It’s hard to believe that it is Easter time and that we will soon be heading into the third and final term of the year. Things seem to be slowly returning to ‘normal’ now that the Church building project has finished and we have lived with the pandemic for two years.
We are really happy with our move to the new hall, the staff have worked really hard to settle us in and spent many hours reorganising our resources so that they are now stored in our outdoor sheds.
Next we are looking forward to the new garden being finished – members of the Methodist Church have already laid a large patio at the rear of the hall and will be laying grass turf by the end of April. This will need a bit of bedding in, but we will then be able to get our water play, mud play, climbing and wilderness areas started. We hope that our outside areas will be largely done by the end of the Summer Term. Do get in touch if you have any experience of laying artificial grass as we could use your help!
Once the garden is done, we can expect to run on a ‘business as usual’ basis for a couple of years however, we do need to make some changes of our own at the end of this year as a result of our recent move.
CHANGES IN THE SESSION TIMES
The Methodist Church would like us to reorganise our 6 pre-school sessions to run across 3 full days, so from September 2022, we will be opening 9 am – 3.30 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays offering both half and full day sessions across those three days.
We will no longer have a pre-school session on Friday mornings, but we will continue to run Popp and Play (where parents stay with their child) on that day, and it will move from the old to the new Hall.
As this is such a big change we now need to begin to plan ahead for our sessions in September, so please can you let us know what preschool sessions you require from September 2022 by completing the attached form and returning to our usual poppletonunderfives@gmail address before FRIDAY 29th APRIL.
We can then work to ensure you get the sessions you want before we offer sessions to new starters.
CHANGES IN OUR PRICES
Sadly we can no longer resist the need to raise our prices. We have not thought it appropriate to introduce new charges over the last 2 years, particularly during the pandemic and the building project, as we had reserves in the bank and we are a not for profit charity.
However, our costs have risen quite sharply over the last couple of years, with increases in both the national living wage and rent. We are looking ahead to further rent increases in the coming year which the Church has implemented to bring us into line with other users of the hall.
Sadly the amount we receive from government funding has not kept pace, so we will need to start charging for extra items in order to stay afloat financially.
We are reviewing our options as a committee and will give you more detail in due course, but our expectation is that we will need to:
- increase our sessional charges for non-funded children to £15 for each 3 hour session and £17 for a 3 ½ hour session, with the charge for a full day being £32.
- introduce a small per session charge to funded and non-funded children for extras such as snack, art and craft items and other consummables. This charge will not affect your entitlement to a free funded place.
These rates are slightly ahead of the government funding rate for York of £4.61 per hour for 3 year olds but significantly behind the £5.57 per hour they pay for funded 2 year olds.
Our prices will change in September 2022 and we will give you plenty of notice beforehand of what they are going to be.
CHANGES IN OUR COMMITTEE
Poppleton Under Fives has provided an invaluable early years childcare setting to the local community for 30 years and to be successful and continue to operate we need the support not only of the staff and local community but, most of all, of our own parents & carers to form the management committee of volunteers.
All of the current committee members have been involved for a number of years and will soon be moving on as their children leave, or they feel they have ‘done their stint’. This is the way we are set up to operate and it is good for the charity to hand over the reins to a new team every few years.
So, we need you to volunteer to ensure that we have a new committee ready to start transitioning in from our AGM in June. If we cannot get a new committee in place place before the start of the next academic year there is a serious risk that we will have to close our doors. Obviously no-one wants this to happen as it would leave a huge gap in the community and have a massive impact on our local children and families who would miss out on the excellent care and education that we offer at Poppleton Under Fives. The key committee roles include Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary.
So, on returning the attached form, please can you also let us know if you or someone you know is willing and able to take a role on the committee. Please also spread the word as we happily accept involvement from Mums, Dads, Grandparents, carers or other person(s) in the local community.
Volunteers will need to undertake an enhanced DBS criminal record check and will be appointed as a trustee of the pre-school charity which is registered with the charity commission in England & Wales and with Ofsted.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP POPPLETON UNDER FIVES GOING!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Anne, Debs, Catherine, Jane, Jemma & Claire