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starting a Year N class


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One of our local pre-schools has closed as the council decided to knock their building down, and the others locally are full and have healthy waiting lists.

We would like to cater for some of the children by opening a Year N class - looking at 20 children and two sessions so 40 a day.

I envisage one session from 9 - 12, the second from 1 - 4 to cater for the free 15 hours. I have a room with a small outdoor space I can use, though Year N would need to share toilets with Year R. This worked when we had Year N before, but that was about ten years ago.

 

I would really appreciate a heads up for any pitfalls those of you who are experienced in providing a Year N currently could warn me about.

Many thanks

 

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My first thought is your opening hours. If the Nursery children don't finish until 4, this may be inconvenient for parents (depending what time the school finishes). We only have a morning Nursery and have wrap-around child-care in the afternoon, however, other nursery classes local to us that have 2 sessions usually start a little earlier than the school, have a half an hour break in the middle (with the teacher being covered for another half-an-hour or paid more) and then the other session.

I can't see a problem with sharing toilets as long as they are close by for toileting issues.

Would you offer lunchtime as an extra? Would you offer full days?

Green Hippo xx

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Thanks Green Hippo - I am concerned about finishing out of synch with the school, but still would need the 3 hours - your starting earlier idea would help with that.

I am not intending to offer lunchtime (already a tricky time in school!) or full days, just the 15 hours a week, though what will happen if the 30 hours free is brought in is another minefield!

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I'm not school but awhile a local school did what you are thinking having a total break at lunch and it didn't attract enough children - it did in for the morning sessions but not the afternoon sessions and they ended up closing the 'stand alone' afternoon session and making it 'wrap wround' as Green Hippo suggests, it's now absolutely packed as it's more attractive to working parents.

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I think tweaking the hours so 830-1130 then 12-3 will make it more in line with school hours although there would be the view of considering wraparound care which could be potentially done, obviously you would need extra staff midday to cover staff breaks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We do 8:30-11:30 and 12:30-3:30 but offer flexible drop off in the morning so those with school age children can drop off around the same time as school starts at 8:50 and we do a flexible pick up so they can pick up at 3:10 after school lets out. They let me know at the start of the session if they are doing earlier pick up so that a NN can take them to our outside sensory room and they can be picked up from there - this avoids the other children being disrupted. I have about 6 or so who use the early pick up some of the time - on warmer dry days they often leave them until 3:30 but in bad weather they (understandably) don't want to hang around in the cold for 30 mins between school and nursery end times.

 

My only other thought is that my afternoons only just manage to get lunch in before a 12:30 start, I think a 12-3 session would be tricky unless you were feeding them more than a snack!

 

Mel

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