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lunch time


marley
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Hi. Just wondered if your lea allow parents to use part of their funding for a lunch hour so parents can chose to either collect their child at the end of three hours or they can stay for another hour. Then children can either bring a packed lunch or chose to pay extra for a hot dinner. Or do they insist that the three hour session is funded and that to do the lunch club we should charge for the hour and the food provided. We do offer the full 15 hrs as 5 Lots of 3 hrs. Im getting confusedby it all and flexibility etc.

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We offer 5 hours over 3 days or 3 hrs over 5 days. If they do the 5 hours they stay for lunch and we charge for the lunch if they do not qualify for FSM. If they want more than the 15 hrs they have to pay the hourly rate plus lunch cost.

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My problem is that my lea says we cannot charge for the hot dinner. I am only allowed to charge for the cooked meal if it is not eaten during the free entitlement. I thought if I gave the option of a packed lunch but if parents chose to pay for the hot dinner we could do it but apparently not. This is what they say

If meals or snacks are included as part of your free entitlement hours, your provider will not charge you for these. Providers are only permitted to charge for meals, snacks or optional extras as long as they are not part of your free entitlement hours.

Edited by marley
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With me offering the packed lunch option and the fact that lunch club is only an option and does not have to be taken that's what I thought but my committee think we should just offer the three funded hours and those who want to have lunch club will have to pay for that and the hot dinner ( so we are following lea requirements)

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Well I suppose it makes sense, so to achieve 15 hours per week, your children will have to attend all 5 mornings and then you can charge whatever you like for an extra hour on any of those mornings for lunch club, take it or leave it option.

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They would need to do a costing exercise on staying open and people paying for the extra time plus lunch.. it may be financially not viable and end up as a huge loss maker, by the time you add wages, hall hire and any other extras.. insurance?? for the number that will actually take up the offer it may not balance out.. ours never did.. always ran at a loss .

There is no reason not to have children bring in a lunch to eat if parents wish.. as an option to the funded hours... or manage a hot meal via a 'voluntary contribution ' so they do actually pay but as it is their choice it can be classed as voluntary, not a condition of the preschool that they must do this... I know many get round it that way.. same for any snacks etc.. we used to ask for voluntary contributions and outs was in the items .. so parents used to give what they could afford.. they used to supply all our fruit and cleaning materials that way.. we had a list out of suggested items needed each day and they used to leave it with a member of staff when entering the setting..

Our LEA allowed us to have the packed lunches in the funded hours but like your nothing else in funded hours could be paid for by parents.. a nightmare when it came to some things we would have liked to do but could not afford to because of this rule... we did the voluntary contribution a few times but it was a pain to manage.. when we did parents we all happy to pay and we used to ask if any had a problem to speak to xxx in confidence... we often had a few who could not pay , but found by giving a suggested amount we could cover those easily.

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