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Pre school committee and charitable status...please help

(6 Posts)
ajf759 Wed 02-Oct-13 00:38:17

I'm lucky to be on a very active pre school committee but I'm concerned that we are being asked to convert to being a charity. We are simply a parent run pre school at the moment... no other formal status. The charity status itself doesn't bother me but I'm worried that the contingency funds that we've saved over the years will be taken away. We can spend some I know and a small contingency can remain but I don't feel it's fair to have a chunk taken away that was raised by previous parents. But the charity commission will not allow pre schools to hold large sums of money. Has anyone else been through this process and are there any other options please. Advice gratefully received. Has anyone looked into being a community interest company? Ideally we want to stay as we are though but not sure we can.

There is a PTA group, based in kent but national. This is the sort of dilemma I see on facebook. It might be worth contacting them and seeing if you can join as a pre-school.

ajf759 Wed 02-Oct-13 13:02:40

Thanks for that. I'll look in to it but I think PTAs still have to have charitable status so I don't know whether we'll be any better off.

sixminutespeace Wed 02-Oct-13 21:35:34

Hi, How much are you talking about with the large sum? I am involved with a small charitable pre-school and we have approx £45,000 in bank at present. We have a reserves policy and as long as you show you have a valid reason for holding that amount things seem to be ok. We don't have any dealings with the charities commission except for once a year we submit our accounts.

ajf759 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:53:59

Thanks for that - very useful info.

MrsPnut Tue 08-Oct-13 13:59:47

I've been involved in a charity pre-school, a charity PTA and have also been an accountant in a charity.

What sixminutes says is right, so long as you can justify why you have that amount in reserves then the charity commission will accept it. In fact as you are an employer then you should have as a minimum about 3 month running costs including salaries and redundancy payments in reserves in case of closure. Also if you can demonstrate that you are saving for something, replacing a large item of equipment or moving premises then that money can be ring fenced.
The charity commission are really helpful towards small charities and your local pre-school learning alliance worker should also be able to put you in touch with some other committees in similar situations.

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