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Breakfast fee- very unfair

(22 Posts)
Yvonne99 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:45:21

My DS has been in the nursery since he was one. Now he is 3. I drop him off around 8.15 - 8.20 each morning. I pay from 8.00am.
In Sept 2013 they introduced additional breakfast fee that comes automatically if your child is there 8.00-8.30.
I have an older daughter that goes to school. Both my kids get up quite early and they both eat breakfast at home.
My son never, since he started nursery, had a breakfast there. Never sat by the breakfast table.
When they introduced the fee I spoke with a junior manager and verbally agreed not to pay for breakfast. It was quite obvious and they did not argue.
Monthly invoices are not very detailed and I was not able to check if I was charged or not.
Unfortunately in Dec I got an adjustment for breakfast and they made me pay breakfasts since Sept.
I had an unpleasant chat with senior manager ( I think financial manager) who said I have to pay as the charge comes with 8.00-8.30 session. If I do not want to I need to bring him after 8.30am. He was aggressive towards me. He said breakfast is available at the time.
I have been watching them carefully since Dec and pointed out that breakfast table was cleared already when we entered the room. Few times they cleared while I was there - management commented that there must have been a spillage...
What annoys me is the fact that they treat parents like idiots.
Breakfast is only 50p but it is an additional charge and I am made to pay for something my son does not even look at.
What do you think?

LindaMcCartneySausage Wed 05-Mar-14 12:48:38

It's 50p. He might have a bite of toast. They could just have whacked up the fees by £2.50 a week. I'd get over it rather than cause scenes

Pootles2010 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:51:08

So you're paying 50p for half an hour's childcare, yes? And you're complaining about this?

It's their company, if you don't like it, go elsewhere.

Yvonne99 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:51:52

50p is not a problem, but the fact I have to pay for something I do not want is.
You are possibly right - I shall get over it... but it annoys me.
What do other mums say?

Yvonne99 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:52:49

50p is an additional fee on top of childcare, which I pay without complaining.

Mrswellyboot Wed 05-Mar-14 12:53:52

I wold pay the 50p without a fuss but I wouldn't be happy with the way you were spoken to at all. Also, if you had a verbal agreement, it should be honoured and not backdated?

Quinteszilla Wed 05-Mar-14 12:57:19

I think the 8.00 - 8.30 session is 50p more expensive as they need staff coverage to both manage breakfast, and the children not sitting at the table eating, so two lots going on. You would not want your child not looked after, in a room on his own, would you? You have choices, arrive at 8 and let your child have breakfast, arrive at any time you want between 8 and 8.30 and pay the extra fee, or arrive after 8.30. You are paying for the convenience of an early drop off that suits you, and for your child to be looked after even though the staff is also busy with breakfast and children eating.

Yvonne99 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:59:41

Quinteszilla - they say it's a breakfast fee.

steppemum Wed 05-Mar-14 13:00:03

I think that if the breakfast is cleared away and you ds never has any they are taking the mick.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Wed 05-Mar-14 13:02:17

You could give him a half breakfast when he got up so he'd likely be hungry to eat there as well.

Or you could tell them that since you are going to be charged for it regardless, you are going to take them up on it and they will have to give him breakfast and prove to you that they have done so. Because it is not acceptable to charge you even 50p for something that they have no way of providing to him. If indeed they are clearing away by the time he arrives there. See if having to actually provide the breakfast they are charging for makes them realise it's silly.

Or you could take him at 8:30 on the dot if your schedule allows it. I realise it may not if you have other kids to take to school.

I understand that it's not the 50p itself, but the principle of it. Being made to pay for something that you are not going to use, didn't ask for and don't need. When it actually doesn't make any difference to them anyway! Maybe if they have to provide a breakfast for him, they'll realise they've just made an unnecessary hassle for themselves for the sake of 50p.

Quinteszilla Wed 05-Mar-14 13:06:27

Yes, I heard you. I just interpret it differently.

What do you think will happen if half the parents say that their precious baby did only eat twice a week, or only had half a breakfast?

You are paying for the time slot which serves a breakfast, your child is not partaking in.

Your solution is to drop off at 8.30. Or pay.

Yvonne99 Wed 05-Mar-14 13:11:26

Quinteszilla - if my child was interested in the breakfast only once a week or had a tinny piece every day - I'd be happy to pay.
But he does not even look at it. All the room staff know that he never eats breakfast, he is offered but refuses, and that's why they clear away without waiting for him.

I know it's the management playground and their rules...

starfishmummy Wed 05-Mar-14 13:38:14

If there is a breakfast fee for between 8 and 8.30 then breakfast should be available to everyone who is paying the fee, so clearing away early is not on.

I would be asking for his slice (of toast or whatever they get) just to make the point.

peggyundercrackers Wed 05-Mar-14 13:43:50

agree with starfish - i would go in and ask for breakfast even if the tables have been emptied and if you are refused kick up a stink. they cant have their cake and eat it.

Quinteszilla Wed 05-Mar-14 15:56:25

They still need to use resources on a child who is not sitting at the table, but playing elsewhere, and welcoming a child who is arriving in the middle of breakfast. So I think you are nitpicking, and unreasonable to make a point over 50 p.

What is kicking up a stink over a piece of toast going to achieve exactly?

starfishmummy Wed 05-Mar-14 16:39:23

I would be annoyed because they are making it into a big deal saying there is an extra charge for breakfast and then the child is not being given the option actually have it because they have decided to clear away.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Wed 05-Mar-14 16:47:28

but she's paying the fee for the child being at the session. the 50p is purely for the breakfast. Surely the resources come from the session fee she is paying and which is not what she's bothered about?

If I pay, I dunno, a tenner to be able to sit somewhere and they make me pay 50p for a coffee that I don't want, don't need and couldn't get if I wanted it, I wouldn't want to pay that 50p either. Even though I would be happy to pay the tenner.

eurochick Wed 05-Mar-14 16:50:41

I agree Isee. The nursery hourly rate should cover providing resources to look after all the children there. The 50p is for a breakfast. The OP shouldn't have to pay it as the child is not eating breakfast and it seems it isn't even on offer when the child arrives.

nannynick Wed 05-Mar-14 17:00:08

I feel the nursery should have just increased fee. Some days some children will want food, other days they will not. If a child does not attend then the breakfast fee can't be charged where as if it is in the session fee usual cancellation of session rule would apply.

GarthsUncle Fri 07-Mar-14 01:05:12

Breakfast session at my nursery is twice the price of any other hour.

Just FYI.

Gillg57 Fri 07-Mar-14 01:28:10

Presumably as the session is from 8.00 to 8.30 breakfast is served at the start of the session. It's not a hotel smile It's part of the cost of that session and if you choose to miss it that decision is yours. They have to provide the food and the staff anyway on the basis that you might use the whole session including your child eating breakfast. Seems fair enough to me.

EverythingCounts Fri 07-Mar-14 01:37:34

So, let's say one day your DS went in and did want some breakfast. Would you want them to refuse him food on the grounds that you hadn't paid the 50p? It's there to cover the food in case children want it, and - as Quinteszilla said - to cover the costs of providing staff who are monitoring children eating and also those not eating, and probably also talking to parents who like you are doing drop off. So frankly, I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Are you happy with the nursery in other ways? Because it seems to me that if you were happy with the place overall, something like this ought not to be an issue the way you have made it one.

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