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Guest lillybeth

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I ask for a £35 deposit and make it very clear that they will get it back once their child has started and explain that I now do this as we had a lot of parents book spaces then not turn up. They seem happy with this and all willingly leave a cheque

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Free should mean free for families if the place is a funded place. Although its a 'should' in the code of practice rather than a 'must' , the reality is that if you charge a deposit (or any other kind of fee) you are disadvantaging those that cannot afford it. A few quid may not seem like every much but for some families it can mean they have to choose between their child attending the nursery of choice and them eating that day. It can lead to families having to take up less good provision elsewhere because they don't charge a fee (or charge less of one), or not taking up the place at all (eg if there is only one nursery in a village and they don't have a car).

Voluntary ask is fine, as long as parents know its voluntary.

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We don't ask for a deposit for funded children but I am aiming to keep a record of all the changes / cancellations made after we close for the summer holidays this year. I think about 30% of ours cancelled last year. We were full and turning away and then we had loads of places which take my admin lady the first half term to sort out!

I may pass the information to the council.

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I see your point Mundia about families' finances and am well aware of the legalities regarding funded time. But a situation like diesel10's is unfair. Small settings are financially vulnerable, having wages and rent to pay. More children mean, in our case, more staff and fewer children fewer staff, so will also affect planning. Refundable deposits help with ensuring commitment from parents.

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