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Fee Policies


toddlermaddness
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Hello

 

Just wondering If other pre-schools have anything in the policy regarding children leaving without giving any notice.

 

We had a parent leave a msg on the answer phone through the summer holidays stateing her child will not be returning to the pre-school, then another parent who didnt either bother to inform us, we had to call them!!! Both of which were fee payers but now funded.

 

Any tips or guidance would be great!

 

Thanks in advance

 

Becca

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regularly happened to me,

 

just made sure before summer all fees were paid up to date so we didn't have them vanish owing money.

 

 

Otherwise not much you can do.. we always tried to contact if they didn't show up so we could fill the place if we could. One year we had 5 parents do it to us..and when we called there was no apology and one I remember had 'Gran' answer the phone and do all the excuses. We often found they had put name down for several places at once and just turned up to one, not telling the others.

 

 

sign of the times I think..

 

Inge

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If you haven't got a written policy then now is the time to get one done, and ensure the parents get a copy and sign it for your records - stands up better if you have to go down the small claims route. Also as Inga said a rigorous fee paying /debt management plan where you stay on top of it and don't allow debts to 'carry over' from term to term is the way forward. There will always be people who hedge thier bets and book places in more than one setting, not really a lot that can be done about that, it's down to parental choice as they say :oxD

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I would also suggest a deposit. This term we have been lucky and everybody has turned up who was expected, but other years we haven't and then turned people away because we throught we were full. Very frustrating.

 

We are finding the worst parents for this are the Nursery Education Funded parents as they know you have no hold over them as you can't ask them to pay any fees, deposit etc. This year we held a parents information evening so that all parents, including NEF funded parents knew what we expected of them (ie. it's not a drop in centre and it's important that their child receives the education the government are paying for).

 

Parents need to realise that we allocate staff on the basis of what children have booked in.

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In addition to making sure that fees are paid up to date at the end of any term, you might consider requesting a deposit towards the next term's fees.

If these children are funded you wouldn't be able to charge a deposit under the terms of the Single Funding Formula.

 

We have a clause in our ts and cs to say that if a child is withdrawn from the setting we charge six weeks' fees in lieu of notice, and that if this notice period would carry over into a period when the child would receive Nursery Education Funding then we would charge the full published fees and not just the daily 'top up'.

 

However I'm advised by our Business Development Officer that this won't be possible under the SFF, which will leave my very small group extremely vulnerable. Ensuring fees are paid in full will obviously be a priority, and giving parents the benefit of the doubt may be a thing of the past.

 

Maz

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We are finding the worst parents for this are the Nursery Education Funded parents as they know you have no hold over them as you can't ask them to pay any fees, deposit etc. This year we held a parents information evening so that all parents, including NEF funded parents knew what we expected of them (ie. it's not a drop in centre and it's important that their child receives the education the government are paying for).

 

Parents need to realise that we allocate staff on the basis of what children have booked in.

 

 

This sounds like a good idea - and if you couldn't have a meeting to remind parents of their obligations, you might be able to put out a newsletter reminding parents about six weeks' notice being required at strategic times of the year. Some parents remain oblivious to the fact that notice should be given - it just doesn't occur to them, regardless of having signed contracts. etc.

 

Yes I agree, Maz the conditions of the SFF tie our hands together over some of the precautions we would like to take and certainly when fee payers become funded the next term, we must be careful not to do anything which is not allowed.

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what a horrible postion to be in. if you have contracts like childminders, are they not legally binding? If parents leave without notice, I could chase them through the legal system for loss of earnings, does this not happen with you? Doesnt seem a very fair system x

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