With 12 days to go before we open, we thought we’d update you on how we are getting on.
A Thousand Thanks!
Things have been moving on apace since the fundraiser. Thanks to all of you who turned up and supported a brilliant night. We’ve raised enough money to get the club up and running, fully kitted-out and with a bit left over to help iron out any wrinkles in the first few months.
We’re sorting out a few final logistics - including a new cooker and refitting the toilets - and we are on track to open on 2nd June.
We are so grateful to you. We have had no funding or seed money. We have made everything happen through time, effort and donations. You, through this fundraiser are helping us start as we mean to continue - as an inspiring place in which children can learn, play, grow and develop.
Ofsted have confirmed our registration has been approved and we are waiting for the certificate to come in the post.
The CCC Club Team
Finally, after 3 months of advertising and many interviews, we have recruited a brilliant team. Our new manager Lucy will soon take the reins from the directors, but we will be there to support our wonderful team when they need it.
Cher has has been amazing at helping us set up the club, recruit our team and put the best policies and procedures in place, and will continue to support and advise Lucy. Cher has donated all her expertise for free and we’re immensely grateful to her.
Miriam is our other fully qualified member of staff. She has a vast amount of experience working with children, lives locally and is passionate about gardening, music and making things.
We also have three trainees - Georgina, Evie and Andre - who will bring creativity, art and capoeira to the club!
Our Director Dawn will be helping out as a volunteer on Tuesdays until the end of the school year.
And if you fancy helping out, get involved and get in touch! For those interested in how we went about recruiting our staff, see below.
What happens next?
If your child(ren) starts at The CCC Club before September 2014, Lucy will get in touch with you soon. Suzanne is collecting deposits (essentially your first month of fees in advance).
We are still in the process of setting The CCC Club up to receive childcare vouchers, so please continue to be patient if you intend to use vouchers to pay your deposit.
Anonymous letters of complaint
Sadly, we have received a number of anonymous letters of complaint. One was sent to the Telegraph Hill Centre, another to one of the director’s home address and a third was sent to a director care of one of the three schools and was therefore delivered via one of the directors’ children’s school bag. (Just to be absolutely clear, we in no way blame the school for passing the letter to the person to whom it was addressed).
The letters – signed ‘A group of concerned parents from John Stainer’ - accuse the CCC Club of being unfair in our selection of staff and in the allocation of places to children. Both of these accusations are demonstrably untrue, and we would welcome the opportunity to prove this to anyone who may have concerns.
The anonymous nature of the letters has made it impossible to reply personally – so in the interest of openness and transparency we have published the two letters sent to Jake and Kate here, and our reply below.
If the person/people who wrote the letter reads this and would like information beyond that provided here, we would be happy to meet you to explain the procedures we implemented and the processes we upheld.
Equality, diversity and openness are very important to all of us and we will continue to uphold those beliefs and practices in everything we do.
Dear ‘Group Of Concerned Parents From John Stainer’
We are disappointed that you did not feel you could approach us directly, or in a manner that enabled us to easily respond to your assertions.
We believe in openness, honesty and transparency and are sorry that you didn’t feel you could put your name(s) to this letter.
We trust that the following points respond to the comments and statements you mention in the letters that we have seen:
How we told people about The CCC Club and the application process
- We ran a stall at a fair at the Telegraph Hill Centre, talking to visitors and distributing information about The CCC Club.
- We launched our website, and invited people to express interest in a place for their child(ren), and added interested parties to our mailing list.
- We put notices in all three schools’ newsletters informing the parents about the CCC Club and the application process and the deadline for applications.
- We also put notices on various local blogs and forums, social media, and put posters on trees in the local area.
How we allocated places to children
- Our application process was entirely and demonstrably transparent and objective, publicised and fully explained in advance: we have server logs of the time that emails arrived (and were sent) and explained to all applicants what the selection criteria were, and how they were applied.
- Our subsequent allocation of children to sessions was as mathematically and logically fair as it could have been, based upon the time that the email arrived, the number of places requested and any flexibility indicated on the application form
- Everyone who applied within the first few days got either exactly what they wanted, or at worst, will lose a single after-school club place in a number of months when other, earlier applicants' children turn 5.
- The waiting list (for parents who wish to regain sessions lost as per previous bullet point OR for ‘late' applications) follows a similar principle, but retains some flexibility to optimise the allocation of children to sessions depending on when the session becomes available
- To put the numbers in context, there are 55 children with allocated sessions and confirmed start dates; and only 3 children on the waiting list without allocated sessions / specific start dates. There are a further 2 who cannot start until September 2015 as they are currently aged 3.
- We told everyone who contacted us about the procedure for entry and told them we couldn’t guarantee them places and that places would be as outlined above.
- In January Cher agreed to be part of the voluntary team to help set up the club. With her expertise in child care and running a successful nursery in the area, we felt her expertise fitted the bill. Cher was not involved in the allocation of any places, nor will she benefit from the CCC Club in any way.
We would like to remind you that we were under no obligation to put in place such an objective and transparent process: we receive no public funding and could have offered places to whoever we liked. We did it fairly because we all have strong values around openness, transparency and equality. We spent a lot of time and effort over many weeks to try to specify the fairest way to do this. To imply otherwise is incorrect, and frankly, offensive.
How we recruited our staff
- Job adverts were published online
- Every applicant who met the minimum criteria was interviewed by at least 2 members of the CCC Club team.
- Each person was asked the same questions and their answers were noted by the interviewing panel
- Candidates were assessed against the job descriptions and specifications
Finally, if the writer(s) of these letters or anyone else would like to discuss our procedures please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our aim is to help as many families as possible. We don’t hold grudges at The CCC Club, so if you decide to come out in to the open, we look forward to explaining our thinking and explaining our processes.
We have put a lot of time, personal time and effort and care into The CCC Club, and we are committed to making The CCC Club a fair, equal, open, amazing place.
Jake, Dawn, Suzanne, Cher, Juliana and Kate