When I Joined Free Rangers in August 2011 we had just 12 children on role and from that point our numbers have grown with children registered to join us for sometimes a year, or more, in advance. One of my roles at Free Rangers is managing the room and waiting lists term to term and as most of you are aware we do our lists termly, this being January, April and September. Each term children who have had a birthday and reached the next age will move onto their new room and new children will join us.
The process of highlighting movers and incorporating new starters can take several weeks and Gemma and I go through each of the registers to ensure the children appear on their correct days and numbers tally up. Once lists are finalised available sessions can be offered out or changed, depending on the needs of our families, we try the very best we can to accommodate people’s needs and also offer one off sessions if people request them.
For a few years now I have often felt bad about not being able to provide parents with the sessions they need for their child, particularly when they have visited the nursery and have set their heart on Free Rangers being their child’s early education provider. However the expansion in May of the Baby rooms and Burrow has meant that now many of our families have been able to come off the waiting lists and join the fun and learning at Free Rangers. It was a joy to be able to call parents and finally say the sessions they needed were available and with the extra spaces I am able to do this more and more.
This means that waiting lists are now much lower and availability is better due to the increase in our numbers. Although the numbers have only increased by 3 in each baby room and 8 in the Burrow this means we have lots more sessions to offer and have been able to accommodate several new families as well as increase sessions for existing children.
I often say to parents that it is important to save sessions for the future if you feel you will need them, for example when your child becomes eligible for the 15 hours of funded care. It is important to consider this even if your child is in the baby room, as the sessions are not set in stone but are there for when you may need them. We have had some families leave us because additional hours cannot be catered for and forward planning can prevent the upheaval of the children, which often parents do not want to do.
Although we certainly do not want to wish the time away I am sure you all know how fast the time passes us by. Therefore please do think ahead to the future and consider how your childcare/education arrangements may look and book in early. The sessions are now there and so grab them with both hands to secure the children a stable and fulfilled Early Years’ experience.
Please contact myself or Gemma on 01761411328 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for further information to book a place or adhoc session for your little Free Rangers.