Nursery closed for 3 weeks and still want paying. Advice please.

(15 Posts)
Dawn25 Mon 01-Jul-13 10:59:35

Hi all

First post smile

My son ( three in sept) has been going to a local family run, Ofsted registered nursery for roughly 18 months. It's quite small and only has a maximum of 9/10 children. It's not perfect but we like and trust the family and our son is happy there and has made friends with the other children. It's also convenient for us and the grandparents to do the dropping off and collections.

We pay the nursery when we're on holiday and if out son is ill and not attending. We also pay bank holidays and for a few extra days at Christmas ( we're normally off work at Christmas anyway so it's not a big deal)

Last summer the nursery told us they would be closed for a week to go on holiday ( no cover provided) and would like us to pay as usual. We were a little green about how a nursery works at the time and to cut a long story short (shorter) we paid for the week they were away.

This month, they're going away for 3 weeks, providing no cover ( at great inconvenience to us) and still want paying! Surely this can't be right as they are not providing a service?

I'm worried if we don't pay up we'll have to take our son out of the nursery. It was hard enough to find this one and he seems so happy there.

Myself and my husband are having a meeting with the nursery soon and would like some advice/ ammo to hopefully make the nursery see sense.

PS as far as I'm aware, the other parents paid for their holiday last summer also. We don't see the other parents when dropping off to ask them about this.

Thanks in advance

Yonihadtoask Mon 01-Jul-13 11:03:01

Do you have a written contract? What does it state?

DS used to go to a nursery, but it didn't close for holidays - as it was much larger.

When he went to a childminder - she took 2 weeks summer holiday per year and bank hols - she charged us 50% for those weeks.

NarkyNamechanger Mon 01-Jul-13 11:03:44

What does your contract say?

Dawn25 Mon 01-Jul-13 11:11:21

Thanks for the replies guys.

Nothing in the contract about paid holidays. We signed to agree their weeks paid holiday last summer.

NarkyNamechanger Mon 01-Jul-13 11:13:55

Then just say no sorry you won't be paying.

DuPainDuVinDuFromage Mon 01-Jul-13 11:16:37

Bloody hell! I'd be refusing to pay and changing nursery - they make you pay when you're on holiday too?!

scratchandsniff Mon 01-Jul-13 11:25:14

I know you have to still pay most nurseries if you are on holiday and your child isn't there, but I have never heard of anyone having to pay if the whole nursery is shut down due to the owners going on their holiday. They are taking the piss surely. You could potentially have to pay for alternative care. I can't imagine the other parents being happy with it. I think you all need to stand together on this and refuse to pay. If you're self-employed or run your own business you have to accept that if you go on holiday the money will not be coming in if no service/product is provided for the duration of holiday.

lynniep Mon 01-Jul-13 11:25:41

Thats not acceptable. It really isn't. If they want to do it that way, then you shouldnt be paying when you are on holiday.

I've never heard of it to be honest.
My nurseries are very up front about holidays. I pay both of them based on the time my DS is there over 50 weeks per year. This allows them to close for christmas (the only time they are closed for an extended period). If we go away, we still pay the same amount ie we suck it up.

insancerre Mon 01-Jul-13 17:12:29

What a cheek.
This is not how nurseries do business.
I would refuse to pay and get all the parents to make the same stance.
The nursery is badly managed- they should not be withdrawing their service and expect the customers to still pay.
They should get some cover staff in or stagger their holidays so that they are not all off at the same time- unless it is already set out in your contract.

Tanith Tue 02-Jul-13 08:29:41

Are you quite sure it's a nursery?
Is it cheaper than other nurseries locally?
How many staff, or is it just the owners and one or two assistants?
Is it run from someone's home (i.e. do the owners sleep there)?

I ask because we are often mistaken for a nursery when, in fact, DH and I are accredited childminders. We don't charge for our holidays, but some childminders do. It's usually clearly set out in the contract, so agree you need to raise this with them.

The other thing it might be is Childcare On Domestic Premises, which is usually three or more childminders working together, again usually accredited. There is only one registered near me and they are open all year round; I don't know if this is usual for that type of setting.

What does their OFSTED registration say?

scaevola Tue 02-Jul-13 08:35:52

Our nursery used to be shut for two weeks per year, and the reduction for this was annualised into the fees.

Check if your nursery does that, and if so, how many weeks closure per year has been accounted for. If the closure is more than that, then I think you have a good case for not paying as the service hasn't been provided.

And I think it's pretty shitty to spring a lengthy closure on parents with such short notice. Our closures happened at more or less the same time every year (1 at Christmas, 1 in the summer) and dates were published on a rolling basis a year in advance.

MortifiedAdams Tue 02-Jul-13 08:55:03

It sounds to me like they are Childminders rather than a nursey. some CMs expect paying for 52wks a year.

BadSkiingMum Mon 08-Jul-13 17:15:13

The only think I can think of is that, historically, maybe they have always had one long closure of two weeks per year. However, last year they just took one week, so maybe this year they are taking three to make up the difference....

But be aware that this is not unusual. At my nursery you pay when you are on holiday, when your child is ill, when you miss a day for other reasons and also pay for the two weeks closure they have at christmas.... Oh, and they also sometimes sell your missed-day to another parent if you are not using it, so they are earning twice for that day!

However, this closure should have been communicated with plenty of notice, so they are definitely at fault there.

kisszuszu Tue 09-Jul-13 00:19:06

Could you tell me what was the outcome of the meeting? I am in the same situation as you, maybe our sons go to the same nursery.

Ljoy33 Thu 11-Jul-13 14:30:33

Hi, I've worked in a few nurseries in northampton and I'm a childminder now. I never charge for time when I'm not able to provide a service (my holiday my sickness) and I've never worked in a nursery where they have charged when closed, if you have a contract WHICH YOU SHOULD (if you haven't get one) it should state in there whether you pay or not if they are closed if it does not state that you pay refuses to, they are taking you and the other parents for fools otherwise. Hope this helps smile

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