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Hi,

 

I am planning to start my own pre school this summer; my husband and i are going down the charity route of doing this. Does anyone have any helpful advice for me?

 

The LA of my borough's early years development team is dissolving, there is not much funding in early years any more because of the cuts, thing appear rather bleak at the moment. is that a misconception on my part?

 

However i am very passionate about what I do; and an absolute advocate for quality 'educare'. I don't wish to believe I am making a mistake by starting in first instance, a friend said its not really a good time to be going into childcare & and early education! is this true?

I didn't do the EYPs for nothing did I? Thanks

 

Toni :unsure:

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welcome toni... i think my first advice would be to check there are customers out there!! does your lea have a sufficiency survey to hand? can they tell you if other settings are full and have waiting lists? can your lea give you the proposed figures for NEF funding so that you can work out projected income and expenditure? have you arranged a suitable venue and how much will your costs be there? What sort of advice are you after? Happy to help if i can :rolleyes:

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Unfortunately many settings are having the issue that the funding does not cover costs unless you are full and have a good waiting list to fill the spaces as they become available.. so the first thing you really would need it a viability study to see what the local need is.. there may be enough provision there already for the children and another setting , new and setting up, may not be able to get enough children to be viable.

 

Funding is not always available to new settings until they have been established for a period of time, so you cannot rely on getting children who would be funded from the beginning, check your LEA criteria for receiving the money, I know several have not been able to get it for the first three/six months and without it parents are unwilling to send a child to a setting and pay when they can get it free elsewhere.. catch 22 situation.. no funding=no children/ no children= no funding

 

Budget and costings to see if it will be viable... venue and running costs, staffing, remembering to include the holiday pay, national insurance you as an employer will have to pay , insurance, Ofsted fees, and all other daily running costs need to be included down to paper, consumables, cleaning etc.. once added up it does become an eye opener as to how much it cost to run a setting,

add into the mix the regular increases in minimum wage, and any other cost increases, think we added about 5% additional costs per year, in a good year.. but it could be more..

 

Think there is a lot of research to be done before opening any new setting...

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I totally agree with you Cait. I daren't work out how much money I actually earn compared to the number of hours that I work. I do enjoy it though but have grown with it. It also scares me when i find out that some counties have reduced the funding. I try not to think about it too much.

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It also scares me when i find out that some counties have reduced the funding. I try not to think about it too much.

 

Yes - 'cos lets not forget the minimum wage goes down each year too!!!!! :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r: :D

 

 

But seriously, it worries me that some counties pay such low rates when the MW is the same everywhere? ( I'm sure I read on here just the other day that someone gets around £2.50ish an hour?).

 

xx

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Hi

I opened my playgroup last september. I did all the research etc. everywhere I went people said we would be full as there is nothing around the village we are based in. But we have still only got 8 children on roll and are only open 3 mornings a week! Our income only just covers the rent for the village hall and the wages for my one member of staff!

We have also been told that the earliest we will get funding for 3/4yr olds is at the start of the summer term. We are hoping this will get more children in.

 

Good luck but please think carefully.

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As a chair of a pre-school who faces possible closure this year - I would say be very careful. As the others have said check the sufficiency data and also the birth rates in your area. Our pre-school cannot compete with the longer hours and greater flexibility of day nurseries. I would also say that we rely heavily on our funded children. I know many of them would not touch us if we couldnt offer funded places. Sorry to be so gloomy

Kx

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Hi Toni and a very warm welcome to the forum! :1b

 

I agree with all other posters.......times are hard and even those of us that have well established groups are struggling :(

 

I really don't want to be all 'gloom and doom' - but would urge caution.......good luck! :1b

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Hi all, Thanks for being honest!

 

I have the building which is situated exactly where lea childcare sufficiency report for this year says it needs to be; so apparently I am supplying from a need! the rent is cheap ish and i am funded by other charity organisations as I have set up an early years charity first. ( which i will tell you all about soon Educational Lane Trust). I checking out about the funding part thanks for that one cos i hadn't thought of that! I am an eyp and plan to use my 1-13 ratio for 3 years to the max, then only bring one other staff member in with me. 1-13 i hear you all say tis true! check eyfs. I am working on getting the rent paid by some other organisation <_< well perhaps for a year. ohh and it will be a full time day nursery and pre school

 

Do you guys think things will get worse with early years?.......................cos i dunno if it can get any worse lool, which could mean it can only get better right?..............

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Full day care at 1:13???!!!

Not for everyone in full day care - just the threes to fives, from memory - and you need to work alongside a Level 3 qualified practitioner. Even then, it was something I'd never consider for my own setting. That age group are so diverse, developmentally and if there are two of you supervising 26 (or even 13) children and one of you has to change a nappy or deal with a first aid incident it makes life very hard indeed.

 

For a small group this 1:13 ratio with an EYP must make it very difficult to calculate ratios. If you have a family nursery setting where you have mixed ages in the same room, I mean. Thank goodness I don't have that particular headache any more.

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I wouldn't envy you working on a 1:13 ratio. we only have 8 2yr olds and 2 adults and at times we are running round in circles! We could really do with an extra member of staff but funds won't allow it.

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The ratio of 1-13 would be very difficult to manage. I could never imagine working with just one other adult with 26 children.If I was ever told that I could work at that ratio I wouldn't be able to provide the high standard of care that I feel the children deserve.We have 4 0r 5 adults with an average of 26 children.I am sure you are very capable with your EYPS but you just need extra pairs of hands. Many children now are not toilet trained and at the end of the day children are children, they have accidents, they can get ill quickly and often are just having a bad day and just need reassurance and cuddles. One staff member is usually observing and recording.

Sorry to be so negative but its the way I feel.

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I hear that guys, but that's if I get 13 children I am doubtful of that; but I mean up to 13 xD ! so meaning even if I have six or eight. Nappy changes are done in the same room sectioned off. The last nursery I ran all my 3 years were nappy free :blink: ! but I understand the concern, so how about......... Ill have CRB volunteers which long term are allowed to counted as ratio! ohh yes and the students.

So Do you guys think things will get worse with early years?.......................cos i dunno if it can get any worse lool, which could mean it can only get better right?..........

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Good luck with the volunteer angle.. there will still be plenty of jobs and things they will not or should not be doing.. and I would not want to leave any volunteer unsupervised or without help at any time.. I am qualified and volunteer at a CC with full crb and am never left with the parents or children without supervision, and am fully aware of all the jobs I am not expected to do.. getting volunteers these days is hard ....

 

as to can it get any harder.. yes it easily could.. parents are already having problems with being able to pay or afford sessions unless funded.. the funding never rises at the same rate as the outgoings like min wage, nat ins, holiday all set by government and need to be paid..and often it does not cover the costs.. never mind the other increases - children attending is an unknown , could be fine for a couple of years and then numbers can drop dramatically.. there are so many variables... .

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well we do seem to be a load of negative norahs Toni! i suspect you are partly right about the business model though..things are bad and i feel set to get worst for the next 18 months 2 years at the least but then who knows!

perhaps you could go down the route of a community pre-school (like teacher tom) and have parent helpers who attend on a regular basis? depends on your customer base of course. I'm afraid nappies for 3 year olds seem to be the rage in our area though :blink: :o <_<

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Hi again yeh you guys are a little negative, wow early years people should be a little more cheerful :P

for reference I copied what the EYFS says about ratio, it is a bit confusing to me but hey thats wat i got from it. Who knows it may all change! well thanks guys! I have to stay positive, I have worked with some brilliant volunteers and have some great ones lined! University students are usually really gud too! I I'll keep you all posted, i am waiting to hear about the funding and how quickly we are able to receive it once we have children. chin up everyone x tone

 

 

Children aged three and over in any registered early years provision

7 Between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm, where a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years

Professional Status or another suitable level 6 qualification (which is full and relevant, and defined

by CWDC) is working directly with the children, the following requirements apply:

■ there must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children;

■ at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification (as defined

by CWDC).

8 At any time outside the hours of 8 am and 4 pm, or between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm but

where a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status or another

suitable level 6 qualification (which is full and relevant, and defined by CWDC) is not working

directly with the children, the following requirements apply:

■ there must be at least one member of staff for every eight children;

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No not negative just very caring practitioners who have the childrens and staffs best interests at heart which is very diificult to do with this age range and just 2 practitioners present for all the reasons mentioned above - but i wish you well...........

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and not debating what the eyfs says.. just is it right for the children..

 

I personally don't think that a 1:13 for this age group is right and good practice.. others may disagree but for me I feel I could not give the care and cover the needs of all the children to the level I would want to with this ratio.. I am all for the 1:8 being across the board including schools for this age group..

 

i am usually positive and looked for the ways around but have seen this coming for many years now.. only way to survive is the 1;13 and I was not happy with that for this age group.. so got out.. now I volunteer.. and enjoy it so much more.. no responsibility and all the fun... and while I could be counted in ratios the CC does not do so and nor did I..

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well I did say up to 13! everyone is entitled to their opinion; I guess it falls into the discuss of class sizes also, but hey the teachers make it work especially in reception where the EYFs is still fully used and free flow is practised!

 

I do not doubt that you are all caring practitioners, I agree with you Cat&mouse about the the 1-8 across the board (as thats why private schools in my opinion do so well.....the smaller classes), and that would be great in an ideal world.

 

I do think we sometimes have a tendency to get caught up in the negatives and sometime forget to look for the positive; for example i mention volunteers someone says their unreliable, i mention money someone says there isn't any, I say up to 13 no one mentions the between!

I am not saying anyone is personally negative we just have been about my post xD ! well Its been fun thanks!

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In theory the 1:13 sounds OK and I know it is applicable when there is an EYP or QTS but I will never understand why these qualifications alter the ratios. Great qualifications they may be but they don't come with an extra pair of eyes, ears, hands! (sorry) We have 16 children at preschool each day (never more than 4 2yr olds) and always have 4 staff sometimes more. Apologies for being negative but even if all our children were 3+ and we had an EYP I would never work 1:13

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xD Ok i hear ya! I guess it also depends on the type of children the last time I did something like that I had 10 but they were chilled out 3 and 4 years I didn't find it too bad at all small setting tho. Perhaps the notion is..... it is expected by the powers that be.the ratio difference is because 3-5 years should be doing slightly more structured play learning.

No I guess it doesn't give you an extra pair of hands but perhaps having those qualification and the experience may give you an edge on how to cope despite not having the extra hands. At least thats what is portrayed or why having like that in the first place :blink: ? Its that whole thing about qualification v quality of service. All setting needing to have QTS or EYP to lead their setting by 2015. controversial. :P

I have to say all risk assessment of the children safely being 1-13 would have to be explored, i mean children with any developmental probs must be taken into consideration changing the 1-13 plan instantly! I get it tho x

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I would wonder about the ratios in these circumstances ... EYFS encouraging freeflow between indoors and outdoors. So, what if 1/2 are outdoors, 1/2 are indoors and then there's a phone call ... or an accident ... or the doorbell goes ... or you need a wee .. or an incident in the garden.... or what if there's a need to put your lost child policy into practice (there'd by one looking and one holding the large fort).

 

As an owner, so I do decide how to spend the money I go for ratio plus a spare pair of hands plus a manager. I know your costings are tight and you won't have 13 from day 1 but still ... I think it sounds like very very hard work ... and the job's hard enough as it is.

 

 

It can, and does, work in Reception but then an extra year - 18 months development (between new 3 yr olds and school starters) is massive at that age (it's another 1/4 of their life!)

 

In my preschool group we have around 30 children, 4 practitioners plus a float, plus the manager spare on site and then mostly me spare as well (EYP and Qualified teacher - I don't count myself in the ratios)

 

Good luck x

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Please dont think people on here are being negative Tonib11, you asked for advice, and as caring practitioners everyone wants to make sure you've thought of all the pitfalls. Lots of us are having financial and staffing problems at the moment so we dont want you to end up in the same boat. As we dont know you personally we have no way of knowing of your experience and skills and in anyones language 1;13 raito is going to be difficult regardless of what the Governent thinks!

I've looked at other EY forums and I believe this is by far the friendliest and most open to debate. I'm sure everyone wishes you good luck and hopes your plans work out :1b :1b

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