Student Finance and Fees/Contract Responsibility
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  1. #1
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    Default Student Finance and Fees/Contract Responsibility

    Good afternoon all,

    I hope you are having a lovely Friday! I have had an interesting enquiry from a parent who says they wish to pay via 'Student Finance Childcare Voucher'. I do not have any experience of this, although remember a recent thread where I think student finance was mentioned and the CM was not paid.

    If anyone can provide more information on this it would be great? Am I right in thinking the parent would receive a grant for attending college paid directly to them and then they would be responsible for paying me and sign the contract OR the college pay directly to me and they have to sign the contract.

    Many thanks in advance.

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    A parent of mine gets a grant and pays me himself. I personally wouldn't accept being paid via the college/university because I could envisage problems.

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    Thank you, Natlou82 for your reply. Yes, that was what I was thinking, as I know from previous dealing with the council as a payee that it was very difficult to get paid.

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    I've not heard of any scheme by the name of 'Student Finance Childcare Voucher'.

    If the posts on previous threads are anything to go by, CMs have very mixed experience of payments by educational establishments or other third parties. Some have found they work well and are a good source of income. Others have been completely taken for a ride.

    I have an a hoc client who works in a university finance department. She advised me never to accept any such form of financing, as her boss was always nagging her colleagues to use every excuse imaginable to avoid paying out for student childcare. But, that is just one anecdotal example, and I'm sure it's not the same in every institution.

    Any CM considering accepting this sort of payment really ought to call their legal support team/insurer for advice. They need to know how to write the contract in such a way that somebody (i.e. the client or maybe a guarantor) will pick up the bill if/when the college fails to pay. Be aware that even this is still not a guarantee of getting arrears settled. It's entirely possible to win a case for debt recovery, but never see a penny of it if the debtor does not have the means by which to pay. If they are a job-less student, that may well be the situation.

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    Agree with Bunyip about contacting insurers first

    The problem with having to rely on a 3rd party to pay the bill is the need to then rely on trust that the signee (parent) fulfills their part of their contract with you and the one with the 3rd party.

    With student finance posts, I've noticed that the reliability of the student is very much part of any agreement with student finance to pay a childcare bill - the student must attend for no less than 85% attendance. Sounds easy enough - but having to take time out to look after an ill child would have serious consequences on that attendance, not including 'ill days/hangover induced'

    When a person isn't 'directly' affected due to having to part with their own money, they can be very flippant about their commitments.
    (I used to work for a training company and we noticed a distinct difference between those that had paid for the course using their own funds and those that had their course funded!)

    Look at the amount of complaints made due to parents tax credits claims - another 3rd party fund

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    I don't know if it's the same schemes but I have been paid by 2 different students. The first was doing a degree and the finance was offered like student loan so they would get a payment 2-3 times a year and then just pay my invoices as normal so was up to them to sort out their finances and pay me. I found this easier- like a parent getting tax credits - doesn't matter where the cash came from I would get paid by my rules from the parent.

    I now have a parent at college and the college pays. This for me has caused nothing but trouble. I had to sign the college payment agreement to get paid. I negotiated with them for them to pay my a small percentage in half term breaks (not the longer holidays as they wouldn't accept this). The rest is really all on their terms and even then it's not always adhered to and I have had to threaten legal action to get money. I was paid first 2 months at the end of month 2, month 4 was paid at end of month 3 and they've just paid month 3 as they had missed it out and I had to fight for it! We are talking twins for 30 hours a week so my main income.

    It's getting more complicated next term as they will get some funding from elsewhere too.

    I wouldn't totally avoid students in future however I would approach with caution and insist on my terms and conditions and if they said no I would turn down the work. It's been an awful lot of chasing and sorting which to me isn't worth it.

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  11. #7
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    Hi,
    I would agree with what others have said - approach with extreme caution!! I have a friend who is a student (using a CM) and she gets some sort of funding, sounds extremely complicated, CM she uses must have a lot of patience!!

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    Many thanks, for all your replies, very informative. I have decided to stay clear of the 3rd party route and informed parent, need to pay themselves if they receive the grant and pay me thats fine. I do agree 3rd party payments in the past have been a nightmare from council - one e-mail correspondence was 35 pages long when chasing a payment!!

    Many thanks again all. Much appreciated.

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