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School Intake


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At the moment some of my feeder schools have only 1 intake the others have 3 intakes. I know that some of the latter have requested to have 1 intake.The mixed intake works well for children on the waiting list because they can start throughout the year and children already attending can be given extra sessions gradually.If all schools had only 1 intake I would have to fill up all the spaces in the Autumn term to ensure sustainability I would offer funded children 5 sessions in the Autumn. My next intake would be a year later. Could some children be denied a pre-school place at all ? I have found recently that many parents of rising 3's wish to delay their childs admission for a variety of reasons.i.e. child not toilet trained, parent wishes to wait untill child is funded, new baby expected. How do other settings overcome this?

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You do not say at what age the children start school but is it when they reach reception age or a nursery class in school.

 

either way, This will affect your numbers with 1 intake into schools in the autumn.

 

we have had a yearly intake for a long time now at least 12 years and it does affect numbers in september greatly.

 

we find that parents often start the children in the term after thier third birthday, which is when funding starts, so we have 3 main intakes a year, and most children will have a pre-school place for a minimum of 3 terms before starting reception.

several children start after thier third bithday (which is what we are registered for) and pay for 1 or 2 sessions a week until funding. this is a positive move - as it makes settling new children easier as they often are able to have more adult support than those who start in groups of 4 or 5, learn the 'rules' easier, they follow the other children who are settled and enjoy the setting a lot quicker.

 

many parents do not want 5 sessions for a child even when funded so while we offer them 5 many only have 2 or 3 to start with and increase later in the year. we do have to ensure they are all aware that they will not be able to change or increase sessions until the next round of funding is due, this can cause problems if a child settles well and parents want more sessions but without the money we cannot afford to do so.

 

September is always a difficult term for us... we have some children staying from last term,some parents turn up in the first week of term for places, others do not return having moved and not told us, others just do not return at all, some come too late for funding and as we are not allowed to charge have to wait until after Xmas!!! All a bit hit and miss where numbers are concerned.

 

we are lucky to have staff who understand this and we all reduce hours in september and increase as the numbers increase. we try to keep them on the minimum number of hours to gain any benefits they may recieve.

By summer term we are all working full time again. this year it was after Christmas we have been so busy and everyone is in need of half term!!!

 

we find planning a budget very difficult and any prediction as to how we will be in 3 months time is impossible. we just ensure that the income is atr least enough to cover wages, and rent each day and if needed ask for help with snack from parents, we do find that supplies are usually available to cover the few numbers and we top up everything as soon as we have available funds, especially in the summer term, which is when we ensure we put aside enough for other essentials like insurance!!

 

As we are a charity we are able to ask for grants but they are few and far between these days, unless the account is empty, and with the need to keep a balance to cover redundancy payments this makes it doulbly hard to get one..

 

i dont know if this is much help , but may give an idea or two, or help you sort something out...

 

Ok Marathon posting over!!! :o

 

 

Inge

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we have a termly intake. to be honest i think i would find it very difficult yearly as there would be lots of children on the waiting list that i would not be able to offer a place too!!!! :D

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just reread the post- when I said we have a yearly intake i meant the local schools have one - not us as I contradict this later- cannot find an edit button!

 

Inge

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Our schools and state nurseries have had one intake for some time now. When it first happened it was nearly the end of us but we have managed to ride the storm and now, although numbers are lower in September, we have enough money to keep all staff on at their normal hours. We are finding that we don't have such low numbers as we did, mainly because we are the only pre-school left in this part of Stockport. So we are very popular-not just because of this but because we have such a very good reputation too!! :)

We are full now and have been for some time. September is looking like we will be very busy as we have quite a few returning to us and a long waiting list.

It is difficult though and one of the reasons we are the only group left in this area is the change in admissions policy. Many groups folded shortly after this was introduced.

Linda

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Inge the children start school at 4. I have built up a good reputation over the past 26 years so have managed to weather all the storms. I am always in the good position of having a long waiting list. Many pre-schools have also closed in my area over the past few years. I am concerned that I may not be able to give spaces to children who have been on my waiting list unless they are a rising 3 in September. I know that a few of these parents want to delay their childs entry but do I tell them that if they don't take the place they will lose it. These children will go to school in Sept 2006.At the moment I have 75 children sharing 208 spaces each week and parents know the situation but every day some one asks for more sessions.

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Inge, why are you not allowed to charge fee's? Surely if you have wages and rent to pay this isnt fair.

 

All our children start exactly (or close enough ) to the day they turn 2.5. When ever that is. It works for us. If there are a lot (more than 10) starting in a term we do one induction day at the start of the term, where they fill out the relevent forms and we tell them what we do and why, and then they start on their specified day. If people have been given a place and then choose not to take it until the child is 3 they are put back on the waiting list. They are invited to pay the fee's to secure the place and two have done this. We have also recently introduced a registration fee of £10. This holds a place until the child starts and they get a T-shirt. The money is refunded if they change their mind, we had in previous years healthy waiting lists but then children didnt arrive and we'd already turned people away. The registration fee stops this happening. :D

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Bubblejack

they start school same age as here then,

 

know the feeling, we always want to give spaces to those waiting and try if we can to keep the places of those we know will actually start, but we have found that in the past they change their minds move on or disappear so we had to introduce the policy that we will accept the oldest children first and places offered to others if we have them.

we have to fill places to survive and it is easy for most parents understand, especially when they realise you would end up closing if you waited for them to be ready. This does mean if they delay start the place may not be available, but so far parents have not delayed if on the waiting list and take up 2 or 3 sessions a week.

 

we have had a few places booked for siblings of those already attending saved to make it easier for the parents with 2 children in the same setting.

Intake by age does also allow those moving into the area a chance of a place, particularly for children used to attending 4 or5 days and then not being able to find anywhere.

This time of year, we are often turning away custom with no spaces, and we have a system where if a parent books a holiday off we offer the place to another child already attending who may want an additional session that week. This year with so many holidays booked we have been able to offer a place to one child for 4 weeks now. We do it on a weekly basis and review on a friday, sending text message to parent to inform them of time and day available. we are testing this now and surprisingly it has worked.

 

 

Rea,

Our funding rules state

we must not charge anyone who is eligable for funding at any time even if they arrive after headcount.. they are still eligable apparantly and it was thier choice not to start at the correct time...(these days I send them to the council to complain if they do not want to wait, it applies to all settings so unless one gives a free place they are stuck)

 

we used to charge registration fee too but funding rules state

we are not allowed to charge any registration fee or other payment to any child who is eligable for funding- we do charge if they start before then but cannot when eligable

 

we are also not allowed to charge for additional extras like trips, visitors, entertainer for party at xmas ETC on a funded day all payments for this has to come out of funding.

 

Hands are tied on this one

 

Inge

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I dont do the funding part so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty certain we charge a registration fee for all when they first approach us for a place. We also charge all a fee unless we are able to claim funding, so if they miss the head count day they pay. I do know the committee have got it wrong on at least one issue in the past so they could be wrong here too, I suppose I'll end up checking for them. As to charging for extras, we generally ask for donations towards the costs, so it's not a real charge. :o:D

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