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Headcount Week


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Hi,

We had headcount week last week, 25th - 29th. We have to get our register paperwork etc to the county council by Tuesday 3rd May. A lot of providers in my area find this timescale really difficult because they cannot be sent until registers are completed on the last day ( Friday 29th).

 

I missed the post on Saturday, (can't rely on 1st class anyway) so on my "Bank Holiday" day off I am having to drive a 40 mile return journey to deliver my paperwork by hand ( hope they've got a letterbox at County Hall xD ).

 

I am too busy at work to do it on Tuesday. If paperwork is not in we lose the grant :o

 

Does anyone else have such a tight timescale, and how do you manage it?

 

Peggy

 

p.s. I think these requirements have been introduced in my area because previously settings were taking too long to return paperwork, making it difficult for the "management information dept" to meet their deadlines.

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We get sent a pre head count before the end of each term, fill that in and then get it back in print to amend if nessary at the beginning of each term, although a pain we do not find it difficult to keep to the time scale.

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Like Hali we have a forecast form to complete at the end of term and we are paid three quarters of the grant on these numbers in the first week or so. We are then sent the form for the actual headcount. The letter from last time was dated 6th April so we would have received it perhaps a week later. Our headcount date was 21st April and we had to return the form with ammendments by 29th. We will receive the second payment after half term. So we had about two weeks all told, which is far better than your few days Peggy.

Do you also have a registration form that parents have to complete? We do for each set of new children claiming the grant each term. These are the things which are difficult to get off on time as if a child only attends 2 days, say Monday and Friday, and a parent forgets their form, which is fair enough we can all forget things, then getting them back can be a wait. Plus we have had children on holiday, especially at this time of year. But our early years team are OK with this as long as we get the headcount form back in time.

Linda

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Our system is similar to Lindas but we have to get parents to fill in a form EVERY Term even if they have had the grant before.....

 

this term we had 45 to get filled in and they all had to be transfered onto yet another form which we have to sign and return with all the added stuff...

 

( this term I also had to send in bank mandates, registers for headcount week and last week of last term, insurance certificate and in sept I also have to add the accounts summary, and once it is done also a copy of the audit for the accounts. )

 

we have got so fed up with chasing bits of paper this term we had a week where parents had to fill in the form at pre-school and not remove it from the building....

last term we had one parent lose the form twice and still not return it by headcount day....she was the only one to complain about filling in the form on site!!!

and they are very strict if we do not get the forms in on time we do not get funding... we have to ask parents at the end of each term if they will be on holiday and they fill the form in before they go....

 

we did actually recieve the forms before Easter this year so some were done that early if we could....

 

They are the bane of my life and I am now in the process of training others to do the task!!!

 

Our one saving grace is that the Town Hall is 5 minuites walk from pre-school so i can deliver them by hand very easily!!!

 

Inge

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I also get the forecast form to complete at the end of term, and we recieve 50% of the grant at the beginning of each term.

Our parents complete a parent declaration for each term like Inge. The idea of doing it in the preschool is good and I think I will implement that for next term. We have to keep these in the preschool in case of audit, we don't send them off.

Linda do you only have a headcount day, or did I misunderstand you? We have to record attendance for the whole week, on a specific form as they will not take register copies for the headcount. If a child is absent for whatever reason during the headcount week, then I have to send a copy of next weeks register in by 13th May showing that the child has attended all funded sessions. If this is not proven the funding is reduced to attendance days only over that 2 week period.

 

Parents feel that preschool should not be compulsory, but this is in effect what the system has come to if they want funding. I suppose I agree that if funded a place should be used but there should be some discretion with such young children.

 

I ask my parents to complete a "reason for absence" note if children are away, it helps them realise that there is some responsibility for attendance when a place is paid for for them.

 

 

Peggy

 

p.s. The journey today was 60 miles return, further than I thought, obviously the County Hall was closed but I found a letter box outside saying "if closed place mail here". I just hope it gets to the right department before 5pm tomorrow :o

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we send the declaration form off to claaim the funding but have a copy to keep on site too. we at least only have a headcount day and children due to attend that week will get the funding even if they are not there at the time.

 

We have the problem of not being able to charge at all for any reason for any child who would be eligable. So the reasoning is that the sessions a child does not attend will cover the costs of another who may attend.... does that make sense? so confusing.. espaecially with all authorities taking the information they are given and putting different interpretation on it.

 

we are not anble to charge for any extras for trips, outings, entertainers etc etc on a funded session... nothing at all... funding has to cover the cost... Now we are told no inset days at all... so ewhen are we to do the self assessment./accreditaion/planning etc etc.......in our own unpaid time i suppose!!! back to the good old days... just when we had thought we had it sorted....

 

 

Inge

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Hi Peggy

Yes we do only have a day-we don't have to send a register of what the children attend for the week. Ours is the number of children who attend and how many sessions. Yours sounds decidedly more complicated than ours! Ours is the same as Inge. But, unlike Inge we only have to complete the parent info forms, or at least get them to, for new children each term.

And we have to send the parental info forms back to the town hall. I must admit I don't keep a copy of these just the headcount forms.

I'm beginning to realise that the system we have here in Stockport isn't so bad after all-I'll stop complaining as of now!!! :o

Linda

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We got our form last week. The date we have to do our count is 5th may!! All our children will be absent on this date !?! - I wonder what code I should use for them as there isn't one for a closure for the "e" word!! :o

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Dear All

We don't have to do half as much as Peggy does - sounds bizarre to me. I think the new system ought to be:-

 

registered to take 26 children

get paid for 26 children - 5 days a week - 33 weeks a year although I know sme are now giving 38 weeks! How we organise ourselves is then up to us.

 

It would be good - we could certainly could do with this money but then this is really not being very helpful or constructive but there again neither do the people offering the grant. Would make it straightfoward though

Nikki

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Hear, hear, Nichola. Wouldn't life be simpler.

I've only told you of about 50% of the information we have to provide, there are codes for SEN (incl what action they are on), EAL, Cared for children, and Traveler children. Then we have to declare with a tick box that we have parent declaration, seen the birth certificate, what dates we are open next term, what date our staff development days will be next term. They are very good though, they send us a 9 point check list to ensure we don't forget anything :o:D

 

Beau, what happens in Scotland? might be worth moving there, just for my sanity.

 

Peggy

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Wow Peggy!!! We don't have to do any of that!! We don't even have to see birth certificates! It's a good job they provide you with a check list-I'm sure I would forget something!!!

Linda

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Thanks for that Linda, feel much better now :o Well watch out, if I don't move to Scotland, I might move to Cheshire. :D:D:D

 

Peggy

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Our Early Years team have put a new system into place to safeguard against fraud: each parent of a child eligible for funding fills out a form stating their legal name, their 'known as' name if different to their legal name (eg registered as John but called Jack for family reasons), and we have to see the child's birth certificate to confirm he is who his parents say he is.

 

Then at the beginning of each term the parent has to confirm the number of sessions the child attends, and the number they are claiming funding for. And they have to sign. The parent also has to state whether the child is claiming funding for sessions attended at another setting.

 

Apparently some parents have been claiming two lots of funding for the same child at different settings by using a different surname so that the child can get a full day at pre-school for free.

 

We then complete the claim paperwork as Hali outlined in her post. And our headcount cut off is just one day, not a week.

 

Maz

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Towards the end of the term I get a form sent which indicates the children who I've been claiming funding for (and number of sessions). There are then two seperate forms - one for amendments to existing children (if they have increased the number of sessions or have left during the previous term - this then gets calculated and either added in or deducted from our next terms funding) and another form for any new children. These have to be filled in and sent back by the end of the first week back but all that will happen if you're late is that the funding may be delayed by a couple of weeks. Also, you can advise them of any changes throughout the term and they will cough up the extra money straight away to prevent financial difficulties for groups. :o

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Gosh, like Linda I will stop moaning about how much info we have to send back.

My main problem is that we have to have signed parental declarations to send forcast of numbers well before start of term to get half our funding at start of term. We then do final figures for children attending the week of headcount day - as some don't come on Thursdays. We count all those who would have attended that week if they hadn't been sick or on holiday as long as we have signed parent forms for them.

 

We have to send back a summary sheet with details of each child and number of sessions as well as sheet with details of any other provider they attend. We have to hold on to parental declarations at setting in case anyone needs to check them or do a random audit.

 

We get the second half of the funding with any adjustments at the beginning of second half of term.

 

Being a playgroup it is often hard to pin parents down as to how many sessions they are going to want for the following term.

McGregor

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Thankyou all for taking the time to respond. It is interesting to see how similar yet different (now there's a contradiction of terms if ever I saw one) all the various systems are.

I also have to do what Maz explained. I get the parent declaration from my EYDCP web site in a word doc and use mail merge to put "common" info ( such as name of setting) onto the forms as even this bit the parents get wrong :o

Now mine is all done and dusted I don't feel so aggrieved, just really had to push myself to do the drive on Monday just to deliver a few forms. Still, it's better than having no money at all (or is it?).

 

I do often wonder what the business would be like if there was never funding in the first place, I certainly think parents have a different attitude, for example attendance is more erratic, holidays taken in term time ( don't blame them costs etc). Still that's another issue.

 

Thanks again, anyone else with systems not yet mentioned?

 

Peggy

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