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To think nursery should owe me a day for Boxing Day when they're closed!

(153 Posts)
purplebaubles Sat 30-Nov-13 19:53:21

DD attends nursery just two days a week - Thursday and a Friday.

Just been informed that they are closed on the Thursday (Boxing Day) - no problem. So I said, I'd send her Monday and Friday that week instead.

I've been told it's tough and we'll just lose the day but still have to pay for it?!

I work term time only, so don't get paid in the holidays.

AIBU to think that they should owe me a day, given I'm paying for it?

I might add, normally (i.e not Christmas week!) they're dead flexible if I need to change days.

ChessieFL Sat 14-Dec-13 15:15:20

I must be very lucky with my nursery. We do not have to pay when the nursery is closed, and the monthly bill is calculated on the number of nursery days that month. The nursery is closed on bank holidays and for a few other days at Christmas and Easter. This means my bill for December and March/April is much lower than other months!

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sat 14-Dec-13 15:15:06

The OP may well be a net loser if the cost of bank holidays was spread as she doesn't use Mondays.

whatever5 Sat 14-Dec-13 14:08:11

It's ridiculous to charge for days when they are not open. They are not providing a service so why should the customer pay? They need to charge more for the days they are open to cover costs (staff salaries etc) on the days they are shut.

Nurseries clearly only do this to make their "day rates" look cheaper. It's not fair/reasonable at all.

Bakerof3pudsxx Sat 14-Dec-13 12:13:17

If every child who should do a Thursday did a different day they would prob have too many in

hackmum Sat 14-Dec-13 12:10:57

I think you wouldn't notice so much if she went five days a week - you'd probably accept that this is an annual cost, divided by 12, and the nursery is closed a few days. It becomes really noticeable when she only goes two days a week and the nursery is closed for one of them. I don't think there's anything you can do about it though - it's not great from your perspective but I'm sure it's legal.

(Brief diversion: the son of a friend of mine suffered a head injury at nursery which was probably the nursery's fault for not supervising him properly. He was off nursery for a week but they still charged the parents. I think the key thing in all of this is that in the nursery-parent relationship, the nursery holds all the cards.)

ProudAS Sat 14-Dec-13 12:07:53

There are 260 week days (Mon-Fri) per year and only 8 of them are bank holidays the increase in daily rates needed to cover a zero charge on bank holidays wouldn't be much.

ProudAS Sat 14-Dec-13 12:01:56

What is legal and what us fair seem to be two different things.

IMO the nursery should not charge for days when they are closed. That would mean the daily rate having to be increased but why should the OP have to pay the same as another parent for only half the service? And its bound to be worse for a parent whose child attends on a Monday since that's when most bank holidays are.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Sat 14-Dec-13 09:52:35

None of our local nurseries charge for bank holidays, they do charge if you don't attend of course but not if they are shut.

SarahBumBarer Sat 14-Dec-13 09:11:47

It is ridiculous to suggest that trading standards would get involved with this. It is simply an annualised cost. There is nothing wrong with a nursery saying "this is the service you are getting and it excludes bank holidays and the annual cost of that is £x and we are going to ask you to pay £x/12 every month to keep things simple". So effectively some months you get more than what you are paying for and some months you get less. I mean some months have 28 days in them and some months have 31 days - you are not getting the same amount of nursery days each month anyway but most nurseries expect you to pay a set monthly fee based on your contract.

sleepdodger Mon 02-Dec-13 22:09:52

I pay FT for 51 weeks a year, 52 is a closed christmas week but they do close another week too, then if we're away, illness etc its all paid for
I reckon its about 7 weeks a year at £250 a week not paid for, BUT I knew that when I signed up, its not ideal but its a great place and its what I have to do to get pod quality childcare for the other 45 odd weeks a year, which wins out every time

BigFatGoalie Mon 02-Dec-13 22:02:44

That's so cheap!
Try average £70 down South! envy

TheDoctrineOfSanta Mon 02-Dec-13 21:30:55

Colinfirth, there's lots if examples on the thread of nurseries who do charge for bank holidays.

ilovecolinfirth Mon 02-Dec-13 21:28:12

I'd be surprised if they charge. Our nursery is open 51 weeks a year (minus bank holidays). We"re only charged for when its open, but the savings are spread through the year.

lillibet1 Mon 02-Dec-13 21:21:06

every nursery does this and they work your fees out over 51 weeks there for you are not paying for the day that they are closed you are paying a little bit less each month

OldDaddy Mon 02-Dec-13 16:30:18

If they cant provide the service because they are closed that's fine. But how can they charge you for it?

AuditAngel Sun 01-Dec-13 14:17:25

Our nursery is open 51 weeks a year, the price of the closed week is spread over the rest of the year.

DS used to attend full time so I accepted the bank holidays as par for the course. DD1&2 have only ever attended Mondays and Fridays which is statistically the worst possible combination. Unfortunately Tuesday to Thursday are the days family member (DM/MIL/DH) can do.

A couple of years ago there was an outbreak of something that required the baby room to be closed for most of December for deep cleaning. We had more than 2 weeks with no childcare at one days notice. I was lucky as I only needed to find care for 2 days a week! We did not pay for the closure. I received a bill for over £200 for 1 day of care that month. I argued that this wasn't fair. I agreed that I hadn't been charged for the closed sessions, and I normally paid for the closure over Christmas. They waived the fees (other than the one session she went to) as a goodwill gesture.

I have suggested in the past that the cost of bank holidays is pro rated, but the nursery have no appetite for something that doesn't affect most parents abandon would be difficult to administer.

Pigsmummy Sun 01-Dec-13 13:59:13

Standard T's&C's at most nurseries. I use Monday and Friday which is the least value over a year due to BH, however as I am off all bank holidays I am not too bothered.

JingleMyBells Sun 01-Dec-13 13:54:28

You're paying for the place so regardless of whether your child goes you must pay. If you just refused to pay on random days then they would be within their rights to give that place away. YABU.

CaroBeaner Sun 01-Dec-13 13:51:48


The price is usually fixed at rate which takes into account bank hols spread over every day of the year. If you were entitled to a rebate for every bank hol, the price per day would be higher.

Think of it from a full time pov: for a child who was f/t when exactly would a day in lieu of a bank hol be given? The child would already be there on that day. And in the case of a nursery like yours where the f/t places are divided out into a selection of p/t places, suppose every child who would have been in nursery on a Thu demanded to come in on another day, the nursery would be illegally bursing at the seams on that day because they would be added to the usual p/t children for that day.

I know it is hard from your pov, but you haven't thought it through.

Also by law, your daily rate should include an amount which is towards holiday and bank holiday - they can either pay it separately or build it into the daily rate. But you are being paid pro rata for bank hols / a pro rata amount of min holiday allowance - it's law!

nauticant Sun 01-Dec-13 13:40:15

Also, if you working is only covering childcare costs is there really a need for you to work when you're not gaining any more money?

This could be because the OP wants to keep her hand in regarding her work. Or because she benefits from having a home life and also a formal work life. Or something else. It's perfectly reasonable.

TheDoctrineOfWho Sun 01-Dec-13 13:06:06

Combine, I think the comments about time spent with kids were in response to another poster who is a CM about some of her mindees, rather than about OP.

Wishuponastar011 Sun 01-Dec-13 12:33:16

I haven't read all the replies so sorry if I'm repeating something that has already been said.
I work in a nursery, we charge for all bank holidays because us staff need to be paid - as you do I assume? The reason you may not be able to change days is because they are on ratio that day. My room at nursery is at full capacity everyday, so if a parent asked to change a day to another for any reason they would be told no - because it is illegal to be over ratio.

I understand it's annoying, but at the end of the day it's a business.

Also, if you working is only covering childcare costs is there really a need for you to work when you're not gaining any more money?

CombineBananaFister Sun 01-Dec-13 12:24:09

I feel your pain OP - £45 is our weekly food bill too, as i said before some (nice/preferable) nurseries just weren't fianancially doable for us and I wish I didn't have to make that choice.

If it's not clear and you're sure it wouldn't alter the relationship with the nursery, I'd query it - what you got to lose?
Do think you'll end up having to suck it up though.

Also don't understand some of the judgyness going on about the amount of time you spend with your daughter or about people who would use childcare on Boxing day - some people would still need it as they have to work especially now that there is no bloody retail rest.

Revengeofkarma Sun 01-Dec-13 12:19:54

And for the record, and indeed as already stated, I don't get paid for the days I don't work. And I still have to pay nursery for the week they're shut between Christmas and New Year's. and any day my DD is sick. Half pay for holidays with a month's notice. So yeah, I must be a hard hearted cow with no understanding of what it is like to not get paid but have to pay nursery fees.

And of course, constantly be called a liar by ivykaty44, champion of consumer law. Thankfully, I at least have the consolation of basic, published facts being on my side there. Challenging contracts through TS. Hahahahahahahahah. She said it. I only quoted. Follow her advice at your peril and my amusement. Why is it amusing? Because that's what I get paid to deal with, except that the people who want my advice a) seem to have a clue and b) want to take it to find the best way forward (and the best commercial outcome for them financially) instead of calling me a liar.

nannynick Sun 01-Dec-13 12:05:13

>I was just wondering if this was common practise and what other people, who use nurseries, thought about it.

It is common practise though there are various ways of pricing a service. For example, some providers operate a pay-as-you-go service so you pay a higher fee but only pay for what you use. Others will calculate costs based on you using the service all year round, others may do it on a per term basis - then break that down into daily/hourly charge.

It should be made clear in contracts and other documentation what is and is not chargeable. So if it is not clear then you could point that out to the nursery owner so that they can add further information to the Information Pack that parents get when they first enquire about the nursery.

If the contract is ambiguous on that matter than it is worth arguing the point. You have agreed the contract as per your understanding of the contract. If a point is not clear then the nursery I feel needs to make it clearer in future contracts. If it before a court, what would the ruling be, that the contract is reasonably subject to more than one interpretation. The nursery interpret it one way, service users (parents) see it another way.

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