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Help To Save Nursery !


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Hello

 

I work in a day nursery owned by a university, and would like your help if possible please.....

 

I've just had a 'bomb shell' of a meeting with my line manager who informs me that recent restructuring has meant that the nursery may close.

 

However, a colleague and myself have been asked to 'put forward reasons why we think we add value to the university' and 'how do we support core business' ! She seemed to like my empassioned outburst when she mentioned the nursery might close and said to write it down - it includes the obvious fact that as an educational establishment I felt they should be pleased that we are doing our best to make learning fun and hopefully in the process help encourage a life long love of learning which may make them future students of the university.

 

We also obviously support students sometimes rather erractic hours, arriving late etc. changing sessions at last minute which I know some nurseries are not so keen to support.

 

To make matters worse we've been given a week to do this!

 

I've searched online for supporting information and found a good report called "Meet the Parents" from the National Union of Students that has helped, and back articles from Nursery World regarding other university nurseries which have closed.

 

I'm pulling my hair out as this comes at the end of term with outings needing organising and parties etc and now I will not be able to give these the attention they so deserve. And this is not very motivating for staff to say the least - HELP !

 

What I would like to ask, is does anyone have any other suggestions of things I can put forward to show that we are a vital part of university life for student parents - if you are a student parent - how would having an on site nursery help you ?

If you're not a student parent, how would you imagine it would help?

 

It's a long shot I know, but some of you that are especially good with words may just come up with a gem that may help save what is a very lovely nursery.

 

Thanks for reading my ramble even if you can't help - just writing it down is helping a little.

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I'm just replying to myself to keep this 'live' as there are no suggestions as yet - hopefully there may be student parents, or other childcare practitioners working in universities/colleges - help .............

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Hi Sam

Have you thought about looking at other university nursery ofsted reports and taking some of their highlights as why you should be permitted to remain open?

I'm not sure if I am allowed to put links to others reports but if you type in university day nurseries into google it brings some up.

 

Sam

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I'm so sorry to hear your news. :o

 

Just off the top of my head, maybe refer to the Every Child Matters agenda, does the bods who make these decisions truly undersand what you do? The university will know (or should) the ECM jargon, especially: Positive contribution and Economic well being. Students may not be able to attend Uni if there is not sufficient, AFFORDABLE childcare. As you say you lay the foundations to lifelong learning, this shouldn't be underestimated.

Lots of research has shown the importance to society for good quality early years provision.

 

What interests me is what is their agenda? Is it financial? What do they plan to use the site for? Could you be re-sited if they need your current accomodation for something else.

Get each and every one of your parents to write a comment in a book, with name/date, plus try and contact previous parents asking them to quote to you over the phone (busy lives they may not respond individually).

I'm not surehow the 'management' system works in Universties, but is there anyone or more people on site who would back you, the University clergy?, Union? etc.

What about the lecturers, how will their work/life balance be affected if they have to travel further for childcare?

 

Do you have rental / lease agreements? Can you get PLA or NDNA (if you are a member) to provide support, both with representation nd research of factual information on the benefits of your provision within the University boundaries.

 

Good luck, I hope this helps a little, also be prepared have a look around for alternative accomodation should the worse happen.

 

Let us know how things go.

 

Peggy

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Thank you Soooooooo much for inspiring replies - lots of ideas to work on now

 

I have a meeting with my line manager tomorrow - I'll let you know how we get on.

 

Thanks again - much appreciated

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the staff team had a meeting with our line manager and HR Manager yesterday evening and have been told that their report shows that the nursery is not viable - they did not even refer to the document that my colleague and I spent nearly two weeks putting together ! They have siad that we will have individual and group consultations with them and that we can make 'proposals' - however, it feels as if the process they are talking about is just them meeting their legal obligation to us. They said they had sent a letter to parents - which they will probably get today outline their decision and saying that if the final, final decision is to close, it will close on 17th August. Not what parents want to hear as they begin their holidays !

 

Ironically, yesterday was our last day of term which we spent outside on the university field with the children who had a wonderful time. We got such lovely cards from parents and hugs and drawings from the children.

 

Even though I know it is probably pointless, but I'm a fighter (not literally of course :o ) and I am going to try to come up with a business plan and seek support from my local borough, to see if it would be possible to use the exisiting facilities and run the nursery privately. I'll also seek help from the student union, student services and staff parents - (however this will be hard as the term has ended).

 

My individual consultancy is on Monday, although I don't have to give my full proposal, I would like to be able to let them know my intentions.

 

If any of you who own their own nurseries could help me by letting me know any hidden costs, apart from the obvious ones like rent, rates, electricity, staffing, resources etc - I'd be grateful to know so I can put my business plan together. Also any knowledge/advise as to where I could seek support either financially or otherwise would be very useful.

 

The nursery is only registered with Ofsted for 16 children and I suspect that the low number of children is one of the main problems to becoming financially viable.

 

Does anyone know if local boroughs would support something like this ? - I intend to contact them on Monday.

 

It's my nieces hen night tonight and I was sooooo loking forward to it - now I just feel deflated and disappointed for the staff team who are also in the same boat.

 

I think some retail therapy, a hairdo and some wine sound like good options to me xD - I might as well spend it while I have some !

 

i shant let the ********* get me down.

 

Sam

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My Preschool has run PERFECTLY well, financially with a 'ceiling' of 16 children - we have actually ended most years with sufficient to start the following year with no problems. Ok we don't pay rates or for business waste disposal (binmen), but we do pay rent which is high enough to cover the owner's electricity bill and leave them plenty for buildings insurance with still some left over I believe.

 

I'll have a think - have you got a model business plan?

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Cait

 

No - no model business plan yet - it's something I know I have to work on

 

I have my first consultation in the morning - I had my nieces hen night last night also (bad timing!) and I'm preparing a letter for the parents that's a lot more 'human' than the one the uni has sent them. I will then have one month to put a full proposal forward - we're planning to invite the parents to a meeting and to get their feed back/support and begin a petition also.

 

Sam

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