Why fees are necessary
The Department of Education and Training (DET) provides per capita funding as a contribution toward the costs of providing the Four Year Old Group kindergarten program. DET also provides a Kindergarten Fee Subsidy that enables children from eligible families to attend a Four Year Old kindergarten program free of charge, or at a minimal cost. Government funding (through DET) for the Three year Old Group will commence at Pope Road Kindergarten in 2022. DET also provides funding to assist eligible three-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and children known to Child Protection, to access kindergarten programs. The kindergarten meets the balance of cost through fees and fundraising.
Kindergartens rely on prompt payment of fees to meet the operational costs. Pope Road Kindergarten provides a range of support options to families who may be experiencing difficulty with payment of fees (see below).
Kindergarten fee deposit: A non-refundable $100 payment secures a child’s place at the kindergarten and is payable on acceptance of enrolment. The deposit is retained as part payment on term fees. Families eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy will have the fee deposit retained to offset the refundable Maintenance Levy that is payable with Term 1 fees. This deposit will be refunded upon completion of the required number of working bees. This is not intended to be a barrier to participation. Families experiencing hardship can discuss any issues with the Enrolment Officer or Nominated Supervisor. While this deposit is non-refundable, the Enrolment Officer has the authority to refund the deposit if a child withdraws from the program and the place is filled by another child prior to the commencement of Term 1.
Excursion/entertainment/centre event charge: Events that are planned ahead are included as an expenditure item in the kindergarten’s budget and do not incur an additional charge. An additional charge may be made to cover the cost of special events or excursions that occur at different times throughout the year to support the learning and teaching program.
Refundable Maintenance Levy: The refundable Maintenance Levy is $100 per family (Four Year Old Group) and $75 per family (Three Year Old Group) based on the group of the eldest child. At the end of each year this levy is refunded to each family who participate in a minimum of 3 Working Bees (Four Year Old Group) or 2 Working Bees (There Year Old Group). A minimum of 2 hours attendance at each working bee is required.
This is not intended to be a barrier to participation. Families experiencing hardship can discuss any issues with a member of the Enrolment Officer or Nominated Supervisor.
Late collection charge: The Approved Provider of Pope Road Kindergarten reserves the right to implement a late collection charge if families are frequently late in collecting a child from the service. Full details are available in the Fees Policy, by request.
Special purpose levy: The Approved Provider may introduce a special purpose levy to raise funds over a number of years for major expenditure items, for example playground redevelopment. To comply with the kindergarten fee subsidy – fees policy guidelines eligible concession card holders will be encouraged, but will not be required, to pay the levy. Information will be provided to parents/guardians about the period the special levy will be applied for.
Statement of fees and charges
A statement of fees and charges for Four Year Old or Three Year Old kindergarten will be provided to families on enrolment.
Payment of accounts
Fees will be invoiced to parents/guardians directly and must be paid by the date indicated on the invoice. Each invoice will be accompanied by payment instructions. The first term’s fees must be received in full prior to the child commencing at the service. For children enrolled after the commencement of a term, a pro rata invoice will be issued and must be paid in full within 14 days of the child’s commencement at the service. Receipts will be provided for all fee payments.
Invoicing, receipting and collection of fees
Fee information will be provided to parents/guardians with the information package sent prior to enrolment. Fee information provided will include:
- Fee Payment Agreement (Attachment 2/3)
- Fee Schedule (Attachment 4)
- Fee Policy Summary (Attachment 5)
- Internet Banking details (Attachment 6)
Difficulty in paying fees
Parents/guardians experiencing difficulties paying fees are requested to contact a committee or staff member to arrange suitable alternative payment arrangements, such as an installment plan.
If fees are not paid by the due date, the following steps will be taken.
- An initial reminder email will be sent to parents/guardians with a specified payment date, and will include information on a range of support options available for the family.
- If payment or alternative payment arrangements are not made by the extended due date the Assistant Secretary will make a follow up phone call to the family to discuss payment arrangements.
- Where payment is still not received, families will be invited to attend a meeting to discuss the range of support options available and establish a payment plan.
Failure to attend the meeting and continued non-payment may result in a second and final letter notifying parents/guardians that the child’s place at the service may be withdrawn unless payment is made or a payment plan is entered into within a specified period of time.
- This letter will also include information on a range of support options available for the family.
- The Approved Provider will continue to offer support and will reserve the right to employ the services of a debt collector.
- If a decision is made to withdraw the child’s place at the service, the parents/guardians will be provided with 14 days’ notice in writing.
Refund of fees
If a family becomes eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy during a term, a full refund of the applicable term fees (and fee deposit, where appropriate) will be provided. In any other case, fees are non-refundable (exceptional circumstances may apply – these are at the discretion of the Approved Provider. There will be no refund of fees in the following circumstances:
- a child’s short-term illness
- public holidays
- family holiday during operational times
- closure of the service for one or more days when a qualified educator is absent and a qualified reliever is not available, for staff training days or due to extreme and unavoidable circumstances
In addition, there will be no refund where a family chooses not to send their child to the program for the maximum number of hours for which they are enrolled.
Full details of any refunds/pro-rata refunds are available in the full Fees Policy. Please contact us for a copy.
Discount for Annual Payment
Where a family elects to pay for the full year and makes this payment by the due date they will be given a settlement discount of $20.
If fees are collected for the full year and the child leaves the service during the year, this policy allows for a parent/guardian to obtain a refund for the terms the child did not attend.
Multiple birth/child discount
Families with more than one child attending the centre (in the same or different groups) in the same year will be eligible for a multiple child discount. The fee discount for the multiple child discount is for the second and subsequent child/ren; the eldest child will be charged the full fee. Examples:
- Twins attending the four-year-old (funded) program in the same or different groups: $30 per annum deducted from term 1 Fees for the second child.
- Second/subsequent child/ren in the three-year-old program: $10 per annum deducted from Term 1 Fees.
- The refundable maintenance levy is charged once per family based on the group of the eldest child.
The Pope Road Blackburn Preschool Association discount for triplets or quadruplets does not apply for the four-year-old (funded) program as families are eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy.