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Playgroup Fees


Guest MaryEMac
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Guest MaryEMac

Can anyone help me please? Our playgroup has a new committee and the chairman came to me and asked what I thought about putting up the fees. At the moment we charge £3.50 for a two and a half hour session. Most parents usually end up only paying this for a term , before the gov. funding comes in. We are a small village playgroup which isn't in a particularly rich area. What sort of fees does anyone else charge please. Thanks.

 

Mary

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we charge £6.50 at present and are about to work out if this is Ok.

So the funded children are not supporting the costs of the unfunded ones we do a cost projection on what our income would be if they were all paying fees with no funding and work out if that would be enough to cover the costs. we are in an area where there is a a lot of parents on benefits and if they cannot afford the fees often wait until the funding starts, as you say it is usually only a few weeks, or we have set up payment plans so they can pay us over a longer term.

 

inge

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Hi Mary! I'm in Chatteris and we are cheap here charging £4.50 per 2.5 hour session. I know another group in Chatteris charges £7!! We have just gone up from £4 and as you say as most get funding it has been OK.

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£6.50 for 2half hours. about to go up to £7 after christmas. do a look at your wages, insurance rent all your out goings for the week and the year and work out what your breakeven point is then you will know how much to charge and how it compares with your grant money. just because you are a charity doesn't mean you should run on the bare minimum. otherwise you will never have money to but equipment when needed good luck

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We have just put our fees up to £7.00 for 2 1/2 hours. Can you look on your local authority web site? I did, it lists details of all other groups in the area, what resources/facilities they offer as well as the price they charge per session. I found that we were average for the area.

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We are £7 for three hours and this will probably go up in January to £8 as we have this year had a hike in the rent we pay.

And £12 may sound a lot shirel compared to others but it is only £4 an hour-not a great deal when you consider the resources etc the children access.

Linda

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Guest MaryEMac

Thanks everyone. I've just been on the opportunity links site (why didn't I think of that?) and find that in my area the prices range from £2.50 - £6.00 for two and a half hours. Average is £4.00. Mind you it's good to have a countrywide overview.

 

Mary :o

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We charge £5.00 per session 21/2 hours (Lincolnshire)

Going up to £5.50 in Jan

Everyone one in our village (4 playgroups) charges this price

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I just raised my fees to £8.25 per 3 hrs, Kent.

 

My rationalle is that I see a queue of cars at the car wash who are happy to pay £5, for what? 3 minutes. One of my parents last term struggled with fees, she was out of work, now she has a job, both she and her husband earn minimum wage. To work they have to send their daughter ( 2 yrs old) for 10 sessions per week. WFTC, childcare credit, is paying the majority of the fees.

 

Peggy

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Guest DeborahF

One piece of advice that I was given when I opened my nursery was that I should put fees up automatically at the same time each year, even if it was only by 20p per session or something, so that parents come to expect an increase rather than it being an unwelcome surprise! It said "Fees will be reviewed annually, in August each year" in the prospectus - I would recommend that approach!

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We charge £7.20 for two and 3/4 hours, plus 10p per child per day for a nutritious snack. We are going to struggle to meet even our basic costs this year. Luckily we have a bit in the bank to fall back on.

 

Wearing my other hat, I wanted to increase fees a bit more but that was not popular. We feel we should be aiming to get the fees up to the NEG, as we are not supposed to use the NEG to subsidize unfunded children but find it difficult to do.

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We are a charity playgroup we are soon to be increasing our fees to £3.50 per session (2 1/2 hrs). We are also in a small town which has nine other providers all near by, this is a mixture of private & playgroups. This increase will bring us nearly in line with the other playgroups in our area. I get very upset at other providers whom can be quick to mock our fees and comments have been passed such as "Cheep fees, Cheep care". This is not the case in our setting, we have a very high ratio of children to adults, we are fully booked up each session, we do a lot of fund raising, we are recommended by the health vistors, we provide a warm , clean and welcomimg enviroment with great qualified staff , we are now in our 36th year of provision. The above comment was made to a member of staff on a training course, she had so much stick that she made her excuses and left half way through the course, she returned so upset she burst in to tears and will not attend training alone any more. I was shocked at the reaction she came up against. We also have families travel from surrounding villages to attend our group. Our aim has allways been to keep our fees as low as possiable so as all families can afford to bring their children into us. PLEASE DO NOT GET ME WRONG I'M NOT KNOCKING ANY ONES WHO'S FEES ARE HIGHER, IN OUR AREA MANY FAMILIES CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY HIGH FEES. This does not meen however that we attract a certain client base nor does it meen that we provide a less of a setting/ enviroment for the children. I think you have to take in to account your other providers and your surrounding area before setting your fees.

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Good to hear some groups are doing well.

 

In Dorset we top the table for falling birth rates, which is a fundamental problem, coupled with the high cost of housing in our area.

 

We always used to do a lot of fundraisng but nowadays only a few parents support events.

 

Off to check what others are charging in our area, last time we checked we were at the top end but not that much difference.

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Guest MaryEMac

We had a committee meeting this afternoon and it was decided to put up the fees by 25p to £3.75 after Christmas and then up to £4.00 next September. This is going to be reviewed annually. Thanks again everyone,

 

Mary

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Hi Lesley I just have to reply to you. You sound a very lovely lady with a fantastic staff. Your group is obviously successful and valued in your community. My only comment is how can you be paying yourself or your staff a realistic wage? Our job is demanding and becoming more so week by week as we are increasingly regulated, inspected and accountable to all agencies. We should not feel guilty about paying a reasonable salary to ourselves unless we regard what we do as a community service and are happy to work for the bare minimum. I wish you every success

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Hi Chill, we have four staff members each session plus one staff member to over see our toddler group, we are working for just over the min wage, mine is slightly higher. I do the paper work, prep, etc in my own time. Our rent is £12.00 per session. I have applied to our local town council for a grant to help us in providing the art and craft materials in the past and they have supported us in this way. We are carefull in what we spend & in what we ask for when fund raising. We manage and have funds in the bank as a reserve. The government funding has helped us no end & enables us to have the number of staff and to continue with training. We also have a "snack pot" on our table, here the parents can if they wish to help towards the snack bar costs, this works well as we provide good healthy snacks and it is apprecated by most of the parents. This again helps towards the costs.

I know I could be paid much more for the job that I do, when I loose the excitement, passion and love for our little playgroup i know it will then be time to move on and problerly get a better wage playing with papers instead of children. Untill that day I will continue to be with our play group and all the issues that come with the job that I enjoy so much!!

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Lesley

 

You sound like the ideal person to run a pre-school.

 

I am sure your pre-school is worth every penny and much more

 

It was appalling what your staff member had to go through. How much you charge should not be reflection on the group or its staff

Edited by Guest
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thank you for your comment, it is so degrading to have to say "well we do do a good job" and to have to justify our role.

every setting is different & every area is different, it would be sooo.... boring if every one was the same, doing the same activities, singing the same songs and reading the same stories. Thank you once again.

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For all those out there who charge very low rates maybe you should print off some of the replies on this page and let your parents know how lucky they are to have such dedicated staff who work for the bare minimum. if they could see what is charged over the country maybe they would change their minds. A packet of cigarettes cost more than the amount you charge for looking after their most precious thing in the world their child!!!!!! you can't put a price on good child care

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