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Snow Plan


Mouseketeer
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Hi all

I am just preempting that the weather men have this snow forecast for later in the week correct and wondering what you all do about deciding to stay open or close and the problems this raises (thankfully very rarely) regard paying staff who don't/can't get in, snow days in pre-school are fun but we've always had enough staff now we have half staff who could easily get in and half that live away, but is it fair that they still get paid to stay at home, rather than loose pay or a days holiday it could be banked to cover training, meetings etc..., we wouldn't want anyone driving if conditions are dangerous but on the other hand is it the settings problem they live where they do? and then there is the problem that more children than we have staff for come in, looking at the longer forecast this could go on into most of the following week too. The committee will make the finale decision (yep, blame them)but they will want advising, I've decided to be prepared instead of opening the curtains to think "oh %&£* ! it's snowed, now what" :o

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My staff are happy to take holiday pay

I always try and stay open, a couple of us are able to walk in, but if really bad I refuse to risk life and limb to get there - have done that and had just five children turn up :ph34r::D

I am meant to be training on Thursday, if the forecast is right I can't see that happening.........

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thanks sunnyday, it's such a tricky one, the schools in the area tend to close at the sight of one snowflake, but you can bet if I go through the register and think 'they'll stay home because siblings are off school' they'll turn up, I'm in half a mind to ask them in advance how many would still want to come in and how many would want them home to enjoy the snow.....part of me thinks 'I hope they get to experience real snow' but the manager in me is praying they have it wrong :-/ 

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I doubt that down here it will come to anything but just in case I sent out our emergency closure policy to parents yesterday.  There are two of us who could get in, but it would mean me a level three and a level 2!  When we have had to close before due to no heating, my staff still wrote their hours down, even though they went home and I stayed to do paperwork!  So I asked them to make the hours up with some online CPD training!  I would give them the choice,  no pay, days holidaypay or paid but training done instead!

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Only one member of staff who lives in the village now.  We have in our policy that we will not open if the village Primary closes due to bad weather.  The reasoning is down to our own staff getting in, staff having to bring in their own children or not coming in because they dont have any childcare for school aged children.  Staff are only paid for hours worked.  Fee paying parents are credited for missed hours.  Funding is claimed, at the moment,  but we dont allow parents to use those hours on other days.

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We stay open wherever possible and if needed would work to minimum ratio - we always have lots of children off if the weather is really bad and schools are closed anyway. Staff who don't get in don't get paid unfortunately - not their fault I know but not the settings fault either. We haven't had to close once and absolutely LOVE snow days. We are lucky in that 5 of us staff live within walking distance of the setting so staffing hasn't been a problem so far - touch wood!

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The other problem at the moment are low numbers so we are only working with two members of staff.  All of us have dropped hours and some have taken on other part time jobs, so not a lot of flexibility.  On the positive side, very few of our parents work so are not relying on our childcare to make their living. We dont have to close often as we do have 2 committee members who are level 3 and we have used them in emergency.

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So far - touch wood- we have always been able to open.   All but me are in walking distance, I'm 3.5 miles and have walked home a couple of times.

What amazes me is the amount of parents that try and 'off-load'  their school age children on these days if the school is shut (which it does if they so much as  smell snow)..... so the parents can go and have a coffee in peace!

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We try and open - I love the snow and would much rather spend the day with the children and their excitement - I am fortunate that I live 2 miles from where I work and if I couldn't drive in, which would be rare, I would walk. Another member of staff lives nearby as well.  I have already had an email from a parent asking that if we open and school closes will we take siblings!! I would love to say yes and have the extra income but we are full so I have had to explain ratios to her :D.  We are protected by the Malvern Hills so it's rare its bad enough to close.

 

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25 minutes ago, hopeytg said:

We try and open - I love the snow and would much rather spend the day with the children and their excitement - I am fortunate that I live 2 miles from where I work and if I couldn't drive in, which would be rare, I would walk. Another member of staff lives nearby as well.  I have already had an email from a parent asking that if we open and school closes will we take siblings!! I would love to say yes and have the extra income but we are full so I have had to explain ratios to her :D.  We are protected by the Malvern Hills so it's rare its bad enough to close.

 

My stock answer to questions about taking older children is "I'm sorry, my insurance wouldn't allow for that"

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25 minutes ago, Mouseketeer said:

Thank you for the replies everyone.

thats like us sunnyday, but it seems more likely you will get it in the east than us (south west) ...you may have to change your name to snowyday:-D still I might get to wear the snow boots I bought eons ago so may not be all bad ! 

Mousie some of the models are showing a lot of snow in the South West for Friday - I am just a tad over invested in reading weather forums xD

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Reading this thread it seems that most of us remain open- yet schools close at the drop of a snow hat.

Make you wonder doesn't it? We get paid so little, are greatly underfunded, cannot charge top-ups ... yet still we fight on and remain open :/

I'm  now seriously thinking we might just close if it snows :o  Most of our children are funded, and I would offer 'make-up' session to the few that do pay.

Something that I really need to think about.

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8 hours ago, louby loo said:

Reading this thread it seems that most of us remain open- yet schools close at the drop of a snow hat.

Some schools. Neither of the ones I work in have closed for what has been pretty significant snow in the past. It does very much depend on the school, where staff are traveling from etc.

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2 hours ago, Froglet said:

Some schools. Neither of the ones I work in have closed for what has been pretty significant snow in the past. It does very much depend on the school, where staff are traveling from etc.

Yes,  sorry I should have put some schools :).   Our local school seems to close for any reason it can!   

We have a few flakes at the moment. It's 9.30am I have the day off- but seem to be running around sorting stuff out just incase we do need to close tomorrow. For us it would be more the hall temperature than the snow I think-- depends on the wind-chill direction today really.

I've just read somewhere that the BBC have changed their weather supplier xDxD. They used to use the Metoffice (I think) now they use a different source which is why their forecast have not been the best recently. 

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We're in Suffolk and have a few flakes this morning.  I usually say "I'll believe it when I see it" when snow is forecast but it does sound like we're going to get it with the Beast from the East this time!

We have only closed for a whole day once in 14 years and have closed at 3.30 a couple of times (we're open til 6pm).

If we are open and staff don't/can't get in, they take the day unpaid or as holiday.  If we close, they get paid.  

If we close for a full day, I refund everyone.  If we close early, I refund the lost hours, if they''re not funded hours.  I have put a notice on the front door this morning, asking parents to let us know if children aren't coming in, as the one day we did close could have been avoided if parents had told us.  I made so many phone calls to say we hadn't got enough adults so were closing, to be told "Oh we weren't coming in anyway" 9_9

Let's see what the week brings!

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Well aren’t we an organised lot, all prepared and ready.  I think the last time we had snow was eight years ago and it only lasted a day!  I hope my “ believe it when I see it” attitude is not going to catch me out this time😮. My son said people were panic buying in Tesco today!  Think we are right wimps down here as we are so not used to it.  We had a few flakes this morning but they were really tiny and lasted a couple of minutes!

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8 hours ago, Froglet said:

Some schools. Neither of the ones I work in have closed for what has been pretty significant snow in the past. It does very much depend on the school, where staff are traveling from etc.

Our teachers have to report to their nearest school if they can't get to the school here........

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