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Deposits


cathrich
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I'm not sure if there are any other posts about this but I was wondering what other sessional pre-schools did regarding deposits.

 

At the moment we don't charge anything but I have got to the stage where I think I am going to have to! Having sorted out and finalised sessions for 08/09 in April I have had quite a few people cancel places. I have just phoned a new parent (who had 4 sessions for her child) to re-confirm her childs start date and she told me she didn't want the places anymore....aaaaggggghhhhhhhh!!!! Quite cross at the mo!!

 

So... Do others charge? If so, how much? Do you refund the deposit or use it as 'admin fees' or anything else? Do you charge the fee as soon as the parent fills in application form? .....so many questions but would love to hear what others do.

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Cath

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whether you can actually charge a deposit legally depend on the time a child will start with you.. we are unable to charge one as we only;y take children after 3rd Birthday and most start once eligible for funding.. hence not allowed to charge.. out LEA says that it has to be a totally free provision... not even a deposit for a place.. we too suffer from all you describe.. we usually lose at least 2 in September and several over the year where even though they have confirmed and we reply in writing they just don't turn up... sometimes only 2 weeks later!

 

Think it comes from applying to several settings just in case they don't get 'the one they want' ..

 

ours have diminished as our LEA require every parent to complete another form for them when they register with us along with copy of Birth Cert to be sent to them.. hence less parents double book places, as it is time consuming to come in to us and have ID of child verified. we do not accept a booking of a child unless this has been done..

 

we would love to charge for all the waste of our time, paper, and phone calls but cannot...

 

Inge

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We charge a £10 registration fee but this includes their book bag... but i have still had soo many parents cancel sessions after i have done the registers... i have redone them 4 times now... feel like screaming too!!!

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We're in the same boat. Just been in to work to clean and prepare the room for opening on Monday and the phone calls kept coming hard and fast. Some looking for new places and others wanting to cancel. We were hit last year when a particular child just didn't show up but parents kept insisting we keep his place open. In the end, some time after Christmas, his place was finally cancelled and we had to repay the money to the LEA. (It was long spent by then!!)

 

Same as Inge on the deposit front - aren't allowed to.

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We do charge a deposit and this is fully refundable when the parents give us proper notice. We do this to cover admission costs and to guarantee a place is kept open. The place only becomes guaranteed when the deposit is paid or funding starts.

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Yes we charge £10 and it is refundable if they start.

Inge

Surely you could charge an administration charge or not come up with a legitimate reason that if they fill a parent declaration form they have it refunded, if not they don't get it back. It would then make them come in to secure their place

It is just such a pain when you have alotted a place and then they don't want it.

been thereand it is annoying

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We get this every term. The register is almost never finalised until 2 weeks into term.

On a similar question - how much notice do people ask for if a child is being taken out of your setting?

Al

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Guest Wolfie

I started off charging a £10 deposit when they registered, fully refundable against the first set of fees - however, I upped the amount to £25 when it seemed that too many parents weren't bothered about losing a "mere" £10 if they chose not to use me after all. After that, I never had any problems - I think it needs to be a sufficient amount to make them think carefully about cancelling the place. :o

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Yes we charge £10 and it is refundable if they start.

Inge

Surely you could charge an administration charge or not come up with a legitimate reason that if they fill a parent declaration form they have it refunded, if not they don't get it back. It would then make them come in to secure their place

It is just such a pain when you have allotted a place and then they don't want it.

been thereand it is annoying

 

Nope, we cannot charge anything.. have tried lots of ways and reasons but it keeps coming back to funded places must be totally free. we cannot charge for anything..and as almost all all our children are funded from the start.....part of the conditions for education funding...

 

Inge

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Thanks for your replies. It seems like everyone does things differently and there is no set way. I agree with you Shiny that all is not lost as it usually sorts itself out - it is just very annoying though!

 

I am going to check with my EYDW to check if it's ok that I can have some sort of charge. I like the idea that they pay a deposit and then get a t-shirt when they start - and some income to help pay for paper, printer ink, envelopes, welcome pack etc. would be a real help (I am private - no commitee).

 

Right. On with my pile of paperwork!!

 

Cath

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Hi there

 

Shouldn't we be able to charge something for a deposit for 3-5 year olds? I actually charge a £50 deposit for under 3's if they come under 3 sessions and £100 for over 3 sessions. This is refundable when they leave as i have had some up and leave without settling their bill!!! I don't charge anything for children on NEG funding.

 

I wonder if we would be able to get them to sign something to say that they may have to pay the first weeks funding should they not cancel their place 1 month prior to starting? I think private nurseries should be able to put some kind of measures in to protect the future of their nurseries, especially when ed funding children only attend term time.

We should be able to make a claim to LEA for losses.

 

I don't know why they don't have a register at the LEA where everyone submits those who've applied to each nursery for a funded place. I can understand parents wanting to apply to a couple of places, but if they found them to have applied to more than 1 place, they should request they make a decision 1 month before the funding starts.

 

I think everyone's register ends up a bit of a mess for the first month or two. Mine are already asking to swap!

 

Hope nobody messes you around too much. Good luck with the new intake :o

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We have charged a deposit for a number of years now, it is currently set at £30 per child. This is payable when they accept the place i.e when they sign a T & C form & without which their place is not secure.

 

We used to say the deposit was non refundable and it went down as an administration fee but once the free place for funding hit then we were unable to charge funded children. Inge is correct, you are unable to charge a funded child for anyhting that is to do with their free 21/2 hour sessions. After talkin to our Head of EY's and explaining why we charged she said that she felt it was perfectly acceptable to charge as long as we gave it back! so we now still charge ALL parents a deposit that is refundable in their last half term of pre-school- which noramlly comes as a nice surprise for most & we also get the occasional one handing it back to us!! We do this for all of them as most are funded when they start with us and to be honest it would be so much hassle to work out who was & wasn't due the monies back-as most of our children leave at same time.

Inge, as long as you refund the deposit there is no reason why you cannot charge

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