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Expansion - Help!


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Hi everybody - I'm new to this but have been browsing the forums for a while. I hope I have posted in the right place!?!?

 

 

I work in a nursery which has a children's centre for under threes and then a pre-school room in the school building for our funded and over three year olds. We currently have 21 children a session but are expanding in September to 40 a session (VVVVVery WWWWorried). I just wondered if anyone else has this amount of children and how you manage the sessions. We currently have register and story time altogether but I am thinking this would be done in key person groups ? Any suggestions or ideas welcome please!!

 

Thanks :o

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Goodness 40 a session is HUGE! No wonder you are worried!

We currently have 20 per session and sometimes divide the children into preschoolers and pre-preschoolers (twos to threes) for story time as the younger ones have more picture oriented books than the older group, who have more 'involved' stories.

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We work in our key groups for part of each session, which may mean going outside - like on Monday I took my group of 7 that day out to make some proper squishy squashy mud (if you've been following my blog you'll understand why) in the digging area and the younger children in that day worked with my Deputy indoors with squishy squashy wet compost in the galt tray.

The smaller, groups definitely work better as you can observe properly and monitor developments and children get their voices heard

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Are the under and over three's together?

 

You mentioned separate rooms....... is that for the different age groups?

 

And is the figure of 40 including both age groups?

 

Hi sorry let me elaborate,

 

We have a baby room (birth-2) capacity 9 babies at each session, a toddler room (2-3) 16 children at each session, then the pre-school room (3-5) currently 21 children a session but will be expanding to 40 a session from september.

 

We only have 3-5 year olds in the room so age groups are not a problem just the organisation of 40 children in at the same time. I hope that clarifys ?!?!

 

Any suggestions gratefully received

 

Thanks

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Hi chasrosam, we can have up to 40 children per session and take children from the age of 2. What we have every day is the equivalent of your toddler room and your pre-school room all in together. Sometimes it is really difficult as the children's needs are so different and sometimes it works really well. Story time is split into 3 groups, the 4's, 3's and 2's and it works well. We run small group sessions during the week and get a mixture of ages taking part in activities. Sometimes when we are doing letters and sounds we have to run another session for the littlies! Some small group work is just for one age group and we try and keep it that way so as to address the needs of all the children in the Pre-School. Good luck, mrsW.

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I do cover sometimes in a setting which sounds similar to yours, although the pre-school is a maintained setting. When we are full we have 52 am/pm. Ratios include two QTS and 2 level 3's present, as required by the set ratios for this setting. There are also Level 2's available when numbers dictate. In reality some of these children are full time, including breakfast club and/or after school club. They do all sorts of combinations of half-days or days as well. They have their funded time and then pay to top up if they wish. The year begins with less children and the pre-school fills up each term as children turn three. Some of these children are from the toddler room, and some from elsewhere. The children have a key person and spend small group time with their key person. The key person is the one who plans for, and does, their focus activity, and at staff meetings next steps are planned from observations and look, listen and note.

We have a key group time after the first half hour settling in time and a story/singing session etc. at the end. Because of the way the building is designed the key people double up the groups, which is really good as it works out that one QTS and one Early Years Assistant work together. This also gives one member of staff time to tidy up a bit and clean toilets etc. All staff do every job role over the week, and this is clearly time-tabled for indoors outdoors, focus time, toileting, snack etc. It seems to work well but we have a wonderful, and large, outdoor play area.

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I do cover sometimes in a setting which sounds similar to yours, although the pre-school is a maintained setting. When we are full we have 52 am/pm. Ratios include two QTS and 2 level 3's present, as required by the set ratios for this setting. There are also Level 2's available when numbers dictate. In reality some of these children are full time, including breakfast club and/or after school club. They do all sorts of combinations of half-days or days as well. They have their funded time and then pay to top up if they wish. The year begins with less children and the pre-school fills up each term as children turn three. Some of these children are from the toddler room, and some from elsewhere. The children have a key person and spend small group time with their key person. The key person is the one who plans for, and does, their focus activity, and at staff meetings next steps are planned from observations and look, listen and note.

We have a key group time after the first half hour settling in time and a story/singing session etc. at the end. Because of the way the building is designed the key people double up the groups, which is really good as it works out that one QTS and one Early Years Assistant work together. This also gives one member of staff time to tidy up a bit and clean toilets etc. All staff do every job role over the week, and this is clearly time-tabled for indoors outdoors, focus time, toileting, snack etc. It seems to work well but we have a wonderful, and large, outdoor play area.

 

 

 

Thank you for your answer, it sounds just like what I had envisaged. we have a staff rota for job roles now and this works well for us too so will continue with this, I like the key person planning focus activities as we do ours for all the children at the moment but key person planning would be more appropriate when numbers of children are larger.

 

Thanks for the help :-)

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