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JJA last won the day on April 15 2017

JJA had the most liked content!

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About JJA

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  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education
    Nursery practitioner
  1. We just used a plastic box with lid (not clear, but white) and fill it with battery christmas lights - works great!
  2. Hi all. I'm hoping someone on here has a bright idea for a simple story that looks at the issue of poverty and use of Food Banks if possible... We are collecting for the FoodBank's 'Reverse Advent Calendar' next month and I wanted to give the children (preschool) a basic understanding of where their food would be going and why. I've found a couple of American ones but they aren't shipping over here yet. Thanks in advance!!!
  3. Setting up new nursery - eek!

    Hi and good luck! I set up my first nursery in 2003 (with business partner) and second in 2005. Between the two we now have around 250 children on role and 50 staff! It is very, very rewarding but if you have never been an employer before then that is the biggest learning curve. I recommend joing the Pre-School Learning Alliance (and getting your insurance through them) - that way you get access to 24/7 legal help which is brilliant. Anyway, staff shifts: For key-person reasons, we ensure that anyone with key-person responsibilities works a full day (which is 8am-6pm) However, if full-time, these people only work 4 days, so a 36hr contract. Some also do one breakfast club a week (starting 7:30am.) But not all work full-time: I have a Mon, Tues, Wed key-person for example so she just has key children that fit in with her days. I then have my own 'supply' register of staff who are happy to come on ad hoc shifts to cover courses, fluctuations in children's numbers, holidays etc. These staff members, however, are un-contracted so under absolutely no obligation to accept shifts. Hope that has helped! J
  4. Lunch Breaks

    I have found over the years that general messages/memos don't get the right result and can get peoples' backs up. When you send a message to everyone it always seems to be the ones that you want to get the message that don't think it's them! I think you'd be better off monitoring for a bit and seeing who you need to speak to...
  5. This is how it is phrased in our policy: Holidays and session swaps We do not give refunds for family holidays or days absent. However, we endeavour to be flexible and, therefore, if we are able to offer swaps for an occasional change of day then we will attempt to help with this if staffing levels allow. This will only happen for holidays notified in advance, not retrospectively. Families claiming 2, 3 & 4 year old government funding are not be able to have ‘swap’ days for holidays. However, if parents notify the office a minimum of 2 weeks before they are due to go on holiday the government funded hours will be ‘returned’ to their account for use over other attendance. Payment for enhanced provision and any additional sessions/hours is not returned. Funded hours cannot be returned for any absences not notified in advance; I would strongly recommend that all parents are given a 'Fee Payment Agreement' to sign when they start with you so that everyone has understood the what can and cannot be accommodated in advance. Hope that's helped!
  6. Funding

    I'd never thought of it that way, Lana :huh:
  7. Funding

    Yep - I share. I think it's only right that they should understand the implications and it stops them viewing us as greedy or money grabbing. I put up the link to the 'Champagne nurseries, lemonade funding' animation for them as I think it explains it perfectly.
  8. Excellent - that reads even better from my perspective. Everything now sorted for September! Hurrah!
  9. Admissions policy

    I am having to speak to the parents in our baby room and ask them to start thinking about what they will want when their children turn 3 so that they get the spaces rather than new families, in effect, booking children in 2 years ahead!! My vacancies run approx. 3yrs ahead and I already have 20 children on my 'school leavers' list for 2020 (and 8 in 2021!)
  10. Admissions policy

    I obviously appreciate what you are saying about flexibility, but I am also seeing it from quality for the parents and children...We are full daycare and currently have around 80 children doing a whole range of different variations of mornings, afternoons and full days. In my admissions first priority goes to families already attending nursery. With the introduction of the 1,140hrs I envisage (and it's starting to happen) that families that are already with me will increase their hours, reducing the number of spaces for new families. You could say this is reducing flexibility, but what it means is fewer children doing more days, which reduces the workload of key people considerably, improving quality. So admissions is families already here, then siblings, then those wanting most sessions.
  11. Here's one for you! I usually offer placements to one or two L3 childcare students a year from our local college. This year they have approached me and asked if I would take a student who uses an alert dog for diabetes. Have any of you lovely people had experience of this? It is something I would love to do - what better way to illustrate inclusive practice and help children to understand the wide range of needs and help that people have... But I just wondered if there was anything extra I will need to put in place (thinking Risk Assessments, parent permission possibly) Thanks!
  12. I wouldn't itemise the additionals on an invoice - this would be far too complicated and you would also have to think of a cost for each individual item and it also raises the 'opting in' of some bots and 'opting out' of others, making everyone's bills a nightmare and tracking who has what who doesn't...OMG! Itemise the additionals on the fee payment policy and parental agreement to sign when parents join, then wrap these additionals up into one cost. Simple.
  13. Same here. They have only agreed verbally when I described my idea to the finance LEA rep at a recent briefing session, but I asked if I could send them my new structure/agreements/invoices/policies for them to cast their eye over and they won't look at them until September - ridiculous! So I've had to implement it all and let my parents know so that they know what they are going to be charged in September.
  14. That's right, Wildflowers. Just be clear so they know what they're agreeing to. Cost-wise, it still makes a huge difference to parents which is all my current parents are interested in!