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Article: Why we MUST charge a deposit


Rea
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I saw this on Twitter this morning, I hadnt seen the Daily Mail report.

 

I'm not sure what I'm expecting you to say or do, I just thought it was a good perspective of how we're being tied through our LAs not allowing us to charge a deposit.

 

Ourt of interest, is it only our LAs who tell us we cant charge it, or does that come form Govt?

 

http://allanpresland.com/2015/10/22/why-you-must-charge-a-deposit-at-your-nursery-and-why-the-daily-mail-is-wrong/?utm_content=20646446&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

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We're not allowed to charge a deposit for children only accessing the free entitlement as it has to be a completely free offer. We can charge a deposit for anyone else. This is nationwide as far as I know so has come from central government via the LAs.

 

We don't charge a deposit but have said several times that we should. We recently had a one-year-old booked in for a full time place (we are full daycare). Full timers are unusual for us. When we phoned to arrange settling-in times the parents told us they had changed their minds and were going to use a childminder and relatives. We had turned other people away while saving his place, so it's situations like this that need to safety net of a deposit.

 

At my previous setting we charged a deposit which was deducted from the final month's fees providing they had given notice. My current setting is in a very mixed area economically, and I haven't charged a deposit as I don't want it to be prohibitive for parents who are already struggling to make ends meet. However, I'm aware this isn't good business sense!

 

I have never heard of a setting that gave parents interest back on their deposits just as landlords don't or any other business. Interest rates are so low, it would hardly be worth it in any case!

Edited by Stargrower
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I think you can charge a deposit - but as soon as the funding is claimed it has to be refunded. Therefore if the parent does not take up the place, they are not a funded child so you keep the deposit. If they turn up and funding is claimed, they become a funded child so you must return the deposit. If parents have signed the claim form you could use your notice period, as stated in your policy, to claim if they disappear after a few days. It may have to be worded in a way that doesn't sound as though it is 'compulsory' eg. a condition of accessing a funded place. Could be wrong - quite often am????

Something we are thinking about at the moment due to parents letting us down at the last minute. :angry:

Edited by lsp
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The govt 'statutory guidance' early education and childcare just says that IF additional charges are made eg for meals, they must NOT be a condition of taking up a place. I would put a deposit in the same category ie you can't insist on it. This has been there for some years to ensure that the very poorest of families can still access the best childcare settings, and are not disadvantaged because they can't find a large deposit (not sure who can afford a months fees as a deposit as suggested in the article Rea linked to).

Spending review is just a few weeks away, it will be interesting to see what it comes up with in terms of funding.

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  • 4 months later...

I saw this on Twitter this morning, I hadnt seen the Daily Mail report.

 

I'm not sure what I'm expecting you to say or do, I just thought it was a good perspective of how we're being tied through our LAs not allowing us to charge a deposit.

 

Ourt of interest, is it only our LAs who tell us we cant charge it, or does that come form Govt?

 

http://allanpresland.com/2015/10/22/why-you-must-charge-a-deposit-at-your-nursery-and-why-the-daily-mail-is-wrong/?utm_content=20646446&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

We charge a deposit for fee paying children, but not for funded children. We never used to charge anyone, but we had so many not turning up for their places we had to do something to try and discourage it!

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we charge an admin fee if anyone is booking a place before they are funded it is only £35 and I would never turn a family away who could not afford it but it does add up and creates a bit of a buffer for us . We also have a 6 week notice period for everyone (including funded children) everyone signs the agreement and it is on all the paperwork....parents are told that they will be charged if they leave without notice...at the normal fee rate. They are given the option of paying or staying for the 6 weeks........we have had arguments with our adjoining lea about this but you can set your own local rules as long as your lea are happy with them.

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