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Refund of funding hours


Wonderstuff16
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We are closing early for our Christmas concert, so one of our afternoon sessions will not be running, although we will still be open for half of the session for the concert to parents We will not be charging parents for this who are invoiced and not funded. A parent of a funded child has asked that she can have her funded hours that are being missed for the session at another time. Do we have to offer this? This closed afternoon session being will affect another 10 funded children but no-one else has asked for the session being made up elsewhere. What should we do?

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Hi

 

No you don't have to offer the hours. You can as a gesture of goodwill offer the hours before you close for Christmas but if you do offer it to one you need to offer the same to the others.

 

I don't make up funded hours anymore as I did a couple of years ago and it ended up shooting me in the foot! One parent expected every time she was late or every sick day her child had to be made up, it was a nightmare. I had to get funding involved.

 

My advice just say no!

 

Hope that helps

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It is my understanding (and I may be wrong) but you are paid for a certain number of funded hours per term and you should offer that many hours per term!

 

For instance when we closed for snow on one day the council got in touch to see if we would be offering that session at another time.

We were offering it on the day of our trip, no extra cost despite the extra hours. They were happy with this, otherwise we would haven had those hours deducted from our payment!

 

However, if you are open for a portion of those hours putting on a concert which children will be at then you are not shut for a whole session are you???!

 

It's tricky but you must do the same for everyone, so think hard before making any major decisions!!

 

I think this parent is being a little nit picky! Does she work? Would she have to pay for cover of this session or will she be with her child at the concert??!

 

I look forward to hearing how this turns out!

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you dont have to offer them all their hours they could go to another setting for one session and get it there!

 

just being flippant really i but you actually offer more hours than you get paid for....and do you charge this parent for every minute they are late at pick up...for their snacks......for advice time.....for all the extras etc etc etc etc etc! <_<

 

Obviously feeling grumpy tonight sorry!

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No they certainly wouldn't get it back if they come to us. Over the course of the year we offer extra treats which all children have the opportunity to come too. So this more than compensates for the shorter session for a concert day etc.

As for closing for a snow day, I have contacted my funding dept on this one before and was told as long as you have tried to open but were unable to due to adverse weather, we would not be expected to reimburse the hours. Interesting other LA's are different.

Sorry but feel the same as Finleysmaid on this one.:(

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We do try and offer a different session if poss, but they have to fit in with what we offer rather than choose a session.

Ok for us pre Christmas as we have a few spaces clear for Jan starts.

Mind you having read the above posts- I think we are being too generous, and it may need to stop :oxDxD

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In fairness to the parent , I can see why she is asking...

Some children are attending free... but she is having a funded session used for this.. so while not paying herself is being charged for it.

It can come down to how you run.. if closed totally and parents attend with children , i would offer a place on another day .. IF I had space and it would be the one I offer not a choice of session..

But if I had the funded children in as usual for part of the session and invited the other children to join us with parents later or for part of the session they would be receiving the hours so would not offer a replacement.

It is different to being closed because of things out of your control, like snow, or building issues etc.. it is planned and known in advance...

I would check with my agreement with LA before deciding..

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im a bit confused (doesn't take a lot!) what is the difference between a funded child and a free child Inge? If i close for a session i am unable to offer another...when could i do this....i am open five days a week two sessions a day. So if 30 children wanted to attend another session i have nothing to offer them.. :blink:

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Do all your children attend all day, everyday finlaymaid? All mine attend between 12 and 15 hours a week but I am open 40 hours a week so I can pop children in elsewhere, if I have spaces, on a different day.

In the original post from wonderstuff16 it seems unfair that non funded children get the cost of the closed session deducted from their invoices but funded children 'lose' those hours. Thats why I always offer an alternative session (of my choice).

Edited by max321
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im a bit confused (doesn't take a lot!) what is the difference between a funded child and a free child Inge? If i close for a session i am unable to offer another...when could i do this....i am open five days a week two sessions a day. So if 30 children wanted to attend another session i have nothing to offer them.. :blink:

Funded child is losing the hours that have been paid for,maybe not by the parent but they have been paid.. free child is attending with no payment made at all...

in your scenario.. if unable to offer a replacement session to a child we had received the funding for ,in our area they would reclaim the funding from us. we had to offer all the sessions claimed , unless it is out of our control, like weather, child illness, etc.

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Funded child is losing the hours that have been paid for,maybe not by the parent but they have been paid.. free child is attending with no payment made at all...

in your scenario.. if unable to offer a replacement session to a child we had received the funding for ,in our area they would reclaim the funding from us. we had to offer all the sessions claimed , unless it is out of our control, like weather, child illness, etc.

sorry i must be being really thick today.....my funded children do not pay (i realise i get funding for them!!) but how do you get a free child?...do all your funded children pay something? and are free ones only doing their 15 hours?...sorry just trying to work this out, i know we all work differently, as do our LEA's I am full with 30 children every session so unless i changed my diary for the year (not always possible) then i could not offer an alternative session unless i went over my numbers and i obviously couldn't do that for 30 children

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sorry i must be being really thick today.....my funded children do not pay (i realise i get funding for them!!) but how do you get a free child?...do all your funded children pay something? and are free ones only doing their 15 hours?...sorry just trying to work this out, i know we all work differently, as do our LEA's I am full with 30 children every session so unless i changed my diary for the year (not always possible) then i could not offer an alternative session unless i went over my numbers and i obviously couldn't do that for 30 children

I think Inge May mean that children who perhaps would not normally attend on a Friday, say, are being invited to the show at no charge to their parents, or even the LA if this is outside their funding claim, therefore making them free

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I think Inge May mean that children who perhaps would not normally attend on a Friday, say, are being invited to the show at no charge to their parents, or even the LA if this is outside their funding claim, therefore making them free

ah i see!...thanks panders thought i'd lost the plot again!

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We plan well in advance- so are offering replace hours now. They are only offered the 'hours missed' and not necessarily a full three session though........ unless they want to pay the extra! (which funnily enough no-one ever wants to pay :rolleyes: )

Another thing we do is make the 'extra' children on the day pay a small donation. We explain clearly why this is only applicable to extras for concert/party day. This way we cannot be said to be subsidising funding etc.

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Well i think I'm being really thick here as well as I've completely lost it! Why is it unfair for a funded child to miss part of a session, when it is costing them nothing anyway- which is why the place is funded. Our fee paying children pay far more than our funded children do and if a fee paying child misses a session then that money is not refunded neither is another session offered- so why on earth should a funded child (who hasn't paid out any money anyway) be offered any different. I realise that all our LA's make their own rules but really for those of you whose LA demand money back or sessions replaced are being grossly unfair. As already said if I have 30 children in per day (my max amount) how do I offer the extra session to someone- unless I was prepared to ring on the morning and say someone is sick come in now??

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but lynned55 if you are choosing to close a session, for example to hold a Christmas party, do you still charge the non funded children, I think that is the question being asked? Our families get 'given' 570 hours at the start of the first funding period they are eligible and can then use them as they wish over the 3 terms, we only get paid for hours actually used so here in somerset I have to offer alternative sessions or risk having money deducted because I have chosen to close a session ( so effectively the parent can use to 'spend' those hours at another time) not because the parent has chosen not to attend (when I can still claim EYE as that is the parents decision). Very tricky

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But why is it classed as a closed session for a Christmas party is what I don't understand. Surely you and the children are still there.

I think they mean (well I did in my posts) that say for example party day is 9- 1.30 and you normally run 9.3 then technically you're receiving an extra 1.5 hours funding that day for some of the children.

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I'm afraid I take the view (rightly or wrongly) that if I run (which I will be doing) a slightly shorter session for the Xmas party our parents get more than sufficient value for £s as does our local authority when we provide extras such as party food, santa etc. and staff stay after normal session hours for parents' meetings at other times of the year - whilst the child is not actually getting the funded time in session they are still getting the service.

Have had this "discussion" with LA finance officer who agrees that it will be a v. sad day when children are denied events like Xmas parties and outings etc. just so they can have the full 570 hours in-session time.

In the past I have had a parent who "quibbled" (had worked out to the 15 minutes almost) what had/hadn't accessed and was able to show that by coming on outings on unfunded days, having parents' meetings etc. they got far more than they lost.

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But why is it classed as a closed session for a Christmas party is what I don't understand. Surely you and the children are still there.

I class it as a closed session because when we have the party all the children attend so technically we could be over ratios so I offer it as a 'private' party

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Sorry for not being totally clear.. it is clear in my somewhat muddled logic.

Lynned55, The issue arises for a Planned closure.. not if someone does not attend for some reason etc.. that is different and in most cases would not be offered a replacement or return of fees... but if planned by a setting and known in advance. In this case the children who are not funded are not paying to attend.

 

Finlaysmaid - Free = no payment made for that child at all . Funded is still a paid for place.. to me it doesn't matter who is paying ,it is paid for , the setting gets money for it.

 

For equality , is it fair that some pay and not others...(remove the fact of who is paying from this , it is paid for. )

I do feel that it comes down to how we each think of funding - not costing the parent so why does it matter? Or that you are getting paid for that child attending no matter who pays. it does cost someone.. and if paid for maybe all should pay something, funding not claimed for that session, or not plan a closure on a day that is funded ;it is not the child who would not be able to attend, more the setting not receive the money .

Our LEA do have in the agreement that all must offer the full number of sessions that are paid for, and do check at regular intervals... hence like max we too offered it on a non funded day and either all came free, or we charged fee for all to cover the costs, in most cases fundraising paid for the costs so all came free.

Edited by Inge
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On a slight aside, what do schools do with closures, especially the recent strike closures? I haven't noticed an extra day being added to my children's terms and they are effectively "funded children" (just a decade or so older than our nursery kids!). Not only that but every term seems to end with an early close day...... clearly they count that as a "full day" and I can't believe they would even enter into a conversation with me about my child being owed x hrs of their statutory education!!

Edited by eyfs1966
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I can't believe they would even enter into a conversation with me about my child being owed x hrs of their statutory education!!

 

Ooh, that made me laugh!! Can you imagine it!

Any 'extra' events such as outings, parties, concerts etc- I have always included within and claimed as part of a childs funded hours- the children are in, staff are in (paid) rent is paid - I cant believe that LA's are mean enough to state these are not part of a childs education. We charge non funded for these days and we are also 'allowed' in our borough to have one 'inset' day per term and claim for. We always have this at the start of a new term and use it to clean & sort stuff. Apart from the odd child that we have had as a favour- no one has ever attended for free. Either they (parents) or funding has paid fees.

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I can't believe they would even enter into a conversation with me about my child being owed x hrs of their statutory education!!

 

Ooh, that made me laugh!! Can you imagine it!

Any 'extra' events such as outings, parties, concerts etc- I have always included within and claimed as part of a childs funded hours- the children are in, staff are in (paid) rent is paid - I cant believe that LA's are mean enough to state these are not part of a childs education. We charge non funded for these days and we are also 'allowed' in our borough to have one 'inset' day per term and claim for. We always have this at the start of a new term and use it to clean & sort stuff. Apart from the odd child that we have had as a favour- no one has ever attended for free. Either they (parents) or funding has paid fees.

 

​Just shows once again how different LA's are- esp when it comes to funding

Edited by lynned55
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I can't believe they would even enter into a conversation with me about my child being owed x hrs of their statutory education!!

 

Ooh, that made me laugh!! Can you imagine it!

Any 'extra' events such as outings, parties, concerts etc- I have always included within and claimed as part of a childs funded hours- the children are in, staff are in (paid) rent is paid - I cant believe that LA's are mean enough to state these are not part of a childs education. We charge non funded for these days and we are also 'allowed' in our borough to have one 'inset' day per term and claim for. We always have this at the start of a new term and use it clean & sort stuff. Apart from the odd child that we have had as a favour- no one has ever attended for free. Either they (parents) or funding has paid fees.

Just shows once again how different LA's are

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