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Do You Charge Extra


mrsbat
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Currently our sessions are 3 hours long except for on a friday which is 4 hours long, after easter we will also be upping the monday session to 4 hours as well.

Obviously the funding only covers the 2.5 hours, so I wonder if anyone would mind telling me if they charge for the hours used that aren't funded (hope that makes sense) and if they do charge, how much should we charge?

 

We have an extra charge for the friday session but this was implemented before i took over and really, taking in to account staff costs alone (5 staff for 1.5 extra hours) I don't think it is nearly enough..... I'd be interested to know what you all think please :)

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we're open 3 hours and charge for the extra half hour at the same rate as the funding - we've never been challenged by a parent about only wanting the 2 1/2 hours..... but if we did then we'd have to let them just have the funded hours. Hopefully it won't come to that because I'm sure if one did they all would, however once our area offers the flexible sessions this will not be a problem.

xx

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do the parents have to take the extra hour/2 hours or can they collect their child after the 2.5 hours funded session?

 

I ask because I'm pretty sure that you aren't allowed to charge a "top-up". The way I understand it is you can offer the extra time at x amount but you cant force parents to take it, they have to be allowed to collect their child after the free hours.........unless of course it's changed but I know that we were never allowed to charge a top up. If they do choose to stay for the extra time then you can charge..........but I'd get that in writing just for your own sake!!

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We are a day nursery so we charge a standard morning and afternoon session fee...so yes our parents pay for the extra time...we just discount them half the morning session..

Unfortunatly the funding still doesnt cover half of our morning session cost..so dont know what we are going to do soon..

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We also charge for the extra half hour - and because the nursery education grant doesn't cover our hourly fees we charge a disproporationately high amount for that half hour. The flexible 15 hour entitlement will erode this though, so I'm working to reduce the shortfall if I can prior to the 2010 deadline... :o

 

Maz

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Our funding is by the hour, not session so just over 4 sessions is covered. If children attend for 5 sessions we charge for the unfunded hour and a bit.

 

Al

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ok thank you :)

 

I don't think any of it has ever been explained to the parents to be honest. We only charge £1 extra for the 4 hour session which doesn't even cover the staff wages, gosh if I charged for the extra half hours as well I think i'd have a riot on my hands xD anyone any ideas how I could broach this with the parents? should I maybe say that from september due to the minimum wage increase etc then we are forced to charge x amount per funded session to cover costs, if they would rather not pay then they are welcome to collect their children after the 2.5 funded hours?

 

And did I read somewhere that 2.5 hours is changing? i'm confused about that bit :o

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Our sessions are 2.5 hours long anyway. Many children stay all day so they pay £2 for lunchtime and then £5 for their afternoon session. It's very cheap, I know, but we are in a very rural, low economy area, and the children who really benefit from the preschool the most are the low income families. It's broadly in line with similar local settings. To be honest, I'd rather have a full preschool paying £5 a session than half a dozen children paying £10 or whatever.

Because our fees equate to £2 an hour, we can charge by the half hour too.

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Yes have charged for years now...

 

We needed to show that the funded part of the session was not subsidising the unfunded part..as this is part of the requirements of recieving the grant.

 

TO do this we worked out the wage for the number of staff required for the time, plus any rent for that period and other expensed for that period this gave us an amount of costs to work with then worked out how many children at what fee to cover costs.... this was the amount we charged....

 

We used this in a way to show parents how much it actually costs for the childcare they are receiving....

 

We usually had about half stay and half leave at end of session.... we had to give them this option not to pay

 

3hrs is coming some sooner than others but by 2010, so this will then not be an issue.. but I know there will be others for lots of settings...

 

Inge

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We have an optional lunch club between sessions and give option for children to come in earlier than 9.00. We charge a minimum of £1 for each half hour. Parents are allowed 2.5.hours of funded time anything above that,they have to pay. They are all very willing to pay because they want their children to stay to lunch club and/or for 2 sessions a day.

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Mrsbat, why dont you just explain to parents that up until now the pre-school had subsidized the extra hour but with rising costs is no longer able to do so. For some years now we have opened for 2.75 hours per day and not charged for the extra time. However 2 years ago we decided to offer another 15 mins to make the session pto 3 hours and charge for the additional 30 minutes, we told parents well in advance and so far no one has complained. They all have the option not to take up this additional 30 mins before they start (in T&C's) but canot change midway. We charge £1.60 for the 30 minutes. Which actually is about 10p less then our funding.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Our afternoon sessions are 3 3/4 hours so we charge an extra £1.50 top-up fee per session. We have never had any parent query this. They are always glad our afternoon sessions are longer as it helps them with picking up older children from school. :o

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I have been charging for the extra half hour for about a year now. In a leaflet from the CIS entitled Free Entitlement (Early Years Provision) it states (amongst lots of other information)

 

"Any additional weeks and/or additional time must be paid for by the parent/carer".

 

 

"Settings will require payment of fees if you want your child to attend more than the core entitlement, eg. extra time in addition to the five basic 2.5 hour sessions, terms that are longer than 12 or 13 weeks, lunch, etc...................................If you do not wish to pay for the extra weeks over and above the 38 week limit you may withdraw your child from the setting during these weeks. When accessing the Free Entitlement, any fees charged for additional time must be at the standard rate of the provider!"

 

I sent out a letter explaining about the extra fees along with the leaflet and there were 2 parents who decided to collect their children at 11.30am. After a while they changed their minds and paid for the extra half hour. I must admit I was a little worried - just in case the majority chose to just use the funding and not pay the extra. I had been subsidising all these children for the extra half hours and on reflection I was losing a lot of money - still had staff to pay and the rent, etc.

 

I charge £1.50 for the extra half hour.

 

I just hope that there haven't been any changes since changing our fees policy !

 

Sue J

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I am in gloucestershire so we get 15 hours a week to use as you want. the parents can claim up to 6 hours each day which is the maximum we are open anyway. It is really easy just to add all their hours together and then i charge £3.25 per hour which is what we get for our nursery grant. I assume you cannot work this way.

 

angela

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thats exactly how it should work in kent too we are paid for hours so like you say you add up whats used and work out your extra should not be a problem as long as parents are told and have the option to opt out

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We charge £1.60 for an extra half an hour, £3.20 for lunch club. You can charge for over and above the funded 2.5 hours. Parents have the option of collecting after 2.5 hours, only 1 parent does. We cannot charge funded children more than non funded children so the £1.60 reflects the £3.20 hourly rate paid by non-funded children. Over the past few years we have gradually increased our fees to nearly the funded rate as I understand funded children are not supposed to subsidize non-funded children. Hopefully this year we will be nearly at the funded hourly rate come September.

 

I think the term 'top-up' is misleading, I feel it is not a top-up merely charging for the services you are providing.

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couldnt agree more Deb top up is the wrong word when you think about it they get an excellent package with highly trained dedicated people and sometimes they dont even pay on time........parents that is.....................makes my blood boil i dont go to sainsburys a have a chicken on account and pay for it 4 weeks later ......................sorry sorry sorry im calm now lost the thread there

 

 

but no it is wrong word

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couldnt agree more Deb top up is the wrong word when you think about it they get an excellent package with highly trained dedicated people and sometimes they dont even pay on time........parents that is.....................makes my blood boil i dont go to sainsburys a have a chicken on account and pay for it 4 weeks later ......................sorry sorry sorry im calm now lost the thread there

 

 

but no it is wrong word

 

We have a lovely parent who'd forgotten to bring her purse on Monday pm when collecting her child (we pick child up from nursery so mum only picks up), she came in Tuesday am just to pay after taking child to nursery because she 'couldn't bear to think of (Child) with us but not paid for'. If only they were all like that!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I queried this about a year ago and I was told that you must not charge more than your normal hourly rate for the extra time above the 2.5 hours. people where doing a top up fee which actually worked out more than their hourly rate which you cannot do eg, if your session was 3 hours and your session cost £12 that would make your h/r £4. so for a funded child you would recieve say £8.50 for funding and £2 from the parent so a funded childs session would come in as £10.50 you are not allowed to do a topup charge £3.50 to bring it upto £12 for the last half hour as this in theory brings your hourly rate upto £7. so confusing :o and as far as I know if you advertise your sessions as 2.75 or 3 hours and a parent agrees that then you dont have to offer a 2.5 hour session

 

Sal

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