The stiff-bristle broom used to sweep stray sand back into the sand pit at the Centre where I was working was so old and worn out there were very few bristles left. Sand had to be pushed, rather than swept, back into the pit. With no budget for glue sticks, books or toys, let alone brooms, staff were struggling with this task. There is a limit to what staff, including temporary project-based staff like me, can contribute to the overheads of a state-funded nursery by buying consumables. There is also a limit to using worn-out equipment that is not fit for purpose. To subsidise or not to subsidise...?