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Not Looking Good.....


marley
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Hi all

Well sure most of you know whats going off at my pre-school.

Found out today that current committee are voting as to if we should remain open. They are forcasting finances etc and its not good. Due to have AGM at end of April, new chair dropped out, cant get many current parents interested and new secretary met with current comm last night to talk finances...she doesnt want to do it anymore. Current chair would like to stay on as would treasurer (altho no kids at pre-school) but rest of committee want off. Cant see anyone wanting to take it on.

Is it true that they woud be personally liable?

One thought might be to close for next term and hopefully reopen at school anyone got any ideas how this could be done? Not sure the school is quite ready to have us tho.

Think comm are going to send out letter to parent asap telling them what is happening and I think most will be shocked as unaware. I was told this unofficially and have stressed to comm member who told me that they must be informing the staff asap.

Anybody had this happen to them?

Edited by marley
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Unfortunately MarleI think they can do this but as your employers they are liable foryour redundancies, even if it means selling off the settings equipment etc to do so. I would think that they also have a moral if not legal duty to infom staff before parents. As to how they close down will I think depend on your constitution and what that says. I cannot believe that they have let things get this bad without informing parents, how do they know that parents may not have been able to help? By paying more fees or fundraising- loads of things they couldhave done. Also as employers they shuld have kept 3 months running costs in bank for this purpose and/or topay redundancies

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I do feel for them. They are not business people just regular mums. As this comm member said she wasnt even told she could be liable for costs when she took over. The thing that has crippled us is the agency costs. Its now a year since the last reliable deputy left. Since then its been agency and 2 deputys both of who left. They are also interviewing next week for deputy position. Think the chair is hanging on detmined not to let it fold. Will have to see what happens in the next week or so.

As for redundancies not one member of staff has been there 2 years yet so would we qualify for redundancy. Comm though it was just the notice period?

Edited by marley
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that is so sad - have you spoken to your development worker - she may be able to help - i know a group in this area who had to close -they sold off all their assets to pay off debts etc - the staff didnt get redundancy money althought some were due it because of lack of monies - although committee are liable the staf said they couldnt take them to court for monies due as they had tried hard to keep group going after previous committee had spent too much money - more than they actually had to spend.

just one point are your chair and and treasurer allowed to have officer roles as their children are no longer at the pre-school- we had to let a lovely chairperson go as her child moved onto school and were told that although she could continue on committee she couldnt hold an officer role- which wwas a pain as noone else really wanted the role.

having said that i think committees should become a thing of the past - its forever change and most are only there for year or so and they dont seem to understand the need to think further than the end of the year (as thier child will have left) they dont undersatnd how the preschool runs and everything that goes with it and always seem to be interfering in areas you dont want or need and not wanting to do anything in the areas you do want.

anyway thats my rant over - hope you get something sorted soon - keep us informed.

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Marley, you might find that when parents are given the stark truth, that they come on board to keep the playgroup open. I locked the doors once to tell parents collecting their children that unless committee members were found we would shut. We collected 4 very good ones that day and 7 years later the group are still going strong.

I hope something can be done to save you. Are there other providers in the area that the children could go to? If not its in the parents best interests to keepit going, especially those with younger children who are waiting to come.

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Sorry to hear of your committee problems. We have our ups and downs with ours too. At the moment we have a chairwoman who is absolutely brilliant but still have little problems with other members.

 

I agree that committee-run settings should be a thing of the past. People are busier these days and just don't have the time they think they have, especially to do the job justice. Some people like to volunteer and don't realise the amount of work that some committees do....or not, in some cases! A lot of them are not told that they are personally liable when they sign up...... probably wouldn't sign up if they did!!! And really, they are only volunteers, perhaps with no experience or expertise to bring to the group.

 

Having said that I think that a forum member bought out a committee-run pre-school and how she did this was discussed here some time ago. Perhaps if you do a search or maybe someone else will remember the details??

 

Sorry for not being much help......hope it sorts itself out soon.

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doesn't get any better does it....

 

but lots of good advice already.. as no redundancy to pay not really liable for anything except for sorting it all out... if they give you correct notice period .. depends on your contract as to how long this is.. ours was just 2 weeks for committee to close us... (it did come close just as I joined)

 

If it does close constitution will say what is to happen to all goods etc.... this is what they will have to follow.

 

getting parents to join committee.. I did a poster which told the truth... if we did not have sufficient parents come forward we would not be open day after AGM. You need a minimum of 5 , 3 officers and 2 members... and again depends on constitution as to if children have to be at the group.. but if no one comes forward we did recruit outside of parents.. our current committee officers don't have children at the setting but other members do..

 

I must admit when we were threatened with closure staff got together and offered to work for token wage for a term, which gave the funds a bit of time to recover.. but we did not have any agency to pay.. it would probably been different if we had. we suggested that if w did this , committee would keep a tally of how much we should have been paid and how much we were, once finances were available we were paid additional bonus to eventually cover the money we should have received. We were lucky in the staff support for this.

 

 

In closing for a term what will you gain? no funds coming in, and no expenditure, so re opening would be difficult as you will find current parents finding another setting and often not wanting to move child again...I would be very doubtful at re opening, better to get current parents behind you and fund raise etc sustainability grant not forthcoming..thery were not around when we needed it, are they still available or are you ineligible...

 

only a few thoughts, sorry if a bit jumbled

 

any news on new job?? cannot remember when interview is? Brain more than a bit forgetful at mo :o

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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I agree with inge that closing for a term can add to the problems and your risk loosing the children you already have

 

are there alternatives to committee run? are you a registered charity can you change to "not for profit" small busines or management committee?

 

 

I totally agree committee run preschools should be a thing of the past there has to be a better way of doing things

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Hi all

Still waiting to hear something...told my friend on comm about sustainability grant and had they looked into it. Must admit I tried to but couldnt find anything for our area. They have asked if we could have payment holiday for rent but been refused. Our constitution is PLA and it says that we have to have 60% of them to be current parents otherwise have to inform PLA so that is something to keep an eye on if we get to AGM that is!. Thing I cant undertand is chair is interviewing for deputy position on fri. What if she offers job to someone they resign etc. All other comm members are not sure there will even be a pre-school after Easter. But as yet nothing said. I think they will hire anyone for deputy that can start straight away as they cannot afford to pay agency to wait for a notice period.

We are not claiming anything apart from our basic wages now. But most of staff depend on it so dont think they can do anything there. We are not doing keyworker/staff meetings. Think comm think if they close for term and then fund raise they may well be able to get money back. However I already told them they risk losing chidren and staff to do this.

Ive got job interview on Fri. Should i be asking questions about their comittee? Its not good job security at the moment is it?!! Hubby is a bit dubious about me giving up Sainsburys which is guaranteed to do something that isnt it. But this is something I really want to do.

 

will let you know.

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Hi

 

I sympathise with you, about 2 years ago we were in this situation but luckily the committee decided to rise to the occasion and they continually fundraised, we now have a very healthy bank balance!

I have to say we still today fundraise all the time, every month we have something on the go coffee mornings, cake sales, sponsored somethings, jumble sales the list goes on - without all of this going on we are not finanically viable.

Our Committee are generally there to fundraise, all the other things they should be doing are done by us (or is that me!) not how it should be I know but the only way that it actually works for us.

 

I agree with other posts Committee run groups are a thing of the past, too many rules and regulations these days for mums to understand, if we don't understand 1/2 the time whats required, how should they know.

 

Good Luck

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Hi

Well was at fundraising event last night and raised £100. Apparenty they need to get £2k to cover next term!! Letter going out to parents today to tell them that fees are going up next term, the finances, that we need volunteer for comm, can anyone make a donation etc etc. Apparently if the WI waived their rent for next term it would be over half the money there.

Staff have been told that each will have 30 mins per day knocked off their time. For me that is setting up time. No longer an hour for 2 people to do but 30 mins...its going to be really tough to get it done in that time believe me. But hey at least we have jobs!

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think I would re appeal about rent... giving a balance sheet of finances as moment as well as projected for next 3 months... then a statement that without it you are very likely to close and they would lose all future income from you....sometimes writing it down for them to see the finances for themselves can help. Perhaps an offer to pay money owing in instalments once you are able to,( hopefully from Sept.) and agreement that if you do close any unpaid rent would be paid to them.

 

we did and it swung the balance for us ,but it is a church we rent from.. also worked when they tried to increase our rent drastically recently, they thought that as we were popular and full we were 'rolling in money'. Not realising of course that more children mean more staff more resources etc. so books just balance and the increase they wanted we would not manage on.

 

Inge

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Did you say you have suggested to the Chair/committee they speak to your Development Officer at your Local Authority because there should be sustainability funding available......... sometimes this can be in excess of £2k if the need and future sustainability can be proven....

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Hi all

well very official letter and frightnening letter gone out to parents today. They are increasing fees from next term by £1.25, lunch club by £1.50, have told people that by the end of next term we will be £2k in debt, asking for donations, plus also said that if qualified staff members are sick the pre-school will close as there is no more money to spend on agency, oh and after that could you join the committee for next year as still not got enough current parents interested!

They have a form to complete saying they agree to the terms, how much could they donate etc etc.

Have not yet seen the reaction of a parent opening one!

 

Oh and just heard. Chair has appointed a new deputy who can miraculously start after the easter hols :(xD:o Not saying a word (but not pleased either!)

Edited by marley
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Thing is not all committees are like this. I have spent the last week or so doing projected budget for the forthcoming financiql year, set salary increase & fee increases. This are to be voted on at next meeting but I know they will agree. Over the E/Hols I will do staff employment contracts, letters telling of salary increases, staff appraisals etc. My deputy has just finsihed weeks of allocating places for Sept (mamoth task as 95% of ours leave for school in July) and administering our waiting list. So ours is the complete opposite of yors Marley, but in fairness, they are lovely, they do try, but it is easier and quicker to do all this myself. Most dont really know what to do and by the time they do they have gone!

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Thing is not all committees are like this. I have spent the last week or so doing projected budget for the forthcoming financiql year, set salary increase & fee increases. This are to be voted on at next meeting but I know they will agree. Over the E/Hols I will do staff employment contracts, letters telling of salary increases, staff appraisals etc. My deputy has just finsihed weeks of allocating places for Sept (mamoth task as 95% of ours leave for school in July) and administering our waiting list. So ours is the complete opposite of yors Marley, but in fairness, they are lovely, they do try, but it is easier and quicker to do all this myself. Most dont really know what to do and by the time they do they have gone!

It is always great to hear that committees aren't all bad, as you say some can be really great. It is the uncertainty that I can't stand. Firstly not knowing if you can get committee members, then not knowing if they will be at all competant/interested in the job in hand.

 

We have had a good committee for the last two years with hardly any turbulance(sp), but in September all their children go to school and we are left with one woman willing to take on the treasurer, and that is it.

 

So we have our AGM end of September and no committee members to take over. We are a popular very busy setting with a waiting list of 31 for September and retaining 21 from this year and we could have to shut down through lack of committee!! My question is what will they do with the 51 children that would be on our books!!!! There isn't another preschool in the area who could take them really!! :o

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Really feel for you. The main problem is committees are parents generally with out any business experience between them.

 

How they got to be 2K in debt is a concern, maybe their book keeping is not very good.

 

 

I recently got a new chair with no playgroup exp but comes from a business background, only knows what she has up her sleeve, shes got my apprasil to do on Friday and a Payrise is at the top of my list , came to realise that I have not had one for 3 years, so I feel its due.

 

Good Luck with the interview.

 

Early education would be so much better if there was no committees, we would be able to concentrate on the job in hand rather than worrying about what committees are up to!!!!!

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Shiny - you could always change your status from committee led to community interest

 

Cait, this is my ultimate dream!!! I have heard lots about this on this site, and read with increasing interest. I have repeatedly asked for information from our PSLA rep over the last year. I have always been given the brush off, told it is very difficult to do, expensive etc. She came again this week and I explained again our plite and I think it has finally sunk in. She is going to send me the information as soon as possible. I do think that we are being put in a very difficult position having parents with no working knowledge of the preschool effectively running and employing us especially as we are very rarely invited to committee meetings for input!! :o

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Cait, this is my ultimate dream!!! I have heard lots about this on this site, and read with increasing interest. I have repeatedly asked for information from our PSLA rep over the last year. I have always been given the brush off, told it is very difficult to do, expensive etc. She came again this week and I explained again our plite and I think it has finally sunk in. She is going to send me the information as soon as possible. I do think that we are being put in a very difficult position having parents with no working knowledge of the preschool effectively running and employing us especially as we are very rarely invited to committee meetings for input!! :o

 

I have just emailed the psla for some info too - so we'll have to 'put our heads together' when we finally get some response!

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