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Tapestry

A packaway setting


marley
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HI all

Just been registered (we took over form another pre-school that closed). We are based in a hall and have the usual of not being allowed to leave anything out..not even put anything on walls, got carpet on the floor (still going to do messy play though...just lots of potential carpet cleaning!) and a shed to store everything. Managed to get the hall committee to give us a kitchen cupboard!!

So setting up and packing away is going to be difficult especially as there are only 2 staff. 1 staff to set up and do all checks (me) and 1 staff to pack away (either deputy or myself). 1 staff paid 1 hour for setting up and packing away (incl cleaning). Have to be out of the hall by certain time, has to be spotless etc etc so at the end of the session whilst one staff doing story the other is going to have to start packing away (not ideal) to get it all done. Once the numbers of children build up then there is the potential to get more staff.

Have got some toys in boxes on a small trolley eg construction, art/craft so children can self select but everything else will have to be chosen before hand following childrens interests, next steps, focus activity as just not possible to get everything out. Just wondered how others in this sitaution managed. I have got a "choosing book" with photos of equipment. Limited space in shed woud like to get crates, boxes, tubes etc for deconstructed play but storage an issue. Outside area is very small and again not allowed to leave anything out so set up has to be quick. Displays are currently on large roomd dividers, boards and have to be carried in from shed every day.

Any time saving tips??? How do you manage to do free flow/toilets/nappy changing with 2 staff (had to do lots of risk assessing). Toilets are next door to hall. At the moment we are taking only 3+yr olds but not all will be toilet trained (or maybe in the process).

Not really surprised that settings like this struggle to get outstanding (if you did please tell me how you managed!)

M

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We run a packaway setting with only 2 staff and a maximum of 12 children. We take from 2 yrs. We open at 9am. I arrive at 7:30 in the morning and get out all the large equipment (tables etc.) and then my deputy comes in at 8 and we finish off setting up. We plan what activities we are going to put on the tables at the end of each week for the following week. If the children ask for something different then we do this. They also have the mark-making, maths and discovery area which has lots of self-choice activities for them.

We pack away all the small resources with the children and then while one of us does story at the end of the session, the other one puts all the tables etc. away and then after children have gone we wash up, hoover and sweep. We get an hour after each session to tidy up but doesn't usually take that long.

We don't offer freeflow but we take all the children out every session. Sometimes we don't have time to set up outside so we get out what the children ask for when we go out.

As for nappies, we make sure that only one of us is changing a nappy at any one time, but they are only in the hallway which is adjoined to our room and the children's toilet is viewable too. We try to go toilet when children are sitting for snack or lunch or when they are all busy playing.

We had our first inspection after 2 months of opening and we got satisfactory overall with some elements of good. Last year we had our county council review and got a firm 'good' from them, so hoping for the same from ofsted when they arrive! We get lots of positive comments from parents and grandparents about how we run and they like the fact we know the children so well because we are such as small group.

Hope that helps and good luck with everything :1b

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Hi klc106

Thanks for your reply. Its sounds like we will be running the same as yourself. Its nice to know that we are managing as best as we can. Its also nice to know that you have the support of your parents. An inspection within 2 months of opening! I just hope we get the same lady that did our registration visit. So much to do.......

M

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Hi

we are in a pack away setting as well, for wall displays etc we use large pieces of felt with a bamboo pole through, hung onto hooks and velco displays, childrens art work etc onto it and then roll it up to take it down every day. to put up any posters we use masking tape to stick them up so it doesn t damage the paintwork.

 

We only have half an hour to set up in the morning and when we finish(two of us) but it is manageable as you get into such a good routine and as long as you keep everything tidy when you put it away it is easy to find. Throughout the day the children can choose for anything else to be got out as long as something else is put away first. We do packing away larger items like tables together as otherwise we find that by the end of term everyone has a bad back from lifting all the time.

For nappy changes we can see the toilets from the main hall so its fine. Have you thought of taking a walkie talkie with you for contact if needed or at least to cover yourselves that you know what is going on.

we have large groundsheets for the floor for messy play and under painting activities which saves lots of time on vacuuming carpets.

We managed to get good with outstanding elements from Ofsted but it is hard work.

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Packaway is hard, but who wants to be the same as every other nursery or childrens centre setting.The fact that we are prepared to go through all that at the start and end of each session says something about our commitment to our settings and our children, I think. And I think the fact that there are still parents who choose us for their children rather than following the idea that they're all better off in school nurseries has to keep us going too!

Just remember that your provision will never be stale and boring because you never change anything, like some school nurseries. I know. Not slagging off all school nurseries, by the way.

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Hi and firstly good luck luck with your new venture.

We are also packaway and have been for the last 46 years, yes it's tough but achievable. We have tried over the years to get everything wheelable. So tables are stored on a trolley, we have a mark- making trolley, play-dough trolley, discovery trolley, community play block trolley, and a role play dressing-up trolley? All other items are boxed and we lift them in and out each day.

In the last couple of years we have been most fortunate in receiving a grant, which enabled us to have new storage facilities built internally, instead of in a mousey environment outside. ( true bliss).

We cover the adult size chairs with lovely child friendly fabric to zone off areas.

We also have those cardboard display boards which are light enough to carry in and out but sturdy enough to display pictures, creations etc.

We also have a cloakroom trolley for coats, bags, lunch boxes, this also stores our large carpet on at the end of the day.

The trolleys from Ikea (not cheap i know at £50.00 each) but are truly fantastic and so sturdy.

Other trolleys have been purchased from Norseman Direct.

As for setting up, we have 3 staff in at 8.0clock most days, the other 3 staff start at 8.30. We open at 9.0clock.

Not sure about the toilet situation as we have enough staff to cover this.

Good luck.:)

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Hi and firstly good luck luck with your new venture.

We also have a cloakroom trolley for coats, bags, lunch boxes, this also stores our large carpet on at the end of the day.

The trolleys from Ikea (not cheap i know at £50.00 each) but are truly fantastic and so sturdy.

Other trolleys have been purchased from Norseman Direct.

Good luck.:)

Hi Fredbear I would be interested in knowing which trollies you use?

£50 for saving your back is always worth exploring and this for me in a packaway setting is a MUST!!

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I too would recommend trolleys to save your backs..we have most free choice activities accessible from trolleys. Round tables are good because they can be rolled into position.

We use rolls of wallpaper for our displays which are suspended between the metal supports of the frame of the building and we use very strong magnets to secure them. They do get damaged quite quickly..so we freshen up our displays reguarly which is no bad thing.

good luck..it is the most satisfying thing to set up in the morning.....not so good to pack it all away again.

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Hi they are called Raskog kitchen trolleys. Not huge but amazing how much you can get in them. ( You do have to assemble them). They come in a aqua blue, grey and now a beige. They are similar in size to a vegetable rack one but so much stronger. We wheel ours outside and indoors daily and oh forgot we also have one for the bathroom area, it holds paper towels, wipes, nappy sacks, aprons, gloves and changes of clothes.

Definetly one of our best investments.

Our other trollies are a cloakroom trolley this is rather large, it has a rack at the top, pegs either side and three square boxed effects for storage. We keep changes of clothes in one, wellies in another and lost property in another.

We also have a salad cart trolley for self serve snack, fab product too.( both these are from Norseman direct, much dearer but great products.

Just a tip look online for revamped supermarket trollies too. I was able to buy some when woolworths sadly closed down.

Got to save our backs as much as we can.:)

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