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AIBU to not want to pay nursery lunch fees rn

(36 Posts)
starrain Tue 02-Jun-20 21:21:17

Hi all

Bit of background. My 4year old DD was in private nursery 4 days 9-4pm. She gets 30 hours. We pay £22.5 a week for lunch and tea- this was all prior to covid.

The nursery has since reopened yesterday and we are not sending her back (maybe in a few weeks time) but they are still claiming the 30 hours....AND charging us £22.50 a week.

I spoke to her today and said why are we paying for lunches when she isnt there. She said because it's not just lunches, its resources too. Ok what resources only 3 kids have gone back in the whole nursery. Also, isnt that what the 30 hours money covers??

DD is going reception in september so we dont even need to keep our place here. I didnt want to leave on a bad note and actually would have liked to have sent her maybe 2 days a week.
Could we give notice and leave and not pay the £22.5 a week? What are our rights.

OP’s posts: |
BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 21:24:40

If you're choosing not to send her back then you still have to pay. If they're refusing to take her then they're out of order and you should make a complaint.
Presumably, according to your contract, you need to give notice - check what that is and give it. They'll charge you the £22.50 per week until the notice period is over.
Nurseries get away with a lot of behaviours that would cripple other businesses because they don't rely on good customer service like most businesses do.

FoxtrotSkarloey Tue 02-Jun-20 21:25:35

The 30 hours funding is infamous for not actually being enough to cover nursery costs, so I can see why in a situation where your space is available and you are choosing not to take it up, they are still asking for payment.

In terms of rights, I would guess it depends on how your terms and conditions are worded - you may have some room for argument if it specifically says lunch, but if not, I think you do have to pay, or give notice and relinquish your space.

HotDogGuy Tue 02-Jun-20 21:25:50

I think they can charge you if you’re wanting them to keep your place open. It forms part of their charges.
But you’re entitled to give notice if you’re not going to send them back before primary school. Your contract will state how much notice is. They’ll no longer be able to claim for the 30 hours funding.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 02-Jun-20 21:29:57

The 30hrs really screws nurseries over, it’s not a full hours cost really. Give the small amount you pay, assuming you can afford it, I would pay it.
A lot of nurseries, given they are now opening, are demanding fees or you lose your place- fair enough tbh

CaveMum Tue 02-Jun-20 21:49:48

Most nurseries will require a months notice but you need to check your contract.

If you are actively choosing not to send your child but expecting the place to be held open so you can use it at a later date then yes you do need to keep paying.

1Morewineplease Tue 02-Jun-20 22:18:34

If you don’t want her to go back then just end your contract with them.

heartsonacake Tue 02-Jun-20 22:23:46

Are you choosing not to send her or won’t they have her?

If you’re choosing not to send her, yes, you still pay as it’s your choice not to attend despite them being open.

UnderTheBus Tue 02-Jun-20 22:26:37

OP I agree with you. If shes not there they dont need to buy lunch ingredients for her to eat, and she wont be using up resources such as craft equipment. Also I imagine if they only have a small number of kids attending they will have furloughed staff and saved money that way. The "30 hours funding doesnt cover costs" may be true on a normal week but not at the moment.

UnderTheBus Tue 02-Jun-20 22:27:23

P.s. I do think you should pay fees just not money which is specifically for lunch and resources.

DJTanner Tue 02-Jun-20 22:30:09

When you spoke to the nursery owner did you ask her why you still need to pay for resources when your DD isn't attending?

nightchat Tue 02-Jun-20 22:36:52

Government 20 and 30 hours funded nursery does not cover the fees for example nursery day costs 50 a day the government pay 30 ( not exact amounts) so nursery's are forced to charge what they normally say is lunch and resources but in reality its that plus wages rent ect if they did not charge this they would go bust like many nursery's in poor areas as funded children out weigh full fee paying parents. Blame the government not nursery's

Blossom513 Tue 02-Jun-20 22:44:32

My two year old is funded 15 hours (DLA related) and his nursery give parents of funded children the option to pay for meals or bring a packed lunch, is this not an option at yours? I actually send in a packed lunch as £4 a day was too expensive for a meal he actually won't even eat either.

Thehop Tue 02-Jun-20 22:49:46

I work in a private nursery. We’re tiny, only 30 places and we will stop taking children at 3 who come just to use the 30 hours from September. It costs us a bloody fortune. We started charging sundry fees last year but it’s not compulsory and £22.50 is ridiculously cheap per week. We apply a charge of £2 per hour not including meals. (Were underfunded by £3 an hour per head)

If you want her place, tell them you’ll pay the fees for 2 days. (£9 pw) or give notice to leave.

donquixotedelamancha Tue 02-Jun-20 23:03:19

We pay about £2.50 per day for lunches and snacks, because that is what it's actually for. Charging top-up fees on top of the 30 hours is not lawful - you can only be charged for optional extras like food or swimming lessons; which you clearly won't be using.

I think you would be potty to pay for a sevice you haven't used.

Stuckforthefourthtime Tue 02-Jun-20 23:06:04

The 30 hours funding is infamous for not actually being enough to cover nursery costs, so I can see why in a situation where your space is available and you are choosing not to take it up, they are still asking for payment.

This.

Tumbleweed101 Tue 02-Jun-20 23:07:09

As nurseries are struggling to stay open right now if you can't pay then you can't expect them to hold her place if they have someone who will.

C152H Tue 02-Jun-20 23:08:02

You need to check the contract you have with your nursery. If they accept Government funding, they must give parents the option of providing a packed lunch (rather than paying for the nursery lunch), but you'll have to double-check how much notice, if any, you need to give to cancel the nursery-provided lunch provision.

SandieCheeks Tue 02-Jun-20 23:11:02

Nurseries need to charge something for lunches or resources to make up the loss on the 30 hour funding.

If you're not going to send her back, give notice and just pay what you're contracted to, probably 4 weeks.

starrain Tue 02-Jun-20 23:20:37

I totally understand that fees need to be paid to keep her place, like we used to do when we would go on holiday.

My gripe here is that surely when theres only 3 kids attending in the WHOLE nursery, only a couple of staff (the rest are probably furloughed) surely they dont need the extra £22.50 when the 30 hours can more than cover it. We have always been told the 22.5 was for lunches. But shes not in, so what's the need. Will probably end up giving our notice anyway, but just thought surely they didnt need the lunch fee/resource fee when she isnt there and neither are many other kids.

OP’s posts: |
OwlinaTree Tue 02-Jun-20 23:25:39

You get 4 days a week child care for £22.50? That's not even £1 an hour. I think you are being extremely tight.

Sugartitss Wed 03-Jun-20 00:10:44

I think that’s taking the biscuit op

ChaChaChinggg2819 Wed 03-Jun-20 00:22:11

Id not want to pay for lunches that my child wasnt eating. Do they have an option for packed lunches? ( only asking as at my nursery if you didn't want to pay nursery fees you had the option to bring your own packed lunch )

As far as I'm aware if your child isnt eating lunch then you don't pay for it

ChaChaChinggg2819 Wed 03-Jun-20 00:22:34

And i dont mean if your child refuses dinner on the day then you don't pay grin

heartsonacake Wed 03-Jun-20 00:41:02

You haven’t answered the questions, OP. Are you choosing not to send her or won’t they take her?

And no, even with only a small number of staff and kids the 30 hours won’t be anywhere near enough.

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