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Preschool Staffing


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Hi

Just sat wondering how other preschools organise their staffing as historically preschools have lower numbers of children in September and work up throughout the year. So, my question is how do you staff in September? Do the staff have set days and you run at a loss during the quieter months?

 

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Actually we have to have less staff in and I have lost so many good staff because of it. Luckly the last few years have been better so mostly they still have a fair amount of hours but nothing like spring and summer terms. It's horrible unfair and I am continually asking the committee to change this!!!! :(

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Our staff contracts state hours as 22.5 but may be 13 depending on numbers of children. About 10 years ago we had 1 child in our afternoon sessions and that's when the committee of the day decided to have the reduced hours included. We've never used it since but staff are aware its always a possibility.

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In the past my staff have had reduced hours in September, this was written in to their contracts and they quite liked the extra free hours after a hectic summer term.

We've been full this year so there was no relaxing for them!

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We all reduced hours this September for the first time as I was concerned about sustainability. It has always been in the contracts but this was the first year that I had to use that clause but by middle of October everyone was back up on normal hours. I was just very honest with staff and discussed the low numbers and the options (which could have been one member of staff made redundant) and they all accepted that they could all keep their jobs if everyone dropped a few hours temporarily.

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we always had what woudl now be classed as zero hour contracts.. so hour according to needs of the setting...

 

we all reduced hours in September.. as the option was to make one redundant or all reduce hours.. was always very open with all staff about finances and costs etc.. so all were happy to do this.

We used to do it in consultation with all staff so all reduced same % of hours where we could..

usually by jan we were back to full staff.

We did had a bit of flexibility as we would work with the children's needs and if we found it difficult would have high staff ratios for a while if needed, so when settling in a large number we would increase staff and then once settled return to lower ratios.. staff understood all this and worked with us .. knowing they would get the hours as soon as we could afford it.. it also meant they promoted the setting at every chance they could knowing more children meant they got the hours!

Not ideal but with a limited income, set by the funding we received was the only way we could cover costs and break even..

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Thanks for all your replies.

I have 2 permanent staff with set hours so with me in ratio that covers days until numbers pick up and then another member of staff on a flexible hours contract. This causes me some problems as she also works elsewhere and so sometimes cannot fit in exactly what we would want (and I really understand about her needing this secure other job). I would really love to be able to offer her set hours too so seems my only option is to carrying on building up the preschool I've just taken over and work work work like mad to get those little bums on seats so I can!

 

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We run with 3 staff min however the way things have gone the last few years if they are the same in sept I have no choice but to reduce hours however it is stated in our contract that may reduce to 10, we currently do 20.

 

We really have no choice

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I need to reduce hours once the children are in!!

As we are total packaway we need all hands on deck at set-up and close-down however with the number of children I don't need all the staff - can't win ;)

That i do know... but was lucky in that in the morning we paid a cleaner to clear up all the other hall users mess before we could set up, so she used to stay for half hour extra and be paid to help set up... and end of day had a staff member collect from local school so she would be paid half hour to come in and help close down if we needed it... all came back to staff goodwill a lot of the time.. to help when needed and keep us open when numbers were low.. as soon as we could they came in full shifts. they all knew excatly the finances and running costs .. which helped.

 

the other was was being committee run we had one come in to help set up and close... that lasted a short time .. they preferred to pay staff to do it!

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