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Parents cancelling


diesel10
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First day back today and I have had 57 hours cancelled by parents since Friday. These are all people that have paid deposits or were with us last year. I know this happens every year but the icing on the cake was a child that has one to one support her Dad emailed me at 10.30 last night. Another texted a parent dropping her own child off to say that she was going to defer until after Xmas. The parent still hasn't told me.

 

The 57 hours are only across 5 children. Not sure what we are going to do when parents want to prebook their 30 hours free entitlement.

 

We have a 25 place preschool and charge £30 deposit, what do others charge. At the moment this only covers one day's fees of the sessions that they have cancelled. Parents dont seem to get that we are a business and need to pay wages, especially if using free entitlement and no money changes hands. Or just rude. What do others charge for a deposit? I need to totally restructure this area. There is no point sending them the bill for 4 weeks notice as is no way of chasing if they don't pay.

 

On a plus the ones we have got are lovely. A very nice first day back!

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We are not allowed to charge a deposit for 'funded only' children as the free entitlement has to be completely free.

Do you usually have parents cancelling hours at the last minute? We do have a lot a mind-changing over hours, but not usually cancelling.

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No we too do not charge a deposit for either funded or non-funded children, but maybe we should (non-funded) as we do have parents who change their minds from time to time! Its very annoying and frustrating as our budget for the term is worked out for staff wages etc on the numbers of children attending - there is no excess funds to cover the loss. Mostly I'm afraid, this happens with our local traveller families - who say they want the hours - and then just don't turn up! They have'nt 'travelled' - just not bothered!

 

As far as your 1-1 child - well, that is beyond rude considering the amount of work that goes into sourcing support for him/her. Another example of us not being taken seriously I'm afraid!

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We do not charge deposits. I would however insist on the months paid notice for the children who were with you last term and had booked hours for this term. As you said it's difficult for the ones who don't appear. I have had one, but I chased them up during other holiday as I had a feeling ...... Also had 4 change their hours and a possible months notice. So basically about 30 % of our families. Frustrating !

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ok we're NOT starting well with this !

 

All paperwork states that parents will be charges 6 weeks fees (even the funded ones!!!) if they do not give 6 weeks notice

so Thursday (start of term)

email from a parent of a child with a statement ....cancelling place not only for him but also for his sister £800 + and his additional funding .

plus one part time place cancelled and one 8 session place cancelled!

I'm afraid all of them will be being billed..and then they will get a solicitors letter demanding funds......can NO longer afford to be nice about this :angry:

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This is disgraceful. How are you expected to run efficiently, not to mention all the hours lost on administration, sen etc.

I agree with Finleysmaid bill them all and send a strong worded letter that you will take further action if payment is not received.

:(:(:(

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We don't charge a deposit although I have thought about it in the past - this year is the first year for quite sometime that I haven't had anyone cancel although I've had parents telling me when their child is going to start not me telling them

I just can't see anyone who hasn't started paying up to cover the loss

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No real cancellers, just a couple of dropped sessions but changing their minds on days and expecting you to accommodate ggggrrr

 

Had a prospective parent phone today, I told her I would have to see which sessions I could offer as places are very limited and I needed to check my ratio's before bringing in another 2yr old, she told me "That's ok I understand, I know exactly which days I want, I'll have ....." Can you picture me head banging the desk :wacko:

 

How do you manage when you have employed someone as 1:1 and then parent changes their mind...that is terrible and not just because of the costs incurred but all the time researching, probably preparing resources, I think I'd be straight on to the person who agreed the funding with you.

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It's a difficult one as the £30 deposit is a drop in the ocean from the amount lost. We have been allowed to charge a deposit in the last year even for funded hours.

 

I will be talking to the child's health visitor about the child with one to one. The parents have transferred her to a local day nursery and not told them about her needs or the fact that they had deferred her school starting until next September (nursery thought they had just written dob down wrong) I've emailed dad back telling him that I will forward the transferred doc on. I will speak to the special needs service to see where we stand. She hasn't got one to one at the new nursery.

 

The parent that texted her friend has just emailed me back to say it makes financial sense to start after Xmas. Well not for me!

 

I haven't really got as far as people changing sessions. I suppose we usually get one or two cancel. Personally I don't forget and then in they want a place for a sibling, we are full! Petty but true!

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Sorry, but we all complain, but do nothing about it. If we were all in a union this wouldn't happen. What other business would allow this? County says we can't charge outside of 'free funded hours' yet we are the ones who continue to deliver the high quality care and education beyond our means! I

 

In Early years, I think those of us that are a Mum replaced our title as Mug.

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We charge a deposit of one session's fee (£13!!) and an admin charge of £10, but it's not really enough to put people off dropping out or sessions, is it? I don't charge 2 year funded parents this deposit though, as generally they are receiving their funded place as a result of financial circumstances.

 

I've only had one who was due to start but is now deferring till January, but she is also upping her days to all 4 sessions so not too bad. I have also had one who has dropped one of 2 sessions until January (when funded) as she hadn't realised she needs to pay the childminder as well as us for the whole morning! So we lose out...

 

It's not on really, is it? But what can we do. I'm sure some parents see us as doing them a favour, not trying to run a proper business! :blink:

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Hard to cope with,each year we always had some not turn up, who had moved, or started elsewhere, we were not allowed to charge any fees for registration or admin.. had big argument with funding one year over this but they really did not see the issue and the amount of costs that need covering for these no shows.. anything would be better than nothing..

 

Any that decided to defer to a later date , I used to let them know that by not taking the place now it may not be available when they want it as we would fill with someone who was willing to start earlier.. explaining that I could not afford to not get the money for that term, so they had to take the risk of not getting a place or start now..

Change of days they had to wait 4 weeks and see if a change was available.. .

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We ask for two weeks fees up front for new parents and then monthly in advance when the two weeks are up - this means if they leave without giving the mandatory two weeks notice, we just keep the fees as they are always two weeks in advance. If they do give two weeks notice, we just don't charge them for the last two weeks.

 

For funded children, if they leave mid term, we claim for the time they have done plus two weeks notice. I have battled on occasion with the LA if another is also claiming for them but we can usually get the funds as the new nursery will often accept that they would do the same in our position and also, the child is often just doing visits for the first two weeks they are there.

 

If a funded child comes to us mid term wanting to move from another nursery, we contact the other nursery and agree how many weeks we are each claiming for before we give the parent a start date.

 

This may seem quite quite strict but we have to sustain our non profit organisation in order to continue to provide for all the others and our fees are lower than the market rate.

 

Our biggest issue with cancellations is when a child comes back for the new term then they suddenly get a call from a school nursery (or as the parents often refer to it - 'proper nursery'!) offering them a place and they leave the next day.

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I need to talk to committee at the next meeting but feel that I may suggests a £10 per session deposit plus a £10 admin fee (a full day would be 2 sessions) and then putting in a letter about having to be financially viable to remain open.

 

 

Funny enough this year, people havent been asking to swop sessions around which in previous years, every parent has wanted to change.

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I can't understand why we can't ask for a deposit for funded places that is returned as soon as they take up that funded place because it they don't turn up or cancel they are not funded so the rules don't apply??? Does that make sense?

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I've had loads change sessions today, it's been a complete administrative nightmare! Plus the parent who arrived mid afternoon bearing flowers for all the staff because her child isn't coming back due to work issues.....he was supposed to have been with us at 9am! Needless to say I won't be attempting to charge her, or any of the others...what's the point? This always seems to happen at the beginning of term but it is frustrating

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We ask for a deposit but like others have said this doesn't cover what is actually owed if parent's change their mind . It needs addressing, we had a funded child leave without notice in the summer term after 3 weeks so County would not pay funding and we cannot afford the cost of taking the parents to court.

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I had child attend for 2weeks. 30 funded hours, child has gone to state nursery. Have been told that child will not be with me on headcount day so we can not receive payment. They will pay the nursery where the child is on headcount day the full term 14 weeks. As headcount is 4 weeks into term a potential 60 hours could have been lost. Anyone else experienced this.

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I had child attend for 2weeks. 30 funded hours, child has gone to state nursery. Have been told that child will not be with me on headcount day so we can not receive payment. They will pay the nursery where the child is on headcount day the full term 14 weeks. As headcount is 4 weeks into term a potential 60 hours could have been lost. Anyone else experienced this.

 

This kind of response makes me soooo mad!!! Unfortunately its typical of the 'care' we receive from LA's. Quite frankly I think thry would be quite happy to see us all rot!!

Sure they will say 'it states quite clearly.........' etc etc - but basically it leaves as all open to 'abuse' !

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Is there a fall in numbers? I have noticed that several local school nurseries are advertising that they have spare places.

Not making excuses for parents but could it be they have suddenly been offered a Nursery School place after being told they were too late to apply.

I fully understand how annoying it is and how much paper work is involved but it is the parentd choice and they now have many options.

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Is there a fall in numbers? I have noticed that several local school nurseries are advertising that they have spare places.

.

 

I think it was low birth rate for that year as it goes in-line with a low year for me last year for 2yr olds

 

Had 1 no show myself so far this year although a total no show so therefore doesn't owe money, it's all the time and resources making folders, name cards etc all for nothing :(

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Part of the problem is that LA nurseries attached to schools receive the whole terms funding and parents are not entitled to the choice of shared funding as they are with the rest of us. We had a child move house a few years ago so came from a nursery to us. If I remember correctly, we spoke to the nursery and basically we all agreed that we would invoice the school for the funding for the time the child was with us. Probably wouldn't happen now - but worth a try?????

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Doesn't seem to have been any drop in birthrate in West Cumbria. Preschool is choc full with waiting list, and trying to shuffle changes in sessions is a nightmare. Now take note of those parents who say 'three sessions and I don't mind when they are' or dome such, do we can contact them if there's any need for a shuffle involving their child! Madness. What on earth will happen to most of these children if/when the 30 hours comes in, I really don't know!

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  • 3 weeks later...

We used to have a lot of problems like this, but that was when we didn't charge a deposit. We now charge £20 and given them a branded T-shirt and rucksack when they start (we don't charge a deposit for funded children).

 

That of course doesn't help you as you already do charge a deposit.

 

We do still the the occasional people who cancel, but not nearly as many now.

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We had two three year olds not turn up. Luckily not going to school but other providers so were able to charge six weeks to authority. A full-time newbie got a place at a school nursery and another at a day nursery so only got registration fee there. We charge a £15 registration fee for everyone other than 2-year-old funded.

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So ...catch up on this I have had two out of the three payments owed. !!! (so nearly £1,500)

Third one.....

Mum gave us a sob story about Dad being ill and they were moving and........blah blah ....I was just beginning to fall for it and then a trustee (who has her on facebook) sent me a link about her daughter starting a new nursery !) so guess what I am now chasing her for the money!!!!

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We had two three year olds not turn up. Luckily not going to school but other providers so were able to charge six weeks to authority. A full-time newbie got a place at a school nursery and another at a day nursery so only got registration fee there. We charge a £15 registration fee for everyone other than 2-year-old funded.

We have had this happen again recently and are considering charging a depost. Do you return the registration fee to parents who are only accessing their 15 hour entitlement? Not sure of the best way around this. It seems to be funded parents not turning up on first day. My intitial thoughts are charge a small deposit, make sure funding form is signed before they can take up space and then return deposit as soon as funding kicks in or when they leave if fee paying - if fees paid up to date!!! At least if they don't show up we can claim the notice period from LA - in theory. <_<

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So ...catch up on this I have had two out of the three payments owed. !!! (so nearly £1,500)

Third one.....

Mum gave us a sob story about Dad being ill and they were moving and........blah blah ....I was just beginning to fall for it and then a trustee (who has her on facebook) sent me a link about her daughter starting a new nursery !) so guess what I am now chasing her for the money!!!!

 

You go girl!!

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No we don't return registration fee. Have been caught out just recently where I have let child start without collecting it or advance fees and after two sessions Mum decided he was too young. So chasing that. Small amount of money but it all adds up.

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