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You Just Can't Win!


max321
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I have a 4 year old boy attending my setting who has severe behaviuor problems. After 2 children left because of his violence and several other parents had mentioned their childrens concerns and fears,I felt I had no alternative but to drop his sessions temporarily back to 6 hours per week on 2 quiet afternoons when we were able to offer him 1:1 support. Since January this has worked really well, and although his behaviour has not improved to the point that we can take our eyes of him,he is receiving quality focussed care from us and is enjoying his sessions, his family are more relaxed as they are not constantly being asked to sign for incidents and are taking up support we have arranged from family support, a local young parents group and are attending parenting sessions and the other staff and children are more relaxed around him. However, this week I have been told by the early years team that I have to increase his sessions as he is entitled to his 15hours NEF and by denying him I am effectively excluding him which is discrimination. I have applied for early years action plus funding for him which I hope will provide enough funding to appoint a new member of staff for the summer term but if I don't get enough funding what then? Is my priority the duty of care of the other children or to provide him with his legal entitlement?

Edited by max321
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My understanding is that yes, children are entitled to 15 hours, but its up to the parents if they want to take all the hours and up to you if you can offer it.

I dont know if every Authority is the same but while the 15 hours have to be available its not necessarliy at one setting. We cant offer more than 12.5 so if a parent wanted more it is up to the LA to find them somewhere, not up to us to fit the child in.

I would stick to whats working for this child.

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I agree with Rea, in that a child could be entitled to a maximum of 15 hours funding but it is up to parents if they wish to use it. Do you think the parents have complained that he is not attending more, but not actually discussed it with you. I think a meeting to explore the best options for the child, family and the other children might be your best course of action. Has he been seen by anyone with regard to his behaviour issues/support .

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We have a similar situation at the moment with a child, mum isn't on board though and wants to increase the child hours! We have been told by our area senco that if we can justify reducing hours and can show that this is in the best interest for all the children then we can do this.

 

Kris

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My application for funding emphasised that 6 hours quality provision is better than 15 where he is constnatly 'in trouble' but I know his parents struggle with him at home and during discussions have asked when he can extend his sessions with us. My area SENCO has been in to observe and just suggested tactics we were already using but at least I had a report I could forward with my application, interestingly neither the children centre (where his parents attend sessions at my suggestion, i even attended the first one with them), health visitor or family support can give me any feedback about the background to the family which could possibly help us help the child. Can't get anyone to commit to a family around the child meeting, I do wonder how multi agency working is ever going to happen when confidentiality gets in the way

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This is jolly frustrating for you! I know of cases where school nurseries have said they will not take a child without an extra member of staff to support them, usually a child who we've been struggling to support as best as we can without an extra member of staff... Can you go back to County and emphasize your need for the guarantee of funding for an extra member of staff for him before you can commit to giving him the full 15 hours? Show the difference between the incidents without the extra support & with the support you are now giving him.

 

It does seem to be one rule for schools and another for preschools as no-one's expressed surprise that a local school nursery recently said they could not take one of our children without a statement (that will get them the funding to give him 1-1)

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I do wonder if somewhere the parents have commented or complained about not getting the 15 hours and that this is where this comes from.. I cannot think of any other reason for someone to say you are denying him & effectively excluding. Parents have a choice on number of sessions, it is not compulsory so it really has to come from a complaint or even them asking why they are not getting it..

Unfortunately while this may not be in best interests all round it will be seen as discrimination and you could be asked to comply even without the funding..

then again if there is no spaces in the setting anyway...

must admit did this a couple of times when we did not get the funding but we could prove there was no space to take the child as we were full..

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I am in the same situation. The child has behaviour problems and gets a 1 to 1 on the 3 sessions that he attends but I have told parents that I will not be able to offer more sessions in september because I am not prepared to fund more than 3. The parents have just come to terms with the fact that he has problems but will not agree to the area SENCO coming in and giving us extra support. I do know mum is at her wits end coping with him at home.Parents seem to think that he is ok in pre-school as long as he hasn't hurt anyone but my answer to that is that his keyperson is shadowing him all the time to deflect the situation. These were the parents that said to me when he first started that he will be the only child I have ever expelled!!!!

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We have had a similar situation this year. We reduced a child's hours because he was banging children's heads on the floor and grabbing others in an headlock and throwing everything (including wooden blocks!) In our area the cuts have meant that 1 to 1 funding is not available. So what is the answer???

 

We are making progress and have reintroduced one more session. This however takes up so much time away from other children who also need support in different ways.

 

Maybe writing out a risk assessment and asking your insurance company if they are happy with it????

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Max 321 firstly i empathise , secondly i agree with what others have said about the funding.....children are able to access funding in 2 settings so his parents have the right to take him elsewhere for the rest of his entitlement, I would however speak to the parents and explain the situation and see what they say, perhaps you can have a plan for the future and a build up to his 15 hours? thirdly if he attends your sessions more often you are more likely to be able to put things in place to improve the situation and therfore his behaviour so in the long run this might help you! we now provide 1-1 support for children with no money from our lea at all...it's not right but that's the situation so i have to deal with it the best i can. My little chap with me at the moment who had very challenging behaviour at the beginning now just needs one of us to keep an eye on him and not allow him to become over excited...but that's taken me some time to get there! so if his parents have no issue with him not getting his 15 hours then the borough should be able to see every child as unique and allow him to do less...can your senco provide evidence support for this and get the finance bods off your back?

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thanks finleysmaid, our senco has aready been into see him and helped with my application for funding so that we can offer more sessions. If we don't get any extra funding then I cannot see us being able to extend his sessions as he is still as unpredictable as he was 18months ago when he joined us. His 2 year old sister starts with us in April with 2 year funding so we're hoping that some quality time with mum and dad without his sister will help but I do fear how he will cope at school.

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  • 2 weeks later...

nothing useful to add but I do sympathise. It's not realistic to say you have to offer 15 hours if you can't provide the support this boy needs and that the other children indirectly need too. we still get one to one but it doesn't seem to come for the types of children it used to (they have to be much more needy) and it has never covered the full cost of the member of staff. i hope you get some money soon

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