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As you know I'm due to start my new post in July and am looking at the fee structure as it stands at the moment- currently we seem to offer very little in the way of flexibilty and I would like to look into how we can become more flexible.

 

Do settings tend to have fee reductions or "deals" for parents who don't need full time day care during the holidays or for shift workers? Do you have any other "fee deals" that you offer (eg siblings, full time, sessional etc?)

 

If so, would you mind giving me a rough idea of what you offer? Hope you don't mind.

 

Thanks

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We do wraparound care for FS children in other schools and afterschool for all children. we dont charge during holidays as we run a holiday club which places are to be booked for, but there is a 2 week deposit paid on registration with us anyway to cover the notice period if they dont come back. Our full daycare do pay full price during this time.

 

We do not reduce price for siblings for various reasons, the main one being that the ratios and our costs do not change just because 2 children are related. Ultimately it is an individuals choice to have however many children they choose (discussion for another time) and there are long-term implications of such an offer.

 

sorry if its seams a bit short and sharp, its been a very long day and week!

:o

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Hi

we offer a 10% disc for siblings we do term time only places where parents can do 50% of normal fee's in the holidays we also have two full time places kept for flexi places for parents on shifts e.t.c sometimes it can take some working with staffing but it works well and we get a lot of parents in due to the flexibility, we also offer wrap around sessions at reduced costs. If you want any more info feel free to message me. Shelley

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Thank you all so much for that.

 

Id love to know more shelley, so will message you- if I can work out how to do it!

 

Can someone explain "wrap around care" is that before and after school? think I may being a bit thick here, so apologise.

 

Thanks again

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I don't offer any concessions but if parents find it hard to pay on a half termly they can pay on a weekly basis providing they understand that they must pay for absences. I insist they pay at the start of the session as well ,to avoid parents "forgetting to pay". Unfortunately I have learned to be hard over the 27 years that i have been running my pre-school. If parents cannot afford to pay I suggest that they wait till their child is funded.

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I'm hoping I get hard straight away- I am inheriting quite a large sum in outstanding fees...but that is a whole other issue!

 

At present we take payments directly into school- do others do it by DD or SO or do people mainly take it into school and handle it personally?

 

I'm not worried about the care and provision it's dealing with things like this I'm scared of!

 

Thanks again for your help.

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sorry, by wraround i mean before and after school, as we drop off and do collections.

 

As for outstanding fees, for your own sanity set a strict policy and learn to say to parents " im sorry you are having difficulties but if parents do not pay on time then it effect the financial stability of the group including the staff, rent and ther utility bills that must be paid." we have a strict "no pay, no play" policy. For any long term places that were there before i came we offered a payment plan for arrears rather than lose them, and also to afford the 2 week deposit that they must pay. If they fail to pay for these additional amounts without warning in advance and a reasonable excuse then the places are withdrawn until they are in credit. Parents are also warned that other nurseries will not accept their child with outstanding debt to ourselves and us vice versa. (even though its not always possible to secure this! it usually does the trick). also that if they are claiming family tax credits for their childcare that they will be informed of the last date they were up to date with their fees.

 

It all sounds so horrid in black and white but i wouldnt be ok with not being paid and neither would my staff. :o

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Thank you for that Alison.

I think it's a good idea to lay the rules down in a policy then you have it in black and white for parents and staff-

okily dokily, todays job TS is create a fees policy.........

I'll make one and put it on here and see what you think, think I'll need a bit of reassurance!

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Alison,

 

Like you, we have to be tough with parents (well, not me you understand, I don't deal with fees - I'd turn into a marshmallow!!). At the moment we are so full that we are turning customers away - with the net result that we are having to really get stuck into 'bad payers', as in effect they are costing us twice as much :o So, yes, DEFINITELY get it down in black and white and bring it to parents attention on registration, as well as at intervals thereafter.

 

One of the least attractive aspects of working in the PVI sector!

 

Sue

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I agree, parents are the hardest part of the job when it comes to standing your ground! I used to turn to jelly, but we had a parent who really ripped into us when we refused to collect their child due to non-payment of fees...we sent the letter, followed up with a phonecall and even informed the school when the child was still there waiting, so as not to upset the child, or look incompetent. Parent gave us a right dressing down, i calmly asked her to leave the premises and not to come back until she had calmed down and that the kind of behavior was completely unacceptable. If she was not happy with our policy which she had signed or the care her child recieved she should contact OFSTED, and that she had recieved due warning which left her no grounds for complaint. She came back the next day, appologised, paid and a week later was talking about refurbishments to her house.

 

We have regular issues with her, but she knows where we all stand now, and knows we wont take the excuses. Her children all got ps2, psp, nintendo ds for xmas. Shes typical of the type of parent who pleads poverty.

 

Dont get me wrong, we will ofter refer people to sure start if they need the place, but cant afford it, and we help with the tax credit forms etc.. but we have parents who really are struggling, who always pay on time, and whose children get skipping ropes and colouring books for xmas. Once you have got a grip on who these people are, and what being strapped for cash really means to them it gets much easier!

 

Our favourite analogy is "you dont go to asda and say you'll pay for your shopping after you've eaten it do you?"

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That looks Ok to me! What does anyone else think?

 

Just a thought, do you charge extra for late collections/early starts ? We charge £2-50 for a pre-booked half hour before 8.00 or after 6.00. If it's not booked, it's £5.00. If you do levy such a charge, I would include that too.

 

Sue

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Guest Wolfie

I agree with Sue R in that you ought to include something about the fees/fines incurred when a child is collected late or after the nursery is closed. Most nurseries use some kind of fine system (for want of a better word) and that needs to be spelt out clearly so that parents are completely clear about what will happen. I don't know what other nurseries do but I used to split the fines directly between the two members of staff who had been inconvenienced, the money didn't go through my books!

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we do the same Wolfie, staff get the money direct for late collections...all written down in policy and in parental agreement which they sign with registration form.

 

we did have a lot of late collections at one time and staff put money into a pot which paid for a meal in! (take-a-way at one of our houses plus a bottle of wine)

 

Inge

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That looks like a good policy.

 

Just a thought though, if we dont recieve payment by the end of the 10th working day (which is

intentionally covered by the registration fee) that is the last day the child may attend until the registration and 1st period of fees are paid within another agreed period of time. So we are never out of pocket.

 

Our fee is £2.50-£5.00 administrative costs which is charged per letter sent, and depends on whether the parent is a "repeat offender".

 

We charge £5 per child for a parent arriving over 15 minutes late, or without a phonecall, and if they are persistently late. Persistent lateness is left to the discretion of the supervisor on duty, personally if i am made to miss my bus I have to wait an hour until the next, or spend £10 on a taxi, and this will be passed to the parent, with a notice of withdrawal of services without immediate compliance to the times of the setting. Its a rare but frustrating occurence which can have such a knock on effect to staff moral.

 

Bet you didnt think something as simple as collecting fees could turn out to be so complicated hey, i know my staff where shocked when they read ours. that people could willfully just get off without paying. :oxD

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Thanks- I am truely amazed at everything- and this is just the tip of the iceberg isn't it really?!!! But this place is so helpful- I'm learning so much maybe one day I'll be able to advise on issues such as these!

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It is interesting reading these posts, as this week I have decided enough is enough and I am going to get really tough with parents. Our policy is that fees have to be paid on the 1st, but gradually over the last year parents have been paying later and later in the month. The final straw was last month when I had to take out an overdraft to pay the staff as all the fees had not been paid in time.

 

I am currently going through the courts with three parents and have another two persistent bad payers who are leading me a merry dance.

 

My next set of invoices will include a paragraph on each invoice which states that payment is required on the 1st of each month, if payment is not received then an administration fee of £10 will be charged to cover bank and administrative costs (per reminder invoice). If there are any outstanding fees at the end of the month, the the child's place will be suspended until all fees are bought up to date and the following month's fees are paid on the 1st.

 

I live in hope this will wake parents up to the fact that childcare is second to them paying the mortgage. Without childcare they wouldn't be able to go to work.

 

I am currently working for nothing to support parents who feel buying a 'designer' bag is more important than paying us!!!

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Guest Wolfie

Hmmm, isn't it funny how the parents who often "have difficulty paying" are the ones who send their children in the latest deisgner clothes/outfit from Next on a regular basis!! I'm sorry if that sounds cynical but it really was my experience on plenty of occasions when I ran my nursery! :o

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Looks good to me. Ours, which I have posted recently somewhere on here, for a pre-school states that fees remain due in the event of absence, for whatever reason, as our costs remain the same.

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