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apple last won the day on October 5 2013

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About apple

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    Apple the Snowman!
  • Birthday 13/03/66

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  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education

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  1. Forum Update

    Wow looks great. I shall loot forward to navigating around the new look site. Thanks for all your hard work in continuing to make this forum the best go to site for all os us in the sector :-)
  2. Would love to have attended but sadly we cannot afford cover! We are a maintained Nursery class and due to the drop in funding from £4.86 to £4.26 per child, low numbers (some that we have lost to not being flexible enough in extending the school day for working parents who are choosing a PVI to take their 30 hours) and a possible decrease as funded 2 year olds are staying at their existing setting. We are facing a deficit of nearly £30,000 and a claw back of up to £26,000 from the LA. It really is dire and on top of that we were notified yesterday that 7 parents out of the 13 we offered a 30 hour 'funded' place got their application in too late (passed the August 31st deadline). This meant that we would lose another £6,000. A scrambled phone call to the authority said there was nothing they could do and when we appealed to say how unfair it was e.g. no grace period at the beginning of the first term in and particularly as the August deadline is hard for schools to chase parents and remind them to get their application in as we are on the 6 week break, the LA relented and allowed 5 to be accepted. The fact that all 7 had had their eligibility confirmed and their codes issued should have meant that there was not a problem. For the other two families, they now face the prospect of either paying a top up fee for the next half term until they can reapply for their codes ready for January or face not having the place at all then we could lose them altogether including their 15 hour universal offer. The authorities response to this was to say that they are working parents so should be able to afford to pay an interim top up pay... I kind of see this point in a way but some of these families are not super rich and are just able to afford getting back into work anyway. We sent a letter out today to the two families saying that we have not been given funding for their child's place for the Autumn term, that we have absorbed the cost for the first half term but now need to ask them to pay for the second half term. I await to see what their response is :-(
  3. Hello all has anyone got any suggestions for where we can apply for a grant to fund a project we want to do relating to Communication and Language within EY? Of course I am looking at the National Lottery's 'Awards for All' but wondered if there was anything else out there?
  4. Thank you for highlighting this... it makes for very interesting and highly maddening reading. To know that SO many in the sector are suffering because of such an ill thought out, vote winning policy (yes of course on the one hand it is great for working parents) but the impact on settings looks insurmountable. The debate helped me to understand the wider implications for all sorts of providers and to affirm that in our setting (maintained Nursery class) we are not alone in facing/coping with the challenges that the scheme has wrought. Phrases in the MP's debate such as 'racking and stacking', disregarding the needs of the most vulnerable who are not eligible, reducing education to childcare etc have struck a chord. Thank you Rebecca for sharing and I really do urge colleagues to read the debate and share with as many people as possible and also to get in touch with either Ruth George MP who brought the debate into the House or their local MP. Is this the moment of change???
  5. Small mallets

    Why not use hammers? You can either purchase child size ones or the smaller adult ones but cut down the handle?
  6. Thank you both... no I haven't yet seen these so thanks for the links
  7. Quote - "A current proposal to remove the requirement for maintained nursery and reception classes to have a qualified teacher."... Oh my... can anyone point me in the direction of where this has come from? I have not heard of this at all!
  8. School Nursery Class numbers

    Hello all thank you for taking the time to respond. It has helped. I had not thought about the 2 year olds having an impact (I don't know about how the funding and criteria is for them - will have to google it). We have explored before and after school club, call it what you will. We even went down a long road of survey, financing etc to provide a purpose built mobile on site but we could not get it. As for breakfast club... parents requested it and then numbers began to drop so we had to abandon that too! Dmccallin81 - do you have a separate room for your 2 year olds? We are thinking of taking some rising threes in January but need to put a bit more thought into this (and quickly too!). Catma I quite agree with you about the value that school nurseries and Nursery schools play and you are absolutely right about having to rethink a different kind of model if this was to continue. Low numbers in Nursery impact on the amount we send into Reception (and then not all who are with us at the moment will come to our school.) Sending few into Reception means that there are challenges that they too will face (but then many schools without a Nursery also face these challenges and cope.) Changes are a coming... we've just got to change too!
  9. Hello all I am just trying to find out if other Nursery classes (part of a school setting) are experiencing a drop in numbers this year and if so are there any reasons that this might be the case? We are a 52 part time nursery class and although numbers at Induction were relatively healthy (86) we have had a significant drop out rate - the most that I have know in the 11 years I have worked in the Nursery. We are offering 13 30 hour places (about 16 applied) but as we work in family groups of a ration 1:13 we thought this was the best logistically. There are various reasons (or not at all :angry: ) for the drop outs but for some it is because we do not offer flexibility and extended hours. It is such a shame as we are an Ofsted recognised outstanding provider with an amazing and exciting outdoor and indoor environment but that does not sit well with parents who want greater flexibility. I would welcome your thoughts and experiences on numbers. We are in Birmingham.
  10. Hi all the initial findings from the Hundred Review are out today and here to download http://earlyexcellence.com/hundredreview/
  11. Confused.com

    Hi thanks for the above replies My worry is that if we do charge (which it says we can) but don't offer packed lunch as an option - only the school hot dinner - then can parents take 'legal action' regarding what it says in the Operational Guidance ? HoneyPancakes - thanks for that suggestions but this would not work for the 30 hours as what parent who is working full time would come and pick up child for lunch and bring them back later? It is a bit of a strange one! I think the head is of a mind to say this is what we are offering e.g. paid school lunch ... take it or leave it!!
  12. Confused.com

    Hi Finsleysmaid no FSM only apply for all children from Reception upwards.
  13. Confused.com

    Hello all Re Lunches - 30 hours I am just working my way through the Operational Guidance for Early Years Entitlement. On Page 31 it states 'Providers can charge for meals and snacks as part of their delivery of the free entitlement as long as parents are not required to pay as a condition of taking a child's free entitlement place.' I am a little confused about this. We are a maintained school Nursery class. At present we have no provision to offer the option of packed lunches (I won't go into that point). Therefore we employ lunchtime supervisors to look after the children over the lunch period and parents either pay for the lunch or are eligible for FSM. I don't understand how we can offer a 30 hour place, charge for the lunch (as we are entitled to do as stated above) but not make this a condition of the offer? Can anyone clarify this for me please?
  14. Is this what was out a few weeks ago? I think there is a list of the changes somewhere?
  15. Doh! Thank you so much Rebecca and lsp. I knew I could really on someone here ;-)