Nursery fee refunds: Can you get your money back due to coronavirus closures?
1 April 2020, 12:09
Do parents still have to pay full fees even though their child's nursery is closed? Everything you need to know...
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing schools and nurseries across the country to close, many have been questioning whether they still have to pay their children’s fees.
The Government will continue to fund local authorities for the free childcare entitlements of two, three and four-year-olds during the outbreak.
But parents of children who go to private nurseries in the UK can fork out more than £1,000 a month, with many receiving bills for April now when children are no longer attending.
So, can you get your nursery fees refunded due to coronavirus closures? Find out everything here…
Can you get a nursery fee refund due to coronavirus closures?
Parents will have to speak with their providers about whether they have to keep paying fees during the pandemic, as nurseries are reacting in different ways.
It may state in your contract that there is no access to refunds if the provider is forced to close for reasons beyond its control.
However, while some companies are continuing to charge full fees in order to keep their businesses going, others are providing discounts.
For example, many are offering to reduce costs for families who have suffered a huge loss of income due to COVID-19, and some have given mums and dads credit, for discounts off the following year.
Certain nurseries have also put forward full refunds if they are covered by their insurance or if the government chooses to reimburse them.
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association, says: “Whether parents continue to pay fees when a closure is outside of a nursery’s control will depend on the agreements between individual nurseries and their parents. We’re pushing the government hard to offer sufficient financial support so nursery businesses can remain sustainable.”
Lawyers are telling parents to try and negotiate but also remember “nurseries are going to be under severe pressure as a result of the coronavirus situation” too.
Edward Macey-Dare, litigation and employment partner at Lee Bolton Monier-Williams, told the Financial Times: “If they play hardball, they are likely to face numerous parents giving notice to withdraw their children. It seems to me, therefore, that parents have the upper hand in this situation when it comes to negotiating a reduction in fees or more favourable payment terms.”.
The government will continue to fund early years entitlements covering up to 30 hours of free childcare during the closures.