We recently held playgroup’s Annual General Meeting online. Below is a summary of the year and the full year end report and accounts can be downloaded (pdf). If you would like to find out more about becoming a trustee please get in touch.
After we had locked down on 20/03/2020, I was so happy to be able to reopen playgroup on 01/06/2020. Thank you to Joanne who had lots of paperwork to complete, COVID guidance and extensive risk assessment which all had to be sorted before we could open. We then had to convince the Church to open the hall and that we could operate safely. This involved a lot of emailing (by Joanne) and the waiting for responses from the Vicar and Warden. We filled the long risk assessment which the Vicar had to be involved in and the church produced another risk assessment and both risk assessments had to be agreed on before we could reopen.
The staff needed to be convinced into coming back as well. On the 27/05/2020 Joanne and myself met with the staff in the garden at the hall. They were not happy but in the end all agreed to come in on June 1st 2020. Thank you to all the staff for their dedication to opening up for the children whose parents wanted them to come back. Joanne emailed all the parents to let them know about the reopening and the response was slow and a few did not respond at all, but in the end all the children were invited to come back. We did open with strict COVID safety measures in place and we successfully stayed open until the Summer holidays. We averaged around 11 children per day and even stayed open for lunch with around 5 children attending.
Playgroup received all the funding for the 2 year and 3 years even if they had not returned. We sadly had no end of year presentation of the journals and many of our children went onto school and we have not seen them since the March lockdown.
The Staff hours were changed giving staff more time off as we did not need all the staff in every day due to the decreased number of children, but they did receive full wages and the hours of 8.30am – 2.30pm were still covered.
We started back in September 2020 with a few new children – 7 in total. With our new COVID guidance in place no parents are allowed in the hall, this even includes the new parents and this has surprisingly worked out very well! We had nearly 20 children per day before Christmas – although 10 children less that the Autumn Term 2020. We have been able to reopen in January 2021 to accept all children (unlike the Schools), and we have had not much help at all from our Early Years, only that we must open to get any funding!! All staff that have reduced hours now receive reduced wages! A lot of the children and some days at least 6 have not returned and will not until the schools return. The children who were due to start after Christmas (3 in total) did not turn up. We have roughly the same attendance of children this time, around 12 per day and 5 for lunch and we have claimed for 20 children this term for 2 and 3 year funding. A lot less than this time last year.
This was our third year with 30 hours provision, which was then impacted by COVID. We have gone from a profit of £15,000 to a loss of £1,000 and now managed a profit of just over £14,000. Safeguarding of lost funding in the summer term was appreciated as was the suspension of hall hire whilst closed.
Our lowest paid wage (£9.15) continues to be at the rate of the London Living Wage set in November 2014. It’s currently £10.85 which we cannot afford but well over the national minimum wage of £8.91 (from April 2021).
We currently have two signatories, Kathleen Richardson and Ian Humphries.