Refunds and Terminating Enrolments (added and approved by committee in March 2019, as part of the Finance Policy, and in consultation with the Australian Consumer Law advisory body)
Any refunds will be processed up to 8 weeks after the child’s last day at the service, to allow sufficient time for any subsidy to be paid or account adjustments to be completed.
The $100 enrolment deposit is non-refundable. It is paid in order to hold a child’s place. If a family changes their mind, they forfeit their deposit. A forfeited deposit does not qualify for the subsidy. If a family attends, then the $100 is credited towards their fees, and the $100 qualifies for the subsidy.
Where amounts remain unpaid or in arrears, families may be subject to debt collection action.
In most cases, a 14 day notice period will be required if a family wishes to terminate a child’s enrolment mid-year. It is important for parents to realise that their fees are not eligible for the government subsidy during those 14 days if the child does not attend (those days can’t be claimed as absences once the child has stopped attending).
Reasons for Termination of Enrolments
A child’s enrolment may be terminated for a few possible reasons, and these determine the refund policy to be used.
Normal end of enrolment
The child has arrived naturally at the end of their GAP year(s), is graduating at the end of the year, and will move on to primary school.
In this case, the family is refunded any excess fees they have paid, by 31 January (ie a few weeks after they graduate and/or participate in the January school holiday program), after their account is settled and any subsidy payments have been received. If they are in arrears, the family is still liable for the full remaining fees.
Change of mind
The family’s circumstances have changed and they no longer wish to be enrolled. This could include moving or being posted interstate or overseas, or parents’ work hours changing, or drop off/pick up logistics becoming too difficult, or a child simply not settling in well.
In this case, the family needs to give 14 days notice (or notice until the end of the term, if that is earlier). The family will be liable to pay until the end of their notice period.
Due care and skill not provided
The family has found fault with the due care and skill being provided at the service and after communicating this clearly, in writing, and despite multiple timely efforts by the service to remedy the situation, this has not been fixed to their satisfaction. Depending on the severity of the case, the committee may decide that the family may withdraw immediately without penalty or offer of remedy. It is assumed however, that as long as Spielwelt holds a playschool licence and is adhering to policies and procedures in line with the licencing requirements, that due care and skill is in fact being provided. It is also assumed that a family who brings a child to the service any time after their first day, are bringing that child voluntarily with the belief that due care and skill has been provided up until that point and is likely to be provided on that day too. A family with concerns about due care and skill should contact the director or the committee immediately, in writing.
In the case that a family feels that due care and skill is not being provided, a family can withdraw their child and request a refund for any unused sessions remaining in the term, plus the last session in which the due care and skill was not provided.
Service did not match description
The family feels that the service is not what was advertised.
Families have ample opportunity to see the service prior to paying their fees, and ample opportunities to become involved and engaged with the service. All families are given a Schnupper session during which they (and their child) get an opportunity to see the service in operation and ask any questions. Once a family returns after the child’s first day, it is assumed that the family feels the service matches the description.
Breached terms and conditions
The family are in arrears in their fee payments.
In the case that a family’s enrolment is terminated by the committee because the family are in arrears, the family will be asked to remedy the situation before the child can attend the service again. The child will rejoin the waiting list. No refund is due, and the family is liable for any fees they still owe for sessions they have attended.
There has been a breach of conduct for Spielwelt membership.
In the case of a family being in breach of other terms and conditions, their enrolment may be terminated by the committee. They will be given between 0 and 14 days notice, depending on the severity of the breach, at the discretion of the committee, and refunded any excess fees they have paid for beyond the notice period.
Service unable to be provided
The Committee, Director or Teachers make the decision that Spielwelt is unable to provide the child or family with what the child or family requires, and multiple efforts to remedy this have not been successful.
In the case of the service not being suitable for the child, the enrolment will be terminated and the family will be refunded any fees they have paid in excess of the cost of the sessions they have attended to date.
It could also be that the service was unable to provide services if it has had to close temporarily in an emergency.
In the case of an emergency closure, the family will be charged a reduced fee (same as the public holiday rate) for up to two weeks. After this, if the service is still unable to cater to families, the families are entitled to receive refunds of any unused fees.
The family (or families) will be given between 0 and 14 days’ notice, at the discretion of the committee, and the family will be refunded any excess fees they have paid for beyond the notice period.