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Snack Money


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Just wanted a bit of advice on how to deal with this. We are a non-profit making Pre-School and charge £1 oer week for snack and those who only come say 1 or 2 days per week only pay 20p per day. We currently have 12 children on roll and so should be averaging around £9 per week. Today I checked the tin and there was only £1.80 it in. I am quite cross as the last few weeks it is getting less and less. How I am supposed to pay for the snack for the following week? Most of these children pay nothing as they recieve the nursery education grant and we are based in a very affluent area - any ideas how to ensure the money is collected in? Thanks

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If you are in an affluent area, these parents would probably work better with the bill for the term for snack rather than finding change each week to hand in! It's a mindset thing I think, they aren't used to paying for things weekly. they or their partner may get paid on a monthly basis and that is how they work out their finances. They could pay by cheque each half term in advance. I operate in an affluent area myself and parents never have any problem with fees, some pay the whole lot for lunch club in one go, some split it into 2. Even when they are paying full fees before NEG, they pay either in one go or two.

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Do you know who has paid and who has not, buemandie - if so then a quiet word with the late payers might do the trick. As Panders says, an invoice might be better but it would probably cost as much to do the paperwork as you raise but that's a different story! At least you'd be able to track who has paid, and parents would know what they were due to pay, and when. I know that I would probably always forget to pay so a friendly reminder would be needed to keep me on track!

 

Maz

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there is another option..

 

get parents to provide the snack... we asked parents to provide fruit each week with a list for them to say when and what they would bring in... we usually ended up with more than we could cope with and children enjoyed bringing in the items to show us to eat ..

 

also saved us having to do the shopping... no donations no snack! well we had items in emergency to use but cannot ever remember using them we just rotated what we had..

 

 

also looked good on partnerships with parents..

 

Inge

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I thought under the terms of the grant we are not allowed to charge extra for snack, may be this is different in your area.

 

Also I know that it annoys me when my children keep coming out of school asking for money for trips, visits, books, craft, cooking. I realise that you are only asking for £1 a week but everyone is feeling the 'credit crunch' at the moment.

 

Could parents supply a snack instead? You may find that parents ask their children what they have eaten and they say 'nothing' when they have actually eaten lots. We also put on the noticeboard outside when the snack was that day.

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We've tried the snack rota system, with 2 parents per week buying a bag of snack to share but ths was becoming really expensive for them. We now ask each family to bring in a piece of fruit to share (or veg, rice cakes, bread sticks, cheese) their choice as long as no nuts, unhealthy items. It works really well and we often find we have too much so use extra for cooking activities. We also occasionally ask parents to bring specific cooking ingredients instead of snack, such as a loaf, marmite, jam, butter, flour, eggs, whatever really.

 

I didn't think we were allowed to charge for anything, isn't the service we provide supposed to be free?

Edited by sam2368
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we get each child to bring their own peice of fruit each day...then they (usually) bring something they like and everyone knows they are responsible for providing their own food for their own child so are more likely to contribute. Keep a small bag of apples in case anyone does forget...or cut it all up to share if that happens.

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Hi bluemandie

 

How about a letter home..........

 

Something along the lines of how disappointed you are to find that the 'snack fund' tin only contained £1.80 when you were hoping for/expecting £9.00.........and then something about how difficult it is to pay for snack from fees/NEG.........

then maybe .......would you prefer to pay your snack money by cheque at the beginning of each term......if so etc.etc.

 

Might work! :o

 

(BTW - I don't charge for snack!)

Edited by sunnyday
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We too have incorporated snack money into fees - most of our children have to pay top up fees anyway as we are in an area where we still only get 12.5 hours funding and our sessions are 3 hours. We have tried asking for fruit donations, £1 in jar etc. but was a bit hit and miss so just provide it now!!! We are also lucky that we are on a school site and called their fruit suppliers who do their free fruit and veg and they also send us a box a week at a very minimal cost. Have you tried this - even if you are not on a school site you could just find out who your local school use and if its on their way I'm sure they'd drop one off for you. Zoe. xxx

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Hi - thanks for all your replies - we make it clear that it is a voluntary contribution however due to the area we are in money is def not an issue. I think I may put a reminder notice up and see how it goes - I will let you know how I get on - thanks :)

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I

Oh I see, your original post said you charge your parents, but now you say it is a voluntary contribution - if it is voluntary ........... there will be times when you must accept that the kitty will be empty!!! Perhaps some people think they are always doing the contributing and it's about time someone else put some money in :o Because you are non-profit making, doesn't mean you couldn't charge properly - any 'profit' could just be ploughed back into other foods, such as for parties or buying organic milk, say, rather than standard or having multi-cultural food tasting days etc. Keeping track of money in and out is incredibly simple and not very time consuming at all for something like this if you set it up properly.

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Guest MaryEMac

Like Trekker, we ask parents to provide a snack for their child in a named container. It has to be fruit, cheese or yogurt. We have done this for the last 3 years and everyone accepts it. We always have some small boxes of raisins in the cupboard for emergencies.

 

Mary

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Our children love bringing in their snack boxes every day, makes them feel like they are at big school

 

We ask for healthy snacks only and in general this works well

 

We dont have to buy snack, worry about preparing it or getting the money for it.

 

We have done this for quite and while now and after providing snack for many years, this is definitely the way to go in my opinion

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