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Non Attendance.

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hi all, just wondering how every one deals with this, i had three families whom had booked their children in, the attendance had been a bit hit and miss, the families know of our missed session fee ( half price £2.00) but i had waverd this due to concerns over the childrens welfare. I thought if i tried to get the missed session cash from them they might not bring the children back to us and then the children will miss out and i wouldn't be able to keep a kind eye on them. I know this is not fair for those who do pay for missed sesssions.

The problem is that now the playgroup is full up every morning and has a waiting list which could be cleared. So i contacted the families AGAIN to check "that i had the correct sessions booked down" :o One parent was over the moon as her child is now on funding so that is now all sorted. The second family did not answer the phones and have not replied to my messages. The third family told me their child will return when she is on funding as they can not afford to send her anymore.

I am cross with myself for allowing the situation to get like this, upset as the third family will not be attending untill next term and concerned for the second family as i would like to see the child.

AM I TO SOFT? Do you think it would be reasonable to create a terms and condition type thing which states that after xxxx missed sessions and after no response from efforts of contact from us that the child's place will be lost. Is this fair? and how many missed session would you allow before looseing the place? Or should i leave it and leave a space so i can keep a watchfull eye on these children? xD

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Good questions !

I haven't got a policy as such but like you contact non attenders to find out the parents intentions. I charge full fees for non attendance basically because my main costs ( rent/ wages) remain the same. I think you half fees policy is generous. You seem to be confused ( for want of a better term) between the needs of the child and the need of the preschool. ie: concerns for child and carrying empty places.


I think it would be useful to review your terms and conditions as you have identified, and place a ruling for non attenders. Maybe also review your waiting list / admissions policies, is it fair for people on the waiting list to wait longer if you keep open places for non attenders who have indicated they won't return until funding starts?

How many of the children on the waiting list who may be as needy as the ones not attending?

Also if the children aren't attending how can you keep a watchful eye on them? if you have concerns for these children and they won't start until funding comes in what about in the meantime, are they at risk? Maybe have a word wit your local safeguarding childrens board and talk through your concerns.


I can empathise, slightly different but I have a child (unfunded) who only attends one day a week, her attendance is also hit and miss, the childs mother pays weekly so if she misses a week her fees become in arrears. ( though she still only pays a weeks fees when she does attend!). I have neglect/welfare concerns but they are in what I call the grey area, being careful not to judge parenting style - the child is unkempt, below average ability, and really, in my mind needs preschool more often. I contacted the LSCB (local safeguarding childrens board) and discussed my concerns, from this I am going to continue to communicate with the parent and find out how often she see's her health visitor, ask if I can contact her H.V. re: her childs development etc and keep a watchful eye.


Good luck, let us know what you decide.




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i give families a week of missed sessions, (they pay half termly in advance anyway)...then i ring and either speak to them or leave messages for a week and if no responce ring again and say their sessions will be termimated if they dont return within another week, we charge full fees as peggy does to cover the costs

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All of our children are 'allocated' sessions and parents pay the full price accordingly, even if they don't attend. As Peggy says, overheads stay the same and staffing is organised according to these numbers. If they wish to decrease or increase the number of sessions they can, but they need to speak to us first. I have to say that I tend not to send letters clarifying any changes made midterm but may well do on the back of this topic. :o

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Guest MaryEMac

We also charge full fee for non attendance. Also if the child hasn't been for two weeks and there has been no contact from parents, I phone them. If there is no response to this call, after a week I write stating that if I don't hear from them by a certain date then their place will be offered to the next person on the waiting list.

I have had to write three times since Christmas to three families. One mum did ring me aftr the letter to explain that she had gone back to full time work and wasn't able to get her son there. Have had no response from the other two and I think that they have moved out of the village. What has happened to common courtesy? It doesn't take long to phone the playgroup and let us know, does it?


Mary :o

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we do same ...full costs for unattended sessions...2 weeks non attendance, telephone or try to contact, no contact -then letter with date for reply and loss of sessions if no reply by that date.....


as said it is often ones who have moved and not bothered to tell us,


real lack of courtesy,


it all costs time and money to follow through



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We charge full fees whether the child attends or not. I have to say though that I have never had to ring or write to anybody when they haven't turned up-our parents are pretty good on the whole, letting us know if they are going on holiday or their child won't be returning.

If I had a waiting list and the child wasn't attending and hadn't paid then I would certainly pass that place onto the next child. I think terms and conditions are a good way to go-at least then they are set down in black and white and if parents don't read them then they have no excuse. I posted our terms and conditions on another topic Lesley. I'll try and find them for you. We give them two copies-one for them to keep and one to sign and return.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that you sound like a kind and caring person who has put your concern for the children above money, good for you. If you had put money first then the place for the child who is going to come back with funding may have gone. At least this way you have provided for them.


I do think business wise then it would be sensible if x amount of sessions missed without any form of contact for the child to be removed.........but this would have to apply to your funded children as well, many settings keep the funding even though the child is no longer with them

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