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?
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
A non-refundable administration fee of £50.00 is required to reserve your child’s place.
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.
(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 ?
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 ****.
On the plus side, as a business owner, it's nice to know that it is so easy to enforce a loose contract