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Advice Required - Taken over Chairperson position on Pre School Committiee

(6 Posts)
roseb79 Tue 18-Oct-11 19:50:23

I am really just after any thing any one can offer me as per advice/best practices for taking My Village PreSchool forward. (and esp the committiee! - all newbies)

1st advice may be to get out now!......... but main issue is getting more children in (main income) then fundrasing ideas, committiee ideas. (not asking much!!!!)

I am not without ideas but all of my experience has been in different fields but with a 2 & 3 year old attending currently & 1 due to attend soon, i felt i should get involved.

i would truly welcome any ideas.

the school is currently not in a purpose built building ( but a Church Hall) so its hard as can use every morning (as currently) and are from new term offering 2 pm's but thats all the availiability.

many thanks in advance :-)

ExpectoPatronum Tue 18-Oct-11 23:08:37

Goodness, where to start?

If you haven't done so already, I suggest you find out who is your contact person at your local authority / local Sure Start partnership. There's usually someone in a role similar to 'childcare development manager'. I'd call them, introduce yourself and find out if they are running any sort of training for new committee members. Our local Sure Start partnership runs 'Help, I'm a New Committee Member' training, and also a regular leaders & managers forum that Chairs can attend.

Also have a good look at the Preschool Learning Alliance's website, they have all manner of fact sheets relating to running a community preschool.

Lots of people on here can give you advice / opinion / suggestions if you need specific help with something.

Try to spend a couple of sessions in the preschool alongside the supervisor, it's a really quick way to get an insight into what they actually do, and carry out a quick SWOT analysis of the preschool.

Read the Statutory Framework for EYFS (this can be downloaded from the DFE's website) and learn about minimum staffing qualifications / ratios etc.

Familiarise yourself with your obligations to key bodies such as Ofsted, Charity Commission, insurers, Sure Start and so on; and identify who within your organisation carries out these tasks.

Get a copy of your staff contract and read it carefully.

Get a copy of the Preschool Learning Alliance's constitution (assuming this is what you abide by, most preschools do) and read it carefully.

Read your setting's Safeguarding Children policy. Consider doing at least a foundation child protection course yourself (usually available through your LSCB, in our area it's free for preschool staff & committee)

This will all be really invaluable and ensure no one can fob you off or pull you up on something.

Stuff like fundraising is important, but if push comes to shove, you can elect a Fundraising Coordinator to your committee and delegate all that to them. As Chair, you will most likely be the Ofsted registered person for the setting, a trustee of the charity and the employer of your staff, so I recommend you get confident with all this stuff first.

Sorry to write loads, hope it's helpful

5ofus Wed 19-Oct-11 07:21:08

I agree with ExpectoPatronum entirely and would also add that you need a strong committee behind you so that you can handle the direction whilst they take the detail.

In my year as chair the vast majority of issues to crop up were people based - issues between staff or with parents.

5ofus Wed 19-Oct-11 07:22:06

And lastly enjoy it. It IS hard work but you'll learn a lot about yourself.

ExpectoPatronum Wed 19-Oct-11 10:21:38

At the risk of sounding like each other's mutual fan-club, I totally agree with 5ofus!

It is exceptionally hard work and largely hidden - lots of your parents won't know or care that the preschool is run by a team of volunteers. But it's interesting, and it's worthwhile, and if you've had a long period of being out of the workplace, it can help keep your work-based skills up to date. I did a year as a preschool Chair, got a job as a preschool administrator, and now my children are all well established at school I work as a business manager for a charity that runs a group of community preschools.

roseb79 Wed 19-Oct-11 20:47:42

just a quick post/reply. thank you so much ExpectoPatronum & 5ofus lots of fabulous and crucial advice there. lots for me to take in and digest. will reply properly once digested!! (i may be some time!!!!!)

im now also a fan club :-)

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