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Dilemma


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Hi

Another dilemma. At the end of July our preschool had more children than we found comfortable and it put pressure on us as key people, having 10 or 11 each. At the committee meeting I brought this up as a problem and committee agreed that when we reach a limit of 8 each we would stop admissions and start a waiting list. Soooooo, we have already reached that limit and have more visits booked in. So, am I legally allowed to say we are full and start the said waiting list even though we would be able to take another couple of children most sessions?

I am thinking of employing another member of staff but this may take a while to take to committee, get agreement, advertise etc etc.

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i think you also have to think of future years - would these extra children be with you for longer?

it could mean that by not taking in these extra children you could be short on numbers next year.

i know what committees are like (we are run by one) so i think you need to get them to agree to a new member of staff asap, even on year contract, that way you can admit these children - and who knows it could be that you could keep them on.

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How many staff, how many children each session?

We have a max of 26 per day (we could go over but I am not going down that route except for real emergencies!)

We have 8 staff that all do a mix of hours. All staff work a max of four days, this keeps us flexible for courses, sickness, staff childcare problems etc.

It works well for us and all staff have 8 children each, occasionally 9, and if staff work less hours they have less children accordingly.

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This is a real eye-opener with how many key children people have! I got so complained at when we had 10 or 11 as we do LJs, on tracks in our own time.

Really like the idea of taking time out to do the LJs but we could only do this if we employ someone else anyway as we are all in ratio. Looks like another meeting with committee then ...

Nobody has mentioned whether we can legally say no in the meantime?

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You can say how many children you are willing to take .. there is no legal requirement to take the max you are allowed to take..

we often used to stop taking children in a particular session if it meant we needed more staff for one child and there was space elsewhere, sort of balancing the numbers and staff... and we used to set max per session at less than the number we were registered for.. only adding to that if we had another staff member to cover..

That said we often used to have 15 key children each.. and one hour a week paid time to do them in the setting.. as we were all part time staff came an our early or stayed an hour late to do them, no paperwork went home.. but we did find time in sessions where the children helped us and joined in with making their own LJs .

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You can set your limits at whatever level you like we are 'registered' (well we were!) for 30 but we operate on 28 per session for this term and we will have 30 next term so that we can be a bit more flexible. Most staff have 10 except part time and senco (who has 2 statemented children at mo)

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I wouldn't turn new children away if you have spaces. You still have all the bills to pay!

What you could do is use tapestry which makes LJ's so easy. No printing photos, cutting and sticking, no post it's. All done at the press of a button and parents love it. Your staff will love it so much they will want 20 key children each!

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Thank you for all your comments and help. After reading how many key children you have I decided to ask my staff to have an extra child each, releasing space for more children and once that number is reached we will close admissions. In my calculations I think every morning will be just about full anyway :)

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