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Fees Policy

I work as a registered childminder as I enjoy caring for children and supporting their development.  Like you, I have bills and expenses to meet each month and therefore require a regular income. I would be grateful if you could ensure that you are prompt in paying your monthly invoice.  Your payment must be in my account by the 1st of the month not on the 1st of the month.  This is because my monthly direct debits leave my bank account at 1 minute past midnight on the 1st of each month. 

The fees you pay are to secure the hours and days specified on your contract.  You are not paying for your child's actual attendance.  If I am available to work on your contracted hours/days, then the fees will be payable.  If I am unable to work due to holiday or sickness, then no fees will be due.

Holidays

I don't charge for any holidays I take including bank holidays.  If you need to use one of my back-up childminders for holiday cover, you would pay them direct. 

Any holiday you take will be charged at full rate - you are paying to reserve your contracted hours and not for your child's attendance. 

Parents with a term-time contract will not be charged a retainer during school holidays.  However, any holiday taken during term-time will be charged at full rate.  Term time is as dictated by the Local Authority and can be found here:  

http://www.southend.gov.uk/info/200175/schools_colleges_and_the_university_of_essex/51/term_dates

If you have a school holidays only contract, you are paying to secure your child’s place during the holidays and full fees will be payable even if your child doesn’t attend.  I have limited spaces available during school holidays so, if your child is not contracted to specific days/times, I cannot guarantee a space.  I have a waiting list for children wanting to come in the school holidays and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Once a place has been confirmed and a child has been booked in, full fees will be payable.  I will require 4 weeks’ notice to cancel a non-contracted booking.

Ad Hoc Additional Hours

If you need your child to come for hours and/or days in addition to your contracted hours, I will always try to be flexible.  If the space is available, I am happy to accommodate extra hours and/or days. Additional hours should be requested at least 48 hours in advance and, if agreed, these will be charged for even if the child is dropped off later and/or collected earlier as I will have planned my day around the agreed times.

Late Drop Off/Early Collection

It is not a problem if you want to drop off later/collect earlier than your contracted hours.  However, you may need to meet me wherever I am, as it is not fair for the other children to miss out on our regular outings because we are waiting for a late drop off/early collection.  You will still have to pay for your contracted hours.

Late Collection/Early Drop Off

I appreciate that there will be times when you are late due to unforeseen circumstances and I will, of course, continue to care for your child.  A text is sufficient to let me know and give an estimated time of arrival.  I hope you understand that additional charges may be applicable.

I would be grateful if you could please respect my personal/family time by not arriving earlier or collecting later than your contracted times.  So as not to inconvenience my minded families, I try to arrange doctors; dentist and other appointments when I finish work.  Please bear in mind that if I am expecting to finish work at 4.30pm I may have made an appointment for 4.40pm.  Therefore, if you are 5/10 minutes late then I will be late for my appointment.  I appreciate there are times when you may need to drop off earlier or collect later and I would be grateful for as much advance warning as possible.  If discussed and agreed in advance, I will do my best to accommodate your requirements.  However, unexpected early drop off/late collection will be charged at £5 for every 15 minutes as per your contract.

Illness

I will not charge you if I or one of my children are ill and I cannot work.  If you are happy for one of my back-up childminders to care for your child, then you would pay them direct.

Child Illness

If your child has sickness; diarrhoea or anything infectious, I will not be able to look after them until 48 hours after the last signs of the illness. I reserve the right to act on advice from the NHS or Public Health England regarding an infectious illness.  I will not accept a child with conjunctivitis who still has discharge coming from their eyes or a child with untreated head lice.  This is to minimise the risk of the transmission of an infection to other children, myself or members of my household.  You will be charged when your child cannot attend due to illness.  

Late Payment

If I have not received payment by the 1st of the month, I will issue you with a polite reminder.   I reserve the right to make an additional charge ‘Late Payment Fee’ of £5 per day to cover any bank charges I may have incurred and the administration costs of chasing the late payment.  If I have still not received payment by the 7th day following the original invoice, I reserve the right to cease minding your child with immediate effect and seek legal advice from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years’ (“PACEY”) Solicitors. This may result in you being summoned to attend a hearing at County Court and, if the judge finds in my favour, you will also be liable to the Court for costs.

If you have had a change in personal circumstances and are now struggling to make payments, please let me know so we can make suitable arrangements. It may be that you are now entitled to additional funding through the Childcare element of the Working Tax Credit and other benefits.