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We moved in September from our own mobile to renting space in a new Children's centre satellite building.

There is along history that I won't go into but we are finding that the Management Committee keep moving the goalposts and we are getting really disheartened.

We are going thru PLA accreditation and feel our service is being compromised by the rules being set...

 

The display boards provided for us to use are all less than 1m square and in places that are not particularly accessible to parents etc to see their childrne's work.

We are not allowed to have a sign on the fence with our name on to show people where to come. (Bearing in mind we are on a school site and it is not clear where the entrance is)

We were accused of using too many paper towels and had a hand dryer put in the children's toilets - now they don't dry properly or just use their clothes :o

We are expected to be out of the building TEN MINUTES after the session ends - do any of you have all your parents gone that quickly??

In that 10 minutes we are expected to wash up and put away all the equipment, sweep the floor, clean up any spills, clean the kitchen, make sure there is no paint on sinks, dryer, wall....

We are paying £7 an hour for the priveledge.

 

I know we have come from the luxury of our own space and employing our own cleaner with our own expectations but I would be really interested in what the rest of you get (or don't get) for your money

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Oh dear. The playgroup I was at rented the church hall. The rent was about £18 a session which ran for about 3.5 hours inc setting up and putting away. We had to leave the room ready for the next users although I never in 9 years went into the room ready for us, I even on 2 occassions swept up needles. The cleaners employed over the years were rubbish or worse. They came once a week on a Friday afternoon, chucked some blue stuff in the loo and swept to a lower standard than we were expected to. One cleaner, really miserable woman, mopped around the feet of the playleader. We couldnt leave a solitary thing out of the cupboard or it went in the bin, even childrens named work. We had a 5 yr fight for a notice board and it was so high I couldnt reach the top (I'm 5' tall). I was told off for putting sellotape on the windows with notices for parents and even blu tak was a no no. Our children used too many paper towels so the church installed a continuous roll in a plastic wall mounted thing. This was used like the Andrex puppy advert because you had to pull up against the sharpe edges to break it but the children were pulling it at their shoulder height, so it went on and on and on... In short we had awful people to work with but...I still managed to bring in branches and leaves and have beach parties and splatter painting and compost in trays and all the other lovely messy things. My reasoning was that even if they complained in writing and with the church bells ringing, I'd still do it. I tried talking to them over the years, when we complained about the state the karate man left the floor in we were told 'yes but he's a lovely man'. I took that to mean we were'nt lovely women :o This hasnt been constructive at all has it? Feels good moaning though xD All those years of wanting to see what else I could do with a broom. :( Talk to the management, tell them what you want to be able to provide and ask if they have any objections to you following a full FS curriculum. They should say 'None at all' :D Good luck

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aw that sounds pants!

I do know we are better off than other groups I really do but it just seems they want to block us all the way.

I am just worried that it will come to the point that we say 'let's not do painting today cos it's a bugger to clean up and I want to leave on time today'

 

At the moment nobody else uses the room and we rarely leave before 3.45 just doing the bits i said. If we have to do it ALL there is no way they can expect us out any earlier!

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I really can't comment on children's centres, but I do know that they are being unreasonable! it's impossible to clear away (properly) in that time and children are not always picked up promptly.

For a children's centre, they're not very child friendly are they?

I'm not completely convinced on all these child centres and alike. Are they moving all the goal posts, because they would like someone else to run it? i.e. a qualified teacher? Is it just because I'm getting more bitter and twisted that I think that there is a hidden agenda - you've provided the children, so they will make it more difficult for you, then take over!!! i really must stop thinking like this, but I have had a bad week and seem to be losing staff because they can offer more pay!

I'm going to bed now (think I'd better!)

Good luck with it all anyway - it's a shame they are making it difficult, you are trying to do a good job - hopefully they'll see the light soon!

kymberley

 

p.s. :) If any of you are in a children's centre - forgive me, don't take it personally - you do a good job too, but I'm just envious that you can offer my staff more money and they are leaving me!!!

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Where did the heart come from?????

I should have put it on the p.s. bit - I sound even worse, now it;'s in blue! I am nice really, just a bit fed up!!!

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Hee hee, I have had email from our chair...

 

The centre want an official opening in May :o we were in it in Septemeber so it's a bit late to open it eh?

They wanted our preschool to be open for this! I don't think so! They treat us like dirt then want to show us off uh uh.

We have a meeting arranged with the Sure Start Programme manager and the chair of the management committee (also happens to be head of school whose site centre is on...) tomorrow to discuss how we can work the arrangements - I'm refusing to run sessions while all and sundry traipse in and out.

 

Anyway our old chair who for some bizarre reason stayed on the man. Com. has emailed our current chair worried that I will 'kick off about the cleaning' tomorrow at the meeting hee hee hee hee.

Much more unsettling for them to be as nice as nice and not mention it - far far scarier in my experience mwa ha ha ha

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Hee hee, I have had email from our chair...

 

The centre want an official opening in May :o we were in it in Septemeber so it's a bit late to open it eh?

They wanted our preschool to be open for this! I don't think so! They treat us like dirt then want to show us off uh uh.

We have a meeting arranged with the Sure Start Programme manager and the chair of the management committee (also happens to be head of school whose site centre is on...) tomorrow to discuss how we can work the arrangements - I'm refusing to run sessions while all and sundry traipse in and out.

 

Anyway our old chair who for some bizarre reason stayed on the man. Com. has emailed our current chair worried that I will 'kick off about the cleaning' tomorrow at the meeting hee hee hee hee.

Much more unsettling for them to be as nice as nice and not mention it - far far scarier in my experience mwa ha ha ha

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Have you had a birthday tipple Pandamonium???? :o

 

Peggy

 

you actually sound like you are looking forward to the meeting.

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  • 1 year later...

We hire church premises by the hour at a fairly cheap rate (or so I've been told), even though it increased by over 20% in January without any notice!

 

We have tried to find out who we should contact regarding a proper Hire or Lease agreement in order to guarantee our future, but are told by the caretaker (the only person we ever see) that they cannot give us anything more concrete, as they do not know themselves what might happen in the future!

 

The pre-school has run from these premises for over 40 years, and we are trying very hard to complete Business plans and run a successful pre-school with no two-way dialogue.

 

Now the "caretaker" has got upset because we had to come into the premises a few times over the holidays to complete paperwork and prepare for the new term, and we didn't let her know, so she's decided to charge us £5 per time, even though we have no income when the children are not present, and there were only 2 of us 'using the electricity' (a photocopier and laminator).

 

We are concerned that we have nothing in writing to say she can choose to do this, or that we could go intgo work tomorrow either to be told that the rent will now be £20 an hour, or that the church is closing altogether!

 

Does anyone else run pre-school from a Church of England property, and if so, what paperwork do you have in place to protect your interests?

 

Many thanks for any help!

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Does anyone else run pre-school from a Church of England property, and if so, what paperwork do you have in place to protect your interests?

 

Many thanks for any help!

Think you need to talk to Hali - can't guarantee she'll be positive though...

 

Maz

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We are in a Baptist church hall. The church is a large building with a coffee shop attached and two large rooms above (which we occupy). We are very lucky, the vicar is often around on the premises and is always willing to talk to us, we have a hire agreement from him (which I have just asked to be updated).

 

Our rent of £18.50 for 3.5 hours use This covers, cleaner, electricity, heating, paper towels, they even buy the soap for the toilets, washing up liquid for kitchen and the anti bacterial gel for us to use.

 

We had no fridge in the kitchen when we first arrived and they even went half on that.

 

We are allowed to have permanent coat pegs with names on, we were allowed to build a purpose built storage cupboard, they allowed us to put up notice boards, pictures/posters are allowed to be left up all of the time.

 

Three members of staff arrive on push bikes, we even have a 'bike shed' now - provided by the church!!

 

Some of us have keys for the building. The coffee shop is open until 4pm so we can get in and out of the place as we like. We never have to be out by a certain time (only on the very rare occassion). We can use the photocopier in the church office (we do pay a small amount per sheet - when I remember to pay it) we never get chased for rent (although I do pay it religiously (haa haa get it!) ever month).

 

Reading other peoples posts -I THINK WE MUST BE VERY LUCKY.

 

During the holidays the cleaner re-varnishes the wooden floors. He's always very jolly (although not the best cleaner).

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Hmmmm....I've had experience of renting premises from a Cof E Primary School and that experience was not good! Drawing up a lease was a complete nightmare and cost me a fortune in solicitor's fees because the diocese had to get involved and made things unbelievably complicated.

 

My advice would be to persevere with getting something in writing -you have to protect you interests, as you say. But be prepared for some lengthy meetings and a few hiccups before anything is finalised! :o

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Thank you for your comments. I had thought there would be loads of pre-schools in a similar set-up, and that the Church of England would have straightforward policies to deal with the hire of their premises. Nothing's ever easy, is it?

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Our church hall had a caretaker/busybody, but we also had fairly easy access to the vicar. Is there anyone you could write to to find out who holds the responsibility for rent charges? It seems a bit odd that the caretaker can just ask for money without anything to back it up. Start digging around and sending letters and emails, you'll be surprised at what can happen, I got a private nursery on school grounds next door to my old group stopped through sending zillions of emails to anyone I could think of in the city.

Hope it works out :o

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Guest MaryEMac

We also rent 'The Community Room' from the C of E school. The battles we had with the transfer of control agreement that we have to sign each year. One clause actually gives the right for the governors to ask the playgroup to pay for the drawing up of the said document. As said before , they use Dioscesan solicitors who are in London so they must charge loads. Every year we have to ask the governors for a waiver to say that they will not ask us for money. Originally we were to be charged a peppercorn rent of £3 per annum plus utilities. Two years ago the rent went up to £500 per year plus utilities. Bit of a shock as you can imagine.

 

Mary

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We are also in a church hall, we have no contract and I think if we were to ask for one we would be probaly asked to leave!! We live on very stormy ground not allowed to put children's work on the walls, can not buy new equipment without permission, infact I am surprised that they let us in the morning. We are desperate for new premises but cannot afford them (community run preschool with very little money left over) We are in the process of enquiring about funding but have been told because we changed our day from sessional care to day care (6 hours) and we are not in a needy area that we would not be eligible so don't think we will get any support. But hey you know we are doing it for the children so keep smiling.

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Feel I might redress the balance here! Don't tar all C of E Churches with the same brush. We have operated from church premises for 20 years and have always been fully supported. We have had a proper rental agreement for at least 5 years and when times are hard they are willing to negotiate the rent. I must say this is a very large, well supported active church who are very outward thinking and we are very fortunate here. There are the usual bugbears, having to tidy everything away, insufficient storage, issues around protecting our displays from other hall users etc but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

 

If it helps you should approach the Church Wardens for your church to discuss a way forward. They hold the responsibility and employ the Vicar. You might find them a little more understanding and able to positively influence change. I don't envy a small church that struggles financially though because they have to make ends meet somehow and there is never enough money. Let me know how you get on! Incidentally which Diocese are you in?

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Thank you for all your advice and comments! I think we come under the Chelmsford Diocese. I e-mailed the Church of England Commisioners last night, and have already had a reply, so will be following up that trail!

 

The Church Wardens really do not want to be involved - it took nearly 2 years to get any real response when we tried to explain that if we were a part of their charity they needed to be involved on the Committee. They decided that they no longer wished to have us as part of their charity, and suggested we turn the pre-school into a private company. We have just been registered under our new name with Ofsted!

 

On completing a Business Toolkit, it became apparent that our main threat is now still the church as we have no lease agreement, just hire per hour! Luckily we registered the company at a the manager's home address so hopefully it will save any extra work if we do have to move out!

 

Watch this space.............

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Thank you for all your advice and comments! I think we come under the Chelmsford Diocese. I e-mailed the Church of England Commisioners last night, and have already had a reply, so will be following up that trail!

 

The Church Wardens really do not want to be involved - it took nearly 2 years to get any real response when we tried to explain that if we were a part of their charity they needed to be involved on the Committee. They decided that they no longer wished to have us as part of their charity, and suggested we turn the pre-school into a private company. We have just been registered under our new name with Ofsted!

 

On completing a Business Toolkit, it became apparent that our main threat is now still the church as we have no lease agreement, just hire per hour! Luckily we registered the company at a the manager's home address so hopefully it will save any extra work if we do have to move out!

 

Watch this space.............

 

 

I am currently applying for sustainability grant and I thought that part of this process within the business plan is to have a 'lease' agreement. After attending a meeting the LEA are happy that I have a 'Terms of use' agreement, and a letter to say that it is likely that I will remain in the premises for the foreseeable future. They are aware that many providers do not get lease agreements. I am in a scout hall.

My rent is extortionate considering the 'standard of cleanliness, restrictions of use, battleaxe cleaners etc. My main concern is the increase of rent at their will, no negotiation etc. I have recently heard about a 'fair rents' association but am awaiting further details.

I now pay £2, 600 per term, £7,800 for 38 weeks of the year. I've worked it out that I have paid them about £36,000, in the 6 years I've been there. For this princely sum they have redone the guttering, which still leaks over my entrance way, and installed a new heating system. They have not addressed blocked drains, graffiti, storage, outside garden maintainance, etc etc. The kitchen is like out of the ark!! I could go on. I just want to relocate, prefereably into my local Primary School.

I am sure that my environment, mainly cosmetic appearance has affected my numbers.

 

rant over.

 

Peggy

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:o It makes my blood boil........we rent this unit from the local college (this had been empty for over 2 - 3years before) & they charge us £300.00 per week rent xD How greedy is that?! At the time we were being kicked out of the community centre we used because the WRVS were moving in on a permanent basis so we really had no choice.

 

I would be interested to find out more about this 'fair rents association'....is this a local group or nationwide?

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It really IS the church wardens' responsibility to ensure you have a proper and legal contract and I am certain they cannot abdicate responsibility like this. (Don't tell anyone but I'm a church warden so I KNOW!!) Its not exactly a good PR exercise in getting people to go back to church is it?

If you really have explored every avenue with the wardens then I would suggest you contact the Rural Dean for your area. He will probably in the phone book at a neighbouring church, or alternatively ring your church secretary (if you have one) or the vicar and put on a funny voice so he doesn't recognise you :o and ask for the Rural Dean's phone number.......

Good luck and keep us posted.

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:o It makes my blood boil........we rent this unit from the local college (this had been empty for over 2 - 3years before) & they charge us £300.00 per week rent xD How greedy is that?! At the time we were being kicked out of the community centre we used because the WRVS were moving in on a permanent basis so we really had no choice.

 

I would be interested to find out more about this 'fair rents association'....is this a local group or nationwide?

 

 

WOW, Mrs B, How do you survive financially??

 

I tried a google search but only found fair rents sites for housing tenants, but I will get back to you when I get some info from my development worker ( who told me about it in the first place). I'm seeing her on Thursday.

 

Peggy

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Thanks for that LJW, I've downlaoded the PDF and will read later and discuss with my preschool development worker.

May not help because the Scouts won't give me a lease, but certainly worth looking into.

 

Peggy

 

p.s. Latest news is that my local Primary school has been agreed for becoming a Childrens Centre, maybe my days are doomed anyway. :o

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Not necessarily Peggy - make contact now and prove what an invaluable and high quality provider you are in the community - it's all about building links with existing providers to meet the needs of the local community! Your group could well become a central part of the provision!

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Not all children's centers provide childcare..we have a local one which does all the support work and points parents in the direction of childcare in area. They have come in to setting to meet parents and we advertise their location so everyone knows they are there. working Ok so far.

 

Inge

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