Minutes of the Puddleducks Management Committee Meeting

Monday, 6th November at 7.30pm in the Village Hall


ATTENDEES:                   Rachel Cushing (RC) (Chair)

(Committee)                      Sarah Haddon (SHa) (Treasurer)

                                           Becca Holland (BH) (Secretary)

                                           Jo Doughty (JD) (Fundraising Coordinator)

                                           Elaine Kong (EK) (Education Coordinator)


(General Members)         Carla Oxbury (CO)

                                           Jessica Woods (JW)

                                           Jo Lattimore (JL)

                                           Kate Steward (Farrow) (KF)

                                           Katherine Rowlandson (KR)

Louise Gaskin (LG)

                                           Rachael Kerry (RK)

                                          Victoria Bradbury (VB)

In Attendance:                  Sarah Webster (SW) (Lead Practitioner)



1          Apologies for Absence

              Apologies had been received from RC, KF and KR.  SHa acted as Chair.


2          Minutes of previous meeting 16th October 2017

SW requested two corrections be made to the previous minutes: 

i)                     Janice Mark should read Janice Howard.

ii)                   Josh is from Norwich City College and Kate Farrow is the contact.

              Action:  BH


3          Matters arising

3.1         Action carried forward:  Changing the clause in the Puddleducks Management Committee’ constitution in relation to Puddleducks closing and that if the playgroup were to close, the members of the Pre-School Learning Alliance would have the right to decide what would happen to the playgroup’s funds.

To change this and to lodge our constitution to the charities commission is complex.  SHa will contact the PLA and ask how to change this.

Action:  SHa


3.2         Action carried forward:  RC to conduct leaving interview with Steph.

Action:  RC

3.3         Action carried forward:  DF to contact Scout hut re our tables to request a donation. 

RC will speak with DF to establish outcome.

Action:  RC

3.4         Action carried forward:  SHa issued a trustee guide and noted that the new constitution needs to be updated and put through Charities Commission.

Action:  SHa

3.5         Action carried forward:  Trustees to fill out expense forms and submit to SHa for the costs associated with the DBS checks.

Action:  Trustees

3.6         Action carried forward:  JL and RC to attend evening course in relation to staff appraisals etc.  RC will investigate dates.

              Action:  RC

3.7         Action carried forward:  Appraisal meetings to be set up and JL to be involved in these.

              Action:  SW

3.8         Action carried forward:  Health & Safety - RC noted that risk assessments need to take place for any events and for H&S within groups.  RK offered to support this area.  RC noted that there is training for this and will look in to and advise when this will take place.

Action:  RC

3.9         Action carried forward:  Safeguarding – KF offered to assist in this area.  SW will look at policies in relation to this and dig any out.

Action:  SW

3.10       CO suggested that a ‘new parent’ newsletter would be beneficial for parents and children that are new to Puddleducks and will draft something.

Action:  CO



4          Finance

              Figures reported include up to beginning of October only. 

              Accounts close at 31 August.

A small profit of £373 had previously been reported. 

Loss currently showing at approximately £2400 which include the rent increase.

Fees remain the same at £4.00. 


5          EY2’s

              Not all Trustees have completed their online DBS and EY2 checks.  When complete reference numbers need to be advised to SW.

              Action:  Trustees


6          Fees

SHa presented that having reviewed the figures with RC, there is not a need to increase the fees at this time.  However, this would be advisable to implement from April 2018 with the rate of inflation.  Any increase will need advising to parents in advance of the new term commencing and it was agreed that this would need to be announced in January 2018.

SHa will do some further cost comparisons from previous years.

Action:  SHa


7          Contracts

SHa has provided KR with these who is currently reviewing them.  SHa did note that she has not seen Debs or Natasha’s contracts.  SW will see if there is anything.

It was noted that a start date and DOB is required for Vanessa. 

Action:  SW


8          Lead Practitioners Report

8.1         SW confirmed that the measurements for the new sign have been provided to RC.

8.2         8 new starters commenced w/c 30th October.  Nearly all sessions except Tue and Wed afternoons are now full.  An additional 4 new children have been taken on for January 2018.

8.3         Parents evenings are taking place along on 14th and 21st November.

8.4         The Nativity is planned for 6th and 7th December and on the 5th the children will go to the church.

8.5         SHa suggested Janice Mark for Christmas pre-school nativity photos.  Connor has suggested help with this also.  SHa will liaise with Janice.

              Action:  SHa

8.6         Stay and Play sessions are taking place on 28th and 30th November, not 1st December.

              SHa to look back at fundraising for pre-school and playhouse, drama and trip and parties. 

              Action:  SHa

8.7         Sam Sturgis has provided an estimate for £4,600 for the garden work requirements and suggested this should be the amount to request for the funding.  This would include the Forest School area and eco-garden to be redesigned.  The Council has been approached and an outcome is awaited from the Parish Council.

Sam has suggested approximately 6 days of labour and costs to hire digger and remove old materials.  Grant being applied from co-op but to advise Parish Council out of courtesy of use of their land.

CO previously suggested ‘Garden Organic’ as an option as it is a volunteering scheme.  SW will explore further.

Action:  SW


9          Fundraising

9.1         18th November Choir Quiz – Puddleducks have been asked for help with the refreshments. 

More cakes are needed – JW will do gluten free chocolate cake.  LG will do carrot cake. 

RK will do banana loaf.

9.2         25th November Photography Day - one slot left for parents to help from 12 – 1.  LG can help from 12.30 – 1.00.

9.3         10th December Christmas Fayre – 30 advertising boards are going up on 20th November across the village.  Raffle prizes are needed, 2 more business stalls.  The Tombola’s are coming along well.  Money envelopes have been given out. 

A gazebo is still needed for the Santa’s Grotto – JW will ask her Dad. 

Action:  JW

SW will ask re Elf help!

Action:  SW

LG confirmed that there is very likely to be some form of football on the same day.

9.4         24th July Summer Party confirmed date.

9.5         Tue 19th December 2018 is confirmed as the Christmas Party.

Money for Christmas cards – SW will give to Natasha at some point. 

Action:  SW


10        Safeguarding

              No course dates have yet been received to date.


12        Health & Safety

              Covered in Matters Arising.


13        AOB

13.1       Policies – The funding policy is being reviewed.  Finance is the next most important policy to revise along with the bank mandate.

              Action:  SHa

13.2       Continue advertising on Facebook group and page and website.

              Action:  BH

13.3       An Open Day is planned for January but no date has yet been set although 20th is a possible.  SW will ask Maria and Janice if they can help with entertaining the children on the day. 

Action:  SW

It will also need to be advertised and suggested to do this through the Parish news if we are not too later for the cut-off point.  Otherwise, do a leaflet drop and advertise through Facebook, Puddleducks website and through Mulbarton website.

13.4       SW suggested stay and play sessions for the summer and could be all day but this needs to be agreed.  Those already attending Puddleducks can be given priority bookings and then opened up to others.  Evidently staff need to be in agreement with this and the hall would need booking along with advertising well in advance.  SW will ask all staff and proceed accordingly. 

Action:  SW

13.5       SW asked for photos of the Committee for the Board to be emailed to her.

Action:  All

13.6       Ducklings staffing issues were raised.  It was noted that Jade does still attend every other week and that Victoria Bradbury deals with admissions.  Debs is talking to Scouts at their next meeting about food being tipped on to grass to avoid having a repeat rat infestation problem.

13.7       SHa noted that BH is now on the Village Hall Committee and attended the first meeting on 23 October with SHa but there was nothing of substance to report back.