Nursery fees

36
Posted 27th Mar
I’m sure a lot of people will be experiencing hardships, so this is by no means a dire situation, but wondering if anyone has any insight.

My twin three year olds attend a sure start Pre school. Obviously the pre school is now closed and they are not able to attend the sessions booked.

We’ve received an email from them today that says they are insisting that we pay for April (and the message states it will likely be beyond that) regardless of the fact it’s only open to children of key workers.

My wife is a teacher, she is going to have to work at her school for one week in every three, the result of which means I will have to take unpaid leave to look after our children.

My thinking (and it seems like a reasonable assumption) is that the schools won’t return before Sept, therefore I’m going to (potentially) be paying in the region of £3.5k for nursery we aren’t going to be able to access. In addition, my income is going to be reduced to cover the weeks I’ll need off to care for the little ones.

The nursery claim they are run by the council but not paid by them. They also claim that as they aren’t a business, so they aren’t eligible for government support. This seems odd to me but perhaps that’s correct.

I don’t want to cause a business to ‘go under’ and I especially don’t want any individuals that work there to go without the pay the require/deserve; but does this seem right? No idea who to speak to as any advice services are going to inundated.

Any support from you guys would be greatly appreciated.
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36 Comments
AndyRoyd27/03/2020 18:05

https://www.hotukdeals.com/discussions/nursery-fees-and-coronavirus-3424023


Thanks, I saw this but it refers to a nursery that is open, and a child that is not able to attend for isolation reasons. My situation is potentially paying for 4 months to a pre school that’s not open.
I always had to pay regardless when mine was a kid. That's how it is.
psychobitchfromhell27/03/2020 18:16

I always had to pay regardless when mine was a kid. That's how it is.


Just to clarify, you paid a pre school that was closed? Or when your child was ill?
dongrumble27/03/2020 18:17

Just to clarify, you paid a pre school that was closed? Or when your child …Just to clarify, you paid a pre school that was closed? Or when your child was ill?


Whatever. All the way through childminding too. Still paid through the holidays whether I used her or not and still during her days off or if she was sick.
Edited by: "psychobitchfromhell" 27th Mar
psychobitchfromhell27/03/2020 18:19

Whatever. All the way through childminding too. Still paid through the …Whatever. All the way through childminding too. Still paid through the holidays whether I used her or not and still during her days off or if she was sick.


Name checks out.
dongrumble27/03/2020 18:20

Name checks out.

You're or mine? I was on long term sick and one as still liable for fees too. They still have to pay staff wages, rent, rates,insurance etc. Obviously this is a one off situation and the rules may change, but that was always how it worked
Edited by: "psychobitchfromhell" 27th Mar
psychobitchfromhell27/03/2020 18:25

You're or mine? I was on long term sick and one as still liable for fees …You're or mine? I was on long term sick and one as still liable for fees too. They still have to pay staff wages, rent, rates,insurance etc. Obviously this is a one off situation and the rules may change, but that was always how it worked


Yes but the nursery was open in your case ??
psychobitchfromhell27/03/2020 18:25

You're or mine? I was on long term sick and one as still liable for fees …You're or mine? I was on long term sick and one as still liable for fees too. They still have to pay staff wages, rent, rates,insurance etc. Obviously this is a one off situation and the rules may change, but that was always how it worked


Your anicdote seems hugely different. Now you’re saying you were off sick, not that the nursery was shut for months. You also seem to be referring to a child minder, not a council run pre school.
dongrumble27/03/2020 18:32

Your anicdote seems hugely different. Now you’re saying you were off sick, …Your anicdote seems hugely different. Now you’re saying you were off sick, not that the nursery was shut for months. You also seem to be referring to a child minder, not a council run pre school.


I said you had to pay regardless when I was using childcare facilities and gave a number of different examples. I can't help it if you don't like my answer, but that's how it always was in every contract I had. I would say the definitive answer will be in your contract.
Have a look at this. It will depend on your contract but as a general rule the answer would seem to be you pay. Like I said though, this is unprecedented and the government may step in to assist.
ft.com/con…025
Edited by: "psychobitchfromhell" 27th Mar
I can’t see how they can charge you. They are no longer offering you a childcare service. Can you not just pull them out of that nursery till they open again?
paloni_boowers27/03/2020 19:42

I can’t see how they can charge you. They are no longer offering you a c …I can’t see how they can charge you. They are no longer offering you a childcare service. Can you not just pull them out of that nursery till they open again?


That’s my thinking too. The twins are actually set to go to school from Sept so they may not go back at all. I forgot to mention the pre school have a deposit of probably £1k+. So I guess I’d lose that.

I guess my thing is, I don’t want to shirk my financial responsibilities or screw anyone over, but equally, I can’t see how this is reasonable.
Give your notice and attempt to sign back up when they open. You wont be the only person to do this, so there will at least be places available. You pay for a service at the end of the day. If you're not getting the service, don't pay.
You’ll find that your contract is for 50 weeks per year, ish, with the costs split per month.

You have to pay regardless. Or pull them out and only per the months fee
Kbramman27/03/2020 20:38

You’ll find that your contract is for 50 weeks per year, ish, with the c …You’ll find that your contract is for 50 weeks per year, ish, with the costs split per month. You have to pay regardless. Or pull them out and only per the months fee


We actually pay for term time only, a month in advance. it’s variable based on holidays too so April’s invoice doesn’t have the weeks for Easter included.

I guess you might be right on losing the deposit, it’s just a tricky situation for all I suppose. Mad that council run pre school isn’t supported like regular schools.
Kbramman27/03/2020 20:38

You’ll find that your contract is for 50 weeks per year, ish, with the c …You’ll find that your contract is for 50 weeks per year, ish, with the costs split per month. You have to pay regardless. Or pull them out and only per the months fee


If the contract is for 50 weeks, yet they only offer (say) 40 weeks, then surely they are in breach of contract.

I wouldn't pay, and would be happy to defend it in court. It's different if you don't send the children in, then you do have to pay, and rightly so, as they could have had other children in paying for the place. However in this case, the nursery are closed. That isn't your fault, and would be surprised if there isn't a contract breach in there somewhere.

As for them not being able to claim any help as they aren't a business, bull. They are providing a service and charging for it. They might be a business that doesn't qualify for help, but they certainly are a business.
Our nursery have waived fees until they re-open but i know of another one where they are still charging, so parents are giving their month notice to leave. It saves being in breach of contract so they would have to return the deposit & nursery can't chase for fees
julieallen27/03/2020 20:49

If the contract is for 50 weeks, yet they only offer (say) 40 weeks, then …If the contract is for 50 weeks, yet they only offer (say) 40 weeks, then surely they are in breach of contract.I wouldn't pay, and would be happy to defend it in court. It's different if you don't send the children in, then you do have to pay, and rightly so, as they could have had other children in paying for the place. However in this case, the nursery are closed. That isn't your fault, and would be surprised if there isn't a contract breach in there somewhere.As for them not being able to claim any help as they aren't a business, bull. They are providing a service and charging for it. They might be a business that doesn't qualify for help, but they certainly are a business.


That was the logic I was working on. It’s crap for everyone but it’s even more of a kick in the nuts if I have to take unpaid leave and pay people not to look after them!

Hopefully it can be resolved so it doesn’t cost either party. As their stay are PAYE, I can’t see how they’re not covered by the government measures for the most part
the logic suggests you are paying for a service, they are unable to render this service and therefore they are (assumably) in breach of contract and you should not be obliged to pay.

without seeing what agreeement/contract you signed it's hard to know exactly what the legal requirement is.
Edited by: "adamspencer95" 27th Mar
Littlemunckin27/03/2020 21:01

Our nursery have waived fees until they re-open but i know of another one …Our nursery have waived fees until they re-open but i know of another one where they are still charging, so parents are giving their month notice to leave. It saves being in breach of contract so they would have to return the deposit & nursery can't chase for fees


That’s interesting, im just wondering if any schools will re-open before the summer break. Personally I can’t see it. I don’t want to lose their place and have a problem placing them later. I guess I can’t have it all my way though.
I hope it works out like that without getting too messy.

The thing is, the letter was quite emotionally loaded, basically saying they’d go to the wall if we didn’t pay them. If it was a few hundred I would just accept it, but a few grand is a bit different.
dongrumble27/03/2020 21:22

I hope it works out like that without getting too messy. The thing is, the …I hope it works out like that without getting too messy. The thing is, the letter was quite emotionally loaded, basically saying they’d go to the wall if we didn’t pay them. If it was a few hundred I would just accept it, but a few grand is a bit different.


Its so difficult. Alot of these nurseries didn't have the insurance cover for forced closure, but they're being given lifelines in the way of furloughing staff, rates holidays & grants, so i think they need to be fair. We said we wouldn't mind too much paying a reduced "retention" fee if we had to but we're lucky that my job is safe for now. I do hope they re-open before september though - i can't imagine sending our boy to school after being home with us for so long. He's already getting clingy & his nursery is fantastic
I pulled my son out of his nursery recently (for health and safety reasons) but that was a week before hey closed. They are demanding other parents to pay the full fee but everyone is refusing to because they are not paying for a service that's not being provided.
The nursery has threatened them that the child's place will be gone when they reopen but to be honest those places will stjll be there and they're gonna be more than happy to take the children back.

Look at your finances if you can afford to pay for a service you won't be receiving then go ahead. If having the odd week off is cheaper than paying the nursery fees then you'll be better off doing that
OMG. I thought all businesses are getting 10k from government plus 80% wages.
They shouldn’t make parents pay full wack at all but a reduced rate like 20-%

Remember your child isn’t the only one attending a nursery, there’s millions of kids so join a discussion in fb with other parents Because I wouldn’t pay £100s never mine £1000s
paloni_boowers27/03/2020 19:42

I can’t see how they can charge you. They are no longer offering you a c …I can’t see how they can charge you. They are no longer offering you a childcare service. Can you not just pull them out of that nursery till they open again?


Might get his child "kicked out" come next term
My little ones pre school have waived fees.
"We’ve received an email from them today that says they are insisting that we pay for April (and the message states it will likely be beyond that) regardless of the fact it’s only open to children of key workers.

My wife is a teacher, she is going to have to work at her school for one week in every three, the result of which means I will have to take unpaid leave to look after our children."

Does that not make your wife a key worker and therefore the children are eligible for a place at the nursery when she is working?


Not sure if you've seen this from the .gov website here;
"Can childcare providers continue to charge parents during coronavirus-related closures?
We are working hard to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on all parts of our society, including individuals and business. We urge all childcare providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents, given the great uncertainty they will be facing too.

We will not be clawing back early years entitlements funding from local authorities during closures, or where children are withdrawn because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This protects a significant proportion of early years providers’ income. The government has already introduced a range of measures, as outlined above, to support businesses and workers during this period. We will be keeping what further support businesses may require under close review."

As the nursery are keeping the early years funding and are entitled to business rate relief I think they are being a tad greedy - perhaps once the situation settles down and they realise what is on offer for them they will be more amenable to the suggestion of a lower payment for the 2 weeks out of 3 that your wife is able to care for them.

Edit; I guess at this time though, even if they only have 1 child of a key worker in the nursery they have to pay for at least 2 members of staff - this could be what they are asking you to pay for.
Edited by: "slamb" 28th Mar
Our Nursery initially took the same stance, that had since evolved.
We have to pay April in full. However with insurance, early years funding and 80% wage cover. They will provide some form of refund and reduce the fees to hold a place.
No idea what the reduction will be yet though.

We still fund via childcare vouchers, so no longer see it as our money for now.
slamb28/03/2020 06:39

"We’ve received an email from them today that says they are insisting that …"We’ve received an email from them today that says they are insisting that we pay for April (and the message states it will likely be beyond that) regardless of the fact it’s only open to children of key workers.My wife is a teacher, she is going to have to work at her school for one week in every three, the result of which means I will have to take unpaid leave to look after our children."Does that not make your wife a key worker and therefore the children are eligible for a place at the nursery when she is working?Not sure if you've seen this from the .gov website here;"Can childcare providers continue to charge parents during coronavirus-related closures?We are working hard to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on all parts of our society, including individuals and business. We urge all childcare providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents, given the great uncertainty they will be facing too.We will not be clawing back early years entitlements funding from local authorities during closures, or where children are withdrawn because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This protects a significant proportion of early years providers’ income. The government has already introduced a range of measures, as outlined above, to support businesses and workers during this period. We will be keeping what further support businesses may require under close review."As the nursery are keeping the early years funding and are entitled to business rate relief I think they are being a tad greedy - perhaps once the situation settles down and they realise what is on offer for them they will be more amenable to the suggestion of a lower payment for the 2 weeks out of 3 that your wife is able to care for them.Edit; I guess at this time though, even if they only have 1 child of a key worker in the nursery they have to pay for at least 2 members of staff - this could be what they are asking you to pay for.


They potentially could go for every third week, but I’m not sure there are places now. But that would likely mean another key worker (needing a consistent childcare) wouldn’t get a place. Plus in those first couple of days, the nursery put something out saying both parents needed to be key workers.

They were born at 26 weeks and had a chronic lung condition along lots of other issues like transfusions etc. so I’d be reluctant to expose them unnecessarily. I know kids are largely unaffected but I can’t help worrying that their history might be an issue for them.

I guess that’s besides the point if there isn’t a space though.

Thank you for the link, I must’ve missed that in my search
On a separate note, to anyone who gets childcare vouchers. DO NOT have a knee jerk reaction and stop them. The schemes are now closed and for most your 31% saving will drop to 20% when the dust settles.
Oneday7728/03/2020 07:21

Our Nursery initially took the same stance, that had since evolved. We …Our Nursery initially took the same stance, that had since evolved. We have to pay April in full. However with insurance, early years funding and 80% wage cover. They will provide some form of refund and reduce the fees to hold a place. No idea what the reduction will be yet though. We still fund via childcare vouchers, so no longer see it as our money for now.


Thank you, that’s interesting to know. We don’t use vouchers anymore as I changed jobs and couldn’t keep it going.

I know it must sound petty to not want to pay, but at around £900 a month, going on for upwards of 3 months I just feel it’s unfair.

A reduction is something I could work with if they take that route. Did yours mention a refund? Out letter said nothing about attempting to refund parents.
dongrumble28/03/2020 07:29

Thank you, that’s interesting to know. We don’t use vouchers anymore as I c …Thank you, that’s interesting to know. We don’t use vouchers anymore as I changed jobs and couldn’t keep it going. I know it must sound petty to not want to pay, but at around £900 a month, going on for upwards of 3 months I just feel it’s unfair. A reduction is something I could work with if they take that route. Did yours mention a refund? Out letter said nothing about attempting to refund parents.


We only pay about half you now. Don’t worry you don’t sound petty at all.

Yes, a potential refund of some of April’s fees.
Oneday7728/03/2020 07:31

We only pay about half you now. Don’t worry you don’t sound petty at all. Y …We only pay about half you now. Don’t worry you don’t sound petty at all. Yes, a potential refund of some of April’s fees.


Thanks again, this gives me some hope!
dongrumble27/03/2020 21:22

I hope it works out like that without getting too messy. The thing is, the …I hope it works out like that without getting too messy. The thing is, the letter was quite emotionally loaded, basically saying they’d go to the wall if we didn’t pay them. If it was a few hundred I would just accept it, but a few grand is a bit different.


Aren’t most people going to be struggling business or individual.

Not saying I’m not sympathetic but they don’t know how much extra cash you have and for long you’ll have any extra.
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