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Do any of you lovely people at Pre-schools ask your parents to enter into a signed contract for the next term? Im not talking about the funding agreement here jsut how many sessions in general.

If so is it legally binding?

The reason I ask is although it has always happened last term the amount of parents who CHANGED their minds literally til the last day of summer and over summer hols!! this year was unbelievable! This was nightmare for me when doing staff rotas and calculating staff ratio!! There were staff I had to say sorry I have to cut your hours inc myself when they came back after Summer! I want to try and reduce this happening next term.

Any advice will be gratefully recieved.

Andrea :o

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don't know how binding they were but we had them, I had a letter with all the details on it like which sessions, timings, days, cost if any and to be paid by either each week or month or however they had chosen to pay, starting day, and a reminder that sessions could not be changed because of the need to organise staff etc , if they wanted to change sessions we needed 1 terms notice.. (6 weeks), to give us time to make the changes necessary but could not guarantee that it would be possible even then as the sessions they wanted may not be available. Then there was a bit about increasing sessions should they wish to come and see us and we would work with them if we had the available places.

 

there were always some who still came to change sessions even with this, if it meant no change to the staffing and we had places we would swap, but if not they had to keep the same ones until space was available. We could at least produce the agreement to show they had signed to say that they agreed to our terms of 6 weeks notice

 

Not sure if you could make them have all the sessions if they choose to reduce them though.. just swapping and moving.

 

it did cut down on the swapping and mind changing though... we also had a real issue with parents wanting different sessions all the time and felt they were taking us for granted, not seeing us as a place of education but baby sitters for when they wanted to do something..

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Ours was a nightmare this year. We were full at one point and I now have spaces.

 

I have thought about asking for a bigger deposit but it may put people off. Especially when they have a school nursery class in their area as the drop you as soon as they get a place there!

 

I don't cut the staff hours, as I think you need more staff to settle the new ones. Good job I run a charity and not a business.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I understood that if your parents were only accessing the funded 15 hours you are not able to charge them a deposit anyway ? The funding is free - charging a deposit could be construed as not being equal in your admissions process as it discriminates against those who are unable to pay ? :o

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