It's the first time I'm starting a thread but thought it was absolutely necessary that I put this out there.
We're in the process of looking for a nursery place for our 2.5 year old
I enquired at Ruskin House, (48 Herne Hill, London, SE24 9OP) as we live close by in Herne Hill. My husband & I went for a viewing, liked the nursery and walked away with the Price List among other paperwork.
When I got home I made my own calculations in comparison to their Price List and the two did not match. In fact, the difference is of £768 yearly, so of course I was intrigued to find out why such a big gap in our calculations.
I queried this with them and got very dismissive responses and so after various emails to and fro I requested to speak to their Finance Manager, Pat. I went to meet with him last Friday and he said that the difference for the additional charges, is due to:
"In relation to the '15 Free hours' (NEF) Lambeth only pay Ruskin House, £4.10 approx for each of those hours and so the parent has to make up the remainder of the hourly rate"
Please note the response from Lambeth "Families Information Service Officer"
" If the nursery offer the free early learning then the 15 hours should be totally free"!!
Also, may I add that when I went for the viewing, the manager was extremely nice and friendly, once I began to query the price she was extremely rude and the day that I went to meet the Finance guy, she didn't even acknowledge me or say hello. Nor did I even get introduced to him or was even greeted with any sort of friendliness or real sincere desire to get to the bottom of this. It was plain rudeness throughout, until I pretended to understand what Pat was saying and that it was now 'clear'. I was dying to get out of there and to contact Lambeth again, which I did and confirmed that they are overcharging parents there!! This is in the process of being officially reported! But I thought it would be best to hear if any other parents had queried this before.
So they're charging top up fees, which they're not allowed to do.
Please complain to the government as well about their shockingly low payments, while advertising 'free' spaces which are not fully funded. Providers are fed up to the back teeth with subsidising a government scheme, but should still not be breaking the rules.
Well, I'll leave it for the providers to complain about that to the government. On some instances, as is the case with Ruskin house, they proudly present it on their website about the NEF and of course this is to attract more potential customers. But then go ahead, and wrongly charge top up fees!! Against the law! Another point is their nasty attitude. They were happy to smile when we were viewing the place but the minute you walk back out the door, it's a whole different matter! I'll be worried about sending my DD there.