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requirement to have 2 year olds in playgroup


Buttercup
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Just wondered what every one else is doing. We are a playgroup and offer sessions for 3-4 yr olds 3, 4 and 6 hrs each day. our 2yr olds get 2 hrs tues, weds or thurs 1-3pm.

With the introduction of 2 yr funding we are required to offer a minimum of 2.5hr sessions and up to 15 hrs per wk.

We cannot do this without messing up what we provide successfully for our 3/4 yr olds.

We are being pushed and pushed. We are not a nursery. yes we do offer places for 2 yr olds but it is more of a getting used to playgroup session. We do not have the facilities or room for anything else.

What are others doing?

buttercup

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Similar se t up to you I suppose, we made the decision not to accept two year olds, our youngest are two and a half and we only have a few, currently 2. Their needs are so different, we preferred to concentrate on our 3 and 4's. The LEA would not be able to pressure me enough to change my mind

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We only take children from 2 and a half and only allow them to have two sessions a week, this was added to our policy when we had so many of them that we needed to ensure that everyone had a chance to experience some sessions. I would not want to take two year olds in our current set up as I honestly do not think we could provide for them properly. We do find it very difficult sometimes to balance the needs of the younger and older children.

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I feel your pain buttercup.....and I did sucome to pressure from above (what a wimp) to take 2 year olds on funding, then others, even with our ratios correct they are a whole new ball game...and I really worry about what our 3/4 year olds are missing out on now because of the levels of support the 2's need, it's definately detracted from the things we used to do in our pm, mainly school year groups :( I honestly think this will come back and bite the government in the arse later on when settings like ours are sending children into school not where they used to be.....I am in the process of talks with committee to limit the damage ;p

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Stick to your guns! I work in a preschool which is one large hall from age 2 to 4+Years.Its a pack away setting with no outdoors.I personally think it doesn't work in one large room. It's hard to provide activities and resources that are challenging for 4 year olds yet safe for two year olds. Some of our two year olds attend for six hours a day, there is no where for them to sleep. All staff work extremely hard but at times it seems chaotic.

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Thank you Panders and Zig Zag totally agree with what you say and that is exactly what I want for my setting. My dilemma is that I am feeling so pressured from LA and if we dont provide will we slip behind other settings in area.

buttercup

Thing is your LEA will try to pressure because they HAVE to provide this service in their area, however, not all settings have to do it if you are uncomfortable, leave to others in the area - who knows, you could of course, expand and find new premises to start a 2 year old unit to feed into your current setting. In my opinion, Settings need to be 2 year old friendly and if they are not no amount of inducements (£5. per hour in our part of the world) will do the trick.

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Welcome Jo43, you're right its 'chaotic' .....and one of our strengths parents and visitors comment on is how calm it always seems for how many children we have ...but I feel that's gone right out the window at the moment and add to that an sen child that just picks up and drops everything in his wake on the floor 'chaos' is definately the right word :(

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We are one of those of us in the 'one big hall' set up with no outside area.

For us the main issue is simply they have know where to progress to- meaning if they do 15 hours at 2, by the time they are reaching 4 they are climbing the walls as they've outgrown the resources - which have to be mainly on the younger end- due to taking 2 year olds!

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We are in a large pack away hall. We take 2 year olds but limit their attendance to 2.5 hours. We start them at 2 sessions a week and gradually increase their sessions the same as we would for an older child and parents have to come in and settle them in at each session. We have focus activities for all the children that continue throughout the week so the older children do not lose out in any way in fact I feel that they gain because they take the younger ones under their wing. We make circle times very short and younger ones do not have to join in but they usually do after a few weeks.We don' t find the younger children are too disruptive. They do sometimes throw things on the floor but when encourage to pick it all up they soon learn not to do it. We do have an early years advisor that checks our setting for suitability. We make sure that we have lots of sensory activities which engross the younger children and we have a staff member that ensures that the planning caters for the 2 year olds. At the moment our garden is flooded so we are finding that the 4year old boys need to be watched and engaged more than the the 2 year olds because our outdoor area area is flooded.

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We have 2-4 year olds in one room and it is sometimes difficult to find/create challenging resources for 4 yr olds that are also suitable for 2 yr olds. However, it is manageable with some creativity and hard work!

We wouldn't manage financially if it wasn't for our 2 year olds coming, some for 15 hours a week!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have a child who is entitled to 2 yr funding (which we claim 3 hrs) they also attend another setting diff county, they are a 'good' setting, registered for 2-5 yr olds, but parent has asked me why she can't use her funding there ( they do 3 yr funding ) but I don't know the answer, can you take 2 year olds but not claim their funding if they've been given it ......anyone ?

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we take 2 year olds , our choice no pressure from anyone , it works for us , yes it can be hard going at times but so can the older ones too ! , we allow them to do the whole 3 hour as the interruption would cause untold chaos. They are coping and have settled really well and we are getting many more enquiries but I am only offering afternoons now as we don't want so many we feel we can't cope. We split the age groups for group activities and do have the use of another room off of our hall to use. I guess the real noticeable added work is the nappy changing .

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Hi

We used to take children from 2:9, then lowered it to 2:4 and two years ago lowered it to 2:0.

We have one main room, an office and an outdoor area, We have 2, 3,and 4 year olds together ...however I do take the two year olds to a sectioned of area for half an hour per session for some quiet time/activities. It was hard work at first but now it runs smoothly. It works well in my setting but we have had to overcome many hurdles - staff were not keen, an area for nappy changing was needed, tables and chairs needed to be smaller, new resources were needed, staff needed training to name just a few.

 

I don't think its fair any setting should feel pressured into taking 2 year olds. We have found that the children who start with us at 2 stay with us until school so it is good from a finance point of view.

 

Carol

I

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We also find that the children that start with us at 2.0 are more able in all areas when they go to school They often join in through choice with the group activities for the older/ more able children.Even if they only attend for 1 session a week they go home singing new songs, their speech develops so quickly and they often start using the toilet.Parents are amazed at their progress and learn that their toddler is very capable and they encourage them more at home.Parents attend our stay and play sessions once a month and get new ideas of things to do at home.I really enjoy having them especially as they are with us a long time and its so rewarding to see their progress over the years.

Edited by bubblejack
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  • 1 month later...

We take from 2 years and have since before the introduction of 2 year funding as we were struggling with low numbers. They can have a max of 5 3 he sessions the same as any child. Just work ratios to ensure we are never understaffed.

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