I just turned down a nursery place I had accepted, because when I got the contract it turned out they were charging me for all the bank holidays and also 3 weeks when the nursery was closed per year. That adds up to over a month of childcare that we're paying for but not getting!
The manager was pretty pissed off with me and said this is standard practice, but we have been offered a place at another nearby nursery that does not do this. I thought it was taking the piss to be honest but sounds like it is normal for some places.
This is essentially a maths question. The nursery have to charge enough to cover their annual costs otherwise they will go out of business. They can either do this by charging over 52 weeks and 5 days a week but this means they have to charge for bank holidays and days when they are closed. Alternatively they could just charge for the days they are open. In the first instance the costs are spread over 260 possible charging days but in the second the same costs have to be spread over fewer days (say closed for 10 days and 8 bank holidays) then costs would be spread over 242 days. So the daily charge would be more. If they are operating in an area where some nurseries charge on the first basis then they would look really expensive if they used the second basis, as their daily charge would be more. Over the year you should still pay approx the same.
The way my nursery does this is they work out your annual fees, deduct all bank holidays/closures, divide by 12 to make each monthly payment the same. So although it feels like you pay on days they are closed, you are most likely not.