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Rubbish nursery

(44 Posts)
katface Wed 10-Sep-08 16:06:48

Hello everyone

I am new here and need advice. Sorry to start with such a negative first message !

I am going to be pursued for money by a nursery for non-payment of fees. My son (4 yo) was repeatedly injured at the place within the space of a few days, so after a huge bump and bruise to the head (and explanations that were total cover-ups) I withdrew him.

He was also peeing himself because they were not helping him to go to the toilet. He came home with wet pants on 2 occassions within 5 days. He is fully potty trained, goes to the loo on his own at home.

He was new there, so I had expected much better care to help him settle in.

They wanted one month notice, but as I was paying weekly and had paid for the week he was there, I refused to pay for the rest.

I had only a day to find another nursery that would take him. It cost me lots more money and time. I had no choice because I was working.

Anyone had a similar problem, where you taken to court for non-payment of fees although the nursery was at fault and negligent ?

Any advice would be appreciated please.

poppy34 Wed 10-Sep-08 16:10:26

hi and welcome katface -so sorry to hear about your poor ds (son)... what did you do regarding raising the complaints with the nursery? did he have a key carer (sorry not sure what terminology is here) who would have been responsible for taking him to loo? just think you'll have more weight for your defence if you can show they were in breach of contract and you raised them. Also did you complain to ofsted?

hopefully this will bump this for you and someone more knowledgeable will be along soon

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 16:17:11

Thanks poppy. I have complained verbally on numerous occassions. I rang someone for legal advice today and they said I should put it all in a letter and send it recorded delivery asap before they issue a claim through the small court procedure.

I have also complained to the local authority, but I have heard from a friend that when she complained to Ofsted once on similar issues (about another nursery) last year they did nothing. Very disappointing. they didn't even bother to visit the school.

I just want to know if I can win and not have to pay them on the basis that we got such poor service ? I paid for the week he was there, so as far as I am concerned I owe them nothing nad they breached their duties.

MrsMattie Wed 10-Sep-08 16:19:08

Put it in writing to the nursry ASAP. Complain to Ofsted ASAP.You need to make your complaint formal.

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 16:22:15

ok thanks : )

fedupandisolated Wed 10-Sep-08 16:25:56

Hi Katface,

Can you be absolutely certain the staff were covering up with their explanations regarding a bump and bruise to the head? Children do fall and often take more risks in new environments because they explore them. It's not so much the bump and bruise to the head as much as the staff response to it - did they point it out or did you notice and say "How did this occur"?

Also did the staff definitely NOT take your DS to the loo or was he feeling too timid/shy to ask adults that he still did not know that well to take him.

Some of this sounds like settling in problems. Not disbelieving you but just trying to put another side. On the other hand if he's been to a nursery before then maybe it's just not the right new nursery for him.

fedupandisolated Wed 10-Sep-08 16:26:48

... and have just realised I did not answer your original post at all.blush

Scrooged Wed 10-Sep-08 16:27:44

Hi. smile
Ofsted sometimes look very inefficient. I have had to report a nursery before, they don't tell the person making the complaint what they have decided, they have a variety of measures, closing down is the last one and there has to be major problems. They also suspend the nursery advertising on their web site (which is what they did to ds's nursery after my complaint). I withdrew him and gave no notice, they didn't dare chase me for money as ds was hit across the face by a member if staff. I also contacted social services.

Put everything in writing and keep copiesI would send them a letter, stating that they have breached their contractual obligation in providing care for your child, state what you have put above and tell them you are seeking legal action in order to recover the costs that you have incurred whilst finding another nursery. If they respond, then go and see the CAB.

Have they contacted you about the fees?

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 17:05:42

hi scrooged, yes. they had the cheek to try recover the money by setting up a DD on my account. surerly that is illegal ? they didn't get a penny because i cancelled it the minute it was set up.

once someone says they won't pay and removes their consent, a company should not then have the nerve to go and set up a DD any way ? they say i had signed the mandate and handed it to them myself. TRUE ! but that was before my son had been injured and before there was a dispute. i have informed my bank, they won't be able to try and set up a DD again.

i am trying to get an appointmnet with my local CAB.

fedup - i see your point, but i have two other nurseries to compare the rubbish one to. no injuries, no weeing, nothing at the other two, one of them has an "Excellent" rating from Ofsted. that is why these people seem so bad, they only have a "fair" rating or something similar.

the staff come across as dishonest. i am not being paranoid, but i can tell when people are lying. the stories just didn't add up. also son had fab. reports from previous nurseries, he is super bright, totally non-agggressive. he is not a perfect child, but what they reported just didn't ring true. he was being attacked by a bigger, taller boy, hence numerous scratches on the face.

it is my fault in some respects. i had to find a place quickly and i came across this one on a website. i didn't have any personal recommendations, nothing, as i am new to this area. i am sure as i get to know parents in my son's new school i will get to know all the good and bad places.

lovely son has just started "big boy's" school - reception - very happy there ! i need to be careful with afterschool clubs, etc in the future.

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 17:08:24

scrooged - i paid them in full for the week he was there, by cheque. i just refuse to pay for the other 3 weeks, when he was no longer there. they wanted 1 month notice, which seems unfair. if the whole contract was only for 4 weeks (during the summer when I was working), how can they expect one month notice ? surely that should only apply to people who are making a one year contract ?

neverforget Wed 10-Sep-08 17:26:22

Katface I had the same situation in which it ended with me picking dd up from nursery on her birthday to find her eye closed, bloody and bruised, They hadnt tried to ring me or took her to the hospital or anything. I took dd to hospital and told them the story the nursery had given me in relation to the injury. The hospital started to investigate ME as the injury didnt tie with the explaination and they thought I had hurt her and tried to blame nursery. Luckily I had back up of another parent at the nursery who had been there when I picked dd up and backed me up that dd was injured there.
I never took dd back because they had lied to me over the cause of the injury and some other issues I had had and I oculdnt trust them.

They tried to take me to court but I filled in a form the court sent which gives you the opportunity to defend none payment, in it I explained the situation. The court rejected their request and also said that nurseries should give a none commital period of four weeks that within that four weeks if your child wasnt happy of settled you should be able to leave without commitment.

Ring Ofsted and CAB

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 17:50:14

neverforgot - that sounds absolutely awful, your poor child : (( did her eye get better quickly ? you should have have actually sued them for bodily harm, but it is so difficult to prove these things when we are not around to witness what actually happened.

i am shocked that our children get treated like this. i know most are ok, but the one or two that are this negligent should be shut down asap.

The only witnesses I have to son's injury are my hubby and the staff at the nursery he went to afterwards. I remember the nurse at his new nursery seeing my son's face and asking if he had "eczema" because he had so many deep scratches that had bled. No, I said he has been attacked by another child. She felt so sorry for him.

EXCELLENT info. I am sort of familiar with the legal procedure for Small Claims.

I will wait for them to send a claim and then counter-claim. At least the courts are sensible enough to realise that like any contract, if you get a poor service, you should not be forced to pay.

I am particularly pleased to find out that the courts think it is unfair to be forced to pay when you remove your child right at the beginning when things have gone wrong.
That is fab. news, thanks so much, I can sleep well tonight then ; )

fedupandisolated Wed 10-Sep-08 17:59:56

Sounds as though they were not good at all then. If your DS has been in nursery before and never had any issues then it seems as though this one did not care for him well.

I would second what others have said about OFSTED - my DS's nursery were investigated by them following a complaint by a parent.

They should not be simply taking money from your account for a service they are not (and ahem - may not ever) have provided.

neverforget Wed 10-Sep-08 19:36:11

katface I said something along the line of if I had bought a washing machine that broke I wouldnt be expected to keep it but if I had found a "broken" nursery and I had to keep it. Court must have been laughing their heads off at my rant!

She still has a scar on her face and has to wear glasses for that eye, dr suspected that a member of staff had hit her in frustration because dd wouldnt speak there rather than the oh she bumped heads in the playground that they said but obviously we cant prove that!

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 20:28:55

thanks fedup, i will do the Ofsted thing for sure. it may save other parents having similar issues.

neverforget - so sorry to hear about your daughter's scar and need to wear glasses. it is disgusting she wasn't taken to A&E and no proper explanation afterwards. these people should not be looking after small animals, let alone small children.

i love the washing machine thing - lol ! yes imagine going back to Argos and saying that the washing machine you bought that week had blown up and injured the cat in the face, and they would then say "sorry love, a faulty item is not our fault, and how can you prove the cat was injured by the explosion ?" No money back, no warranty, tough, go home !!

Great customer service, isn't it ?

Bubble99 Wed 10-Sep-08 21:16:12


If/when you contact OFSTED be sure to keep the financial thing out of your complaint.

OFSTED are interested in care NOT financial disputes between parents and providers. I talked to an OFSTED inspector recently and she said that they receive a lot of complaints which, once investigated - reveal that the parent is involved in a financial dispute and has (possibly) made a complaint about care to try and strengthen their case.

I'm not suggesting that you are, BTW! Just pointing out that the fact that money is involved can muddy the waters as far as OFSTED are concerned.

katface Wed 10-Sep-08 21:26:47

Thanks bubble. In fact I spoke to them today, I said that there was a financial dispute, but I said I realised that was not their concern.

I don't think the Ofsted thing will bolster my argument. You are right. It is not going to help if I get a letter in the post tomorrow from my county court.

I have a feeling Ofsted will do nothing about my complaint though. I have heard of similar situations when they have done nothing.

Bubble99 Wed 10-Sep-08 21:33:51

I think the financial thing does affect whether they investigate. Wrong, really - as the financial thing could be secondary to genuine concerns about care.

I think OFSTED have to make decisions based on what they hear. They must deal with so many malicious complaints.

katface Thu 11-Sep-08 14:58:24

Yeh, I see your point, I can guess that there would be one or two people who have a grudge. The evidence I have though is that my son't other nurseries can tell Ofsted what a reasonable parent I am. I always bend over backwards to help the schools help my son. I volunteer to do things, join PTA's etc. Not the kind of person who goes around warmongering for no reason.

Ofsted should have a way of distinguishing the reasonable from the malicious complaint.

They need to get their facts right.

My friend's complaint fell on deaf ears. It was a Steiner KG and when she found out that they are in fact a cult who brainwash children, she pulled out her son and complained. They were not looking after the child. There were also issues of not so subtle racism going on. These are areas that Ofsted SHOULD be involved with, but they refused to do anything. They didn't go round to have a look. I know enough about Steiner schools from other people to know that she had a valid complaint.

northernrefugee39 Fri 12-Sep-08 07:29:39

Hi Katface, thanks for replying on the other thread.
The way the nursery has reacted about your son's treatment seems to me more important than the money because if they cover up things like this they will continue to do it to other children. Hopefully ofsted will investigate.
Chasing the money by starting a direct debit is extraordinary- how can they do that with your bank details? It must be illeagal- I'm sure you can take that further. I'd be seething!
As to the S kindy- wel- their reasons for exposing children to danger and leting them beat the hell out of each other are to do with karma, past life issues and incarnation as you probably know. They are renowned incredibly lax health and safety issues... some of the tales I could tell...but we aren't allowed to talk about this heresmile

katface Fri 12-Sep-08 15:23:55

Hi Northern - why can't you talk about it ? Is it a banned topic ? How bizarre ! This is a parenting website for free info., is it not ?

katface Fri 12-Sep-08 15:31:34

ah yes, isn't this the website that also stopped people talking about a certain parenting guru GF (I won't name her in full in case I get shot down, I remember reading about it in the papers years ago !!) who supports controlled crying among other "loving" parenting methods ?

well i am sorry, but how can any one run a website for open debate when in fact the discussion can never be fully open ?

i am having second thoughts about being here. i thought i was able to be honest, but if they have also stopped discussions about Steiner, that REALLY freaks me out.

northernrefugee39 Fri 12-Sep-08 17:29:55

Hi katface-it is read this.. spooky.This was when they banned it but if you search for Steiner alot of the threads will come up, but with race quotes etc deleted...

I'm going to do the cat thing here- contact another member - maybe tommorrow- so if you're interested in talking it'll be easier there....

northernrefugee39 Fri 12-Sep-08 17:32:15

this thread is the one to read
Sorry- trying to help children with homework at the same time.....

katface Fri 12-Sep-08 20:05:05

refugee - this looks like some conspiracy to shut down free debate. i must say i don't like it a bit.

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