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New Pre-school Setting


dottyp
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We have an exciting opportunity to open a new pre-school in a village hall. The only concern i have, is the

residents of the 'village' also want to incorporate a soft play mother and toddler group twice a week in the same,

large hall, using low level screens to separate pre-school children.

 

I have contacted ofsted by email, who have sent me lots of information, but have not answered my specific question 'Can we have a mother and toddler group during pre-school sessions, within the same hall?

 

Your thoughts or experience would be very much appreciated.

thank you

dottyp :o

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We have an exciting opportunity to open a new pre-school in a village hall. The only concern i have, is the

residents of the 'village' also want to incorporate a soft play mother and toddler group twice a week in the same,

large hall, using low level screens to separate pre-school children.

 

I have contacted ofsted by email, who have sent me lots of information, but have not answered my specific question 'Can we have a mother and toddler group during pre-school sessions, within the same hall?

 

Your thoughts or experience would be very much appreciated.

thank you

dottyp :o

 

i would have a few concerns trying to operate both during the same 'session'....we run our toddler group during the time playgroup is not running...so, we have a morning playgroup session -our toddler group opens for a few hours in the afternoon. would this be possible ?

 

who would be responsible for the toddler group - parents or playgroup staff, parents tend to assume staff are responsibe if there are staff in the room

who would set up the soft play area

how would you stop playgroup children wanting to use the toddler 'bit' and vice versa

our toddler sessions are alot more 'chaotic' than our playgroups session -how would you be able to ensure the toddlers didnt disrupt the playgroup session.

if a playgroup child has a younger sibling also attending the toddler group (with parent i assume) at the same time , this could be rather confusing for the child and sibling

what would happen regarding confidentiality - i assume parents would be attending with toddlers -and would be able to see what is happening during the playgroup session

toilets - you would need seperate toilets for the toddlers -as i assume their parents would need to go in with them therefore playgroup children would not be able to use them as their would be child protection issues , same with regards to nappy changing areas?

routines may be different -story time, songs, snack time - if both are different this could be really disrutive - imagine trying to have a story whilst the toddlers are having circle time with intruments !!

 

im not even sure about the regs regarding ofsted, insurance, nursery ed funding etc.....but the above points would be enough to put me off !! lol !!

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Hi fimbo

 

thank u for a speedy reply! Some of your concerns have hilighted other valuable points which i will take to the residents association! I have just had a reply from ofsted, who state the premises must be for the sole use of the pre-school and pointed me in the direction of the statutory framework pages 45 and 46. Your input has been most valuable. thank u. Dottyp

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Dottyp i am also considering doing something similar ....i am rather confused by ofsteds info as loads of settings run from community centres that have other things going on in the same building ...i would like to set up a +2's group (as an introduction to pre-school) which is something we used to do and i know there is a market for. We would be in charge of it/can use the staff loos for access which could be segregated from the pre-school session ...guess i will have to ask some more questions! :o

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Hi finleysmaid. I think community buildings are grey area with Ofsted and each case is taken individually, taking into consideration separate access, toilets, kitchens etc. It may well be a different story if the groups are not all held in one large area, such as a village hall. I too had the idea that the 'under 2's' could come to the setting with their parents, get to know us and feed into our pre-school, but it doesn't look hopeful!

 

Will keep u posted if i have any further information!

 

good luck with your new venture. dottyp :o

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you could do a rising 2's session tho - seperate from the playgroup session. will your playgroup sessions be all day ? i think a toddler / rising 2's is a really good idea -as you say, it gets the children and parents interested -also gives parents of young children somewhere to meet others parents and children...it feeds into the playgroup sessions then. we do our toddler group on a tues am -for 2 hours, this it totally seperate from our afternoon playgroup session.

if you had a seperate room for the toddler group i could also see it working - or if the room had a large 'alcove' type space -so that its more seperate from the playgroup session.

what age are you planning on taking children into playgroup - as some settings take them from 2 years, then a toddler group may not have much of a demand anyway ?

 

 

sorry -just thinking off the top of my head !

good luck with the new setting tho, it sounds like a great opppertunity

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Dottyp i am also considering doing something similar ....i am rather confused by ofsteds info as loads of settings run from community centres that have other things going on in the same building ...i would like to set up a +2's group (as an introduction to pre-school) which is something we used to do and i know there is a market for. We would be in charge of it/can use the staff loos for access which could be segregated from the pre-school session ...guess i will have to ask some more questions! :o

 

 

same building is different to same room.. sole use of the area along with toilets is usually what is required... other parts of the building can be used so long as they don't have access to the pre-school..Our village hall has 3 areas that can be used and often are but the pre-school has own hall and toilets not accessible to the others.. same in village next to us.. Drs surgery is run in same building but both have separate areas.

 

think having both in same room could cause issues... we used to run a toddler group at a different time in the same room once a week for 2 hours, parents stayed and a staff member joined each week so the parents and children got to know us and the room well.. this made transition to preschool a lot easier.. we did have to drop a preschool session to do this..but found that many of the parents came to the session with the older children for the afternoon.. we had children from 18 months to school age all together with parents.. seemed to work well.. if a bit chaotic at times.

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humm got me thinking now how to do this...we already run 10 sessions of pre-school a week and +2's after school doesnt work (ive tried before!) so cant do that...our local childrens centre do run two sessions at the same time but have floor to ceiling partitions...perhaps this could be an option...sorry dotty just thinking out loud in the hope that we might both find an option!(we take 2year 8 month olds in the pre-school and at one point we had 30 children attending our 'around 2's group'!!

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We came up against a similar issue when the children's centre wanted to use our building as a base for their activities. We have only one set of toilets and one entrance and had to explain to them that to use the building at the same time as our preschool they would need another toilet and entrance (current one opens onto our main playroom) to ensure we had sole use of the area during Ofsted registered sessions. You would think the LA and children's centre people would have known all this!

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