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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi We have recently moved to a new area, and placed my 3

Resolved Question:

Hi
We have recently moved to a new area, and placed my 3 year old (almost 4yrs) child in a day nursery for full-time day care (NB the nursery has plenty of free spaces)
After 4 days of attending, it was clear that my child was unhappy, and so we have taken the decision to remove her from the nursery.
The Nursery are now demanding that we pay a full months notice, as per the "contract".
However, I feel given the circumstances, that this is harsh, as she was unhappy and unable to settle.
In addition, one of the stipulations that I asked the nursery each day was whether there were other children of a similar age, as being in an environment with the majority of children being of a different age is not ideal - I was repeatedly told that there were other children of a similar age, yet when doing drop-offs and early picks-ups, it was quite clear that the average age/mix of children was not 'as described' and what we had been led to believe.
Given that my child was only there for 4 days, is it unreasonable of the nursery to demand that we pay a full months notice period?
They will say that this was part of the T&Cs
I would argue that if, in such a short period of time, my child was unhappy, and that the care promised was unsatisfactory and not 'as described' and were led to believe was in place when we originally signed up, then the demand to pay a months notice is unfair.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : What do the terms say about cancellation? Are you saying the service they are providing is poor?
Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

The actual wording on the contract/form that we filled out is as follows:

"Written notice is required of one month (4 weeks) from parties prior to cancellation of this placement.

Full fees will be paid throughout this period.

Non payment of fees could result in the loss of your child’s place. Following this, legal proceedings

will be taken to recoup outstanding fees, this contract binds you to meet all legal costs.

Children who only attend school term time will be charged a retaining fee of half the usual fees and

are able to attend nursery during school holidays for half their usual nursery hours e.g. attending 5 full

days in term time the child can attend for 2.5 days in school holidays.

Fees are payable 52 weeks a year regardless of holidays. The nursery does not open on any Bank

Holidays.

A non-refundable administration fee of £50.00 is required to reserve your child’s place.

Customer:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In terms of the service - we were led to believe that the ages of the children in the nursery were going to be in line with that of our daughter (almost 4yrs old)

We were assured by the nursery that they had a 'good blend of ages' - this actually turned out to be about 5% of children of my daughters age, and the other 95% were 2-3 yr olds (young 3 yr olds). We have not been happy with this, neither has my daughter - she's been used to being in a nursery with older children.....and had this been pointed out at the time of signing, we would not have proceeded.

This is then the reason why we have removed our daughter after only 4 days- she wasn't happy, we're not happy that the nursery is meeting her emotional and academic needs, and we feel that we were not given the full view from the outset.

The nursery has a number of vacancies (so no excuses about 'taking up other places') - we just feel that in the same way that they expect a contract to be honoured financially, we have a right to have verbal assurances and a level of service provided that we are ultimately paying for. And if the service on offer is not meeting this, then particularly after such a short period of time, that there should be the opportunity for either party to say 'sorry its not working out', without having financial penalties applied that are far in excess of the circumstances.

Customer:

(update)The nursery has a number of vacancies (so no excuses about 'taking up other places') - we just feel that in the same way that they expect a contract to be honoured financially, we have a right to have verbal assurances met, and receive a level of service provided that we we promised and are ultimately paying for. And if the service on offer is not meeting this, then particularly after such a short period of time, that there should be the opportunity for either party to say 'sorry its not working out', without having financial penalties applied that are far in excess of the circumstances.

Alex Watts : It's bad news I am afraid. If You signed the contract then sadly you are liable.
Alex Watts : This is because the contract states 4 weeks notice.
Alex Watts : It does not appear to mention age groups etc so these terms may not apply to the contract.
Alex Watts : But as you signed it you are bound.
Alex Watts : If their service has been poor you may be able to argue they are in breach of section 13 of the sale and supply of goods and services act 1982 by failing to act with all reasonable skill and care.
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please ?
Customer:

Thanks Alex.

Thats all I think. It's a shame that the law seems to be so one sided in instances like this, and that verbal assurances and promises count for so little.

I guess its a 'note to self' for future to insist on additional written confirmation in contractual instances like this, but then you risk going through life looking like a complete ****.

Customer:

On the plus side, as a business owner, it's nice to know that it is so easy to enforce a loose contract













Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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