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AIBU to think they should have told us sooner?

(24 Posts)
KitKat1985 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:09:41

Our DDs both go to a nursery in a fairly rural part of the world, and is open 7.30am - 6pm. The nursery also run a pre and post schools club, and drop the kids off to 3 of the local schools via minibuses. This is really handy as a lot of the schools locally don't offer any breakfast /after-schools club at all (or shut the after-schools club too early to be a lot of use to working parents), and are in areas over-subscribed for childminders, and it means that for parents with younger children too they can drop their school age kids off at the same site as they drop their nursery school aged children, and then go straight on to work. Subsequently for ourselves, (and for a lot of other parents in the area), the availability of their childcare was a big factor in what schools we put down for DD1 who is starting school in September, as we purposely put down our top 2 options as being schools served by the school club, so that we could continue to manage our jobs etc and know that there was a suitable childcare option available. We have even mentioned to staff at the nursery about DD1 starting at the school club in September and they've all spoken about it positively. Today however we've had an e-mail out of the blue to say they are shutting the pre and post school club permanently at the end of the school year, as it's no longer economically viable for them to run it. I suspect they must have known for a while that they were gong to have to do this, as I can't imagine it's become economically non-viable overnight when they've been running for years. Now I get that it's a business and I can't expect them to run if they can't make a profit out of it, but given that they would have known that childcare availability would be an important factor for a lot of parents when they did their schools application, aibu to think they should have mentioned this a few months ago? I certainly would have ordered my preferences differently if I had known that I wouldn't have any childcare provision available for certain schools. It also means that for the parents that currently have children who use the club they will all now suddenly have to start looking for alternative childcare providers at the same time (and as I say, a lot often childminders are already over-subscribed, so not an easy task), whereas if it had been mentioned a few months ago other parents would have had more time to source more options. AIBU to be a bit miffed that they didn't mention this a few months ago?

Mouikey Mon 08-Apr-19 14:13:29

You can be as miffed as you like and that’s not unreasonable. But it’s the end of the financial year and they have probably limped on for as long as they could without making the decision. They are not bu for making the announcement now.

bridgetreilly Mon 08-Apr-19 14:14:04

YABU. It's five and a half months until September. And three months until they are closing. That is a LONG time in the life of a small business. At the point you were applying for schools, they had not made their decision and no, they might not have known they were going to be closing at that point. This is just how life is.

GregoryPeckingDuck Mon 08-Apr-19 14:16:23

Their insurance may have gone up drastically or something. Sometimes things can happen unexpectedly in business.

CarrieBlu Mon 08-Apr-19 14:16:29

A local nursery/before and after school club in my area once closed, giving parents only 10 days notice. Count yourself lucky to have as much notice as you do.

KitKat1985 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:17:47

I get it, I really do, that they're a business not a charity, and that they can't run without making a decent profit. I just wish they had said a few months ago that they would be looking at the economic viability of keeping the club open after this school year, even if they hadn't made a firm decision yet, so at least parents had a heads up that it might not be possible to rely on it as a childcare option.

FaithFrank Mon 08-Apr-19 14:25:10

I just wish they had said a few months ago that they would be looking at the economic viability of keeping the club open after this school year

If they had said it a few months ago (if true) parents would have started looking for alternative provision and pulling their children out, thus guaranteeing that the club would close. It would have been a very foolish decision from their point of view.

Kolo Mon 08-Apr-19 14:26:39

I’d imagine the decision has been taken due to low uptake for September? Perhaps they’d hoped they’d be able to fill more places than they have to keep their head above water? It would have been a very daft decision to ‘warn’ parents months ago, as that would have meant parents looking for alternatives then, making it even less likely to be able to be viable.

OddBoots Mon 08-Apr-19 14:28:58

It's possible that making it known that it might not run next year would have caused parents to make alternative plans and it would definately have not been viable whereas it was only 50/50 at the time. Sadly it turned out not to be viable anyway but it was a gamble.

MitziK Mon 08-Apr-19 14:31:55

As it's quite likely the choice was cut costs or close altogether, I think it's annoying, but a lot less so than finding out the entire nursery is closing.

Nicknacky Mon 08-Apr-19 14:32:43

Thing is, no childcare is set in stone and last forever. Things change even when you think it’s settled.

At least you have plenty of warning

FudgeBrownie2019 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:32:45

It's difficult for them because in all probability they'd have realised sooner than now, but announcing it before now could have resulted in parents removing their DC from the setting which would affect them financially even more. So whilst I see why you're upset, I also get why they'd leave it til now to announce. It's still a few months for you to organise alternatives.

KitKat1985 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:33:45

Okay fair point. I guess if they had given parents a heads up a lot of parents would have already started looking at other childcare options.

Kolo - I don't think it's to do with uptake in Sept as historically parents can't apply to the club anyway until they know which primary school they have been allocated to (which we don't find out until next week) so usually their applications for the school club in the following September start in late April / May.

codenameduchess Mon 08-Apr-19 14:34:05

They probably didn't know a few months ago. My DDs nursery closed entirely with 3 weeks notice and none of the staff had any idea it was coming but we managed to find a new provider, I'd say 5 months is plenty of time to sort something else out. Usually a loss like that will prompt someone else to step up.

The financial year end can show up concerns that hadn't been clear before so yabu to be annoyed at them- but by all means be annoyed generally, it's frustrating!

Holidayshopping Mon 08-Apr-19 14:37:19

I doubt they knew a few months ago and like a previous poster has said, to tell parants it might be on the cards would have been business suicide. They have given you plenty of time really. I can understand it’s annoying though.

DestinationPub Mon 08-Apr-19 14:41:46

Shame about your school, I’m sorry. Would you have chosen differently if the bus option hadn’t been available?

It’s worth looking now for cover in September. Just in case you can find something similar. It is an opportunity for someone. Maybe on a smaller scale it would be economically viable.

We share a nanny who does the school run for two families before she comes to us (my DS not school age). The children are dropped off at her place until it’s time to go to school. Maybe you could find someone willing to do this?

KitKat1985 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:45:28

Thank you Destination. We find out next Tues the 16th what school DD1 has been allocated to, so once we know this we'll start looking at what alternative childcare options we can source.

I know in the grand scheme of things it's not the worst thing in the world, but it's just such a struggle anyway trying to juggle both our full-time jobs and two young DDs, that anything that completely throws out our childcare plans feels like a mini nightmare!

LIZS Mon 08-Apr-19 14:47:49

They have given you a term's notice.

KitKat1985 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:50:40

I should add (which probably partly explains our upset) that DD1 has autism and the nursery have been brilliant with her, and she already knows all the staff at the school club, and the building etc, so it would have been much better for her emotionally too to have been able to stay with staff that know her and her triggers already. sad That's probably partly why I feel so panicked. I don't know how many childcare providers are going to jumping at the opportunity to childmind a child who is doubly incontinent still, and needs a lot of 1:1 support with certain things. Sigh.

purplecorkheart Mon 08-Apr-19 14:52:28

I would put money on them getting a massive increase in Insurance costs. Sadly it is happening here more and more and most small businesses are unable to take the hit.

strathmore Mon 08-Apr-19 14:54:06

Are you sure that the schools are not opening their own? Lots are as no ratios and a good way to make extra money or to reduce the need to make TA redundancies.

katseyes7 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:55:55

l'm so sorry this is happening to you. l think it's happening in a lot of places and unfortunately, the staff may not have been able to inform you that this wouldn't be an option.
My friend has managed the same pre-school nursery for thirty years. They've known for two years that they were going to close, but weren't allowed to tell anyone until this term. She's very upset about it, as a lot of the children she cares for are children and grandchildren of people she's looked after in the past. The families are devastated and feel much the same as you, that they've had very little notice to make alternative arrangements, and my friend and the staff feel terrible as they've known for so long but couldn't tell anyone.

ThereIsIron Mon 08-Apr-19 15:26:02

YAB a bit U. That's a fair bit of notice. The nursery which we've been using for the past 16 years, and had planned to use for another 3, closed last week with 1 months notice.

KingLooieCatz Mon 08-Apr-19 15:50:05

We were in a similar position, also fairly rural, not enough childminders and the schools didn't operate their own after school club. The after school that was run by the same people as the nursery DS went to gave us a few weeks notice that they wouldn't be collecting from his school any more. Then a childminder let me down, having agreed to take him, she didn't have a place for him when we needed it. Fortunately we were re-locating a few weeks later anyway and covered with taking part days annual leave. We certainly chose the next school based on childcare available!

Hope you find a solution.

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