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Who controls the price charged by nurseries?

(26 Posts)
saffymum Thu 01-Jun-06 12:04:24

My 2yr old goes to a Montessori in NW London. Its £900 each month for 12 months, although it shuts 4 weeks a year I still have to pay. This seems so high, is there any organisation that governs the price they charge? Also, after the child turns 2 shouldn't there be a reduction in price as they don't require as many staff? I know I could move him somewhere less expensive but I am very happy with the nursery and staff are great. I just don't know how to bring this subject up. Any suggestions?

Normsnockers Thu 01-Jun-06 12:09:34

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WigWamBam Thu 01-Jun-06 12:10:07

As far as I know there's no body that governs these things; private nurseries are like any other private service provider and can charge what they like.

Marina Thu 01-Jun-06 12:10:17

Market forces, basically. London is famous for its high childcare costs and a lot of NW London is perceived as very prosperous.
Our nursery reduced its overall prices very slightly when good quality competition started undercutting them locally.
No government or other body regulates charges - they ask you to pay what they think they can get away with.
We pay £842 per month for our 2 year old at a chain nursery that is not Montessori in ethos. I agree with you £900 is a lot to find but if you are happy with the nursery and they have a waiting list they will not really be receptive to feedback to cut their fees.
For ds we used a college nursery that closed for a month in summer. We were charged a retainer only for that period - much less than the monthly fee. Perhaps you could broach the subject with the nursery manager from this angle. I certainly think charging £900 for a month that they are actually shut is a bit naughty.

Esmummy Thu 01-Jun-06 12:11:37

£900 p.m

WelshBoris Thu 01-Jun-06 12:12:07

Am I glad I dont live in London

Gloworm Thu 01-Jun-06 12:13:47

before marinas post i was just about to ask if you had mis-typed I know London is expensive but am gobsmacked at £900 a month!

tissy Thu 01-Jun-06 12:13:58

Erm, I think if you're living in NW London, £900 is a pretty avearge price for an above average nursery.

In SW Scotland, I pay around £450 a month for a bog- standard OKish nursery. If we had a Montessori around here, I would pay extra for it gladly.

Presumably you knew of the fees before enrolling your child, so I think you'll just have to grin and bear it.

Marina Thu 01-Jun-06 12:15:39

Agree that Montessori are usually pricier - maybe because IME they don't cut the same corners on staff cover/overall ratios in the older children's rooms that the standard corporate sector often does

Elf1981 Thu 01-Jun-06 12:21:56

Our average pay to the Child Minder is £350.00 per month as we get six weeks where we dont have to pay (we're allowed three free weeks for our hols, and she has three free pay weeks for her hols too).

Do they not offer a half pay week when it closes? Quite a few nurseries we looked into offered two weeks at half pay for hols / Xmas etc. You could always ask other parents and see what their feelings are, go to the nursery with the suggestion

zippitippitoes Thu 01-Jun-06 12:23:59

childminder here is £150.00 per week for 8.5 hours per day

zippitippitoes Thu 01-Jun-06 12:24:12

5 days

Elf1981 Thu 01-Jun-06 12:25:30

Some are that price (£150 upwards) around here, our CM stopped advertising her prices and others in the area were annoyed as she's cheaper!

nzshar Thu 01-Jun-06 19:42:08

Well Im a CM and for 43 hours a week i charge my 3 year old mindee's parents £760 in Watford so £900 in NW London sounds about right. No one tells a private business what to charge be it nursery or CM it is done on supply and demand of that area. Surely you knew the prices when enrolling your child and if you werent happy then was the time to look elsewhere.

KTeePee Thu 01-Jun-06 19:52:20

Even non-Montessori nurseries are 800-850 a month around here - but are only closed on bank holidays and weekends. In fact the one I used to use initially used to adjust their charges downwards to assume you would be on holidays for 2 weeks per year - but stopped doing that some time ago. Why do they shut for 4 weeks? I know that Montessoris that are pre-schools rather than daycare (ie only offer sessions of 3 hrs or so) are term-time only but if it is for full-time care while you work, doesn't seem very convenient (and if 900 is not for a full-time place then that is VERY expensive!)

peachyClair Thu 01-Jun-06 20:22:54

The two older ones finished a fab Montessori last year, they went 9 - 1 (had a packed lunch there- table manners) and it cost £16 a day, although that was before the grant for the over threes was take into account. The childminder DS3 attends now costs £16 a day also, for 9 - 1.45 with lunch provided, she takes them to wacky warehouse and does group play etc. Our old cm charged about the same. All were / are excellent and I think I have been very lucky with them, we did have a BAD nursery for a few months- 9- 2 £18 but we pulled him sharpish.

sandradee Thu 01-Jun-06 20:26:10

can you negotiate the price? You don't know until you ask.

littleA Fri 02-Jun-06 01:52:04

Negotiate the price??
Nursery is a business just like any other.
And you as a customer have a choice-either take it or leave it.
I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of others ready to fill the place

alibubbles Fri 02-Jun-06 09:08:00

Don't move to St Albans, one chain nursery is £1020 a month, they have four in the city!

Normsnockers Fri 02-Jun-06 10:47:32

Message withdrawn

sandradee Fri 02-Jun-06 13:26:06

I know that our nursery are willing to negotiate. I'm not talking hundreds of ££ but for example if you wanted to start bringing in your own nappies and food to shave money off the price I'm sure that could be negotiated.

It's a good nursery too a fantastic OFSTED report and is very popular. I think that there is always room for negotiation. Yes, they are a business so in the light of this it's important for them to keep their long standing customers happy.

Like I said - you don't know until you ask.

saffymum Fri 02-Jun-06 14:37:55

Thanks for the replies and advice everyone. Sandradee, I already take my own wipes, nappies and creams, can you believe it! Food is basic and they don't supply any meat only vegetarian food! I was in a tight spot, starting a new job, husband's new job all in a space of 4 weeks. My son was under 2 so he was excluded from most of the nurseries in the area, I could only find 1 (this one) that would take him and initially they could only do two days! So I had to have a childminder inbetween. I suppose now he is over 2 I could move him. I am thinking of talking to the nursery now that he has moved into the bigger kids room. Thanks all for the suggestions to negotiate, I will have to brush up on my skills!

KTeePee Fri 02-Jun-06 15:43:09

alibubbles, I think I know the ones you mean. When I was looking for a place for my dd less than 9 years ago their fees were about half that (but they were more expensive than others) - and inflation has been low ever since...

nurseryvoice Tue 06-Jun-06 13:57:23

sorry but im gobsmacked! we charge £120 a week this includes breakfast, am snack, 2 course lunch with fruit, afternoon snack(fruit), tea snack all drinks, and still some parents think the money goes in my pocket.and that my 20 years in employment counts for nothing...
i pay all my staff above the minimum wage, (only just though) have a high rent and rates to pay as well as all the other overheads.
i wish i could afford to pay my staff and myself a really good wage that befits our training and hard work and continued extra work required by the government, but i cant put up fees any more as i wouldnt have any customers. i feel sorry for you. yes its a business like any other, but i think some nurseries take the mickey.

LeahE Tue 06-Jun-06 14:28:44

It's significantly more than that in Putney (am not even going to mention a price as don't want to be responsible for a spate of fainting attacks among MNetters in other parts of the country) for the good/popular nurseries (and I know people who've had very bad experiences with the cheaper ones so I wouldn't go near them with DS).

It's market forces -- we (and you) are prepared to pay the high prices because the nursery is good, so they can charge that much. There is a waiting list a mile long of parents wanting to get into this nursery, so they're not pushed for custom -- and the generally-considered-to-be-not-quite-as-good-although-still-pretty-good-really one a couple of minutes down the road is even more expensive.

And, to be fair, all the factors that make it an attractive place to send DS [including the fact that they pay for all their staff to study for qualifications, and since they have virtually no staff turnover except for the occasional person going on maternity leave presumably pay them well] also bump up the costs for the owners, too.

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