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About Pimpernel

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  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education
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  1. What would you do?

    a deposit system is permitted in the statutory guidance
  2. I'm not a great fan of the funding debate - I accept pre schools in particular are facing a pretty tough time and indeed we have sadly seen one close recently due to low numbers which 30 hours didn't help, but there are some interesting things starting to appear in my neck of the woods; Maintained nurseries here had an average occupancy of around 66% last year, this term with the advent of 30 hours places those occupancy levels have risen to around 90-94% and alongside that so has funding income without an increase in overheads, in essence 30 hours has enable them to fill their previous vacancies.The ones that are struggling a little are those who don't offer 30 hour places. There is a similar picture within the Private Nurseries though they did not have the low previous occupancies so the rise in attendance is not as dramatic. All of our nurseries are offering 30 hours and five new nurseries have either started in the past 12 months or are about to open which seems to be a different picture to the one I keep reading about - is the funding debate in this sector a southern issue or one generated by national chains, I don't know but I do wonder ? I wouldn't go so far as to say our local nurseries are entirely happy, but I certainly wouldn't say they are facing the severe financial pressures I keep reading about? What does concern me is the inequality in the 30 hour entitlement, which was predicted but is now more stark. Everyone knows of the demand to close the gap between the disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers , but this is the reality in funding terms here; To gain the additional funding hours you need to be earning over £120 per week and less than £100K per year - the approx. value of these additional hours is £2,400 per annum If you are not eligible and only receive 15 hours your setting may attract EYPP on your behalf , the value of this is £302 per annum! So far from closing the gap the 30 hour entitlement could be seen as offering a financial incentive to widen it - this , in my opinion, is getting lost in the debate about funding
  3. Stretched Offer

    an easier way may be to remember that the entitlement for 15 hours equates to 570 hours maximum per year and 1140 hours per year for 30 hour eligible children - dividing this figure by the number of weeks you would wish to stretch over will give the weekly equivalent.
  4. Whilst I am no fan of the governments funding policy and 30 hour programme, whilst Neil Leitch only focus is on the gap in funding against his very unspecified costs (i.e. what is the actual funding gap on an average hourly rate) he is missing the fact that most providers will just get on with it and make it work (somehow for them). The recent report from early implementers stated that 60% of those providers found increased revenue, instead of asking what made it work for them, he continues to focus on the lesser percentage who said it didn't work without actually asking where were they from, were they operating in a disadvantaged area etc. as I would expect that settings in less affluent areas would face different challenges to those in affluent areas simply in terms of numbers of eligible 30 hour parents. I just wish he and the NDNA would start trying top find examples where providers have made it work for them, because at the end of the day the 30 hour entitlement and its attached funding are not going to go away - its less than six weeks to September , do we rally think government are going to up the funding before then? I think not.
  5. I think the world would be a much better place if people stopped listening to Neil Leitch from the Ministry of Misinformation!
  6. Invoicing for additional charges within 30 hours

    Why over complicate Total Hours accessed 50 (or whatever) per week minus free hours 15 or 30 a: Hours to pay for 35 or 20 @ £ your charge b:Additional agreed charges (lunches etc) Total to pay (a plus b)
  7. 30 hours - questionnaire for parents?

    Parent Survey 30 Hours Free Early Education and Childcare Dear Parent, You may be aware that the government are planning to introduce 30 Hours Free Early Years Childcare from September 2017, for parents who meet certain eligibility criteria set by government. The criteria are presently; both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) and each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum/living wage and less than £100,000 per year. Working will include self-employed persons. Parents do not necessarily need to actually work 16 hours a week, but rather their earnings must reflect at least 16 hours of work at minimum wage or at the national living wage. This includes parents on zero hour’s contracts who meet the criteria. both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity leave , adoption leave , or statutory sick pay one parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring or one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits. We are presently trying to estimate the numbers of parents who may be eligible and to see if we have enough childcare places to meet this demand. Your help with this survey will be invaluable in helping us do this. We do not need you to enter any names as the survey is anonymous but it would help if you could complete all questions. Thank you so much for your help. What is your home postcode? Name of setting attending? Are you (please tick) Single Parent Family Two Parent Family Do you work more than 16 hours per week?Parent One Yes No Parent Two Yes No Does your family income exceed £100,000 per yearYes No Are you (please tick which)Full Time employed Self employed Part time employed Zero hours contract Do you consider your employmentStable Unstable Not sure Age of children attending this setting (please tick or enter number in each age range)0+ 1+ 2 3 4 How many hours of childcare do you currently use per week (please tick nearest)?5-10 hours 10-15 hours 15-25 hours 25-50 hours Do you claim your free entitlements for 2,3 or 4 year olds as part of these hours? If so, how many (please tick nearest)?0-5 hours 5-10 hours 10 -15 hours If you were eligible for the additional 15 free hours, would you use:0-5 hours 5-10 hours 10 -15 hours If you were eligible for the full 30 hours how do you think you might use them:In term time only Spread across a full year No preference Is childcare availability at weekends something you may need?Yes No
  8. When do others take an extra unfunded week?

    Schools are funded for free entitlements for 38 weeks of the year (or 570 hours per annum) just like everyone else
  9. fairer funding campaign

    Firstly, let me say I agree that there should be more funding for early years providers - no question there! However, I do get a little perplexed by the inconsistencies in the Pre School Learning Alliance and their surveys - this being the latest one In this current one they are asking for LA's to have a statutory duty to review childcare costs annually through some sort of costs audit/analysis. Yet confusingly they do not call for any responsibility on a provider, of any sector, to actually supply the information. Why are they not also saying that if you are a provider in receipt of government funding for free entitlements that you must take part in such a survey/analysis as a condition of that funding? There have been multiple examples up and down the country where surveys have been undertaken but the responses so low as to be at best unrepresentative or at worst meaningless. As I recall the DfE had the greatest difficulty when they conducted their own survey, which they then had to disregard, due to the low response and differing ways those who did respond reported their costs. There had been numerous threads and posts on here that would exemplify this. I know that the PSLA would say they have conducted their own surveys that have produced some results, but I don’t know who they consulted or form which sector. What I do know is they didn’t speak with, or get returns from, anyone in my neck of the woods, neither am I sure what their response rate was in relation to requests sent. If we know that response rates to such surveys are very low, then what is the point of calling for statutory duties for surveys that cannot be met unless providers actually supply the information to inform them?
  10. When do others take an extra unfunded week?

    its 12 weeks spring, 14 weeks summer and 12 weeks autumn here irrespective of school dates and stays the same every year irrespective of when Easter falls. Payment dates start on Monday and finish on Friday. This is the same for schools and private settings, even though schools may not start/finish on a Monday or Friday.