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EYFS Curriculum and Holidays


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Hi - Pretty new to this so any advice welcome before registration inspection.

We run a setting for 2,3 and 4 year olds - many therefore funded for 15 hrs over 38 weeks but we are 48 week setting that opens 07.00 - 18.30.

During holiday times when there is no funding on offer, but parents pay to attend, are we obliged to provide the same experiences for children as we do in term time ?

Naturally we follow EYFS guidelines but we don't intend to provide the activities in holiday periods that we do in term times. We have big outdoor facilities and all indoor resources are the same during holiday periods and can be used however we have a term time only early years teacher and will utilise different staff in the pre-school to accommodate her and others on TTO contracts, for example. Monitoring and assessment will therefore be less prevalent during holiday time.

We also don't intend to provide workshops or visiting music/dance/ craft/ storytelling etc classes during holiday times - we make a loss on these during term time as it is, with our NEF rate being so negative so don't feel that we are in a position to provide them constantly throughout the year.

Are Ofsted likely to visit in holiday times, if so - does anyone know how they would feel about the financial argument that NEF is now crippling so many so we choose to provide certain resources and experiences to all during term time only when ALL children attend and when we obliged to offer 15 hours of free child care ? Already seeing and experiencing the financial pitfalls.

Parents seem to have this illusion that 'free' hours entitles them to everything that comes at cost to us but should be free to them and I've tried explaining that if hey want some of the experiences that we are trying to offer then they need to pay for them. At what point does everyone draw the line at 'free at point of delivery'. Am I being a bit naive ?

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The last Ofsted inspection I was present at was during the half term holiday however, I actually think that it makes sense for you to operate in the way that you do for all sorts of reasons, not just financial!


When offering extra curricula workshops for example you want to be as inclusive as possible for all children so why would you offer these at a time when many of your children aren't present and would therefore be excluded?


I'm sure your planning and activities throughout the holidays still show clear next steps for all children - that you continue to progress and support them through the EYFS accessing additional support through other agencies when necessary, extending those children who are achieving great things - what more do you need?


When your funded only children return I'm also sure that your observations, conversations with parents show details of changes during the holidays all of which indicate that you know or try to know your children well and provide continuity even though there have been long holidays!


I appreciate that my view is perhaps very simplistic; but I am a great believer in keeping things simple but as effective as possible. In short as long as you can explain why you do the things the way that you do and how 'your way' not only follows the EYFS but encompasses every child in an individualistic manner tailored to their own interests and next steps then what more can you do?


Unfortunately parents do have the view that the fifteen hours are 'free' because that is what is being 'sold' to them by the government. As early years providers many settings are fighting to stay afloat and are having to think of imaginative ways in order to meet the losses that the fifteen hours leave them with. A nursery that employs my business has recently changed the way that they offer their funded hours and have been frank with parents in their explanation as to why. It has been very well received many parents being shocked by the loss that the nursery is taking. There are always going to be those who have the view that 'it is my right and it is free', but it is also your right as a provider to offer your funded hours in set sessions that best suit you business; after all every business needs to at least break even!!

Edited by PaseyLtd
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You can set your own funded sessions. So that could be 3 hrs every morning, or afternoon, term time only. So long as parents are told this before starting then it is their choice if it fits for them. Then outside of term would be run on a more holiday club scheme. Our holiday club does not do observations/assessments as such but are fully aware of the needs of the children and feedback to the staff that are in place for the term time pre-school.

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Either way if you are open Ofsted can inspect you, but wouldn't you be registered as a holiday club during the holidays then?

Well that's what I'm wondering ......and actually, that's not a bad idea in many ways !!

Edited by oopsydoopsy
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