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Non Payment Of Fees


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I have 3 parents who have not paid their fees, they now owe over £150 each. We have sent letters to them etc..... to no avail. I would like to put in place some poilcy to deal with these situations, has anybody else put this sort of policy in place?

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At my last nursery I set up Terms and Conditions that the parents had to sign on enrolment, which showed the procedure for what would happen in this instance.

 

There was nothing like this in place when I started, so obviously I had to give copies out to all the parents who had been there before I started. It also went through late collection, sickness, etc.

 

Have just looked through my documents, and it appears to be the only thing I haven't saved a copy of!!

 

I think I have a paper copy tho, if you want me to post you one?

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I would have thought you wouldn't need a policy - they owe money for care!! (tongue in cheek!!)

 

You might need to state that monies should be paid - in advance/on the day/ within the week - whatever, then have a count down as to what happens when if in breach of this, in terms of contract etc, plus how this will impinge on their convenience .... as in, no money by (.) no care after (.) - it seems hard, but you aren't a charity !!

 

Or are you xD:o

 

Sue - good luck

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Guest MaryEMac

Our policy states that all fees should be paid up to date by a week before the end of term. If not then they will lose their child's place until they have paid.Obviously if they are having money problems then we suggest that they see the treasurer who will work out a payment plan. As we are a sessional group they have the choice of paying daily, weekly or per half term. Saying this we do usually have at least one family per year who forget the fees, one mum did it twice for both of her children !!

This is probably not a lot of help to you at the moment but something similar could be used in the future.

 

Mary

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we send out bills with date for payment on and a late payment fee or interest can be added if they miss the date (never used but in our policy so could be)

Payments have to be made in advance either weekly, monthly or termly

If no payment for 2 weeks they cannot leave child until fees are paid....this one while tough does work we only had to threaten to invoke it once for message to get around and fees came in on time.

We also say speak to......in confidence to discuss fees if they have problems...with the grant we have found that some parents will continue paying a small amount each week to cover fees for sessions taken before they were eligible...spread the costs over longer.

Also late collection fee in place...used it once and message got through no late collectors now....committee made fee for late collection high so that they did not just see it as a fee payment they made and always turned up late as one parent did when it was low!!

 

while we are a charity it is still childcare we offer and costs need to be covered from somewhere, our fees are always lower than local nursery at a level so we can just cover costs with no profit

 

Inge

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I've had this in the past but no where near that amount.

As a charity who only paid staff min wage or slightly above we could ill afford it.

 

We sent letters threatening small claims court but we never did it and I think they called our bluff on it.

These days I'd be more inclined to send a letter to the effect that if the fees arent paid up to date and within a certain time scale the nursery place will be suspended.

That'll either make them pay or at least give a reason as to why they havent spoken to you.

 

Then get apolicy in place that states how and when payments are expected to be made and how non payment will be dealt with.

:o

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Slightly off topic but could anyone tell me roughly how much fees are for childcare in Herts? Just planning future baby and how much it is going to cost us!

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Thanks for all your replies. I think i will put a procedure in place for this. We have sent out 2 letters now, first a reminder, 2nd with the threat of further action. Still no payments. 2 of the parents have pulled their children out but we still have the outstanding balance, just want to avoid this in the future. I will work on putting something in place, another job for the bank holiday weekend!!!!! Thanks for all your fantastic advice as always great to get a second opinion

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Hi simcity, sorry to hear two parents have left still in debt, I would consider going down the small claims route, contact your local CAB for advice.

I set up standing orders for my parents, they can be paid weekly, monthly etc. I normally divide the total amount due by 3 so that they make 3 monthly payments ie: this term 7th May, 7th June and 7th July, this still gives me time to add invoices for additional sessions, or chase up any other method payers before end of term. If parent wanted to pay by cheque on a weekly basis I devide the terms total by 10 and ask for 10 postdated cheques at the beginning of term.( saves a problem if they are absent for a week. I've previously found that the summer term is worse as parents who's children leave for school have left in debt :o

 

The only problem with stopping attendence is that you can't do this with funded children, that's why I use standing orders ( plus there are less bank charges).

I charge a fee if I have to send a reminder letter, 5% of total outstanding. I have a statement on the bottom of every invoice saying attendence at the preschool indicates acceptance of fees payment terms, thus not needing a signature.

 

attached is an example invoice with terms stated on it and an example standing order form.

 

Peggy

BLANK_FUNDED_INVOICE.xls

BLANK_STANDING_ORDER_FORM.xls

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We have a t & c which is signed at the time of enrolement but we have used money claim online (small claims court via internet) 3 times this year so far. The results - we are currently being paid back £1200 at £5 per week, we have lost over £2000 as the parents did that write your debts off thing and we now can't claim from them and the other is still pending.

 

The best advice i can give is give them 2 weeks to pay if they don't just get them out straight away!

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Where children are taking non-funded sessions in addition to funded ones, surely you can stop attendance for those sessions? Not a comfortable situation, I know, but I would have thought you could reduce those sessions until there was an agreement in place as to how the arrears were to be paid, at least.

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I've done all of the above threatened withdrawn sessions (not the funded ones) but to no avail. apart from solicitors letters which cost usually about £15 there's not much you can do.

No policy procedure will get blood out of a stone. if the parents won't pay apart from court action there is nothing you can do.

The best thing I have found is to get the parents to come in and work out an instalment plan to pay of the money. that generally has worked. If they withdraw their child you will never get the money back so keep it friendly and work out a payment plan.

They generally don't want the hassle of finding somewhere else, and probably generally want to pay but get themselves in debt and are then afraid .

 

we now have no debt at all this term, which is very unusual. we know which parents have a tendency to "forget" so give them gentle reminders in the middle of the week that they must pay and not to forget!!!!! It seems to be working

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Where children are taking non-funded sessions in addition to funded ones, surely you can stop attendance for those sessions? Not a comfortable situation, I know, but I would have thought you could reduce those sessions until there was an agreement in place as to how the arrears were to be paid, at least.

 

 

Yes your right you can withdraw non-funded sessions, but as you say not a comfortabl situation, especially if they attend funded but still don't pay their debts. ( not been in this situation myself, just imagining)

 

Peggy

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