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So stressed!


klc106
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Hi All,

 

We are a pre-school in a VERY small village and opened in September 2011 with 2 children.

Okay, so over the last week we have been trying to think about the new school year and how we will manage. We currently only have 11 children on role and half of those are going to school in september, the other half will only be doing 1/2 days a week.

 

So basically we can't stay open where we are as we would not have anywhere near enough income to pay staff and the rent for the building let alone anything else!

 

We approached local schools about moving to there or purchasing a mobile to place on their grounds and they have all said this is not possible. One did say yes and has now changed their minds.

 

We did consider going as a partnership and buying an established nursery as there are a few for sale within the county but are unsure as to what this entails regarding getting a mortgage etc.

 

We are both totally stressed out about the future and the fact we could both be out of a job! We get on and work so well together so are looking for options of going as a partnership in what ever we could do.

 

Sorry for the long post!

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I know someone locally who used to run what she called a home preschool, same hours etc but ran it from home with childminding ratios.. was very sucessful, We often had children attend us and her setting and it worked really well.. she did it alone but no reason why it could nto be dont that way with two fo you in partnership.

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I knew someone who set up a Montessori Nursery, with staff, but did it in her own home so therefore as a childminder. She was hugely successful (although put a few childminder noses out too!!) Also, when I was a childminding mentor I was mentor to two people who set up as childminders in the home of one of them. They had previously worked in a local nursery running the pre-school room between them. They also did very well, although it took a while for them to get enough customers to be viable. Could be worth thinking about...?

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I assume you have asked your health visitor to let parents know you have spaces?? Advertised at local parent and toddler groups/children's centres/doctors/healthclubs/libraries/schools( including secondaries..staff and some pupils have children!)local businesses/churches/garages/shops........

so, then try Saturday workshops and invite local press in, hold first aid/hygiene etc courses for parents....do a car wash/boot sale..........ANYTHING to get your name out there. Give the first session free ( but only if they book more, paid for, sessions).

Come on girls, don't give up, you have come too far!!

another one.could you let the local toddler group come in on a day they are closed themselves ( some shut for half term and parents still like to get out?) that way, they come in, see how lovely you are and book up with you :)

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Thanks everyone :1b Narnia- we don't plan on giving up just yet- we will try the things you said. We will be making a final decision in the summer term. Will also discuss the childminding option with my deputy too.

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Are any of the schools taking on the funded two year olds but have yet to finalise the dynamics...Or are in two minds and would decide if they had two fab people running the provision for them??!

 

Counties are going to be working hard to place all these children in September, there has to be some scope for a business venture via this

 

Could you speak to the person dealing with the issue in your LA and find out who, if any, is teetering on taking on the twos but is needing people

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Could you collect from local villages?

 

I used to work as a childminder along with another childminder in her home and we used to provide nursery education from there. It will certainly keep overheads down.

 

My nursery is struggling to survive so we have invested and expanded our provision for 2 year olds in the hope that we will get a good number of them who we hope will then continue with their 3/4 nursery education with us.

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Building on Narnia's toddler group suggestion - could you start a 'stay and play' mum/dads/etc and baby/toddler session - just charging £1 to cover snack - that way you'll get families in the door and hopefully they may see how fab you are and sign child up for pre-school ?

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Are you open 5 days a week - are you able to cut the days you are open until the numbers build ?

What age range do you take - are you able to take younger children ?

Speak to your LA, contact your HV or children's centre....let them know you are there and you have spaces

Do your children also go to other settings , if so try to find out why.....are you able to offer what they are finding elsewhere.

If your children are not going to other settings , are the using their full entitlement , if not... Find our why.

Ask your parents what else you could offer to extend their sessions

Advertise, local shops, post offices, supermarkets, caves, posters on lamposts !! , are you visible to passing trade....put up banners, sandwich boards, hand out flyers at supermarkets or go around the car parks placing them under wipers.

Posters or a big display in your gp surgery,

Ad in the local paper...make it a positive piece about your settiing....don't focus on your low numbers

Can parents easily contact you, have you a website, Facebook page, contactable telephone number

I make sure I wear my preschool t shirt around the village and make myself known to the locals, keep a few business cards in my pocket to hand out to passing parents with children lol !!!

Have an open day or hold a spring fare or fete, does the village hold any events you could go along to and have an info table, do face painting or children's activities

Do you have a parish council, let them know you have a great setting in the village.

 

Can't think of anything else at the mo !

 

Good luck

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Thanks Fimbo. We are planning to get together on monday and plan exactly what we are going to do so will use lots of your ideas. :1b

 

We are not visable to passing trade which doesn't help. And we open for 15hrs a week which we can't cut as we will have one child who is funded for the 15hrs.

We take on children from 2yrs.

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Just noticed I suggested you advertise in 'caves'.........meant cafe ! , saying that, if you have a nearby cave poster it lol !

What are ur opening hrs, eg - do u open for 5 x 3 hrs sessions...wild u be able to open for 3 x 6 hrs....therefore keeping ur 15 hrs, but offering longer 'day' care for those who want / need it ?

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We open: Monday 9-12, Tuesday 9-3, Wendesday 9-12 and Thursday 12-3. Tuesdays and Thursdays are our busiest days so an option I was thinking of was opening afternoons instead of mornings? The playgroups in neighbouring villages only open 9-12 everyday

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We open: Monday 9-12, Tuesday 9-3, Wendesday 9-12 and Thursday 12-3. Tuesdays and Thursdays are our busiest days so an option I was thinking of was opening afternoons instead of mornings? The playgroups in neighbouring villages only open 9-12 everyday

Strange, Tuesday and Thursday are by far our busiest days too!

 

We are going through exactly the same thing as you too, think its a sign of the times.

i feel more and more parents are going back to work and therefore need full daycare, if they aren't going to work then Pre-school is a bit of an extravagance.

That and the school nurseries taking them the day they turn 3 so people don't think it's worth doing anything in the child's 2nd year, this h as hit us very, very hard.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That's good news, but for future have you thought about a banner outside so passing cars can see you? We bought one from Vistaprint, cost about £85 but bought in 2 funded children the first term so it was worth the money.

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YAY!! We have got enough children registered for September to be able to stay open!!

 

We are so happy! Will definatley sleep better tonight! :1b

 

That's fantastic news!!

Just out of interest how many children do you need, to know that you'll be able to stay open?

I'm sure as well more will come along in September as they turn 2yrs.

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That's fantastic news!!

Just out of interest how many children do you need, to know that you'll be able to stay open?

I'm sure as well more will come along in September as they turn 2yrs.

 

We only needed 11 children :1b

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