This fees policy forms part of the contract with the parents/carer and First Steps Childcare Ltd.
First Steps aims to operate a service, which is fair and competitively priced.
We aim to offer a high quality, safe and stimulating environment that provides a service that is good value for money.
Opening times and hours for the setting are:
From 8.30 -5.30 Monday to Fridays 52 weeks of the year. which five are inset days. (Limited, additional hours from 8-8.30 5:30-6.00 are available for an extra cost)
Children will not be admitted before 8.30am and must be collected by 5.30pm unless prior arrangements have been agreed.
Sessions times are displayed on our fee sheet.
Booking, Fees and Invoicing
A non refundable administration fee of £50.00 is required to secure a place. This reduces by 50% for every additional child. (This will not be charged for children who only wish to access the Early Years Entitlement)
To secure a place for more than one month in advance and in addition to the administration fee, one month’s expected income will be required this will constitute your first months payment. This amount will be forfeit if you fail to take up the place as per the agreement.
Date when fees are to be paid
On 1st day of each calendar month.
Standing order (standing order forms can be found in the prospectus)
Setting bank details
Name First Steps Childcare Ltd
Sort code 40-41-22
a/c no 31420836
Cheque or cash (receipts will always be issued)
Working Tax Credits
If you receive Working Tax Credit you may be able to get help towards the cost of childcare. For further details contact the tax credits helpline on 0845 300 3900 or visit HM revenue and Customs (HMRC) website www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits. If we are contacted by HMRC for details of your child’s sessions and invoices we will provide them with this information unless instructed by you in writing not to do so.
For information on Tax free childcare please go to www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
The setting welcomes a wide selection of childcare vouchers i.e. Edenred, kiddivouchers, etc.
Terminate or change sessions
If you decide to decrease or terminate your child’s attendance we require one terms notice e.g. notice given in April to leave or decrease sessions in
September, notice give in September to leave or decrease sessions in December and notice given in January to leave or decrease sessions in March. This has to be given in writing.
Termination of the contract:
Setting - The setting reserves the right to terminate the contract without notice in the event of unsuitable behaviour from parents or non payment of fees, First Steps will follow the non payment procedure below. (Settings notice period i.e. 4 weeks) notice in writing will be given.
Note - Early Years Entitlement Funding will only cover a notice period of 4 weeks. Should your child not attend for a period of four weeks and we are unable to make contact, then your child’s place could be forfeited and this period will be considered your notice period. This will be invoiced.
Should a session last longer than the EYE funding available parents will be required to pay for that part of the session that exceeds the EYE funding.
Once your child is in receipt of Early Years Entitlement invoices will not be annualised, therefore the overall cost will vary slightly from month to month.
The 2 course Lunch meal will be invoiced separately at £4.00 per lunch sessions. If your child’s session includes lunch this is invoiced regardless of your child attending as the food is budgeted for the number of children attending on each day.
Non payment of fees procedure:
Invoices are sent out at the beginning of each month, payment should be made within the first week of receipt. Failure to pay by the end of the month a letter will be issued reminding parents that fees should be paid in advance. The letter will suggest that if the parents are experiencing any difficulties with payment they should come in to the setting and meet with the book keeper to try to arrange a payment plan (explaining that this is only for the debt, all other fees need to be paid on time. Minutes of the meeting will be noted and a letter sent to parents. stating timeline for the debt recovery) If parents miss a payment, First Steps reserves the right to reduce the sessions until debt is cleared or the place withdrawn, (A second letter will be sent to parents and a another meeting requested).
If parents do not keep to the payment plan, the child will then only be permitted to attend EYE funded hours, then with a month notice the place will be withdrawn.
Recovery of outstanding debt. The setting will send a letter stating that they are proceeding to recover the outstanding debt through the small claims court.
Failure to collect your child on time will incur a charge of £7.50 per 15mins.
Fees are reviewed annually in April but may be revised with one month’s written notice.
Full fees are payable for all booked sessions even if these should fall on a bank holiday or inset training days when the nursery is closed, parents holidays, or if a child is sick, in the case of long term sickness this will be at the discretion of the Manager. In the case of late payments/cheques being returned unpaid, an administration fee of £25 plus bank charges may be charged.
First Steps reserves the right to refuse admission, cancel sessions and alter opening times without notice should events occur beyond it’s control (i.e. snow).
In these circumstances fees are non-returnable for up to a maximum of five consecutive days.
Emergency and unplanned closures
In the event the nursery is required to close temporarily, for example due to a localised lockdown, fees will be payable in full for the first four weeks. [early/late charges will not be charged] If your child has had to self isolate because either: they have a positive confirmed case of COVID 19 or are waiting a result or have been within a bubble group where there is a confirmed case, we require full payment of fees.
Early Years Entitlement Funding (EYE funding 15 hours)
First Steps is in receipt of EYE funding for two (if claim two year old EYE), three and four year olds; this is available from the term following your child’s third birthday.
EYE funding entitlement is: 570 hours per annum of which five are inset days
A maximum of 10 hours can be claimed in any one day.
Children can claim up to 10.96 hours per week over 3 days. You can use more than one provider but you can only claim the maximum entitlement of hours per funding period in total.
EYE funding entitlement:
Early years funding is only paid for 38 weeks of the year, however First Steps is a setting that is open all year therefore invoices will show funding spread across the year. Once your child is in receipt of early years funding all invoices will be shown over 52 weeks this is to comply with the entitlement that is split evenly throughout the year. (i.e. no discount for holidays) If you wish to access funded sessions only free of any additional charges, please speak to the manager.
To claim the EYE funding the following information is needed: – Birth certificate, passport (on registration, a copy needs to be sent to EYE funding team)- EYE funding parent declaration form - completed every term by parents these will be issued by First Steps. It is the parents’/carers responsibility to provide this documentation, if child’s legal documentation is not produced then parents/carers will be charged the settings normal fees as they will be unable to claim EYE funding. Funded hours are between 8.30-5.30, therefore 8.00-8.30 & 5.30-6.00 will be charged at an hourly rate. All fees charged relate to hours or addition charges identified overleaf that are not funded by the EYE funding.
30 hours childcare
If eligible you will receive your 11 digit code you will need to bring this into First Steps, and fill out a consent form for all of the information required for us to share with HMRC. This means a total of 1,140 hours will be spread over 52 weeks which includes five inset days. You will be charged for ARS (Additional Services & Resources) of £4.00 per session. Our charges include (but is not limited to) snacks and drinks, breakfast, mid-morning snack, wet wipes, seasonal sun tan lotion as required. This ARS will also guarantee your child’s place at the nursery until they leave for school. As First Steps is open throughout the year, the funded hours for the whole year will be spread over 52 weeks which equals to 21.92 funded hours per week. The 2 course lunch meal will be invoiced separately at £5.00 per lunch sessions which is 12.30-1.30. If your child’s session includes lunch this is invoiced regardless of your child attending as the food is budgeted for the number of children attending on each day and the employment of a cook.
From the 1st April 2022, discounts for non funded children who attend 4 or 5 full days will be allocated on an individual basis and at the managements discretion
From September 2022 breakfast will only be offered between 8.00am to 8.30am in the morning. If you wish your child to attend for the breakfast session then please book this session in advanced.