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Hi, our preschool is currently open 5 mornings and two afternoons. we are thinking of opening all day on the monday and friday. how do we go about this, what are the implicaitons for staff having lunch etc..are there a maximum number of hours we can open for/children can stay for? any help greatly appreciated..x :o

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The main thing that we came up against was ensuring staff had a 20 minute break!


We continue to do 2 sessions 3 x a week 9.15 - 11.45 & 12.15 - 2.45, we also have 2 x a week 9.15 - 1 pm. This continues to work for us, we tried 3 hrs in the morning and 2 1/2 hrs in the afternoon but it failed miserably, staff were really unhappy ( and i can not blame them) they barely had 5 mins inbetween sessions to have a swig of tea or a mouthful of sandwich.


In the right circumstances I am sure that this could work really well, unfortunately ours did not.


Good Luck



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We are currently asking parents if they would be interested in their children staying for lunch and if the interest is there we may consider doing so. The hour would not be included in their entitlement so they would have to pay for this service ( none of them seem to mind this at the moment). Staff are undecided.......most of us would work either a morning or an afternoon session so it would mean just working perhaps a half hour extra. A worry for staff who do work both sessions is that there would be little time for a break for their lunch. Goodness knows we all need that time out in between. Nothing will be finalised until September as we break up this Friday. Our sessions at the moment are 8.30 - 11.30 and 12.30 - 3.30.

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We run 2 sessions back to back twice a week, our sessions are 9-12 & 12-3. You need to check with your lea with regards funding we are in Essex and we can claim up to a 6 hours in 1 go for a child other lea's maybe different.

With regards the 20 minute break my staff have the option at 12 to have 20 minute break in a rota as I cover that member of staff, have to say all staff prefer to sit with the children and have their lunch!! I always make it clear that the option is there but all seem happy to sit and have lunch with the children so I usually make them all a drink and then cover so they can have 10 minutes to themselves!!

Hope that helps.



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We offer full days, for 4 days a week plus Friday morning. Parents can opt for 9-12, 12-3pm or 9-3 pm, the latter being very popular even when parents don't work. Often parents choose to add another session to their free entitlement because they can have 3 full days. This can be more convenient especially for those children with younger siblings. Lunch club is part of the afternoon session. We feared parents would miss the lunch club that was previously tagged onto the morning session but by and large they have not.


We sent a questionnaire out to parents last year asking them what hours they would prefer us to offer for our core entitlement. We gave them 3 options to choose from, and highlighted the pros and cons of each option. We chose the option most parents preferred as there was a clear preference.


We also offer breakfast from 8-9am and afterschool from 3-4 pm or 3-5 pm if there is sufficient demand. This varies on a yearly basis.


In our county we are allowed to say to parents that a total of 6.5 hours of part of any day can be used as part of a child's free entitlement. I think this will vary between counties, and could be anything up to 10 hours per day.


You would need to advise Ofsted of changes in your hours and your insurance company. Ofsted may ask you to complete a variation order but this simply states how you are going to continue to meet children's needs ie offer a nap after lunch to those children who need it.


Staff have a 30 minute lunch break (in theory) if they work 6 hours or more (I think the entitlement is only 20 minutes). As mornings are generally better attended than afternoons, lunch breaks would be covered by the 3rd member of staff staying on after the morning session to cover the lunch hour for those staff working all day.


Hope that helps

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We have just gone to the extended opening - due to start in Sept but parents of the children moving onto school asked if we would consider offering it to their children for the last half of term. This worked in our favour as we were able to have a 'trial run' - staff are entitled to 20 min if working over 6 hrs - they must be able to leave the premises if they wish but we are the same as a previous comment - staff usually sit and have their lunch with the children. It has proved very popular with the parents for Sept - Ofsted just changed our certificate - we didn't need to fill in any forms or anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We do two 6 hour sessions, at each one a member of staff covers the whole lunch time and then goes home (after working 4.5 hours) the other two members can then take a 20-30 minute break, one covering the first half of lunch and the other one the second.



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