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We were invited to but because we run 10 sessions a week and we are full we couldnt accomodate the pathfinder from April. We may have a rethink from September but the implications for staff (who are spread over the 10 sessions) will be hard. Its not as easy as it sounds if you have time restraints etc but would be interested to see how others are managing it.


Ninafox,Pathfinder is only being offered in certain county's and they invited settings to apply. Hampshire is one of them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have signed up to join the pathfinder project and from after Easter will be offering our children 15 hours a week of free entitlement. :o


Joined the project as we are a small sessional pre-school in a community hall, but aware we do need to expand to survive with all the competition locally.


We are now opening 16.5 hours a week and the parents have selected which 15 hours they wish their child to attend.

At the moment it is scary - the children now will be bringing their lunch and stay


At present my major headache is the departure times -

a few children have not changed their hours and will leave at 12.00.

Some want to do 3 hours a day to keep it regular for mum so go 12.30.

Lots stay the full time and leave at 1.00.


I am sure it will be alright in a weeks time when we've tried it, but at the moment unsure. A member of staff will be responsible for each exit time and ensuring the children are ready.


Any tips for avoiding chaos would be great. We are offering flexibility but it has taken us out of our comfort zone of set times.

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Guest Wolfie

I think your approach is right Helen - you need to have a go and then deal with the "hiccups" as and when they happen. Entrances and exits are always difficult to manage, especially if they are staggered, but once you've established a procedure that works, sorted out the staffing of it and communicated your procedure to the parents then you should be fine.


Good luck! :)

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for the last 18 months we have one split departure time for lunch club and those not staying... we found that if we gather children due to leave at set time together it was easier, in our case we have a carpet area supervised by a member of staff and parents collect from there.

In this way we know exactly who should be collected at set times, and can monitor parents who continually collect late knowing that other children stay so urgency in collecting on time is 'lost' a bit.


you may find as we have that some children get really upset if they see another child leaving with 'mum' and their 'mum' is not there, others the opposite, get upset if they have to go and others stay! you can never win!!


we are lucky in that we have 2 rooms so can separate them , but we have used a room divider or similar to divide the children at these times..to monitor that each child is collected by the nominated person and children not leaving are kept safe at this time.


it took us a few weeks to sort out the problems encountered and each setting will have their own, you just need to be aware of problems and develop strategies to deal with them if they arise.



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