AIBU to be pissed off about massive hike in nursery fees (£200pcm)

(27 Posts)
rumbelina Tue 06-Aug-13 16:07:28

When he started 2 years ago, DS's nursery had a daily charge or a weekly charge for full time. The full time cost was equivalent to 4 days paid separately.

They have now sent a letter saying they have been 'miscalculating' and actually we will now pay for 5 separate days. This puts the price up by £200 per month for full time.

They have offered a 10% discount on a full time place for 12 months since it is 'their mistake' but it is still a massive increase and effectively cancels out any benefit we might have had from the 15 free hours which will start in January.

For various reasons our budget is a lot tighter than it was and I'm really fed up that we now have to fork out such a large extra amount with one month's notice.

I know they only have to give a months notice but a) I don't believe it is a 'miscalculation' - what for 4 years plus (friend's child has been going there that long)?? and b) I sincerely doubt staff wages will increase dramatically.

I love the nursery and the staff, and so does DS, but I'm bloody pissed off.

Mandy21 Mon 12-Aug-13 16:00:22

Sorry, yes, with £120 more upfront its annoying and I wouldn't be happy either. But I think as someone else up the thread says, it sounds as if you've been underpaying for quite a while so you've had some benefit. I still think you'll get some benefit from the Early Years Funding so its a hit now, but you'll be better off next September.

rumbelina Mon 12-Aug-13 15:50:06

Mandy we were paying monthly £690 (2 x £243 vouchers + £204)

We will now be paying £900-10% = £810 (2 x £243 + £324) therefore £120 extra per month out of our pockets. I believe the nursery to be worth it, but having budgeted for a house move and cut in wages (for better job) based on the current cost, we could have done with a bit more notice as we will be tight now.

It turns out that when the current operators took over the business 5 years ago, the nursery manager explained the charging system to them, told them very clearly there was a discrepancy between the daily/weekly rates but they were happy to carry on with it.

She is horrified that they have changed it with 1 month's notice especially since she went to great pains to ensure they were fully aware of the arrangement and thinks they should have phased it in over 5 years so it wasn't such a shock to people's budgets.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 08-Aug-13 08:48:28

The miscalculation thing sounds like bollocks, so YANBU to think that side of it is rubbish.

However, YABU to complain about any costs related to children or childcare because as every mother says to every woman yet to have children and considering it "they are so worth it" wink

Mimishimi Thu 08-Aug-13 08:43:49

Ah well, it just means you are getting charged for five days now (which presumably you are using all of?) and it's lucky that you've had a 20% discount all this time so far.

Mandy21 Thu 08-Aug-13 08:39:13

Sorry, realised if you were paying £40 x 4 (£160) and you're now paying £42 x 5 (£210, less £21, thats £189) so could be a difference of £29 per week, which accounts for the £120 extra per month. If you can pay by vouchers, presuming you're standard rate tax payers, that's really about an £80/£85 net increase.

Mandy21 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:21:55

I understand its frustrating for them to put fees up by so much, but I still don't understand your figures. If its £42 a day, you'll have been paying £168 per week and you're now going to pay £210 less £21 (the 10% discount) so £189 - £21 extra per week.

How is it now£120 more per month? That can't be right.
If the 10% discount continues when your child gets the 15 free hours, its definitely 'worth' more than £21 a week, its probably worth more than £42 a week actuallyso you should see some benefit.

Also, if you use childcare vouchers, the actual net increase you'll have to pay will be less than the £21/£42.

Just trying to sweeten the blow for you!

rumbelina Wed 07-Aug-13 13:16:43

Mandy21 - yes it is good value, just a shocker when we are on a tight budget. With the discount it is still £120 per month more than we are paying now (including incremental increase - it's actually £42 per day not 40)

Balloonslayer - YES exactly! They should've just come clean! (But no I don't have any records and even if I did they are still entitled to increase their charges with a month's notice, gah.)

We are lucky, really, to have found such a good nursery. They'd have to do a lot worse for me to want to leave.

BalloonSlayer Tue 06-Aug-13 18:50:51

Do you have any of the information you got when DS started there?

I was wondering if there was anything in the original price list that made it clear there was no "miscalculation," ie mention of what good value it is that you get five days for the price of four . . . ?

What you'd do about it I don't know but it seems like some sort of malpractice* to me for a business to say to its clients "We're not putting our prices up hugely, OH no, not us, no sirree, actually it turns out we've been undercharging you for FOUR years so you're actually really really lucky to only have to cough up an extra £40 now," when it's clearly a massive lie.

I mean what business is going to undercharge customers by 25% for years and years and not bloody well notice? Ridiculous. More likely they have got a new manager who has said "WTF? We could be getting forty quid a week more for each kid! Put the price up pronto and tell them it's a mistake, that way they'll be too worried we'll backdate it to complain."

*Disclaimer - I have no financial knowledge and don't have a scooby about what constitutes malpractice.

Mandy21 Tue 06-Aug-13 18:29:14

If you're getting a 10% discount for 12 months, it's only really a £20 increase at the moment if I understand correctly. £180 a week for a full time place is very good value in my opinion, I pay more than that for a 3 day place.

I don't see your point about the free 15 hours - its got to be worth more than £20 a week hasn't it - so you should still see a reduction in your fees, surely?!

pinkdelight Tue 06-Aug-13 18:21:51

Depends where you are I guess, but £200 per week full-time sounds pretty good to me. They should just call it a fee increase though.

How do the rates compare with other local nurseries? 25% increase is quite a hike!

rumbelina Tue 06-Aug-13 16:58:50

When I mentioned 4 years I just meant they couldn't have been 'miscalculating' for 4 years without noticing - I wouldn't be so annoyed if they were just honest and said 'we're changing the way we charge'.

rumbelina Tue 06-Aug-13 16:57:52

Sorry for the confusion, they have increased fees incrementally, I was just quoting the new fees for the over 2's.

The fees have gone up by £1 per day each year since we've been there, every September.

Fortunately we all love the nursery, the staff feel like family and DS is so so happy there. I know this is the management not the actual staff.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 06-Aug-13 16:56:30

YANBU to be pissed off, but one increase in fees for four years sounds reasonable.

Their costs will have gone up too, especially if they provide food, and hopefully their staff will get to see some of it.

Hang in there, you will start to see the benefit of your hard work when your dc start school!

nannynewo Tue 06-Aug-13 16:52:10

I can see that it is very annoying for you especially since they have increased it so much. But in fairness they are bound to increase their fees at some point and if it hasn't been done for at least 4 years then they are going to have to do it at some point. I think they could have done it differently though by perhaps increasing the daily fees by a few pounds and then still do the full time for 4 day price deal.

Viviennemary Tue 06-Aug-13 16:41:35

It is annoying. But on the other hand it seems that there has been no increase in fees for the last 4 years. So under the circumstances I suppose it's not too unfair. And if it compares well with other nurseries and your DC is happy there you may as well carry on there even though YANU to be put out.

Sirzy Tue 06-Aug-13 16:39:31

Seems wrong saying its a miscalculation, why not just say they have changed their payment rules?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 06-Aug-13 16:38:06

Have they not had any incremental rises over the years? Ours went up about £2 a day this year due to incremental wage increases and general rise in the cost of everything.

Blissx Tue 06-Aug-13 16:35:58

The way I see it, they have gone 4 years without raising fees, even though costs will have risen during that time and staff have not had a pay rise (based on your posts). Pretty fair in my mind, however annoying for you.

Hawkmoth Tue 06-Aug-13 16:34:46

Ah ok. Just a strange way of putting things then, makes it seem like it's not their fault.

rumbelina Tue 06-Aug-13 16:31:38

It applies to everyone, Hawkmoth, some aren't at the free hours stage yet, some are past it.

Hawkmoth Tue 06-Aug-13 16:30:43

Odd that it coincides with the "free hours"...

rumbelina Tue 06-Aug-13 16:28:54

HeySoulSister sort of - used to be £40 per day or £160 per week for full time. Now £40 or £200 per week for full time.

We were looking forward to a bit of relief when the 15 free hours came in and I'm really disappointed that it won't even cancel this out, especially in Sept 14 when we won't get the 10% discount any more.

<<wanders off grumbling>>

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 06-Aug-13 16:11:53

It's not a miscalculation. Most nurseries round here have a daily (or half day) charge and a weekly charge that amount to 4 days. They do it on purpose I think, so people think they are getting a deal. Probably the cost of the care isn't much different.

Essentially they have just hiked their prices, it's shit. But there isn't much you can do.

HeySoulSister Tue 06-Aug-13 16:09:32

so that's £10 a day more?

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