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Can nursery force us to increase sessions?

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  • Can nursery force us to increase sessions?


    Hello there,

    I'm hoping someone will be able to provide some advice regarding the nursery situation we've found ourselves in.

    When we joined our nursery, we joined on the basis that our child would attend full time during term time and reduce their sessions to 2 per week during school holidays. This arrangement has been working well.

    We've suddenly been informed that as the nursery is now "busier", we have to double our child's sessions during the school holidays. We do not require these extra sessions and cannot afford them. The unmentioned alternative is that we'll have to find a new nursery.

    Before registering our child, our understanding was that the arrangement was permanent and we were not aware that the nursery could force us to increase our sessions. There's nothing in the nursery's terms and conditions which suggests we can be forced to increase the sessions, and we're more than satisfying the nursery's minimum session requirements. I have emails confirming our agreed sessions when we registered with the nursery.

    This appears to me to be a cynical attempt to get more money from us - as they're getting more interest they think they could increase their profits by having a different child in nursery all year round. So they're trying to recoup some of that potential 'lost' money through us.

    It worries me that if we agree to the increase, they'll then come back to us in the future and force us to increase the number of sessions again.

    As a side note, I have multiple friends at the nursery and one of them has recently asked to reduce their sessions and this has been agreed.

    Is the nursery within their rights to effectively force us to either increase our sessions with them, or change nursery?

    Our child is settled and we're otherwise happy there.

    Thanks
    Tags: None

  • #2
    If you can provide the terms and conditions we can have a look. The starting point is that any variation to the agreement would need mutual consent unless the terms provide for it.

    On the flip side, and again subject to what the terms state, they could just terminate the contract - catch 22.
    If you have a question about the voluntary termination process, please read this guide first, as it should have all the answers you need. Please do not hijack another person's thread as I will not respond to you
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    • #3
      Hi,

      Thank you for your response.

      I've attached the terms and conditions which were provided upon registration. I've blanked out the name of the nursery and contact details.

      Since I posted, I've contacted the nursery and explained that I'm disappointed at the apparent lack of transparency. We wouldn't have registered with the nursery if it had been made clear at the time that we may have to increase our sessions.

      The nursery has since replied and said the original arrangement was made at the manager's discretion as the nursery does not typically offer term time only arrangements. They explained that this means that the terms and conditions don't cover our arrangement.

      They continued "we are happy on this occasion and at the manager's discretion to continue with reducing the sessions during the school holidays. This will be subject to change should the room that [name] is in reaches capacity. We will of course give you 2 months' notice."

      Alongside the terms and conditions, we have emails confirming our arrangement and a registration form signed by me.

      I have yet to reply to the latest email as I'm interested to understand where we stand legally beforehand.

      Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide, it's much appreciated.



      Attached Files

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      • #4

        I have yet to reply to the latest email as I'm interested to understand where we stand legally beforehand.

        Clause 9.9 says ''a minimum of 2 sessions is required'' and you're meeting that requirement but 9.8 says they can change the terms so it's inconclusive. That they are saying the original agreement on sessions was at the ''manager's discretion'' it muddies the waters even further.

        I would say that unless the original agreement on sessions said it was discretionary and subject to change I think you have a fair argument to say that you had a reasonable expectation that it was a permanent arrangement.

        Is this a large chain? I used to own a small chain of nurseries and we would never impose additional sessions on what was originally agreed.


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        • #5
          Is this a large chain? I used to own a small chain of nurseries and we would never impose additional sessions on what was originally agreed.
          Yes, it's a nationwide chain.

          That makes me wonder whether it's worth contacting the head office.

          Comment

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