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AIBU to think nursery IBU to ask for details of XP's income?

(22 Posts)
ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 18:59:44

Is it ethical for a nursery to ask for proof of income from both parents, even separated/divorced ones, in order to determine which fee band should be charged? I had thought their reference to 'both parents' meant both parents in a single household, but apparently they want proof of income from ex-partners too, even those who no longer live together or share finances. This will determine which fee bands are charged for DC at nursery.

I didn't think it was normal to have access to your ex's income details, much less their P60 or tax return. (Or would you get this when applying for child maintenance?)

I also don't think it's fair that an XP's income could potentially bump people into a higher fee band, when they don't actually benefit from the income themselves (except potentially in a more limited and less reliable form as child maintenance).

AIBU to think nursery IBU to ask for this? Or, to put it another way -- what income do you think it would be reasonable for them to ask to see proof of, in order to decide who should benefit from the lower fee bands, and why?

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 08-Jun-16 19:04:24

I've never heard of fees being banded based on income, but agree that taking maintenance into account would make more sense if divorce or separation agreement was that main carer would pay for childcare.

ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 19:12:24

AppleAndBlackberry, they're not asking for the amount of child maintenance, but for the total income level.

E.g. say that lowest fee band is up to £30K, the next fee band up to £70K, and the highest fee band £70K+ -- then the addition of a second income could easily bump somebody up to a higher fee bracket, even if the child maintenance they actually receive is a much smaller amount.

Drinksforeveryone Wed 08-Jun-16 19:13:31

Why does nursery need to know these details ?

I haven't heard of this before.

SewSlapdash Wed 08-Jun-16 19:14:04

I wouldn't be using a nursery that charged depending on what they thought I could afford - unless there is some means testing for discounts. The price is the price, you might get a subsidy, but I would be looking elsewhere otherwise.

ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 19:17:40

It's pretty normal here -- in a big city in the UK -- all the council/community nurseries do this and have a lower rate for people on lower incomes.

ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 19:18:38

I've also checked and their guidelines seem to be to ask for proof of income. But I think it's household income and they check salary via payslips, P60, tax return, or contract of employment.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 08-Jun-16 19:20:12

Are you able to say sorry he will not provide it to me and has no financial liability towards child x other than his ordered maintainance?

Willow2016 Wed 08-Jun-16 19:58:18

Just tell them its his business, you are no longer together, he is not legally obligated to tell them anything. YOU are paying for the nursery so to base it on YOUR income.

I would be looking elsewhere I'm afraid. Anyway my ex would laugh his socks off at such a suggestion and as I have seen precious little of his income for years and years so would I.

Never heard of this before, dont the kids all get the same service at nursery or do the 'rich' kids get gold cutlery or something? How can they charge one person more for the apple they had a snack than another person who earns a bit less?

AfroPuffs Wed 08-Jun-16 20:07:59

Ridiculous system...never heard of this and i would find another nursery. I fail to see what your salary has to do with the cost of care for your child...they provide a service and there is a price. Its not council tax for goodness sake!

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Wed 08-Jun-16 20:11:43

That's bonkers! Tell them your household income is £x, you can't and won't provide the income details of anyone not in your household!

ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 20:14:28

I guess it is weird, but it's definitely the norm for any community/charity/council nurseries my part of the city.

I think it's more about being accessible to lower-income families than anything else. The kids are all treated exactly the same and it is a wonderful place ranked outstanding by Ofsted.

But I don't think it would be affordable for me unless I was on the discounted band.

Waitingfordolly Wed 08-Jun-16 20:15:20

YANBU. I can understand they might want some sort of proof that you are separated to stop people lying but it's ridiculous to treat you as having income you don't have. I've also never heard of banded fees, though I don't necessarily disagree with giving people on low wages a discount.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Wed 08-Jun-16 20:15:56

But you could be on a low income and your ex be a millionaire. They aren't connected.

dillydotty Wed 08-Jun-16 20:25:20

I got £15.00 in total for the 17 years I brought up my eldest two. I am sure XH was earning loads at times but considering we didn't see him for most of those years I wouldn't have a clue really.

ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 20:25:34

That's kind of how I felt about it, LadyStark :-/

JustMarriedBecca Wed 08-Jun-16 20:33:02

I'd be livid getting the same service but paying more because I did more hours/had a higher stressed job that gave me a higher income.
I'd be looking elsewhere.

PreciousVagine Wed 08-Jun-16 20:48:44

Are you sure there hasn't been miscommunication somewhere about you not being together anymore?

Osolea Wed 08-Jun-16 20:55:43

The fee band thing sounds odd to me too, but if that's how it works then I think it's fair enough for them to ask for proof of income for both parents. Both parents have financial responsibility for their child, so a child shouldn't get a reduced rate when their parents can afford to pay normal price for them.

stickystick Wed 08-Jun-16 21:28:33

Child Maintenance is means tested so by adding that to your own income you're giving a pretty accurate picture of your collective means to pay.

ItWasNeverASkirt Wed 08-Jun-16 21:40:33

That sounds sensible, sticky -- maybe I should suggest that instead.

My only problem is that our maintenance arrangement is privately agreed, so I'm not sure what evidence I could show (that's if they would accept it in the first place).

HeddaGarbled Wed 08-Jun-16 21:50:40

Just say you are unable to provide any evidence and why.

I don't think that it's unreasonable or unethical to ask. They don't know your individual circumstances and as PPs say, he could be rolling in it and willing to pay for nursery, so fair enough to ask.

What would be unreasonable is if you are penalised for not being able to provide any evidence. But don't make that assumption yet.

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