignored but there is something in govt guidance somewhere from the 90's. For years we had to put the statement that "this is a voluntary payment but without enough of them we may have to cancel" etc etc on trip letters.

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As we have a healthy eating policy we never have sweet biscuits for snack and cake only on birthdays. We have fruit and veg every snack time, with something like toast, crackers, breadsticks or oatcakes. Also yoghurts on occasion. We are allowed to charge 20p a session for snack for funded children. Primary schools get free fruit but not us. :o

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The fruit and veg initiative is for children from YR to age 6, but if only 1 child in a Y2 class is 6 and all the rest are 7 the whole class is eligible. It is funded by the NHS and is only guaranteed until spring 2006 (if I remember correctly). The idea is that the fruit/veg (1 piece per child per day) has to be in addition to what the children are doing already. In my school the children are encouraged to bring in fresh fruit/veg for playtime already, so the extra piece is going to be given out in the afternoon for the children to eat at storytime. The aim is to increase children's intake of fruit and veg to help meet the "5 portions a day" requirement and thus help to promote their health and save the NHS money in the long run (though if the initiative collapses in a year's time it won't!!!)

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We are the same Carol-healthy snacks for the majority of the time and sweet snacks on special occasions such as end of term parties etc. And this is stated in our healthy eating policy. But the one Stockport drew up said no to what they would call unhealthy snacks at all. So when can you treat the children if not on special occasions? I know of many parents locally who have Friday nights as sweet night-a great idea so children learn that they can have sweets but not all the time and they are something to look forward to.

Linda

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Can anyone tell me if I can get free milk for my nursery children, we are an independent nursery attatched to a junior and senior school. Milk is provided morning lunch and afternoon but I would like to get hold of those nice little milk boxes !! that I had at my last school (LEA).Does anyone else work in the independent sector at nursery level. How do you claim ?

Thank you

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Free Milk

 

You have to register as a provider for the scheme- contact WRFU health Departments welfare food scheme - they reimburse costs of one third of a pint per child, but not supply the milk in "those nice little milk boxes !!" All children under 5 in day care eligable - not dependant on type of provision. You claim money back every 4 months.

WRFU tel: 020 7887 1212 or PO box 31044, london, SW1V 2FD

 

Inge

 

we do not charge for snacks or food ( pre-school) and children have toast with fruit and/or carrot daily, we started years ago when we could not afford biscuits as toast was cheaper, now the children prefer it. Any sweet food it taken home to eat and it is then parents choice as to when to give it, only occasionally on birthdays and end of term parties etc. do we have cake or sweet foods only if the parent supplies it. free fruit would be a great help to us, lets hope it comes to all children sometime, did see an article in one of the magazines - I forget which - which said the WRFU milk scheme may be extended to include friut or milk, Cannot remember when i read it or where?

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Hi Jackie -

Inge's quite right that they don't provide the milk in the little cartons - but you can source the milk from wherever you want. You then claim back the cost of the milk, as Inge says, in four monthly cheques.

 

So if you find the dairy your school gets its milk from - ask them to deliver you some! :)

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Express Dairy will supply milk in 1/3 pint cartons - we stopped getting them because the children didn't drink all of the milk and we had to cut them open to empty them because they made the bins smell. We now use cups and wash them.

As you have to pay in advance and wait several months to get your money back we find it cheeper to buy milk in 4pt plastic bottles. :oxD:(

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This posting is nothing to do with fruit - but if you buy toys from the Early Learning Centre and you are a registered childminder, pre-school or nursery, you are eligible for 10% discount on goods from the store. Contact your local store for more info.

 

 

Sue J

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Hi Jackie,

I have just made a claim from WRFU ( I'm a private owned preschool) they backdated my claim for the last 2 YEARS :D:D

 

It took a bit of working out ( I thought my accountant was claiming- but hadn't)

but now I have the system up to date it's easy peasy :o

 

Peggy

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  • 8 months later...

Back in October last year, I brought up the subject of free fruit for privately owned Pre-schools. I know that schools receive the free fruit. No-one appeared to receive it then - does anyone have an update on whether we are elligible yet or is anyone receiving it?

 

Sue J

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Here in Stockport where the LEA nursery is a class on school premises the children are accessing the free fruit. But nursery schools don't. So it would seem that even amongst maintained nurseries there is some inequality!

Linda

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  • 2 weeks later...

I e mailed the Dept of Health asking why Pre-schools and private nurseries are not supplied with free fruit. They replied within a few days.

They said that elibility currently extends to children aged 4-6 years and other children in the same class. In schools which have a nursery class attached, all the children in the nursery are also eligible. Stand-alone nurseries and pre-schools are currently not eligible.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS) is in it's early stages and they are keeping some aspects under review.

There are plans to reform the Welfare Food Scheme, under which providers of day care to children under five currently claim reimbursement for providing milk to children cared for two hours or more per day. The scheme is to be replaced with a new one, called Healthy Start, which will begin to be phased in across Britain from this summer. Healthy Start will allow daycare providers to claim payment for either milk or fruit for each child.

I hope that we are not at the end of the line when it comes to 'phasing' in the new Healthy Start.

 

Sue J

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So Sue does that mean it will be an either or-either milk or fruit? Seems a tad strange. Why not both if we are trying to encourage children to eat and drink healthily?

Linda

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Well done Sue for emailing the DOH, perhaps we ought to all get together and raise the question of as someone else said equality of opportunity and discrmination - why is it there is still not a level playing field and its a lottery depending on where you live and what type of setting you attend. Surely this is not right - it's not the child's fault and it's not the settings fault either. Really hacks me off - we do provide fruit twice a week - we make it part of a regular activity and there is always a queue to chop the fruit - cannot think why. Anyway we will see what the latest initiative is.

Nikki

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Yes, Linda, they said the new scheme, Healthy Start, which will begin to be phased in across Britain from this summer, will allow providers to claim payment for EITHER milk or fruit for each child. I will claim for whichever one is the most expensive - but don't know how they will decide how much to reimburse.

I don't know how the scheme works for schools at present.

 

Sue J

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