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finleysmaid
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evening all!

I am having a bit of an issue and wondered if you could help?

we are in the fortunate position this year of being very busy...i have 45 children on the waiting list for 26 places.

We allocate according to age order and then in to 4 categories

local area and sibling

local area

sibling

wider area

I have had two complaints this week because we have not given parents what they want (one no place the other afternoons because i dont have any mornings left!).

I'm happy that my policy holds up but i wondered if i'm missing a trick....anyone got any fullproof method to sorting out this issue?????

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Hi Finleysmaid,

 

We just hv a first come first served approach! Put them down on the register for the start of next term and fill up the spaces as we go! We do ask our regulars if they want more hours before we give them away though.

 

Hope this helps

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Oh I remember those days when I used to have this problem how I hated it - but would actually like to have it now!, anyway I digress

Ours is (not that it's needed anymore!)

Sibling currently attending the setting so those who had an older sibling who was leaving us (usually to go to school nursery) didn't get in on this!

Age - eldest first so that we potentially got 3&4 yr funding as these were (and still are) the only children who attend for the full amount of hours

Distance from the setting

Date on the waiting list

Then we had a footnote saying that priority would be given to those who lived in our village - this is because our landlords felt very strongly that the miniscule rent we pay is for the children of their village (we are a village/church hall) and actually I agree with them (for once!)

Good Luck it's not easy, we reviewed our policy in May/June time every year with the committee to ensure that it was a fair system but it always was a major topic

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Hi Finleysmaid,

 

We just hv a first come first served approach! Put them down on the register for the start of next term and fill up the spaces as we go! We do ask our regulars if they want more hours before we give them away though.

 

Hope this helps

Humm not sure this would work for us as i never know how many spaces i am going to have available (due to children not getting school places/sen staying on etc) also i have people putting names down at birth so i have to somehow run a list (current youngest on list 8 week old twins!!!)

Can you tell me how you would deal with these cases please :1b

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Earliest date of request for a place gets to choose first could perhaps be next category?

so would that be per term? ....so deal with the children who are old enough to enter each term first??? (gosh im getting myself confused now!)

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Then we had a footnote saying that priority would be given to those who lived in our village - this is because our landlords felt very strongly that the miniscule rent we pay is for the children of their village (we are a village/church hall) and actually I agree with them (for once!)

Good Luck it's not easy, we reviewed our policy in May/June time every year with the committee to ensure that it was a fair system but it always was a major topic

we really want to try to encourage locals too....it makes a difference when we are applying for grants which we need to pay for extras...plus i want us to be seen as a community charity.

Headache coming on!

and yes i know i am in a very fortunate position...location is very busy and not much competition for session pre-schools which is what my parents want!

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so would that be per term? ....so deal with the children who are old enough to enter each term first???

Two parents wish for their child to start Jan 15. Parent X contacted you in March and parent Y in May. X gets the place.

Edited by Wildflowers
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Whatever you do there will always be someone who is not happy or misses out..

We were in a position where we could not keep a place open for more than a couple of weeks waiting for a child to reach the entry age so had to fill with age first.. if there was a place and they wanted it we filled it.. financially we could not survive with too many empty spaces..

We did however have a few exceptions, like others siblings in the setting already.. unfair on parents to try to get children to 2 settings.. at the same time..

Our waiting list was no more than 6 months to a year max.. we did not add any until they were within a year of starting... but that was locality, in the village they take the names earlier.. for us many moved or vanished before starting if we took th names too early.. or went somewhere else... a big issue was putting names on a list for 3 or 4 settings! we did end up at one time taking names etc no more than 3 months in advance.. that worked the best for us...

we had parents increasing hours first before allocating any places..

then age first ..siblings in setting... no others- locality was not one as some used to come miles to us out of choice and being in a town location not rural made a difference..

All parents were told no matter when we took names and details we could not guarantee a place but would accommodate them if we had spaces available.. this was also on a letter I sent to each person when they put names down, giving a brief outline of our policy , always by post, not email.. a sort of address check.. on back was the if not known at this address return to... surprising how many did get returned ;)

all you can do is have a policy you are happy with, and stick to it...

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We do save places,once they have signed the registration form, their child's name is added to the register. Some times a month in advance. We always seem to fill it if not

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We have in ours too priority if they use us exclusively - if they share with another setting then they lose out. Also, amount of hours, a child wanting 9-12 would lose out to a child wanting 8-5 (not sure if that's applicable to you?) I would have a date - so say June 30th, all places for sept decided then, if they put them down earlier they are told it's provisional, that's what we do! Oh but children already attending have spaces form before then so they get first priority (unless they share then they may lose their place)!

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I so feel your pain. We agonise over this time and time again.

My frustration this week must be arriving for a home visit after informing them of it nearly three weeks before.

Also hand delivering the pack for filling in prior to arriving.

No answer wait for approximately fifteen minutes, then ring the mob number, no answer, leave a voice message and then travel on to next appointment.

My phone rings to be told, well I couldn't possibly have been there as I work ( well my crystal ball wasn't working), no message to say I wouldn't be able to have it which wouldn't have been a problem of course.

The parent then states well you have given them afternoons and that's not suitable, as well as you told me you only give mornings to the younger children (that certainly wasn't us ), they then conclude well I've got to go as I have a client, no apology , no phone call back, as you can imagine a little cross to say the least.

I think I would always try to accommodate in DOB order, as some may never get in other wise.

Have a lot not registering for a space anywhere recently then expecting an immediate place which is just not possible.

We try to be as fair as possible within our admissions policy, but it's getting harder as places are more scarce.:(

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We have this problem this term, will also have it next term - financially it's a good place to be, but a parent made an official complaint against me as I was unable to offer more than 1 session a week for this term ! Apparantly I was picking and choosing ! - she didn't like my explanation that we have a waiting list, and sessions are being booked months in advance, and that we had already explained this to her in the autumn term when she first enquired ( but then didn't bother to come back to us until Easter !)

We work on a first come , first served basis - we have sessions already prebooked for January !

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so if the may child was a sibling would you let them in first

Yes, siblings of children currently attending has higher priority.

Here is our policy:

When requests outweigh places available, priorities for admission will be:

• children attending in the morning to stay for full sessions

• existing children increasing their number of days per week

• earliest starting date

• siblings attending at the same time

• children attending the most number of sessions per week

• earliest date of application

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Tricky situation.

When a child registers we give them a number and therefore can track who has registered first. We then offer places according to waiting list.

we have had a problem when a parent of existing child did not register younger child and I had not caught onto the age of second child. By the time parent made me aware I had no places left! I think having a sibling rule is a good thing, perhaps now need to review my admissions policy.

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  • 1 year later...

this is a bit old now but trying to re-write our admissions policy, I'm fed up with children joining because their own pre-school doesn't take them as young (different county as right on the border) so we do all the hard 2 yr old work for them to go back to their own when 3, we are on a school site which they have no intention of wanting to go to, my question is are people including catchment areas in their admissions policies like schools ? I'm now at point 9 in the order to allocate available spaces, mainly needing to this due to hardly any room left and I see trouble on the horizon if i we don't get a watertight policy in place quickly, I also don;t want to be giving sessions to children who are different county (I know that seems really un-inclusive) who have no intention of wanting to go to the school who's site we are on meaning the ones who do can't increase their hours or may get to the point where they can't even have a place :-/

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this is a bit old now but trying to re-write our admissions policy, I'm fed up with children joining because their own pre-school doesn't take them as young (different county as right on the border) so we do all the hard 2 yr old work for them to go back to their own when 3, we are on a school site which they have no intention of wanting to go to, my question is are people including catchment areas in their admissions policies like schools ? I'm now at point 9 in the order to allocate available spaces, mainly needing to this due to hardly any room left and I see trouble on the horizon if i we don't get a watertight policy in place quickly, I also don;t want to be giving sessions to children who are different county (I know that seems really un-inclusive) who have no intention of wanting to go to the school who's site we are on meaning the ones who do can't increase their hours or may get to the point where they can't even have a place :-/

yes have just put in a new catchment which favours children from our local community rather than across the 'border' we have set ours the same as the local schools ...so I don't believe this causes an issue

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thanks finleysmaid...I have asked parents to refer to our local primary school catchment area on our county admissions site.

 

I might need a point 10 (well it rounds it up) to include children out of catchment who have a sibling already in our local school and then they may be at school by the time I've figured out if they can have a place or not lol ...so many scenarios :-/

 

It's really the 2 yr olds coming because their own village ps doesn't take them that are taking up, as it's committee run I feel like telling them to get on their committee and change things is they don't it.

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Oh to have this problem!!! :(

We're losing a session due to low numbers ( and thus half my job) because people want full day care not 3 hours a day ( according to our Head)

I think this is an issue for schools, as they are (in my experience) so reluctant to be flexible with their attendance patterns and hours It's school hours, 5 x half days or nothing. I know that there are reasons but if the point of funded hours is to support working families then workers usually have to be in work for a day!! many of my schools are starting to consider offering additional paid hours to sustain their staffing costs and places.

Cx

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Curious that no-one has SEND or LAC as criteria? (Not for 2's obviously as this would give them funding) These are high up on school admissions policies.

 

Cx

most SEND children not diagnosed until they've been to pre-school (even if they have a genetic condition!)

LAC children are usually funded two's so get higher priority on my lists (up to 8 per session only max though)

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The Lac and Send children are in 'exceptions' to the other 10 points Catma ....though to be honest we are struggling to support an increasing number of send children within normal ratio's as well as 2 yr olds, and even when ratios allow you can't take anymore because of the demands on staff ......everything seems to be about 'school readiness' at the moment ....when is someone going to get that we don't have the b****y time or manpower to get the 4 yr olds school ready anymore ?

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Totally agree with that ----- my staff are stretched to their limits...seems as though the onus is now completely on us to attend to all childs needs.....even some 4 yr olds in nappies......how can they ever be school ready if not toilet trained....and the parents dont seem bothered ???

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For the purpose of my admissions policy yes, as it's often not until the children have started that we find out they have issues whether behaviour or development as it wasn't mentioned by parents and they tell us the 2yr HV check raised no concerns, these are the ones that have staff run ragged ....I'd like to add something along the lines of 'If it is found that your child needs support above required ratio expectations we will......' But I don't know what we will or even can do about it other than what we already do, which is seek advice/support with parents agreement, but ultimately they demand a high level of support.

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Our waiting list is children who are too young to start. Our starting point is the term after the 2nd birthday (same as 2 year funding). I put them into order of term of starting. Existing children have priority over available hours (especially the ones going into school that year), then I look at the waiting list for the next term, in age order, and try to accomodate their choice of hours. If this is not possible, try to share the hours as fairly as possible. Summer term can be tight, especially when the local primary school is going to get children who have attended other settings. We tend to get phone calls from parents who decide that they want their child to come for 3 hour session once a week to make friends. We are normally 'full' by then!

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Our waiting list is children who are too young to start. Our starting point is the term after the 2nd birthday (same as 2 year funding). I put them into order of term of starting. Existing children have priority over available hours (especially the ones going into school that year), then I look at the waiting list for the next term, in age order, and try to accomodate their choice of hours. If this is not possible, try to share the hours as fairly as possible. Summer term can be tight, especially when the local primary school is going to get children who have attended other settings. We tend to get phone calls from parents who decide that they want their child to come for 3 hour session once a week to make friends. We are normally 'full' by then!

so therefore you have no criteria apart from age....what happens if a sibling cant get in or a child who lives next door to the pre-school? And does it matter when they have put their name down (at birth or the week before starting???)

We tend to be full by September or at the least January...absolutely no chance of a space by easter! Also all of mine have to do at least 3 sessions.

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