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AIBU nursery want to be paid when my child wasn't there

(113 Posts)
angie1984 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:21:21

So i have a DD who is two and started nursery in October last year, when my husband started working, they were very good allowing us to switch days as we needed as they weren't full at the time, I was about 5/6 months pregnant at the time and stated at the initial meeting it was only going to be until I went on maternity leave, in January.
So January rolls around and its the last couple of weeks before I go on maternity leave on 24 th so we tell them and our daughter that she won't be coming much longer, when it gets to the last week we state that it is the last week and then when we get to the last day, we state we won't need them anymore, until I finish maternity. During this period but i'm unsure when, they ask if we would like to keep our DD on their books for when i return to work, which I say yes but that she will not be in for the next 6 months while i'm off.
Got an email early Feburary about an invoice for the whole of the month of Feburary which having just given birth i assumed was an error on their part. Today i've had another email stating I need to pay ASAP, called the nursery who say i didn't give four weeks notice, which i probably didn't officially. They are charging me for the four weeks.
AIBU to think this is very CF while I admit I do not think i gave them four weeks notice, we spoke with them about it at many pick ups. And when I received my invoice at the end of January I double checked that this included all the days she was doing in January, when I spoke to them on the phone I point out that we had spoke to them about it at least 2 weeks prior to her leaving, they stated they would get back to us. Should I pay for two weeks or nothing at all. No one once mentioned this four week notice period and when i booked her in for her last few weeks and then stated she would not be coming after the 24 th or in the weeks that followed.

OneForMeToo Thu 20-Feb-20 17:23:31

I think if you told then back when she started that as of X they wouldn’t be needed anymore and then you kept reminding them of that once X came she was leaving I would take that as you made them well aware of her leaving.

I’m still waiting for the Lastest bill normally our around the 7th bet I get hit with a charge for paying late even when I haven’t got an invoice. Nursery’s seem to be bad with bills.

Hanch99 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:25:41

Did you sign a contract and what did your contract say about notice and how to give it?

As a business owner its stated in the contract that any changes need to be emailed to our admin with 4 weeks notice. As telling our staff is unreliable as they may or may not communicate this with the office.

Juliette20 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:27:42

I'd write back saying you gave them notice on X date. You might end up paying for two weeks as a compromise.

For a clause like this to be enforceable though they have to have sent you their terms and conditions before you paid in October and bring the notice period to your attention, so in a covering letter or email. Did they do that? If not, you really shouldn't pay at all. Though if it is generally a nice place and you want to use them again I'd phone them and try and sort it out.

Juliette20 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:29:19

Also you told them at the initial meeting when the end date was likely to be, allowing them plenty of notice to fill the place and not make a loss.

Iliketonamechangealot9876542 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:30:58

Most contracts are 1 months notice, we still had to when DS left nursery to go to school.

All the pre school kids were leaving but they needed written notice.

It’s in my contract.
Probably in yours too, you should have given written notice if needed for the appropriate amount of time.

MsPavlichenko Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:22

You should have either emailed or written with notice four weeks before your last day. They have presumably taken the last day as the notice period.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:27

I suspect you needed to give 4 weeks notice in writing to the office. It is highly likely to be in the contract.
I would suggest you get used to checking many activities need a whole terms notice to stop.

peanutbuttermarmite Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:34

I’ve always been caught for a full calendar month’s notice, so if I gave notice on 2nd sept, I’d have to pay October and ‘notice’ would be 1 October.

Don’t rely on telling people, it should be in writing. Best to ring the nursery manager and talk to them about the misunderstanding as your dd is intending to go back they may compromise.

TorkTorkBam Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:35

You have to do this kind of thing in writing. Expecting verbal agreement with the carer not the manager to be enough for the contract to be ended is not reasonable.

You have bollocks it up. They might take pity if you admit your mistake and beg for mercy. If you make out like they are arses or worse that the carers are at fault for not telling you to do the blimming obvious admin then they'll likely stick to the letter of the contract.

PureAlchemy Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:41

What does it say in your contract about giving notice?

The nursery we used insisted on receiving written notice for this sort of thing - including demanding written notice for children leaving nursery to start Reception - although they did make this clear in their terms and conditions.

thehorseandhisboy Thu 20-Feb-20 17:31:54

You need to check your contract. Nurseries will always have a notice period. It's between you and the nursery management tbh, not the nursery workers, so it doesn't matter how many times you mentioned it, if your intention to stop your dd's place wasn't in writing it didn't happen.

If dd is 'on their books' she has a place reserved, which needs to be paid for. Unless you agreed a return date for her in six months time, which it doesn't sound like you did.

Unfortunately, if you didn't give the nursery four weeks notice in writing, they are correct to charge you.

I think you need to pay the February invoice, give notice now and consider whether to use some of the sessions in March that you will be invoiced for if they're within the notice period.

Speak to them. It may be that if there is a child in the waiting list who can take dd's place immediately, they may be able to waive the four week period from now, but you can't guarantee it I'm afraid.

You say that you received an invoice in early February which you didn't respond to as you thought it was a mistake. I appreciate that you'd just given birth, but you husband could have called them to clarify. It's ridiculous to think that you can just ignore an invoice I'm afraid.

DailyMailHater Thu 20-Feb-20 17:32:11

If you signed up to give 4 weeks notice then I think there won’t be much you can do, it doesn’t sound like you gave a definitive last date until the final week - “won’t be coming much longer” isn’t a confirmed final date - unless you were saying “she is finishing on x date” the whole time.
My son was leaving nursery to start school and I still had to give them 4 weeks written notice of his final day as per the Ts&Cs I signed when he started.

MsPavlichenko Thu 20-Feb-20 17:32:12

Start of the notice period.

CastleCrasher Thu 20-Feb-20 17:32:20

I think it's fair that you pay for the balance of the for weeks notice, so if that's two weeks, then that. Surprised you don't have a retainer to pay for keeping her on their books though - you certainly have to at ours!

Elouera Thu 20-Feb-20 17:33:53

The staff you verbally mentioned it to might have assumed you'd already following the process and put it in writing, and were simply advising them also. I agree that you need to check what contract you signed/agreed to at the beginning.

In dealing with any business, its normal to have to give written notice, even if its just an email, so I'm surprised you thought verbally mentioning it was sufficient (I realise you had other things on your plate too), but otherwise there is no proof you mentioned to anyone and no proof of when.

tempnamechange98765 Thu 20-Feb-20 17:33:56

Hmm it is cheeky/mean of them. But technically I think it's probably fair, we have to give a calendar month's notice at our nursery.

Jaxhog Thu 20-Feb-20 17:34:09

YOu MUST give the correct notice if it's in your contract. If you don't then, you are preventing them from selling that place to another child. Why should they lose that money?

Pay up.

Sirzy Thu 20-Feb-20 17:34:42

If you want to keep her on their books then it’s only fair you pay to keep the place. Otherwise you risk removing her and not having to pay (beyond the contracted notice period) but risking not having a place when you want her to go back

SinkGirl Thu 20-Feb-20 17:34:54

Also, clarify what “keeping her on their books” means - I know of people who’ve had to pay when their child isn’t there just to keep their space open basically.

HotDogGuy Thu 20-Feb-20 17:35:16

By your own admission you didn’t tell them a leave date until that week. You said you won’t need them much longer. Usually the contract will say written 4 weeks notice.
You may be able to compromise with them.

Itsonlywords Thu 20-Feb-20 17:35:57

I don't know, but i always get things backed up in writing or email to avoid stuff like this.

LIZS Thu 20-Feb-20 17:39:42

Having to give more than a week's notice is normal. You heed to check your contract it may be a month or even half a term or full term. Do you expect them to keep the place open for her for later, if so you may need to pay a retainer.

Cyberlibre Thu 20-Feb-20 17:41:42

The nursery workers won't have anything to do with payments and probably assumed you had spoken with the person in charge and dealt with notice period. Have a look how long your notice period is in the contract. I'd say you will probably need to pay that month.

I'm also surprised they are willing to keep a space open for 6 months without money coming in, nursery places are sought after round here and there is no way this would be allowed.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 20-Feb-20 17:44:22

If you didn’t give a months notice (I assume as per the contract) in writing then I think YABU. Nurseries are businesses that pay people’s wages, you can’t just mention this in passing.Everything needs to be in writing.
I’d pay it.

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