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Buttercup
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Not sure how to write this up until now I have been able to give chidren what hours and days they request. Looking at September then January and Easter I think I am full. Had phone call today for someone just moved to area wants to join in September which yes I have a space but then I wont have a space for children in January if they all take up their spaces. Getting well confused about how I should be managing admissions. We are a pre school voucherable children can attend 9-12, 9-1 or 9-3 and 2-3yrs attend 1-3 tues, wed, thurs.

 

Hope this makes sense to someone.

 

Buttercup

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I have children on my list who wont start until Easter next year but they are assured of their place because they applied first. Anyone applying now has the sessions I can give when I can give them but I tell them they can maybe change to the sessions they want when there are spaces.

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We work ours strictly on birth date order, so a new to the area child who is older than one waiting to be old enough to start in January gets priority. It works for us because we always explain that this way every one gets a turn at coming to the setting, but I think it is one of those situations which needs to be specific to your setting.

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does that mean you would have to keep a space open for them and therfore have no income from that? I cannot afford to keep spaces open i sell them as soon as i am able and if i have no spaces left at easter(which often happens)then they have to wait till september or find somewhere else. I run on a really tight budget i need to fill spaces to keep the group afloat....would love to have a choice but oldest first round here most of the time! :o

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We are actually required by our LA agreement to keep one emergency place, but in reality it rarely works that we are totally full to our ratios for the oldest children so we can always squeeze in a preschool child for a term or two before they starts school. Younger than that they may have to wait if we have no room for any littlies.

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We've just been looking at the this today. Our morning sessions (40 places) are almost full for September so I have asked all existing children to let me know if they want any extra sessions in January so that I can hold the session. Also siblings of existing children have priority and we are saving 2 places for children in January. But today we have been asked if we can save a place for their youngest for when he is 2 at Easter. I think we are going to but it is an awfully long while to hold 2 sessions, but she is a very loyal and supportive mum so feel we can't say no.

 

I think taking into account all the sessions wanted we have a between 3 and no places availble throughout the mornings. Our afternoons are always lower numbers as not all children stay all day, but this is going to be our only option - offering afternoon only places to new children.

 

Have to say we have NEVER been in this position before so it is fab but boy are we going to hit the ground running in September! I think we have more children booked in in september than we have now!

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Hi our setting is date of birth to, always seems the most fairest way, especially if children move into the area otherwise they may never get in, but i must admit someone may miss out that time around. It s a very difficult one to call and have had many discussion over it.

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Its a balancing act isnt it? If I was to go by date of birth I'd soon get to a point where I had a whole load of 4 yr olds leaving to go to school with no younger ones to take their place. Our overall criteria for the waiting list is date of application, siblings, catchment area and (but only if we have more than one aplly for the same place) whether they are likely to stay with us or move to school nursery when they get to 3 years. Our system works for us, its the way its been done for as long as I have been part of the group.

 

Emergency places are kept if financially viable. We gave an emergency place to a child through surestart once, no-one could pay us but we decided we could afford to absorb his session cost. Mom arrived and left in a taxi, smoked, had a mobile phone and on 2 occasions showed us her new tattoos. I wont give a free place again!

Edited by Rea
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i have never given a free place but have been able to find funding from one source or another - parish councils are very helpful (if they have funds) and are often willing to help families in need if only on a short term basis (though we all have differing criterias of in need :o ) can't use date of applications in our setting - i've had pregnant women trying to book places!! xD )

Rea we are in the changover year this year and i have about 75% of the children leaving to go to school but the younger ones fill the spaces quickly and we can always juggle a bit - but as already said every setting is different and every year group is different - last year we had too many children this year they seem to be lacking :(

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We work a bit like the primary school in the village - throughout the year I collect all new admission forms then in March I allocate spaces for the following Sept by a certain criteria eg sibling link, resident in the village etc. We use 2 different rooms in the v hall on different days, in the large room we can have 28 and in the small room 20 so it usually works out that we have 20 funded and 8 2 year olds who are not funded - I only promise a funded place after the easter hols if I have a space available however children who turn 3 between Christmas and Easter will get a funded year the following year.

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We allocate places on a termly basis for 'free places' (we are daycare and those places take priority and keep us afloat!)

 

We tell parents as they sign up and they've always been happy. Agree you couldn't afford to keep places vacant for two terms- would be gutting if their circumstances changed and you'd turned other families away

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we have a waiting list which is date of birth order, then at easter i send out letters to all those who can start during the next academic year, including the "stayers" asking what they would like for the next year.

 

then when they are all back in, have a strict send back by date sort them out and oder one get priority. i then offer all places for the next year. they all start at 2 years and 9 months exactely so each month we have some starting and those starting later in the year have spaces held for them.

 

then sort the "late " ones offering what i can. am in position at mo that 2 mornings are full but offer other times then.

 

manage the costs of offering sessions in advance by reducing staffing in sept and raising it when children start. all staff know that their hours will reduce in sept so not overstaffed. works really well.

 

am nearly always able to fit in late starters even if they dont always get what they want.

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we also go by birth date, try to accommodate funded children first that are already with us, i sometimes ask older children to move to full days to free up morning sessions for younger children to start, we dont guarantee places will be available for parents who now want to wait till children are funded to join (this seems to be happening more and more now) as this doesn't make good business sense to hold sessions when others want them.

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thanks for all of your replies. There really does not seem any easy answer. I have allocated spaces now until next September with only a few needing to tell me what sessions they want when they become voucherable in Jan. Will have to tell all new enquires that I am full and can put them on a waiting list.

 

Thanks again

 

Buttercup

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That's what I've done. We are at capacity with a waiting list. We take in waiting list forms from as soon as people can get them in (I have one 'in utero' on the list at the moment and 3 newborns) As 90% of our waiting lists are in well in advance it is easy to see where we have spaces to allocate to latecomers - an inevitably there will be some - last year I had a phonecall on 1st September wanting to 'get in early' to book places for their child to start the following week!

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I have had a parent asking for a sibling place for september 2011 when they would be 3 and funded. decided to say that can't register that far in advance to wait until at least after Christmas because its another full academic year away. she then decided to pay for her one day a week from this september to get a foot in the door! On a general basis we operate a waiting list when full & juggle according to days wanted when a space comes up. Don't think there is an easy solution to this one & I struggle with it too!

Edited by mollypiper
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ok i'm definitely confused (again!!) how do you all know when your children are leaving? do you send to only one school with one entry point? i never know when my children are leaving(and therefore where we have spaces) because the local schools send out confirmations ssssooooo late....we have one child who still does not have a school place for next term and two who will stay with us until the term before they are five :o

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Yes we are lucky 90% of our children go to the village school which has just one entry in Sept, our other children are also going to schools that only intake in Sept - must be a nightmare with lots of different intake times

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we also go by birth date, try to accommodate funded children first that are already with us,

we dont guarantee places will be available for parents who now want to wait till children are funded to join (this seems to be happening more and more now) as this doesn't make good business sense to hold sessions when others want them.

 

We work the same as this, I am currently recieving some very snotty phone calls though from parents who can't get in I can understand it when their names have been down for so long, but eldest first seems to be the fairest way to manage it. I sometimes wish the LEA did our admissions too!

I have to say I'm not sure which part of the job is worse at the moment, managing staff or the waiting list :o !!

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i think they are equally hard. had an emotional last day of term today. I am manager but have had a member of staff wanting to be at the door saying goodbye to parents while i was left in garden with children. Yes parents did come and say goodbye which was kind. I have given gifts to my staff to say thankyou for the fantastic year we have had recently gaining outstanding from ofsted. Who is there to thank me. Any way will get over it and get on with mountain of paperwork for hols.

 

happy hols to you all

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Yes, I know how you feel! It's worth it though for the messages in all the cards we get from parents thanking us! as you say though - we thank our staff for being great and supporting us, but they don't seem to say - "thanks for all your behind the scenes stuff - we really appreciate it"

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