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Q: We charge an hourly rate but most of our children in our After School Club only stay until 4.30 pm so it means that we have to pay for two members of staff to look after just 3 children until 5.30 pm. How can we cover our costs?


It is common practice these days to move away from charging an hourly rate.  Many clubs now charge a Sessional rate which means that parents pay a set fee for a child place for an evening regardless of what time they collect their child. 

The reasoning behind this is that it costs you the same whether the child leaves at 4.30 pm or 5.30 pm.  Once a child has gone home you cannot fill that place but you still have to pay for your second member of staff.  Just explain to the parents that they are paying for a child place and not a period of time and in order for you to continue offering them a service you need to make sure that you cover your costs.

You might need to introduce this change to parents very gently as it does mean that it is going to make it more expensive for them.  Give plenty of warning about the change through letters home or through notices in a newsletter.  Also give them the opportunity to ask you questions about the new system.  If parents understand the reasoning behind this change they might be more willing to accept it.

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