Fees and charges

Registration fees

Providers are not permitted to ask parents to pay a Registration/Administration fee for children in receipt of a fully funded ‘standalone’ place. However, where parents purchase models which include a combination of ‘privately paid for’ and funded hours, this does not affect the provider's right to levy a registration/administration fee.


Providers may ask parents to pay a ‘refundable’ deposit, to secure a child’s early education entitlement place. This deposit must be refunded to the parent, by the end of the first term in which the provider receives the remittance payment of government funding for the named child, from Coventry City Council.

The provider will not be required to refund the deposit where a parent;

  • chooses not to take up the funded place
  • moves the child to a new provider after the start of a new funding term, but before the termly headcount/census date

In line with the Coventry Provider Funding Agreement, a provider must not charge a deposit for a child accessing a two-year funded place.

Child reading a book

Voluntary charges

Providers can charge for meals, snacks and consumables such asnappies, sun cream or for activities such as football coaching, drama,trips and specialist tuition as part of a free entitlement place, although these charges must be voluntary. Where parents are unwilling or unable to opt into these voluntary charges the provider should have a policy in place which highlights alternative options for parents, such as providing their own meals, snacks, sun cream, reducing or waiving the cost of meals, snacks or consumables. The providers’ policy for voluntary charges should include all items, services and activities covered by the voluntary charges, and set out the options available to parents who choose not to opt in. There should be a written agreement in place between the provider and the parent which clearly sets out what items, services and activities are included in the voluntary charge. Providers must ensure that the items included are for direct use by the child and not for standard use with all children across the setting. The additional voluntary charge must not include items suchas art and craft materials which would be considered part of the basic education provision, staff training, personal protective equipment, hygiene or cleaning products. Written agreements should include a section to show whether the parent has opted in or out, and for how long. e.g. termly.

Fee information and payments

Providers must publish clear and transparent fee information, so that parents are aware of the sessions and hours available in respect of funded entitlement hours, any charges for additional ‘privately paid for’ hours, services, meals, snacks and consumables.
Providers should also be clear about their billing approach, frequency and payment methods. For example, whether invoices will be issued on a weekly, equal monthly, variable monthly or termly basis; and whether tax-free childcare and other voucher schemes/discounts can be used if applicable.

Many providers now choose to bill parents in equal monthly amounts; this creates convenience and certainty for both providers and parents in terms of cash-flow. It does however create a couple of infrequent complications which providers must make clear and communicate to affected parents:

  • If a child does not take up a funded place until part-way through the year, parents need to be made aware that their charges for the remainder of the academic year will be spread across fewer monthly payments. This may mean higher payments for these months to cover childcare costs during holiday periods, where a provider operates 52 weeks of the year.
  • If a child leaves the childcare place part-way through a year, the parents may have been paying a higher monthly fee to cover holiday periods which they would then not access. Providers are required to re-calculate the costs incurred for that year to ensure that affected parents have not been overcharged, and to reimburse parents where they have overpaid.

Coventry Business, Sufficiency and Funding Team

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7697 5451


Coventry childcare provider handbook for the delivery of Early Education Entitlement Funding

Download a printable copy