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Offering Flexible Nursery Places


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Hi

Help!

Does anyone who works in a Nursery within a school offer flexible sessions? We only offer 5 and they have to accept all and naturally it's putting some people off sending children to us. Are we allowed to be more flexible and if you are - is it an admin nightmare or do you have successful systems in place?

Thanks

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I dont know if this helps, but when my son had the free nursery sessions, I was encouraged to take all five.

 

I didnt want him in pre-school for that many mornings/afternoons, so took the places but only sent him for three. I personally couldnt see why he needed to go that often, as I thought he was better off with me. I wanted to spend time with him. We went to soft play or the park etc.

 

After reading some of the posts on here though, I am not sure if this would be allowed now!

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I am the foundation stage manager at a school and currently work within the nursery. We offer parents their 15 funded hours that they can take flexibly within a week. They can also pay for any additional hours they require over and above their 15. We had OFSTED in last week - and can now officially say we got OUTSTANDING! They liked our offer of flexible sessions and wrap around care clubs. in terms of planning/activities I just ensure that we have a variety of activities that support the same learning objective available throughout the week. My nursery nurse sorts the fees, bills etc. Is that what u were after, kel x

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Hi

 

we offer the 15 hours flexibly within our nursery - as far as I understand it this is being promoted if you can accomodate it i.e. by allowing a morning nursery chidlren to attend all day doesn't take you over your staffing or floor space ratios etc

 

planning does take little more thought than simply planning for 5 sessions repeated morning and afternoon but is possible as Kelly says.

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Thanks, that's really interesting, and what I wanted to hear.

 

One problems is that our Local Authority's nursery admissions policy seems to say that children should only attend one session per day. I need to get in touch with them I think and clarify what they are saying.

 

It's good to hear the planning is managable nsunshine as my nursery teacher needs some persuading that it'll be workable in a school.

 

And well done Kelly - that's great news!

 

Thanks everyone.

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Hello!

 

To add to the conversation, I work in a LA nursery in the morning that then offers private provision that I manage, in the afternoons.

 

This means any child attending morning sessions can top up their hours and do full days with us! paying for the extra!

We also have a flexible lunch "hour" which can link the 2 sessions

 

We like the consistency for the children of 5 mornings or 5 afternoons but in the morning there are some parents who don't bring everyday and you know its becasue they are busy doing things with their children, which is brilliant. However if they take a LA place even if they use only 2 sessions, the other 3 are lost. At present LA nursery gets a pot of money for nursery no matter how many children use each session.

 

In the afternoon I have to apply for funding for each child and on those forms I have to say how many hours each day each child has signed up to do! (Unless they are using the sessions as additional to their 15 hour entitlement)

 

I often "push" for 5 sessions although not rigidly as in the area we serve alot of our children if not in nursery are sat in front of the TV or in their pushchairs dummy in mouth in town whilst mum socialises.

 

We have a huge proportion of our children who have speech , language and communication difficulties, and this isn't due to EAL or refugess etc. It is a very socially deprived area.

 

So back to the original question, I believe that whilst the LA might be happier with children doing 5 sessions, parents should have the choice and do what suits their child. Flexibility is the key from here on in and to keep parents the nurseries are going to have to become more flexible!!

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That's interesting Scarlettangel. I'm hoping to have a lunch club and top up sessions available if there are places in the future. I spent Friday morning in the office with our admin officer looking at our systems and what we'll be able to offer and with everyone's advice on the formum it gave me a lot to think about. I think we're slightly clearer in the direction we'll be taking. We have to start taking children earlier in 2010 so I think we'll start that this year, and with them a bit younger I'm sure us being more flexible will be better for some of those children. I also went round school at drop off time and spoke to parents who had and hadn't sent their children to our nursery and us not offering flexible sessions came up as a big reason why some had not used our setting when their child was 3.

 

Thanks everyone!

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