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Extending Hours


hopeytg
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I currently manage a village pre-school and we are really struggling to make ends meet. We are fortunate enough to have our own premises so we are not restricted to opening hours like many village settings. I am

considering our options - having extended our opening hours until 1500 to fit in with the local school, take up has been reasonable but not extensive. I am now wondering if we should open until 1800 ? I do not want to turn into

a nursery but cannot see any other way of increasing our register, I plan to continue to take 2 and over but am not sure where to start.

 

Any advice would be very welcome

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I work in a maintained nursery in the morning but from 11.30 this "changes" to private wrap around provision which includes lunch club, afternoon nursery and after school club. Recently I added breakfast club to my remit too!

 

Our parents have really appreciated the longer hours which have given them more flexibility.

 

However we still lose out some children to private nurseries because we only open 38 weeks a year in line with school.

 

Whilst I think the longer hours would afford your parents more flexibility, it may be that if you are term time only there will still only be a limited up take because of folks needing cover when at work and for more than 38 weeks a year!

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silly question maybe - but where are you in relation to the school? Are you leaving a reasonable amount of time to allow pick-ups from different locations?

 

also, do you have a local newsletter where you could do a questionnaire and ask what the need would be?

 

Is there a toddler group you could 'invade' or invite to an open day?

 

Just a couple of thoughts

 

Good luck

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I'm in a maintained nursery and our sessions are dropping to one from Sept to Christmas as numbers drop. Parents wnat more hours, but a survey of our paretns didn't show enough support for some 'paid' sessions.

Scarlettangel - did you do surveys etc to justify yours? - it's obviously working!!

 

Madmum

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I have been having a similar conversation with our development work from the PLA today. We are one of what feels like the few remaining mornings only pre-school playgroups around. As we are in a church hall and is used by other groups we can't expand into afternoons except for lunch club on 2 days.

 

From asking advice from the powers that be all they seem to want is us open for 52 weeks a year for 10 hours a day!! and if you can't do it then they're no helpl :(

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I'm in a maintained nursery and our sessions are dropping to one from Sept to Christmas as numbers drop. Parents wnat more hours, but a survey of our paretns didn't show enough support for some 'paid' sessions.

Scarlettangel - did you do surveys etc to justify yours? - it's obviously working!!

 

Madmum

Does this mean you are only opening for one session or staff are only working one session each? I ask because we too are drastically short on numbers in the autumnn and not sure how my 'lovely ladies' that work here will survive?? maybe they will go work at Asda or something??? What do you guys do? Its not very fair is it given the amount of commitment everyone gives to our line of work!,

Think its about time the government re- thinks the funding policy along with all the other initiatives they keep sending our way......!! :(

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My hours will reduce by 15 per week as we will only be open for 1 session. Assuming we have sufficient numbers for 2 sessions jan - July, I will then have to apply for the additional hours again as a temporary increase. This means I have no option but to start lookng at other full time jobs elsewhere instead. :( My current afternoon hours are temporary as we had the same situation for last Sept, but I had hoped not to have to keep reapplying! :angry:

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Hi Thumperrabbit

We are in Essex and I don't think there is a low birth rate for 2010 here, I have to be honest we are a term time only Pre-School and I have had to apply to take extra children through Ofsted so that we can clear our waiting list! Obviously this could just be where we are and parents may have been a bit 'busy' a couple of years ago!! :D

 

Kris

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Thanks for all your responses - we are near to the school - 5 mins walk so parents do have time to collect from us and then walk to school, I also run the toddler group so we have good links there. I have thought that if we open until 6 we will also need to open all year which is why I have reservations - with only taking children from the age of 2 (our setting is not suitable for anyone younger) will parents go to the local nursery and stay there? The funding cut is crippling us and I do not know enough about business to find a solution.

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Think 2010 was an average birth rate but 2008 was a high one and that's the year that'll be off to school leaving gaps, if you can hang in quite a few midwives have said 2012 is the biggest planned number of births since the 70s!

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