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Do I have to pay for nursery "extras" not used?

(12 Posts)
Summersalmostgone Wed 03-Aug-16 07:44:22

My child is about to start receiving the free 15 hours at nursery. They have sent me an invoice breaking down the additional costs which include £3.50 for each meal and a charge for the additional hours the nursery is open in the morning before the funding kicks in.
My child never arrives before the funded hours start and doesn't eat breakfast at nursery. Would I be OK to deduct these amounts from the invoice when I make payment?

Unfortunately the nursery is hugely disorganised on the admin side so I've not yet had a response from asking them this question directly!

I don't mind paying for lunch and tea. But I do object to paying for breakfast that aren't there for. Plus £3.50 when all they offer is cereal!?!? Seems a bit steep to me!

cuntspud Wed 03-Aug-16 07:59:55

You will probably find that you do have to pay, yes.
Usually, the costs are for the days booked. Eg, 8-6pm or half day sessions.
If they allowed parents to just pay for the time used daily they would ever know how much income/ how many children to book in enough staff etc.
£3.50 charge will not just be paying for the breakfast, it will cover the many other overhead costs that the nursery will incur.
Government funding is never as high as the nurseries actual charges, it means a big loss for nurseries to provide the funded 15 hours. Losses which unfortunately are then passed on in crap wages and lack of training for staff, not being able to replace resources when they're past their best etc etc
To be able to provide the best for your child, these losses have to recouped somewhere.

Summersalmostgone Wed 03-Aug-16 08:10:37

Right ok thanks for confirming!

cuntspud Wed 03-Aug-16 08:11:42

Also, you cannot just "deduct the amount" because you object to paying it!
They have sent you an invoice for the service they provide, it is your choice wether to use that service in full.
If the terms of the agreement don't suit you then you need to find a provider who better meets your needs.

pasbeaucoupdegendarme Wed 03-Aug-16 08:19:59

This was one of the reasons that a cm worked better for us - the nursery charged for 7.30-6 and all meals where we used them from 8.45-5. On the odd occasion my husband couldn't do the drop off it was useful for me to be able to drop dd unbreakfasted at 7.30am, but generally I objected to paying for hours we didn't need!

It's the only way they can run, though.

cexuwaleozbu Wed 03-Aug-16 08:35:44

They have to give you the option to just use the funded hours and nothing else with no extra charges - but they are allowed to have a limited number of non-upgraded places and you will probably find that all non-upgraded places are full and with a longer waiting list than the normal places.

They are entirely within their rights to package how they like and charge what they like for anything they provide over and above the 15 hours - and they have to do so because the money they get for the "free" hours doesn't actually cover basic costs so unless they get creative they will go bankrupt.

cuntspud Wed 03-Aug-16 08:35:54

Agree that a chid minder may work better for you, your local authority will have a list of those that are registered to provide funded hours.

cexuwaleozbu Wed 03-Aug-16 08:38:01

Sorry meant to add: and by "package how they like" I mean that includes saying if you want lunch and tea you have to buy the meals upgrade which includes breakfast whether or not you want it.

Summersalmostgone Wed 03-Aug-16 14:41:28

We already use the nursery and the funded hours are due to kick in next month. I don't have a clue how it all works hence my questions! If it's normal to pay for hours and meals not taken then I'm happy to pay, but I wasn't sure.

Unfortunately the admin side of the nursery is utterly appalling and so I haven't been able to get any answers from them direct. I haven't seen any " terms" and they don't really seem to stick to what they say anyway. If the breakfast was an optional extra it would be a huge mission to get it taken off my bill as emails go unanswered, and conversations forgotten.

It sounds awful but the love and care they provide is fantastic, it's just the management side where they are ridiculously incompetent.

cexuwaleozbu Wed 03-Aug-16 19:47:56

That sounds normal - our nursery was similar. I was happy to accept that I was probably being overcharged occasionally (and possibly undercharged occasionally too) due to chaotic accounting because I don't believe that numeracy (over and above basic counting) is actually that important a skill for caring for babies and toddlers.

insancerre Wed 03-Aug-16 19:54:36

don't believe that numeracy (over and above basic counting) is actually that important a skill for caring for babies and toddlers.
Ouch
Do you really believe that nurseries are employing people without basic numeracy to manage their finances?

cexuwaleozbu Wed 03-Aug-16 20:17:24

I knew there were regular mistakes on our invoices. I didn't let it bother me. I wouldn't generalise I was just telling the op I wouldn't find it surprising if it was true for more than one nursery.

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