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After another year of unpaid bills, parents wanting refunds or to swop days if their child is ill, on holiday or we are closed for training etc I am looking at the possibility of a formal contract for parents to sign. Our current registration form includes permission for photos, local visits, first aid etc but nothing to clarify the above. We do have a non payment of fees policy and they sign to agree to the policies but I feel I need something more concrete, making it clear to parents what we do and don't do.

Am I being too authoritarian? Or is this something other people do?

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I have a sheet (two copies one setting copy one to go home after being signed) it's two coloumns "what you can expect from us" "what we expect from you" this way it's clear, it's open and not so much a telling off. Each line is say 'we will contact you if your child is not in attendance and we do not know why' which is online with second column which reads something like 'I will contact pre school if my child is unable to attend their session'


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Could you just put a notice up on the board stating all of this and include in a newsletter. And then when they ask so NO. Otherwise there is so much paperwork, parents don't read it anyway.


We ask that our fees are paid by the 4 week of the half term for the whole half term. Although we still end up chasing. Might have to stick to the £5 late payment fee.


Actually I just remembered we have a general information letter for new starters that contains all this as well.

Edited by diesel10
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Hi sorry no swopping of days whether Ill or on holiday here I'm afraid, it's just not possible in our setting. It clearly states all of this within our registration and prospectus documents which are given to parents to read and sign and verbally explained at our home visits too.

Although we also appreciate times of financial difficulties bills, wages, and running costs still have to paid whether in attendance or not so payment must be made. We do however allow parents to pay weekly in some instances in agreement with the setting management.

By the way I don't feel you are being too authoritarian just protecting the business side of your provision.:)

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We had one.. it was a simple one sided letter that gave things we asked of them and what we would also do..


It clearly stated the fees due for the individual family and a date when each payment was due, and we would remind them once before following through with our policy of xxxxx etc..


start and finish times..

Term dates

No changing of days or swapping sessions, all must be paid for even when not attended for whatever reason

We would give xxx notice of any closures unless in an emergency or unforeseen circumstances like snow, heating failure etc.

and any thing else that needed stating clearly ,

We had a bit about our child protection policy and sharing information , and where to find the full versions of all our policies recommending that they took time to read them.

Think we had about 10 points to make.. we signed and they signed, both had a copy that went in our folder with registration forms.. we did find it very useful many times when we had issues with payments as we could clearly show we had informed them and they had signed agreement with it.

it was easy to set up, a standard letter with gaps for us to fill in the individual needs for each family.. and took no time to print off. fill in and get signed.. We found some families just needed to have everything set out in simple terms and an easy to read format. There are far too many policies etc, long and time consuming for them to read and take in.. a simple basic information sheet was all they ever wanted.

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My parent contract formed part of the child's registration form, that way it was done and handed in. In the days before that, I would often struggle to get them back in and signed

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we give every parent two 'terms and conditions,' one needs to be signed and returned to us and a copy for themselves. This includes things like


holidays to be paid for, sickness to be paid for, 4 weeks notice, small deposit to hold place and returned as soon as child starts, late fees for collection, late fees for not paying


Can't remember from the top of my head what else but sure there is more, it is two pages long but worth it.


We had an audit from the LA about funding and they said the only thing that they would add is a sentence to make sure that new parents didn't owe money at other settings or had given enough notice and then if there was a problem with funding we would be ok because parents had signed.


Hope it helps a little

Edited by Lynne28
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