For almost two years now, our little boy has attended the local nursery and I’ve always said, it’s the best decision we’ve made. Jack absolutely loves it and has developed so much under their care and I’ve never worried about him being there. The nursery offered concessions that other local nurseries didn’t and most importantly, it’s fully accessible, unlike most of the other local nurseries.
So you can imagine our distress and disappointment recently when we received a letter, stating that not only were prices increasing but that almost all of our concessions were now being removed. These include:
- Changing the opening time from 7.30 to 8am and expecting parents to pay more for this reduced service. Opening at 8am puts working parents under immense pressure to get to work on time, particularly those who don’t work locally.
- Expecting us to pay for a service when we can’t access it. Every year, the nursery closes for two weeks at Christmas and up until now, we didn’t have to pay for this. Now we are required to pay for the Christmas break, all bank holidays and times when we take our children on holiday – we used to get 2 weeks half price for holidays. This totals four weeks of extra fees for a reduced service.
- Fees are now payable upfront from September, meaning that in August (peak holiday time) parents are expected to pay double their fees.
These decisions have a massive impact on us and our families and yet they have all been taken without any consultation and without any thought or consideration for how parents will manage these changes, either practically or financially. This is both arrogant and offhand.
As a wheelchair user, this nursery is the only nursery that I am able to get to which is fully accessible. To make all of these changes without consultation is very upsetting, given my very limited options for childcare.
There is a meeting next week for parents to voice their concerns but we have been told already that non of these decisions will be reversed. I think this is extremely arrogant and disrespectful to parents – the people who are paying to keep their “business” afloat. The Government offer various incentives for parents to work and then we have these changes enforced upon us – it doesn’t make any sense.