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Feel Frustrated


SazzJ
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Hi

 

This is a bit of a moan I guess and I am not sure how to approah the committee either.

 

I have been in my current post a while now and took the setting over with no risk assessments/observatiosn/ learning journals or even planning in place - very much blank slate.

 

This presented me with a mountain of work when as a new manger I should of been spending time getting to know the children etc. Needled to say I struggle through the first year with only the support from one advisor. I had no contact with a sure start teacher until June.

 

When I got my appraisal I was gutted at the opinion of the committee and felt that they had no true concept of the reasons for doing things in the setting. Although I was upset I was determined to prove them otherwise. I finally feel the committee have a better understanding now they have been in post a while now and I have really gone into depth of explaining things.

 

I spend a lot of time ( maybe 1 to 2 hours an evening sometimes more) doing things for the playgroup - from printing photos/observatio sheets etc to writing newsletters etc even risk assesments.

 

Now this cuts into my perosnal time a lot. I work 2 part time jobs and I am currently studying again and finding it so hard to squeeze everything in. And just don't know what to do?

 

Are any of you's in a simular situation and do you get apid to do the extra hours? I am too afraid to add up all the extra hours. I know I need to say something to the committee but not sure how to approach it. It would be fantastic to even have a few hours each week during work hours where I am supernumeracy to do these things. I also have 10 key children who's files I have to update daily too.

 

I just feel so lost at the moment and know I'll end up resenting the job if things keep going the way they are. Any advice, hints or tips would be greatly appreciated?

 

And thanks if you have read this far

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I aim to be supernumerary for 2 hours a week, on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. This allows me time to go through Key folders to see if everything is humming along well, and also to do some training with our NVQ2 student.

 

Most of my work is done in my own time at home, and I'm paid for an hour a day, but in actuality do about an additional 2 or sometimes 3 a day, depending on the time of year and the amount of cascade reading that's come our way which can't be delegated.

 

I know what you mean about resenting the job, and sometimes it seems to eat up every available minute, but enjoy the playtime at work with the children, and then do the paperwork later. Delegate as much as you can to others - this makes it easier for you and gives areas of responsibility to others.

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You're definitely not alone! My husband doesn't know where I start and playgroup finishes we seem to be one whole. Like you and I'm sure many others on here I spend hours of my own time planning and making resources, sorting out paperwork, making welcome booklets, staff handbooks, risk assessments etc. As well as making cakes and crafts to sell at fundraisers. Oh and have I mentioned washing dirty tea towels?? I have 12 key children too and just spent tonight sticking things in books and writing comments.

 

It's so hard because I know there is no money to pay me any more hours and I wouldn't want to not be with the children that's the bit of the job that makes it worthwhile. All we ever want is to be appreciated and just occasionally someone to say thank you and then I feel its worth it. It's easy to say delegate but I don't really have anyone to delegate to and all our committee are working mums who are just as busy.

 

I keep thinking one day I'll get things straight but of course like with everything the more you cross off to do lists the more you add to the bottom.

 

I think you have to remember you're only human and just accept sometimes if its not done so be it. It is just a job after all :o Perhaps discuss work life balance at your next appraisal and see what the committee suggest?

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i used to have 1 day a week (7 hours) paid where I was able to do the paperwork etc at home , no office etc at work.. and got loads more done at home, deputy ran the session that day, unless we were really busy and then I had it and did 1 or 2 hours a day evenings..

 

did delegate a lot to others H&S officer did all the risk assessments etc.. observations were all done by key person.. as was planning for those children, rest of planning was shared , I just checked it all regularly.

 

I am sure I often did more, but thought that I was lucky to get the 7 hours paid a week.

 

Learning journeys were done with the children most of the time so in session time,

 

Inge

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You are not alone, and you have my sympathy! It's reassuring for me to know that you have lasted a year, as I've only been in the job a few weeks and am totally exhausted already. I also took over a group with no planning/observations/learning journeys etc although at least the risk assessments only needed an update not a total re-write! I do have a supportive committee though and a fantastic staff team, and know I am appreciated, which helps a lot.

 

I am paid for 4 hours 'planning time' per week. This would be fine if there was only planning to do, but obviously there is a lot more, including starting 30+ learning journals from scratch!! I wouldn't like to hazard a guess at how many extra hours I do at the moment, but I'm grateful for the 4 hours pay!

 

Just a couple of suggestions though. The chair of my committee e-mailed the other committee members at the weekend to see if anyone could come in for an afternoon to free me up for paperwork, and one person has said yes! I know people are busy but even just a couple of hours now and then are a help. Also one committee member takes home the dirty tea towels each week, which is one less job for me. It might be worth making a list of the little jobs that someone else could do, and giving this to the committee with a plea for help. One of my committee members is organising the presents for the party (and Father Christmas). Perhaps the chair/secretary could do the newsletter? You could just e-mail the things you want included.

 

I think we all put up with it for the same reason, the children are fantastic (apart from the one who nearly cut off my hair yesterday!!)

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I have been in committee run pre-schools for 18years, over the last 6/7 years the paperwork level seems to have risen and i spend many hours doing paperwork as i'm in ratio every day. I dont get paid anything to do the paperwork at home, i think over the years my hubby has just got use to it.

I do feel extremely stressed especially when you have course work due in as well and feel that your whole life is pre-school.

Sometimes it would just be nice for someone to say thankyou, i say thankyou to my staff all the time but there is no one to thank me for what i do as my committee do nothing and seem to change every year. When your a manager i think sometimes its a very lonely place to be and you can feel very unappreciated.

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Hi, I'm committee and we pay our leader 3 hours admin time a week. We were paying her additional overtime on top of this, but having ended last year with a large deficit we have had to put an overtime ban in place for the time being.

 

We try to spread the load, for instance I do newsletters, this is not something she needs to spend time typing up.

 

However, from what I can gather on here I am unusually dedicated for a committee person! There are a few of us around (hello Rea!) but I'm lucky in that the nature of my 'real' job (i.e. the one I get paid for) means it is possible for me to slot this preschool stuff in around it.

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I was the manager and am now the EYP with a manager and deputy too. Part of the reason for this was to be able to delegate some of the tasks. I still find I do lots out of hours but I am more able now to spread the load. I found it useful to start by asking people to do very specific tasks such as the tea towels or wrapping the Christmas presents as otherwise I found staff and committee weren't really fully aware of what needed to be done (you know the fairies did all those things!). You're not alone but I can't say it gets massively better. Officially myself or the manager are out of ratios everyday barring illness but even then other things happen such as being asked to go to meetings or having children plead with you to build a tower with them, always with their best manners and cutest smile :).

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I feel for you, I am a very committed committee member and we had joint managers both paid 5 hours per week each admin and recently a lot of this admin has been taken away and into committee as we feel it is far to much to expect a staff member to do. We also ended up in deficit and are charity run so never any spare cash. We are currently recruiting a new manager and are offering a salary, this will be far more than was paid previously but it will be expected that so many hours will be worked out of hours (we have budgeted for nearly 2 per day for 44 weeks of the year) even though we are a term time school. I do agree there is an awful lot to be done by one person - delegate to committee and staff so you dont completely burn out. Good luck. x

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I really feel for you, we have a really dedicated committee who fundraise furiously for us, and the co-chairs do an awful lot too. The committee organise 'helpers' to do any snack shopping and washing duties, so we just pass the list/bag of washing onto the person on the name list.

 

I have 'support' staff 3 hours a day who support with preparing resources, and general admin tasks, they are not in the ratio. I have a team who have all got their own roles within the group which meant delegating, allowing me to keep my finger on all that is going on with senco/cplp/clld roles without being knee deep in it. I do currently have 22 key children as we have an F2 part-time class as well an F1 preschool within our FSU partnership, so I am responsible for the records for the F2 part timers, while the rest of my team have key children within the F1 preschool. I also have 6 hours supernumeracy for planning, paperwork and learning journey time.

 

I do also have an administrator who deals with admissions and also supports the committee. So I realise how lucky I am, but we are committee run too, and through our fundraising efforts (both staff and committee) we are able to afford this. I think you need to ask more from the committee, even if it is as a previous poster suggested to get a committee member in one afternoon a week to free you up.

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Hi we are also committee run but i would not expect our committee to do the jobs associated with the day to day running of the setting, with regard to the children and all that entails. Each September we have a list of roles and responsibilities which are shared out amongst all staff for the year.

Some obvious roles like Risk assessments, SENCo, Safeguarding/ Child protection, ENCO, Behaviour management are taken on by the staff member qualified/ trained person in this field. All other areas are covered by remaining staff such as shopping each week, washing each week, changing library books each half-term, role-play resources, birthday cards, folders, ICT, replenishing the First Aid kit and Planning and equipment required.

Our committee are reponsible for Employment issues, Policy documents, Insurance, Budgeting, Staff pay, Appraisals, Payment of bills, as well as washing of dressing up clothes in the Summer Term, and also our fantastic fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Wow we do all work hard don't we, but certainly a team effort is needed and essential.

As a manager/supervisor i am also supernumerary 5 sessions per week, and we have an administrator whom is a godsend.

Certainly know what you mean about it sometimes being a lonely place at the helm, but the children and families make it so worthwhile, how do you price that.

Good luck and keep going you will get there. xD:o:(

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It's wrong, really though, isn't it that you guys have to do all this on such terrible wages?

 

I was talking to our EYP today (she is sadly leaving us) and I advised her to do QTS, so that she could be employed as a qualified teacher. At least that way she will get holiday and sick pay and proper terms and conditions.

 

No school teacher would ever be asked to do all the stuff that you do.

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I have to do everything including snack shopping, washing and dealing with admisson etc only thing I don't deal with is invoices for fees. The treasurer does that.

 

I did delegate the Safegaurding out as I am SENCO as deputy couldn't attend training. It has gotten easier but I just feel my time goes no where and no recongnised either. Deputy has an other job and so reluctant to do stuff so all falls on me. I have another job too but still got to squeeze it all in.

 

To be honest I only know what my monthly rate is - don't even know my hourly rate and I know I'm paid below what others leaders are in our area. ould be interesting to know what was average for a leader.

 

I am currently doing my EYPS but can't see them employing me and then a new manager too once I qualify.

 

Glad I'm not the only one who feels overworked though lol but think I def need to speak to the committee

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Hi Sazzj

 

It can be very hard to get a good level of communication between committee and staff.

 

I sometimes think that it is a crazy situation to have unpaid, untrained, parents managing trained staff, especially when those parents may change every year.

 

A quick look around these boards will show some settings struggling to get parents to join the committee (and then do something once they have joined) and other settings struggling because the committee is being 'too' involved.

 

The key thing is to not keep this to yourself. Meet with your chair and explain your concerns, with luck they are just unaware and will work to help you out. If your setting is in the PLA, then you could ask them to send a mediator to attend the meeting, having an outsider present, who has the experience of seeing how many preschools run, can often help.

 

You may want to generate a list of all the tasks you have to do, with rough timings. I would then expect your chair to either pay you for them or arrange for them to be done by someone else. It is totally unacceptable that you should do them unpaid.

 

Good luck

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