Pre School Fee Refund on Snow Days - do you?

(16 Posts)
212VIP Sun 20-Jan-13 14:37:18

Hi,

I am treasurer for a relatively new, small, village pre-school.

We were closed on Friday for weather safety reasons (we have to take advice from the Primary School we rent from).

We are already getting emails feom parents regarding fee refunds. I don't feel we should have to pay back fees. I know it's an almighty pain in the ass but we still have to pay rent and wages.

So I'd just like to know what other people's experiences are?

Thanks.

JustFabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 14:40:57

It is difficult.

I just asked dh if he thought we'd get a refund on our school fees if they shut and I would put my life on being a no refund situation.

I am surprised people are emailing about it, and so soon, it must only be a few pounds if that and as you say, you still have to pay the rent, etc.

Will you still pay the staff who didn't work?

nannynick Sun 20-Jan-13 14:48:36

Rent, Wages, Business Rates, all sorts of things still apply regardless of if children are in attendance or not.

If children are getting funding (so those age 3+, unless you offer 2 year old funding) then I don't think you can refund, as the parents are not paying in the first place (the funding comes from the local authority).

For parents who pay full fee, then it is a difficult decision to make. You can see the parents viewpoint but can they see yours?

What is your policy for Bank Holidays? That is a similar situation... costs involved but children not present.

mnistooaddictive Sun 20-Jan-13 14:50:45

We don't refund for snow days, it is harsh but we struggle to make ends meet. Private day nurseries don't refund for snow days so we don't. In exceptional circumstances we may l

mnistooaddictive Sun 20-Jan-13 14:51:28

We don't refund for snow days, it is harsh but we struggle to make ends meet. Private day nurseries don't refund for snow days so we don't. In exceptional circumstances we may look at it but one day, no way!

mnistooaddictive Sun 20-Jan-13 14:51:53

Sorry for duplicate post

ImpatientOne Sun 20-Jan-13 14:55:11

Different I know but related to JustFabulous point above - when I was at school it closed for snow for 2 days but reopened on the 3rd day (Friday) as otherwise fees would've had to be refunded. Hardly any students were there but obviously financially it was worth it!

There was obviously a policy in place, I realise this isn't helpful now but might be worth thinking about for the future.

Blackqueen Sun 20-Jan-13 14:59:01

We don't refund either provided its only the odd day or two, if the weather was so bad that we had to close for more than a couple of days then we would but that would also mean the staff wouldn't get paid. Make sure you have a written policy adopted by the committee that states exactly what you would do and then you've covered yourselves.

mellowcat Sun 20-Jan-13 15:02:31

I don't think you should refund. If you wanted to do something though, could you offer the families an extra session for free to be given at your discretion when you have a space.

If you pay costs (such as staff) then you shouldn't refund. DD's nursery doesn't refund and I am happy with that, but if they didn't pay the staff I would be very annoyed.

TiggyD Sun 20-Jan-13 15:44:46

If you went to a restaurant and they turned you away because they were too busy, would you still expect to pay for a meal?

NickNacks Sun 20-Jan-13 15:48:17

As a childminder if I make the decision to close then I refund, if the parents can't make it in or choose not to send the child then I will not refund. I don't think it's fair to take the service away but say 'we're keeping your money'. hmm

nannynick Sun 20-Jan-13 15:57:52

Are places paid for on a per-term basis, or as pay-as-you-go?
If pay as you go, then TiggyD has a point. However a lot of childcare is paid on a longer term basis, it is under contract, there is a notice period to be given to terminate that contract.

As a new small pre-school I doubt that you could afford to refund. You may be able to offer an additional session (if you are not always full) which may be useful as a good-will gesture but could that offer be made to every child attending?

LIZS Sun 20-Jan-13 16:00:04

If you still have to pay for staff and hire of room then no. You could try to offer an alternative day but it could get complicated.

212VIP Mon 21-Jan-13 07:46:47

Thanks all.
Yes we still have to pay staff wages as they're all on monthly contracts.
And rent etc.
We do have 3+ funded places but its more complicated than that, as a lot of the children go for 5 full days and so the 15 hours funded doesn't cover it and they still have fees to pay on top.
We invoice for a half term and fees are payable in advance.
We're supposedly open again today so I'll wait and see what enquiries come in. Thanks for all your help.
Better look at our policy wording.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 21-Jan-13 07:50:28

Our nursery charges us, but they have a snow policy that covers this.

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