Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Funded Hours


MegaMum
 Share

Recommended Posts

In a bit of a panic about sustainabilty from Autumn term as our rent had been increased another 11% from July, making the increase from Junes rental rise and this one a total of nearly £1400 in a year!

 

We currently have a 2 day (session) minimum for children. Some do 6 hours, some 9 and of course some do the 15 and more. One of our children is moving to another area and Mum has told me she looked at several pre-schools and they insist on the 15 hours. I am now considering it, as we lose a lot on funding hours not being used.

 

Do any if you do this? I am trying to weigh up the pros and cons. I know when I insisted on the 2 days, people had to get used to it, but it is now accepted. The other pre-school accepts anything as they are so low on numbers and close to closing. Their fees a third lower than ours, but we are full, so it doesn't seem to have effected us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No we don't do the 15hrs but we do insist on 2 sessions our closest pre-school doesn't have a minimum and they have lots of children due to this.

We feel (and so do our mums) we offer a better service as children settle better and form better relationships with peers, but because we have been full since February every child that has knocked on our door and we've said 'no until Sept' have just gone to the other pre-school which for this Sept means our numbers are low.

It depends on the demand in your area I feel, we struggle due to every school have a maintained nursery which take the term children are 3 all year round.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You write that you are full, so how would requiring 15 hours attendance help?

In September we aren't full, but we are finding the 2 year olds are starting to clog us up and most of our remaining funded children are only going to be attending 6 hours or 9 hours. Just looking at options and wanting opinions really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've been heavily recommending parents booking the full 15 hours, though we do leave the final choice up to them. For fee paying parents, we do insist at least 2 sessions as 1 a week is not enough for the child to settle with us.

 

We will get funding for the hours we claim for each child, but Central Government have changed the way they reimburse LEAs, we were told by Suffolk (so I'm assuming this is nationally) to only give the LEA the money for children taking up the 15 hours. Suffolk therefore quite reasonably prefer children taking up 15 hours! We've been upfront with parents about this. (As far as I'm aware, the LEA gets the money if the child accesses the 15 hours over more than 1 setting. That was specifically discussed about 3 & 4 year funding, so this may differ for 2 year old funding.)

 

When children start with us, we do a gradual start to settle new children in, so if a family are adamant that Little Matt will not be able to do 5 mornings a week away from Mummy when they've never been away from Mummy before (and that's a reasonable concern ;) ), we'll suggest that we book the full 15 hours, but start with Matt doing 2 sessions the first week, getting up to at least 4 by half term and the full 5 by the end of term. We also make it clear that the extra spaces may not be there when they do want them, as we will offer other children spaces.

 

Megamum, why are families choosing 6 or 9 hours?

 

What else happens in the village that they're taking children to instead, or is it that transport is an issue some days a week, making it harder for families to get to preschool? What can you change to make 15 hours more appealing? I know there are other users of the village hall, so your options may be limited in extending hours, but finding out parents' barriers to taking up 15 hours and telling parents how you are working to overcome them will help parents understand you are supporting them the best you can, and that you also need them to support the preschool the best they can (by taking up the full 15 hours).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of our children that are only taking up 6 hours, are with a childminder and she dictates what they do and parents follow her lead. She doesn't claim funding so I don't understand why. Other children are taken care of by grandparents and I think they might be paid as when I suggested they took up more hours, granny's response was.... 'Dont put me out of a job!' It's quite frustrating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of our children that are only taking up 6 hours, are with a childminder and she dictates what they do and parents follow her lead. She doesn't claim funding so I don't understand why. Other children are taken care of by grandparents and I think they might be paid as when I suggested they took up more hours, granny's response was.... 'Dont put me out of a job!' It's quite frustrating.

 

Yes, well, Granny is going to end up putting you out of a job! Very frustrating. If she's not getting paid, but wants something to do, she could come and volunteer with you?

 

I had to pay my son's childminder for the time he was at preschool as she took him and collected him, so I didn't have him do more than my days off until he got funding. I understand that she needed to be paid to hold his space, and that she did take & collect him, but couldn't afford to pay her and the preschool for the time he was at preschool. I guess parents need her for the hours you're not open so don't want to rock the boat with the hours you are, but again, are risking you not being able to sustain the preschool in the hours they do want!

 

Can you talk to childminder and find out why she needs the children in for those times, explaining that you also need the children in? As she doesn't claim funding, they must be paying her to have the children for those times, so the parents would be no worse of if they had to do as I did and pay her to keep the space, while the LEA pays you the funding for the child being with you.

 

I know the nursery class in the school we're next to says they give priority to children taking the full 15 hours.

 

Our admissions policy is more complex as I tried to cover every option, but it definitely says we give priority to children who don't access other early years care, so I would be offering 15 hours to other children over those already attending a childminder. (I put it in so we could explain to parents taking the 15 hours at the school nursery and wanting the odd extra space with us, why they could only have that if we had odd spaces to fill, rather than taking the oldest children first.)

 

I think with the huge rent raise you've been given, I would be saying to all your families, "We've had a rent increase of 43% this year, and need to make sure we can stay open. Please take up your full 15 hours when your child is eligible for them as that helps us."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)