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One for preschool staff / committee

(10 Posts)
ExpectoPatronum Fri 15-Jul-11 17:27:35

Can I ask how you all manage the following?

When parents pay fees (or other money, e.g. for trips), what process do you follow?

Do you issue receipts? If so, are they issued there and then, or when the money finally gets to the administrator / treasurer?

I'm the administrator, but I work p/t and across a couple of sites, so I'm not always there at the start and end of sessions to sort out money.

If there's any dispute about whether or not someone's paid their fees, there's no real audit trail of whether the money came in in the first place, was it handed to staff on the door, was it then passed to me, did I bank it.... it's impossible to see where the process has broken down.

I probably haven't explained this very well, but I'm hoping someone will understand what I mean!

cate16 Fri 15-Jul-11 18:19:03

We issue receipts when taking any cash - it is counted out in front of them and receipt written there and then.
Cheques are ticked off and dated on a 'main list' - receipts not offered unless asked for (saves time!)
Admin comes in checks list - updates, and take copies of any receipts.

bubaboy2002 Sun 17-Jul-11 19:32:14

Hi All,

Have taken over as Chair of my youngest son's preschool this April due to preschool having to close without one. Alos have a new treasurer and secretary (who was previous tres)
Feeling like a fish out of water completely! Could really do with some advice on bad payers and any on how to be a good chair !!!
Am a bit overwhelmed at the mo and wishing i hadnt agreed to do it but at same time want to make a difference and help out.
We are having a few issues with late payers does anyone have copy of a suitable policy for late payments? Staff morale is alittle low due to a much loved member of staff moving on in her carear, any advice is gratefully recieved x

cat64 Sun 17-Jul-11 19:35:32

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cat64 Sun 17-Jul-11 19:38:04

Message withdrawn

strandednomore Sun 17-Jul-11 19:40:48

bubaboy2002 - there are courses that you can go on. I am a treasurer at dd2's preschool and we have been booked on What Your Committee Can Do (or something), it's only 2 hours but hopefully it will answer a lot of these sort of questions. It's done through PATA who also pay for it so worth looking into?

ExpectoPatronum Sun 17-Jul-11 20:38:27

bubaboy, we have a one-page parental contract that we get parents of fee-paying children to sign before their child starts.

I run the invoices in the first week of each half term, parents get them in the post (so they all get them the same day), and it states the date by which it has to be paid (usually 2 weeks hence).

I have a spreadsheet in which I record the money paid and the date it was paid. Then one day after the payment date I run another mailmerge that generates 'red' invoices for any parents who still haven't paid.

Finally, one week after that, we would send a final demand letter to anyone who hasn't paid (but it hasn't ever got to that).

We do, however, have a statement that appears on every invoice, which reads 'If you are experiencing difficulties in paying your child's fees, please contact our Preschool Administrator as soon as possible, in order that we can agree alternative payment terms'.

I have had people do this, and then we agree for them to pay a little bit each week, or whatever is going to be the best way to do it.

IME, there's scant correlation between promptness of payment and ability to pay. Some of the worst offenders are the disorganised affluent.

bubaboy2002 Mon 18-Jul-11 16:37:37

Many Thanks all, there is a basic system in place but it is very open to be taken advantage/easy to forget, I am re writing this with the treasurer for approval from committee over the summer holidays. The prospectus at present says that fees may be paid daily weekly or monthly which I personally think is too much choice and could become unclear on who is paying what and when.
There is now a signed copy of the contract between the preschool and parents stating which sessions are being taken and that parents agree that payments must be in advance which parents signed last week (although this was in the prospectus I wanted a signature of acknowledgement) I am just concerned that it is not going to be easy implimenting it as the staff do not want to be involved in handing invoices to parents for late payments, would it be better practise for this all be done via post?
If it ever gets to it who would actually stop the parents (2 have over £100 debt even though they have had several reminders) from dropping off a child to a session (non funded) that has not been paid for?
Once again many thanks for help and advice, I must sound like a moron! Xx

ExpectoPatronum Mon 18-Jul-11 16:48:46

I would definitely encourage you to send invoices, especially chasing ones, by post rather than handing them over.

I think people tend to take things coming in the post in a DL envelope a bit more seriously, plus it allows you to separate the care of the child from the finance / business part.

It's fair enough that your staff should be allowed to focus on building pleasant, trusting relationships with the family rather than pursuing bad debt.

Barring a child from preschool should really be your last resort (I'm sure that it already is your last resort!). If I had a parent who was a persistent non-payer, and who wouldn't make any effort to make even sporadic payments, then I would wait until the end of the half term, and then write to the parent saying that because of their failure to pay their bill, their child's sessions in preschool would be suspended as of the beginning of next term. The parents would have to be spectacularly hard-faced to get this letter and still bring the child to their sessions.

Sometimes you have to weigh it up a bit though.... if you had a new 3 y.o who was self-funding at the moment and the parents weren't paying, but you knew that in September you could claim 15 hours a week from the council for them, it might be inadvisable to kick them out and then lose out on all their funding next year. Obviously this would depend enormously on whether or not you could fill the place with another child from the waiting list.

bubaboy2002 Tue 19-Jul-11 21:29:33

Many thanks for your help on this one ladies am most grateful. x

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