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Extending Hours


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We heard today that our nearest preschool are going to go all day from September. This will impact on our provision. I know that we will lose some children because the longer hours suit the parents better. I've already had one parent tell me she has put her child on their waiting list.

 

We are currently open 9.15 - 12 Mon to Fri . The other group, who are 5 minutes walk from us and next door to the school many of our children go to, are open 9 -12. There is a very strong myth circulating that if you go to H preschool you will get into WP school, which we know is rubbish but if it's your first child you don't know how the system works.

 

What I really want to know from those of you who have been there is

What impact does extending from sessional to full day care have and what are the issue we need to consider.

 

Al

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Coming at it from a different angle I can tell you that although we have had a FSU open and a sessional setting move to full days we have kept our numbers. Fortunately we are in an area with a number of schools and over the last 7-8 years we have seen the majority of our children change from feeding one school to another and now a third. (Is this making sense cos it doesn't feel like it to me?).

 

What I am saying is that although others locally to us have changed we have managed to maintain our numbers. This had mainly been done by attracting parents from different schools and when we had one or two who were proactive, encouraging them to promote us by word of mouth. We cannot open more hours due to restrictions on the building.

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I was told by my early years advisor a few weeks back that rules about changing from sessional to full daycare has changed

 

it used to be no more that 4 hours per day to class as sessional now its open less than 45 weeks a year!!

I would need to look up the full details as I only heard that word of mouth but it might mean that if the main thing your changing is the opening hours then you may still call yourself sessional

 

the registration fee for day care is higher ofsted inspect you according to what services you provide ie if you only have children from 3-5 they wouldnt be expectin you to provide baby facilities

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I am not sure about the practical implications for yourselves with hours staffing etc, but we moved to full daycare Sep 07 and the parents were really grateful.

 

Flexibility is the key I think.

 

Maybe you could do a questionnaire and see just how many people would be interested.

After all there will be a need for it to be financially viable and maybe putting parents on the spot and asking if the majority actually want it would set things straight!

 

:o

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we changed last sept.

 

we asked parents what they wanted it, then had to work out cost implications, staffing hours, and how to offer some flexibility, which was dictated by parents comments...

 

we did not actually have many children taking more hours , we already had lunch club, but they tended to move their hours, so financially did not increase our income , but it was good for keeping parents who may otherwise had moved to another setting to get the hours they wanted.

 

Inge

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