We know that many parents mistakenly think that the ‘funding’ we receive from the government for each child’s Pre-school space is whatever the Pre-school charges for a session. Sadly, this is not true. The government decides on a funding rate to give to the Pre-school and we have to accept it whether or not it covers our costs. Parents have been told they are receiving a ‘free’ space but this is untrue and very unfair. Our Local Authority currently pay us £5.48 per hour for each funded 3 & 4-year-old child, but the predicted cost for providing an hour at our Pre-school this year is £6.50 (and this is just to break even, not to make any profit to invest).
All of these massive cost increases hit us hard and our funding does not cover it. We are pleased to be able to support working parents and offer the 30 hours of funding as well as the universal 15 hours for all other funded children, however, it will be at a huge cost to the Pre-school and I hope we can continue to survive in the years to come.
We ask for a voluntary donation for all funded children. These contributions are currently set at just 1.05p per session and will help us to cover the difference between our break-even rate and the amount of funding we get.
Government funding is intended to cover the costs of The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework. In December 2016 the Department for Education issued guidance on charging for additional costs and stated that “Parents can therefore expect to pay for any meals offered by the provider alongside their free entitlement. Parents can also expect to pay for other consumables or additional activities offered by the provider”.
Our additional charges (shown on our invoices as Service Charge) include the following:
· Healthy snack food (morning and afternoon session)
· Cooking / baking ingredients and resources
· Craft supplies
· Sensory / messy play resources
· Personal care consumables
· Additional activities such as hatching ducklings and butterflies
· Educational visitors to the Pre-school
The additional charges also contribute to our ‘Quality Premium’ which is our commitment to you to always offer:
· Higher than the minimum staff to child ratio
· Higher than the minimum practitioner qualifications
· Higher than the minimum practitioner training
· Your child’s ‘Learning and Development Story’ which will include quality observations, reviews and colour photographs which you can keep.
Paying the donation is not compulsory but you will need to talk to us about providing some of your own resources if you choose not to donate. This will include bringing in your child’s snack food and contributing cooking ingredients or craft supplies so that your child does not miss out on any activities.