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Helena bernice

Nursery fees whilst closure in place

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Dear All,

I'm new to this group. I have a problem with my nursery. As I'm sure you are all aware of. Nurseries are not allowing non essential workers to bring their children to nursery from Monday. 

However they have asked me for full payment for next month. 

They charge £1,300 for full time. My daughter is currently in 3 days a week. 

 

In the terms and conditions it stated:

In exceptional circumstances, there may be an event which triggers the closure of the nursery. In these circumstances we will not be held responsible and will not issue refunds for such forced closures. 

 

I am not expecting a refund but want to know if I am liable for paying them under the clause of me giving them one months notice to withdraw my child. Issue Is I'm not withdrawing her. They are not accepting her. 

 

Any advice as to weather they can potentially enforce this and take me to court would be grately appreciated 

 

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My instinct here is that this is an unenforceable term because it's an unfair term. They are the business and you are the consumer and it seems to me that there is legislation in force to protect the interests of the consumer. You should be protected under the Consumer Rights Act.

On that basis I think if you have paid anything for which they have not provided the service – and certainly if it's not your fault – then you should be entitled to the refund. They should be insured against this kind of thing.

On the other hand, you need to be aware that you are in a difficult position because if you fall out with them, it may well be impossible to send your child there in future when the crisis is over or at least under control. In fact it is unlikely that they will allow you back. Very unfair – especially if you have a court action in which you are vindicated – but very little you can do about that.

The suggestion seems to be that schools will be closing until June – which means the earliest start would be the September academic year.

It would certainly be interesting to see if other people can come in here with alternative views – but for the moment I would say that they would be hard pressed to sue you but I'm sure that they would start making threats and even maybe and your file over to some legal services who specialise in harassing people so that they feel frightened and end up paying. I can imagine that they would also start adding charges. Is there anything in the terms and conditions which refers to charges for non-payment of late payment?

You say £1300. That represents how many weeks?

 


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Hi thanks for your feedback.

 

It is a private nursery so it doesn't fall under an academic year. 

 

So in the contract I have to give them one months notice. So in normal circumstances I would have to pay £780 for 3 days a week for the notice period. 

 

However I'm not withdrawing my child. They are no longer offering me care. And remaining open for key workers. 

 

So I suspect they are actually in breach of our contract. So I believe no notice on my end needs to be given? 

I think I shall write them a letter stating that as they are no not able to offer the service that I'm giving notice of the ens of our agreement effective immediately.

 

And yes they charge a £20 late payment fee.

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I am happy to find a childminder as I feel that the standard of the nursery has dropped since we started. She is also now having to transition into the 2 plus part of the nursery. Which has different staff. So I'm happy to loose my nursery place.

I spoke to a former employee of the nursery who said that she didn't think the nursery had a leg to stand on in regards to pursuing the funds if they can't deliver the service 

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Hi All,

 

I posted a post last week regarding my nursery who have had to partially close due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

They have told me that as of today they are unable to offer a place for my child. Yet they are still expecting payment for next months fees £900

 

I spoke to citizens advice today who advised me that under consumer rights, they may have actually broken their contract as they are unable to offer care.

 

There clause covering extraordinary circumstances causing them to close is an unfair term. 

 

I have written to them stating the above and that I now consider our contract null and void and that I will be making no further payments. 

 

I had an email back from the owner wishing me the best stating it's a shame I have had to give notice.. 

 

Do you suspect that she will try and peruse next months fees?

 

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Topics merged....please do not start new topics on the same issue.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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This is pretty well what I suggested earlier in the thread – that it is probably an unenforceable unfair term. Having said that, you should be careful about what Citizens Advice say because they are not always strong on these areas. However, the fact that we coincide in this view makes it a little bit more convincing.

It seems to me that you may have received some kind of standard letter – or else is the beginning of a play for one month payment.

Have you cancelled any direct debits or any card payments? Have you given written instructions to your bank? How have you been paying this?


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Yes some of the text was different to others so I'm sure it was just copy and pasted. I have received an email which went out to everyone stating to ignore invoices and they will try to reduce fees due to the situation.

I don't have any direct debit I would have to manually make a payment.

 

I'm not interested in pursuing the days I have paid for but won't receive, as I understand that this situation ultimately is devastating for them. Just can't afford to pay them and stay at home

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Some Nurseries where they are unable to offer a place for a period, appear to require payment to keep the place open, but to me this is unfair, as the parent will have to seek an alternative arrangement.

 

So yes I agree that if they are withdrawing the service, that you don't have to pay and the nursery should accept this, without any come back.

 

I have seen a few cases today, where the nurseries have insisted that they wanted paying for invoices already issued, where they are no longer able to offer the days childcare.  Seems a very unfair way to operate, but in some areas of the country, people don't have many choices of childcare.  So people have paid in the hope that they will be able to use them again in the future.


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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