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Snow days- refunds


BizB
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Hi!

As manager of a charity run pre-school, I was just wondering how many of you faced parents asking for refunds when you have been closed for snow days?  This week we have been closed for 1 day, opened yesterday (3 children but had staff who could walk in) and are open again today.  We've had a number of parents (including one who kept her child away yesterday despite us being open) asking for refunds.  Our unexpected closure policy states that we will only refund sessions if we are closed for more than 3 continuous days, but one parent in particular is saying that she refuses to pay for Tuesday's session.

What are your policies/ procedures on this?

Thank you....

 

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It's a tricky one, we try to give the session back at another time. I certainly wouldn't entertain any refund if we were open and they didn't come! If you have to refund and pay staff too that's such a 'double whammy'. What do your local authority say, presumably you have some funded children? If you have it written into your policy then the parent must have known that before Tuesday?

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I have offered other sessions which my fee payers wouldn't normally attend, I think that is fair enough.  My  LA has said there are no financial penalties as far as they are concerned about closures, and only to add extra days if we are in a position to, otherwise not to worry for the funded children.    If it is clear in your policy, then stick to it, otherwise, why have the policy, maybe review it for the future.     If you were open and the parents decided not to let their child attend - that was their choice.    Parents rarely understand fully the fee implications I'm afraid to say, until something like this happens, or their child is ill and you have to highlight it to them.    

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if you have policies and procedures in place I would advise following them or you open a whole can of worms for other areas that your policies cover (not just for parents but also for staff).

If possible offer alternative sessions for the day you were closed. For the days you were open they chose not to attend they forfeit any fee or session replacement. :)

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We have a bad weather policy which clearly states that we will stay open whilst ever it is safe to do so (haven't closed once in 29 years!). If parents choose not to bring their children, they still have to pay. The contract signed by all parents refers to them having to pay if they don't attend for any reason whether it is illness, holiday or bad weather. They all sign it, and they all get charged. 

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We offer refunds (on non-funded hours) if we are closed but definitely not if we're open and parents choose not to bring children.  We can't offer alternative sessions as we are full to bursting so no availability.

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Exactly the same as Stargrower 

I have been organising refunds today - didn't amount to much at all really as most of my children are funded :) think that it is worth trying to be as fair as possible to parents - goodwill is so important in my humble:)

However would never refund for parents who simply chose to not bring their children for whatever reason - that is covered in my prospectus, in policies and procedures docs and on invoices - ensuring that no parents even bother asking! 

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