Some helpful information about Fees, Standing orders and Accounts.

Piggy bank

The following sections seek to set out some important points, reiterate policies, and capture some of the learning that we have acquired over the years!

Generally updated 4th August 2017



Contact details: Also printed on every invoice

Email: Accounts@SmallWorldMontessori.co.uk Accounts@SmallWorldMontessori.co.uk
Telephone (with answer phone) 01865 326 660
Postal address: 89 Bagley Wood Road, Kennington, Oxford, OX1 5NA

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Dates that Small World will be closed

Proposed closure dates over four years, subject to change.   Please confirm these dates before making decisions or bookings based on these dates. We try to match our closures to those of the local council to help parents with children at school.

Standing order calculations take into account all of these dates, including provisional dates, from the start of the calculation through to the term of the calculation (usually 12 months)

Unless listed here or otherwise published, Small World is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm every weekday (closed all day Saturday & Sunday)

Specifically updated 4th August 2017


Christmas Break 2017/8

We will close on Friday 15th December 2017 at 4:00 pm
We will re-open on Tuesday 2rd January 2018 at 9:00 am

Specific dates that Small World will be closed (some provisional)

2015 2016 2017 2018
New Year's day Thu 1-Jan-15 Fri 1-Jan-16 Mon 1-Jan-18
Fri 2-Jan-15 Mon 2-Jan-17 Tue 2-Jan-18
Good Friday Fri 3-Apr-15 Fri 25-Mar-16 Fri 14-Apr-17 Fri 30-Mar-18
Easter Monday Mon 6-Apr-15 Mon 28-Mar-16 Mon 17-Apr-17 Mon 2-Apr-18
May Day Mon 4-May-15 Mon 2-May-16 Mon 1-May-17 Mon 7-May-18
Spring holiday Mon 25-May-15 Mon 30-May-16 Mon 29-May-17 Mon 28-May-18
Late summer Mon 31-Aug-15 Mon 29-Aug-16 Mon 28-Aug-17 Mon 27-Aug-18
Christmas closure Mon 21-Dec-15 Mon 19-Dec-16 Mon 18-Dec-17 Fri 21-Dec-18
Tue 22-Dec-15 Tue 20-Dec-16 Tue 19-Dec-17 Mon 24-Dec-18
Wed 23-Dec-15 Wed 21-Dec-16 Wed 20-Dec-17 Tue 25-Dec-18
Thu 24-Dec-15 Thu 22-Dec-16 Thu 21-Dec-17 Wed 26-Dec-18
Fri 25-Dec-15 Fri 23-Dec-16 Fri 22-Dec-17 Thu 27-Dec-18
Mon 28-Dec-15 Mon 26-Dec-16 Mon 25-Dec-17 Fri 28-Dec-18
Tue 29-Dec-15 Tue 27-Dec-16 Tue 26-Dec-17
Wed 30-Dec-15 Wed 28-Dec-16 Wed 27-Dec-17
Thu 31-Dec-15 Thu 29-Dec-16 Thu 28-Dec-17
Fri 30-Dec-16 Fri 29-Dec-17

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After school - term dates

After school fees are based on the published Oxfordshire County Council term dates as published at
http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/termdates (Opens in another tab)

Inset days, when the school is also closed, are based on St Swithuns as published at
http://www.StSwithunsSchool.co.uk/School-Calendar (Opens in another tab)

If your school term dates differ from these, you should not be charged extra for additional term time sessions, but equally you may be charged for days when your child is on holiday compared with these dates.

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Other dates and published documents with dates

DocumentPublished
Closure and dates for 2017Tue 31-Jan-2017
Closure for 2017 and 2018Tue 31-Jan-2017
2017 datesTue 31-Jan-2017

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Invoices will not match your fixed monthly standing order payment

Invoices will vary every month since they are billed for exactly the number of attendance pattern days.   The fairest way to bill.

You pay a fixed amount from a standing order calculation.   The cheapest and most helpful way, for your budgeting, to pay.

The two will not match and your balance will do up and down.   We worry about that, using an accounts system to track it all and will contact you if necessary.   You should not change your standing order, unless advised by us, please.   We can occasionally provide full details and reconciliation of all the transactions.

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Fees are charged for a pattern agreed and vary each month

Fees are charged and invoiced monthly.   The charges are calculated from the attendance pattern agreed, not for actual attendance.   You are still charged when you are on holiday if the nursery is open.   You are not charged for bank holidays or other days when the nursery is closed.

Monthly invoices vary each month depending on the number of days that your child attends in that month.   You will receive an invoice by email.   Please check the invoice for any extra or extended sessions charged and immediately query any discrepancies.

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Standing order - the cheapest way to pay

After vouchers, a monthly standing order is the cheapest way to pay for fees

A standing order will

  • ensure that you don't forget the payment or amount
  • give us a consistent reference on our bank statement, allowing us to automate the recognition of your payment
    • ensuring reliability of recognition of your money and posting of receipt to your SAGE account
    • with the least amount of work or overhead

A standing order

  • is an instruction that you give to your bank to pay the same amount each month on the same day of the month
  • is not a bank transfer that you make for the correct amount even if on the correct date
  • is something that only you can set-up and only you can change, probably online
  • is not a direct debit. We cannot unfortunately operate direct debits.

Please do not stop or change your monthly standing order payment except with prior agreement, even if your account briefly moves into credit.   It has been our experience that most standing orders calculated only just match that which is billed.   We monitor your balance and will contact you if you're standing order is out of line with your monthly bills.
Please do ensure that we have your email address correct (printed on most invoices)

+ See also   Click to expand

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Fees are payable in advance by fixed monthly standing order

Payment for fees is by monthly standing order.   Payment is required in advance, so for a particular month must be received no later than the 5th of that month (allowing for bank holidays).

For first payments, before a standing order can be setup (or in exceptional and explicitly agreed circumstances), please pay by bank transfer or, if absolutely necessary, by cheque payable to Small World Nursery Ltd.

Please also see Why does the standing order calculation change?

For vouchers to reach us in time, we recommend setting their payment date to be the 27th. See also vouchers.

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Our bank details: for standing orders, bank transfers and (if necessary) cheques

Bank HSBC (Abingdon)
Sort code: 40-08-10
Account name: Small World Nursery Ltd
Account number: 11199579
IBAN GB21MIDL40081011199579
SWIFT MIDLGB2116A

Please make cheques payable to Small World Nursery Ltd
These can be posted to 89 Bagley Wood Road, Kennington, OX1 5NA

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Payment default charges: Please contact us early with any issue

Please remember that it is a requirement to pay by monthly standing order in advance.   Failure to do so may incur charges.   These can often be avoided if you contact us early.

£15.00 monthly Charged if not paying by the standing order: either for an amount not advised, or with varying bank references.   You may be charged in a month that you do pay by standing order, since the charge is in arrears - that is, it is for the previous month.
£25.00 Late payment fee charged if monies not fully received into our bank account by 5th of the month
£25.00 Late collection of a child from nursery, not previously or exceptionally agreed.   Please do arrive on or before the end time of the attendance pattern or session that your child is attending.

See also Additional fees and charges

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Additional fees and charges

Ad-hoc charges are made for items or sessions such as...

  • Extended sessions, with prior agreement, either arriving early or leaving later than normal

  • Extra sessions, with prior agreement, in addition to a normal pattern of attendance

  • Session swaps, with prior agreement and at Small World's exclusive discretion
    Typically from one week into the next and per child - not interchangeable between siblings

  • Loan of waterproofs, expensive gear that Small World provides children for the duration

  • "Jellies" or Shoes, provided as appropriate

  • Books and Christmas gifts, provided to all children

  • Tea towels, Photographs & the like, ordered by you

  • Late collection charges, for late collection of a child from nursery, not previously or exceptionally agreed.
    Please do arrive on or before the end time of the attendance pattern or session that your child is attending.

these charges will appear on monthly invoices before or after the event or supply, at times several months later.

An estimate from past history of ad-hoc fees is added to the standing order calculation.   "Likely monthly additions - based on actuals from last 3 to 12 months".   If the history does not reflect a new pattern of ad-hoc charges, this will need to be discussed, agreed and adjusted manually.

See also Payment default charges: Please contact us early with any issue

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Vouchers: Saving you money, but be aware of the pitfalls

Vouchers offer a means of saving tax and national insurance on the first £56 spent on childcare each week (£243 per month).   Your employer will arrange for this to be deducted from your salary.   Both parents in employment can claim.

See offical details and a calculator at https://www.gov.uk/childcare-vouchers-better-off-calculator

Please note carefully: Small World does not accept paper vouchers and can only accept vouchers with reliable remittance advice.   We do not accept vouchers through Busy Bees. See also more on vouchers.

Initially vouchers can take a long time to come through.   You will be required to pay the first month or even two in full until your voucher payments are actually received by us, even when your salary sacrifice says you have paid.

In addition the voucher companies sometime do not tell us whose payment they are making - so we have monies but do not know which parent to credit these to. This sometimes simply takes time (and effort) to resolve, and may require you having to make up the difference in the meantime.   See also more on vouchers.

Voucher payments received after the 5th will be taken as advanced payment for next month's fees.   To reliably have your vouchers arrive on time you will probably need to set the payment date to before the 28th of the prior month (or contact your voucher provider to ask them why they take so long to forward your money to us!)

See also Voucher companies and other references and More on vouchers, what Small World cannot do.

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Voucher companies and other references

Small World's Ofsted registration number is 133393

References for Small World by voucher companies...

Voucher Provider Reference Links open in another tab or window
Busy Bees 4945 We do NOT accept vouchers from this company
www.busybeesbenefits.com
allsave Ltd 201608 ? www.allsaveuk.com
Care-4 430 506 83 www.care-4.co.uk
Chamber Childcare None known www.chamberchildcare.co.uk
childcareplus 8655 or 29881 www.childcare-plus.co.uk
Co-operative (Midcounties) 85 000 170 www.flexiblebenefits.coop
Computershare Voucher Services Ltd 00 0784 4142 www.computersharevoucherservices.com
Edenred (formally Accor Services) P20 020 733 www.edenred.com
Faircare None known www.faircare.co.uk
Fideliti Childcare SMA061C www.fideliti.co.uk
Gemelli CCV SM0332 www.GemelliChildcareVouchers.co.uk
KiddiVouchers 31331 ? www.kiddivouchers.com
Kids Unlimited 437 www.kidsunlimited.co.uk
Leapfrog (now Computershare Vouchers) SMA/175 www.computersharevoucherservices.com
P&MM None known www.p-mm.co.uk
PES 04744 http://pesconsulting.co.uk
RG Childcare None known www.RGchildcare.co.uk
Sodexo/Sodexho 128369 www.SayCareVouchers.co.uk

See also Vouchers: Saving you money, but be aware of the pitfalls

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Vouchers: More on vouchers, what Small World cannot do, unfortunately

We encourage you to pay using vouchers and to benefit from the savings provided.   There are, however, some things (set out below) that we cannot help with.   Instead, with all of these, please contact your employer or voucher provider direct.

◊  We only receive payment; we cannot resolve why payment has not been made.   Further, you may be charged a late payment fee should a regular voucher remittance and it's advice not reach us in time.

◊  We will not redeem paper, or electronic, vouchers.   Your vouchers require to be paid directly into Small World's bank account with no action or requirement on us.   Your voucher provider requires to provide a remittance advice for all voucher direct to Small World by email or letter. See our bank details.

◊  We cannot credit your account without a remittance advice.   This is important and without compliance to this requirement, you may lose money!   Without a remittance advice it is impossible to determine who to allocate the credit to.   PM&M have done this in the past and we strongly recommend you petitioning your employer never to use them for voucher services.   We do not accept vouchers through Busy Bees because they do not provide remittance advice that can reliably tell us who it is for!

◊  We cannot contact your voucher provider.   Data protection laws mean that we cannot talk about your account with anyone else.   This includes, but is not limited to, initial setup.   Your employer, not you or Small World, have the contract and the contact with the provider!   The voucher provider can, of course, contact Small World to setup initial & generic payment and remittance advice processes, only.   Please do not ask us to contact them.

◊  We cannot directly refund you monies received through vouchers.   You save tax by paying with vouchers, we therefore cannot directly refund this money to you.   We can, however, effectively refund voucher receipts from other monies you pay direct, provided sufficient funds have been received not through vouchers.   There may be a charge if refunds are required as a result of mistakes other than by Small World.

See also Vouchers: Saving you money, but be aware of the pitfalls and Voucher companies and other references

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Free sessions: we claim for you, you must complete a declaration each term

Early Years Free Sessions is available to all 3 and 4 year-old children and we automatically claim this on your behalf.   The claim will be for up to 15 of your child's normal weekly attendance pattern, term time only (38 weeks of the year).   These hours will be totally free.

Oxfordshire County Council require a parental declaration form to be filled in and signed every term for every child that receives free sessions and these forms are mandatory.   We will issue each one of you with a form (by email or otherwise).   Please make sure you return the form promptly, as failure to do so results in us not being able to claim your free sessions for you, and so you receiving no money.

Free sessions are taken into account in the standing order calculation and invoices, but only when your child is receiving it.

See also Free Sessions for more details.

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Standing orders: calculated by us, regularly reviewed & setup by you

The monthly standing order amount calculated by us is the average monthly charge that you will incur over the year.   The actual invoices will always be more or less than the standing order.   You don't have to do anything about these variations as they will average out over the year and should be covered by the standing order.

A standing order is an instruction that you setup with your bank, often online, and must be for the amount advised by us.   You should set your standing order for payment on the 1st of the month allowing for the time it takes to credit our account.   It is important to quote your account reference on all payments.

The way we calculate the standing order is to predict what your total annual fees will be and divide the total by twelve.   We incorporate all premiums, discounts and, where applicable, free sessions and voucher payments.   We will advise you of the amount that is required.

We review your account and standing order regularly and will contact you, typically by email, should your payment require to change - often as a result of

  • Becoming eligible for Early Years Free Sessions
  • Changes in attendance pattern
  • Significant or regular extra sessions not originally included in the standing order calculation
  • Missing or delayed voucher or other payments
  • Where your balance has become too much or too little
Remember that monthly invoices vary - you should continue to pay only the advised standing order and vouchers.  

See also Additional fees and charges

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Why does the standing order calculation change?

There are a number of factors that are included in its formula, so it could be any of these...

  1. Your credit or debit balance at the time, which can be effected dramatically by late voucher receipts or remittance that are different from the standing order amount provided by us (warning - this may also incur a charge)

  2. Extra/extended sessions or swaps that were included before but have since stopped or decreased … or the opposite - that are now being regularly taken and weren't included in an earlier calculation

  3. The percentage premium for being under three years old - the calculation is for a whole year and correctly estimate the proportion of that percentage over the whole year (invoices include the whole percentage until the correct date)

  4. A change in pattern of attendance

  5. Impending or new eligibility for free sessions and possible changes in the rules or amount received on your behalf from the local council

  6. The number of days in the coming whole year (rolling 365 days, not calendar year) that Small World is open and your child's attendance pattern occurs

  7. A change in the number, frequency or even date that any payments that you make by voucher are received

All and any of these cause us to regularly review the amount you are paying and to contact you should it need to change.

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More details on standing orders

Monthly standing orders are the required method of payment for regular attendance fees.   This provides you with a fixed and known amount to pay each month rather than the full variable amount shown on each monthly invoice.

Estimate - The standing order calculation is only an estimate and it spreads out all the likely fees and free sessions over a full year.   You are still responsible to pay for the full amount invoiced, but do not do this unless requested (i.e. do not pay the difference between your standing order and your invoice or balance).

Accounts - We keep track, using an accounts package, of all your invoices (debits: fees and extras) and payments (credits: standing orders, vouchers remittances, etc).   This results in a balance on your account shown on each monthly invoice.   This balance will be positive (a debit balance - i.e. you owe us) or negative (a credit balance - i.e. a current overpayment).

Changes - We will contact you if you're standing order needs to change (see also Why does the standing order calculation change?).

Prior agreement - Your monthly standing order must always be the amount agreed in advance with Small World.   Payments should not be suspended or reduced except with prior agreement, even if your account briefly moves into credit.

Final balance - The final balance for a child attending nursery may not be zero even if you have faithfully paid all standing orders and vouchers.   For example the standing order calculation includes you paying the same amount for December when your monthly invoice will be lower.   This is the one month that it catches up and your balance may move back from always being in debit to a credit.   If your child leaves before December, your balance is likely to be in debit.

Clarification - You are always responsible for full payment of all sums invoiced - or the outstanding balance on your account - immediately on demand.

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"Likely monthly additions" on your standing order

What are the "likely monthly additions" shown on your standing order calculation?


This is for additional items that you have been billed for or will be billed for, that are not included as part of the attendance pattern or any regular billing.

Additions are things like swaps, extra or extended sessions, outings and the like.   Changes in pattern are not additions.   See also Additional fees and charges

The “likely monthly additions” is not a charge – only invoices are charges.   It is just an adjustment to the amount to pay that experience says works quite well.

The amount incorporated onto your standing order is an estimate based on past experience and additions that have been invoiced.   It seeks to simply adds an amount that will both pay for the past additions and try to ensure no big jump later in the amount you have to pay.

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Your Account Balance explained

Your account balance is the net amount, or total, after all debits (invoices) and all credits (remittances).

Since you pay a fixed amount (standing order and vouchers) but your invoices are variable (depending on the days in the month) there must be something to track this difference = your account balance.  
Your balance will probably mostly be in debit and only come back to zero, or a credit, in December (or February) - when your invoice will be much lower than your payments.  

Please continue only to pay the standing order amount advised by us.   There is no need to clear a debit balance, unless asked to.   Equally we would not normally refund any credit balance until the end of your time with us.

Further to this ...

A positive balance on your invoices means you are in debit (you owe us), negative means you are in credit (we owe you!)

An invoice will add to your account balance.

A credit, remittance, standing order payment, voucher will reduce your account balance.

We use an accounts system to keep track of your account balance.

See also Balance on your invoice

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Balance on your Invoice or Credit Note

The balance on your invoice is your account balance at the time the invoice is produced.   Regular monthly receipts sometime come in before the invoice is produced and sometime after.   You therefore cannot depend on the balance consistently including your standing order payment or voucher remittances at a particular time.

This means that there is often considerable confusion over individual balances.   The best is to wait for the next month's invoices and see that your balance doesn't continue to increase.

Rest assured that...

  • We will contact you, as it says on nearly every invoice, should this be necessary
    A common example is - vouchers stop coming through

  • We use an accounts system to track all invoices and receipts
    and can occasionally, on request, provide detailed statements

Remember that balance issues are not invoice issues.   An invoice adds to your debit balance.  
Typical balance issues are...

  • Timing of receipts and invoices
    As indicated above, this is the most common issue and typically resolves itself over time.   We will contact you if necessary

  • Remittance receipt failure - due to

    • Voucher company providers failing to forward your money
      Small World will not even know to expect the money, so cannot chase it up
      Typically we would contact you if we are not receiving enough money

    • Voucher company providers failing to tell us who to assign a remittance to !
      Stunning though this may be, PM&M for example, regularly used to fail to allow us to allocate your money to you!
      This is, hopefully, now rare.

    • Failure of Small World accounts to recognise who a bank transfer is from
      This type of issue is normally resolved within a month

  • Invoicing errors
    Yes they do happen, albeit very rarely.   You typically will be contacted before you notice, with a correction and our apologies, if applicable.

See also Your Account Balance explained and Fees are charged for a pattern agreed and vary each month

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Deposit payable

A deposit is required to hold a place for your child prior to starting at Small World and in normal circumstances it will be held until the child leaves.

The deposit is calculated based on the agreed original attendance pattern, with a minimum payable of £250.   If the original attendance pattern increases it may be necessary to invoice a top-up for the deposit.

  • The deposit is payable when invoiced
  • A place is not held unless the deposit has been paid

See also Deposit refund

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Deposit refund

See also Deposit payable

Normally, the original deposit will be held until the child leaves and will be refunded within 60 days of the leaving date as follows

  1. All outstanding notes for extended sessions and other services will be invoiced
    So at least one billing cycle will need to happen before this is possible.

  2. The account ledger for the child will be balanced to include the deposit held

  3. The parents will be informed of the balance by email (or alternatively if this fails)

  4. Any resultant credit balance on the ledger will be returned by bank transfer.   An email to confirm or request the bank details required to do this will be sent to the parents.

We do not normally transfer money if a sibling continues with Small World, instead the credit to your account balance will eventually reduce the standing order payment required.

+ Alternatively   Click to expand

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Leaving Small World

Sadly, or excitingly, there will come a time to move on from Small World to a school or further afield.   Here are some accounting notes on the process to help smooth that time.

  1. Give notice.   Preferably as soon as you can, but definitely within your notice period (normally one month)
    An email is fine, but please do expect a reply/confirmation of receipt - so chase if for any reason this important email does not get through.
  2. Continue to pay your standing order & voucher(s) until advised.
  3. When confirmed by us, please do cancel your payments. Cancel any standing order and all voucher remittances.
  4. Inform us of your bank details (sort code & account number) for a refund of deposit originally paid.
  5. Please note that this refund will happen at least one billing cycle after you leave.   More details are published under Deposit refund

We do not normally transfer money if a sibling continues with Small World, instead the credit to your account balance will eventually reduce the standing order payment required.

And of course, well before this, you may need to register for a school of your choice.
More details are published on our Links page under Official links

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