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Why wont my committee listen to me!!!!!!!!

 

Im the leading practitioner at my pre-school playgroup with a parent run committee. Ive been working at the group for 8 years done my level 3 training and now on the foundation degree and they still think they know whats best.

 

How do you get them to listen and take on board what you say. I cant spend any money on toys for the children, the children have to do a sponsered event each year to fund raise for their own equipment.

They even disagree with me on the daycare standards which i know inside out, but they are kind enough to let me do some of the paperwork they should be doing!!!!

 

How do i get round them, i try to be diplomatic, but my people skills are'nt that great but im working on that one.

 

Does anyone else have problems with their committee or is it just me?

 

Please help

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Hi Ruthie

I can sympathise with you on this one. Although the group I now manage is privately owned, by me, and is run as a small business, I have worked in a committee run group before. The church where it was held were the committee and we had to hand over all the fees at the beginning of each half term. We were then paid our wages and given a small amount, and I mean small, with which to buy snacks, resources and equipment. It did not go any way far enough. So, we were allowed to fund raise a couple of times a year BUT we had to give half of what we made to the church!!!!! Needless to say we lied about how much we raised!! A bit naughty I know but it meant we could have a little bit extra for equipment!

I speak with other leaders of pre-schools and they say the same as you-it's like banging your head against a brick wall especially when it comes to funding.

Is your committee made up of current parents? You would think they would want to invest in the pre-school in that case-the main beneficiaries would be the children!!! And that can be very awkward if you are also dealing with them on a day to day basis.

Do you go to any meetings? I know you said in another post that you are banned-a bit counter productive for them I would have thought! Perhaps you need to show up at a meeting and ask them to justify why they are taking this attitude-in a very diplomatic way of course!!!

Good luck

Linda

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Hi Ruthie

 

It does not surprise me to read what you have to say.

Speaking with other care workers, and my own experience runnig a voluntary toddler group for two years this seems to be the case. When you run the group, set up the activities, have the training and ability to deal with the children and curriculum, people assume that you have no financil ability.

My own experience led me to get several parents on my side. We recreated the group and broke away from the community committee. We set up a constitution of rules for ourself and set up our own bank account. we were then able to approach local council voluntary services and ask them if they could offer us any financial assisstance as a newly formed group.

The down side to this was that the committee increased the rent that they charged us for the community hall use, With better toys and facilities to offer we attracted more parents anyhow and over heads could just about be met. (we had to start making a small charge for children to attend).

 

Why do these committees have to try and controle every single group that they encounter, why cant they work with the professionals and trust that the people who are carrying out the work do know what they are doing.

i could moan about this for pages but wont. i hope you find a successful outcome.

Julie.S

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hi linda

 

Yes, the committee is made up by parents and the chair person is the local childminder.

I am allowed to the meetings since the change of committee last AGM but they still dont see me as a professional person or the other staff for that matter.

Whatever i seem to say they just think its my own personal opinion and not that of ofsted, standards and legislation. I do run a very tight ship when it come to the "official" side of running a setting so i do know what im talking about.

 

As for funding, we are currently fund raising for a mobile at the local primary school, as well as a lottery grant. The only problem is this has been going on for over 2 years so all the money raised that keeps getting put into the new building account is raised by children who have since left for school and never benefited from the fund raising.

 

Its not as if the bank account is empty, i wish my own bank account looked that bad! we are only just under the limit for the charities commision so you can work out roughly whats in thier, i have to beg for £20 petty cash a half term, you can imagine how far that goes.

I think funding is my biggest bug bear, they expect my staff to go onto training all day on a saturday and not even recieve expenses, I usually purchase my paint and paper stuff at the begining of each term but have been asked not to do so this term and to make do with what we have got.

I dont know how far they think a bottle of paint goes will 26 children painting 8 session per week.

 

I'll keep at it, i very rarely let anything beat me

 

Attending a meeting next week, i'll let you know how it went.

 

Thanks for your support.

 

Ruthie

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Hi ruthie

 

I just want to add my support to your problem. We are a committee run, charity, community play group. I have to say that the committee we have at present are very good. However, it's always worth remembering that these committee members are very much temporary, you can have a great committee, then come your AGM they all swan off to be on their local school PTA and you're left with no-one, and in the position where the playgroup can't run without these volunteers. I think that the problem that can arise with committees (this is only my opinion - Im not saying that Im right) is that they are often made up of mums (sorry to be sexist) who before children had professional careers. They can see finances in a business-oriented way. They see the need to build up the bank account, to keep afloat, to not run into dodgy ground. In an ordinary business of course this is right, and it's the way we all strive to run our homes (and fail miserably in my case!). However, they don't necessarily understand that a charity group doesn't run that way, and indeed cant run like that. Sometimes they can't comprehend that in order for us to give the best possible quality of service to their children, that we need money for the resources - the equipment, the staff, the training.

 

I would just reiterate here (in case any of our committee happen to peruse this site!), that our present committee is great and work well with the staff and other parents as a team, but I have come across committees who did not listen to staff (paid or otherwise, with quite dire consequences). I do know how frustrated you feel (here, let me hand you a wall to bang your head against!).

 

All I would say is that we ensure that all staff, whenever possible, turn up at all committee meetings and continue to have a great relationship with the parents, thereby we are always represented, and even if we are not actually allowed to have any votes on issues, at least we can make our views known. We fight our corner wherever possible.

 

If all else fails, remember that there's a pretty high chance that come next september you will have an all-new fresh committee!

 

All the very best of luck to you, I'm sorry I've not actually been helpful, but at least you know I understand. You are not alone!!

 

Best regards.

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Hi Donna and Ruthie

I can understand, as a business owner, where the committee is coming from to a degree. It is important that the group has some back up funds-should you have to close for any reason and staff are made redundant then if there are not enough funds in the bank the committee are liable for redundancy pay!!! So, I have a contingency fund for such emergencies. But, the success of a group depends on reinvestment in staff, resources and equipment. So, although my group is run as a profit making business most of this profit is ploughed back into the pre-school.

What you need to know is if there is any surplus, over and above a contingency fund, in the accounts that you could perhaps have.

We have one major fund raiser each year in June. We have a sponsored toddle where we raise money for Barnardos and we are able to keep 25% of funds raised. It is a huge success. But I am always aware that the children who do the toddle don't always benefit from whatever we buy. I suppose that is the problem with fund raising late in the school year. But that is something we have to accept.

Is it just you Ruthie who goes to the meeting or all the staff? If it's just you then perhaps you could enlist the support of all the staff and they could add weight to your arguments!!!

Keep your chin up and be positive!

Linda

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