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What To Do?


marley
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Just go!t back from my hols feeling relaxed and now back into it...

 

Have tried to recruit deputy and lev 2 for school club over the school holidays. Got 4 applications set up interviews for all and only2 turned up.

 

One i used to work with last year...agency was our deputy at my old preschool, left area, moved back to area, not stuck a job longer than 6 months, lev 3, first aid. Awful interview, did not know any child protetion procedures, couldnt tell us anything about EYFS...scored 7/40 on our interview scale...has worked for club before...previous committee said she was lazy! At pre-school the children loved her.

 

Other applicant lives miles away, African with limited English but claims she has lev 2, first aid alth no certificates brought to interview.

 

So come Tues we have Manager who is lev 3, playworker lev 2 (hopefully trainingon lev 3), unqualified (hopefully training lev 2), unqualified and need another staff member for 40 kids. I had said would cover mon to wed short term so new staff could work notice. At the moment we havent got any new staff who need to work notice. Not sure what is going to happen Thurs and Fri (i work!), will have to be agency. Manager has worked full time all through 6 weeks hols, has cancelled holiday but wants to take 2 weeks off asap (who can blame her!). How do we cover her hols? Not sure what happens if she is off sick. She is new manager although been covering maternity leave for last year and she is now thinking of stepping down.

 

Still advertising and not getting any good candidates. Trying to speak to head teacher about it to see if he can come up with anything. Got emergency comm meeting on mon night.

 

Another club has about 10 mins down the road and private owned has resorted to agency staff.

 

Should we take on th lev 3 and do some comprehensive training?

 

Not sure if I can keep doing club myself as i already work at pre-school 30 hrs per week and i have family to think of. Plus i need to take my own son in with me and that would take us over the 40 children allowed mark. Would this be ok considering its emergency? Any ideas, advice.

 

Getting desperate and despondent about all of this!

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Oh marley what a nightmare. You can't say you haven't tried. As you are obviously inspected by Ofsted, is there nobody at county level to help you with recruitment. As you say there are 40 children on your register there is an obvious need for your provision.

Also can you identify any real reason why finding anybody for this role has been so unsucessful ?.

Hang on in there, i really feel for you. :o

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Hi

We have tried all avenues for recruitment...local adverts, national adverts and press. We are a rural setting and school clubs do have strange hours. As a mum with young family working 3.15 until 6pm is not ideal so not going to get many of my age. Younger candidates tend to want more than 3 hours of work per day. The ladies that resigned were in their fifties with older children and i think had had enough of working for committee (especially one that says yes we must have yearly appraisals, first aid, safeguarding training, be in ratio etc etc!!! ). One has decided to retire and one has gone into cleaning...says it all really. One of them has a daughter who is currently the lev 2 with us so im not holding out that she will stay for much longer once she passes her driving test.

 

Have been in touch with county family serices but all they say they can do is advertise for free for us. We advertised for over a month for a manager with zero interest and had to persuade the current manager who was only covering maternity leave to eventually do it so long as she had support from the committee. We have since been putting right all that has not been done in the last 3 years ie appraisals, updated operational plan, policies, EYFS, SEF..our action plan is huge. We however cannot concentrate on this until we have the staff situation sorted. Only 4 of us on the committee have bothered to register with OFSTED and seem to be doing anything(but that is another story!). My hubby is a teacher and very patient but even he says that Im doing too much (was emailing, texting while away!).

 

Should we be informing parents how bad the staff situation is? If we dont get staff do we have to reduce numbers? So many parents incl myself depend on the club. There is nothing else that will pick up from school, in fact the only competition we had was a nursery with after school club that went out of business 3 months ago. We are village based and there isnt even a child minder in the village.

 

To top it all i am aware that there may be 2 potential new children that will want to use the club who have complex special needs. can we refuse as we havent got the staff to deal with the children we have never mind trying to recruit for one to one. The school we are in is an outstanding one (has been for the last 10 years) and so the head although not directly involved does have an interest. However, not sure what he can suggest (he seems to have all the ideal candidates in the village as his TAs, care assistants so they are more than happy to stay at school and not do club!)

 

Sorry I seem to moan alot but it helps to talk to others, get ideas etc...plus get it off my chest.

 

As for OFSTED....told them i was on committee and would be emergency staff...had to complete health declaration, then they ask for qualifications, then they ask for two references. Would have been easier to resign from committee!

 

Phew...think thats it..will let you know what is decided at the meeting tom...cant wait...NOT!!

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To top it all i am aware that there may be 2 potential new children that will want to use the club who have complex special needs. Can we refuse as we havent got the staff to deal with the children we have never mind trying to recruit for one to one.

 

I have no good advice about most of your problems I'm afraid :o It seems you're in a tough situation and I sympathise! I would say however that for the sake of all the children you already have, not to mention the ones with complex special needs, you must refuse them a place until you can get your staffing sorted. It would be dreadful if something happened because there just wasn't enough staff to cope with the number of children and as far as I'm aware being full is a perfectly aceptable excuse for refusing to take on children!

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I know how you feel Marley, I am finding it really hard to fill a vacancy in our baby room for maternity cover.

 

One excellent and one good candidate have both, in turn, accepted the post only to change their minds notifying me the evening before being due to start that they have been offered permanant posts.

 

I don't think I can "s t r e t c h" my staff team much further without something having to give in a big way. Good will has its' limits.

 

BMG

Edited by BMG
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Have already asked the TAs with no luck

Decided to take on the poor lev3 candidate but on probation period, lots of training. Manager at near breaking point and desperate to step down but there is no-one to replace her. Having to advertise for manager postion again. Committee despondent and chair and few others are going to see head to talk about dissolution in the hope that a private company may take over. Many say they just dont have the time to do all the things expected of a committee as they all work full time ...tell me about it!

 

If it does go private it will mean doubling of fees...not sure i would be able to afford it!

Committee were asking me to take on job but im working too much at pre-school already...but if it closes i wont have a job anyway....vicious circle.....we are all really not sure what to do...Manager desperate for holiday could we use agency to cover a week off. Other staff are now saying they no longer want to do the extra training ie playwork lev 2 and 3 as the times and days have all changed and they each have other jobs too.

 

Anybody have experience of running a club privately???

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Anybody have experience of running a club privately???

I'm not sure how different running an after school club is to running a pre-school but I can tell you it can be a pretty lonely place. You don't have a range of people to rely on to complete the range of jobs that need doing in order to keep running, and ultimately the buck stops with you.

 

I don't know how being a private company will help you recruit more qualified staff which seems to be your biggest problem. Have you been able to identify why you can't recruit people? If you knew whether it was the salary, the hours or the terms and conditions you would be in a much better position to come up with an attractive package. However in order to find out you need to know where the qualified practitioners are, and do a bit of research.

 

Are you thinking of taking this on yourself as a private enterprise, or has someone else expressed an interest? If I were thinking of taking it over, I'd draw up a list of the problems you're currently facing and see whether I genuinely thought I as a new owner could solve them, without the benefit of a committee behind me.

 

I'm sorry this post sounds so negative - what is overwhelmingly positive in your case is your dogged determination to make things work. I really hope you can pull it off!

 

Maz

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Thanks for the advice Maz!

No wouldnt dream of taking it over due to the very problems we face. Jave been told that if a company takes over they can call on a bank of staff but have also heard that a local school club run this way could not recruit playworkers or manager either and its gone to agency to staff! We just cant afford to keep going to agency. The wages are very good, I think its the rural location and the odd hours.

 

Just a time of uncertainty which we could all do without. Im feeling shattered and not started back to workyet!

Edited by marley
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Well my head is spinning trying to come up with ideas!

Has anyone got a manager that actually just does that and is not included in ratio?

Current manager does not like the paperwork, responsibility but loves being with kids. Could i manage it, do all that, training, appraisals, planning, etc and just spend an hour there each session. Could do that even being at pre-school thurs/fri as i finish at 4 ish. Then they get another level 3 (who does not have to be manager material). Im thinking that i could do alot at home then eg SEF, policies, planning but always be at the end of the phone?

 

Is that feasible do you think? How many hours per week would that be? How would OFSTED feel about it?

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With ref to having a "hands on" manager and someone to do the paperwork. A friend of mine has recently bagged a position in a nursery of Administration Manager. The manager/owner is hands on with the children and my friend will be doing all of the paperwork (not the SEF, planning etc) but the rest of it, NEG, rota's, paying invoices, wages etc.

 

So if it helps Marley I think what you are suggesting could be done and I also think O would ok ok with it!

 

Good luck!!

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Guest jenpercy

I am in the opposite position - I have too many staff and am trying to get rid of some. Our numbers are very much lower than last year. I am a private provider, and I would say sometimes if you don't have a staff retention problem in an after school club, perhaps you have got staff who might find it difficult to get a job elsewhere. i'm trying to be tactful, although my current staff don't kow asbout this forum. With 40 children and a school rent, there should be money for a hands off manager. i either don't work with kids, or just do school pickups, or just stay until snack is over.

 

When I went private, our rent doubled and I was ineligible for many grants.

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Guest jenpercy

Sorry one more thing. If you need an extra member of staff, especially if they don't need to be qualified, ask the parents. Wass recommended to a Level3 that was not actively seeking work, but would help out with holiday cover and sickness like that

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Guest jenpercy

Thought this had already been posted. Don't forget to write in a 3 months trial period if you feel you have to appoint this lady. We once had a member of staff that the children loved but the staff loathed as she was always sitting down with the kids whenever anything needed doing.

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Marley

I have been following your posts for some and really do admire your grit and determination to keep the after school provision going. I have no helpful suggestions as you seem to have explored every avenue. All I wanted to add is that how long can you and the staff go on? You are already working so hard, the manager really does not want to be in role and you have appointed a level 3 who you are unsure about. You have so many children and more (with additional needs) who want to come. I can understand the staffing problems as the hours do not suit many people. It all sounds so stressful and impossible to provide consistent high quality care. Maybe that is what now needs to be considered - staff who do not want to be there and are exhausted cannot be committed or enthusiastic. At any moment the committee may walk. If I was in your position I would not want to continue.

Have you held an emergency parents meeting and put it to them that the closure of the setting is very close? Transferring it to a private company may help the staffing with support back up. I just feel very sorry for you all but do not see how you can carry on like this.

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Guest jenpercy
Marley

I have been following your posts for some and really do admire your grit and determination to keep the after school provision going. I have no helpful suggestions as you seem to have explored every avenue. All I wanted to add is that how long can you and the staff go on? You are already working so hard, the manager really does not want to be in role and you have appointed a level 3 who you are unsure about. You have so many children and more (with additional needs) who want to come. I can understand the staffing problems as the hours do not suit many people. It all sounds so stressful and impossible to provide consistent high quality care. Maybe that is what now needs to be considered - staff who do not want to be there and are exhausted cannot be committed or enthusiastic. At any moment the committee may walk. If I was in your position I would not want to continue.

Have you held an emergency parents meeting and put it to them that the closure of the setting is very close? Transferring it to a private company may help the staffing with support back up. I just feel very sorry for you all but do not see how you can carry on like this.

 

We do it because we have to!!!

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We do it because we have to!!!

But that's the whole point. You actually don't have to - ultimately we all have our own tipping points and many people in marley's position would have given up by now. Yes we are providing a service that families need, and yes we are all emotionally involved with the children and families we work with. However you can only carry on for so long before you need to take stock and reappraise the situation.

 

Sometimes the bravest thing is to admit that a situation is untenable and let go.

 

Maz

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Oh dear, sorry to hear your saga is ongoing.

 

Have you thought of recruiting Registered Childminders? Maybe people who can't fill their vacancies or who work part-time but could act as bank/ cover staff?

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Hi all

Thanks

for all the advice...not been on here much as been at club working!

 

We are due to go see the Head teacher to see what he says as the majority of the committee are ready to walk. They wont however tell parents how bad it is just yet. Have started advertising again, we have a few people who know a person who knows a person who maybe interested!!Have not hired anyone yet tho. Calling on cook at school, committtee members etc to be unqualified staff but its the qualified lev 3 we are short of. I think we should give it one last shot of advertising to see what we get. See what the head also says.

 

Will keep you all informed.

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Oh marley i do hope you find some fantastic people really quickly to help you with your much needed provision, I so feel for you, but as Maz put it so eloquently the group may have to consider this course of action if the correct staff cannot be found.

Lets hope the head has a magic solution and you can stop having to worry so much.

xx :o

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