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Hi - I was wondering whether anyone can shed any light on 2 questions please

 

We are sessional Pre School operating on 2.5 hr sessions at the moment. Looking whether we can increase to 3 hr sessions but have constraints on us due to the fact that the premises is not our own so have to fit in around other users.

 

Q1 - If we were to increase sessions to 3 hrs for example open at 9am - 12.00noon and 12.00noon - 3.00pm - Can a lunch club operate as part of the funded session? In what circumstances could we charge for lunch club ?

 

Q2. Has anyone heard any news about the Single Funding Formular proposals? We are really worried as our LA have proposed a base rate of 30p per hour less per child than we currently receive.

 

Hope someone can help

Thank you

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Hi

 

Doris (can't think of her name) has postponed the implementation of the SFF for a year, although I understand some authorities may choose to carry on with it under a pilot scheme. I know in Dorset it has been shelved for a year.

 

With the implementation of the 15 hours funding from September I would be interested in seeing the replies to your second question. We currently run from 9.00 to 12.00 then 1 hour lunch for which we charge then a 2.5 hour afternoon slot from 1.00 to 3.30.

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The group I left has the 3 hr sessions back to back with lunch club and these are part of the funded session... (they already get the

3 hr funding from Sept.this is due to their location, think each area has own criteria and amounts.)

 

They charge for any time outside funded hours.. while I was there we charged for anything over the 2.5 hrs for the lunch time..

 

They are registered for full daycare ...

 

Inge

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We were told we couldn't have a lunch club as part of the funded session, but then this was changed. I don't know if it was due to the extension or proposed extension of the funded sessions, a change of policy in the authority or something else. For the definitive answer you would possibly be better asking your LA.

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From Sept 2009 in my LA we have been able to offer back to back funded sessions in 2.5 hour blocks (no more than 3 per day) e.g., 9.00 to 11.30, 11.30 to 2.00 and 2.00 to 4.30. Lunch can be included as part of a session.

 

We changed our hours to run from 9.00 to 2.00 as a result and lunch falls in the second session.

 

As far as SFF is concerned don't know what my area is doing yet. My understanding is that those authorities ready to go with it this April can join the existing pathfinders everyone else starts next year if not ready this year.

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Hi

 

I think you would need full daycare if you wanted to open 9am until 3pm. We are sessional and both our morning and afternoon have lunch at playgroup as part of the free entitlement. It is actually a really nice group time.

 

Some settings I have spoken to do funny things like 9am until 11.30 - 11.30 until 12.30 - 12.30 - 2.30pm (perhaps not quite those times) and the children come and go ie some go at lunch time and others stay 9am until 2.30pm and use there entitlement flexibly across the week.

 

Our LEA basic rate is 30p an hour less than now but with all the add on's ie staff qualifications, small setting the rate actually worked out 5p per hour more (they did point out that an annual rise was not on the cards because of negative inflation!)

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by diesel10
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Hi - I too am having issues with finding a practical solution to increasing the nursery hours. We are currently looking at adding 15mins to the start and end of each session. Our school does not have facilities to run a lunch club. Does anyone have any other solutions?

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Just got back from a committee meeting discussing the new hours.

 

We are a preschool and currently we run two sessions daily, 9 - 11:30 and 12:30 - 3. We have a lunch club from 11:30 - 12:30, which we charge for separately. Parents can choose to have a full day, to have a single session or to have a session plus lunch. We limit the number of children in the lunch club so that we only need two members of staff, allowing staff to rotate a break away from the children.

 

From next September we need to open two, three hour sessions a day, that run back to back (9 - 12, 12 - 3). The lunch will have to be taken in the first 30 minutes of the afternoon session. This means that morning children won't have the option of staying for lunch (so to my mind that makes us less 'flexible')

 

It also means that we can't offer staff a break (away from the children) as it would put our ratios out.

 

We can't be the only pre-school that has this problem, what do other settings do? Have we just been lucky that we've managed to get a break away from the children at all?!!

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When the entitlement rises to 15 hours per week in September will you still be using 3 hour blocks then?

 

I am still undecided yet, am looking at doing either 9.00 to 3.00pm Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri and 9.00am to 12.00 noon Wed (can't have premises in the afternoon) or 9.00am to 2.00pm M, T, Th and F with 9.00 to 12 on Wed.

 

That way parents can use 3 x 5 hours or 5 x 3 hours or 2 x 6 hours + 1 x 3 to make up their 15 hours.

 

Am still trying to get my head around the flexible bit and whether I can now say my sessions are as above "take it or leave it" sort of thing with parents booking accordingly or whether I say you can have a 3 hour block or a 5 or 6 hour block.

 

At the moment the 12.5 hours being tied to blocks and parents having the right to demand that and that alone has been a real problem unless you dropped to 2.5 hour multiples - I'm still not sure if the flexible 15 hours means that early years businesses are getting some kind of say in how they run now themselves !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

It would certainly make staffing easier if buinesses could run without having their hands tied behind their backs.

 

I think some of the settings in pathfinder authorities have been using contracts with contracted hours but am still looking into this.

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I'm struggling with very similar questions Sue. Traditionally changes like this have always been done in conjunction with the parents of children currently attending, and formalised by them too as they form the committee. However at the moment I feel there are so many implications that it is too complicated a decision for them to "make by committee". Obviously the committee will have the final decision I'm really torn about what options to give the parents either in determining the options we choose between or letting them choose hours. (If any of that made any sense to you!)

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We have been running the 3 hours from september. We are full day care but offer sessional as well so our session times are 8.45 to 11.45 then 12.00 to 3.00.

We do have lunch on the premises but not all children want lunch so that runs from 11.45 to 12.15. There are three staff working during the lunch time and it is enough for the amount of children who access the 3 hours. We are in a council hall but are lucky that no one else uses it during the day (only evenings.)

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We offer 9.15 to 12.15, lunch till 1.15 or stay all day until 2.45 pm In practice everyone stays for lunch and most children (even the 2 year olds) stay on for the afternoon as well. On 2 days we finish after lunch at 1.15.

 

 

Only problem is that staff don't get a break away from the children; we sit and eat our lunch with them and its a nice sociable time. It does make a long day for those of us who have to set up before and pack away afterwards!

 

Parents pay for anything over the 15 hours.

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calicojo, can I ask something about your setting's location and competition if you don't mind? Yours is a similar system to the one I envisaged setting up I think but I am unsure as to whether it will be used enough outside of the 15 hours. I don't want to end up in the situation where I have 2/3 children staying for lunch and all the rest going home as I feel that is not beneficial for them really.

 

Also do you have a single start time or do parents start their child at various times in the morning?

 

Thank you

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When the entitlement rises to 15 hours per week in September will you still be using 3 hour blocks then?

 

I am still undecided yet, am looking at doing either 9.00 to 3.00pm Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri and 9.00am to 12.00 noon Wed (can't have premises in the afternoon) or 9.00am to 2.00pm M, T, Th and F with 9.00 to 12 on Wed.

 

That way parents can use 3 x 5 hours or 5 x 3 hours or 2 x 6 hours + 1 x 3 to make up their 15 hours.

 

Am still trying to get my head around the flexible bit and whether I can now say my sessions are as above "take it or leave it" sort of thing with parents booking accordingly or whether I say you can have a 3 hour block or a 5 or 6 hour block.

 

At the moment the 12.5 hours being tied to blocks and parents having the right to demand that and that alone has been a real problem unless you dropped to 2.5 hour multiples - I'm still not sure if the flexible 15 hours means that early years businesses are getting some kind of say in how they run now themselves !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

It would certainly make staffing easier if buinesses could run without having their hands tied behind their backs.

 

I think some of the settings in pathfinder authorities have been using contracts with contracted hours but am still looking into this.

 

 

 

We won't be starting the 3-hour blocks until September. We felt that a 3-hour session was the easiest way to plan. Our numbers are always low in September and we won't be able to afford to run the full 10 sessions. The plan is to open 5 to 7 sessions like we usually do, then increase the sessions as more children join us and extra sessions become financially viable. We also felt that by offering essentially am or pm sessions we were staying within the Playgroup ethos, and as our group is celebrating it's 30th birthday this year - that works for us!

 

One plus with this system for the pre-school (as I understand it), is that parents have to commit to their chosen sessions on a termly basis, and can't change mid-term. This is good for the pre-school as we will be able to say to staff 'you will be working all this term', not 'we wanted you to start with but now x and y have dropped out/changed to another session, we won't be able to afford you on Monday morning'. Good for us, but I'm not sure how flexible it is for parents, because circumstances change.

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