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Feeling fed up and it's only day 2


hopeytg
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I've put a few posts on recently and was feeling really positive about the new term being the new owner of the business but 2 days in now wondering why I did it?

We had a healthy register - 1st day two children failed to return - I checked with the local school where they had siblings to be told both families had removed their children from the school - no contact from either family despite me phoning etc asking them if they were coming back - so can only assume they are not - 30 hrs a week lost.

Then another parent tells me she is moving in the next 4 weeks so I won't be able to claim for her child - do I bill her for the hours she is using until she moves? Another 18 hrs gone.

Today a further parent who had planned for her child to attend two settings read her invoice and queried it - when I explained that she would not get funding for her other setting as she was only attending one day (3 with us) she said 'Well I can't afford that I'll have to move her there full time'. 11 hrs gone.

How can it be fair for people to be able to just up and leave before 'headcount' - I have staff in place for these children and have now lost 4 children on 3 days - ie a member of staff I now don't need on those days - is it fair to cut staff hours through no fault of their own or mine?

I genuinely feel that there is something wrong with the funding system that seems to allow families to just 'change setting' with no regard to the 'debt' they leave behind.

 

Sorry rant over - don't feel obliged to reply - I feel better for having shared my thoughts ;)

 

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On a practical note here, headcount week for Kent is next week, if you I had a child there, even though parent had said they were moving, I would still claim. Anything could happen - she might want to move, that doesn't necessarily mean they will. If you are not comfortable with that, then yes give the parent an invoice and quick!

 

It's not fair - I have people phone me all the time for places, but I never consider count them in until they are in. With your staff until you have built up any kind of financial cushion you will have to have them on zero contracts, particularly in September. It's not the best situation, but if you want to succeed long term you must lay off a member of staff, or cut everyone's hours down so you keep all staff.

 

It's a tough old business Hopetyg, hang in there! Plenty of us on here that understand your problems.

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Right ...I have a suggestion! (you need to check this with your borough!) we tell everyone that they must give us 6 weeks notice of changes.....if they drop hours they WILL be charged at the settings rate for those sessions. Parents are told several times..it is on the paperwork and they sign the contract. We do have a get out clause in the policy in case of emergencies but the parents know we stick to it!

It doesn't stop everyone and we have a policy that says they can stay with us for 6 weeks and then change if needed but over the last few years it has stopped a lot of the last minute issues.....our next door borough however is furious every time we quote it...they keep trying to moan to my borough about me!!!

 

other settings sometimes charge a deposit scheme which is refundable

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Thanks both - I do charge a refundable deposit for new starts that is returned once they have started, unfortunately the 2 no shows were returning children - maybe I should keep the deposit until they leave?

I like the idea of just going ahead with headcount - they will both still be with us so I am not making any false declarations. I will have a think today. - New day and positive attitude :)

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We also have a clause in our policies of 4 weeks notice of changes. Parents have to book sessions at end of a term for the following term. They also sign confirmation of our terms of 4 weeks paid notice. We are allowed to claim funding for this notice period. We don't take a deposit.

Edited by lsp
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If the children are with you on headcount day, you can claim for them, no question.

 

Our LA has a 'swings and roundabouts' system where if a child leaves, they expect you to offer their funded place to the next child to start (if it's within that term) so the new child would use the leaver's funding. This means you can claim with no worries.

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think you should be able to claim for the leaver - we just claim then send in an amendment showing the date the child left - the council then amend the amount with the following payment - this is as long as a child attends minimum of two weeks

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Yes they do, perhaps in different ways, but they still have to worry about it. On our local news just now, one local authority has announced a huge deficit in children services which could close children's centre nurseries, and this has already happened elsewhere resulting in many people losing their jobs and children with nowhere to go.

And don't forget that school nurseries almost always work to a 13:1 ratio, so a 39 place nursery class will have at least 2 fewer staff than many other settings will have.

 

The grass isn't always greener, sometimes it's just different.

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