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Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

We are a small playgroup just set up in January of this year and have no government funding. To be entitled to funding we have to have children ready for their preschool year so we did that in September - had 8 in total although 2 have now left us as they didn't want to wait until the next meeting in December and preferred to have their free place like yesterday. We doubt if it will be given to us in December for the children presently attending in their preschool year so are trying to focus our efforts on September next year. At present we have 2 full time pre-preschoolers and 2 part-time prepreschoolers with another 2 due to start when they have been toilet trained completely. I am thinking of writing to these parents individually to ask if they will commit to sending their child to us next year and thus help us with our case for government funding and I have 1 other child who is not 3 until next April so that will give us a total of 7 but we need 8!!

 

I am trying to think of ways to publicise our playgroup but am stumped as have tried the usual routes - press advertising, shop notices and flyers in same and after Hallowe'en have a little flyer going out with the local schools newsletter. Is there anything more I could do? I know it really is more by word of mouth and will take a few years to build up but it is very disheartening at present - ideally I would love to be up to 12 but maybe that is pushing it.

 

We had one parent who came into the playgroup last week demanding he get a free place for his child from next September as they were entitled to but when I questioned him I realised that his child would only be turning 3 next September so would not be entitled until the following year. However the child is in a private daycare at the moment so I doubt if he will be taken out for just 2 1/2 hours playgroup provision when it is 6 miles drive away from the daycare at present!

 

Any suggestions how we can raise our profile? I have posted on another thread about what I could include within the flyer so am happy with that for now.

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Hi terrydoo, as usual Im just asking for clarification. I know you mentioned the govt funding in a previous thread, does your LA insist you have to have 8 children before your can receive EYE? That's a new one on me as we have settings with fewer funded children than that.

 

Are you saying you have 6 pre school aged children just now, or do you mean on your books for next year?

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At present we have 2 full time pre-preschoolers and 2 part-time prepreschoolers with another 2 due to start when they have been toilet trained completely.

 

This might seem a little off topic but could be relevant to your numbers - the two children that are due to start when they have been toilet trained completely - is this something parents are suggesting or something your setting insists on?

 

We take children who are not toilet trained and my understanding that it is against the Disability Discrimination Act to insist that a child is toilet trained before they can attend a setting?

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Guest terrydoo73

At present we have 6 preschool and 6 pre-preschool registered with the playgroup - that is the maximum number our local Health Authority allows us to be registered for. We did have 2 more preschool children but they left us as they wanted funded places. When I say funded I mean our funding comes from the local Education Authority - there are 4 in NI. They determine how many places are awarded to each Playgroup and as ours is just newly set-up they have not awarded us any despite reassurances of reconsidering the issue - we have visited and wrote letters but there is a question of displacement - to give us places would mean they might be taking away from another playgroup 2 miles from our setting and thus running it down!

 

Our local Health Authority insisted we have all our children toilet trained before attending. These 2 particular children are so nearly there but we think it is a case of mum panicking too much. We do deal with little accidents but with a small setting and the possibility of tying ourselves up with changing nappies rather than being able to provide activities for the older preschool child the Health Authority told us to focus on the older child. Ideally we would love to have 12 preschoolers but have to take whatever is available.

 

Our toilets are outside the main room of the setting so 1 adult has to go with the child and another adult has to hover to comply with child protection guidelines - this is what we were told by Health Authority! To start changing nappies means using an entirely different toilet - one that is for disabled persons as there is more room to get the child on a mat. You can imagine what would happen if we had 1 child in the main toilet and another having its nappy changed - there would be no adults left with the children in the main room!!

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