Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Sessional Care


 Share

Recommended Posts

We have decided to extend the sessions offered to try and keep a float on the back of these childcare centres being set up in the area.

We are going to start with a lunch club.Have any of you set one up and can you please advise me?

1.Do we need to wait for ofsted to re-inspect? (I am presuming not cos it will be just under the 4 hours so still sessional care)or can we go straight into lunch club?obvouisly letting ofsted know

2.As the funding does not include lunch club untill april next year how much do you charge for this extra hour?in conparison to your session rate that is.

3.How do you go about storing the lunch boxes?

thank you in advance any advice will be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I can't answer all your questions, but I would certainly arrange refrigerated storage of lunch boxes, or at least of 'vulnerable' items, (although this latter would mean a headache in labelling etc!!)

 

I've not been involved in this kind of extension of existing provision, but you would need to consider staffing of this extra, the period of time proposed and whether you might need to recruit more staff, when you consider costing.

 

Sorry I've not been a lot of help, maybe someone will come along soon to really help!!

 

Sue :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

Not sure I am the one to 'really help!' :o

 

It's so long since we started the lunch club ( we have moved on to all day now) I am not 100% sure about Ofsted, of course we notified them but can't recall them inspecting!

 

We have children attending the morning who stay for lunch and then go, chidren staying all day and children attending the afternoon session but coming for lunch - phew! and the charge for the hour is £1:20

 

Storing lunch boxes in a fridge is ideal but not always possible. We stipulate that all lunchboxes must have an ice pack and they are stored in a cool dark cupboard and at our recent ofsted inspection that was fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thank you - we were originally told fridge storage but then realised school (we are next to school) dont but did think about advising cool packs in boxes and we do have a dark cupboard.

I have covered staff but yes do need to check it will pay but on the other hand we will have to offer these extra times so may have to run on a loss for a while.

We will be going on to full days but that will take much more organising so I thought we could at least get a lunch club up and running.

Do you offer it to your pre-school year or also to you 2-2half-3 year olds?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andreamay

You will be strongly advised that storing food in a fridge is preferable-just because the school don't doesn't mean that you don't have to. Have you thought about applying for a grant to buy extras such as a fridge? We got a fair amount, about £3000 in the form of a NOF grant when we extended our hours. this covered buying new equipment and redecorating etc.

The extended hours are open to all children-we also start early at 8.30am. I can't remember the charges off the top of my head-but will be able to let you know.

You have to let OFSTED know that you are changing your hours but they won't come to inspect, unless you are due one anyway.

Ours has been running for about 4 years now and is very successful. It is worth having a go.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Andreamay. I now do the same as Geraldine with children staying varying times .For the lunch time session I charge £1 for 30.mins . About 6 years ago I extended to the lunch time club. This has always popular with parents and children. Before you extend enquire about funding for your project. The lunch boxes are stored in the coolest part of the building.

A new inspection isn't necessary.I notified Ofsted and my group insurers and the EYDCP were involved because they funded the estimated shortfall of income in the first year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI

We are 2 1/2 - 5 and yes we offer it to all children.

 

I totally agree with Linda that storing lunch boxes in a fridge is preferable and if at all possible I would do so but for settings that run in hired premises where everything has to be packed away the practicalities of having a fridge can be problematic.

 

It was suggested at our inspection (only in conversation and not as a recommendation) that in an ideal world a member of staff would unpack all the lunchboxes and arrange the food on individually named plates which were then stored in a fridge until lunchtime.

 

I could see the reasoning behind it but alot of our little ones are quite attached to their lunchboxes and almost view them as a comforter. We also let the older/more able children open their own lunchboxes and they really enjoy doing so.

 

Our Ofsted inspection was in July so the dark cupbaord/ice packs got an 'OK' from them under the new outcomes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition when changing from sessional to full day is there any other essential need or change to make.....

( we actually have the essentials for lunch already!)

 

do you have to offer a rest period or some mats or rest area during the day. Of so do you have set times for this for particular children?

 

Anything else to consider?

 

I believed ofsetd would inspect as a new provision....we would have to go full day as we are open am and pm already with half hour between sessions.

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:D hi

 

we run a lunch club, if under the 4hrs Ofstead dont need to re inspect, if no fridge available as long as you tell parents to put ice packs in the big 'O' are fine with that. we charge £2 for the extra hour...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a lunch club twice a week - had to just notified OFSTED but din't need to be reinspected as only a four hour session. We charge 2.75 for the extra 1 and a half hours and the lunch boxes are kept in te kitchen - no storage for 14 lunch boxes we do ask parents t let us know if any perishable contents - wish I knew a way round this. We only let the over 3's stay as we find it too long a day for the younger ones even some of the 3 years old find it too long.

 

As staff work a 4 and a half hour session we have a debate at the moment about whether they are entitlted to a 15 minute break - any ideas.

 

 

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thank you so much :D I take your point about just cos school dont offer it doesnt mean we dont (fridge space)

it is just that we have a very small kitchen and not enough fridge space and altho it was suggested at first we may get help fund with bigger fridge and altertion it wasnt suggested on closer interest! (is the government funding running out i wonder ) Think we may apply anyhow.

I think we will start with the older children and go from there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inge, when I changed to daycare last year the inspector came to visit me at the end of the session. Children need a place to rest when they wish in a quiet area with cushions or comfy settees.It depends on the maturity of the child as to when we invite them to stay all day. Personally I feel its better to gradually increase the length of session. Children first are invited to stay to lunch at the end or beginning of session, then when they cope with that they may be ready to stay for the day. Daycare is very popular with working parents as it is affordable childcare. Parents only have to fund the lunch time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks bubblejack, seems we could manage easily them quiet comfy area already in place, fridge already in place, staff willing but need to rearrange hours...now just the commitee and ofsted!

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All good advise given and much like my preschool.

 

We are in shared premises, no room for fridge. Our children place their lunch boxes on a table situated next to the snack bar table ( also used for lunch times).

We queried the need for refrigeration with the Local Environmental health officer, he advised that as long as we request ice packs (especially during summer term) this was sufficient. This is detailed in our handbook where we have a section about packed lunches, including suggested "healthy" foods and we disallow chocolate or sweets.

We provide serviettes for the children.

Our cost is pro rata of normal session charge and has just increased to £2.50 for the hour.

 

Good luck with your venture.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. ensure lunch boxes are stored off the floor especially during "ant" season :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were advised by Ofsted inspector to buy some large storage crates for our lunch boxes and put some of our own cool packs in the bottom. We bought the kind of crates that have a hinged lid once full the crates are closed and then stacked. By providing our own icepacks from our small fridge freezer on site we can supplement any coldpacks provided by parents although we advise all parents to provide a cold pack in our termly newsletter. We charge £1 for half an hour and have heard of EYDCP's funding any shortfall in first year. This is definitely firmly on our EYDCP's agenda as our county consider how to meet the flexible delivery of sessions issue!! Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
We have decided to extend the sessions offered to try and keep a float on the back of these childcare centres being set up in the area.

We are going to start with a lunch club.Have any of you set one up and can you please advise me?

1.Do we need to wait for ofsted to re-inspect? (I am presuming not cos it will be just under the 4 hours so still sessional care)or can we go straight into lunch club?obvouisly letting ofsted know

2.As the funding does not include lunch club untill april next year how much do you charge for this extra hour?in conparison to your session rate that is.

3.How do you go about storing the lunch boxes?

thank you in advance any advice will be appreciated.

40015[/snapback]

 

Hi

 

I started a lunch time session a couple of years ago for my pre-school.

 

1.You don`t have to inform OFSTED as long as you are under your 4 hours.

 

2. We currently charge £2.50 which covers the hour.

 

3. We ask parents to put in a cool block as we can`t fit all the lunchboxes in the fridge.

 

Numbers were low to start with but we always covered our minimum staff costs. Numbers built gradually and now we often have to put an extra member off staff on duty as demand has grown.

 

Good luck with your lunch club, it does take some planning and organisation but we found it worth it in the end. It means you are offering another service which helps with the competition and parents really appreciate that extra hour of care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we started a lunch club about 4 years ago. we are in a large hall and have a normal household fridge. we were told that as long as the lunch boxes were in a cool area they would be fine. we keep them in the kitchen which is unheated. we charge £2.50 for an hour and any child can come, we have them from 2 & half. we find it works very well for children that don't eat much at home they tend to eat more with us!!!!!! i wonder why? :o we are now trying to introduce hot meals at £2 a head. great menus and alot of mums seem interested rather than packing lunch boxes. we also had a NOF grant to help us while we built up numbers good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Must have missed this topic when it started, can't think how?

 

We too started a lunch club at Easter, charging £2.50 for the extra 1 1/4 hours. We ascertain demand on a termly basis, first term offered 3 lunch clubs, this term have been able to offer 5 because we collect the newly fledged children from reception class. Just trying to guage demand for next term. We calculated that we needed 7 children each day to cover our staffing costs and we are quite strict about that. Made a small profit last term and a healthy profit this term, which will help go towards our overall costs.

 

It works well, the children enjoy the social interaction. They also enjoy having their own special lunchboxes so glad we decided not to plate up their lunch. We don't refrigerate lunch boxes, some parents put cool packs in their lunches, but I think it would be a good idea to ask all parents to put one in so will add it to our letter to parents. Then after lunch, they have a quiet time, reading, doing puzzles.

 

We start our session five minutes later to keep within the 4 hours for sessional care, otherwise we would have had to provide a separate staff toilet!?

 

All in all, didn't take too much to organise, just a bit more admin for me :o

 

Deb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

we are also considering extending our hours and wondered

 

if offering the the extra hours helped bring in more children to sessions?

 

does it help retain children that may have left to go to local school nursery classes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)