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Nursery charging us for changing our minds about sending our son there.

(9 Posts)
Squeezedmiddlemummy Thu 04-Jun-15 13:00:20

Just looking for advice as this situation has upset me and I feel I need to do something about it.

Our older son (who is now 10 years old) went to what we thought was a lovely nursery which is attached to his primary school, so naturally when we had another child, we put his name down at the same place when he was just 6 months old, and stupidly did not put his name down anywhere else.

When DS turned 2, and we did not hear from the nursery as he was due to start nursery the following term, we contacted the nursery who told us they had misplaced our application form and he would now have to wait until the following year.

We were a little upset that they had misplaced our form, and stayed in contact with them just to make sure they did not forget about us again. Then we scrambled calling around our local nurseries, luckily, we visited a few, found one that we liked who had some free places and DS started straightaway.

The year went by, Our son loved his new nursery and so did we. We all grew very attached to the teachers and when the time came to move him to our first choice nursery, we weren't sure if we would be doing what was best for our DS by moving him, we went ahead to the settling in day to see if our son liked the 1st choice nursery but as expected he did not.

There were a few things about our first choice nursery we did not like, like lack of cleanliness, the teachers moaning about wanting the day to end ect...

We informed the 1st choice nursery that we had changed our minds 3 months before DS was due to start there, and in return we got a very nasty and unprofessional email saying that they were hurt that we changed our minds about their nursery, they likened us keeping in touch throughout the process as 'bullying' them (I made one phone call asking how much the deposit was while in the process of writing them a cheque and my husband made one phone call to make sure we were still on the waiting list because of what had happened the previous year)

Then they asked us to send them £500 for taking up another child's place and wasting their time.

Our son had not yet started at the nursery, and I gave them 3 months notice, so they had plenty of time to replace him. Their contract stated only one months notice was needed, but that is neither here or there as he was not a pupil at their school.
Plus, he had turned 3 and we only put him down for 15 hours, we had filled in the relevant forms, so if he did start there, it would have been free, so how could we owe them any money?

We have not paid the money, but I just feel they could be charging other parents for changing their minds, and I'm pretty sure they are not allowed to do that.

My DS will be starting primary school at the primary school attached to their nursery and it will be very awkward bumping into the manager of the nursery on a daily basis (it was the manager who wrote to us demanding £500)

Should I just stay quiet and not complain, for the sake of keeping the peace? I am definitely not paying them!

ThomasRichard Thu 04-Jun-15 13:09:47

Definitely don't pay them! Their email was utterly ridiculous. I wouldn't respond unless they sent another demand and I'd also hold my head high crossing the playground.

undoubtedly Thu 04-Jun-15 13:27:31

My god I've never heard the like!

Tell them they can shove their £500 where the sun don't shine angry

TranmereRover Thu 04-Jun-15 13:30:39

can you find out whether they have a wait list?
they can probably legitimately claim for any loss - but if they fill the place, they have no loss (other than maybe at best some admin fees).
People chop and change all the time on schools like this and while their communication is utterly unprofessional, there is often a non refundable deposit taken which amounts to the same thing.

KleineDracheKokosnuss Thu 04-Jun-15 13:31:51

You don't owe them, and frankly if that is how they behave they shouldn't be looking after anyone's children. Tell them that you are not in any way bound to guve them any money, and that further communication from them will be considered harassment.

KleineDracheKokosnuss Thu 04-Jun-15 13:33:19

They can't claim for loss if you gave three months notice and their own contract only requires one.

undoubtedly Thu 04-Jun-15 13:49:46

They haven't had any loss!

Squeezedmiddlemummy Thu 04-Jun-15 15:48:03

I know they were just trying it on, which has been confirmed by the fact that they have not persued us for the payment.

I just hope they haven't tried it on with anyone else, someone who may be scared about their claims that a contract has been broken. (When clearly we have not broken any contract at all)
I am not going to pay but I was thinking of complaining, there was no need for them to send such a nasty threatening email.

Squeezedmiddlemummy Thu 04-Jun-15 15:59:45

We paid a deposit, which we did not expect back, and they are fully oversubscribed because some parents believe they will get into the attached primary school if they attend the nursery. Whether that happens or not, I don't' know as we had a sibling place. There would have been no problems filling the place, which is why it feels like they were just being really really mean by sending that email. We have a 7 year history with that nursery, and some of the teachers and helpers there are also mum's I know really well, so I'm really disappointed that they have treated us this way and tried to fleece us out of £500!

There was not a single nod to our reason for changing our minds or any empathy for the upset that changing schools would have caused to our DS.

I realise that some children have to change schools, and the upset is only natural, but we had no cause to do that prematurely, he was happy where he was, and that's all that mattered to us in the end.

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