Pre School Fees(29 Posts)
My son started school this September and previously attended pre school.
As he was leaving the pre school to start school it didn't occur to me that I still had to give notice and so having asked me what my son's last day at pre school was going to be they have taken the six weeks notice from the date of my reply and so they are charging me up to the 15th September.
Originally they told me the figure would be what it would be with the funding my son was entitled to. They then sent me a chaser letter stating a different amount. When I queried why the amount owing was considerably more the response was that as they are unable to get the funding the price has gone up.
I sent a cheque for the original amount stating that I thought it was irrelevant that they were unable to get funding for my son as he is no longer in their care. They have subsequently e-mailed me to say that they no longer take cheques as payment and that I have to pay either by bank transfer or card and that the full amount is to be paid.
I was just wondering where I stood on this? Am I liable to pay the full amount or should I just bank transfer the amount of the cheque and see whether they take any further action?
Any help or advice would be appreciated. As a single mum I could do with not paying anything I don't need to.
As you are taking your son out part way through a term they cannot claim the funding for him. It is your decision to remove him therefore you need to pay their fees.
It was not my decision to remove him, he started school. The date they have given as the end of the notice period happens to be the middle of September because I didn't give the necessary six weeks notice as I didn't realise I was supposed to as he was leaving to go to school, not because I was moving him to another pre school.
I think they are taking the piss. Presumably they knew he would be starting school and would therefore expect him to be gone by the beginning of September. If you had some sort of staggered start then perhaps you might have asked for him to stay on for a few days. But I would have expected you to have to ask for that.
But obviously me thinking they are taking the piss isn't a legal argument.
Are they generally full or have they been left with an I filled place for a short time?
Yes, you are liable for the notice period (because for all the pre-school knew you might have deferred school entry and wanted him to stay until Christmas if Easter).
They cannot claim funding for a child who is not actually attending. So yes, it should be the full rate.
I can't see why they won't take a cheque, if that's been your payment method up to now.
What sort of preschool? If it's attached to a private day nursery then I would expect notice to be required. Charity / committee run I can't quite fathom. They pass on information to the school usually and have a graduation and everything else. They wild have known he was moving on and they would know what school year he is in. As they would have been closed for the six or seven weeks of summer it's only a week they would have lost on? Very odd and rigid of them, but if you agree to terms then you would have to pay it in full as he won't be eligible for funding. Maybe try the CAB?
It's irrelevant why he left, you are removing him and you didn't follow the correct procedure. You are therefore liable for costs incurred whether he is there or not.
Your error I'm afraid you owe them fees if it was in the contract. The payment method is odd but maybe through trust. Did you have a deposit with them.
You should pay the full amount. They may have expected him to start school, but unless you tell them, then they can't assume you are not going to defer for a term.
I work as an administrator at a preschool and I can honestly say we have never had anyone give notice they were leaving when their child moves to primary school. It is assumed they will go the September after they turn four and it would never occur to us to invoice parents in lieu of notice in these circumstances. Technically our terms would allow us to do this, but even of a child leaves our preschool to go to another or moves out of the area, we never actually levy any fees. A bit of goodwill goes a long way and I think your preschool are being a bit unreasonable and quite short sighted in terms of their reputation.
Is it a nursery which is open all through the holidays, or an actual pre school which closes during school holidays?
Theredcar if they don't give notice, what would you do if they turned up in September, because they had deferred until January? You wouldn't be able to turn them away and might have already replaced them.
I don't know whether it is similar in other areas, but our primary school liaises with all of the nurseries that children come from to help them with settling children in and composing classes. And our nursery checks with parents where the children are going to school.
I'd expect any parent deferring their child to have discussed this and confirmed it with the nursery as it is unusual.
Quack you're right. Most parents would, but there are always a couple who somehow 'forget' to communicate.
I'll try to answer everyone who has been kind enough to comment.
Quack, they did know he was going to be leaving to start school. He even had his graduation! If I was going to defer his starting primary school I would have mentioned it to them as I work part time and that was why he attended pre school. I'm not sure if they are full or have spaces but do know they are a nursery and pre school so assume children would move up classes as appropriate. I did have a conversation with one of the staff who worked in my son's class as she asked me. I told her I was going to ask if there were any other children going to the same school so I knew my son would know others that were going and wouldn't be amongst a load of children he didn't know. She even gave me the names of the children who would also be going to the same school.
Meditrina, I never usually pay by cheque but decided on this method as I offered the lower amount in full and final settlement. The idea being that if they banked the cheque they would be accepting the f&f settlement.
Mummy, they are a part of Childbase. They are open all year round. They did know he was moving on to primary school and my son had his graduation.
HSM, I always communicated with the school and if I was going to defer his start at primary school I would have mentioned it to them.
I hope I have covered the answers to the replies everyone has made.
Since posting this message I have sought legal advice and have been told that I should go back to them and say that as they knew he was going to be leaving to start primary school this would be an implied term and that no notice needed to be given and that I don't need to pay anymore fees (fees have been paid up to the end of August and my son's last day was the 24th August) and to wait and see what they come back with.
Our day nursery had signs up saying if your child was going to school please remember to give notice and the date by which to do so. It's a large chain similar to child base. All the children left at different points over the summer.
Did you inform them his last day was going to be the 24th August? Some children were still there up until the second week of September as the reception class started later. Though they knew he was going up they wouldn't know when you were stopping unless you say.
Nursery units and stand alone preschools aren't open over the summer so it's quite different. You would need to explicitly say that you were returning after the summer and why.
I agree that to some degree you gave implicit notice but can see that they won't agree with that.
They sent a general e-mail on the 4th August asking that parents notify them when their child's last day was. It says to bear in mind they should be adhering to their terms and condition of six weeks notice. So why did they not send this general e-mail out to be able to give parents the relevant six weeks notice if their child was starting primary school? I responded the same day in response to another e-mail received from them as my son was at his dad's for three weeks over the summer holiday and they wanted confirmation of the date he was going to be back. I informed them he would be returning to pre school on the 15th August and that his last day would be the 24th August. They then responded on the 9th August saying that six weeks notice has to be given and that this would make his last day the 15th September and notified me of the fees for September.
I am going to go for the implied terms route and see what they say. Apart from a week's grace for when he was away with his dad (which I never asked for, they offered) I have always paid fees for the time when my son has been out of pre school for holidays.
Wow that seems very harsh to me! My son started school in September and I didn't have to give any notice when he finished in July. I have never heard of this before...good luck and I hope they see sense!
They knew he was leaving / starting school because
a) he had his little graduation ceremony
b) they will have completed transition paperwork / liaised with the school.
So, like your legal advice suggests, they really don't have a leg to stand on, IMO
It's contractual, so you should have given notice as required.
Our nursery makes a huge fuss reminding school-leavers to get them termination forms in on time though so I guess that would have been a good thing for them to do.
The issue is he could probably have been and some kids will have been attending the nursery up until the second week of September. Leave nursery on Friday and start school on the Monday. Private day nurseries don't work on terms and state clearly in their terms a six week notice period. If you signed to accept these when your child started I'm not sure that you can argue. I would have thought they would waive it, but I'm really not sure they have to.
I have managed to have a look at the T&Cs and this is all it says about notice period.
"To effectively manage our staffing and resourcing we require 6 weeks notice in writing if you wish to cancel your booking or reduce the sessions required. This is applicable both prior to starting and during your time with us."
As my son was leaving to start school and not being taken out of the pre school or moved to another pre school I will go with the legal advice I was given and tell them that it is an implied term as they knew he would be leaving to go to school. If they wanted school starters to also give notice then they should stipulate this otherwise it's obvious why any school starter is going to be leaving.
But you should have given 6 weeks notice to cancel your booking, as it says in the terms and conditions.
Tbf I can see why they wouldnt expect him to leave until school starts in September so I can see why they want you to pay that bit. The "implied term" would end on the day before the first day school starts in your area
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