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Charges for children claiming all their funding at another setting?


mrsbat
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We have always had a policy stating that if children take all of their funding at another setting then we charge them the funded rate - the reason being that we miss out on money as the funded rate is higher than our fee. Does anyone know if this is ok?

We charge £3 per hour and the funded rate is £3.60. We don't very often have to implement this but will have to after Easter for a child who attends 6 hours with us so his fees will go up by £3.60 a day......

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I don't know which area you are from but in Worcestershire you have to share the funding if the child attends more than one setting. There is a formula used to work it out - I am surprised this is not a national policy. Our fees is higher than the funding as there is no way we could be sustainable if we relied on the funded rate. If you haven't already I would check your funding contract with the council

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It could depend on the setting. If it's a nursery school I believe that they can claim the full entitlement and if they don't offer other hours, it's possible for these to be taken up at another setting. In our county there is no requirement to share the allowance, it's down to parental choice. If parents choose to send their children to a maintained nursery then they are welcome to also send their child to our preschool for additional sessions, and parents are informed of what the fee will be, in exactly the same way as a funded child at preschool taking up additional hours. Our inclusion policy states that all children are charged at the same rate.

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I don't think you can charge more? I would think your hourly rate should be the same for everyone regardless of whether they are funded or not? It's the parents choice as to where they take up their free entitlement and I don't see how you would be allowed to charge a funded 3 year old more per hour than a non funded!? Although I think you are probably in the minority, ours is the other way around - we charge more than we receive in funding which I believe to be common!! Sorry if that's not a lot of use and probably not what you wanted to hear!

Edited by woodlands1997
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In glos from April parents can choose where to use 15 hrs. Before it was split with a complicated formulae. Surely your hourly rate can be what you want. Nurseries charge more. It's then up to parent where they use free hrs.

Buttercup

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I agree....they can use their 15 hours in one setting and pay for extra hours in another, just as they would pay for any hours over the 15 in the first setting. I don't think you can charge more for this child if s/he attends your setting. You aren't losing out on funding.........you are gaining any hours they choose to use with you.

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I agree with Woodlands re charging different amounts etc ,not sure that's not discriminating against/ penalising a funded child for not taking up their sessions with you...

I am sure you are in the minority too. Our hourly is also higher than our funded rate.

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In glos from April parents can choose where to use 15 hrs. Before it was split with a complicated formulae. Surely your hourly rate can be what you want. Nurseries charge more. It's then up to parent where they use free hrs.

Buttercup

This my take on it too - as long as you are transparent - parents informed beforehand - then I would say you can set your own fees - good luck! :1b

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Well we're in the minority too then, as our hourly rate is considerably less than the funded rate - 50p per hour less! We have often had children sharing funded hours between two settings before, but have the situation for the first time of a child taking all funded hours elsewhere. The other provider is a child minder who can now offer funded sessions, and whose hourly rate is higher than ours, so the parent has obviously chosen the cheapest option - can't say I blame them! However we charge all children the same rate, so 2 year olds and children taking additional hours to their funded 15, all pay the same. If it is clear in your charging policy though and parents are fully aware of your fee structure then I can't see why you cannot charge what you want.

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We have always had a policy stating that if children take all of their funding at another setting then we charge them the funded rate - the reason being that we miss out on money as the funded rate is higher than our fee. Does anyone know if this is ok?

We charge £3 per hour and the funded rate is £3.60. We don't very often have to implement this but will have to after Easter for a child who attends 6 hours with us so his fees will go up by £3.60 a day......

Is he taking a place that a funded child also wants? If so I would look at your admissions policy maybe - in ours one of the criteria is children using us as a sole provider - if a child who only uses us wants a space and a child who shares settings wants it too it goes to the one who uses us solely. What do you charge funded children if they come for more than their 15 hours, do they get charged the £3.60 too? Maybe as others have said it's fine if parents know about this from the off I would just be wary of doing it but that's personal opinion! Edited by woodlands1997
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Think I must be missing something here :blink: it wouldn't be the first time! xD

If a setting clearly communicates to parents their fee structure it is then down to parental choice......so.......

In Mrs Bats case

Fees for children under three £3.00 per hour

Fees for children in receipt of NEG but taking this elsewhere £3.60 per hour

Clear info, no debate - would be my approach to this - but then I am just a teensy bit bolshy :rolleyes:

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Fair enough, but will ALL three year olds pay the same? If a child is three, but not yet eligible for FE, will they also be charged £3.60?? I personally couldn't do it, I charge everyone the same fees. But I guess the argument is that if your parents are happy with it, fair enough. I guess if they're not happy, they'll take their custom elsewhere.

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Fair enough, but will ALL three year olds pay the same? If a child is three, but not yet eligible for FE, will they also be charged £3.60?? I personally couldn't do it, I charge everyone the same fees. But I guess the argument is that if your parents are happy with it, fair enough. I guess if they're not happy, they'll take their custom elsewhere.

Hi, no - I did say 'For children in receipt of......blah, blah, blah.......'

Isn't it 'funny' how we all look at this differently - I can't see why this is a 'big deal' - but then have already confessed that I might be missing something! ;)xDxDxD

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Hi all, sorry I didn't mean to cause a 'storm' with this. I've kind of gone with my gut instinct and have decided to keep the fees the same for all - not heard anything back from the funding team yet though but judging by the replies they will come back and say we shouldn't do it anyway :)

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Hi all, sorry I didn't mean to cause a 'storm' with this. I've kind of gone with my gut instinct and have decided to keep the fees the same for all - not heard anything back from the funding team yet though but judging by the replies they will come back and say we shouldn't do it anyway :)

You haven't caused a storm - and if you had - narnia and I have weathered a fair few between us I reckon! ;)xD

Keep us posted! :1b

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not a storm but an interesting debate on how everyone sees things in a different way...

 

no reason not to set own fees.. and also make it know what and how the fee structure works..

. but personally I could not charge more for one child than another who were both getting the same service.. even if they did decide to use two settings and the other one gets the funding...if all 3yr olds pay the same then no issue..

as a parent I would ask the question what does that extra cost give my child and maybe dispute it.as being discriminatory - same service .. same cost for all..

 

suppose another way of looking at it is the first 15 hours accessed are at 3.60 per hour... that includes any hours funded by LEA.. hours more than this are discounted to 3.00 per hour.. . putting it that way seems more acceptable... all pay the same no matter who pays..

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Note to self: sunnyday do stop banging on about this! :1b

So I wonder if my 'situation' is making me see this in a 'different light' to others........

My NEG funding is £3.90

My hourly rate is £4.50

So I charge £4.50 for my under threes and for any three and four old in receipt of NEG but claiming it elsewhere - I have two that choose to do that......

It's clear to me that I am not going to charge them at funding rate :o

Not only, but also - have I understood this correctly - isn't it written somewhere that your NEG funded children should not be subsidisng your 'fee payers' - I've got myself into a muddle now :blink: that is the 'right way round' isn't it?

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Hi

We charge one rate (4.25ph)for 2 year olds. Then most 3 year olds access their 15 hours funding with us and any extra hours are charged at £5 ph. Our fees have always been more than the funded amount. This has never been queried by anyone.

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Not only, but also - have I understood this correctly - isn't it written somewhere that your NEG funded children should not be subsidisng your 'fee payers' - I've got myself into a muddle now :blink: that is the 'right way round' isn't it?

 

Ours isn't written in our NEG Sunnyday - but our LEA do say this to us if you ever ask for help with money problems!

We very quickly a couple of years ago raised our fees to be at least in-line and are now 10p above funding rates.

We have 2,3 & 4yr olds all in one hall but everyone if paying pays the same fees as they are all accessing the same provision - if we had different aged rooms then I would probably have different rates.

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So are we not meant to have our normal fees lower than the funded rate??? Flip I think if we upped ours we would lose a lot of families who wouldn't be able to afford it :( We only upped ours to £3 an hour in September 2012 because of a large rent increase, we are non profit making so try to keep fees as low as possible so am reluctant to up it by 60 an hour.......

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I think Thumperrabbit is right - although I'm blowed if I can find it - an underlying principle of early education funding is that funded children do not fund non-funded children/non-funded hours.

To keep things simple hourly rates should be at least the same as the hourly funded rate - at a guess that means the base rate - not necessarily the base rate + any other supplements.

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We charge £3 an hour and our funding rate is £3.51 an hour but we have never been told that our hourly rate should match the funding rate

We hadn't either, it was only when we asked for help & advice from our LEA re our finances that they told us that.

 

Our funding is £3.20 per hour and we charge £3.30 per hour

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We upped our session rate to match funding because you can't subsidise non funded with funding, I believe I used the LAs 'rules' when we told parents ;) plus, its a much simpler solution.

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Our funding rate is £3.82 per hour, non-funded rate is £4.00 per hour. I can't find it written anywhere either that the funding should not subsidise the fee paying, but I'm sure I haven't dreamt this either.

Quite laughable really that the funding could be subsidising anything now.

I am actually becoming totally despondent with the current thinking on childcare and funding and would love to beable to pay all our staff a decent wage for the great job they do, but alas my magic wand has run out of abracadabra.:(

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Our funding rate is £3.82 per hour, non-funded rate is £4.00 per hour. I can't find it written anywhere either that the funding should not subsidise the fee paying, but I'm sure I haven't dreamt this either.

Quite laughable really that the funding could be subsidising anything now.

I am actually becoming totally despondent with the current thinking on childcare and funding and would love to beable to pay all our staff a decent wage for the great job they do, but alas my magic wand has run out of abracadabra.:(

I know staff pay is so depressing :-( our hourly rate for 3+ is £3.60 and our funding is £3.01, although the 2 year old funding is more than we charge so that's a positive!!!

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