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Nursery Require Full Fees During Snow Closure


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Am I being unreasonable?

It seems that contracts now have a "fair weather" policy that means parents must pay in full even if

the nursery is unable to open or only partially open for a half day.


Any thoughts or personal experiences of this?? I experienced this last week and I find it

incredulous but maybe I'm not getting the bigger picture.................

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Its a tricky one, and I think I would change my view for the larger nurseries. My son goes part time, and last week the nursery stayed open way longer than I'd have expected, only closing on Friday after their staff took 3 hours to get home every night. In that case, my nursery normally offers parents with part time children there the opportunity to take an extra day another week. Full time children don't get a refund though, but its a small business and the staff still need to be paid. I think its a good compromise, especially as the fees aren't *too* bad either.
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It is tricky. We still pay full fees every month even though our nursery closes for 2 weeks at Christmas and 2 weeks in summer - but I understand that it's for staff holiday pay, and if we didn't pay for that they would just up our fees for the weeks it was open

But the snow is different. I couldn't get into work and had to take it as a days annual leave - I still got paid but now have one day less leave for the year. Likewise the nursery staff still need to get paid for snowy weather

Although I hdo ave to say that our nursery stayed open (and I know that last winter they had to stay open til 10pm as some parents were stuck and unable to pick up their children before that - not sure if / how much extra they charged for that!)

Sorry that is a bit of a ramble that doesn't really say anything...

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The nursery still have to pay staff fees/rent on building etc. If they didn't charge you for days when it snowed they'd have to get it back by charging more the rest of the year, meaning years when it snowed you'd end up paying more....


Our nursery was shut on Friday and closed at 4 on Wednesday and Thursday so I had to work from home...

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It's an interesting legal point. The contract says you are still liable to pay, notwithstanding the fact that they are failing to provide the service. Curious whether they can contract out of their obligations like this. I guess it's bargaining power. If there were an oversupply of nurseries, parents would be better able to dictate terms.


The fact that you could get your ch there is also an interesting one. If you could, why cldn't their staff? Perhaps they live further away. Perhaps that's something a nursery should take into account with its staff, as they have to maintain ratios at all times - reliability and ease of arriving.


I don't think it's unreasonable to expect people to take a day's holiday if they can't get in, as per Marscapone's office. It reflects the fact that, unfortunately, we don't live in a country where everyone tries to get to work very hard.


(By the way, if a nursery starts citing Christmas holidays as one example of when they close bur are still paid, tell them that this is completely different. (a) those holidays are known about in advance; it';s part of the deal that you don't get 2 weeks at Christmas or whatever. (b) the monthly rate is even and set to incorporate those hols etc and © it's a blanket closure cf the snow situation when some nurseries where some age groups managed to open but others didn't, thereby only penalising some parents.



THere msut be a lawyer who can tell us whether a nursery or any company can contract out of its obligation to provide the very service you are paying for.

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Surely it would depend on what is outlined in their terms. I would think that unless the contract you have with them stipulates that in the event of extreme weather / unforeseen circumstances (or whatever umbrella term they may use to cover such events when the nursery may be unable to open) you will not be eligible for a refund on fees, it's probably not lawful for them to charge you for a service they are unable to provide. If there is nothing in the terms you signed up to covering this type of thing, I would suggest you would have good case for not paying.
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our nursery closed Thurs and Fri last week, the Manager called in the morning and offered us alternative childcare at one of their other nurseries, somewhere in streatham. I guess if you had no other choice you would use emergency childcare but I'm not sure my 2 would have been very keen to be left with strangers for the day. anyway haven't checked the small print of our contract but I'm sure they have it covered and we won't be getting a refund.....

such is the hideous cost of childcare!

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It completely depends on the wording of the contract which you should have signed before your child started nursery. they are allowed to charge for closure days due to snow, but only if they have stated this up front. If they did, and you signed it, then you are screwed.
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Keef - why is it taking the piss? If they gave you a refund, who would pay for it? And I presume you put the same point to southern rail after the trains were cancelled. And your water company when they cut you off to mend the pipes? Ditto electricity, phone, TV, broadband and other utilities.
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NJC, In a competitive market, obviously it would eat into their profits. It is perfectly reasonable to expect the service one pays for. Parents don't have any influence over the choice of staff and might be minded to choose ones who could arrive if they could choose.


Where parents have signed the contract, the only issue here is whether that term would be struck out by a judge. Not that anyone wants to take it that far, as nurseries know.

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