60% price rise at Kiddicarru nursery since Jan for my 4 year old!!!!

(39 Posts)
Carolineabroad Tue 25-Mar-14 08:29:00

Hi all, would be very interested to hear from other parents who have experienced the same thing.

Feeling APPALLED & OUTRAGED!!! My Nursery bill for my 4 year old son has gone up by over 60% since January!!!! I don't feel that this is fair or reasonable or that it was communicated in advance clearly at all.
Despite what myself and several other parents were told, this has nothing to do with 'new government legislation' & our bills will not 'even out of the year'.
After months of battling over emails, the Managing Director has now suggested I remove Jack from nursery.
How can they be allowed to increase prices so much mid way through the year??!!!
I have arranged my working patterns around Jack attending 4 mornings & will struggle to find alternative provision; not to mention the fact I don't want to cause him upheaval & disruption so close to him finishing there.
I think this will strike a chord with many of your readers who are struggling with the cost of childcare.
How are hard working parents expect to be able to work, even part time hours with a 60% increase to our childcare costs?
Kiddicarru is a national organisation with nineteen branches country wide. So it won't be only Northampton parents who are being ripped off.
I have piles of email correspondence which clearly demonstrates the company's appalling customer service & where they have failed to be transparent. I am taking this up with the media, my MP, the council....

In summary;

A 60% increase to fees is a disgrace. This should not be legally possible. Hiding the change, refusing to reply or confirm the change & then requesting that our child be removed from the nursery after we complain.

Caroline

insancerre Tue 25-Mar-14 08:38:24

can you provide more details
how have prices increased?

Cindy34 Tue 25-Mar-14 09:12:29

Have they withdrawn from the nursery education funding? That may be a reason for the increase.

Have they increased costs for non-funded hours?

insancerre Tue 25-Mar-14 10:00:45

the nursery can lose the funding if they are judged as inadequate at an ofsted inspection
have they had an inspection recently?

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 25-Mar-14 10:27:14

It's a private company I'm guessing. What do you think the council and your MP can do?

SavoyCabbage Tue 25-Mar-14 10:31:39

If it's a chain, is it only yours that has had the price hike? Sound like they have failed their ofsted if not.

TiggyD Tue 25-Mar-14 19:50:13

Maybe they're trying to pay their staff the Living Wage?

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 09:20:07

If only they were paying the child care workers more!

They have reduced the amount of early years hours you can claim and massively increased the non funded hours!!!

They area a private nursery so can in effect charge what they like as long as it is communicated clearly in advance. They did not do this , in fact when I queried my bill in January which was more than double of it what it used to be , I was told by the manager that it was just a change it billing method and that it would 'even out over the year'. And that the change was due to local and government legislation'

Both of which are completely untrue.

I have spoken to many other parents here in Northampton with children at Kiddicarru nursery who were told the same thing.

Just wanted to see if other parents nationally have been affected too.

When we questioned the massive price rise and miscommunication the management of the company at all levels were not only unhelpful but extremely rude as our email trail testifies.

We are pursuing this as think a 60% price rise in mind way through the year when you will struggle to find alternative child care is a disgrace, never mind the disruption it would cause my little boy and never mind lying about why it has come about!!

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 09:24:51

Media & council & our MP can put pressure on the company to be transparent with us ........ And also I want to expose the CEO or refusing to have any more contact with me or my husband 'whatsoever' and that if we don't like the levels of communication we have recover to remove Jack from nursery.

What a bully.

I think the more parents who complain, the more likely they arevt get away with treating parents like this.

I have recently discovered that hell hath no fury like a mother scorned!!!!

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 09:27:16

Should also say that we are very happy with the childcare our son receives , he is happy and settled there with lots of great friends, which is even more reason why I dint think I should remove him just because I've complained about a 60% price hike & being mislead!!!

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 09:28:12

And yes Kiddicarru is a national chain with 19 branches

TinyTear Wed 26-Mar-14 09:58:13

Would help if you had spelled the nursery name right but at least Google managed to find it...

Any more details? how much were you paying, how much are you paying now?

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 11:18:35

Sorry! its Kiddi Carru

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 11:21:07

A summary on the key financial points:

Apr-Dec 2013 – Monthly Cost for 4 morning sessions per week £213.52 per month
Jan 2014 - £336.18
Feb 2014 - £323.76
I predict in Aug 2014 my bill will be £458.4!

Change in pricing (I have had to work this out myself Kiddi Caru refuse to confirm):
2013 – early years grant full government entitlement of 114 free sessions per year. 204 full sessions in total. Pay for 90 sessions (the difference) @£28.65 billed as average amount over year = £215 per month
2014 – we are only now allowed to claim 12 out of 15 hours free in any week, maximum of 3 hours per session. Remaining time outside free hours is now charged at higher hourly rate (nursery justified this as some food is provided & an obligatory extra 30 minutes has been added to the session that we are charged for) This results in cost per session of £17.43 for 38 weeks a year (4 sessions a week)…. £28.65 for 13 weeks a year. Each session is charged based on term time based on term time & holiday. I.e. during term time you receive the free hours.. this is why the August bill will be very large. Over the year I work this out as 60% higher. Average bill £344.93.

The new pricing structure was communicated but it is a complicated change, as I hope the above demonstrates, so we could not immediately realise the full implication of the increase.

I would speak to the LA about only being allowed 12 of your funded hours.
But
nurseries don't have to offer NEG funded sessions. And businesses can change their prices though I would check your contract about how much notice they are supposed to give you.
and
Breathe. Vote with your feet.

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 11:46:13

Council are looking into it but I don't think it's as simple as going elsewhere like you would if your local supermarket started charging 60% more for your peppers!

I don't think any nursery should be able to hike prices so dramatically MID year when local alternative provision is full.

If they had introduced these prices last summer we coud have looked at our options.

As it is, Jack is extremely settled with not long before he starts school, I don't want to yank him out now and 'shop around' .That would be greatly to his detriment.

The price hike is one thing. Misleading parents is something else but doing in the middle of the year is a further insult

insancerre Wed 26-Mar-14 11:47:38

so the nursery is offering the free hours, but is limiting them to only 3 a morning
you do 4 mornings so you can only claim 12 hours and not 15 hours
presumably your child attends longer than the 3 hour session, which you rightly have to pay for
if you don't like it then go to a different nursery
the nursery is not trying to rip you off, it is probbaly just trying to remain a viable business
and the fee for august will be higher as the funding finishes in july

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:01:49

But as my LEA have pointed out nothing has changed recently which would have caused them to make his morning sessions suddenly uneconomical

They shouldn't have tried blaming council & govt leg and just said this is a commercial decision because we want to make the same money out of every child wether they get funded hours or not. At least that would have been honest.

In addition to this they have also added an extra half an hour to the morning session was billed as completely free 7.30-8am but now it has come to light that yes I have to pay for it and it's at the exorbitant price rate

So that's half an hour extra a day I have never asked for and will never use at an extra cost to me!!!

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:04:36

*they want to makes same money

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:06:49

All the initiatives to help mums back to work are made a mockery of, if private nurseries can work out sneaky ways of passing on more cost to the customer

They can dictate when they offer funded sessions.

They can raise their prices.

It's a business.You are buying a service from them.

Not being upfront about price rises is utterly shit, that's the part where you may have a leg to stand on. What does the contract say about notice of price changes?

insancerre Wed 26-Mar-14 12:11:02

private nurseries are businesses and are not interested in helping parents back to work
they only want customers that can pay the fees
and the free funding is not to help mums back to work, it is actually for the child, to receive a better start in life and education

This chain failed my dn.

Not a fan

They are all for the money.

TheNightIsDark Wed 26-Mar-14 12:19:10

Hi Caroline (J's mum from W's class). Did you contact ofsted with regard to the attitude? As far as I'm aware any complaint will be logged so any other parents looking at kiddi Caru will see the pricing and how parents have been misled.

I don't think there's anything they can do but it will make other parents more aware.

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:29:35

Thanks all I agree that they can charge what they like ; a grand a day if they want to!!! It's the way they have lied and mislead parents and tried to shift the blame. And as I said the timing stinks too.

what I haven't shared here is the emai trail with the most rude and evasive customer service I've ever come across.

They simply won't admit that it's a commercial decision and confirm our calculations

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:30:25

Mcfreezingmybuttoff did they try to lie about changes to you too?

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:32:44

Hi J's mum! I've contacted ofsted and they are due an inspection but they deal with children's welfare and I guess the welfare issue here is with regard to CEO suggesting I remove him which would affect his welfare adversely

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:39:37

Legally I believe they are required to give one one months notice of price change & that this is communicated clearly.

The changes were so well hidden within the new billing structure that myself and all the other parents I spoke to could not realise the impact this would have on my bill.

Also they said that the new monthly billing structure was in response to extensive feedback from parents (no one I have spoken to aware of this research) and as one mum pointed out ,which parent in their right mind should prefer their bills to be different each month and 60% higher overall!!!!????

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 12:45:36

Actually insancerre , only recently have the government stressed the importance of the free funded hours for making it possible /viable in helping parents return to work, (extended in some areas to include 2 year olds) though no one argue that it isn't in the child's best interest too.

insancerre Wed 26-Mar-14 13:30:00

it wasn't this government that introduced the nursery education grant and it wasn't them either that extended the scheme to needy 2 year olds
if they want to help parents with childcare costs they need to make the scheme work for the nurseries that provide the care
nurseries are left to carry the financial brunt and are losing money
I doubt Ofsted would be interested in financial complaints

More importantly than the money, they failed to support him and my sister through a statement for special needs. Needless to say my an is behind educationally and my sis nearly had a breakdown. I'll never forgive them for what they put us through.

Carolineabroad Wed 26-Mar-14 14:00:50

Correction January bills was only 50% increase

Cindy34 Wed 26-Mar-14 20:03:29

Are trading standards involved? If the change to contract and/or pricing is not clear, then trading standards may be able to be involved in at least getting things clearer.

Apparently caru is Asturian (a Romanian language) for 'expensive'. So the clue was very carefully hidden in the name it seems!

Amazing the things you find out when googling the non-words nurseries seem to love using. Still searching for the meaning of 'Migpot' though... :/

Carolineabroad Thu 27-Mar-14 18:03:23

Hadn't thought to contact Trading standards.

Well Caru meaning expsensive is quite fitting!

zipzap Thu 27-Mar-14 19:52:12

Are they registered with a professional organisation that you could complain to?

Do they have a Facebook page or twitter account that you could put a comment on? You'd need to be pretty careful - you don't want to put big accusations on that they will just turn around and throw your ds out as they don't want you there. But you could ask them to clarify why they won't let you claim all 15 hours for example. Can you get them to confirm that they are not claiming them anyway in case you wanted to use those 3 other hours elsewhere... There was a thread on here a while back where somebody discovered that they were only using 12 hours but The nursery were claiming all 15 hours for her so could have caused all sorts of problems if she had then tried to use them elsewhere.

Also inspired by a previous thread - would they have enough staff to take your ds if you did turn up really early one day? If they don't (because they've assumed that you won't be there) then that would be great thing to go back to them and ask why you are paying for the time if they aren't providing the staff to cover it. Even better if you can get several others who don't normally arrive early to arrive early on the same day so that it's not one person they have to slip in but several which is much more difficult if they don't have enough staff scheduled to cover that time!

Good luck - its miserable when you get screwed like this!

zipzap Thu 27-Mar-14 19:53:36

Oh and do you really want your identifying info on here? Might be worth reporting the thread yourself and asking MNHQ to make it anonymous...

Carolineabroad Fri 28-Mar-14 09:57:14

Thanks so much for your ideas & support zipzap.

TiggyD Fri 28-Mar-14 10:53:28

Carry on what you're doing and make a big fuss.

If the increase was sneakily hidden then I would say sneak off to another nursery and let them chase you for the bill.

I've done supply work at a Kiddi Caru. They're good, but not all that.

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