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Nurseries In Stoke Face Grant Exclusion


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Have just read an article in March/April Nursery Management Today that Stoke on Trent EArly Years have issued a letter to their childcare providers and I quote from the article:

 

"I am writing to inform you that a number of local authorities have introduced additional criteria to the three and four year education grant. The criteria states that any childcare provider in receipt of the grant now has to have achieved an Investors in Children endorsed quality award to access the funding"!!!!!!!!!

 

A DFES spokesman said that local authorities have the flexibility to set additional reasonable conditions for receipt of early education funding by providers. Whilst we have not specifically requested authorities to use criteria based on quality of provision, it is something we would support

 

Rosemary Murphy of the NDNA says "The Code of Pratice on free places allows local authorities to impose conditions on providers to go in their directory. Using this to drive up quality is a move that NDNA welcomes. Indeed we have been advising members for some time to expect local authorities to adopt this policy" She does however go on to say that there should be a reasonable time frame and support towards the cost of a quality assurance scheme.

 

When Stoke were asked by NMT why it had decided to introduce this when 99% of providers have met Ofsted requirements the local authority said they were unable to respond at the moment. I wonder why!!

 

Well, I think the saying is light the blue touch paper and stand well back - what does everyone think - do you think that they (Stoke on Trent) will continue with this and will other authorities then follow?

 

Nikki

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Dear Steve

Having a quiet and late bed time read (using my new laptop networked to my computer downstairs - brill I can surf the net from my pit - will I ever get to sleep now) and pulled up this very interesting article when I noticed the clock on the forum as reading an hour ahead - I am so diffy - have the clocks gone forward - am now going to have to listen to the radio to check what the real time is - otherwise I am going to be late for work.

Nikki

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Hi Nikki

To answer your second question first-go into My Controls at the top of this page, right down at the bottom on the left hand side is Board Settings. Click on there and it brings you to the page with the time settings, adjust accordingly!!

As to your first point, I think many LEAs will follow suit and insist on QA schemes being part of the criteria for funding. I'm sure that there are authorities already out there that have done the same. That is one of the reasons I decided to go for QA status and am doing Stockport local authorities own scheme.

Whether this is right or not is a different matter. Many will argue that a good OFSTED should be sufficient but I have a feeling that won't be the case for too much longer.

Linda

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You know the saying about being worried when you see the light at the end of the tunnel because it could just be a train? That's how I feel when I read articles like this one! We've just had a very good Ofsted, and were beginning to contemplate some kind of QA system.

 

I have that wierd personality: quite happy to devote work and effort to a project we're all committed to, but get a bit resentful when things are imposed on me for no apparent reason.

 

I have no doubt that this will become standard practice - but I feel sure that our local Early Years team will give time and space to get the work done before whipping away our funding.

 

Sometimes trying to be optimistic and looking on the bright side of life is very difficult when you work in early years!

 

Maz

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Here in West Sussex they have said the same Nichola, that's why I have started the West Sussex QA.

Originally, you had to be OFSTED inspected to receive the funding but now they have changed the criteria.

 

Sue J

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I wonder,when Ofsted said they would not take account of QA schemes within their inspections, if they were aware that LEA's were going to add this to their funding criteria. :(

 

I have just started a QA scheme, my motivation for this was to really develop the staff team by all focusing on what we do well and to recognise areas for development together, thus all working toward the same goals.

 

We shall be reviewing everything that we do (and think), and as our very nature is to be self critical, this will no doubt be a very critical analysis of ourselves. The experience will enable us to have systems that can truly "measure" our quality because the developments will be from our starting point, not from external agencies such as Ofsted. ( of which many settings are of a higher quality than their required standards)

 

On a positive note Mazlittle, maybe when everyone has achieved a QA scheme Ofsted will become redundant :oxD as far as inspections are concerned, then they will have more time to look for all that lost paperwork :(

 

Peggy

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Now, Peggy I think you and I both know that when everyone is QA'd to within an inch of their life, there will be some other initiative to get to grips with. Anything to avoid having to look for that paperwork!

 

Maz

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Well, I suppose if they did look for it and find it they would then have to decide what to do with it, best leave it where it is for all our sakes. xD

 

I just love new initiatives, don't you :D , but will I still be around at the end of the current TEN YEAR strategy :o

Peggy

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Did you watch the BBC docu-drama about the supervolcano, and what would happen to the world if Yellowstone erupted?

 

Imagine what would happen to the world if Ofsted found all their missing paperwork, decided what to do with it all and TOOK ACTION!

 

There would undoubtedly be some kind of seismic shift - life as we know it would never be the same again.

 

As for the jolly old Ten Year Strategy - does anyone actually know what it all means? I'm sure you'll still be here, Peggy, dispensing your usual wit and wisdom.

 

Old pre-school practitioners never die, they just....

 

Any suggestions?

 

Maz

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I do recall a lady who worked in a local village preschool until she was 85 years old.........only 50 yrs to go for me then xD

 

never die, no not me. peggy pan ( or is that peter pan :o )

 

Peggy

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Mazlittle old practioners just get more enthuisiastic and experienced. I also know that children will learn if they are given lots of new experiences and their carers are enthusiastic. (even if the planning is not up to scratch some weeks) I have helped my children through school, uni, buying their first cars,houses, caring and giving advice (when asked) for grandchildren. Now my life is stress free and during the hours I am at pre-school I can give 100 o/o, but when I am not at pre-school I know how important it is to switch off and do other things.

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Don't you ever wish that the powers that be would just leave us all alone instead of bombarding us with strategies, initiatives and more and more paperwork to comply with the latest idea!! Or am I just having an off day today??

 

I was wandering on the net yesterday and found this and it certainly made me think!

 

I am a child by Peter Dixon

 

The first five or six years of my life are the most precious of my lifetime

They cannot be repeated

They cannot be redeemed or recaptured

If they are wasted then they are lost forever.

In life...

 

The Winter is long

The Autumn is long

The Summer is long

 

But the Spring is short

 

Parents and teachers you have my Spring in your hands

You can make it wonderful or you can destroy it

The pressures and demands of Ofsted try to take my childhood away from me

I do not want tests and curriculums, measurements and targets

My childhood doesnt need them, I am only beginning my life

Please let me be a child for six years.

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Couldn't agree more - there are so many things that are happening in a young child's life - children need quality playgroups and some of the initiatives have certainly made me evaluate but I think that's what we all do - evaluate on a daily basis. If something is not working then we abandon it - I know sometimes my planning lacks a little because my crystal ball doesn't always let me know how the children are feeling that day - so I reorganise my day to take into account their "personalities for the day" - do I then rewrite my plans for the day - no - should I - yes - but I have better things to do

Nikki

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That's the thing with children: they don't always learn to our agenda!

 

We spend ages planning our activities, and then along come the children and they either want to do something completely different, or they get carried away with one particular aspect of the activity which cuts off all the opportunities for learning we had so carefully planned.

 

However, this can be seen as a strength in our planning - children are taking responsibility for their own learning, according to their age and stage of development.

 

Is your crystal ball available for loan, Nichola?

 

Maz

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My crystal ball seems to be a little cloudy most of the time - although I do use the full moons to guage whether we are on for a quiet week or a busy week - call me mad - but experience has told me that during full moons the children behave in a totally different way or maybe I do. I always buy a diary with these in now - is anyone else as mad as I am. I would love to know.

Nikki

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Well...no. I dont keep a diary but I do know that Tuesday's, our first day of the week, are noisy, fast and totally unpredictable. When it rains, the children are very active, wanting only to ride bikes, dance and run. Table top games get overlooked and the home corner ends up in every part of the room. My cat goes loopy when it's new moon and I will one day find a link to the childrens behaviour too. :D

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Anyone done any research into the effect wind has on children (and I don't mean the bottom-generated variety!!). I remember a wise old colleague of mine who always used to say children's behaviour deteriorated markedly on a windy day...

 

Maz

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no Nikki, not mad at all!!!

 

The moon does have a very profound effect on al sorts of things, including behaviour and gardens (being the FSF official lunar gardener.....well only lunar gardener, I should know!!). Violence, referrrals to Relate, attempted suicides and call to the Samaritans all go up go up during a full moon, so its hardly surpsrising it has an effcet on our children too.

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Dear Mundia

Full moons and behaviours

I am glad I am not the only one but would dearly love to know why full moons affect behaviour. Any ideas from budding astrologists out there or moon watchers or whoever you are - is there any scientific evidence. I hate to admit but my science is only at a level of the 3-5 year old so theories welcome. Winds I know affect behaviour to - do these or can they be involved with moon patterns.

 

There must be some clever person out there who can help.

Nikki

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Nikki, Im not sure how well researched the effect of moon phase or wind hads specifically on chidlrens behaviour.

 

However, there is loads of evidence for and against the effect of moon phase on plants and animals. I cant put in links for you Im afraid, but a search would throw up loads of stuff, if you are interested.

 

It is well established that sap in plants rises and falls, in response to the phases of the moon, and of course high and low tides change according to the moon phase. (spring tides, or full/new mooon tides being higher). So it deos seem fairly logical to assume that it has some effect on people too. What that effect is of course, is still open to much debate and argument and many 'scientists' will claim its all a load of mystical nonsense. But just because many see it as 'unscientific' deosnt mean it doesnt happen...

 

So it all comes down to who'se research you value most, added to whatever experiences you have yourself.

 

Oh and it has nothing to do with astrology, thats somthing else altogether.

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Dear Mundia

Thanks - I may just well check it out some websites when I am looking for a distraction from my studies - not that it takes a lot - and yes I did say I didn't know much about science hence my bit about astrology as I thought the moons had something to do with it. Something else I need to learn now. Anyway I will report back my findings if I get around to it.

Nikki

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