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Neg And Lunch Times


Alison
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We're a preschool who only open 4 mornings, there is no way we can ever offer 5 sessions a week (we're in a community hall and theres an OAP lunch club one day a week) the only way we could offer the total 12.5 hours that ofsted want, would be to extend our existing sessions to spread the time over 4 days but parents want their children feeding at lunch time not mid afternoon, so they didnt want the longer sessions unless they can bring their dinners and eat them at lunch time which got us thinking....

 

So we decided that after easter we would open a lunch club at the end of session for 45 mins, we give parents the option and those that wanted to could collect younger children at 11.45 can and those that want to stop and eat lunch together can.

 

obviously we plan to charge extra for lunch club but can I claim neg for those who attend 4 morning because they are in effect getting 13 hours of care?

 

I had assumed the answer to this question was no lunch clubs dont count to free entitlement, but looking through the code of practice (p26 para 10.3) it mentions lunch times and break times and in certain circumstances (day care where two sessions in one day) "lunch breaks can be included in free entitlement if specifically planned and structured to support the childs overall learning and development"

 

I know the paragraph was refering to day care and we are sessional but I cannt see why if this is the only way we can provide 12.5 hours a week we cannt include lunch time too? I can easily plan and make it support learning!

 

Im going to make enquiries but wondered Does anyone know anything?

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Well, that's a good one!!

 

Alison, I can't honestly say, from personal experience, but I would think you might be able to justify it!!

 

I'm away this week, but will try to speak to the NEG person (BIG BOSS!!) when I get back, if you still need the info then. PM me, if you like, to remind me - getting old, don't you know!!

 

Sue :D

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This may well depend on your local authorities delegated conditions - Kent is a law unto it self! :o

 

I would have thought the answer was no, but hope I am wrong. As I understand it the NEG is for 5 x 2.5 hour sessions. You can have 2 sessions on one day if you change your registration to full day care. We are looking at doing this but ofsted registration and insurance goes up for full day care and we are debating whether it is viable for a couple of days a week.

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The heading for page 26 is "Choice and Flexibility" and I hope that your interpretation of para 10.3 is the same as your local authority. However, the sentence prior to the one you quote says "Specifically, local authorities may fund providers to deliver two free sessions per day. In such circumstances "lunch breaks can be included in free entitlement if specifically planned and structured to support the childs overall learning and development"

 

I think they may only fund "breaks" if a second session is made available after the break. ( don't ask me why I think this, just because life is never as easy as we perceive it could be)

 

I personally feel that there is no argument for the fact that "lunch times" provide learning opportunities and therefore should be counted, especially as the code of practice is stating that they are trying to address the current unhelpful distinction between early education and childcare ( as children do not distinguish these as seperate - neither should we) even if it is not deemed as educational "lunch" is definately part and parcel of the "physical" childcare we provide.

 

Good luck, I hope you get the funding, as most importantly, however the L.A. perceive this statement, it WILL affect your sustainability.

 

And Nicki-k is right it will be decided by your LA delegated conditions. I would however phone DFES and ask their opinion, at least you could quote this to your LA in future negotiations.

 

Peggy

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i am registered as full day care

 

i can only offer two funded sessions in one day if they are both 2.5 hours long and there is an hour break ( lunch) between each session.

 

we are not allowed to include lunches in our educational funding ( even though i belive its very educational - but thats another post)

 

i am a committee run preschool in village hall, i have a feeling the quote on lunches included may only apply to LEA nurseries, it usually is.

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You need to check with your local finance manager dealing with NEG, as fundind is currently for 2.5 hours sessions I doubt if they will allow you to claim the extra for one day.

In our area you can claim for 2 sessions in a day without the hour break and include a planned lunch time in the 5 hours, but that would take you into full day care.

 

Inge

 

while on NEG in our area they have just introduced a change which means from now we can send in claim forms and get funding for children who start mid term, or if they want to increase sessions during the term..we also have to return funding for children who leave mid term or before the end of term.

Edited by Inge
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I was thinking that lunch breaks were refering to day care rather than sessional and Im not holding my breath that we can claim.... but wondered if any other setting had managed it?

 

it does seem silly that 12.5 hours of funding is there for parents to claim but only if parents use them in 2.5 hour portions it does mean children in settings such as ours will miss out unless there is some kind of flexibility.

 

the whole section on pages 26 & 27 ramble on about being flexible thats what got me wondering....

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Hi Alison

This is something that I have brought up with our LEA. I rang the Dfes and they said it is definetly up to each LEA to set what they want to do.

Our LEA are now getting together with the other LEA's that we link with, as we are a Borough within a County, so the 3 LEA's (Poole Bournemouth and Dorset are getting together to come up with a solution for September on how the planning and funding will be divided.

The new Code of Practice has purposely been left so that each LEA can decide what they want to do. So get on to your Lead Officer in your LEA and ask them for their decision. For myself it would mean a big difference as I can only open til 2.30pm which does not give us the hour for lunch. If the new code of practice is brought into force I could claim 2 session in one day which would mean more money as my non-funded children pay less that the grant funding.

I had an interview last year when the Dfes who were doing research before bringing out the new code of practice and it was one of the things that I brought up as being slightly stupid the hour break as a lot of groups could use the lunchtime as a Learning time especially for those children that have eating problems. I will keep you posted on what our LEA decides.!!!!!

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Hi Ange

did you know that Somerset is one of the trial areas for seeing if things work. thats proberly why you have had the 2 sessions without a break being trialed (sorry don't know if thats an English word or not ) xD where as Poole has been trialling :D the bit that allows us to put in funding half way through a term or adjust funding. Its amazing what info you pick up when people are at meetings!! :o

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Alison just thought can you not get a grant for setting up the Lunch club. It used to be NOF Grant but don't know what its called now. your LEA should know. It would help cover the paper work and new equipment e.g. plates etc. I did it a few years ago. good luck

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at present we have told the parents they will have to pay a top up to their grant fees for the lunch club and some are happy to pay, we have a small group of children to get the ball rolling and we are hoping once other parents realise what we are doing the novelty will catch on... weve stuck posters up and sent out news letters so we will wait and see how it will work...

 

there is clearly a group of parents who only want the extra hours if they are free (grant funded session) I dont know what they think I pay the staff with???

 

We've just had a grant for equipment and furniture (we keep getting parcels turn up every day with more equipment we have ordered its lovely :D ) but we thought it would be tempting fate to try and claim another grant too soon We've got all the stuff we need it's just the staff wages that we need to cover but if its a small group then we wont need full team of staff some can leave at the end of the main session.

 

Tomorrow I will contact my LEA.....

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As suspected the early years confirmed that we cannt split the 12.5 hours over 4 mornings and they did agree it would be good if we could but at presentthe answer is a flat "no" and that is regardless of whether the time would be spent eating lunch or engaged in planned activities

 

at present it has to be split into 2.5 hour sessions

 

at least I have managed to find out the best person to chat to in my local early years about any business related questions (another very useful phone number to add to my collection.)

 

thanks for all the replies

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