Pre School Fee demand

(17 Posts)
MrsB168 Wed 09-Nov-16 16:06:29

Hi Mumsnetters, bit of advice and if possible and legal advice required!

My son (2) started the local preschool at the end of september, I signed the forms before the summer holidays and he was signed up for 2 days week, one morning, one afternoon.

He wasn't coping very well with the afternoon session, more because he tends to take himself for a nap about 11.45 and can be down until 2pm some days (which is wonderful!) It was my mistake really to put him in for an afternoon session but in the summer he wasn't napping so well and I thought he was on the verge of dropping it, since the weather has turned colder he likes a mid day snooze again...
And i wasn't confident that he had settled, having started only 6 weeks ago, with a half term break inbetween, so less than 10 sessions he wailed like I've never seen when it came to putting on his pre school uniform/ dropping him off.

Anyway, i mentioned this to the pre school manager yesterday who said it's 2 sessions or nothing, which just don't suit, I have work commitments, and I like to have a day free to spend time with the children. She said if he wasn't awake today, not to bring him and let him sleep.

We made the decision last night to remove him from preschool, increase his nursery hours (full days and he can sleep) so I went through all my paperwork I have for the nursery, nothing stated notice periods etc, I sent the pre school a message today letting them know of our decision.

I received a phone call shortly after with a demand of 4 weeks worth of fees to cover a notice period and absence fee- which was news to me, I have no paperwork detailing this. I mentioned this and was told "no we have it, you signed it and returned".
I'm sure this is my fault for not photocopying and keeping a copy for my records, but as I signed the agreement in summer after viewing the pre school I can't remember for the life of me what was stated on it.

Surely with most contracts you are to have your own copy for instances such as this?

We've drafted up a letter which I'll add below, I think my biggest gripe is the manner in which it was all handled, I included on my initial message that should our situation changes we'd look to sending our son to the pre school another time further down the line, but to have a phone call which felt aggressive, demanding money for staff wages etc has left me with a bitter taste.

Following on from our earlier conversation regarding our decision to take * * out of preschool, as none of the welcome literature we have refers to any information on notice or absence periods, and as we haven’t been provided with a copy of the registration form which you say this is listed on, it has made planning and approaching this quite difficult. As such can I kindly request a copy of our signed registration form to our above address so that we can validate these terms & conditions and make a final payment accordingly.

Taking into account the above letter, if it is in the registration form which I've signed I assume I should swallow my distaste at how this has been handled by the pre school, pay them their notice and absence fee (despite her telling me not to bring him today if he was sleeping!) and mark it down to my needing to be more careful with signed documents?

fuzzyfozzy Wed 09-Nov-16 16:10:33

It's a shame it hasn't worked out but I'd be surprised if it's not on your contract. A four weeks notice period and that you pay if you don't send your child are standard practice. You pay to secure your place not for each time your child goes.

insancerre Thu 10-Nov-16 06:32:35

I'm sorry but I think you need to just pay up
4 weeks notice is standard and for preschools is quite generous as most charge a terms notice
There are veey sound reasons why one session is not possible. It's just not enough time in the setting to have any benefit and will take ages for children to settle
I think you made an error of judgement by choosing an afternoon session and also by sending him to preschool as well as nursery
I think you should pay what you owe

NewIdeasToday Thu 10-Nov-16 07:05:27

I agree that four weeks notice seems perfectly reasonable given that they have wages to pay. And what you see as 'attitude' they probably see as being assertive to protect their own position.

WallisFrizz Thu 10-Nov-16 07:10:31

Just visit them and ask to see the signed copy before you pay. However, I agree that 4 weeks notice is quite standard.

YonicProbe Thu 10-Nov-16 07:11:49

Well, they could've supplied you with a copy of the contract but you could've taken your own.

You don't need to write anything other than "further to our conversation, please send me a copy of our contract" then check it and abide by it.

DollopofTrollop Thu 10-Nov-16 07:25:28

4 weeks notice is pretty good. Most pre-schools require payment per term.

louisejxxx Thu 10-Nov-16 07:28:24

Yes four weeks notice is totally standard, as is paying for the sessions regardless of whether your child attends or not...and this isn't just the case for cancellation, it also applies to if you're child is ill, you're on holiday etc.

JosephineMaynard Thu 10-Nov-16 07:49:34

I would also be surprised if the notice period wasn't detailed on your contract. The nurseries / pre-schools I'm familiar with all ask for either 4 weeks or a terms notice if a child is leaving.

It's also standard to pay for sessions that your child is booked into even if they don't go because they're asleep/ ill / whatever.

itlypocerka Thu 10-Nov-16 07:51:17

You surely weren't expecting there to be no notice period? In the absence of anything mentioning a notice period in the paperwork you had, any normally rational and intelligent person would naturally call the office and say "we are considering changing our childcare arrangements - what notice period do you need for any changes?"

HSMMaCM Thu 10-Nov-16 14:27:55

It would be a terms notice in my area. If he's already settled in nursery, then stick with that. Both follow the eyfs.

Not many places are children for less than 1 day a week, as it's hard for them to settle.

Just ask to see your contract and then hand over the cheque.

HotChocolate2016 Thu 10-Nov-16 15:12:58

Sadly it sounds like a normal nursery / preschool to me.. If you want to leave you need to give 4 weeks notice and still pay for the four weeks

Karoleann Thu 10-Nov-16 21:11:36

Of course you can't just remove him, they won't be able to fill his place immediately and will lose money. You'll need to pay the termination fee.

JosephineMaynard Thu 10-Nov-16 22:13:01

I had a look at the contract we had for DS1's pre-school, and it basically looks (for this pre-school at any rate) like the only scenario where you don't have to give notice / pay a termination fee is the scenario where the pre-school themselves decide they don't want the child and kick them out.

SocksRock Thu 10-Nov-16 22:15:25

Four weeks notice is good. I used to run a preschool and we had a half terms notice. Also, two sessions a week minimum is also very normal as kids find it hard to settle if they are only in one session per week

Northernlurker Thu 10-Nov-16 22:20:59

I think you need to get over yourself op. The pre school is a business. I suggest you pay up without further griping

jannier Wed 16-Nov-16 16:06:47

Maybe they were surprised that you did not enclose payment or at least ask for a final invoice showing you were willing to pay and not just hoping to walk. Its obvious that your going to have to pay some notice they have staff to pay and strict ratios. If parents could pick and choose adhoc care there would be no childcare providers in business. Parents want consistent staff and high standards for their children not any old agency staff changing on a daily basis and staff want the security of knowing they have a job tomorrow.

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