Payment of fees Policy

Rationale:

St Dominic Savio Early Learning Centre is a not for profit organisation. The Centre’s day to day operation depends on the Child Care Benefit (CCB) funding from the Government and the payment of fees from the families. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that families understand our expectations concerning the payment of fees to ensure they pay their fees in full and on time to the Centre, and that our services meet our accounting responsibilities.

Sources :

www.deewr.gov.au

Aims :

  • To ensure the Centre meets all legal and funding requirements.
  • To encourage families to meet their financial responsibilities, so that fee payments are regular and up to date.
  • To ensure that this policy is adhered to by all families utilising the service. Families are to adhere to this policy and speak to the Director if they are experiencing difficulties in maintaining regular fee payments.

Implementation :

  • Parents/guardians using a children's service are required to pay the fees in the first week of each month.
  • Parents can choose how to pay fees by cash, cheque or card, and how often to pay such as weekly, fortnightly or monthly is up to each family according to financial circumstances. Cash payments are to be made in the correct envelope available at the front counter and MUST be handed directly to a Staff member.
  • Procedures for Direct Credit are available to facilitate the effective and efficient payment of fees.
  • Parents are required to sign in/out each day in order for the service to meet requirements for Child Care Benefit.
  • Fees are charged on a daily rate regardless of the hours being used or if the child is absent
  • Two weeks notice is required when a child is leaving the service.
  • Parents are able to take two weeks holidays per calendar year without fees. These days are counted as absence days for the child. Parents need to fill in a “Holiday Notice” form. Holidays longer than two weeks require parents to pay full fees for the remaining weeks.
  • If a child’s place is cancelled for an extended period two weeks notice must be given. A re-enrolment fee of $100.00 is required and there must be a vacancy for the child to attend the Centre again.

REGISTRATION FEES

  • Parents are required to pay $30.00 as registration fees at a child’s enrolment and this fee is not refunded if the child is withdrawn from the Centre.

OUTSTANDING FEES

  • Where fees are more than four weeks in arrears the Centre Co-ordinator will issue a written reminder that fees are outstanding and take all necessary steps to bring fees up to date.
  • Where fees are more than twelve weeks in arrears, a standard letter will then be issued, notifying parents of outstanding fees and a two weeks period to pay all fees or else forfeit their child’s care place.

CHILD CARE BENEFITS (CCB)

  • To obtain Child Care Benefits from the Federal Government parents must fill in the Income Assessment Form and contact Centrelink to arrange an interview.
  • IT IS THE PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO APPLY FOR CHILD CARE BENEFIT; otherwise full fees will be charged.
  • The assessed fees will be applicable from the date issue by the department.
  • Full fees will be charged until the income assessment is received.
  • IT IS THE PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE HIS/HER INCOME REASSESSED EVERY 12 MONTHS UNLESS THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE (WHERE EARLIER REASSESSMENT MAY BE REQUIRED BY CENTRELINK). PARENTS MUST CONTACT CENTRELINK IMMEDIATELY FOR A REASSESSMENT.
  • The Child Care REBATE can be directed to the Centre to also reduce payable fees. The nominated parent must make this arrangement with Centrelink.

ABSENCES

  • Families can still receive CCB for any number of approved absences (e.g. illness with a medical certificate, Rostered Days off or other reasons) but need to provide documents for the absence. Allowable absences (e.g. holiday, illness without certificate) are any day other than those approved and CCB is claimable for a maximum of 42 allowable absences (including public holidays).
  • Families are required to provide a medical certificate for an absence to be considered an “approved absence”.

STARTING AND TERMINATING CARE

  • Families are unable to claim allowable absences prior to child starting care or once the child has finished care. If the child does not start on the due date full fees will be charged for that day.
  • When two weeks notice of termination of care is given, families are eligible for Child Care Benefit for each day the child attends until the child’s last day of care. However, when a child has an allowable absence during that time they are not eligible for Child Care Benefit and full fee must be paid.

WARNINGS

  • Parents/carers will be given their first warning if consistently late in paying their fees.
  • On the second warning, parents will be told the issue will be brought to the attention of the
  • Board of Management and discussed further. All warnings are documented.
  • Consistent failure to pay may result in the place being terminated by the Co-ordinator of the Centre.
  • The Board of Management retains the right to refer families to a debt collecting agency.

COMPLAINTS

  • Any complaint / appeal concerning our application of this policy will be dealt with in the first instance by the Centre Director.
  • Complaints / appeals that cannot be resolved at this level will be referred to the Board of Management.
  • If the parent or customer remains unsatisfied, they may write to:
          Sr Edna Mary MacDonald fma
          Board of Directors
          43 George St
          Scoresby Vic 3147

Review of Procedures and Policy :

The Payment of Fees procedures and policy will be reviewed every year in consultation with Staff and Parents as part of the Centre’s annual review process.