Pre school is closing due to lack of funds...is there anything we can do?(16 Posts)
Not sure if this is the right place to be asking this but here goes...
My sons wonderful pre school is closing in July after being open in the village for 15 years.
Fewer children are attending (recession?), there are 2 other pre schools locally and they can no longer pay the bills (building rent etc)
It's a tragedy
It doesn't affect my son, as he goes up to reception in sept, but it's such a lovely pre school, and I feel so sorry for the staff and children who this will affect.
He deficit is not huge as I understand it, but it needs addressing obv.
What can we - as parents - do?
The manager has already tried re branding and promotion and more children have started recently but only 1 or 2 days.
It has a good ofsted report (recent) and excellent EYFS rating.
It is not currently a registered charity...should it be?
Is there anywhere we could apply for funding?
Isn't the government about to start funding places for some 2yo - could they benefit from taking children on this scheme? (On top of funded 3yo places).
Yes, but as I understand it not many kids will be applicable?
I think you have to be on a low income?
The problem for pre school settings is the funding. As a rule what the government offers per hour for funded children is not enough and settings are under pressure to accept the funded places as there are not enough paying parents, therefore they except children at a lost as opposed to not having children in at all. Does that make sense? It's a sad but very frequent event that small pre schools are going under. The only pre schools that I know are successful are when the manager owns it and are not taking a wage out of the earnings which is no way for a hard working manager to be
And yes there is a criteria to be elidgable for the 2 year funding which is different in each council
And it's a very small pre school..max number of kids they can have is 20 each session.
Maybe that hasn't helped?
Also, lots of parents - and I include myself - can't afford to pay from 2+ and so wait for the funding to kick in at 3.
That being said we are starting to pay for an additional session from next week, and I think they should increase the fee by at least £2 for paid sessions.
I think in this LA you have to be on a pretty low income to qualify for free 2+ places
Just feel so helpless....
Have you asked the council? Have you asked the present management? Have you asked your mp? Start there. You possibly could do a 'collective'. You need information and you need to ask parents whose interested to help and whose just moaning.
The present staff wish to stay and carry on.
The manager has been there for 14 years.
I am unsure how many parents are just moaning as you say and how many will actually help...
There are currently 10 kids on the books so to speak for sept...several current kids are starting school then.
I think you should speak to the council. Where I am, we have over 300 eligible 2 year olds in a small area and the LA are desperate to open settings and support those that are struggling to stay open.
Also the eligibility for free 2 year olds is families is increasingly massively from this september and doubling again in 2014. So even if you don't have many children locally who eligible at the moment you may soon.
Good luck with it, I hate to see established local settings go to the wall
How much do they charge per session? My local not-so-small now preschool (was in a demountable when DS1 attended 7/8 years ago, then moved to a purpose built building whilst DS2 was attending 6/7 years ago, and now has a second building in the grounds of a local primary!) charges £5.50 a session - FAR more than the funding they get.
They get around this because they ONLY have a September intake, so if your DC is 3yo at any point between September and the following August, you have to start them in the September and pay until you get the funding.
I'm on benefits and still won't qualify for the 2y funding - and I'm on DLA as is my DS3 that is waiting to start.
Because his birthday is end of January, I will have to pay for 2 full terms.
If they are charging less than this, then they need to put up their prices. And maybe do something like my preschool does with only doing a September intake.
If you think about it, an August born DC that starts preschool in the September just after they turn 2yo, will also be starting YR just after they turn 4yo - do it works because then they have had the same amount of time in preschool as their peers.
It's a PITA for parents that have to pay, but we all pay up!!
It's either that or don't get a place...
Admittedly those of us with younger DC's don't usually put them in 5 half days a week in the first year - more like 2-3 half days, but it works.
They also offer a chance of all-day sessions for the older DC's that will go to Primary the following year.
And they run through the holidays - unfunded so any parent wishing to continue using them through the holidays pays the full price.
All possible suggestions?
For the all-day sessions, they charge a small fee for the actual lunchtime (couple of pounds), then you usually have to pay for the afternoon session.
They run regular raffles, are registered as a charity, do tabletop sales to raise funds, you have to pay for snack (though I won't be as I will be providing DS3's snack due to allergies), do a Christmas party with a small cost, they even run proper day trips that you have to pay for, like a school.
Not sure what their current intake is, but I believe it's round about 120 across all sessions on both sites.
They raise money through Yellow Moon, do book people and another book company too. They take the Tesco computer vouchers and the Sainsbury's active ones, collect
evil Nestlé book tokens, all sorts.
Maybe there's a few ideas in my posts?
They also do Jo Jingles, with an additional payment on top - they've done this for years, and everyone pays, even the poorest, as they don't want their DC's to miss out!
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