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September Numbers!


kristina
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I may be stressing too early but how are everyones numbers looking for September!? At the moment we are full with a wating list but we have 21 children leaving us in July!!

At the moment September numbers are looking a bit low (average 10 children a session!), thinking I may need to speak to staff and suggest a 4 day week until numbers pick up.

 

Does anyone else ask staff to drop a day when numbers are low, and is it allowed?

 

Kris

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We have done I try my best to keep their hours up but when this type os thing happens what can you do?

 

Parents are watching the pennies at moment and even with a good number on role and the funding we have found they are taking up less sessions

 

Sue

 

Ps just starting my parents letters asking what they will be requiring in September so will probally be in a panic soon

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My staff nearly always start the year with less hours than they end the year with. They are all aware of the situation and most of them enjoy a bit of free time! Quite often their hours increase by the first half term, then again after Christmas etc, until by this time of year, those who want to are practically full time.

 

I issue annual contracts, how do you do it? If they are on a flat contract for certain hours then you'd need to negotiate reduced hours with them.

 

It's early yet though, have you sent out letters to all parents asking them to let you know what sessions they are wanting for their children? I give these out as we go back after Easter, to give my existing children 'first dibs' of the spaces

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Hi

 

Thanks for the replies. Have already sent out letters (& replies back!!) from parents and most have increased their days.

I've got to work out fees for the 2 year olds and as we are increasing to 3 hour session I am a bit concerned that I may lose a few with increased fees. At the moment we charge our 2 year olds the same hourly rate as funded as this seemed fair and I don't want to go above that.

The staff are on a flat contract with set days/hours, the appraisals are coming up after Easter so I think hours/days may need to be approached!!

 

Kris

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You're quite a new setting aren't you? It can take a little while to get your numbers right up - is it possible to advertise a little if things don't pick up with parents remaining in Sept. Ask current parents if they are happy to recommend you to their friends etc. make sure you advertise your vacancies with your LA so that you get enquiries from prospective families moving into the area, put cards in local newsagents/corner shops etc. Perhaps you could have an "open morning/afternoon" send out invites through local toddler groups to come as see your pre-school.

 

Some parents do leave it to the last minute before booking in - something that they don't realise particularly if it is a first child - that places go in popular settings really quickly and can get booked out well in advance, so maybe you will get a couple of those to boost your numbers in the next few weeks.

 

As Cait has said,in the short term you should start the conversation with staff about how numbers are looking for Sept. ask some of them to put the word out for you too.

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Some parents do leave it to the last minute before booking in - something that they don't realise particularly if it is a first child - that places go in popular settings really quickly and can get booked out well in advance, so maybe you will get a couple of those to boost your numbers in the next few weeks.

 

Haha - they certainly do - I had one ring me on the 1st September last year, she wanted to "Get in early, in plenty of time!" "Er, to start this week?" I asked. :oxD

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Do your local schools have a nursery? if so, do they get oversubscribed?

If they do could you ask them to give out your contact details if they have parents who don't get in with them.

 

In our area school nursery places don't get allocated until 31st May and until such time parents won't say if they are staying or leaving us - obviously they are staying with us until they get their school nursery place :o this doesn't give much time to then allocate places for waiting list people and have them down for visits before September. June/July is always quite hectic!

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Hi ,

 

I have found numbers higher than usual for September as everyone seems to want their 15 hours entitlement.

 

When numbers are low I usually advertise in the local papers and families magazine which usually brings people in. I have also visited local toddler groups and introduced myself and handed out leaflets with an invitation to view the setting.

 

That usually works as some people don't know what's available in the area. I am always amazed how some people don't know about the funding entitlement until I tell them.

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Thank you for all your replies.

We are a new setting so maybe I am expecting too much!! None or our schools have a nursery, in fact we rent a classroom and garden from our local primary school which is great as we have access to all of their parents!!

I think after Easter I'll start re-advertising and arranging open afternoons etc, we have recently been in the local paper because of our Ofsted report so they may generate some interest!!

Thanks again

 

Kris

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  • 2 months later...

Well good news for me not so good for the other Pre-School!!

A Pre-School close to us announced yesterday that they wouldn't be opening in Spetmber!! Needless to say I have been inundated with calls, 15 parents all turned up today with forms in hand, it was getting quite scary with some parents arguing over who was first!!

Anyway I now only have 2 spaces left!! Just feel sorry that my good news has come on the back of another setting closing down!!

 

Kris

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It seems lots of groups are beginning to suffer - and this year judging by lots of posts on here we are all looking at increased fees (because we have to) but how many parents are willing to pay them?

 

Yesterdays CYPNOW bulletin quoted

Figures released by Ofsted this month show that 881 nurseries and playgroups in England shut last year

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We are going to put our under threes price up in September at the moment they are about 20p more than funding - but staff haven't had a payrise in 3 years and it just can't go on.

The two year olds cost more....so in theory the two year olds should be twice the funded rate...........you could even say that funded children are subsidising the unders if you don't charge more.

 

Not sure if the parents will be happy or not (we're not charging double funded rate BTW much as I'd like too!!) But the staff are important too- and all their expensese have gone up in the last few years and they need a payrise.

 

xxx

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We're almost completely full now, 1 morning space on Monday, 1 afternoon on Tuesday and Thursday and 2 on Friday afternoon and a waiting list for mornings!

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We are really healthy this year as well. (This past yewar we have struggled a little more than normal)What I think has helped us is the increase to 15hours funding and just a few more children, also Outstanding Ofsted in Feb this year can't be missed off as new parents are quoting it as they visit.

 

Sue.

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We have staff on permanent contracts and I wouldn't want to ask them to alter their hours unless vital.

 

We aim to have £4k in the current account to cover the low numbers in September. I also ask staff to use the time to do other stuff that never gets done at busy times.

 

It is a worry though but our numbers for September currently look reasonably okay, still very much down on where we are now though.

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Our centre has decided to close at the end of term, we're losing money every month. The preschool keeps us going really at the minute. Our September was looking rosy but baby and toddler just has hardly any children :/

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Hi

 

Our numbers are really good for september. First time for years though. 2 years ago we started with one child some afternoons. Which is harder?

 

Numbers for all will increase after xmas when more children receive the free entitlement.

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  • 1 month later...
I may be stressing too early but how are everyones numbers looking for September!? At the moment we are full with a wating list but we have 21 children leaving us in July!!

At the moment September numbers are looking a bit low (average 10 children a session!), thinking I may need to speak to staff and suggest a 4 day week until numbers pick up.

 

Does anyone else ask staff to drop a day when numbers are low, and is it allowed?

 

Kris

unfortunately yes. we're losing 18 children & although have a few 2 year olds starting they are only doing 1 or 2 days as have to pay. I've had to drop days for a member of staff & it happens most years.luckily it doesn't usually take too far past christmas for numbers to bounce back.

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Hi all

 

I suppose I should consider myself lucky as we are loosing 33 children, but will have 44 left on the register. Morning sessions are full 25-28, afternoon sessions are filling however still have only 5/6 children for 2 afternoons. Will mean that I will have afternoon sessions off yippee!!! However probably will go home and do all the paperwork :o

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Guest MaryEMac

We have all lost hours for next term even though we have 24 children on the register.Monday, weds and fridays aren't too bad but tuesdays and thurs are in single figures. Hopefully numbers will go up around January, we have all got used to the money that comes with working 5 days a week.

 

Mary

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