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Benjamin last won the day on May 7 2013

Benjamin had the most liked content!

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About Benjamin

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    Feet firmly under the table!

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  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education
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  1. I don't know your budget but we bought some of these last year from mindstretchers to support a project in Essex and they seemed to be very good quality and we have had no complaints about them. Mindstretchers refer to them as rompers: http://www.mindstret...erproof-Rompers- http://www.mindstret...ce-Lined-Romper
  2. Non Payment

    While it is not the same situation, I have found the following information useful in the past when having to take action against a high street retailer. While the situation is different, the process for recovering money owed to you through the courts is still the same: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/how-to-complain If you scroll to the bottom under "Step 5" it explains the process of how to take someone to court to reclaim losses. Maybe this will help, or at least point you in the right direction of how to get started if you decide to take this route. The main website to get the ball rolling is: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome
  3. Encrypting Computers

    Check Point have a range of software that can encrypt your entire hard disk and/or removable media, like a USB flash drive/memory stick: http://www.checkpoint.com/products/index.html#endpoint If data is stored on a USB flash drive which is then lost it cannot be accessed unless it is put in the original laptop or if you know the password. Not sure on the cost. An alternative solution could be to use a Kingston DataTraveler Vault. This has its own encryption software built in so if you put the drive in any computer you have to enter a password to use the drive. You cannot format it or do anything to it unless you know the password. They do a more expensive and "extreme" version but it is quite expensive for a flash drive. Still, it might be a simple way of ensuring important files are encrypted. Remebmer though that most documents can be recovered from a computer after you have deleted them with some simple software, so it is best to encrypt the machine if data security is a concern for you. If you create a file on your computer and then put it on to a secure flash drive it is still on your computer somewhere. All you have done is remove the icon that links you to the file. When you are done with a computer it is best to wipe it clean before you recycle it or repurpose it. A free solution that can do this is called DBAN: http://www.dban.org/
  4. The size of an icon is usually pre-determined by the resolution of your screen. I can't check right now as I am on Windows XP in the office but I think windows 7 has the option to increase icon size. I think, if you right click on the desktop it has the option icon size - small, medium, large. I don't know it is on all versions of windows 7.
  5. Do You Have A Chip And Pin Machine?

    If you have a smart phone you could use barclays pingit app. It's free and you don't have to bank with barclays to use it. People just send money to your phone number from their phone, It's like texting people money, but doesn't cost you money to receive (although they might charge business customers, i don't know).
  6. Specialeffect Charity

    Hi Everyone Some friends of mine work for a company that make video games and, on the side, they do a lot of work for a charity called SpecialEffect. SpecialEffect are a small charity dedicated to helping children and young people with disabilities to enjoy video games. It's not just about having fun; it is also about inclusion, motivation and a better quality of life for these children and young people. I have seen the difference this charity makes and how hard my friends work to support them. Currently, they are applying for a grant from Opus Energy. All they need is people to watch their video and click the button that says "Vote For This Video". If you have a spare minute please watch the video and vote: http://www.opusenergygift.com/video?id=DOEkOOgCGMM Thanks everyone!
  7. No sure if it is applicable but I saw an advert in this months Computer Shopper magazine for a book called iPad for kids - 500 best apps to help your child learn and play. It goes on to say it reviews apps for: First words, handwriting, Counting, Reading, Spelling and Phonics. It is available from www.magbooks.com One app that you shouldn't be without is AppMiner. AppMinder is a free app. When you open it up it looks very similar to the app store. It shows you which apps are in the sale or have been made free for the day. Sometimes, apps go in a sale or are made free for a short period to help promote them, often around the holidays (particularly US Holidays). This is a good way of finding apps for free that may otherwise cost quite a bit. AppMiner also allows you to have an app watch list, so you can add an app that may cost a lot and app miner will alert you when/if it goes on sale. Useful if you have your eye on an expensive app. I have got some apps that cost upward of £15 for free thanks to AppMiner. A good visual music app is TNR-i. This is an iPad version of a very expensive and strange instrument created by Yamaha in Japan. It works as a series of lights on a grid. You can turn the lights on or off, creating patterns. The patterns are linked to sounds and there is a constant rhythm and your pattern will be turned in to sound. It might sound a bit confusing but that just means that you know a child will pick it up in 5 minutes. Easier to understand and much cheaper is garage band. This lets you play and record a whole variety of musical intruments, drums, guitars, violins, pianos, etc. It's only £2.99.
  8. Essex Re Top Up Fees

    Hi I have consulted with a colleague who has provided me with the following information for you, which I hope answers you question. Providers in receipt of this funding sign a Free Early Education Entitlement Contract with Essex County Council. Any breaches of the contract that are reported to Essex County Council are fully investigated. Section 7 of the contract states as follows: 7.1 If THE PROVIDER inappropriately levies or charges in respect of the Free Entitlement, this shall be deemed a breach of contract and THE PROVIDER is obliged to make such repayments as THE COUNCIL directs, to the parent against whom the charge has been levied, within 30 working days. 7.2 If the provision is only open for a 3 hour session, it is permissible to ask for a voluntary contribution towards snacks or one-off activities. However parents/carers must be given the option to provide a snack for their child or to opt out from the one-off activity if they choose not to pay and without any form of recourse i.e. they shouldn’t be treated any differently if they choose to do that. . 7.3 THE PROVIDER can make a charge for additional services. The level of such fees is a private matter for agreement between the provider and the parent/carer and should be stated in advance as part of the provider’s terms and conditions with the parent. Providers must not impose on parents conditions of access to which they must agree in order to take-up their free hours, i.e., parents must not be obligated to purchase additional hours or pay lunch time charges in order to secure free provision (see point 7.1). Parents who choose to take up additional services should not be charged any more for those services than parents of children who are not accessing a free place. Above all, arrangements for charging for additional services should be clear and transparent and provided in writing to parents before the offer of a place is agreed. 7.4 THE PROVIDER can charge for any hours taken outside of the agreed funded segment or for hours over and above the funded entitlement for each child (refer to point 5). 7.5 THE PROVIDER must not charge ‘top up’ fees (the difference between what a provider would normally charge and the funding they receive from the COUNCIL to deliver the Free Entitlement). This also includes compulsory registration fees, uniforms or administration costs. 7.6 THE PROVIDER must not ask parents to pay fees up-front that relate to accessing the Free Entitlement regardless that these might be refunded at a later date. 7.7 THE PROVIDER should ensure that the Free Entitlement is not represented to parents as a monetary subsidy/discount as this funding has no monetary value to parents. Invoices and billing should be clear, transparent and relevant. The invoice should only itemise the additional hours or services accessed that are chargeable.
  9. Hi Amanda I have consulted with a colleague in relation to your question who believes that the information your are looking for was part of the old "Early Entry" pro forma. The contents of this pro forma can be found within the EYFS Framework, as this is where they were taken from. Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this matter and I will endeavour to get an answer for you. Regards Ben