All parents should now be aware that from the start of Term 4 (after February half-term) Pre-School opening hours are changing. The details of why we are making this change are available in our Letter to Parents – 21 January 2019
Pre-School will be open from March 11th:
Monday : 8.30 – 14.45
Tuesday: 8.30 – 13.00 (Family time runs from 13.30 – 14.30)
Wednesday: 8.30 – 14.45
Thursday: 8.30 – 14.45
Friday: 8.30 – 14.45
All parents will have received an individual letter stating what this means for their child and giving them the option to revise their hours and provide funding information if needed.
Information was also provided at the same time about our decision to introduce a 35p a day consumable charge (to cover snack and other consumables). Parents can opt to send in their own healthy snack for their child if they prefer.
Following our coffee session with parents on February 8th here are some of the key questions that were asked and our answers:
Q: Why do the hours have to change?
A: Pre-School is an amazing setting, but like many other early years providers we are struggling financially. The Commitee are responsible for ensuring that Pre-School can balance it’s budget. Offering the new hours will help us to do this by making us a more attractive setting to parents as we are able to offer 29.5 hours of free childcare to those eligible. We hope this will enable us to fill all our sessions. It is also in line with government policy to encourage parents to place their children in a quality childcare setting to help prepare them for school. We are really excited about the change and have been pleased by the positive comments from parents. Many are happy that their children can spend more time in Pre-School (as they love it) and it allows parents more time to work in some cases!
Q: Why aren’t the hours changing immediately after half term to the full new day?
A: The committee and staff agreed it would be sensible to introduce the changes gradually. This is important for the children who will be increasing their time at preschool by an hour and a quarter on some days if they attend full-time. We need to build them up to this. Secondly it will allow staff and parents a bit longer to get used the the new routine. The change to the full hours will take place over 2 weeks. During the weeks starting Monday 25th February and Monday March 4th – we will open as currently at 9.15, afternoon pickup will be 14.45 (or 13.00 on Tuesday) during this fortnight. From Monday 11th March we will open at 8.30 daily and also close at the later times.
Q: Can I keep dropping off and collecting at the old times?
A: In the long-term, no. After the first fortnight we would like parents to drop off and collect at the new times. If this will cause you difficulties please speak to a member of the staff team and we will try to help. Until the end of Term 4 we will offer some flexibility around this as we know changes to childcare have a big impact. By the start of Term 5 parents will be expected to drop off and collect promptly at the new times.
Q: Can I increase the sessions my child does?
A: Yes! Hopefully if you wish to do this you will already have completed your forms and returned to Tess and the team, but please do speak to us at any point about this and if there is space in the session you want we will very happily have you.
Q: I’d like my child to come in on a Friday, can they?
A: It depends, if they are starting school next year (are rising 4) then YES- our Friday session is for children in their final year before they start school only. This may mean that your child is a Caterpillar and aged 3, but not able to attend as they will not start school in September of this year. These sessions have an academic and school preparation focus and are designed for the older children to help ease their transition to school.
If you have a question you would like us to answer please speak to any Committee or Staff Member – we are happy to answer them.