Statement of Intent
Polstead Preschool is committed to the effective management of the financial aspects of the preschool in order to ensure transparency in handling all income and expenditure and to support financial planning, in order to ensure that the charity can meet its obligations to members and users of the organisation, in ensuring that income and property is applied solely to furthering the objects (central aims) of the preschool.
Annual budgets for the next school year are drawn up by the Treasurer and presented to the Committee at the last meeting of the year. The Committee completes an initial review at this meeting and uses the period up until the AGM to make any changes to the budget. Annual budgets are approved at the first committee meeting after the AGM.
Polstead Preschool makes every effort to provide a high quality of care to the children attending preschool and the level of fees charged are set accordingly. Through diligent and effective financial management practices the Preschool is able to maintain a high quality of care at affordable, competitive prices. It is important to highlight that it is not the intention of the Preschool to compete at the lower end of the pricing spectrum with the inevitable negative impact to the quality of care.
Fees are reviewed annually at the end of the school year to ensure they remain competitive and provide adequate financial resources to fund the activities to enable the Preschool to achieve its charitable objectives.
In cooperation with the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), Polstead Preschool offers universal (15 hours per week) and extended (15 hours per week) funding. Children qualifying for 30 funded hours per week are able to receive both universal and extended funding. Council funding does not cover the costs of delivering a quality childcare service and hence Polstead Preschool charges for services not covered by the funding. Please see the fees section for further information.
The trustees recognise the need to retain sufficient liquid assets to meet the charity’s short-term obligations. The trustees’ investment policy is to minimise risk to the capital value of the charity’s assets because those assets largely represent working capital. Therefore, the charity’s funds are invested in low-risk cash deposit or interest-bearing accounts which are monitored to ensure that the highest rate of return is achieved. The charity has no limitations on its investment powers.
The interest rate on investment accounts must be reviewed at least annually and compared with other products available.
The Committee must approve all accounts and investment vehicles.
The Preschool will have due regard to ethical and environmental issues in selecting investments and will maintain a dialogue with the companies in which they invest with regard to these matters, and will not make investment in tobacco or arms companies.
All investments must be recorded in sufficient detail to identify the investment and to enable the current market value to be calculated. The information required will normally be the date of purchase, the cost and a description of the investment. Additional procedures may be required to ensure any income receivable from the investment is received.
The Committee has resolved to set aside income as a reserve against future expenditure.
The funds held in reserves may change from time to time but generally cater for the following:
- Staff salaries for four months
- One full term's rent
- Costs associated with staff redundancies
- Extra ten percent for contingencies
In the first quarter of the school year the Committee assesses the nature and amount of reserves required for the preschool. The Committee might also re-assess financial reserves at any other point in the school year should the need arise.
The reserves are held in a separate bank account.