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This Is Getting Silly!


marley
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Hi all

Going to have a moan AGAIN :o

 

Well from numerous other topics I have posted you will know things are not good at my pre-school. Finances are dire due to having paid for agency deputy for months, they got a new deputy, she lasted couple of months then left, got originally agency deputy to actually take the job last month and she will also be leaving shortly.

Anyway then came the "got lot of children intrested in joining and could I do extra to my 2 days per week", yes.....now wait for this......

 

Been told today that chair says we are claiming too much for wages and hours will be cut. How they are going to do this we dont know. They are not going to pay for staff meetings, courses we attend etc etc. We are like many of you doing hours of work extra to what we are claiming eg I do the website, registers, admin, all for nothing, spent 2 half days doing key worker files as did other staff. Supervisor has been told she can no longer claim for the planning she does (extra hour per week), I often stay behind to tidy up after a session for 30 mins here and there (darn that playdough in the carpet!) (they think one person can put it all away in 30 mins, clean toilets, hoover etc). Needless to say we are all totally fed up. I have suggested as Inge did that we now complete a time sheet detailing exactly what we do for nothing or we stop doing it. This has been going on for over a year now and we are getting a bit fed up. But if we stopped doing the tidying up and leave when we should the room woud not be cleaned for next people to use the hall, complaints to committee, if we stopped doing keyperson files we would fail OFSTED. How far do we go? It seems they are having to penalise current dedicated staff as they coudnt sort out the deputy issue. Is that our fault? I have been told that they are struggling to cover wage each month, they ahave been advised not to increase fees to be in line with funded children until sept but im not sure how long we can carry on this for. They wont even let us buy more resources at the moment. Its all coming out of staff own pocket eg pancake materials, laminating pouches, glue sticks! We are surpirsed they got the photos developed for files (staff did say that if they refused to do this then we would walk!). We are struggling to do our jobs properley.

 

Just feel totally used and taken for granted. Thing is none of the current parents are aware of how things really are. Staff battled to get minutes of the committee meetings put up so that parents can read all about the background issues and finaces etc but none have bothered. We are trying to get tog a new committee but not having much luck and the old one seems to want to stay on (much to our dismay..especially as most have no children there anymore...why do they want to stay? Is is a power thing?).

 

In fact fed up with the parents full stop too. I have been in (own time again) for the last 3 mornings trying to sell tickets to a social evening and not managed to sell one! Committee all going and their friends but none of the other parents. Also been trying to get peope to take an interest in joining the committee and got about 3! trying to get parents more involved suggesting they come in and take part reading a story, doing a baking activity etc etc (cant you tell which bit of my course Im doing eh? It makes me laugh what they say in the course materials!)...only 1 mum signed up. They all just drop their children off and scarper! They all complain about doing parent help also. Wonder if it would make a difference if they actualy knew how bad things are?

 

Anyway, yet again having to ask for advice from you all. Too many lows in this place and not enough highs! The kids are lovely tho.

Where do we stand?

Edited by marley
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difficult one we are very lucky when we dont earn enough for hall rent the church has been fantastic and we still get pay as per usual

who owns your pre-school?

 

fees need to be inline with funding if you are struggling with sustainability

speak to your development worker for a sustainability grant

 

talk to your comm. becuase if you work to what you are paid for then you will loose children and parents and ofsted and may then not be viable is that what they want

you need to invest in your staff to reap any reward

 

You cannot keep on doing work and not be paid or provide resources because you continue to do this nothing will change

 

you always look for another job!

 

sorry if post is muddled but wtote as thoughts popped into my head

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Hi Marley , May i suggest you tell those parents they either support you or lose you then maybe they will consider joining the committe .Mind you i expect most pre school are in the same boat , us as staff give up so much of out time yet parents just wanna dump run don't show much interest in thier childs achievements. Good job where god at giving those kids praises . Hope things pick up for you and your staf f.

 

Well from numerous other topics I have posted you will know things are not good at my pre-school. Finances are dire due to having paid for agency deputy for months, they got a new deputy, she lasted couple of months then left, got originally agency deputy to actually take the job last month and she will also be leaving shortly.

Anyway then came the "got lot of children intrested in joining and could I do extra to my 2 days per week", yes.....now wait for this......

 

Been told today that chair says we are claiming too much for wages and hours will be cut. How they are going to do this we dont know. They are not going to pay for staff meetings, courses we attend etc etc. We are like many of you doing hours of work extra to what we are claiming eg I do the website, registers, admin, all for nothing, spent 2 half days doing key worker files as did other staff. Supervisor has been told she can no longer claim for the planning she does (extra hour per week), I often stay behind to tidy up after a session for 30 mins here and there (darn that playdough in the carpet!) (they think one person can put it all away in 30 mins, clean toilets, hoover etc). Needless to say we are all totally fed up. I have suggested as Inge did that we now complete a time sheet detailing exactly what we do for nothing or we stop doing it. This has been going on for over a year now and we are getting a bit fed up. But if we stopped doing the tidying up and leave when we should the room woud not be cleaned for next people to use the hall, complaints to committee, if we stopped doing keyperson files we would fail OFSTED. How far do we go? It seems they are having to penalise current dedicated staff as they coudnt sort out the deputy issue. Is that our fault? I have been told that they are struggling to cover wage each month, they ahave been advised not to increase fees to be in line with funded children until sept but im not sure how long we can carry on this for. They wont even let us buy more resources at the moment. Its all coming out of staff own pocket eg pancake materials, laminating pouches, glue sticks! We are surpirsed they got the photos developed for files (staff did say that if they refused to do this then we would walk!). We are struggling to do our jobs properley.

 

Just feel totally used and taken for granted. Thing is none of the current parents are aware of how things really are. Staff battled to get minutes of the committee meetings put up so that parents can read all about the background issues and finaces etc but none have bothered. We are trying to get tog a new committee but not having much luck and the old one seems to want to stay on (much to our dismay..especially as most have no children there anymore...why do they want to stay? Is is a power thing?).

 

In fact fed up with the parents full stop too. I have been in (own time again) for the last 3 mornings trying to sell tickets to a social evening and not managed to sell one! Committee all going and their friends but none of the other parents. Also been trying to get peope to take an interest in joining the committee and got about 3! trying to get parents more involved suggesting they come in and take part reading a story, doing a baking activity etc etc (cant you tell which bit of my course Im doing eh? It makes me laugh what they say in the course materials!)...only 1 mum signed up. They all just drop their children off and scarper! They all complain about doing parent help also. Wonder if it would make a difference if they actualy knew how bad things are?

 

Anyway, yet again having to ask for advice from you all. Too many lows in this place and not enough highs! The kids are lovely tho.

Where do we stand?

Edited by Beau
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difficult one we are very lucky when we dont earn enough for hall rent the church has been fantastic and we still get pay as per usual

who owns your pre-school?

 

fees need to be inline with funding if you are struggling with sustainability

speak to your development worker for a sustainability grant

 

talk to your comm. becuase if you work to what you are paid for then you will loose children and parents and ofsted and may then not be viable is that what they want

you need to invest in your staff to reap any reward

 

You cannot keep on doing work and not be paid or provide resources because you continue to do this nothing will change

 

you always look for another job!

 

sorry if post is muddled but wtote as thoughts popped into my head

 

Our pre-school is charity based run by parent committee.

 

I have given comm all the information about grants etc and to be honest I dont have the time to be doing this for them (they already think i interfere too much for a lowly assistant!). They had someone from LEA come in and see them re finance and he was the one that said they coudnt put fees up before sept (makes it a year since fee last went up). Again we are not getting much info about all this from chair. She has been having some meetings with others about finances. Not told anything yet apart from we have to tighten our belts considerably.

 

We have told comm how we feel...nothing done. They just blame the finances all the time.

 

Also meetings are taking place between comm and school about raising money to try and get into the school. Im wondering if pre-school closes would the school step in? We are their feeder pre-school and the head thinks we are brill!

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Oh dear Marley, I feel so sorry for you. You must feel as if you're banging your head against a brick wall.

Sorry I can't give you any constructive advice ... it sounds as if you've been down most routes... but one think I do know is that as much as I love my job, I go to work to earn a wage and wouldn't do anything for nothing (I'd sooner work in a stress-free charity shop 9 to 4) and I would hope that nobody would expext me to.

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Sounds like they really are in trouble financially... and not really willing to admit it....and they are thinking ahead to loss of current deputy... are they recruiting still/again? If they know she will be leaving it would be sensible to recruit now and not wait, or are they planning agency again.... that is really the downfall here. Bet they could employ 2 staff on what they have paid out there.

 

they have probably had financial advice from LEA and are following the suggestions made.....

 

cannot see why as a PVI fees cannot be changed when you wish.. we did.. and I know others do.... and yes it may be twice in a year..

 

I kept the overtime time sheet and gave it to committee even when I knew we would not get paid for the hours.. just to highlight the issues....

 

When we had problems in one group the committee would clear up at end of the session... but they had children there so it was easy for them to have a rota to do this.... perhaps a suggestion as they are cutting hours that they take ion some of the tasks they expect you to do unpaid... you are not volunteers but employees... perhaps a reminder to them of this.....

 

Its not easy when financial problems....took me 5 years to get ours out of difficulty.but committee let me have control of finances and staffing....it was not for the feint hearted but I took on the challenge..... even now some years are at a loss... but at least we didn't have any agency fees....and church allowed us a period of no rent etc....

 

No real answers to this one

 

Inge

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When we had problems in one group the committee would clear up at end of the session... but they had children there so it was easy for them to have a rota to do this.... perhaps a suggestion as they are cutting hours that they take ion some of the tasks they expect you to do unpaid... you are not volunteers but employees... perhaps a reminder to them of this.....

 

 

Inge

 

Yes Inge...things are no better. Do like this idea tho! It may get to the stage where I might suggest it....deputy thing still not sorted out. The one we have at the mo has still not signed her contract and so we all know where that may leave us....will have to wait and see. Is it this bad at othr places? I have only ever been here and its frightneing to think if this was my main job that it is so close to folding. One comm member told me that if it goes down then the comm could be liable. Is this true? Who is going to want to take over tho as new committee when finances are this bad...perhaps this is why some of them want to stay on?

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Really feel for you. I think its a common factor in playgroups since Committees are parents normally with no prior experience of childcare or running a business.

 

Are you members of Pata or Preschool allaince, they give out good advice .

 

I think the time sheet is a good idea, my big grudge is the time we spend doing things in our own time and not getting paid, the more we do the more they expect of us.

 

Have they tried sustainability grants or maybe just fundraising to keep you afloat.

 

Good luck

 

Chocoholic1507

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If it folds, then yes committee are liable.. they would also have to pay the redundancy pay to eligible staff..

 

Not all are like this.... it tends to go in cycles with committees.... some good, some bad.. non existent ones....had them all over the years..... but they do change so unless you are unlucky they move on sooner or later.....just seems yours dont want to perhaps a good thing with the state it is all in would anyone want to take over....

 

Inge

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I can't help at all, have never worked for a committee and never would!!!!

 

Just wanted to send my sympathies really.

 

Sunnyday

 

dont blame u sunnyday....

 

Marley i am so sorry i would do as Inge says tell the committee if they are cutting hours/money to do all the menial jobs themselves for a start - they wont like that!"!!! have you spoken to your early years team about this?

 

:o

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I strongly think that it's time to finish with committees running Preschool. What's the point of being qualified to the 'nth' degree and having a parent tell you what you can and cannot do in your business!

I think we all need to speak up more strongly about it. I really don't see how things can get any better - we're always going to have these problems, they aren't going to go away, are they?

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Hi all

Going to have a moan AGAIN :o

 

Well from numerous other topics I have posted you will know things are not good at my pre-school. Finances are dire due to having paid for agency deputy for months, they got a new deputy, she lasted couple of months then left, got originally agency deputy to actually take the job last month and she will also be leaving shortly.

Anyway then came the "got lot of children intrested in joining and could I do extra to my 2 days per week", yes.....now wait for this......

 

Been told today that chair says we are claiming too much for wages and hours will be cut. How they are going to do this we dont know. They are not going to pay for staff meetings, courses we attend etc etc. We are like many of you doing hours of work extra to what we are claiming eg I do the website, registers, admin, all for nothing, spent 2 half days doing key worker files as did other staff. Supervisor has been told she can no longer claim for the planning she does (extra hour per week), I often stay behind to tidy up after a session for 30 mins here and there (darn that playdough in the carpet!) (they think one person can put it all away in 30 mins, clean toilets, hoover etc). Needless to say we are all totally fed up. I have suggested as Inge did that we now complete a time sheet detailing exactly what we do for nothing or we stop doing it. This has been going on for over a year now and we are getting a bit fed up. But if we stopped doing the tidying up and leave when we should the room woud not be cleaned for next people to use the hall, complaints to committee, if we stopped doing keyperson files we would fail OFSTED. How far do we go? It seems they are having to penalise current dedicated staff as they coudnt sort out the deputy issue. Is that our fault? I have been told that they are struggling to cover wage each month, they ahave been advised not to increase fees to be in line with funded children until sept but im not sure how long we can carry on this for. They wont even let us buy more resources at the moment. Its all coming out of staff own pocket eg pancake materials, laminating pouches, glue sticks! We are surpirsed they got the photos developed for files (staff did say that if they refused to do this then we would walk!). We are struggling to do our jobs properley.

 

Just feel totally used and taken for granted. Thing is none of the current parents are aware of how things really are. Staff battled to get minutes of the committee meetings put up so that parents can read all about the background issues and finaces etc but none have bothered. We are trying to get tog a new committee but not having much luck and the old one seems to want to stay on (much to our dismay..especially as most have no children there anymore...why do they want to stay? Is is a power thing?).

 

In fact fed up with the parents full stop too. I have been in (own time again) for the last 3 mornings trying to sell tickets to a social evening and not managed to sell one! Committee all going and their friends but none of the other parents. Also been trying to get peope to take an interest in joining the committee and got about 3! trying to get parents more involved suggesting they come in and take part reading a story, doing a baking activity etc etc (cant you tell which bit of my course Im doing eh? It makes me laugh what they say in the course materials!)...only 1 mum signed up. They all just drop their children off and scarper! They all complain about doing parent help also. Wonder if it would make a difference if they actualy knew how bad things are?

 

Anyway, yet again having to ask for advice from you all. Too many lows in this place and not enough highs! The kids are lovely tho.

Where do we stand?

Sorry I can't offer advice but just want to say sounds very much like my setting! .

We are constantly being told to cut hours and that we are overstaffed even if boss hasn't a clue what goes on aNS THAT EACH MEMBER OF STAFF CAN BE FULLY JUSTIFIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! also we had a complaint today form parents as staff have had hours changed so minimal in when opening up and I have said it is totally unprofessional but she who must be obeyed and all that!!! well today one member of staff was late through no fualt of her own and that left myself and one other member greeting children,taking money, dealing with three screaming children!!!! and then parent complained that she doesnt want to leave her child with just 2 ,members of staff!!!! I have now got to go to my boss as i as the manager have made the decision to have all staff in when opening up so as not to look like a complete sham!!! will have to feel the wrath of her next week!!!.

 

So I know it won't make you feel any better but you are not alone! by the way I have worked out they owe me 40 hrs a month for all the work i do outside contracted hours!!

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Wouldnt the fees be decided by the committee and not by the LEA? I've never known a playgroup have their fees deicded by anyone else.

 

You need as a staff team, to get together with the committee and really bash this out. You may still have to do stuff without pay, but a lot of playgroups work this way unfortunatly.

 

Your parents are members of the group so they need to be informed of the bad as well as any good that happens. What if the playgroup were to close, would they resent the fact they hadnt been given sufficient warning? You really do need your parents on board for this to be decided. And yes, the committee are liable for redundancy pay etc.

If you are part of the PLA, their constitution used to state that if the group did close the equipment would have to be sold off or given to another group with the same aims. Any money form the sale would go to the PLA to support other groups, so they wouldnt even be able to bale you out that way.

 

You might need to take things into your own hands with regards to your parents while understanding that these days we are all busier than when my children were small. In the past I locked the door and told the parents that the playgroup was going to close without a functioning committee. We ended up with a fab chair who really turned the finances around, but it was a struggle for a while. You could also hand out a brief rundown of the last meeting pointing out as you do so things you need them to read.

 

There used to be a thing within the PLA constitution that someone unconnected with the group could be on the committee for afee. The fee could be a penny a year. That person could be your head who it seems would be sorry to see you close. He'll have a sound knowldge of budgets and finances so could help you out.

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I strongly think that it's time to finish with committees running Preschool. What's the point of being qualified to the 'nth' degree and having a parent tell you what you can and cannot do in your business!

I think we all need to speak up more strongly about it. I really don't see how things can get any better - we're always going to have these problems, they aren't going to go away, are they?

Here Here - I could not agree more.

 

sunnyday

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I strongly think that it's time to finish with committees running Preschool. What's the point of being qualified to the 'nth' degree and having a parent tell you what you can and cannot do in your business!

I think we all need to speak up more strongly about it. I really don't see how things can get any better - we're always going to have these problems, they aren't going to go away, are they?

 

here here Cait. I wish I could afford to set up on my own- life would be so much easier

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Hi Marley

When is your chairperson period of standing up.

I work for a sure start centre and the preschool in the next village has just asked me to be there chair. The Manager asked me to become invovled because as much as she had a few parents invovled she wanted somebody who understood where the staff are coming from.

Had a very unusal suitable person interview this week. When even the Ofsted inspector said what a luck pre-school to have someone within the early years field.

Another of the pre-school in our area is also doing a similar idea with their chair coming from a early years background.

I agree with Cait that with settings having to reach higher level training then either chairperson's need experince or to let managers be entrusted with the running of the pre-school.

sam

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I work for a committee run preschool in the PVI sector, we used to run from church halls until last september. I've been associated with the setting since 2000 when i started as a parent attending toddlergroup then movedonto committee, then took the t/g job, eventually training up (am now doing EYPS) and becoming the manager of a very successful and thriving 3 tiered group. The inital committee did what they could and over the years we've had committee memebrs either so laid back the business has been in peril or, like our current Chair, vice Chair and advertising person, totally committed so much so we'd have closed over the last couple of years if it wasn't for them. I have friends who've not been so fortunate and left good jobs because of poor committees. It's the luck of the draw i guess.

 

There are people who should be supporting you, your EYFSA for one should be your first port of call, then your development officer who should be there offering advice and sustainability grants. Over the 4 years it took for us to get out of the church and into our own building the people in these positions changed and the staff and committee had to work very hard to keep it going.

 

Are you offering the 15 hours and therefore done a cost analysis? The payment you get should reflect your outgoings. Our staff are paid very well (£30 + per 2 1/2 hour session for level 3) and we charge in line with NEF, never more and are still charging the same for under threes when i think it should be more as meeting ratios in the younger group requires more staff. We charge £3 for 45 minute lunch club, parents provide packed lunch. Parents also provide daily fruit for their child to share. We also operate a parent helper rota, although this isn't as successful since we moved. We can only afford a cleaner 3 afternoons a week so a parent on committee cleans for about 20 minutes when she can; we all muck in on these days.

 

If you are local to me, let me know and i can tell you who to get in touch with for support. We've also made use of the local voluntary service for advice with accounts etc. This was before we found ur fab treasurer who is amazing at keeping track of the purse strings!

Sam

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Hi Marley. Sorry things aren't getting better xD

 

The PLA website I think has some information about the roles of different committee members and perhaps if you gave these to them along with the suggestion that the staff only do their own jobs, they might see that actually you are doing the committee roles too. It might get them to step up and take on some stuff they are not doing and can't pay you for anymore, or frighten them off once and for all! Let me know if you can't find it and I will search my computer for it, but it covers stuff like drawing up the registers, etc.

 

As others have suggested, we have, in the past, announced that "no committee = no pre-school" to get new parents on board. It also runs the risk of backfiring as sometimes I know parents can then panic and look elsewhere, but I really think your group is now in a no win situation in some ways.

 

I had other things I was going to put in but I can't remember now. Will get back to you if I do, but I know you must be worried about your course too and I can only say if you were closer to me I would have you work at my setting in an instant. In fact we are recruiting - fancy relocating? :o

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We don't have cleaners, or have staff who can stay after hours (or not long, obviously there's always late pick ups). So, we have a rota of cleaning at the end of the day. At the moment, we've not got freeflow so the children go out for the later part of the sessions and whoever's on the rota hoovers, empties bins, cleans the toilets etc. You do need to have enough staff to have the rest outside. Washing up, getting pictures and letters ready for home time happens while the children are having group story, and as we're in our own building, we set up while the children are going home.

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That's what I was going to say - yes fees. As long as the policy does not say you only put them up once a year I can't see how the LA can tell the committee otherwise. We have had to raise fees a considerable amount in the past due to various circumstances. We sent a letter explaining that due to circumstances beyond our control the raise was necessary and added that it meant we could continue to offer a higher standard of care for the children. ie if you pay peanuts you get monkeys! Obviously we are not paid huge amounts but you get my meaning I hope.

 

(Thanks to Suer for jogging my memory on that one!)

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I had an odd phonecall today from Primary school which has nothing to do with us. They want to set up a meeting of their head and a governor and us to talk about 'the future of the Nursery' Totally bizarre - it's absolutely nothing to do with them!

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I had an odd phonecall today from Primary school which has nothing to do with us. They want to set up a meeting of their head and a governor and us to talk about 'the future of the Nursery' Totally bizarre - it's absolutely nothing to do with them!

So........how did you respond?

 

Sunnyday

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I had an odd phonecall today from Primary school which has nothing to do with us. They want to set up a meeting of their head and a governor and us to talk about 'the future of the Nursery' Totally bizarre - it's absolutely nothing to do with them!

Perhaps they want to offer you space on their grounds Cait - can't do any harm to talk to them can it?

 

Maz

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