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Administering Childcare Vouchers


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Hi all

 

Some advice needed please. Does anyone charge an admin fee for processing childcare vouchers?

 

I have about 10 parents who pay either with paper or Evouchers and it has occured to me that the time it takes me to process the payments is actually costing me quite a bit:

 

For example I have to:

 

email the paper voucher info through to the voucher provider then reconcile payments to my bank statement.

 

Print out Evoucher remittance advice notes that are emailed to me then reconcile to the bank statement and then to child's payment card.

 

I have to process these payments on a montly basis and at the moment I don't charge for this. If anyone else does charge, how much would you say is reasonable?

 

Cheers

 

RR

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I don't charge parents as I have found it just as easy as them paying by cheque-if not easier in some ways. One less thing to lose and all the processes are similar which ever way they pay.

Linda

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we have three parents using vouchers and i can't say it takes any longer to process than the cash or cheques from the other parents once the system was up and running

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Hi bluestar

I had to fill in a form for each of the parents who use the vouchers, with details such as address, bank details and registration number. I then give the parents their bill as normal and they give it to their wages department. The money is then paid automatically into our bank account.

I would think if your parent is already using a scheme then you will have nothing else to do.

Linda

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I take a variety of childcare vouchers: some companies are easier to work with than others. :o

 

I don't make an admin charge, and wonder how parents would react to being asked to pay more for using vouchers. However parents settle their bill involves some kind of cost: taking cash or cheques to the bank involves time and effort, whether or not you have free business banking. At least vouchers prevent all that hassle!

 

Maz

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Thanks for your replies so far.

 

I agree that in theory all payments incur some level of work, and for the playgroup I provide free buisness support for it is no more work to process a voucher payment than trying to get payments in by cash or cheque.

 

But in my actual paid job I run quite a large communtiy organisation of which childcare counts for about half of our work. Our parents use a termly booking card and pay in advance when they book, with all payments going through our till. This means that once my admin clerk has cashed up I only have to take the cash and cheques to the bank once a week. As this is made up of all of the weekly takings for the whole business, the cost of doing this is negligable against the amount of income banked. However, the few payments we recieve by voucher take nearly as much time to process (5 different voucher providers - all with different systems) as the rest of our income. The biggest problem I have is when payments just drop into our account with no remittance advice and I have to chase up the provider to find out which child it relates to.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to justify charging extra (you all know the margins we work to in childcare) it's just that I don't want to fall into the ususal trap of taking on additional admin with no recompense if others have set a precedence to recoup their real costs.

 

Hope that makes sense.

 

Cheers

 

RR

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Hope that makes sense.

Makes perfect sense to me: I think the art to these things is being able to justify your decision. If you explain things to parents so that you can get their support then I'd say go for it!

 

Maz

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I HATE VOUCHERS!!!! xD

I manage a large 120place setting and have Sooooo many different types of voucher it drives me mad.

We have : Busy Bee, Accor, EY, Kids unlimited, Sodexho, THEN there are : electric, paper, e-mail etc etc.

I dont really think its a chore but it can get really confusing. I ask for vouchers to be in by the 10th of the month but most ppl want to pay at the end of the month as obviously the voucher comes out of their salary.

The worst thing is when you get parents who dont even notify of any payment change!!!! What am I supposed to do GUESS?? :o

Edited by Guest
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We have several parents who use this method of payment now, with each parent using a different company. I don't have any problems with them really, some pay a set amount into our account every month and then the parents top up, but others wait until we send them a bill and then transfer the required amount into our account.

 

I don't find that there is any additional work for us, I find it better than them handing me a cheque just as I'm about to get stuck into an activity or work task. :o

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