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Does anybody either charge for snack or ask for donations of fruit? It seems to be an area where we could be cutting costs. I have thought about putting a fruit basket out and asking for donations but with our current parents I really am not sure that we would get any, or it would be the same few supplying it all the time. If any of you charge for snack, how much do you charge and is it not a nightmare chasing payments? Would be really interested to hear what you do.

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We do. I piece of fruit/veg per week (not per session) or 50p.

 

Mostly it works well, but we don't police it we just trust the parents.

Quite a few just seem to drop a £2.00 coin in and say it's for a couple of weeks ::1a . We usually have enough spare change in the pot to buy fruit when needed - which is mainly just a bag of apples perhaps.. every other week.

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That said, the only issues we seem to have is when fruit it just put into the child's bag!

 

We never know whether or not to take it out just encase it is actually meant for the child to eat on way home 'cos nanny, granddad or whoever is picking up that day :wacko:

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Are you charity run Zigzag? I'm privately run, so don't really think I can go down your route. I would like to think however, my parents would happily pay for their child's snack. To get round the whole prepping and other time consuming elements of snack time, I am though considering just asking them to supply a snack for their child each day along suitable lines of no sweet biscuits or crisp based snacks, just a piece of fruit or a 'cracker' sandwich, or a piece of cheese.

 

Personally I think we give ours too much snack, but some of the older boys do seem rather hungry and do eat their snack and then their lunch, whereas some of the girls and younger children do not!

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Are you charity run Zigzag? I'm privately run, so don't really think I can go down your route. I would like to think however, my parents would happily pay for their child's snack. To get round the whole prepping and other time consuming elements of snack time, I am though considering just asking them to supply a snack for their child each day along suitable lines of no sweet biscuits or crisp based snacks, just a piece of fruit or a 'cracker' sandwich, or a piece of cheese.

 

Personally I think we give ours too much snack, but some of the older boys do seem rather hungry and do eat their snack and then their lunch, whereas some of the girls and younger children do not!

 

We are privately owned. I wasn't sure how the parents would take it when told (I'm not the owner) but to be fair they seemed more than fine with it.

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We used to ask the children to bring their own snack years ago but stopped it for several reasons including :

1.Snack time seemed to take forever by the time all the children had their own snacks and we had identified whose was whose despite forever asking for names on bags/items.

2.snacks were getting bigger and bigger despite requests to parents, some children virtually had a pack up (sandwiches and extras) which parents wanted them to eat so that they could go straight off at lunchtime without being hungry or make up for no breakfast.

3.some children were upset by what others had.

 

I have to admit though,I am now spending far less on snacks so just buy basics but do not charge.

We have cereal several times a week which the children enjoy and also have biscuits,crackers,raisons,cheese,fruit,toast

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we ask for donations of food. Send out an email reminder each half term with some suggestions. Tell the parents that their funding does not cover food and suggest that if there is a BOGOF then how about donating the second thing to us. We also promote it as a way of getting fussy eaters to try something new....seems to be working at the moment although it does tend to be the same families who donate (usually the ones who aren't earning a fortune !)

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We have charged for snack for several years now and it has never been an issue. We give parents the option of providing a healthy snack for their child (thus meeting funding requirements of 'free' funding) or to purchase ours for 30p a day. A couple of parents, initially chose to send a snack, but the children always wanted ours, so now they all pay for snack.

 

We used to have elaborate snacks, such as pizza, jacket potatoes etc., but it was taking so much time, so now we have a lot of fruit, mainly bananas, apples and satsumas, (children choose a piece from a bowl) and simple snacks such as sausage rolls, breadsticks &r raisins, mini cheddars. Some weeks we even make a few pounds if children are off etc, so we roll it over to more expensive fruit, like strawberries, the following week.

 

I would definitely recommend asking parents to pay for their child's snack. Funding is too low to provide snacks!

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I have never charged for snack as I thought funded children had to access totally free care - I agree funding is too low to provide snack but how do you stand asking for extra - if people don't pay do their children not get snack? I think I have been a bit naive about all the 'extras' other settings in our area seem to charge and get away with. As with everything you always get the ones that do and the ones that don't.

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I rang our local authority and as long as you give the option you are fine. Parents decide which option.... they either provide a snack or agree to pay for snack. We add the fee as 'healthy snack' on their invoice, which is sent out at the beginning of each term and paid for by the 1st Friday we are back. So no issues regarding payment.

 

If they choose to provide a snack and they forget to send it, ring them and ask them to bring it. They won't forget it again, or they will agree to pay for snack.

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We are a private setting. I started asking for donations of fruit last September & it hasn't caused any issues with parents. I was worried about introducing this at first & sent out a letter explaining to parents that the funding has not increased for several years whereas the costs of providing the service have increased considerably which is why we now need to ask for voluntary fruit donations. We request that each child brings one piece of fruit per session which all goes into a big fruit bowl, the children cut & prepare it & we all share. No one has ever complained or questioned it. Some children bring a piece of fruit, some bring nothing & some will bring a whole bag of fruit. An added bonus of this system has been that the children have enjoyed a much wider variety of fruits & veg (we've had star fruit, passion fruit, lychees & peppers) and some children have been very proud to bring in home grown fruit from their gardens. I now have it as part of our welcome pack that we ask for a voluntary contribution of one piece of fruit per session for the children to share at snack time.

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Does anybody either charge for snack or ask for donations of fruit? It seems to be an area where we could be cutting costs. I have thought about putting a fruit basket out and asking for donations but with our current parents I really am not sure that we would get any, or it would be the same few supplying it all the time. If any of you charge for snack, how much do you charge and is it not a nightmare chasing payments? Would be really interested to hear what you do.

We have actually stopped providing snacks, we were in financial difficulty for a while and decided to stop providing them. Parents now provide snacks themselves (although we always have something in backup for the occasion when someone has forgotten.

 

We sold it to parents that our costs generally had increased (we also hadn't raised fees for a while) and that we were increasing the fees, but had decided to withdraw snacks in order to keep fees at a lower level than we otherwise would have done - can't remember the exact wording, but that was the gist of it! No complaints from anyone.

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Are you charity run Zigzag? I'm privately run, so don't really think I can go down your route. I would like to think however, my parents would happily pay for their child's snack. To get round the whole prepping and other time consuming elements of snack time, I am though considering just asking them to supply a snack for their child each day along suitable lines of no sweet biscuits or crisp based snacks, just a piece of fruit or a 'cracker' sandwich, or a piece of cheese.

 

Personally I think we give ours too much snack, but some of the older boys do seem rather hungry and do eat their snack and then their lunch, whereas some of the girls and younger children do not!

Yes we are charity run. Just looking at ways to save some money. Our shop bill seems to be quite hefty, we are currently buying from our village shop so paying higher prices. A member of staff did start buying from the supermarket for us, but this seems to have stopped. We live 11 miles from nearest town/supermarket so can't just pop in. Think we may ask for donations of fruit/ snack items and see how it goes. Watch this space....

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Yes we are charity run. Just looking at ways to save some money. Our shop bill seems to be quite hefty, we are currently buying from our village shop so paying higher prices. A member of staff did start buying from the supermarket for us, but this seems to have stopped. We live 11 miles from nearest town/supermarket so can't just pop in. Think we may ask for donations of fruit/ snack items and see how it goes. Watch this space....

Well, I like the way you support your local economy - could you ask for donations of another type, say, "office" supplies, or craft supplies instead - would that help?

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We ask for a donation of 1 piec of fruit from each child, although some dont bring anything we always have enough to go round.

We also post a list of items we need like tissues wipes, squash, dish clothes etc. It works well for us ?

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We stopped asking for donations of fruit as apart from the usual people never bringing it in and the over generous ones always doing so. We always, always without fail either had so much fruit left over at end of week, staff were taking it home or worse we were wasting it OR we,d get to a Friday and have nothing or just a couple of apples between 25 children. We never seemed to have a happy medium.

So now they all bring in their own snack in a named container or with name written on banana skin. It's works rally well for the last few years now. We only get the occasional one forgotten and as we provide a snack for our afternoon sessions ( I did feel it was too much too expect parents to prepare a snack for the morning, packed lunch and then another snack for the afternoons) what we do now do is ask for donations of tissues(that alone has saved us a fortune!) hand soap, baby wipes, cleaning materials etc. I find if I send a newsletter out thanking parents for their generous donations over the last few weeks ( even if nothing has come in) it always kick starts some into donating something.

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We charge, oops ask for a donation of 20 pence per day. When we introduced this last year, not one parent complained.

Just couldn't continue to buy it without compromising on variety and quality on offer. Every little helps as the saying goes.

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we have fruit Friday and surprisingly we get a good amount of fruit brought in by children. It is usually enough to do both morning and afternoon sessions and sometimes Monday as well. Our snacks are basic and not really eaten in the afternoons, most of the children stay all day and seem to be full up from lunch, the afternoon children who start at 1.15 enjoy snack and will eat it. We don't seem to have wastage. I do occasionally have to bin the more manky bits lol usually very black bananas.

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Not so bothered about donation for snack - mine is frugal to say the least.......!!!!

 

Its an INK donation I would like - thats what eats into my budget - with great resentment from me!!

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Not so bothered about donation for snack - mine is frugal to say the least.......!!!!

 

Its an INK donation I would like - thats what eats into my budget - with great resentment from me!!

our food donation (carbs/fruit/cheese) saves us nearly £20 per week plus we get lots more variety!

 

Rafa what are you using ink for at such a rate????? :o ::1a

 

seriously though we now email parents nearly everything and they even have to print out their registration documents! we use email for as much business stuff as we can and store it on a hard disk so also cut down on storage ::1a win win!

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our food donation (carbs/fruit/cheese) saves us nearly £20 per week plus we get lots more variety!

 

Rafa what are you using ink for at such a rate????? :o ::1a

 

seriously though we now email parents nearly everything and they even have to print out their registration documents! we use email for as much business stuff as we can and store it on a hard disk so also cut down on storage ::1a win win!

I have started e-mailing too. I haven't e-mailed the registration documents, but like the idea Finleysmaid, (basic policies are 8 double sided pages) and will do so from now on!

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our food donation (carbs/fruit/cheese) saves us nearly £20 per week plus we get lots more variety!

 

Rafa what are you using ink for at such a rate????? :o ::1a

 

seriously though we now email parents nearly everything and they even have to print out their registration documents! we use email for as much business stuff as we can and store it on a hard disk so also cut down on storage ::1a win win!

Well yes its bloomin new intake stuff really, most of which is probably not read/binned!! Shall definately look at what we can email - Im likeing that idea - a lot! Not sure I'd trust the reg form to parents though...........still chasing psou's from the start of term!

 

This is where the old 'administration charge' would come in useful! Got to be a way to sneak that in.......

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Well yes its bloomin new intake stuff really, most of which is probably not read/binned!! Shall definately look at what we can email - Im likeing that idea - a lot! Not sure I'd trust the reg form to parents though...........still chasing psou's from the start of term!

 

This is where the old 'administration charge' would come in useful! Got to be a way to sneak that in.......

I would say 90% of the new parents are good but I do have a few spares printed. We do charge an admin fee as long as it's not for a funded space...but since most of mine start before their 3rd birthday then i'm fine!!

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We are privately run and do not charge for snack, it is written in our funding agreement from the council that we are not allowed to charge for it and TBH i don't think i would with us being private. For charity settings, are there any paper suppliers around you? I was once on committee for our local pre-school and managed to get loads of free paper from a supplier, just played the 'we are a charity and it's for the children' card, and they freely gave up loads, i just had to go and pick it up, was great for craft work.

 

 

 

 

 


Its an INK donation I would like - thats what eats into my budget - with great resentment from me!!

 

Feel for you Rafa, i spend far too much on ink as well, have tried going paperless as much as possible but it's hard work.

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Well yes its bloomin new intake stuff really, most of which is probably not read/binned!! Shall definately look at what we can email - Im likeing that idea - a lot! Not sure I'd trust the reg form to parents though...........still chasing psou's from the start of term!

 

This is where the old 'administration charge' would come in useful! Got to be a way to sneak that in.......

Like Finleysmaid, if they are signing up and starting at 2 and a half I charge an admin fee, if funded then of course, not. I put all the "heavy" documentation on a CD for parents. I do print out Reg Form and a couple of others, which, as it is me that needs them, I don't mind printing them to make sure they are of a sufficient quality. I have had some rough old print outs in the past. I also have had parents saying they don't have a printer or theirs isn't working blah blah.

Edited by Panders
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We have a Fruit Monster, a cardboard box with a hole for a mouth and a friendly monster face. We ask parents to bring fruit for everyone to share and we do quite well. We have biscuits, crackers, the cheapest but have stopped breadsticks as too expensive. We have also started asking for donations of tissues and wipes and do get some. This Easter, for the first time, we asked for a donation of 50p towards cost of chocolate nests and a chocolate egg, since these were a treat. No parents complained.

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I have charged the same for very many years. I only charge per family. It certainly doesn't cover my "time" but it does go some way to recovering costs of paper and ink. I charge just £10.

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