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15 Hours... Again


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Hello all...

I just wondered if anyone out there can help me? We are a maintained nursery attached to an infants school. This is our second year that we are delivering the 15 hours over 2.5 days; however, we feel that for many children in our care that this set up is not the best(lots of reasons that I won't go into here - the parents said last year that they found it better for themselves).

We have looked over and over again at the timings if we were to return to the a.m and p.m session and just can't seem to see the way forward...

 

these are some of the reasons why we couldn't do the a.m and p.m sessions

 

. the timings don't fit around school times nursery starts at 8.55 and finishes at 3.10 school starts at 8.50 and finishes at 3.15

. if we were to go am/pm the extended hours would not link in with this

. lunch time swap over has more challenges than I care to list if were to do am/pm sessions (cost of cover, lack of dinner time and prep time for staff etc)

. if we did am/pm there would be the challenge of siblings coming along to the nursery and this would cause congestion in an already tight area for parents and nursery children

 

We are finding that retention of learning is a big issue (our catchment area has large pockets of deprivation although the children and families don't fulfill all the criteria for FT places)

Children are taking a lot longer to settle (for obvious reasons) particularly for those with emotional needs or challenging behaviour - they just get used to coming and then everything changes for four days!

 

Apparently other school nurseries in the area have similar problems.

 

Please if there is anyone out there that is delivering the 15 hours over and am and pm session and that it is working, could you please let me know how you are doing it. I am beginning to lose sleep over the problem

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Hi

 

I am the teacher of a nursery which is attached to a school and we have just changed how we deliver the 15 free hours. We went from combined daycare and free sessions, so I had children coming all over the place, some all day everyday, some just mornings or afternoons, some for 2.5 days etc. It was a nightmare for planning, and the afternoon children had their first hour as lunch time, which took place in the classroom, so I couldn't get set up for the afternoon session.

 

This is how we changed things:

 

- scrapped day care - we now ONLY offer the 15 free hours and parents can choose either mornings or afternoons. As a result, we are not yet full which is the only worrying thing.

- we changed our hours from school hours - 8.40am-11.45 am, then 12-3.15pm - to the following - 8.45am - 11.45am, then 12.30pm-3.30pm. It isn't ideal in lots of ways - staffing, and only gives us 45 mins for lunch and set up. But is more sane than having children in here, there and everywhere! The children have settled well, and we are able to plan better for learning and interests. If parents have siblings at the school, they are free to pick up children a bit earlier than 3.30pm if they want.

 

I don't know if this helps at all, but if you are able to 'jig' things, it can make things a bit better for the children.

 

Naomi

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Last year we ran 15 hours both am and pm.

we are also a school nursery.

 

* we opened the doors at 8.45 but that meant we had siblings in the coridor we tried to discourage them from the classroom

* our lunch was from after the parents had left following 11.45 pick up to opening the door at 12.30

* we fininshed at 3.30 but that could stretch as although school finished at 3.20, the pick up dragged on if other classes were late coming out as we used a different door to main school

 

 

this year we are only mornings purely due to the reception being one entry so have gone back to 9-12 it is a lot less congested in the corridor as we seem to have 2 waves of arrivals - the ones with no school children who are queing up and then the rest as they make it round to our part of the building having dropped the others off as school starts at 8.55 .

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I only know the bones of this set up as I'm not directly involved in the setting, but my son's school was offering 12.5 hours and children did either am or pm all week. Some of the older children were paying for additional hours and doing extended mornings (ie lunch) or full days. When 15 hours came in the head asked all parents if they would agree to change the school day but due to not linking his plan with OOSC arrangements parents overwhelmingly said no. So rather than have different operating times for FSU and rest of school he has offered 15 hours by allocating children to either am or pm, but all children do full days on one (set) day of the week. This year it is a Wednesday. Exactly how this works with lunchtimes and staff hours, etc I don't know but they certainly haven't lost parents from the FSU because of it.

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thank you for the replies so far. NaomiC your hours are 8.45 -11.45 and 12.30-3.30. What are the hours of the main school?

Are the hours that you are working in the nursery longer than those in the school? I ask this as we explored these timings too but the staff in the nursery would be working 20 minutes contact time longer than school staff each day and with even less time for lunch e.g. 45 minutes compared with 1.40 minutes in school (This is what it would be for us). Plus we are worried that some parents would be late picking up at 11.45 and so cutting back the lunchtime even further.

How does this system work in your school and are staff happy that they are not equatable to that of colleagues in the school? I wonder if the unions would be supportive of this?

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Hello!

 

Our school open 8.55 - 3.15pm

 

Nursery runs 9-12 and 12 -3pm

 

Lunch is the last half an hour of the morning session and first half an hour of the afternoon session.

 

Some children do mornings, some afternoons and some all day.

 

We changed to offer full day care when our afternoon maintained sessions got closed down after places were cut from the reception class.

 

Previously there was no flexibility in the day for parent. Now we are as flexible as places will allow.

With parents trying to work 15 hours a week over mornings or afternoons only was not beneficial at all.

We had one child using breakfast club, us and a childminder throughout one day. Now children can be on site in breakfast club the nursery or afterschool from 7.45am - 6pm.

 

The nursery teachers contract was for 2.5 hour sessions per day so having lunch at 11.30 did not alter her hours.

We have staff to do lunch time both level 3's and they start work at 11.30am and they then work the afternoon with me because the afternoons are classed as private sessions though run by school too.

 

I work as the level 3 (NNEB) with the teacher in the morning and am manager of the extended care from 11.30 onwards. I have a FD in early years and am on the EYPS pathway.

 

I get an hour for lunch time. When we sit down for register and or story/ circle time etc at the start of the afternoon session the other staff tidy up, wipe down the tables and then set up for the afternoon children.

 

It works REALLY well and has been very successful

 

I believe with the single funding formula, nursery's will have to offer more flexibility to get the children in rather than less!

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Hi apple

 

I am the Nursery teacher in a school and this is the third year our school has been offering the 15 hours. We do morning and afternoon sessions, we have our older children in the morning and the younger children in the afternoon so that the children are together with the same children ready for school. This allows the children to make solid friendships rather than being split up if the older child goes up to Reception and the younger child stays in Nursery. We can also plan for their age level more appropriately. We do however have flexibility for our parents, however the majority of our parents are pleased with the set up and do not work so can bring their child to etiher session. Our Nursery hours are 8.30-11.30 and 12.30-3.30 our school opens 9-3.15. Our hours are longer then all the other teachers in the school having 5 hours more contact time with the children. Our sessions work really well for the parents, ourselves and most importantly the children!

 

hope this helps

 

kate

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Hi, I'm Preschool. We offer the 15 hour entitlement over 2.5hr sessions, so parents can have 6 sessions free. Our sessions are 9 - 11.30 and 12.30 - 3pm. Some children stay all day and bring a packed lunch, morning staff cover lunchtime. Some children leave at lunchtime and others arrive and stay for the afternoon session.

 

It's worked really well for us, no bother.

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Hi apple

 

I am the Nursery teacher in a school and this is the third year our school has been offering the 15 hours. We do morning and afternoon sessions, we have our older children in the morning and the younger children in the afternoon so that the children are together with the same children ready for school. This allows the children to make solid friendships rather than being split up if the older child goes up to Reception and the younger child stays in Nursery. We can also plan for their age level more appropriately. We do however have flexibility for our parents, however the majority of our parents are pleased with the set up and do not work so can bring their child to etiher session. Our Nursery hours are 8.30-11.30 and 12.30-3.30 our school opens 9-3.15. Our hours are longer then all the other teachers in the school having 5 hours more contact time with the children. Our sessions work really well for the parents, ourselves and most importantly the children!

 

hope this helps

 

kate

 

Hi Kate

this is one of our concerns that we would be working longer hours than colleagues in school- I think I would begin to begrudge that fact - working longer for no extra pay or are you paid more as a result of longer hours? does this have implications with your contracts and/or unions? Do you that time back elsewhere (I am guessing not!).

Also it sounds like you are in an authority where there is two intakes (is that right as you say some younger children stay in nursery as the older ones move to reception).

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Hi, I'm Preschool. We offer the 15 hour entitlement over 2.5hr sessions, so parents can have 6 sessions free. Our sessions are 9 - 11.30 and 12.30 - 3pm. Some children stay all day and bring a packed lunch, morning staff cover lunchtime. Some children leave at lunchtime and others arrive and stay for the afternoon session.

 

It's worked really well for us, no bother.

 

Cait do you have different staff working in the afternoon? Do the morning staff dismiss the morning children and greet the afternoon ones? What happens at this cross over time. When do the morning staff get their lunch and who covers their children? Bit confused over this set up but would love to hear more about it

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I'm there all day. It's a 6 hr day and I get 20mins during lunch time as does anyone who does the full day. We're much busier in the mornings so morning staff stay over the lunch hour. Afternoon staff arrive and brush teeth, help children who are going collect belongings. It's mainly my children who stay all day so there's no worries about chat handover. The staff have a quick chat about the one other child from the younger group who stays all day.

 

Oh and staff eat their lunch with the children, it's great social time!

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Hello, I am the TA in an LEA nursery class part of a C E Primary, we have an intake of two classes of 26, one am class and one pm class. due to the primary being on a split site when the nursery was first opened the three part all started and finished at different times allowing 5 minutes approx so that sibs could be dropped at various classrooms and not be late, however as our nursery class provides care for children who then go on to other primary schools in the surrounding area there was a consistent period of late arrivals. - so we introduced 15 mins flexible stay and play/drop off enabling everyone to be here to start the day together.

Last year we ran 2 sessions of 3 hours running 8.45-11.45 and 12.30-3.30 with a flexible 15 minute drop off/ collection at beginning and end of each session, however although this may have worked for the parents it was very difficult to manage with security, plus there were always those parents who insisted on being 5/10 minutes late so our already tight turnarround of 45 minutes became 30/35 - and it was hard work even with a class teacher and two TA's.

 

This year there is only one class teacher and one TA, so we are running a15 minute flexible drop off at beginning of each session and then parents/ carers are asked to pick up at a specific time 1140 in am and 3.25 in pm we are then allowing 5 minutes of our 3 hour session for dissmissing children.

So sessions look like this 8.45-9.00 flexible drop off for am class pick up at 11.40

12.30-12.45 flexible drop off for pm class pick up at 3.25

Couple of our times do clash but older sibs in infant school are sent internally through school to join nursery for end of school dismissal, and for those parents who have to collect elsewhere we have a personal arrangement but it is at the parents choice and they are aware that their child will be missing their learning, and they are happy with that , because they are happy to have the nursey space.

It is hectic and we do end up working into our lunch break and our own unpaid time but it seems like thats the way of the world!

Hope this is of some help.

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Hi apple

 

no we get no extra pay for the hours we work and you guessed it no time back given, it is seen as good will!!!!!!! I am always the first in school by an hour and the last to leave again by an hour due to the amount of workload us as EY practioners have to complete! As you can imagaine sometimes the goodwill is lost with having the same expectations as the other teachers yet littler time in the working day to complete deadlines. We rarely see any of the other staff as our dinner is 11.30-12.30 and most staff come in to the staff room at 12.30 so we miss any social interaction. Also we miss briefing meetings in the morning as our Nursery opens at 8.30 and briefing meetings take place at 8.45-9 therefore we have to ask other teachers for feedback and important information that mayhave been exchanged in the meeting. This can be really frustrating as on occasions information has not been passed on and the head or a co-ordinator has approached me asking for plans, assessment that they had been expecting, however i was unaware of ths due to lack in communication. We take the children in as soon as they turn 3 what ever time of year, so we have children coming in all the time. The morning children are 3-4 and the afternoon children just turned 3. The morning children will have been in our Nursery for a year already and will have started in the afternoon session the year before. But in their second year they switch to the morning session and the afternoon is empty ready for the children who have just turned 3. The children swicthing to the morning session we find prepares them for the early mornings in Reception this is why we do this. This is what works best for our children and the setting although i do wish timings were better for staffs moral!

 

Hope this helps

 

Kate

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Hi apple

 

no we get no extra pay for the hours we work and you guessed it no time back given, it is seen as good will!!!!!!! I am always the first in school by an hour and the last to leave again by an hour due to the amount of workload us as EY practioners have to complete! As you can imagaine sometimes the goodwill is lost with having the same expectations as the other teachers yet littler time in the working day to complete deadlines. We rarely see any of the other staff as our dinner is 11.30-12.30 and most staff come in to the staff room at 12.30 so we miss any social interaction. Also we miss briefing meetings in the morning as our Nursery opens at 8.30 and briefing meetings take place at 8.45-9 therefore we have to ask other teachers for feedback and important information that mayhave been exchanged in the meeting. This can be really frustrating as on occasions information has not been passed on and the head or a co-ordinator has approached me asking for plans, assessment that they had been expecting, however i was unaware of ths due to lack in communication. We take the children in as soon as they turn 3 what ever time of year, so we have children coming in all the time. The morning children are 3-4 and the afternoon children just turned 3. The morning children will have been in our Nursery for a year already and will have started in the afternoon session the year before. But in their second year they switch to the morning session and the afternoon is empty ready for the children who have just turned 3. The children swicthing to the morning session we find prepares them for the early mornings in Reception this is why we do this. This is what works best for our children and the setting although i do wish timings were better for staffs moral!

 

Hope this helps

 

Kate

We are a school nursery and have been running 15 hours for two years now. Children come for two and a half days or sessionally mornings/afternoons. Doors open at 8.45 and again for morning leavers at 11.30. Afternoon doors at 12.15 and end of day at 3.15. Lunch times are a pain as we have only two staff, which means another person is needed from 11-1 to cover lunches. We would have much smaller numbers if we didn't do this though as parents really support it as they find it easier to get part time work and can pay less in child care if their child comes to us for two and a half days and goes private for the fest. :oxD:(

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We are a school nursery and have been running 15 hours for two years now. Children come for two and a half days or sessionally mornings/afternoons. Doors open at 8.45 and again for morning leavers at 11.30. Afternoon doors at 12.15 and end of day at 3.15. Lunch times are a pain as we have only two staff, which means another person is needed from 11-1 to cover lunches. We would have much smaller numbers if we didn't do this though as parents really support it as they find it easier to get part time work and can pay less in child care if their child comes to us for two and a half days and goes private for the fest. :oxD:(
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Thank you everyone for your very helpful replies - hbate - yours was probably the closest to what we could maybe do... all the talk about timings leaves big questions such as if you operate with some children FT and some PT what do you do about planning? Some children would miss out on certain activities and it would be hard to track their progress if they have missed key learning?

How do you keep track of those that have missed learning activities?

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