Minutes of the Puddleducks Management Committee Meeting

Monday, 16th October, at 7.30pm


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 Farrow (KF)

                                           Katie Dickerson (KD)

                                           Katherine Rowlandson (KR)

Louise Gaskin (LG)

                                           Rachael Kerry (RK)

                                           Victoria Bradbury (VB)


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


1          Minutes and apologies
1.1          RC updated that the Minutes of the previous meeting had been sent to the previous Committee members and had been agreed by all.


2.         Matters arising
2.1         Action carried forward:  RC raised 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

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

Action:  RC

2.3         Action carried forward:  SW to provide equipment list to RC.

Action:  SW

2.4         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

2.5          Action carried forward:  SW to get dimensions of sign to get it replaced.

Action:  SW

2.6          Action carried forward:  RC to clarify contacts for the outsourcing and contacts.

Action:  RC



3          Committee Members

3.1         RC noted that at the AGM and with the very encouraging turn out, the Committee had actually gone over its allowed numbers and that some changes were necessary to carry forward the committee.

She confirmed that the constitution should be:

Main Committee:

Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.


General Members:

Up to a further 9 general members are then allowed.

Katherine Rowlandson (KR), Carla Oxbury (CO) and Katie Dickerson (KD) all confirmed that they would become a general member and the list was confirmed as:

Carla Oxbury (CO); Jessica Woods (JW); Jo Lattimore (JL); Kate Farrow (KF); Katie Dickerson (KD);

Katherine Rowlandson (KR); Louise Gaskin (LG); Rachael Kerry (RK); Victoria Bradbury (VB)


3.2         SHa issued a trustee guide and noted that the new constitution needs to be updated and put through Charities Commission.

Action:  SHa

3.3         RC also noted that DBS and EY2 checks will need to be carried out by the Trustees online.  The DBS check is to be done first and the EY2 within 14 days. 

Action:  All Trustees to carry out DBS and EY2 checks and provide SW with reference number.

3.4         There is a small charge for a volunteer of approx. £7.50.  SHa issued an expenses form for all to fill out and return.

Action:  Trustees

3.5         RC reminded noted to the new committee that anything discussed at these meetings is treated as confidential.

Action:  All


4          Fundraising

4.1         RC and SW clarified how funds raised by fundraising can be spent but that they cannot be used for the day to day running of the playgroup.


5          Policies

5.1         RC noted that a review of the policies is required and asked that EK coordinate this with the Education Associate members, Abbie Laws (AL), Adele Bull (AB), Kirsty Walls (KB).

5.2         It was also asked that this group keep an eye on any education news and information that would be relevant to the playgroup.

Action:  EK


6          Staff

6.1       Staff Contracts

RC noted that there is a need to bring all staff contacts in line with each other and to make them all consistent.  Hours, salary, name changes etc. all need reviewing and updating where required.  KR was asked if she could review these.

Action:  KR


6.2       Recruitment

RC requested support where necessary for any applications made, for interviews etc.

JL confirmed that she would be happy to do this.  There is a 2-evening course that she will need to attend along with RC.  RC will investigate when the next dates are.

Action:  RC


6.3       Staff Liaison

RC noted the requirement for someone to act as a point of contact for any staff with any issues.  JL will act as the point of contact.




6.4       Appraisals

RC noted that appraisals are held once yearly.  SW is involved in monthly supervision meetings and there is a 3-month probation for all new staff.  RC requested JL to be involved.

All meetings need to be set up.

Action:  SW/JL?



7          Village Hall

7.1         SH rose that representation on the Mulbarton Village Hall is required from the Committee.  SH normally attends and LG is secretary. 

BH agreed that she will attend future Village Hall meetings on behalf of the Committee.  The next meeting will be held on Monday, 23rd October at 7.30pm.

SH will advise the Village Hall Committee.

Action:  SHa


8          Marketing

8.1         It was asked that any events are shared to spread the word and encourage support and attendance.

Action:  All

8.2         SW looks after Ducklings page, BH now looks after the website and Facebook page and group. 

SHe will continue to look after newsletter and publicity through her own email.


9          Health & Safety

9.1         RC noted that any Risk Assessments need to take place for any events and for Health and Safety 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


10        Safeguarding

10.1       KS offered to assist in this area.  SW will look at policies in relation to this and dig any out.

Action:  SW


11        Lead Practitioner Report

11.1       SW updated that Maria Milvern had recently joined the staff and has been welcomed by the team and children. 

11.2       All new children have settled in well and some sessions are much busier than others.

11.3       Josh who is a Y10 student from Hethersett High has been attending.  JL noted that she is a health and social tutor at Hethersett High should there be any conflict of interest.  It was agreed that JL could be a point of contact should he have any issues in the work placement.


12        Fundraising Report

12.1       JD updated that Photography sign-up sheets will be available after half term and through on Facebook.  Help is required with the pick-up sheets noting names and times so that JD can update her version.  In addition, help is needed on the day in hourly slots.

12.2       Christmas Fair – 10th December.  JM’s husband has been confirmed as Father Christmas.

              SW confirmed that the Christmas decorations will be up by the 10th.

              A gazebo is needed for Santa’s grotto, a tree for the grotto and a money tree.  SW will look.

Action:  SW

              LG will check to see when the football might be on.

              Action:  LG


13        Eco Garden

13.1       It was noted that SW is awaiting a quote from Sam Sturgis.


14        Fees

14.1       It was noted that the Committee had agreed to raise the hourly fee from £4.00 to £4.30.  However, with a new pre-school opening this motion has not been yet passed to make Puddleducks more competitive.  In addition, it was noted that the new Nursery, Lime Tree Nurseries, accepts 30 hours funding.

14.2       SW confirmed that all those on the waiting list had been offered spaces if they were in the catchment area.  All those from Peacocks had been taken on.

14.3       SHa will review the figures with RC and see what affect this will have on Puddleducks if the increase does not take place until Easter.  No decision will be made until the next meeting.

              Action:  SHa and RC

14.4       SHe will design a leaflet drop for the new estate using the small version of the poster.

              Action:  SHe

14.5       Sign up forms for Ducklings will be arranged by SW to be printed

Action:  SW

14.6       BH will keep the website and Facebook groups active with advertising.

              Action:  BH



15        Ducklings

15.1       It was suggested that a parent rota was set up to help now that Jade is leaving.  The PLA have advised that more than one person must set up.

KR will speak with Kerry to see how the group can be helped.

Action:  KR

15.2       It was suggested that we advertise through the parish news for helpers for general setting up, teas/coffees.

15.3       Another element raised is that parents must take responsibility for their own children.  It is not for those that run the group to look after the children.  Notices should be put up advising them of this.


16        Future Meeting Dates

Monday’s were agreed for the meetings to take place at 7.30pm. 

6th November

4th December 

8th January

5th February

12th March


17        AOB

17.1       CO suggested that ‘Garden Organic’ (master gardeners) be approached to help with the eco-garden.  It is a volunteering scheme.  SW will explore and approach them.

Action:  SW

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

Action:  CO