Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Taking Over A Preschool


fairydollpink
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am the manager of preschool which is a registered charity the trustees of whom are all standing down at the end of this term. They have been told numerous times that it is their obligation to find new trustees to form a committee but they haven't done anything and are refusing to so!! This leaves us with a few choices-find a new committee from willing parents, close (which I no way want to do) or take over the preschool by starting a Community Interest Company or a Ltd company.

My question is this- has anyone here taken over a preschool by the CIC route and if so was this easy to do? Or would you advise starting a Ltd company and going down that route. I am not sure which way to go and any advice is welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am afraid I do not have any experience of this but if you are a member of the Pre-school learning allicance that would be my first port of call, both in terms of support for your current situation regarding the trustees and also for information regarding your other options.

 

Good luck in your endeavours

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been in a similar position - fortunately 3 people have come forward to be trustees as the PLA wanted our assests if we did not continue as a charity. The PLA do have some good advice if you speak to the right person - they adviced me against CIC which is what I wanted to do but that was really due to our assests - we have significant funds in the bank as we are in the process of buying our own premises. On the PLA website there is a booklet you can download about incorporation think it was about £12.00. Ltd Co you need to consider tax etc. If you are a charity it is also worth speaking to the charities commission.

The alternative is to give the parents the ultimatum - find 3 trustees or the preschool closes - we did that a few years ago when we needed a chair and it worked.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it's correct, but I DO wonder why/how the PLA can take our assets if we change status. As far as I can remember we were obliged to join the PSLA way back when the group started, so that we could get advice, and our insurance and publications, but I really don't understand how they can lay claim to our assets. It's for this reason that everything my Preschool own is my personal property, with the exception of some furniture bought with grants.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PLA only take it or should receive it if it is in your constitution.. it need not be them, but most dont bother to change it when adopting the basic constitution as it is easier.. It could all go to a local charity , but who has it is really immaterial... it is the fact it has to go to a charity that is the problem.. you cannot just pass them on with the setting..

 

I know some have managed it.. but it was so much hassle for us we gave up and threatened to close.. as we were popular it worked but did mesn we did most of the work as they only stayed a year or so before leaving..

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We do not currently run to the PLA constitution we have our own Governing document that states that if the charity should close then assets be distributed to a like for like organisation however the Charities Commission is saying that if the charity folds it cannot transfer its assets to a CIC although it is a like to like organisation-confused?umm yes!!!

Has anyone taken over their preschool as a limited company and if so how much capital did you have to put into it to start up,if you don't mind me asking. We have premises,resources etc so surely it can't cost that much to buy especially when you hear of some companies going bankrupt and being bought for £1 by the same person

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our area, PSLA have now abandoned the practice of taking all your equipment etc, because it cost them too much to store...........so, if they no longer do it in one area, my feeling is they cannot then expect to do it in others??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

So what did you do in the end Fairydollpink?

 

I'm considering changing to the new Community Interest Organisation which is being rolled out next year. It's still a charity but hasn't the same status as a company. I'm waiting for a phonecall from Business Link with some more information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jenpercy

I took over as a limited company - however we just wrote off assets and I kept them - but then we didn't have much. One thing that happened was that the church, who previously had provided half the trustees immediately double our rent without notice as we wre no longer a charity, and we were unable to apply for grants, so we were much poorer as a result. (After School club)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am slightly different as I didn't take over a Pre-School but set one up from scratch as a Ltd Company.

I suppose initial costs for us have been about £12000 (a directors loan) and at the end of year one the Pre-School has paid us back about £4500 of the loan and payed me a salary aswell! So for a new company not to bad, don't get me wrong it's never going to be enough for my Husband to retire!! (He's wish not mine!!)

When I set mine up there was a Pre-School that was closing and they asked me if I would like to buy it and that was valued at about £8000 (this was in 2009) don't know if any of this is any help fairydollpink.

 

Kris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi we are just in the process of becoming an incorporated Ltd company but with charitable status.

We are currently a committee run pre-school with trustees and this will remain the same.

It does give more protection to committee members unlike imdeminity insurance cover. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am following this thread with interest as i am sure lots of others are doing also. Being in the same position, took over as manager of preschool only to find at end of a good meeting, that the 3 trustees were all standing down! I am tearing my hair out trying to get a committee member for an hour to interview new staff!

There must be a better way to run a preschool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend was managing a pre-school and in a similar position with no new committee members - had advice from PSLA that the committee members could not just walk out and ditch things, and had legal responsibilities until new ones were found or until it was all wound up. I believe they had the PSLA constitution with a few amendments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in the same situation, no committee and only staff willing or able to help with the roles of trustees. Our AGM is coming up and I've told the playleader if no-one comes forward I WILL close the playgroup for a few days in the hope the parents understand the implications of running without a committee. I've threatened it before but I'm desperate now, especially as our DW now knows one of our staff is also the treasurer!! I know its not allowed but she's been involved in the playgroup for 20 years in one way or another and is completely trustworthy, organised and knows what she's doing. I do everything else!

If I dont get a committee at our AGM I have 2 choices, change our constitution or become a CIC. Its a pain in the neck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so will you write your own constitution? There's a new 'grouping' coming in the new year called Community Interest Organisation and I was supposed to get a phonecall this week from Business Link to tell me all about it, but didn't get one

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just had a quick look at the charity commission site, we can change our constitution if it allows us to, so yes I probably will change it. Our new accountant is a CIC she said she'll help if we decide to go that route, but I need more info first. Haven't heard of a community interest organisation, wonder if its the same thing? I'm going to phone the CC on Monday and get some real help. Its a mine field isnt it?

Edited by Rea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's also something called 'social enterprise' organisations - if you do a google search you will find some information. I'm due to attend a Business Link 'starting your own business' event in london in early October and hope to find out more about the fesibility/implications of setting up a 'not for profit' nursery/pre-school, ideally without a traditional pre-school committee format.

 

If I learn anything useful, I will post it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi we received all our information from the external funding officer at the county council as it was a condition of securing a bid/grant.

We had six months to complete once signing a grant contract.

If you would like to proceed down this route and are a member of the PSLA there is a person who deals with this at head office and a publication regarding all the details and e-mail contact.

Why do you find it so hard to recruit committee members ?. I know some years i think we are going to struggle but people always come up trumps.

Only once in my 19 years involved had to threaten pre-school with closure, not a nice thing to do i know but it did the trick.

Sometimes you do feel that you would be better off not financially but to just do it yourselves but having parent/carers involved does bring differing dimensions to your group.

Wishing you every success whatever you decide to do. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's also something called 'social enterprise' organisations - if you do a google search you will find some information. I'm due to attend a Business Link 'starting your own business' event in london in early October and hope to find out more about the fesibility/implications of setting up a 'not for profit' nursery/pre-school, ideally without a traditional pre-school committee format.

 

If I learn anything useful, I will post it.

 

 

Excellent Sam, thanks for that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi we received all our information from the external funding officer at the county council as it was a condition of securing a bid/grant.

We had six months to complete once signing a grant contract.

If you would like to proceed down this route and are a member of the PSLA there is a person who deals with this at head office and a publication regarding all the details and e-mail contact.

Why do you find it so hard to recruit committee members ?. I know some years i think we are going to struggle but people always come up trumps.

Only once in my 19 years involved had to threaten pre-school with closure, not a nice thing to do i know but it did the trick.

Sometimes you do feel that you would be better off not financially but to just do it yourselves but having parent/carers involved does bring differing dimensions to your group.

Wishing you every success whatever you decide to do. :o

 

Its got harder and harder over the yers until now I'm feeling just a bit too fed up to bother. I'm chair because the previous chair had to step down, her husband was the treasurer and we lost him too, hence the staff member doing it. No-one wants to bother although I do think they would benefit if they would just give it a go. Getting them to attend parent consultations and fundraising events is hard enough! I have tried telling them they can use skills they already have, develop new skills, update their CV, have a say in how we operate, but still no joy and now I have too many other things to think of so getting rid of the need for a committee is my next step.

Its a shame though, the playgroup has been in existance for over 40 years, always with a committee made up of 100% parents, now there's just me, a non parent, one parent who has said she would nevber be able to do what I do and staff. I do think though that having a background in early years is the only thing that keeps me there, if I didnt know what I know I'd be flumoxed by the whole thing.

It our PLA AGM next week so I'll speak to them too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what did you do in the end Fairydollpink?

 

I'm considering changing to the new Community Interest Organisation which is being rolled out next year. It's still a charity but hasn't the same status as a company. I'm waiting for a phonecall from Business Link with some more information.

 

 

We managed to get some amazingly enthusiastic and wonderful parents to form a committee(the threat of the preschool closing worked a treat). they have been amazing so far getting money from our local parish council,decorating the building inside and out and generally being a whole lot more useful than the last ones!!

We are getting enquiries weekly from prospective parents and had 5 new littlies start with us in the last 2 weeks!! Things are looking up and I am loving every minute of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck with it, Rea.

 

I have managed to secure myself a new treasurer who has 2 small children so should be around for several years. AND she knows her way round a spreadsheet.

 

Hallelujah!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats! SuzieC8 and fairydollpink

 

We had our parents meeting, With the development worker!

 

She was actually quite fair and not too scary. We have a treasurer ! and a couple of newly interested parents But no sign of a chairperson yet!

 

I don't think that they take the threat of closure seriously, after all we have 22 children!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)