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Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool
*Payment of Fees Policy


QUALITY AREA 7:LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE MANAGEMENT

PRESCHOOL FEES POLICY

 

POLICY: The centre will provide an affordable quality children’s service for all families.

 

BACKGROUND:

Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool is a not-for-profit,community based preschool that aims to provide affordable quality childcare for families.

All children have a right of equal access to quality children’s services, regardless of economic status, cultural background or disability.

The fees charged, with funds received from the Department of Education and Communities, and fundraising, must cover operating costs. These include staff salaries, personal leave and holiday pay,superannuation, relief staff, in-service training, replacement of worn out equipment, acquisition of new equipment and materials for the children, office materials, telephone, electricity, cleaning, maintenance and repairs.

In order to continue to provide an affordable,quality service, the preschool must charge fees that allow it to remain economically viable.

This community based preschool is run by a Management Committee and is dependent upon voluntary participation from a number of families and community members.

Financially disadvantaged families require financial assistance and information about other financial and support services to be able to access this service.

Our service’s financial health and access to our service will be maximised by ensuring families are aware of all fees and fee payment requirements upon enrolment.

 

RELEVANT LEGISLATION:

·       Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010

·       Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: 168 (2)(n)

·       Family Law Act 1975 as amended 2011

 

LINKS TO NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD:

·      7.1.1 Appropriate governance arrangements are in place to manage the service.

·       7.3.2 Administrative systems are established and maintained to ensure the effective operation of the service

·       7.3.5 Service practices are based on effectively documented policies and procedures that are available at the service and reviewed regularly.

 

PRACTICE:

 

Setting Fees

  • The fees are set by the Management Committee, balancing the need to provide an affordable quality service and at the same time remain economically viable.

 

  • Fees are set at the end of Term 2 for the following year. This allows the Director to provide details of fees to parents enrolling their children for the following year.

 

  • In setting fees the Management Committee will examine the current Budget, likely future financial liabilities and receive advice from the Accounts Officer and Director.

 

Fees

  • Fee invoices are issued twice a term. Where possible these are issued by email. If not, paper invoices will be provided. Fees are paid in advance, by the date due on the invoice, usually within 2 weeks of receiving the invoice.

 

  • Families wishing to pay weekly, fortnightly etc., may do so after informing the Director.

 

  • Fees are payable by cheque, money order, internet or direct deposit into bank, to minimise security risks. The preschool does NOT accept cash for payment of fees.

 

  • Fee envelopes containing payment are placed in the wall slot marked “Fees” - situated to the left of the office door.

 

  • Receipts are emailed to families, or if email not available, paper copies are issued.

 

  • Fees are payable if the child is sick or on holiday during the school term. Fees are not paid for school holidays, but are payable for all public holidays falling within the term.

 

  • Fees are not subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST)

 

 

Advance

  • New children starting preschool, and children returning for a second year at preschool are required to pay an Advance. These fees are kept as a ‘holding fee’ until the last weeks of term 4, where they will be deducted from that fee period. If a child’s place at the preschool is cancelled before they start, they automatically forfeit 2/3 of the Advance.

 

  • After a child commences, 2 weeks notice is required if the child is leaving preschool, or 2 weeks of the “holding fee” will be kept in lieu of notice. If a 2 week notice is given, the entire Advance will be refunded.

 

  • As it is difficult to fill vacancies later in the year, should a child’s place be cancelled during 4th term they will lose the entire Advance.

 

 

Fee Relief/Affordability      

  • The Department of Education and Communities provides funding to the pre-school. A portion of this money is allocated towards fee subsidy, to assist economically disadvantaged families in meeting the cost of care in our service.

 

  • The centre provides financial assistance to financially disadvantaged and vulnerable families, according to criteria set by Department of Education and Communities.

 

  • The actual subsidy varies from time to time according to the number of families requesting assistance.

 

  • Families with a Health Care Card are eligible for fee relief subsidy.

 

  • Families requesting fee relief complete an Affordability Assistance Application Form and return it to the Director.

 

Child Care Benefit

  • Families using child care can claim Child Care Benefit for Registered Care if they are;
    • Working (including full time, part time or casual work, self employment, unpaid sick leave, paid or unpaid maternity leave or setting up a business)
    • Actively looking for paid work (including being in receipt of Newstart or Youth Allowance)
    • Studying or training (including voluntary or unpaid work to   improve your skills)
    • A person with a disability
    • Caring for a child or adult with a disability, or
    • Your partner is in goal or living outside Australia

 

 

  • Standard preschool receipts are accepted as an official Receipt for Registered Child Care.

 

Overdue Fees

  • The preschool’s financial viability is dependent on families paying fees promptly.

 

  • When invoices are issued families are given 2 weeks to pay fees.

 

  • If fees have not been paid within 2 weeks of this due date a late fee note/email will be sent to families requesting payment. This will be followed up with an email and/ or phone call if fees continue to remain unpaid.

 

  • If a family is having difficulty paying fees the Director will discuss this with the family. A payment plan may be developed to assist families in paying the fees. If the payment plan is not completed the child’s position at the preschool will be discontinued.

 

  • If fees have not been paid within the next 2 weeks a child’s position at the preschool will be discontinued. The matter may be referred to a debt collector.

 

Late Collection Charge

  • The preschool is only licensed to have children on the premises between 9am and 3pm. Our service reserves the right to implement a late collection charge when parents/guardians have not collected their child/ren from the service before closing time.

 

  • If families are late collecting their child they will sign in the Late Collection Book. If they are late on more than two occasions they will be required to pay $1/minute late on each occasion.

 

Information

  • The Centre provides regular information on fees and affordability assistance in the Preschool Handbook, Newsletters and signs on notice board.

 

Roles and Responsibilities:

 

The Approved Provider

 

  • Ensure the service operates in line with the Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations 2011.
  • Reviewing the current budget to determine fee income requirements. 
  • Developing a fee policy that balances the parent’s/ guardian’s capacity to pay, with providing a high-quality program and maintaining service viability.
  • Considering any issues regarding fees that may be a barrier to families enrolling at the service and removing those barriers wherever possible.
  • Providing parents/guardians with a statement of fees and charges twice a term.
  • Ensuring that the Fees Policy is readily accessible at the service.
  • Notifying parents/guardians within 14 days of any proposed changes to the fees charged or the way in which the fees are collected.
  • Ensuring a notice outlining the fees charged by the service is displayed prominently in the main entrance to the service.

 

The Nominated Supervisor

 

  • Providing parents/guardians with a statement of fees and charges twice a term.
  • Collecting all relevant information and maintaining relevant documents regarding those with entitlement to concessions, where applicable.
  • Notifying parents/guardians within 14 days of any proposed changes to the fees charged or the way in which the fees are collected.
  • Ensuring a notice outlining the fees charged by the service is displayed prominently in the main entrance to the service.

 

Early Childhood Educators/Certified Supervisors

 

  • Referring parents’/guardians’ questions in relation to this policy to the Approved Provider or Nominated Supervisors.

 

Families

 

  • Reading this policy and referring any questions, queries or concerns to the nominated supervisor.
  • Record the arrival and departure times of their child or children attending care.
  • Pay for any booked day of education and care which falls on a public holiday during term time.
  • Ensure all fees are paid on time. 
  • Provide 2 weeks’ notice of withdrawal from service.
  • Notifying the Approved Provider if experiencing difficulties with the payment of fees.

 

Policy reviewed October 2015

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