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shocked by rise in nursery prices - opinions needed please

25 replies

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 20:41

my daughter started nursery last week and I have just been told that fees are increasing from october by nearly 20%, extra cost to us early £80 a month.

I am really shocked by this, it seems such a huge increase. they have sent an accompamying letter all about the refurbishments which are about the happen and the new equipment they have purchased and I'm afraid my thought was, its fine the way it is and any amount of refurbishment is not worth the increase I now face.

They also state that the fees have been the same since summer 2005, but surely that is only a year ago? I would have thought that yearly increases were normal, the way the letter is worded, its as if we should be grateful that they aren't putting the fees uop more often than this

Should I write and complain - and if so, what should I say, am no good at letter writing, not very articulkate or concise (as you can see!)

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mousiemousie · 02/09/2006 20:46

Seems a lot - well over pay inflation - have they explained why this is necessary? And how does it compare to other local nurseries?

CountTo10 · 02/09/2006 20:53

Our nursery put their prices up each year but not by that much!! Did they talk to parents about refurbishments ahead of this to find out what you all thought about the refurb and the fact that you were going to be directly contributing to it?

WideWebWitch · 02/09/2006 20:56

Well first of all I'd find out whether other nearby nurseries are a) cheaper b) as nice and c) have places and whether you're prepared to move her. Is this nursery putting its prices to closer to the going rate or does this put them above that?

If other nurseries are as nice and have places and you are prepared to move her then I think you could write (once you've done all that) telling them that you'd really rather not move her since she is happy there but you feel a annual rise of 20% is high and that therefore you will consider moving. I'd suggest something like

Dear nursery

Thank you for your letter to tell us that your rates are increasing by 20% from October this year. I am concerned to hear this since an increase of 20% in one year feels high to me. My daughter is very happy with your nursery, as am I with your premises and facilities. In fact I'd be happy were the facilities to remain the same and if prices were only to increase in line with interest rates or at least in line with the annual increase many of your customers might expect to receive in their salaries.

My preferred option is that you amend your pricing so that we are able to afford to stay with you but if this isn't possible then we will need to consider whether we might need to give you the required x months notice. I'd appreciate your thoughts and consideration. Thank you.

And see what happens. even if you're not moving her you could still write saying something along those lines.

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:00

the fees are actually slightly less than another I know of. so i'm sure this is probably the going rate for round here but to go from £37 to £42 a day seems like a huge increase. I am guessing the main reason for the increase is they are bringing themsleves into line with other local nurseries - if everyone else charges £40+ a day then why shouldn't they but I bet staff pay isn't going up!

I don't know what consultation was done with parents re the refurb as dd only started a week ago.

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gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:03

am now wondering if I am moaning about nothing if the other nurseries are a similiar price - cos they'll know I have no other option

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gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:06

doh, its more like 15% - stilll seems a lot tho

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Katymac · 02/09/2006 21:08

Well it's 13.5% which is still high but not out of court

If I started a parent this month and was puttin the prices up in Oct I would have already planned this and actually would have charged you at the higer rate from the beginning

I would suspect that the refurbishmenets are probably required by OFSTED

I don't know if you know that the national minimum wages is rising in Oct by nearly 10% (which may have something to do with the rise - it is going from £5.05 to £5.45 which means the total cost of employing someone gores up to £6.04 (with NI) from £5.60......which is quite a rise...nearly £70 a month for a F/T employee)

CountTo10 · 02/09/2006 21:09

WWW is right in what she says and her letter looks fab. In my experience whenever I've not been that happy about something at ds's nursery I've had a chat with the manager as I find its good to be up front and honest with them. I know you probably feel a bit out of it as you've only been with them a week or so but don't feel afraid to approach them about it.

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:17

thankyou katy mac, you make a good piont about the staffs minimum wage - pity mine wont be going up by this much too eh?!?!?!

Think I'll just jhave to swallow it - anywhere else in the area wouuld cost more ot less the same and even a childminder isn't cheaper as they are expensive round here too.

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CountTo10 · 02/09/2006 21:19

how old is your daughter? Will it be long before she qualifies for state our funding? Also do your employers have childcare voucher schemes or would they be open to the idea as its a very good tax saver.

Katymac · 02/09/2006 21:20

It's very hard for employers I have just put my assistants wages up (early 'cos I'm nice) and have to think about my supervisors rates (as I haven't put them up - and I'm not sure I can afford to )

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:28

dd is nearly a year - so ages before any funding, think its 3?

not sure I qualify for childcare vouchers as am a teacher - read somwhere we dont get them

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Socci · 02/09/2006 21:36

Message withdrawn

CountTo10 · 02/09/2006 21:36

That doesn't sound fair!!!! These schemes are usually very open so I'd be surprised to find out you weren't allowed rather than the school find it too difficult to administrate. Its a shame if its not something your entitled to but if it is and its just your school don't have it I'd definitely pursue it as we've taken it up and the saving we get means we save nearly 3 months worth of fees a year.

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:38

wow - thats worth doing then - where can I find out about it?

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1Baby1Bump · 02/09/2006 21:47

looking at what u said about it now costing £42 a day i'm embarassed!
when i was working a few months ago i didnt even earn that in a day!!

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:52

it does make me wonder how alot of people go back to work. and the gov seem to be so keen on getting mums back to work - yet don't seem to help, but wont start that rant now

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1Baby1Bump · 02/09/2006 21:56

i will be a sahm once this baby arrives, anytime now, as i cannot afford childcare for two kids under 2.
god knows what will happen once my savings run out.

CountTo10 · 02/09/2006 21:56

There are loads of schemes up and running - we use Busy Bees and Accor - they both have websites and can give you info on how to get your employers set up etc. All it costs your employer is some basic admin fees which as an ongoing thing isn't a huge amount. It's a great employee bonus though. What happens is the amount you ask for (up to £243/mth for each spouse) is deducted out of your salary before you are taxed and Ni'd and then paid into the scheme and then you transfer it to your nursery. You then get taxed and Ni'd afterwards so you get the immediate saving in your paypacket the month it starts. Our nursery fees are £357/mth which when you add it up over the year and work out what you would get taxed etc we make a saving of about £900 a year which makes such a difference to us. I'd never be able to afford going back full time!!!!

gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:57

lots of luck with baby and money - wish I was gojing to still a sahm but my savings have run out and its hey ho hey ho, back to work I go

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gingernutlover · 02/09/2006 21:59

thanks count to ten - will get on phone to personnel and see what they say

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rustybear · 02/09/2006 22:01

gingernut - I'm sure I saw something in the staffroom at my school about childcare vouchers being 'reinstated' - I didn't read any further as I'm not a teacher, just suppoort staff, but it does sound like there's been some discussion about it.
I'll have a quick look on our LEA website & see if I can find out anything

rustybear · 02/09/2006 22:04

Sorry their server's not responding - probably doing maintenanceor something

threebob · 02/09/2006 22:05

If they are bringing their facilities up in line with other nurseries and charging about the same - well it seems fair enough. The other mums will have had a good ride as their children have been there longer benifiting from it being cheap.
Unfortunately as your dd only started last week you are in the worst situation.

rustybear · 02/09/2006 22:09

"Childcare Vouchers Update for Teachers. Teachers have been prevented from participating in childcare voucher schemes through salary sacrifice due to the legislation which does not allow for teachers to be paid less than their statutory entitlement.

In England and Wales, legislative changes were made to the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document on 1 June 2006 which allows them to take advantage of salary sacrifice arrangements.

The Department of Education is currently in the process of changing the Northern Ireland legislation which will allow deductions (ie salary sacrifice) to be made from teachers pay. The Dept of Education has set this process in motion and they hope that the changes will made by this September.

This change will then allow teacher's employing authorities to choose whether or not to implement vouchers."

So it looks like it's up to your LEA whether or not they do it.

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