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on and settles down
to share her news
and views!
Mar 4, 2013

Government proposal to raise ratios...


There has been plenty of coverage in the media recently about proposals to allow nurseries and childminders in England to raise ratios (e.g. to allow adults to look after more children). Under this proposal, the ratio of babies to adults would move from one adult to three babies to one adult to four babies. For two year-olds, the ratio would change from one adult to four children to one adult to six children! Elizabeth Truss, the Children's Minister, has said that the move will improve the quality and reduce the cost of childcare.  While these are laudable aims, we think the proposal to increase ratios is a backward step and will not deliver what it is intended to.  In our view, having fewer adults in place to care for more, very young, children cannot possibly lead to a higher quality of care and early education for those children - not least because the more children we look after the less time we have with each individual child. We think it unlikely that the government will be able to provide compelling evidence to support their assertion that raising ratios will lead to higher quality provision for babies and two year-olds and we will not, therefore, be raising ratios at Polly's.

As for reducing the cost of childcare we've got some ideas about how to do this without risking quality. For example, how about making the goods and services that nurseries and childminders buy VAT exempt and passing this saving onto parents? Despite how long we've been running Polly's, we're often amazed (not to mention frustrated) at just how much it costs to keep our nurseries well-maintained and nicely presented and equipped. By way of example, we recently completed three very small, simple projects at one of our nurseries which added up to an eye-watering (for what they were) cost of over £1250.00. The VAT element of this expenditure was therefore around £250.00. And that's just the VAT on three tiny projects! Add in the VAT we pay on food, toys, equipment, stationery, heating, telephone etc, etc each year and you reach a pretty big number and one which has to be funded from the childcare fees we receive from our parents.

Or, how about reducing or abolishing business rates for nurseries and reducing fees for parents by the amount saved? We pay around £7500.00 per year on business rates (and for this princely sum we don't even get our bins collected!).

And, while we're at it, how about making 100% of parent's childcare costs tax deductible? Now that really would significantly reduce the costs of childcare for working parents.

Unfortunately, all of these proposals would obviously reduce the amount of revenue collected by the Exchequer and, during these difficult times for our country's economy, we understand that this means they would have limited appeal in Westminster.  Equally, let's hope that Westminster understands that it's proposal to increase ratios has limited appeal in this corner of Stroud!

Oct 19, 2016
Recently published analysis of Ofsted inspection results shows that our nurseries are two of only five early years settings in Gloucestershire to be awarded an 'outstanding' inspection judgement in each of their three most recent inspections...
Mar 10, 2016
Meal times in early years settings shouldn't simply be about 'feeding and watering' children. They should be considered as a time for learning and development. The best early years settings treat mealtimes as opportunities for adults to support children's quest for independence, as chances to cultivate children's ability to 'think' and 'do' and, of course, to learn how good it feels when we help each other.
Feb 6, 2015
The wheels on the (mini)bus will be going 'round and round' early tomorrow morning as a group of fourteeen members of the Polly's team head up to London to attend seminars at the Nursery World Show 2015...
Feb 5, 2015
This is a fabulous opportunity to join a friendly, supportive and successful nursery team and work towards a nationally recognised Level 2 or Level 3 childcare qualification.
Feb 18, 2014

It's half-term, so I took the day off work today and 'treated' my three children to... a day of sponsored litter picking in aid of CLIC.

Mar 4, 2013
There has been plenty of coverage in the media recently about proposals to allow nurseries and childminders in England to raise ratios but is this a good idea..?
Jan 24, 2013
Good morning!  We are happy to inform you that both nurseries are open from 8am this morning. We have cleared and salted the nursery parking areas, but with such very low temperatures, please exercise caution when you arrive/depart.  Unless we get any more snow today we anticipate a normal closing time of 6pm. Please arrive in good time to collect your children so that our nursery nurses can also leave on time. Thank you!
Jan 23, 2013
Good morning everyone.  We are happy to let you know that Polly's at Inchbrook will open at 8am today. Unfortunately, we had a lot of snow overnight at Brownshill and therefore Polly's at Brownshill will open at 10am.  This will give us time for staff to get in and for us to clear the snow from nursery paths and parking areas. It is currently snowing in both locations so we will need to monitor the situation and decide whether we need to close earlier today so that children and staff can get home safely.
Jan 22, 2013
Both nurseries are open from 8am today.  We've had a sprinkling of snow overnight, so please exercise caution on approach roads and parking areas.  Unless we have any further snow today we plan to remain open until 6pm.  If it does snow today, please contact the nursery or check back here for an update.
Jan 21, 2013
Both nurseries are open from 8am today and, unless the weather changes and more snow arrives, we will work to our normal closing time of 6pm.
Jan 18, 2013
Both nurseries are open but will close at 1pm today.
Jun 15, 2012

Thank you to everyone who entered our competition to win a pair of tickets to see Madness in concert at Westonbirt Arboretum later this month. We have just drawn the winning entry and can tell you that the lucky winner is...


May 10, 2012
Schools, nurseries attached to schools and childminders receive prior notice that Ofsted will be coming to inspect them.  Meanwhile, playgroups and private nurseries receive no notice of inspection.  In this blog we question whether an inspection approach that gives notice to some but not to others is fair...
Mar 21, 2012
High quality play and first-hand experiences lead children to the richest and most enjoyable discovery and learning and so these are what we want for our children.  However, a potential problem for us as early years practitioners is that few high quality play and first-hand experiences result in a tangible 'end product' (a painting etc) that parents can see and easily appreciate.
Feb 28, 2012

This is our first ever blog and we're using it to let you know what happened when Ofsted came to visit us recently!