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Calculating Top Up Fees?!


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this year i have a number of children attending other settings, i am rather worried about (and think it is probably really easy and i am getting myself tied up) how to calculate the top up fees some families may have. i know now my LA is funding by hours not sessions, but this doesnt mean that its that straight forward does it? obviously if i have a child who attends more hours another setting and they get the funding i may have to charge some kind of top up.

 

i have to admit i am slightly confused! so anyone please help! To be honest im feeling really silly for not 'getting' it too!

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we will charge the same hourly rate as the nursery funding for any extra hours taken from april next year. at the moment we charge a bit less but this is confusing and means we have to do extra paperwork to explain how we are spending the different per child per hour between our rate and the funded rate. each family gets an invoice/statement once a term stating which are free hours, which are paid for and the hourly rate for paid for hours - this broken down into weeks.

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For children using all of their NEF funding at other settings we charge the full amount. Children under 3 and not yet funded pay £5 per session. We charge the full amount as they are taking the place of a child who could be bringing us £10 a session in funding.

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we charge per hour the same a nursery grant. children attending two settings the funding is split. gets confusing but in gloucestershire they have an online calculator to work it out. if you go into gcc website i am sure you will find it. it does get a bit silly with two settings. one child doing 4 hrs with me and 12 at nursery. i have to charge her for 0.25 of an hour.

 

hope this helps

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  • 1 month later...

If a setting has a rate of £20 per morning session from 9-12 and a funded child attends five mornings a week please tell me that I am right in thinking that the funded child may be collected at 11:30 (end of two and half hour free session) or may be given the option of paying for an extra half hour per session. There should be no cost to parents as they are funded sessions and therefore free??

 

It has come to light today that a setting (not me) has a rate of £20 and funded children doing five mornings a week are being invoiced - the setting is saying £20 x 5 = £100 then saying minus £46,75 (5 x grant of £9:35) your bill for a week is £53:25 surely this is wrong and is the 'top up' that was disallowed ages ago??

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Our LEA used to send out the code of practice for our area each year... and it did include something about not being allowed to just deduct the Education grant from normal fees and that invoices must clearly show funded hours and unfunded ours and the amount charged separately..

 

we too charged for the extra hours which were unfunded at the same rate as the funding we received... and charged by the hour not session.

 

In our case it was not complicated.. Parents claimed a set number of hours per setting and if children attended more they paid for them.

 

We made sure that the amount we charged was same as the funding as this we felt was fair... if we charged less we found they would use more funded hours to other setting and unfunded to us as it was cheaper for them and we lost income!

 

Inge

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I only charge the same as the NEG makes life so much simpler for calculating. If a child is doing 7.5 hrs with a different nursery, but six hours with us (i.e. 2 mornings) they have 5 hours funded and the extra hour parents pay for.

 

New Codes of Practice are in the pipeline - there is a consultation document on the DCSF site at the present time if anyone is of a mind to put their twopenn'orth in!!

 

In the spirit of the current CoP, settings may not charge anything over the hourly rate their NEG works out at to top up fees to what they would like to charge. So if a setting would really like to be able to charge and hourly rate of £5.00, but their NEG hourly rate works out to £3.93, they may not charge the difference between the £3.93 and the £5.00. The NEG must not, therefore, be used as a discount. However, my understanding is that for any hours over and above the free entitlement, settings may charge what they like.

Edited by Panders
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yes you can charge what you like for under 3s. most people however charge LESS not more, even though the costs in terms of staffing are higher. this is because you also have to take into account what parents are able and prepared to pay and also that those children will become funded and then bring in more income.

 

i am planning to charge the under 3s the same as the EYFE (or NEG) from next year.

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So is it correct that children not receiving funding (ie. under 3's) can be charged an hourly rate that is above

the NEG funding rate? :o

 

dottyp

 

Yes that right. As a business you can set whatever fees your local market will stand (and that are fair of course) in order to meet your real costs. We charge more than NEG for non funded children due to the higher staffing ratios for the younger ones.

 

RR

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Yes that right. As a business you can set whatever fees your local market will stand (and that are fair of course) in order to meet your real costs. We charge more than NEG for non funded children due to the higher staffing ratios for the younger ones.

 

RR

 

We have had our presentation this week- which looks like we are going to be recieving less funding - and it was made quite clear that this was the problem. Settings are using the NEG funding money to subsidise costs involved having 2 year olds in the setting, because of the higher staffing costs.

I think we are going to do as suggested as above and have fees at the same rate as our funding - we just have to hope we don't turn parents away because of high fees.

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I think we are going to do as suggested as above and have fees at the same rate as our funding - we just have to hope we don't turn parents away because of high fees.

 

We don't actually tell the parents of the funded children how much they are getting. Although to be fair we only offer 5 x 2.5 hr sessions at the moment so their bills just say the date and then funded by NEG in the amount due column with a nil balance to pay.

 

We haven't done this to be sneaky, it's just the way we've always presented the 'invoices' for funded children. So parents who pay don't realise they are paying more than the NEG.

 

However, as I said in my last post we quite easily justify the higher charge due to the higher staffing costs.

 

Also, we don't charge extra for snacks, parties etc - this all comes out of our income.

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I think that sounds very fair ReaderRabbit. As a parent I wouldn't have any problem accepting the fact that I must pay more for a child under 3, particularly because the most expensive resource nurseries or pre-schools have is its staff.

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We have looked at charging higher rates for our non-funded children (mostly under threes) but at the moment I am worried that we will end up with fewer children in before their funding comes in. We have tried to peg the fees to the funded amount and this way if anyone questions our charges I can explain where the figure came from. If you feel your fee paying children can carry the extra it is certainly a valid argument that it costs more to cover the ratios for this age group, and it would be a way of increasing your income to try to balance the books. However in our area I feel strongly it would end up with the children being kept at home with mum until they were funded.

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I agree with you Holly35

 

Every time my ratios change I ask parents if they want extra sessions and none of them will until they are funded. We had to write into our policy last year that we wouldn't issue 1 day per week as it was causing so many problems.

 

The problem is keeping spaces availble for when children are funded, when new non funded could've taken their place.

Playgroup life is getting too complicated!!

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The problem is keeping spaces availble for when children are funded, when new non funded could've taken their place.

 

We don't keep places - it just wouldn't work. Maybe we are lucky that our parents are understanding and know how it all works. For example we had a 2 year old doing two mornings a week and of course parents paying. The child's birthday is mid september so they are eligible for funding from the start of the January term 2010. She wanted him to start doing four sessions then BUT that is just one of many children who become eligible for funding in January and we couldn't operate with lots of empty spaces that were 'held' for children attending but not yet funded.

 

In July we had over 25 children leave to go to school so had lots of spaces - many were taken up by children eligible for funding in September and others by new 2 year olds.

 

The Mum of the child I mentioned decided to pay for four sessions from September as it was the only real way those spaces could be guaranteed to be available in January. He now sometimes does all his four sessions and some weeks he just does three but Mum is happy with the situation.

 

I think the problem stems from the mass exodus at the end of the summer term. When there were three intakes a year we didn't have this problem - it was always a bit of a logistical nightmare but nothing in comparison to what it is now. How do others manage - does anyone operate on empty spaces - we have 20 non funded children attending 2 or 3 sessions a week and 8 of these will be eligible for funding in January so we would have needed to run this term with around 20 spaces empty every week which is not financially viable

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[quote name='Geraldine' date='Nov 8

How do others manage - does anyone operate on empty spaces - we have 20 non funded children attending 2 or 3 sessions a week and 8 of these will be eligible for funding in January so we would have needed to run this term with around 20 spaces empty every week which is not financially viable

 

 

Hi Geraldine, yes I operate on empty places to ensure that funded children's places are protected, but I only do it for a term. Yes financially it is a pain, but can't really work around doing it any other way. It does mean that we probably get proportionately more children sharing care with another pre-school in the area.

 

In the ideal world I would only have 20 children on the roll doing all of the sessions available because this would cut down on the amount of "key children" each adult has to keep records for, but we tend to have about 25 average on the roll for a 20 place session.

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no, we did not keep places if we had a child who could fill the space and pay... parents were told this and it was their option t either take the chance or take the sessions earlier and pay.. we could not afford to keep empty spaces...

 

think they did at one time but found parents would have the child on a waiting list for another setting and not tell us, then remove them once funding kicked it... why? because we were cheaper unfunded sessions.... not any more!

 

Inge

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Hi Geraldine, yes I operate on empty places to ensure that funded children's places are protected, but I only do it for a term.

 

Hi Panders

I am really interested to hear this. I know it's getting late and I am tired but how do you only do it for a term?

 

Of our 2 year old 12 become eligible for funding in April so to guarantee their 5 spaces then we would have had to hold them since the start of this term and all next term too - in addition to spaces for the 8 I already mentioned that are eligible for funding in January.

 

Maybe I am being really thick tonight but I can't see how it works :o

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The only children I guarantee five mornings for are my very oldest ie those going to reception the following September. I've told LA this and they are happy so long as we explain to parents the funding makes them eligible for five sessions but we can't always offer it. I'm lucky in that the vast majority of my parents accept the need for this way of operating. What happens then is that all the oldest children have five sessions blocked off for them and we organise staff for them possibly with a member of staff being put on standby to do an extra session one term once the children increase sessions. Two year olds get two sessions to start off and the oldest of those might be offered three if space allows. Once funding is available the funded three year olds are offered extra sessions if available. Not all my staff are working every day from September so we have capacity to increase staffing as the year progresses. When parents ask for more sessions I always explain that we will offer if we have the capacity but that the priority goes to the children about to leave for school so eventually they benefit and they have all been really good about it. Often if I can offer three sessions they are happy. It sounds a bit complicated but it works for us. Then again it might be the make up of our area which helps.

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think they did at one time but found parents would have the child on a waiting list for another setting and not tell us, then remove them once funding kicked it... why? because we were cheaper unfunded sessions.... not any more!

 

Inge

 

We also had this happen to us - but since the single formual consultations myself and the leader of the next closest pre-school have agreed to discuss fees and set the same.

 

quote panders

In the ideal world I would only have 20 children on the roll doing all of the sessions available because this would cut down on the amount of "key children" each adult has to keep records for, but we tend to have about 25 average on the roll for a 20 place session.

 

This also affects us panders, keyworkers have currently got 7 childrens folders to get through, most of these children only come twice a week, but it is so much work for everyone.

We are nowhere near capacity and have waiting list parents banging on the door, but I can't possible give keyworkers even more children.

Any good ideas anyone?!

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