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Temperature


hali
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Hi,

as a lot of you know i run a charity run pre school ina church hall, we are forever complaining about the heating as it is usless.

 

In Nov 05 chair wrote a letter to hall trusties complaining about the temp beiing under the regulations.....

 

Last night we had a committee meeting and i took the readings from the hall temp sice Nov 05 along, the warmest it has got in hall is 68.... more normal 60......,....

 

i said this was way below the regulations and really we were breaking the law by opening, but all they said was 'oh dear'....

 

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?????? (sensible ideas only please i can come up with all the others.... seriously though would like some thoughts on this!!!!!) :D:D:D:D:D:D

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Guest tinkerbell

Do you pay extra for electricity Hali?

If not could you buy some SAFE electric heaters and bump up the heat yourself!

Good luck Tinkerbell

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I also run a preschool in a church hall and this has also become a problem for us, I have a committee meeting in two weeks time and willtake some reading between now and then. Another concern of mine which has surfaced today is the cleaning of the hall. It is cleaned once a week albeit not that well. Today myslef and two other staff members spent nearly four hours cleaning it - its not our job but we had to close today because of staff shortages so we took the time to do this. I have been looking at the new Ofsted inspections - it suggests we have our premises cleaned daily !! This is really out of our control. I hope our committee will listen to me and act but I am not sure .

Today I had complaints because I had to close because I was below my staff ratios, parents said they weren't worried and could not understand why I could not muddle through. It didn't matter that I could lose my registration and then where would I be. It is the first time I have had to do this in the three years I have been running the group and I am told the first time in the groups history and I di not do it lightly.

 

Sue

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tinkerbell, w dont pay electric but its storing the heaters... Smiles we have the same problem with cleaning as our hall only gets cleaned once per week, we spend time doing it the rest......., children dont notice that much and parents dont care!!!!!!

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Hali

It dosen't say annything specific about temperature in the new reg but there is a general ruling about the set temperature - I have the correct temp at work but not to hand.

I attended a "Are you ready for the new Ofsted inspection" presentation and in the handouts given out there were handouts on the 5 outcomes - produced in Nursery world September 2005.

It show example of good practice - one being premises cleaned daily. I'm sure keeping children warm would fall into the : Helping children to stay healthy: outcome.

 

Do you have a problem in your hall with storage etc. One of the outcomes also says children should have free access to resources, we put the equipment out and let the children choose from these but I'm not sure if this is good enough? I know that several groups in our area have failed these new inspections ?

 

 

Sue

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We too are in a church hall and it's freezing!!! I brought a temperature thingy gauge that you stick on the wall saying 'too cold', 'ok' and 'too hot'. It is saying too cold (legal requirements), but am concerned of what to do. Do we close?, do we stick another jumper (or two) on?

The church committee is trying to sort the problem out, but engineers aren't available! We were ok today, but we really can't tell what the following days will be like.

Ofsted are so hot on outside play, do we pretend that we have bought the outdoors in and make them wear their coats! One child yesterday sat shivering and her fingers turned blue! We got active and danced around the room, but it's not ideal.

Any ideas? If we're not meeting the required legal temperature, how do we stand?

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Smiles - Hi, we too have the problem of selecting resources. There is absolutely no way that we can provide self selection, purely because the equipment has to be stored away every day. We do not have trolleys or drawers so that they can access their own equipment, but we do have a very wide variety each day so that choices can be made.

I get so infuriated that allowances don't seem to be made for the groups that rent premises and can't provide things easily :o .

I think the next ofsted I would like to tell them exactly what I would be able to provide if we had a purpose built building, just so that they know how we would like to do things.

I think everyone who rents premises and has to get everything out and pack away each day deserves a medal, not critisism!

Maybe Sure Start could invest money in our groups to allow us to become as fantastic as they are!!!

Sorry, that sounds bitter!!

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It is really difficult to know what to do - often our heating dosent come on for long enough before we start and it is too cold but warms up in our church hall but we have no real control over the heating. A couple of times this term I have had to call the caretaker as other usuers have turned the heating off the previous night and it was not working when we arrived. I have made the parents wait outside whilst the heating is put on - we have old storage heaters - parents have banged the door down well not literally wanting to come in and I explain my reasonaing but they are not very happy with me. And legally as an employer should staff work in these temperature? There was a case of a shop being prosecuted recently fo not keeping their shop warm enough for its employees.

 

Its a problem - I closed today through staff shortages because I would have clearly not been able to maintain my staff to children ratio but the heating issue is not clear?

 

 

Sue

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Dear Hali and others,

Oh I do feel sorry for you - I work in a community hall and I am pleased to say that we have an excellent relationship and generally have no heating problems - it is a problem when it is used by others who turn the controls up and down - we have had to have our controls and timer locked so this cannot happen but then we are lucky and during cold weather the heating will come on at 6.00 to make sure that it is warm enough by the time we get in. I know we are lucky and I also know how awful it must be.

 

Trouble is I don't kow of any heating that is safe for use with children without an awful lot of expenditure. Our boiler broke and we had exactly the same problems. Fan heaters will give a quick blast but are not really ideal and are expensive to run and could be dangerous if wrongly sited.

 

I think I am right in saying that that the Health and Safety at Work Act covers the temperatures and we are governed by this within the National Standards. Would you be able to use the electric oil heaters and secure them behind a safety cage of some sorts? It really is a difficult problem. I have seen electric fan heaters wall mounted high up - although its not a great solution - might be worth looking at for blasting a bit of extra heat.

Otherwise not too sure what you can do - but keep at it - where there's a will there's a way.

Nikki

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Just know in schools the min temp of 64 has to be achieved within an hour of children arriving the room should be ventilated but does not say how many windows should be open.

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Hali, et al,

 

Do you have a rental agreement, maybe this needs review. Although good ideas, I dont think you should be buying extra heaters, the landlords are legally responsible to provide adequate heating. All they need to do is turn the thermostat up and set the timer earlier, or get new heating system ( they can always use the profit from your rental payments)

 

I'd continue with informing your landlords of your concerns, but also include a time scale of when you want it sorted by. Why should you solve their problem. Get information to give to them on legislation, then if no change seek legal advice. Hali, I believe you are a member of PLA, I'd give their legal office a ring.

 

 

Good luck

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14 degrees today....................... we are closing tomorrow wrote another stinking letter to church today, staff are refusing to work, rang PLA and they said its too cold legal requirment is 18 - 21. Going to talk to HSE.....later.... got to go to college 1st...will let you know :D

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Hali, Maybe legal department PLA can write an official letter to your hall committee/landlord on your behalf.

 

Hope it all sorts out, as if we don't have enough work to do, chasing up a basic requirment as heating must be really annoying and frustrating when it isn't sorted out.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. I would expect a rebate in rent for the closures and inconvenience.

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I'm in a huge hall the size of to badminton courts. we have radiators as well as wall mounted fan heaters and we just manage to creep into the right temperature. i have to tell parents to put extra layers on the children, my staff wear extra clothes as well. For 9 years health and Safety have been telling the hall committee, that we need hot /warm water in the toilets, and for 9 years they have been telling them that you have to run it for a while. Well I've had 9 years of running it and it still doesn't run warm, let alone hot. I have been told by a church member that they don't put the water on because it costs so much. Our changing toilet is so cold that it takes your breath away to sit on the seat. We then have to change on the floor where all the chairs are stacked in the hall, behaind screens because it is slightly warmer. the water in the toilets is so cold it makes your hands hurt if you don't rub them. Ofsted don't seem to see the problems we work under as being a problem. it takes 6 staff an hour to set up every morning. I know we can't all have purpose built but just good conditions would be nice. and trying to give children a choice can be exhausting. I found out this week that LEA's are going to have a fund for groups to access grants to improve church buildings to make them more comfortable. Don't know how long it will take, but it might be worth some of you enquiring if it will be available in your areas. Glad we only have 2 more weeks to go in really cold weather.

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Think I will have to get a better thermometer, ours read 14 today though it wasn't too bad as I was working on 16 but if it shoud be 18 . must ad dit to my list for the committee meeting next week. We sometimes put the cooker on to warm the hall up. (Cooker is in the kitchen but has a hatch)

Think hald our problem is we lose half the heating first thing when we had to get the equipment in from the shed outside - it takes too long if we keep shutting the doors. We only have 15 minutes to get it all ready - although several of us get in at 9 and make a start.

 

Sue

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thats our problem temp is at 68 when we go into hall, but as soon as we open the doors to get everything out it drops and struggles to get back up all morning, having an emergency meeting tomorrow about moving to an indoor cupboard, one which hold only tables and chairs (which church dont want to move outdie as the 'old dears' have to get them out for lunch club on a thursday) and the other that brownines use 2x a week (they dont want to swap as they dont want thier tents getting damp in an outside cupboard!!) :o:(xD

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We too are trying to negotiate with church committee to see if we can have more storage inside. Thers lots of room but dont think they want us to spread too much. There is a huge display board on one whole wall which is for Sunday school use - supposedly but they dont want us to use it. Oh what I could do with it!!! Not that I have anything against Sunday schools.

Sue

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why for a suppossed charitable profession are church committes so awful and uncharitable!!!!!!! :oxD:(

 

Our short term solution is for them to put a piece of tarpaulin up!!!!!!!and see how it goes....so in the morning im going to be extremly popular with parents when i spend toime getting out all the equiptment, then temp drops in hall and parents turn up to be turned away again!!!!!! Muggins here is going to get it in the neck no one else..... :(:( :wacko:

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Hali, I'd have a petition paper out for all the parents to sign, this would enable them to understand that you are trying your best to change the situation, and it will enable the parents to feel that their views can at least be heard by the committee.

 

I really do empathise with your situation and hope it can get resolved sooner rather than later.

 

Peggy

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why for a suppossed charitable profession are church committes so awful and uncharitable!!!!!!! :oxD:(

 

I can sympathise with those in cold halls but I have to say our Church is really cooperative - clearly not the norm. The caretaker goes out of her way to make sure the heating is on extra early in cold weather and if (as sometimes happens ) the newer part of the heating system fails we can scavenge around the building for extra heaters. If all else fails we have a really warm room with an electric heater to one side of the hall. We also have a huge storage area and while we have to clear the floor for other users we leave all our displays up. The only real bugbear is the state some of the other users leave the hall.

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We are like you whitetree in that we are very fortunate in having church members who look after us. We are not committee run and therefore the church have no say in how the group functions. We just rent the space off them. But when the heating wasn't on on Friday morning I only had to ring the church warden and he was there in about 15 minutes and had the problem sorted.

Perhaps it's because we are a private enterprise and they benefit from the money they get in rent that they feel they have to look after us. I do sympathise with those who do have problems-I used to work at another playgroup many years ago and that was very similar to Hali's situation.

Linda

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church halls!! I do sympathise with all the problems.

 

we use a church hall we are lucky we have an indoor store cupboard, display boards and some of the church commitee are sympathetic to our needs.

 

however in reality nothing gets done without a commitee meeting and we have to go in at 8.30 in the morning to turn all the heating on manually then run around plugging in extra heaters to try to boost the heating before the start of session at 9.30 (extra heaters are then unplugged and removed).

 

in response to the "why are churches so uncharitable" I think there is possibly alot of ageism many churches are run by a senior generation who still believe children should be seen and not heard if the old dears who have a luncheon club complain I imagen things get done quicker.

 

I have found upfront arguments and confrontations such as petitions only make the relationship worse and less gets done and keeping the caretaker onside is a must.

 

as for days when the room is below the required temperature

we open when the temperature is low on the understanding that parents are informed and given the option to take their children home, activities are changed to avoid sitting activities during the early part of the session and extra jumpers are provided for children to help keep them warm.

 

OFSTED want children to have consistency of care and provision they would want to see how managers cope in adverse conditions

 

what is the differenct between a cold hall and playing outside? if you consider that OFSTED are advocating for children to play outdoors when ever possible and how can we control that temperature outside? young children move around alot and this helps to keep them warm in the cooler church hall, with an extra jumper on! :o

 

Schools have the problem that their learning is based sitting at a desk so they need to keep rooms warmer because of the lack of movement, but is it practical to keep a room where children frequesntly move around the same temperature? we have found on the days when the room is up to temperature the children are too hot!! and then there are more problems there never seems a happy medium!!

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Yes I agree entirelly with you Alison.. I operate from a church hall and yes if children are wrapped up they won't feel cold. The 2 church halls I have used have been warm enough. The children never complain of the cold , only the staff. If they all arrived at 8 to help me set up they would be boiling hot like me. By the time I have cooled down the hall has warmed up.

The church commitee are brilliant. They are very understanding to the needs of small children. They have no patience with the senior citizens club because they are for ever moaning about trivial things.

I am the main user of the hall and I provide them with a very large income so I do expect and value their co-operation. I am allowed to leave my stuff in their commitee room, on the stage, in the corner of the room and in 2 locked cupboards. I have control over the heating thermostat and have use of a large fenced off garden and can leave displays on the wall. They do their best to give me what ever I ask for.

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