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How is your setting introducing 15 hour free nursery entitlement for nursery children?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by FoundationStage!, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. I am a reception teacher working 3 and 3/4 hours in the morning with no break and 1/2 hour lunch and then 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon session with no lunch, we do not attend assemblies and do not have playtimes, which is 6 1/2 hours per day in total, this is the same as KS2, although their staff do have breaktimes. And the nursery teacher has more PPA than I do. I am not complaining about my situation, and I am not saying that in certain situations particular teachers don't deserve more pay, all I pointed out was that in my school there is no more money- be this right or wrong- and the nursery teacher has accepted that this is the situation. I am not saying it is right or acceptable but this is the curent situation.
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Why do you only have 1/2 hour lunch? Is this how much time you take or is it the time allocated to the children for their lunch break?

  3. <font size="4">Hi,</font><font size="4"> </font><font size="4">We have started the extra entitlement for nursery children. We had to ask our parents what hours they would prefer. Many of our parents don't work or attend college so they didn't really have a preference. Therefore the head decided to extend the sessions so they run 9-12 and 12.30-3.30. Staffing has been an issue and we have to stagger lunches. The nursery teacher has her lunch break 12-15 till 1.15 which means she never greets the afternoon children. </font><font size="4"> </font><font size="4">I went to a meeting on it the other day and got told funding is going to be done differently and the amount of funding depends on how flexible your setting is. In our borough there are 3 levels and because we are not being flexible our funding is lower </font>
  4. Hi, I have been told that funding for our state 26 place part time setting (F/S1) will soon be per head, not a ring fenced amount. I thought this was why taking children full time was not an option and why some settings that did this have had to close. Does anyone know about this?
  5. Hi, I'm a nursery teacher in a pathfinder school in Cornwall so have been doing flexible entitlement for over a year. Its going really well actually! I explained to my head at the beginning that I was not willing to work extra directed time in comparison to my KS1/2 colleagues and so I have 2 X 90 minute non-contact times a week when 2 TAs join the nursery nurse and supervise the nursery. I use this time to work on the learning journeys. This is in addition to my statutory PPA time. Hinted I would call on my union if required to work this extra time. The administrator has also costed in 2 X half-days a term for me to cover the funding paperwork etc. I do all of this and the invoices for extra hours as I am the one who works closely with the parents.
    Our sessions run 8.45 - 11.45 and 12.15 - 3.15 p.m. My lunch hour runs from 11.15 - 12.15 (I quite like having an early lunch!) and my nursery nurse goes for lunch from 11.45 - 12.30 - so we co-incide a little bit in the staff room. 2 qualified TAs run the lunch hour, one works 11.00 - 12.15 the other works 11.15 - 12.30. Sounds complicated but works fine. The TAs start on the lunches at about 11.35 ish, (wash hands, get packed lunch, sit up to table etc.) while the nursery nurse does singing, circle songs etc. with children going home at 11.45. My big requirement was that I should be at the start of both a.m. and p.m. sessions - and the children have got used to me disappearing at 11.15! I like coming back and seeing them all seated at the lunch tables very happily. We also cater (lunch and p.m. sessions) for part-time reception children.
    Sorry this is so long - there is so much more i could tell you! The funding changes April 2010 (in Cornwall anyway) and there are going to be some losers. So its going to be 'bums on seats' funding, not ring fenced for school nurseries. Don't know what is going to happen here as our nursery fills up gradually - we do now take children as soon as they are 3, not the term after.
    Hope this over-lengthy reply helps in some way. We've all got to do it I'm afraid but you don't have to be as fully flexible as I have described.
    We offer full flexibility - I run each child's choice of hours on an Excel spreadsheet (thanks to my son!) which shows how many places are left as you add in each individual's 15 hour spread. Couldn't even start to do it without the spreadsheet - also have A4 daily sheets on the wall near the door. We offer 3 hour sessions a.m. and p.m., 6 hour days lunch included, 5 hour days lunch included. Variety of starts - 8.45, 9.00 or 9.15 (this makes a good staggered entry) with corresponding finish times of 2.45, 3.00 or 3.15 p.m. 5 hour days run from 9.15 to 2.15. Parents often pay for the extra hour from 2.15 - 3.15 - we charge &pound;2-40 per hour. Parents also pay for children to stay on half-an-hour to have lunch or to come half-an-hour early for lunch before the p.m. session. There are only 16 places for lunch each day because of the legal staffing ratios (1 to 8) when I am not there. Parents also pay for extra hours when we have unfilled places - I have taken over &pound;700 just at the start of this term.
    Parents may definitely not change their sessions each week - we just couldn't do it - they get their choice at the beginning of the year. Very rarely I might organise a change if the parent has a real difficulty. We try to help parents as much as possible within limits and they seem really pleased with what we do. Some parents have a really odd mix of hours to fit in with work requirements. I too was worried about 3 year olds staying all day - but there have been no problems, At least one third of my children stay for all-day sessions.
  6. how do you organise security of your setting? We're a large 99 place unit and our parents come in to drop off and pick up their children through our large front doors - my big worry is working out how to keep all children safe if the doors are open at various points during the day. At the moment we go to our key groups so all children are sitting with a key worker when the doors are open but that wouldn't work if we've got lots of drop off and pick up times. I'm keen to keep the relationships with the parents by letting them in but am trying to get my head round it all.
  7. Why are teachers doing lunchtime duties? KS2 meant to have more teaching time than KS1? I haven't heard of this before. I would disagree with being accepting of an unfair system. One word springs to mind - union.
  8. Interestingly, in Scotland, all teachers including nursery teachers, contractually work 35 hours but with 22.5 pupil contact time.

    The three hour thing is throwing some interesting challenges yet to be resolved around ratios, as most nursery classes have one teacher and two nursery nurses for 30 children, 3-5 years.
  9. 25% of most deprived schools have had to provide flexible provision this year, we are 1 of them. Our problem (well it will be a problem when funding is per head in 2011 I think) is that there is litttle requirement for extended provision in our area. When we canvassed parents they certainly didn't want full days - we have extended our a.m. session - now 8.45 to 11.45 and most are taking this extra time as it fits in more closely with school times. In the afternoon we have extended session 1-4.00 - and currently have 2 chn. for the extra 30 mins as it is 1/2 hour after school finishes - if we started earlier we would have no takers at all as it would be 45 mins before rest of school ( a lot ofour children go home at lunchtime).
    The NUT have sent guidance to schools this week, here are some of the main points made:-
    Concerns -
    - changes to pattern of the day
    - extensive use of TAs to cover sessions
    - increased contact time for early years teachers
    - increased workload
    - reduction in time for teachers to plan or work jointly with colleagues

    In pilot areas, early years teachers are being directed to work LONGER hours. This is in breach of their contracts.
    - Teachers are encouraged to log their hours
    I've worked out that 1265 hours is under 61/2 hours/day - I couldn't get additional jobs done in that time!

  10. In fact staff meetings and planning meetings would use up all the directed time - won't do Nursery Profiles then!
  11. handrail

    handrail New commenter

    Hey everybody. I'm confused about this. I'm new to nursery this year, after teaching in reception previously. We offer this new flexible entitlement thing. We are a 39 place nursery, open 8.30 to 11.30 and then 12.15 to 3.15. We have 15 minutes to set up and then half an hour dinner. I am working these hours for no extra pay and the day is a bit mad as i rarely get a full half an hour for dinner. Do I need to speak to my head teacher or are others doing this? I am relatively new to the school and dont like to complain! xx
  12. This is a very interesting thread and is raising many issues.
    I am finding it a bit confusing. I don't think that my own LEA has approached this with settings at all, unusually for them as they are quite heavy handed with their policing of everything else. Does anybody else feel in the dark.
    There seems to be many strands to this problem which Fugs has outlined clearly.

    changes to pattern of the day
    - extensive use of TAs to cover sessions
    - increased contact time for early years teachers
    - increased workload
    - reduction in time for teachers to plan or work jointly with colleagues
    The other element is a change to financing at the same time- bums on seats rather than ring fenced numbers., but somewhere in this thread did somebody wrote that there will be different bands of funding according to flexibility of provision. Could anybody explain that a bit more please.
    Also what would be the implications for Independent Sector- other than making sure session are 3 hours minimum. We have always worked to the bums on seats method.
  13. I went to a LA briefing on this last year and I think that it will be up to individual LAs to decide on how the funding actually works. They were asking us for our ideas on what incentives there could be - e.g. how flexible you are - do you provide full days (ie 21/2 days) as well as the 3 hours, is there provision outside school hours - that sort of thing.
    Childcare on the cheap if you ask me!
  14. I am finding it interesting that posters have written that parents are not keen to take up this flexible provision of blocks of time.
    I suppose if you are a working parent the system does not offer you enough hours or enough fexibility to top up be useful to you in the maintained sector and taking your funding to private daycare is still a more practical if expensive option.
    If you are not in paid employment then three hours each day gives parents daily regular " escape " time and they might be happy with just that.
    The system is not really achieving anything if the idea is to give some parents the opportunity to return to the work force unless they can top the hours up. to full time. School nurseries don't have the facilities or manpower to offer this.
    Or is that the next step ?
  15. Regarding security and staggered starting and finishing times - my setting is much smaller than yours so it isn't a problem opening the door to parents - but as your setting is so much bigger you don't have to offer such a variety - you could keep it far simpler.
    Here, all the doors are locked as usual so when a parent with child arrives a staff member opens the door and greets them in the cloakroom, rest of children are safe inside. I can see with so many more children you could have a problem.
  16. My head has just asked me to present my proposals to governors regarding the increased hours.
    We are a 40 place nursery running two discreet sessions currently 9-11.30 and 1.00 - 3.30. The simplest solution for us would be to increase each session by 30 minutes and therefore offer all our children 9-12 and 1-4. We have no facilities to provide lunch or free/available room in school to accommodate children that are not in the nursery building. It is clear from my head's response that she would like us to be offering full time places to some children. This would be really impractical; it would mean reorganising our entire routine and curriculum, key family groups and target groups in order that the children attending full time do not just repeat what they experienced during the morning session in the afternoon (something I feel Ofsted would frown upon to say the least!) My query is... can I stick to my guns? How 'flexible' do the extra hours have to be? Do I have to consult parents or can I just present them with the new arrangements? I know that if we do consult our parents, many of them would want their children to attend full time, even though the staff feel that this would not be beneficial to the children, (Approx one third of the children in each session started in Sept and are just 3! ) Also we would only be able to offer full time to approx 6 children in each session and the amount of total disruption to our current routine etc which works brilliantly for us now, just seems to me to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak.
  17. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    My old authority is no longer funds ghost places and also pays on a scale depending how flexible the settings are. The more flexible the more money. If this is the case then state nurseries will really lose out especially part time nurseries like mine as we have least flexibility.
  18. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I bet it depends hugely on your catchment.
    Our village has a voluntary sector pre-school, and parents can opt for the sessions they choose (9-11.30, 12.30-3, lunch-hour at an extra charge). I think the majority of funded children attend a couple of full days. But this is a very middle-class group of parents, so many of the children attend other activities as well, and so days are chosen around those. I can imagine that a less affluent/active set of parents might prefer every morning or every afternoon. Family structures probably play a part, too: if families are larger, then more of the children will have older siblings, which means they're getting to the school for 9am anyway, so going every day is easier. (Whereas I enjoy our no-rush Tuesday!)
    I think a 3pm finish makes it very difficult for a nursery to function as childcare, especially if people have to travel to a job. By the time you subtract travel at each end, you could be looking for a job with hours 10am-2pm. Some retailers have cottoned on to this, and are offering posts with these hours (which cover lunch breaks). Maybe jobcentres should be working on employers to get more posts like that. Most of the part-time mums in our village do not use the pre-school, although a few use it in combination with a childminder.
    The other problem, of course, is the school holidays. If you've found that nice admin/retail job where they don't mind you working 10-2, how do you manage the holidays?
    I expect the government will find a way to bully schools into doing it all sooner or later.

    I should say that I don't think that school nurseries should be turned into childcare providers. I'm just conscious that I'm in a very small minority in being able to use a 9-3 nursery as childcare to enable me to work. (I work from home, and only for about one day per week, and I have enough flexibility that I can keep work to a minimum in the holidays.)
  19. I'm glad this topic has been posted as we are having problems already trying to be flexible. We have been offering the 15 hours since the beginning of term. Last term (summer) we ran a lunch club and the children paid a small fee to stay all day or to extend their morning or afternoon session. It worked really well and we only had 16 children with 2 TA's.
    Now we are offering the 15 hours we are running sessions from 9-12 and 12-10-3.10 and all day. The all day sessions pose a problem in themselves being 6 hours and 10 mins long. This means the children can only attend for 2 days and a 2hour 40 hour session. This mean we are having children leaving early on their 3rd day.
    We have had a good uptake and have children attending 5 mornings or 5 afternoons and about 6 children attending all day. This is where our problems start. We currently cover lunch between ourselves and have an extra member of staff come in to help. My nursery nurse and i have 30 mins which we are finding really hard as have no time to get any filing, assessments etc done. As my nursery nurse is having half the lunch break she used to this means she is coming in 15 minutes later every day and leaving 30 minutes earlier. This means we are having no time together and i'm having to do all the setting up and assessments myself as i cant expect her to take work home with her. This has made my work never ending and i'm constantly tired and not enjoying the job anymore.
    Has anyone else experienced this and been able to solve the problem?
    I'm now trying to review the hours offered for the January intake. Does anyone have any good ideas that could help us?
    Thank you
  20. We have discussed this and are also opting for six 2.5 hour sessions. We haven't decided yet whether it will be 5 mornings + afternoon (or 5 afternoons + 1 morning) or any six sessions the parents want (if we opt for the latter then it will have to be on a first come first served basis). We also might be offering a lunch club for those staying all day. We usually have 13 children in the morning and 13 in the afternoon. In order to offer these flexible sessions we will have to increase the number of places per session (17 maybe? Haven't quite added it all up yet! haha!) while still remaining a 26 place nursery. Luckily we have a level 3 TA in nursery with the teacher so we will be able to take more than 13 children in each session.
    I hope this makes sense! We went through a thousand different ideas before opting for this one, it seems to be the only one that doesn't interfere with directed hours, lunch break...etc
    Only problem is planning, we are so used to our morning and afternoon sessions, it is going to take a while to get used to planning for children being in the unit at random times!! It is going to be a nightmare to get set up but hey ho!
    Our authority are funding us based on the amount of children who take up the places (so if we get less than 26, not good!!) and also on the children that sign up for the 15 hours option. So although we were told that we did not have to offer the extended hours, we will get less funding if we don't! They are also considering offering a bonus for flexibility (hence us thinking about offering any 6 sessions to parents).
    That is the plan anyway! Might be a disaster :)

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