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Saving A Space


kristina
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I have a parent whose child attends twice a week, this parent doesn't drive and has to walk to our setting (approx 1.5 miles), she has said after half term she would like to drop 1 day until March then increase back to 2 when the weather improves!

I do have a waiting list so really not sure what to say to her, as obviously I will lose income between November & March! Do I have to keep his day, I am a private Pre-School so I'm assuming not.

Any suggestions.

 

Kris

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I have a parent whose child attends twice a week, this parent doesn't drive and has to walk to our setting (approx 1.5 miles), she has said after half term she would like to drop 1 day until March then increase back to 2 when the weather improves!

I do have a waiting list so really not sure what to say to her, as obviously I will lose income between November & March! Do I have to keep his day, I am a private Pre-School so I'm assuming not.

Any suggestions.

 

Kris

 

This happens to us in the school holidays! We let the parents cut their sessions, with a months notice, but tell them the place may not be there when they want to increase again, or they can pay half fees to keep their place. They have the option then to take the risk. Like you, we can't save a place when we have a waiting list :o

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no you do not need to keep the day unless you have a policy saying so....

 

I would explain to the parent that I realise the problems they are having but the setting cannot afford to have a place empty for such a long time when there are people on a waiting list who would be able to pay the money. if she decided to reduce a space you would then see if there was space in March but could not guarantee it, and very much doubted it would be possible..

 

We would not have given a half price retainer option as we would still be losing money and if child was funded we were not allowed to do this- was one of our many LEA rules!

 

we often had several similar requests.. often when visiting home countries for months at a time, often 6 weeks and expected a place to be there when they came back... we always had to say it was a risk they had to take , we could not keep a place for so long. Had we not done this we would have not been able to operate... parents chat and if one realised this was happening I know more would have tried the same.

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Yes agree with all the above, my policy states the children must do 2 sessions, we don't take them otherwise. Are you all day? could this child do a whole day with you, rather than 2 mornings. What's the 30 minute walk like? open countryside, do you get particularly bad weather where you are? Is she walking to you and home again, and walking back at lunchtime and home again? Perhaps she should have thought all of this through before booking in!!

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We no longer save spaces that we can fill as in the past we have been messed about by parents we have bent over backwards for. Once kept a space open until the summer term only for the parent to say that had put child in nursery elsewhere so lost money for almost a year and turned away others who would have made good use of the space.

 

We ask parents to give us four weeks notice that they intend to reduce the number of booked sessions too as it is in effect the same as a cancellation of a place.

 

In this situation you need to perhaps put a business hat on - after all can you see the manager of any other business turning away paying customers on the off chance that they might return a few months later to pay for something they could have sold several times over!

 

Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh but that's the nature of early years being a business as well as a service.

 

As Inge says if you don't have a waiting list then you can offer a place on the proviso that it is still there later in the year and the parent then has to take their chances.

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Just to make things more interesting same parent has sent a text this morning (Saturday :o ) to say they are away in February for 2 weeks and could she cancel his 1 space and re instate when she gets back!!

Think she has made my mind up for me!!

 

Kris

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Now if that isn't the ultimate in cheek, and expecting all her way what is...

 

I am assuming your policy says must pay even if doesn't attend and this is her way to try to get around it... will be interesting to see what she makes of the chance of not having a space at all come February.. as you will obviously be able to fill the place when she cancels it then too...

 

( sorry to say we would tell her so even if we hadn't... would not be long before someone wanted an extra day or so... )

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Just to make things more interesting same parent has sent a text this morning (Saturday :o ) to say they are away in February for 2 weeks and could she cancel his 1 space and re instate when she gets back!!

Think she has made my mind up for me!!

 

Kris

 

 

Cheeky - as you say she has made your mind up for you.

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I think the problem is that some parents just don't understand the reality of the service we offer. I think sometimes they view their child's place at nursery a bit like the daily milk delivery - something you just cancel when you're away.

 

Maybe the analogy of paying the mortgage or rent is a good one to use. Whether they are in their house or not, the rent and mortgage still needs to be paid, just like nursery fees.

 

This is where absolute consistency of approach is necessary, as is having a clear policy which parents sign when they register their child with you. Then you can whip out their registration form and point out that they have signed to say they understand that fees must be paid whenever their child is away from nursery. I would definitely have put a clause in there detailing that places could not be guaranteed to be held when the parent reduced their child's session but sadly for me I always had enough spaces to accommodate these fluctuations. :o

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Hi Kris, sadly some parents do see us as a commodity they can pick up and drop as and when they see fit to and have no concern for the bigger picture. That's why as Happymaz states it is so important to have this made clear to them in your forms that parents complete and sign up to. I think you now have your answer to your initial post. No no no !

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Thinking about it, as maz says, we did have an agreement which they signed when they started detailing these things , we had a copy and they had one...

 

it covered most of what was in our policy and at the bottom said they had booked xx sessions on xx days and cost would be xx per week in advance, first payment to be made by xx and every xxday thereafter.. ( we took fees weekly ) and I did have to show some parents when they tried to take advantage.. the clearer the better...

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