Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Making a booking

Payments

At the club

Staff

Contacting us

 

MAKING A BOOKING

How do I book my child into Kids’ City??
Bookings for all our services, which include After School Clubs, Breakfast Clubs, and Holiday playschemes are made online. If you are a new user, please open an account, register your child(ren) and create their membership.  If you have already registered your child(ren) and they have an up-to-date membership, you can log in to your online account and book your child(ren) into any of our services (except Superheroes). If you need assistance to make a booking, please call 020 8678 5968.

What services does Kids’ City offer?
We offer four services which include: (1) after school clubs, (2) breakfast clubs, (3) holiday playschemes and (4) superheroes.

  1. After School Clubs run from Monday to Friday, from the end of the school day until 6pm every day, where staff and volunteer run a fantastic programme of activities with the children.
  2. Breakfast Clubs run from Monday to Friday morning (time depends on Breakfast Clubs) until the start of the school day for children aged 3-11 years old. Under qualified supervision games, activities and most importantly a nutritious breakfast are provided for the children.
  3. Holiday Playschemes are open to children aged 3-11 years old. Fully qualified staff who are enhanced DBS (formally CRB) checked, organise constructive and stimulating activities for your child(ren) and each Wednesday, they go on a trip. In addition, nutritious snacks are provided but you must also prepare a packed lunch.
  4. Superheroes is an alternative service to our After School Clubs. It is our flexible emergency childcare service for parents whose needs are not regular or predictable or who only need short-term care. This is also a service you can use when you are unable to pick your child(ren) up on time.

How much notice do I need to give if I want my child to start?
Our booking in period is from the start of every school term up to the second Friday of term. During this period we require three days’ notice before a child can start. After the booking in period, we require one full weeks’ notice before a child can start. For a booking to be confirmed and before a child can start, we must have received at least one payment instalment (by card or childcare voucher) or full payment and a payment schedule must be in place for the remaining fees.

How long does a booking last for? 
A booking lasts from the contract start date until the end of a school term. Spring term (Jan-Mar), Summer term (Apr-Jul) and Autumn term (Sep-Dec).

Why do I have to book until the end of term? 
Legal requirements set out the ratio of staff to children and in order to observe this requirement we need to know in advance how many children we have in our care. When we receive a booking until the end of term this reduces our administration costs which means we can pass this saving to parents and keep the cost of childcare very low. Therefore our contract with parents who access the Kids’ City ‘Regular’ service is that they will book their childcare on the same day/s each week from their start date until the end of term.

Can I book different days each week? 
Yes, we can offer ad hoc childcare through our Superheroes service.  This offers flexibility for when the unexpected happens or if you just need an extra day here and there. We are unable to book ad hoc places as part of the regular service however parents using the regular service can access additional Superheroes places on a needs basis in addition to any regular booking.

Can I add extra days to my booking? 
Yes, you can add extra days to your booking and we charge an administration fee for doing this. The extra days should be the same days in each week up to the end of term, otherwise, please consider using our Superheroes service instead.

Can I book part of a session? 
We are unable to offer bookings for partial sessions. As part of our service we make sure that none of the children are disrupted during their activities.  Parents/carers are unable to pick up and drop off children mid-session as this interrupts any on-going activities with staff having to tend to people arriving or leaving. However, under special circumstances, this can be arranged with the Centre Manager providing sufficient notice is given.

Who is Kids’ City registered with? 
All of our sites are Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) regulated and Kids’ City is a registered charity (Charity Commission) and company (Companies House) in England and Wales.

PAYMENTS
How do I pay?
Kids’ City offers high quality childcare at low prices and we do this by keeping administration costs firmly under control by requiring a payment of the first instalment a month in advance. We do not offer credit but we can exceptionally provide assistance for families facing unusual circumstances such as a delay in tax credits, or starting a new job etc. Please contact us if you are facing unusual hardships to discuss your situation.
You can pay using any of the following: (1) debit and credit card, (2) childcare vouchers, (3) student grants and (4) cash.

  1. Debit and Credit Card
    We accept all types of cards except American Express and make no charge for debit card payments.  We pass on the cost of credit card charges which are personal credit cards 2%, premium credit cards 3% and business credit cards 3.25%. Payment can be made in full or by monthly instalment and once you give us your authority we will take your payments automatically in up to three equal monthly amounts during the first three months of term. If the selected instalment date falls on a Saturday or Sunday please allow up to the following Monday for the payment to be taken.
  2. Childcare Vouchers
    We are very happy to receive childcare vouchers to help parents benefit from tax-free childcare. There is a handling charge for every voucher transaction which is a contribution towards our administration costs.  Voucher payments can be made by instalment however they must keep to a strict and regular payment schedule.
  3. Grants and Funded Places
    If you are claiming a grant from Student Finance England, JobCentre Plus or any other funder, please contact our Business team on 020 8678 5966. They will take you through a step-by-step procedure to ensure your claim is accurate and will be paid on time.
  4. Cash
    We do not accept cash payments however, in exceptional circumstances, we may temporarily accept them for a limited period by prior arrangement at our office, 1-4 Brixton Hill Place , London, SW2 1HJ. We charge an administration fee for every cash transaction as a contribution towards our administration costs.

For more information about our payment plans by debit card, credit card or childcare vouchers please call any of the following numbers: 020 8678 5967, 020 8678 5968 and 020 8678 5958. Please have your booking reference number to hand.

Why must I pay in advance? 
There is a high demand for a limited number of places in our services. To make sure that our services are used by parents/carers who really need them, we require advance payment or a payment plan being set up.

Can I spread the cost? 
Yes, you can spread the cost if you are unable to pay in full upfront. You have the option to pay monthly in up to three equal instalments during the school term. The first instalment must be paid at the time of booking and the following instalments can be set up on any date you choose in the following two months (if booking at the start of term). Final payment of the full fees must be paid by the 15th of the third month of term (Spring = Mar, Summer = Jun, Autumn = Nov).

Are the fees reduced if I am on a low income?
The government provides subsidies to low income families to meet the cost of childcare providing you use an Ofsted childcare provider. This is the childcare element of the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC). We can assist you in accessing this government service.

How can I get a subsidised place? 
From September 2014, parents in receipt of one of the following can access one place per week at a subsidised rate per session:

• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

Parents in receipt of Working Tax Credit are not eligible and where someone other than you is paying for the service (for example, Student Finance England, local college, university, Jobcentre Plus, Social Care or any other statutory service).

To access a place at the subsidised rate, parents will need to provide Kids’ City with evidence of the benefit they receive that is dated within the last three months.

Please contact info@kidscity.org.uk and send evidence of the benefit you receive (dated within the last three months).

Can I get a discount for siblings? 
Due to our already low costs we are unable to offer discounts for siblings.

Can I get a receipt?
A statement can be downloaded from your online account and this shows a record of all the payments you have made to us.

Can I get a letter for the benefits office?
The booking system produces statements and invoices which are sufficient evidence of payment for most agencies.  If you prefer or require something more tailored, we can provide a letter from Head Office on letter headed paper and we charge an administration fee for this.

Can I carry forward credit on my account from one term to the next? 
Credits will be automatically carried forward on your online account.  We recommend however that you do not overpay your fees for any term as we charge an administration fee for issuing a refund.

What happens if I’m a student waiting for funding from my university/college/NHS/Student Finance and I can’t pay in advance? 
We offer two options: (1) regular parents rate, and (2) flexible statutory rate. If you can’t pay the regular rate with our usual terms and conditions, you can opt for the flexible rate, which is not discounted because of the costs incurred through:

  • financial risk if the student should stop attending or proves to be ineligible for grant
  • changes relating to course timetables, workplacements, training, etc.
  • changes relating to fees if any
  • helping parents complete their paperwork
  • providing regular letters when requested
  • waiting on average 4 months before payment which ties up our cash resources (effectively a loan to the government)
  • being involved in complex auditing tasks and/or monitoring requirements and
  • additional conversations with parents and often SFE or college

We are pleased to offer flexibility for parents to access the childcare they need but we must ensure that we do not take risks relating to our own financial stability.

What happens if my payment doesn’t go through? 
If your payment doesn’t go through because your bank declined the payment or there were insufficient funds,  you will be charged an administration fee for each instance.  The charges were set, after careful consideration, by our Trustees, to cover our costs relating to declined payments. The charity passes on the costs of additional and avoidable administration because the alternative is that these costs would have to be shared by all parents through fee increases. If there are extenuating circumstances we are very happy to help and please contact us to explain the reason. If your bank is liable for the charges we will provide evidence that you were charged so you can reclaim it from your bank.

My tax credits are paid weekly, can I pay weekly after I receive them? 
We do not offer weekly payments because this increases the Charity’s costs which we want keep low so we can offer the lowest possible childcare fees. We may however make an alternative payment arrangement for weekly amounts for one term only. This might be, for example, if you are experiencing financial difficulties or have started a new job and are waiting for tax credits to come through. If you want a weekly payment arrangement this must be requested in writing, by email to info@kidscity.org.uk and if agreed, we will charge an administration fee for each cash payment.  If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please call the Business Team on 020 8678 5966.

Can I cancel after I book? 
Yes, you can however we charge an administration fee for this. The fee is a contribution towards altering our records; sending a new hard copy of registers to the school and to our manager; conducting phone calls with you and the manager; recording the request in a file for auditors; changing the child’s online record; cancelling or altering any payments; issuing refunds if any; and tracking this change until the end of the term. If we have a waiting list we will contact the next families on that list until the space is filled.

How much notice do I need to give, to cancel a booking? 
We require 2 weeks’ notice in writing to cancel a booking. Please complete a cancellation form and email it to info@kidscity.org.uk.

Will I get a refund if I cancel? 
If you paid the fees in full you may be entitled to a refund, once the administration fee has been deducted. Kids’ City is a charity and charges for any aspect of our service or additional services are set at rates which reflect the real costs involved. The basic service is offered for a fixed period contract until the end of term. We pass on the costs of ending that contract which involves:

  • Verifying refund requests
  • Calculating refunds
  • Creating audit trails
  • Bank transactions
  • Removing child(ren) from class registers, collection registers and attendance registers
  • Informing schools of the changes
  • Informing our staff of the changes
  • Cancelling resources accordingly
  • Office staff and local staff costs to action the above
  • Admin resources for the above, phone, paper, etc

Can I get a refund for inset days? 
We don’t charge for inset days provided we know about it in advance and we are usually informed of these at the start of an academic year. However, if we aren’t aware of an inset day which you have booked and we have charged you for, this will be cancelled and a credit applied to your account.

Can I get a refund if my child is sick? 
We do not issue refunds when your child is sick unless it is for a minimum two-week time period.

What do I do if I need to change a day? 
If you want to change the days from one point in the term for the entire remainder of the term, we need one week notice and there is an administration charge for us to do this. We will only grant one change once the term has started.  We are unable to swap days from one week to another and the Superheroes service is available to parents who may need an additional day.

AT THE CLUBS
What happens at the After School Club? 
At the after school club, your child(ren) will enjoy: (1) an hour of structured activities, (2) an hour of free play, and (3) a nutritious snack under the supervision of our trained staff and volunteers.

What do the children eat at Breakfast Club? 
A nutritious breakfast, which include a choice of toast, bakery items, cereal and fresh juice. A weekly shopping example for a breakfast club is:

  • Cereals (low salt and low sugar)
  • Semi skimmed milk
  • Soya milk
  • Butter or soya butter
  • High fruit, low sugar jam
  • Honey
  • Juice
  • Spaghetti hoops
  • Yogurts
  • Fruit

Special dietary needs of your child(ren) will be seriously taken into consideration by our staff and volunteers. Please inform us in advance of any special requirements when making your registration or update your child’s registration information if any circumstances change.

What happens if I’m late picking up my child? 
You will have to pay a late collection fee for each half hour.  This will be added as an invoice to your online account booking and can be paid online or through our Head Office. It is a condition of our service that you must collect your child by 6pm (6:15pm at Wix) from the after school club and holiday playschemes. We fully understand that occasionally parents/carers find it impossible to collect their child(ren) on time. However, when a child is left after the last collection time, the staff must:

  • Ring all known contact numbers incurring telephone costs
  • Arrange for the school to remain open incurring premises costs
  • Stay with the children until a parent/carer arrives incurring staff costs
  • Take the child to a place of safety if the school has to close

STAFF
Do the staff at Kids’ City have police checks? 

Yes, as we are a children’s charity, we take great care in recruiting staff and volunteers. All of our staff and volunteers undergo an enhanced DBS (formally CRB) check.

What training do the staff at Kids’ City have? 
All of our staff are trained and qualified in playwork and have access to our fully accredited training programmes and professional development opportunities.

CONTACTING US
Who do I contact to book my child into a club? 
To book your child onto one of our clubs, please register and book online. If you need assistance, please call 020 8678 5968 however please note that we are unable to register your child or make the booking for you.

Who do I contact to make a payment or to request a refund?
Payments can be made using the online booking system.  Just log in, go to My Bookings, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the pay button.  To request a refund, download and complete the booking cancellation form on the website and send it to info@kidscity.org.uk.  If you have difficulty making a payment, please call the information line on 020 8678 5968.

Who do I contact to inform the manager my child isn’t attending a session or that I’m going to be late picking up my child? 
To inform us that your child won’t be able to attend a session or that you are going to be late picking up your child, please call the centre manager.  The number for each centre is on the website page for the centre and if you can’t get through, please call our emergency lines 020 8678 5959/5968.

How can I get information about Kids’ City clubs? 
First, please check the following links for information on our services:

If you have any other questions, please email us at info@kidscity.org.uk or call us on 020 8678 5968.

Where do I leave a comment about the service? 
Please fill out our contact form to provide feedback regarding our services.

How do I make a complaint about something? 
Please click here to see our complaints policy and procedure.