DS2 had his first day at our school's nursery yesterday. One super thing about it is that the room opens out directly on to the play area and the children can wander in and out at will. This will make a HUGE difference to a child like DS2.
The staff mentioned that they would love to have an all-weather canopy so the children could continue this practice even in the rain which we get a lot of up here in Yorkshire.
Now, here's the issue. After some quite heated debate, our PTA has committed to putting nearly all its funds raised in the next few years towards a "muga" or multi-use games area costing £55,000 (ouch!). There's some politics, so I can't blunder in and say "why don't we do this instead" or they will be highly irritated! I think the MUGA plan is unrealistic but this is NOT the time to say so (except on mumsnet where it won't offend anyone). We'll find out over the next few years who's right!
So before I open my big mouth, I would like to research (i)what kind of companies supply these kinds of canopies (ii) how you do a tendering process to get the best price (iii) what government or other bodies might be willing to part-fund the canopy (iv) whether the PTA and head would object to a separate fund-raiser limited to the nursery parents so it didn't compete too much with the MUGA plans (v) whether it would be ethical for a state school to simply invite anonymous donations - there are quite a few well-off parents who together could, frankly, afford to simply buy the canopy, but who work full time and therefore can't take part in endless fundraisers - but our head would not tolerate anything that made non-donating parents feel "second class" so it would have to be handled carefully.
I would really appreciate the benefit of anyone's experience on any of these issues, practical and political!