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Everything posted by Stargrower

  1. baskets/tubs for toys

    I love wicker baskets but they don't really last and always end up unravelling or breaking around the rim. Have you tried the plastic baskets that look a bit like woven wicker? I think they're made by Curver and come in muted colours. They're not as nice as the real thing but definitely sturdier! The other thing we use is those big rubber tubs with handles that you find in garden centres. They're good for large construction toys and can be used indoors or outside.
  2. Music licence

    Yep, I resisted this one for ages, but it caught up with me in the end and we pay for a combined PPL/PRS licence to play any music in the setting.
  3. Whistleblowing

    Thanks Sunnyday, I think it got lost at the top of the thread!
  4. Starting a Nursery

    The flyer gives you quite a lot of info. Could you not just go to one of the viewing sessions on the flyer? A repairing and insuring lease means you as the tenant are responsible for buildings insurance and the repair of the building.
  5. Time off work

    How do you work out the average attendance Rebecca?
  6. Whistleblowing

    You do need a Whistleblowing Policy. Here is ours... Whistleblowing Policy anon.docx
  7. SENDcO

    I have a SENDCo and as manager, I am the deputy SENDCo. The term SENDCo is correct but I think most people just pronounce it the same as SENCo!
  8. Ofsted Box

    For our last two inspections, when the inspector has called the day before, she has given me a list of paperwork she will want to see the next day. So I have just assembled everything on the list and handed it over. I no longer keep things "just in case Ofsted want to see it". The prior warning was really helpful as it prevented me running round like a headless chicken during the inspection, trying to remember which file I'd put things in!
  9. apprentices

    Yes they can, providing you are confident in their abilities, just as unqualified staff can be counted. When we have had apprentices, I have not counted them in ratio for the first couple of months, but have done after this. It would very much depend on the individual though and what you are asking of them.
  10. Glitter Ban

    i'll be along with use-up-Christmas-chocolate cake (oops, I said it again!). Tesco's had creme eggs, mini eggs and Lindt bunnies on display when I popped in the day after Boxing Day! I think they need to start living in the moment too!
  11. Risk assessment for Grommets

    Was your advisor looking for something for you to do? Sounds a bit like a tick box exercise to me!
  12. Glitter Ban

    Well while we're (not) on the subject...just before Christmas (the nice C word) a TWO YEAR OLD at my nursery used the other C word, to her key person, in context! Just when I thought I couldn't be shocked by anything children do any more!
  13. Outings

    We have hi-viz vests with the name of the nursery printed on them. They were very kindly donated by our local Lions group (charity fundraisers) even though we're not a charity. They have done this for a local pre-school too.
  14. I wish we were being paid the £4.27 an hour that is always quoted as the average. £3.85 for us. If only the government had 'sold' this to parents as subsidised childcare, not free. We would all be happy. Parents would still get a massive discount, and we would be able to charge the difference between what the LA pay us, and what it costs to provide the places.
  15. Additional Hours

    We haven't yet been able to claim the additional hours (over the universal 15) for children using up to 30 hours funding. Our headcount day was 21st September and there was a technical problem on our funding portal, meaning we couldn't enter any additional hours. This still hasn't been fixed and now we're nearly in mid-November without being able to claim. I emailed my LA yesterday and received an automated reply saying they will respond within five working days. I'm now reminding parents to renew their codes for next term and we haven't claimed this term! I wondered if anyone else had experienced these delays? PS We have been paid for the universal hours claimed - thankfully!
  16. Additional Hours

    Thank you Finleysmaid, I have emailed our MP...received another automated reply but we will wait and see what happens.
  17. Additional Hours

    All our children's codes have been checked and verified, the delay is with the LA who are still saying we can't yet claim the additional hours.
  18. Scam

    We get calls like this as well, often saying "Thank you for supporting us last year and we hope we can rely on you again this year" when we have never supported them at all. You have to be so careful!
  19. The financial pressures are all too real for those of us in Local Authorities whose funding has been cut. With the introduction of the 30 hours, our funding was cut by 10% so not only are we having to cope with a big cut, we don't have the 'buffer' of charging the full price for the extra hours that children attend - as these are now funded as well. I'm sure that some nurseries are doing well financially from the 30 hours if their funding has stayed the same or increased, but certainly not all of us. We get regular emails from our LA asking for expressions of interest for nurseries and pre-schools that are facing closure, but I can't see anyone risking the investment in time or money when the future of childcare provision in my county is so insecure.
  20. We do this fairly regularly too but don't have a separate risk assessment for it - just plenty of adult supervision and common sense. It is a great activity with lots of learning potential as Mouseketeer has said.
  21. Small mallets

    Exactly what we do! :1b
  22. snack time

    Always at the table for all of the reasons above!
  23. Setting up new nursery - eek!

    i have staff working 7.30 - 4.30, 8 - 5 and 9 - 6. They have an hour for lunch, unpaid. They work the same shift all the time (other than the occasional swap). As far as possible, we try to allocate key children so that key people see them in at the beginning of the day or are there at the end of the day but for children attending 8 - 6, obviously you can't have both. Parents and children soon get to know the other staff though, so it works fine.
  24. Stretched Offer

    I'm quite confused about stretching funding... If a child is eligible for 30 hours funding each week and, for example, they attend for 20 hours, can the parent claim more than 20 hours so that when the funding is stretched over the year, they are getting their 20 hours free all year? I thought that the point of stretching the funding and the 30 hours offer was to help parents who work all year. If they can only stretch the amount of hours their child attends, there is no benefit to them, other than spreading the cost over the year, rather than paying during the holidays. Please can someone enlighten me? Thank you! :1b
  25. Stretched Offer

    Thanks for your replies. I have just spoken to my LA (after a lot of trying!) and they have clarified it. So a family entitled to 30 but only claiming 20 can claim enough hours to give them 20 free hours for 51 weeks a year. Phew!