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Putting Up Your Fees For September 2011?


thumperrabbit
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I just wondered due to the fact that lots of us have recieved notification about how our funding is going up or down will you need to increase your fees this year and if so by how much are you thinking?

We also have a rent increase that gets reviewed in line with the new academic year so that too may go up.

 

Funding down to £9.30 for a 3 hour session

Current fees £10 per 3 hour session

 

I'm concerned that we have to fundraise a huge amount each year, this year we have noticed a drop in support from our parents, probably due to everyone having to reduce their own costs, so we will not meet our target this year, and our reserve that was created a few years back is getting low.

 

How much more can you pass the costs onto parents?

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Can't do much about my fees Thumperabbit, the vast majority are on funding with just a few 2 year olds, I suppose I could increase the fees for the two year olds, but that doesn't seem appropriate for me at the moment. I am only open to the children for 15 hours so I can't capture fees for extra hours. So we will have to take on board what we are given basically, which has always been the fear from day one of government paying for nursery education, our funding isn't being cut, but it isn't increasing either.

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We charge £3.50 an hour which is about the same as the funding we receive but we also allow parents to book 2 hour sessions if money is a problem before their child is funded and this seems to have worked well.

We try to put as little as possible onto the cost and some years don't put it up at all. However, the local nursery (we are a playgroup really although we are open from 9-6) charges £5.20 per hour. So the problem always is are we undercharging, or are we providing an option for parents who could not possibly afford the higher amount?

Of course, some years we don't put the wages up either because we are so worried about money so we are punishing the staff to keep the parents happy.

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Can't do much about my fees Thumperabbit, the vast majority are on funding with just a few 2 year olds, I suppose I could increase the fees for the two year olds, but that doesn't seem appropriate for me at the moment. I am only open to the children for 15 hours so I can't capture fees for extra hours. So we will have to take on board what we are given basically, which has always been the fear from day one of government paying for nursery education, our funding isn't being cut, but it isn't increasing either.

 

That's how we are for the end of this academic year too, September is mainly 2 year olds though.

 

And can you survive?

Do you have to fundraise?

Are you voluntary/committee run?

 

Sorry so many questions, but we have so many staffing issues at the moment, the money side is begining to feel like why bother and create so much tension, I'm not sure how much longer our reserves will keep us going as they have gone down consistently over the last 3 years - I think we possibly have enough for 2 more years.

 

Unless of course someone, somewhere over the rainbow gives us our pot of gold :o

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Our staff wont be having a pay increase this April but we have two new members of staff who have recently been updating their training with a view to increasing from min. wage.

We put the fee's up last April to match the funding so I'm very reluctant to increase them again, they ar currently £8.50 for a 2.5 hour session, way more than I could afford.

We are committee run. We have aims to do much more fund raising but at the moment I cant get all the members together to plan something and I'm blowed if I'm planning on my own, I'm waiting for the day I can give it all up!

Without fundraising we would be looking at reducing staff and we've only just gone back up to having 5 after a few years of just 4.

Fundrasing should be for luxuries but these days its to stand still!

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with regards to fundraising it always seems to be hard to get committee/staff and parents involved so we now ask parents to contribute £10 a per term, which of course is voluntary but they pay it! The money is then used to buy new resources, toys etc NOT used for staff wages, rent, bill etc. Most parents pay, as we send reminders out during the term and this year we are registered for gift aid too as its a voluntary donantion to a charity.

 

Our sessions are currently £9.50 and committee are looking to increase to £10 per session.

 

Hope this may help in some way.

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We are RIDICULOUSLY cheap, but live in a deprived area. (Fees are just £6 for 2.5hrs) I would rather have a roomful of children paying £6 than half a roomful paying £10.

 

I do think we are going to have to look into increasing our fees, especially as our funding is so ridiculously low at £2.67. I have 5 staff including myself and I would love to be able to pay them what they deserve

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Our fee's were £6.00 until last year when we just couldnt absorb the 15% rent increase any longer. I hate charging £8.50 but we have to. The down side is we have noticed more parents waiting to start the children until they can get funding.

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We are a private pre-school open 8-30 to 3-30, and our fees have been £3.70 an hour (£11.10 a 3 hour session) for the last 2 years. We are the lowest priced pre-school/nursery in our town (out of 4 settings). We will probably have to put up fees by 10 or 20 pence an hour as our rent increased by a third last summer but we were already committed to the session price.

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we are a charity setting and fees remain considerably lower than private nurseries in the area (and do know that we are one of the better paid staff in the town)...we currently charge £6.25 for a 2 1/2 hour session. We are looking to put our fees up this September..but the old adage of 'cutting off your nose' springs to mind, if we go too high! Also, with being a management committee, the committee are parents!...so sure they won't want a big increase,,,but this doesn't allow for everything increasing..local authority up to now paid 'back fill and travel' for training (we were very lucky I know to get it)..but that has gone now so needs factoring into the budget...

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I am in a voluntary run Pre-school and we put the fees up to £16.50 for a 3 hour session for two year olds to make up for the shortfall in the SFF. So far we are full for September but we are in the South East where the other local groups charge a similar rate.

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Our funding is staying the same this year, which unfortunately will mean no rise in salaries and/or rent if they want it. We are putting our fees up by £1 to £12 per session from Sept, which wont really make much difference as we only ever have 2/3 unfunded a day.

So last week it was decided to extend our hours by 30 minutes which will enable us to charge parents for this additional 30 mins.

We have always paid our staff well but we have used up most of our resources over the last couple of years and can no longer afford to exist on just the funding. I was really hoping the government would allow us to charge an additional fee to parents but obviously not to be. I dont feel bad about charging fees, I paid for all of my children to go to preschool and if you think my youngest is 22 now and the last set of fees I paid for him were £4.50 per day 18 years ago, yet our funding is still only at 10.80. When funding first started it was so much higher then our fees, we were delighted with it. But it just hasn't kept pace with inflation and our rising costs.

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So last week it was decided to extend our hours by 30 minutes which will enable us to charge parents for this additional 30 mins.

Will parents be able to opt out of this extra 30 minutes?

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Will parents be able to opt out of this extra 30 minutes?

 

 

Yes, we wouldn't be able to charge unless it went over 15 hours.

 

we've just gone up to £14 for 3 hours for non funded children.

 

What I have noticed now though is parents have very quickly got used to 'free places'!!

Up till this time last year we charged top-ups and this was never questioned............however now parents are very quick to use the 15 hour 'cut off'. I know things are tight now- but we are in the south east and the majority of ours have a couple of holidays a year, most of the cars in the car-park are 'high end models'.... but most will question why they have been charged extra when they go over the 15hours.

I know I mustn't be judgemental - but sometimes I do wonder if it because we don't take credit card payments!!

Edited by louby loo
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Yes, we wouldn't be able to charge unless it went over 15 hours.

But you're confident that most parents won't opt out, presumably? We already charge for lunch club, and an afternoon session and for these we just about cover costs when we take all the sessions across the week.

 

Up until now we've been charging parents a top up for the shortfall in fees for their 'free' 15 hours, and they pay this quite happily. It is a small amount to them (£1.40 a day) but has helped keep the wolf from the door for us!

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But you're confident that most parents won't opt out

 

We are finding more parents would rather drop a session than pay for extras. Therefore would rather drop to 13 hours as opposed to 15.5 hours if they stay full days. Lunch is charged at £2 if not funded.

We are open 22 hours per week.

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Up until now we've been charging parents a top up for the shortfall in fees for their 'free' 15 hours, and they pay this quite happily.

 

 

Are you allowed to do this Maz, we're not! Another instance of differing county rules!!

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Are you allowed to do this Maz, we're not! Another instance of differing county rules!!

When our SFF was due to go 'live' many of the larger providers told our Borough that they would withdraw if forced to make the 15 hours 'free'. So we were given an extension and were able to charge a 'top up' whilst they worked with settings to help them develop their business plans to move towards a completely 'free' entitlement for every parent.

 

This is apparently within the guidelines - if an Authority discovers that a setting is charging a top up, they have to work with that setting to ensure that the full entitlement is offered free at the point of delivery. In our case, our Borough gave us a final deadline - the end of this term. Not that there's been much 'working with us' though - I'll be very interested to see what is going to happen next term.

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We are in the south east and the majority of ours have a couple of holidays a year, most of the cars in the car-park are 'high end models'.... but most will question why they have been charged extra when they go over the 15hours.

I know I mustn't be judgemental - but sometimes I do wonder if it because we don't take credit card payments!!

 

I'm not pre-school, but I do have a high proportion of 'high-end' families and it really bugs me when they query charges. For the last two years I have stopped monthly accounts, but work out an annual fee when the child starts, and divide it by ten equal payments - September to July. This has stopped almost all of questions about money. Payments are made directly into my account so the relationship between parent and me, the carer, is much more professional and less resentful. We can talk about the children instead of money.

 

Doesn't help funded places though.

 

Honey

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Will parents be able to opt out of this extra 30 minutes?

 

Of course, if they are on funding they will. We have opened for 3 hours for a few years now and when we were only funded for 2.5 hours charged for the additional 30 mins and nobody ever opted out.

 

I'm a bit confused about this 'top up' fee though. As I understood it, it is not a borough thing but a is actually in the code of practice. Only because there has been a bit of a thing about it lately in our LA over this and I am sure I remember seeing something in the code of p on it- I dont have a copy with me though to check

Edited by lynned55
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Out of interest how many of you who open for 3 hour sessions have parents take them out earlier?

 

i am just wondering about the routines of the day being messed up, but if our fees do become too expensive for some people maybe this might be an option for parents.

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I have always made it clear that this is an option - but apart from 'new starters' - and this is usually at my request that they collect 30 minutes earlier.....no one has ever wanted to take this up - well not so far anyway! :o

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I have had it in the past at an old setting I worked at, to be honest it was a pain - as the parents would often (always) turn up late for collecting, - in the end we made the 'drop off' times later which was much better. That said, that was before 'flexible' so it was easy for us to state the terms.

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I'm a bit confused about this 'top up' fee though.

It depends on how you define 'top up' I think. The Code of Practice says you must not charge your parents anything in connection to the delivery of the 'free' entitlement. That is non-negotiable and settings who do so will be in breach of the agreement they sign in order to be able to offer funded places. You are allowed to charge for any service you offer outside of that 15 hours, but that also includes snack, uniform, cooking ingredients etc, provided you have a mechanism by which parents can 'opt out' of taking those services. So you could charge £1 a day for snack/cooking ingredients, but allow parents to supply their own rather than paying the pound.

 

If the local authority find that a setting is charging a 'top up' they can take action which might ultimately involve removing a setting's ability to offer funded places. However it is likely that an LA would want to work with a setting to find out why they feel they need to charge a top up, and to explore how their business model might be amended so that the 15 hours could be offered free to parents. This is the loophole our Authority has exploited in extending our deadline for providing the 15 hours completely free to parents, although it is unclear what action will be taken against settings who decide to charge a top up from April.

 

Like many settings, we have always operated a three hour session and this was non-negotiable in the past. If parents only wanted their child to attend for 2.5 hours then we would happily provide them with details of local groups who offered that facility. We only started charging for this additional half hour when our rent went up by 100% overnight, but we were lucky in that no parent has ever refused to pay, or has withdrawn their child because of the extra charge.

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Fees for non-funded children and for extra hours above EYFE for funded children are £4.00 ph.

 

Going up in January 2012 to £4.50ph for extra hours and £5.00 per hour for non-funded 2 year olds (we have several funded 2 year olds).

 

This will be the first increase for nearly 2 years. I don't know how it will affect take-up so will have to review the situation after a term but rate needs to increase as wage costs have gone up, funding has remained static, VAT has increased etc, etc.

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