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AIBU? Should I take daughter out of nursery?

(136 Posts)
LauraJade0308 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:44:45

Not sure if I’m overreacting, or just being over emotional, please advise!

We took DD out of her previous nursery due to it being extremely unreliable (always closing at short notice, lots of staff sickness, etc)

We found a nursery much closer to home which seemed perfect, good reputation, big chain, lots of good reviews...

DD started last Monday (25thFeb). She is entitled to the 30 hours free government funding per week as we both work. Nursery had told us that the only sessions available equaled to 25 hours per week, which we were fine with, because it was still within her free allowance.
Anyway, she attended Monday all day, didn’t go Tuesday as that was a day they couldn’t do, and went an afternoon Wednesday. When we picked her up Wednesday, we asked how she had been, all was fine, nothing to mention.
When we put her in the car I noticed her eye was slightly red and puffy and had gunk in the corner. Straight away I could tell what it was. Conjunctivitis. Got her home, traveled to 3 different pharmacies to find eye drops.
The next morning I called the nursery to inform them that she wouldn’t be in the rest of the week as she has conjunctivitis (They have a policy that children can’t attend if they have medication that isn’t prescribed by a doctor) The lady who answered said “Oh, yeah we’ve had a few cases of that recently!” And laughed.
Am I right in thinking parents should have been informed of this?
So, on top of already being miffed, I receive an email on Friday from the nursery with an invoice for £85! ... For nursery fees...

I just don’t know what to make of this!
From our perspective, she’s been there a full day and 2 half days, has caught a BAD case of bacterial conjunctivitis, we have spent our whole weekend having to bathe her eyes every 10 minutes, fight her to apply drops and ointment, (not very fun at 41 weeks pregnant) and now they are expecting us to pay £85 per month for her to go there when she isn’t even attending the amount of hours that she is entitled to?!

What do I do?

Lwg87 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:47:30

I think in a nursery setting you have to accept that they will catch things like that and they can’t police every single bug that’s going around.

I’m confused about the bill? Was it a mistake?

katykins85 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:49:49

NHS. Advice is that chidlren can attend school and nursery with conjunctivitis so they have done nothing wrong.

katykins85 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:51:15

NHS page on conjunctivitis

JassyRadlett Sun 03-Mar-19 17:52:08

Ok so there are a couple of issues here.

First the bill - was it a surprise? Most private nurseries have to operate with a mix of funded and paid hours because the funding is insufficient.

Second, the conjunctivitis. This is totally normal. Our nursery will put a note on the door for illnesses such as chicken pox or noro, but not conjunctivitis which is pretty manageable. Why didn’t you go to the GP to get something prescribed, particularly if it’s such a bad case?

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sun 03-Mar-19 17:52:23

Conjunctivitis is just one of those things surely.

I don’t understand about the bill though.

katykins85 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:52:37

As for the bill,have you done stretch funding? 30 hours is only for term time so equates to around 22 a week all year. If you are doing 25 that would be 12 hours ish a month for you to pay.

IVEgottheDECAF Sun 03-Mar-19 17:52:43

£85 pcm for 25 hours a week is not bad

You need to clear up what the additional fees are for, meals etc

As for conjunctivitis it happens just like coughs and colds.

amymel2016 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:53:15

Personally, i’m not too bothered about conjunctivitis, it’s so common, surely in every nursery at any given time there is at least one child with it? They’d spend all their time alerting parents to it if they had to. Obviously it’s different if there’s complications etc

In regards to payment, if you’ve got your child booked in for a day then you have to pay, regardless if they attend or not. The nursery will have made sure the staffing levels were correct and you need to cover that cost. At my DS nursery we pay for 52 weeks of the year, obviously he’s not there all that time but they have to assume he is.

amymel2016 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:55:03

Sorry, got cut off! May be the nursery doesn’t get payment from the government if your child is ill? So you have to pay it? If not, may just be a clerical error.

endevo Sun 03-Mar-19 17:55:36

To go 3 days a week on free hours we have an additional charge of around £100 a month for food/stuff that isn't covered by the free hours. I think that sounds normal, you need to check with the nursery.

The conjunctivitis is unfortunate but very common and you're being ridiculous about it to be honest.

BlueMerchant Sun 03-Mar-19 17:55:52

The bill was an oversight if she's got the funding so likely a genuine mistake with whoever does the accounts, especially as she has just started at nursery. I'd explain and let that go.
Whoever laughed off the conjunctivitis and mentioned they'd had a few cases of it doesn't sound very professional. I'd have a chat with whoever is in charge. While you expect minor illnesses to be passed about I would have expected to know if the nursery had a few cases of conjunctivitis.

LauraJade0308 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:56:40

I understand they will catch things, it’s inevitable, I am most annoyed that they didn’t inform parents that I was around the nursery. Makes me wonder if they would do the same with other things such as chickenpox etc. Also, why are they allowing children with conjunctivitis to attend the nursery? Apparently the bill was correct, the answer I got was ‘it’s the way the funding is worked out’... That’s a big help. Also, another thing I forgot to mention was that DD is a very fussy eater, so I send her with a packed lunch. When we collected her Monday, her lunchbox was still full, minus a yogurt and cereal bar. (She was there 10 hours)!! When I asked why she hadn’t had her lunch, I was told that they have a healthy eating policy and lunchboxes had to contain low fat and low sugar items. DD does not eat fruit or veg at all. Never has. She’s been prescribed vitamins as an alternative. So because they refused to give her a sausage roll and crisps, she had to go hungry all day and sit with the other children while they ate. Fair enough they have a policy, but isn’t a main, crisps and drink a standard lunch these days?
I was furious!

Peeeas Sun 03-Mar-19 17:56:48

30 hours entitlement is over 38 weeks (i.e. term time). Most nurseries average it out so you get the same bill each month. So not unexpected, but they should have explained it.

SinkGirl Sun 03-Mar-19 17:57:25

I assume the additional costs are explained as being for meals / snacks etc? Lots of nurseries have to do this as the funding doesn’t cover their places.

My twin started two mornings a week in January. They’ve each had at least 3 sessions off since then due to illness, and one will have to skip tomorrow as well as he’s really unwell. They pick up everything when they start nursery, and it’s not the nursery’s fault.

I still have to pay for those sessions which is completely standard - how else could they operate a business?

3 year old funding is for early education for your child, you should definitely continue.

Lazypuppy Sun 03-Mar-19 17:59:12

A lot of nurseries offer mornig and afternoon slots as funded, but the hour over lunch you have to pay for. And also, snacks etc.

Surely they would have told you what your monthly bill would be when you signed a contract?

Lazypuppy Sun 03-Mar-19 18:00:45

You sent a sausage roll and crisps in for lunch confused i'm not suprised they refused to give it to her. Schools won't allow that either. They would have offered her food they provided

JassyRadlett Sun 03-Mar-19 18:00:55

Also, why are they allowing children with conjunctivitis to attend the nursery?

As a PP mentioned, that’s in line with NHS advice.

It sounds like early communication with the nursery about their rules and routines and your DD’s needs/your expectations hasn’t been great. It might be worth trying to reset the relationship. My eldest had very serious eating issues - we worked in partnership with nursery to deal with them over a period of years. It was hard work, and important we were all on the same page.

LauraJade0308 Sun 03-Mar-19 18:01:32

That’s the thing! On signup, we were not told about a fee OR about the healthy eating policy, or else we would have gone elsewhere

SinkGirl Sun 03-Mar-19 18:02:05

Yes, the funding is only for term time - if the nursery is open all year that works out to just under 22 free hours a week so you’d have to pay the difference (most nurseries close for at least two weeks though). You could find a term time only nursery though if you prefer, or send her for 20 hours a week.

You may still have a bill as many nurseries charge a daily fee for free hours entitlement.

As for the food, you need to either come up with something that meets their guidelines (mine generally have sandwiches or pita bread, with fruit and maybe some breadsticks or rice cakes) or find another nursery.

Children don’t need to be excluded for conjunctivitis so they haven’t done anything wrong.

I get it - our family have been ill almost constantly since we looked round a different nursery in December (norovirus), and then since they started in January. This last bug has been bouncing round the family for a month and we’ve all been really unwell. It’s inevitable to some extent though.

spanieleyes Sun 03-Mar-19 18:03:26

Did you not ask? Surely the first thing to ask, once you like the feel of the nursery, is how the free hours are allocated and what the extra costs are. Rules and policies would come next!

SinkGirl Sun 03-Mar-19 18:03:55

They didn’t tell you about costs at all? Did they send you a parent handbook with guidelines for food, illness etc? If not you need to discuss all this with them. Does the invoice state whether it’s for hours or food etc?

unfortunateevents Sun 03-Mar-19 18:04:17

"but isn’t a main, crisps and drink a standard lunch these days" - no it really isn't - not for a three year old when the "main" is a sausage roll! Your DD may not eat fruit or veg but it's a petty big leap from that to giving her a sausage roll and crisps for lunch. What does she not have a cheese sandwich or hummus and pitta or something else instead? Having said that, I'm surprised that nursery didn't given her some of the standard lunch instead - or maybe they tried and she refused to eat it?

sweeneytoddsrazor Sun 03-Mar-19 18:04:59

No mains crisps and drink is not a standard lunch. Maybe she would be better off having a lunch provided by nursery. She will soon start eating what is offered especially when she sees others eating it.

IVEgottheDECAF Sun 03-Mar-19 18:06:16

Thing is op nurseries have to have rules around food or people send it crap like pot noodles.....however you should have been told in advance

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