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Starting up Breakfast and After School care can you help


LKeyteach
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Hi. I have for a few years run a preschool on a school site and have often been approached by parents about the possiblity of running before and after school care. The school has undergone some development in this time and there is a building available to use for this purpose.

My expertise is in early years, what advice can you give me. What problems have you found with registration? What qualities do I look for in a Play worker? Are qualified Play Workers easy to find? What else do I need to know that I have not thought about?

 

Help anyone!!!

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Didn't want to read and run.

 

I did this 3 years ago - like you was on a school site and possibility to expand came along. We went from being just afternoon pre-school to 8am til 6pm 51 weeks of the year now!

 

Just finishing lunch break at the mo so will post again tonight.

 

It was hard work, but definitely worth it :D

 

Cazzag

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Hi!

I have been running Afterschool club since September 2007 and added breakfast club in Autumn 2011.

I also run the private nursery provision on our school site.

 

So all three elements together are called wraparound care!

 

The main issue for us was space!

We started in a "spare" classroom but this didn't work very well. Currently we use the satellite children's centre as our base for breakfast and Afterschool club which has worked very well.

However the building is no longer running as a CC and despite putting a bid in for the building we haven't heard anything.

I had wanted to use the building to provide 2 year old care because the area our school serves has a high ratio of families on FSM and they have nowhere else to access this 2 year old funded care (a whole other story obviously!!)

 

So from September I am not sure what will happen but all of that aside the services have been well supported and I have been thinking of moving into the school holiday cover too!

Our new Head thinks we may be able to have a room in the mobiles from Sep 2014 but we may have to use nursery as our base until then. Not sure!

 

As for registration things have changed since we set up, and separate registration if you will be run by the school is no longer necessary.

 

You will be inspected by Ofsted as part of the school ( as of Sep 2008)

 

Staffing can be tricky. The Afterschool hours don't particularly suit folks because of their own childcare.

My Afterschool club supervisor works in nursery with me then goes through to Afterschool which allows for some continuity for our youngest attendees and it also shows someone to be aware of the EYFS when in the club.

 

Not sure what else to say!

 

I am in McDonalds using their free wifi (on holiday) but if you need any answers to specific questions feel free to PM me! I will get back to you when I can!

 

Good luck!

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Thank you for your replies.

Debbie W & Finsleymaid are you finding the same as me. I guess we have been gifted with EYFS framework to read and follow (and bend to our own interpretations). This afterschool stuff seems based on EYFS but then becomes vague.

  • Policies will be similar with some tweeks because of age & stage of development differences.
  • What do other practitioners do to evidence what the children have done during their time at the club? Don't get me wrong I do not want to introduce a learning journey, but is there a diary or anything similar that works in best practice?
  • I am expecting that children who have had a hard day at school will need a little chill time and then some activity and just as I do with my own children I am expecting to help with homework, have a computer, perhaps a games console. I have a passion for cooking so thought the children may lend a hand with getting the tea ready. As my own children are getting older I have board games that I also think may keep the children amused and build some relationships
  • . I want to create a relaxed atmosphere for after school.
  • How are stafffing issues. I also wondered if it would be difficult to find staff but have already had 3 applications! But what about qualifications? Are there qualifications that are better suited to after school care than others.

 

Oh so many questions. It does sound like I may not have done all my homework! but the more I read the more questions I have.

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sorry Lkteach i think i may have misled you with my response!!

I am pre-school not on a school site ...but directly opposite one.....we are examining ways of using our site more effectively (as the maintenence is ours we have to make some money!) after schools clubs are limited in this area so trying to find out more. I have lots of ideas about what i would like to do but like you it is the practical issues i am struggling with at the moment.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Parents of my out of schoolies say that we have the feel of a youth club. I have offered before and after school care and holiday care for the last five years and in honesty the out of school club causes more problems than the nursery. Our main problem is behaviour - usually when they hit about age nine or ten so you need to have strategies and policies in place for how to deal with it. You also need staff with very firm approach to managing this. I have a mix of younger and and older staff which seems to work well. All my staff receive behaviour management training. Remember that you will also need to risk assess and have a policy for collecting children from school. We collect from 4 schools in the area which is pretty staff intensive so take that into account.

 

I have a mix of playworkers and nursery nurses. I found my level 3 playwork invaluable but do feel it is not necessary for all my OOS staff to have a playwork qualification as there is a lot of overlap in many areas. Unfortunately play and facilitating it does not appear to be covered well in childcare courses so I do carry out the training myself to the staff covering playwork principles, the play frame, play cycle play cues etc.

 

In our last inspection in October the inspector was happy that we focussed on the prime areas for our school age children as I argued that they covered the other areas sufficiently in school and that in general they were covered through the topics we set up but not as detailed next steps. We do have a learning journey for each child but tend to do a lot of joint observations (on Tapestry) but if a child does have problems in a particular area we will focus on that for them. We ask parents to complete a form following parents evening and for a copy of the school report. However, I have heard horror stories from other setings were the inspector has expected a lot more detail and planning for all areas. I know of one child who attended a club for one hour a week and the inspector was not appy that there was not enough focus on mathematics. Many many of our children are only with us for a very short time each week. A few go within half an hour of getting back so there is barely enough time to give them a snack let alone plan for them.

 

Our older children love the air hockey table and football table and making dens. Cookery as always is a favourite as well as woodwork and the PC and wii. Watch out for the parts for your board games though. My lot love guess who. Tennis, badminton and playhouses outside aswell as a large sandpit.

 

Ignore the 'no ratios' for older children as long as their care is not detrimental to the care of younger ones. I still stick to the one to eight as they are harder work as they get older.

 

Check your finances carefully as 4 out of school clubs in our area have closed down as they were not sustainable. It's taken me five years to build my numbers up and finally become sustainable (Largely due to the others closing) so make sure you do a business plan and SWOT analysis as well as sending a questionnaire to parents of pupils. Don't just ask if their child will use you but how often before and after school and during the holidays. Look at the practicalities of cooking for more children. We provide breakfasts, teas and 2 course lunches in the holidays which are pretty time consuming to prepare and I know of many clubs who insist on packed lunches.

 

You will need plenty of outings in the holidays, where will you go, can parents afford extra for trips, where can you go for free, how will you get there, what extra staff will you need?

 

Happy to answer more questions if you have any. Good luck.

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Sn0wdr0p thank you for your advice.

 

To start with I ws planning just to ffer breakfast and afterschool. I did not want to get into holiday provision just yet, but in your experience do you think that this may put off some parents if they are not able to cover the holidays?

Have I understood correctly, you do use a learning journey for the oder children too?

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Sorry everyone, I have arthritis in my fingers and my fingers do not hit all the keys, hence the awful spelling on above post. Think you get the gist though.

No excuse for not checking before posting.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

No LKeyteach learning journeys are just for EYFS children. I certainly think holiday care is a good idea especially from a financial angle. My before and after does not make a great deal as staffing all the school runs is expensive, however, holiday care is what has kept us afloat especially the summer ones as parents are less likely to find alternative care for such a long period of time and this is our busiest time and we can have up to 40 children a day in.

 

Remember when employing your staff you need to plan for flexibility. We have 40 in on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school but only 15 on a Monday and Friday so if I had employed my staff to work every night after school we would be making a loss for two nights.Although quiet times are a good opportunity for deep cleaning, planning and paperwork, supervision meetings etc. I also have staggered starts in a morning as not every child arrives at 7.30am si Ihave two staf in from 7.15am to set up, then another comes at 7.45 and the 8.00am etc. My pre-school staff come in at 8.30am to help with the school runs then come back to set up for pre-school for a 9.15am start.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to let you all know. I applied to Ofsted for registration on the Childcare register. Did it online and because the premises I want to use is on the school's grounds, it took three days to get my certificate!

How quick was that?

 

I am trying to put together sample menus for light teas, if anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate some help.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Just in the throes of trying to advertise for 3 new playworkers to replace those who are leaving in the next 3 weeks (for genuine reasons-mainly for full time jobs) or over to my new nursery room so will try to get some ideas to you over the weekend. I have just created new menus and in honesty I trawled the internet looking at other nursery websites for ideas from their menus. I also refered to The Children's Food Trust guide for out of school clubs and their guidelines for nurseries. It took me quite a while to ensure the menus were nutritionally correct.

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Guest sn0wdr0p

That's if I am still here. Flippin Ms Truss makes me wonder whether it's worth carrying on with my out of school club which offers outstanding play opportunities for children if the local schools are going to open all day!!

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  • 3 months later...

Well I am open!

 

So far all is going well. I have recruited a lovely team who are working well together.

The children seem to be really enjoying coming along.

And I have even survived an inspection during 2nd week of opening (1st week of nursery).

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Well I am open!

 

So far all is going well. I have recruited a lovely team who are working well together.

The children seem to be really enjoying coming along.

And I have even survived an inspection during 2nd week of opening (1st week of nursery).

well done!...keep us informed how it goes....

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Congratulations. Ofsted so soon. How daunting.

 

So sorry I never sent the menus as promised but I have not been on the forum much recently and it slipped my mind. Extremely severe anaemia has affected my memory but fortunately the doctor said it is only short term and medication and an operation soon will sort it. I wonder what else I have forgotten to do?

 

I have only just re-looked at this thread and I am horrified at the dreadful grammar and typing errors I made so many apologies and it will teach me to read before I send posts in the future.

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sn0wdr0p

Do not worry about the menus. You keep yourself well.

Food wise the children have some favourites, we have made pitta bread pizzas, which goes down very well and just plain pasta!

Cheese and crackers are also often asked for. We display the menus and the children read what is on for the week.

It really is a fun job. I recommend to all!

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