In the light of some of the child-care activities planned by YMCA Somerset Coast at Barley Wood, the Pre-School Committee held this open evening so that anyone interested could find out more about how possible developments at Barley Wood could impact on their own future, given the present and future circumstances facing the Pre-School.Ros Wrightson invited comments and questions on post-it notes to be stuck on sheets on the walls around the hall, containing prompts on a range of issues. There were also displays giving important basic facts about the structure and performance of the Pre-school. She briefly introduced the purpose of the occasion - to gather the thoughts of all those interested, to inform an emergency general meeting of the Pre-school being held in a fortnight. Similarly brief opening comments from Natalie Purkiss, North Somerset Childcare Advisor, and Martin Hodgson, CEO of YMCA Somerset Coast, were followed by informal discussions. It is to be hoped that this well-structured, but delightfully relaxed occasion, results in informed decision-making leading to a continued healthy early years provision in Wrington.
Information Evening Questions on posters - answers receivedWhy did you choose Wrington preschool? Price? Staff? Location? Hours? Activities?LocationPeer group, chance to mix with other children from the villageReputationCommunity valuesHoursWhat might be off-putting about a new preschool?Location – if can’t walk there easilyMinibus – worried about communication/feedback at end of day. Is one “host” enough to provide adequate feedback at end of day to 9 potential parents? Also, are there enough places on bus?No proven track record of achievementLess community focusDistance from village facilitiesWhat would attract you to Barley Wood? Price? Staff? Location? Hours? Activities?Forest schoolLonger hours, more practical for working parentsCreativityAge specific spacesA permanent fixed space dedicated to a preschool where staff are not having to set up/pack away equipment every dayFreedom to use space as requiredSetting and groundsQuality of staff Quality of environmentIf none of the existing preschool staff remained at Wrington Preschool would you still consider it?No, the staff (and parent committee) make the preschool what it is, they are fabIf staff:child ratios were reduced I would have concernsIt would depend on the breadth of experience of the staff that replaced themWhat would you look for in a new preschool for your child?SettingEthosActivities availableProfessionalism of staff, with good reputationAbility to get there on footFriendliness with supportive learningIndoor and outdoor opportunitiesForest schoolLocal children attendingWhat are the limitations of Wrington Preschool currently?The kitchenThe cost of the hallThe outside spaceDiminishing financesThe short hours availableDo you feel a committee led preschool is a practical management structure, particularly with the commitment it entails?It’s perfect for preserving the strong community ethic and parent involvement in this villageOnly if volunteers can afford the time commitment, and have suitable experience in dealing with management issuesIf none of the existing Wrington Preschool Staff moved to Barley Wood, would you still consider it?No, definitely notYesHow would you address the current financial difficulties of Wrington Preschool, if it continues in the Memorial Hall?Apply to the Airport Fund?It would be helpful to see how the preschool would look with:20 children10 children5 childrenHow many staff (+/-volunteers?) would be needed?[The committee will endeavor to have the answer to this available to view at the EGM]What do you feel would be the impact on the community and village if Wrington Preschool was no longer in the Memorial Hall?There could be a loss of trade for local shops There could be more availability of the hall that could bring other opportunitiesThere could be a loss of “village life”/communityThere could be a loss of the memorial hall, and the activities that go on there