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Admissions policy


MarshaD
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I've always been quite flexible with places slotting families in wherever I can but on a recent 30 hours workshop the facilitator said he anticipated that being flexible would be a lot more tricky after September. My thoughts are that the traditional preschool client might struggle to find places moving forward. Has anyone thought about their admissions policy yet and how they might allocate places? I'm thinking that existing families get priority but beyond that I don't know. Is anyone going to ring fence places?

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I've always been quite flexible with places slotting families in wherever I can but on a recent 30 hours workshop the facilitator said he anticipated that being flexible would be a lot more tricky after September. My thoughts are that the traditional preschool client might struggle to find places moving forward. Has anyone thought about their admissions policy yet and how they might allocate places? I'm thinking that existing families get priority but beyond that I don't know. Is anyone going to ring fence places?

we have limited 30 hour places to ensure we offer a balanced service. (I have now sold all of these spaces!)

My parents who want less than 15 hours are the ones giving me hassle at the moment as I'm only offering 30 or 15 ...I can't afford to have 9 hour slots and loose 6 a week it doesn't add up.

We have had a set admissions criteria for ages though I have tweaked it...

so in age order on waiting list for term...

local and sibling

sibling

local

first area

second area

Priority is given for funded twos if we can.

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I obviously appreciate what you are saying about flexibility, but I am also seeing it from quality for the parents and children...We are full daycare and currently have around 80 children doing a whole range of different variations of mornings, afternoons and full days. In my admissions first priority goes to families already attending nursery. With the introduction of the 1,140hrs I envisage (and it's starting to happen) that families that are already with me will increase their hours, reducing the number of spaces for new families. You could say this is reducing flexibility, but what it means is fewer children doing more days, which reduces the workload of key people considerably, improving quality.

So admissions is families already here, then siblings, then those wanting most sessions.

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Watching this thread with interest - I have not yet amended my Admissions Policy but did send a letter to all current parents asking them to confirm the hours/sessions they required for Sept before tomorrow as I will then be opening up sessions to new families. I am finding trying to manage the 15 and the 30 a problem so in future will definitely be limiting the 30 hr places. Sorry I haven't helped with your question but I am sure someone will soon.

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Watching this thread with interest - I have not yet amended my Admissions Policy but did send a letter to all current parents asking them to confirm the hours/sessions they required for Sept before tomorrow as I will then be opening up sessions to new families. I am finding trying to manage the 15 and the 30 a problem so in future will definitely be limiting the 30 hr places. Sorry I haven't helped with your question but I am sure someone will soon.

 

I am having to speak to the parents in our baby room and ask them to start thinking about what they will want when their children turn 3 so that they get the spaces rather than new families, in effect, booking children in 2 years ahead!! My vacancies run approx. 3yrs ahead and I already have 20 children on my 'school leavers' list for 2020 (and 8 in 2021!)

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I think you're right MarshaD! It's looking like those families wanting less than full days will be 'slotted in' where space allows rather than where space is wanted!!! To be honest, with the low funding rates in many areas, it's the only way to remain sustainable . Choice and flexibility are the terms that will be heard less and less for those families wanting part days - it simply doesn't pay!!!

 

As far as the admissions policy goes, the main setting that I work for is offering the 30 hours initially as a trial stating at the offset that things may have to be tweaked termly if necessary. They are concentrating on offering places to their current families and have actually found that it leaves very few places available for September due to many of their families being entitled to 30 hours!

 

Rather than listing places in current rooms they are listing places as a whole throughout the nursery and then splitting to room eg 9- 12 baby places,12-16 Toddlers and 16 - 24 preschool allowing for flexibility when needed as children progress through the nursery.

 

Part days will not be allocated unless efficiencies are low for example 17 children in preschool room - these places will also be subject to termly review. This will be made crystal clear both in the admissions policy and also in individual parent contracts ensuring that every parent knows what they are agreeing to. This route was chosen as many of our part time families are claiming 15 hours only and are very flexible with their days (not working families and preliminary data collection has indicated that parents are happy with this!) We will also allocate part time places back to back in order to fill full days wherever possible, this is something we have been doing for the last year with the fifteen hours and it works very well.

 

Sessions will be just that sessions, meaning that if a parent only wants 4 hours but our session is five then five hours will be claimed. The parent can obviously pick up at four hours but will still be charged for five. This was positively encouraged at our managers briefing which was a relief to us as its the only way forward we can see.

 

Other admissions criteria like Finleysmaid will be tweaked - but nothing too drastic!

 

We will review termly and decide after the first year if the setting can sustain offering the thirty hours! We are all fishing in the dark a little and so we are trying to forewarn that the models we are offering may need to be tweaked at some point!

Edited by PaseyLtd
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For now we are playing a wait and see game with the 30hrs, we are not offering anyone the full 30 hrs though, 3 full days max at the moment (we started in April) I think we have about 10 points to our admissions criteria, mainly because we needed to stem the influx of funded 2yr olds from out of catchment that had no 2 yr provision close to them and we border that county, But then went back to own preschools once 3yr olds, I see the main problem being for those who want to wait until they are on funding (15 or 30hrs) before starting as we will have our existing children wanting to take up more and they will get first priority, I'm thinking of adding in something that says 'if you don't accept the place when offered we won't hold a place until your child is funded and can not guarantee a place will be available at your requested start date' ...it feels a bit like bullying them in to taking a place before the child is funded :-/ Oh why didn't they just say here's £3 an hour towards your childcare for all ages who meet the working criteria, it's up to you if you use a provider that charges £4 or £10 an hour but you're paying the rest !

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