The Not Too Small Print
Whilst we try to keep our terms and conditions as brief as possible, nonetheless, because we are caring for very young children, we are naturally obligated to many rules, regulations and also a good deal of legislation. We take our responsibilities very seriously and we have to be very clear to our parents and carers about the framework within which we operate. Please take time to read the following pages as it will help us provide and maintain the highest standards of care.
The terms and conditions detailed in this document represent the key elements of our booking agreement. However, as you can appreciate there is a significant amount of day-to-day detail which cannot be reasonably contained in one document. Consequently, you are also provided with supplementary information on our website as well as the day-to-day exchange and communication of documentation (hard copy and email), policies, procedures and reports.
Your acceptance of our terms is initiated at the booking and registration stage. Whilst this agreement naturally has legal implications, we always act with fairness and transparency when making decisions. The success of your child’s time here at The Wishing Tree is dependent on the partnership between the Nursery and our parents and carers. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you wish to discuss the terms further.
- “Terms and Conditions” means our standard terms and conditions relating to the running of our private nursery providing full day care. Nothing within these terms and conditions affects your statutory rights. To enable us to provide and maintain the highest of standards of care we require all parents and carers to be aware of, and abide by the terms and conditions.
- “We” / “Us” / “Our” / “the Nursery” / “Manager” / “The Management” means The Wishing Tree Children’s Nursery, 14 Carden Avenue, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 8NA. (Private Day Nursery on non-domestic premises, OFSTED Registration EY283126)
- “Customer” “Parents” “Carers” “You” “Your” means anyone who requests and is registered for services from us and enters into an agreement or contract.
- “Service” means the provision of childcare as specified under the terms of our Ofsted registration and as laid out in our policies, procedures, handbooks and agreements.
- “Booking, Contract or Agreement” means the contract between us and the customer covering the supply of services by us to the customer. The agreement includes the booking form, nursery policies, fee schedule, consent forms, care plans and all relevant data held or used in the performance of Nursery services.
1.1 The booking is not complete until the relevant booking form has been signed and returned to the Nursery along with the agreed deposit (£25 per half day session or £50 per full day session). This deposit will be returned or offset against your final month’s fees when your child eventually leaves the Nursery. In certain circumstances we can negotiate a lower deposit particularly if you are booking more than one child into the Nursery. Unfortunately, should you cancel your place, the deposit will become non-refundable due to the fact that we have had to turn someone else away to secure the place.
1.2 Changes to your booking before the start date – Changes that do not reduce the number of sessions booked, to swap days for example, or changes to increase the number of sessions booked, can be made as available and may affect the deposit. Decreasing the number of sessions booked will be reasonably considered and taking into account circumstances, notice, amount of reduction and our other booking requirements. We reserve the right to cancel your booking and withhold all or part of the deposit if the decrease is greater than one full day or two half sessions or there is an unreasonable delay to the start date.
1.3 Changes to your booking after the start date – Swapping or increasing sessions can be considered as detailed in the previous point. If we cannot accommodate your request to increase or change sessions, then we can put you on our waiting list or you may wish to terminate the booking giving 8 weeks notice. Decreases to your booking require 8 weeks notice. We reserve the right to cancel your booking and withhold all or part of the deposit if the decrease is greater than one full day or two half sessions.
1.4 Prior to making your booking we can provide up to 5 settling in sessions free of charge. In the highly unlikely event that a child does not settle at the Nursery, (1) the parent / carer may terminate the booking with 2 weeks notice and with no loss of deposit. (2) the Nursery reserves the right to terminate the booking giving 2 weeks notice if we feel have acted with all due care to settle a child and in our opinion it has been unsuccessful. Before taking such action, we will investigate any special needs resource that might be available to help settle the child.
1.5 Once a place has been taken up, the Nursery requires 8 weeks written notice of any changes.
2.1 All on-going fees are payable in advance by Direct Debit, bank transfer, Tax-Free Childcare or Childcare Voucher on the first day of the month to which they relate and by the 7th of the month at the latest before charges may be incurred. Responsibility for paying fees resides with the parents or legal guardians of the child i.e., those named on the Nursery booking form. Other forms of payment can be accepted for the first month’s fees and the initial booking deposit. In exceptional circumstances, the Nursery can also accept payment by standing order, cash, credit card and / or debit card. This should be agreed at the beginning of your booking with the Nursery Manager.
2.2 Fees are calculated weekly and payable on a calendar month basis. An invoice will be sent to you by email unless requested otherwise. We can also provide statements or invoices where changes to your booking have occurred, extra sessions have been booked or there is a fee increase.
2.3 The Nursery is closed at weekends, Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year. The Christmas closure begins at 1.00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and we re-open on the first working day after New Year’s Day. The nursery provides a concession for closures in the form of a discount of a maximum of two weeks fees. This discount will be applied to your monthly invoice by taking the weekly amount which is then multiplied by 50 weeks and then divided by 12.
2.6 For new starters to the Nursery the first month’s fees can be paid by cheque/credit/debit card/cash to allow time for the Direct Debit mandate to be initiated by the collection company and / or childcare vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare arrangements to commence.
2.7 If your child’s start date is part way through the month then we will invoice for the actual sessions taken and begin the calendar month calculation the following month.
2.9 Fees are reviewed once per year normally between January and March. Any changes to the fee rates will be notified to you at least 8 weeks in advance.
2.11 Extra sessions are payable in arrears usually by Direct Debit. In certain circumstances extras may need to be paid for on the day by cheque, cash or card. We will advise you at the time of booking if this is the case.
2.12 There is no VAT to be paid on any of our charges.
2.13 We are unable to refund fees for sessions not taken due to illness, absence or where the Nursery is forced to close due to circumstances beyond our control. (See addendum for COVID-19 information)
2.14 The Nursery reserves the right to charge interest on late fees at the rate of 2% above the Bank of England base rate. For re-presented cheques a minimum charge of £25 will be made. Children may be excluded from the Nursery if fees remain outstanding beyond 14 days from their due date.
2.15 There is a minimum booking commitment for children aged 0 to 5 years of either one full day or two afternoon or morning sessions. Bookings must be for the same session(s) each week. It is not possible to swap days, so that for example, a normally booked Thursday is swapped for a Friday on a one off or temporary basis. Additional days can be accepted as a chargeable extra and subject to availability.
2.17 Because of the staffing and resource requirements as laid down by Ofsted, children who are collected after the agreed time may incur a late collection charge.
2.18 Discounts are available for siblings in the Nursery. The discount is provided to the older child and remains in place until the older child leaves. The rate of this discount will be 5% for each additional child. Discounts are also available for full time bookings at a rate of 5% from the monthly fee. A discount of 2.5% is provided to employees of the NHS, Legal and General and American Express. The maximum discount available under any circumstances is 5%. Discount rates are subject to change with 4 weeks notice.
2.19 It is the Nursery policy to support parents / carers by offering access wherever possible to funding schemes aimed at children aged 0-5 years. Currently, we support a range of funding options including the Early Years Free Entitlement (EYFE). This scheme is aimed at three and four year olds and eligible two year olds, and they are entitled to free part-time early years learning until the school term in which they have their fifth birthday. The funding does not cover extras such as food, drink, outings, nappies and extra hours. Children of the eligible age are offered a free early years place (15 hours offer) or (30 hours offer – subject to eligibility), but not the right to a free place with a particular early years provider or a particular time or session. The Nursery prioritises funded places according to availability, type of booking and whether the enquirer is an existing parent or new enquirer. Please refer to our website or contact the office for further details regarding our funding policy.
3.1 You may end this agreement by giving eight weeks written notice. No specific reason for ending the agreement needs to be given, although naturally we would wish to understand the reason.
3.2 Specifically, you may end this agreement with immediate effect if (1) we have breached any of our obligations under this agreement and we have not or cannot put right that breach within a reasonable period of being requested to do so (2) we change any of the terms and conditions unreasonably.
3.3 Specifically, we reserve the right to end this agreement with immediate effect if (1) you have not paid the agreed fees (2) you have breached your obligations under this agreement and you have or cannot put right that breach within a reasonable period of being requested to do so (3) your child’s behaviour is unacceptable or endangers the safety and well-being of any of the other children in the Nursery (4) financial, business or commercial reasons compel us to radically change the nature of the Nursery’s operations, including but not limited to permanent closure of the Nursery, change of childcare service provider, re-registration of child numbers and age groups, changes to the registration and bookings policy. Naturally, we will provide as much notice as possible given any of these events.
3.4 We may suspend the provision of childcare for any of the above reasons and in addition
(1) if your child is suffering from an infectious or contagious disease or illness which may easily be passed onto others at the Nursery. The suspension will continue whilst we try to resolve the problem in conjunction with the parent / carer. (2) where forces beyond our control compel us to either close the Nursery or reduce the available hours, such as an outbreak of disease (See COVID-19 addendum) that involves the intervention of outside agencies such as Environmental Health, severe weather such as snow or ice which significantly impairs safe travel to and from the Nursery, industrial action affecting travel to and from the Nursery, an Ofsted investigation or any other reasonable incident not in our control. In the event that the Nursery is compelled to close in reasonable circumstances beyond our control we are not able to refund fees or organise alternative childcare, nor can we accept any consequential liability sustained by parents / carers due for example to loss of earnings or costs associated with alternative childcare. Dependent on the nature of the closure we may be able to seek compensation through our insurance policy and every effort will be made to minimise the disruption to service and cost to parents or carers. None of the above compromises your statutory rights if the Nursery has been negligent.
4.1 Staff are checked on commencement with the Nursery through the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure there are no safeguarding issues of which we need to be aware. Suitable person checks also include but are not limited to identity verification, qualification checks, personal and employment references, medical checks and where applicable visas or permits to work in the UK.
4.2 The Nursery observes the Ofsted regulations relating to staff and children ratios, currently 0-2 years 1:3, 2-3 years 1:4 and 3 to 5 years 1:8. In practice our ratios exceed the minima.
4.3 Where a member of staff, within 3 months of leaving the employment of the Nursery, is employed by a parent/carer to care for their child, who was previously registered at the Nursery, then the parent / carer will be liable to pay a sum equivalent to two month’s salary for the employee at the time their employment with the Nursery terminated.
4.5 Parents/carers may ask staff to baby-sit outside Nursery hours. This is a contract between parent/carer and the member of staff, and the Nursery takes no responsibility.
5.1 It is understood that the Nursery is under an obligation to report to the appropriate authorities any incident where we consider a child may have been abused, neglected or in some other way harmed either physically or emotionally. This may be done without informing the parent or carer, in accordance with our Safeguarding Children Policy.
5.2 Intimate care can be provided by a male or female member of our staff and can include feeding, washing, dressing, toileting and nappy changing.
5.3 The Nursery is committed to the identification of and provision for children with Special Educational Needs. We believe that the potential of every child in our care is maximised, irrespective of ability, disability, race, gender and social background and to enable equal access to the curriculum in an environment where every child is valued and respected. Parents and carers must ensure we have all the relevant information regarding special needs to enable us to appropriately care for your child.
5.4 In fairness to all our staff and to the clients and children that use our facilities we expect reasonable standards of behaviour at all times. We therefore reserve the right to exclude any child whose conduct is, in our opinion, disruptive or in any other way unacceptable to the smooth and efficient running of our Nursery. Naturally every effort will be made to avoid this action and may include special needs assessment or one to one care if funding allows. We ask all parents / carers to appreciate this and to understand that, in the event of having to exclude any child, all fees to that date are non-refundable.
5.5 All Nursery meals are prepared by our chefs in the nursery kitchen with consideration to provide a well-balanced diet. Vegetarians and special dietary requirements are catered for. A copy of the weekly menu is displayed on the notice board/door. Please ensure you keep us notified about your child’s dietary needs and preferences.
5.6 We reserve the right to administer basic first aid and treatment when necessary. Parents will be informed of all accidents and will be required to sign an accident form. For accidents of a more serious nature, involving hospital treatment, all attempts will be made by Nursery to contact the parents but failing this, we are hereby authorised to act on behalf of parents to consent to necessary treatment from a suitably qualified medical source. We will administer prescribed medicines if parents complete a ‘Medicine Consent’ form; however, the first dose of medicine must be given at home and parents must take all medicines home at the end of each day unless otherwise agreed.
5.7 We may ask parents to withdraw their child from Nursery, if we have reasonable cause to believe that they are unwell or maybe suffering from or have suffered from any contagious disease/infection and there remains a danger that other children at the Nursery may contract such a disease/infection. We accept no responsibility for children contracting contagious diseases/infections whilst at Nursery; however, we will publish infection notices in the Nursery to keep you informed. Parents are requested to inform the Nursery if their child is suffering from any illness or sickness before attending Nursery. (See COVID-19 addendum). Children who have suffered from sickness or diarrhoea will not be admitted back to Nursery within 48 hours after the last bout. If children fall ill during the day parents will be contacted to arange to collect them. If the parents are unavailable other authorised contacts will be called.
5.8 Parents are requested to inform the Nursery of any food, medicine, activity or any other circumstances that may cause the child to have an allergic reaction/ allergy. Parents must provide details, in writing, of the severity of the reaction/ allergy and must continue to inform the Nursery of any changes/progress to the condition, in writing, when they become aware. Parents are requested to inform the Nursery of any changes to key information.
5.10 We request that all personal toys, books or other equipment are left at home as we cannot guarantee they won’t be damaged or lost. Comforters can be brought into the nursery.
5.11 The Nursery provides a car park when dropping and collecting your child. Please ensure your child is supervised at all times in the car park. Do not park close to the buildings and be aware of your speed. The Nursery is not liable for any accidents or injury whilst customers are using the car park.
5.12 Children should attend nursery in normal day clothes. Please avoid ‘designer’ clothes as accidents can happen. Two changes of clothes should be provided, in a labelled bag. Please label your child’s clothes to help avoid items going missing or being misplaced. The Nursery does not accept responsibility for accidental injury or loss of property, although we take very good care of child property whilst in the Nursery.
5.13 The Nursery maintains all those insurances required by law. Details are posted in the reception area.
5.14 The Nursery acknowledges its duty of care to uphold the Statutory Guidance issued under section 29 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, the central function of which is to take due regard to our role in assisting the prevention of adults and children in our care from being drawn into terrorism or radicalisation.
6.1 As part of the nursery’s fulfilment of the Early Years Foundation Stage we regularly photograph and sometimes video the children taking part in their activities. Imagery is never published without the consent of the parent or carer. Our guidelines are as follows (1) Photographs in the Nursery are only taken with Nursery cameras or authorised devices such as Tablet computers. (2) Staff mobile phones with or without cameras are not allowed in the playrooms or the garden. (3) Photographs taken of the children are stored on the Nursery computer and are password protected. (4) Photographs are vetted for suitability before being printed or published. (5) All children are dressed appropriately before pictures are taken. (6) No photographs are taken in sensitive areas such as toilets or nappy changing rooms. We observe thee GDPR regulations protecting privacy and confidentiality.
6.2 Parents are requested not to use their mobile phones within the Nursery premises.
6.3 If you do not wish your child to be photographed or recorded please inform the Nursery in writing.
7.1 You must collect your child in person. If you arrange for someone else to collect your child, then you must contact the Nursery Management prior to collection and obtain a password to be used by the person authorised to collect your child.
7.2 You must ensure that your child is collected at the scheduled time of collection. If you are not able to collect your child at the schedule time, you should make every effort to inform the Nursery Management as soon as possible. Late charges of £10 for each 10 minutes may be charged. The Nursery is under obligation to the local authority safeguarding board to inform the relevant agencies should a child remain with us 30 minutes beyond the collection time where there has been no notice and mutual agreement between the parent/carer and Nursery management.
7.4 The Nursery will provide parents and carers with access to our keypad entry system for the front door, however, the code must only be given to authorised visitors to the nursery for regular drop off and collection of children. Please observe the rules for its use. The Nursery also operates a CCTV system which is for security purposes only and is not connected to any exterior network other than for remote maintenance by the Proprietor or authorised CCTV engineer.
7.5 It is the responsibility of parents/carers/guardians to keep us informed of any changes in contact details.
7.6 Under no circumstances will the child be allowed to leave Nursery with anyone unknown to Nursery staff unless the parent or carer has previously arranged this. If the parent / carer has made alternative arrangements by telephone, the Nursery will require the name, address and telephone number of the person permitted to collect the child and proof of identity will be required upon arrival at the Nursery. A list of responsible adults who are authorised to collect the child should be given to the Nursery Manager. The Nursery does also use a password system for entry to the building.
7.7 The Nursery has absolutely no obligation to accommodate a child that will be collected late if we are not able to do so. If a child remains uncollected with no notification for more than 30 minutes after normal collection timelines, we are required by law to contact the local authority.
7.8 The Nursery will not release a child for collection if it is reasonably believed or has reason to suspect that the collecting person is under the influence of alcohol and/or is intoxicated by drugs. The Nursery will contact the other persons named on the collection and contact list to come and collect your child.
7.9 The Nursery may permit minors between the ages of 16 and 18 to collect a child from the Nursery on behalf of parents, provided that we have been notified that the minor has been given authority to do so. Nursery Management will give the final and absolute permission for a child to be collected by the minor.
8.1 If you have any complaints about the service that we are offering, can you please in the first instance contact your child’s keyworker, then the Nursery Manager or Proprietor, and in the final instance, Ofsted.
8.2 We may change the terms and conditions from time to time especially where such change arises from regulatory issues or changes in legislation affecting us, changes that affect the way we provide our nursery service, or in our reasonable opinion it is in the interests of children attending the Nursery. We will give you at least one month’s written notice of such change.
8.3 We will not be in breach of these terms or otherwise liable to you by reason of any delay in performance or non-performance of our obligations due to an event outside our reasonable control including ‘acts of God’, fire, flood, snow, lightning, war, act of terrorism, strikes or other industrial action. (See COVID-19 addendum)
8.4 Acceptance of this agreement is implicit when you sign our booking document and applies to all parties noted on the booking form, irrespective of whether the secondary parties have signed the form. We would respectfully request that if parents / carers experience difficulty in fulfilling any of the conditions of this agreement, that they contact the Nursery Manager or the Proprietor as soon as possible. We will do our very best to resolve the issue. Thank you.
9.1 This Agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of, or in connection with it, its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) will be governed and interpreted by the laws of England and Wales. You and The Nursery irrevocably agree that the courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim coming from this Agreement.
9.2 A failure by The Nursery to exercise or enforce any right granted by these Terms and Conditions will not be interpreted or considered to be a waiver of any such right nor operate so as to bar the exercise or enforcement of such right or of any other right on any occasion.
We observe the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as it applies in the UK, tailored by the Data Protection Act 2018. The Act defines what types of data are allowed to be collected, how they should be stored and what can and cannot be done with that information. In particular The Act states that personal data relating to individuals must be stored securely and only used for legitimate purposes.
When you initially book our services and in the course of providing those services, we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:
- Your details, including your name, marital status, date of birth, photographs, home address, contactable telephone numbers, email address, and employment details; and
- Your child’s details, including name, date of birth, home address, photographs, videos, contactable telephone numbers, email address, and GP details.
We also collect and process what is termed as ‘Sensitive Personal Information’. This maybe information about you or your child’s gender identification, race and ethnicity, nationality, cultural or religious beliefs, genetic or biometric data, disability or medical records, sexual orientation or criminal records or cautions and court orders.
From time to time we may also collect information from other sources such as other nursery settings, other children’s learning profiles, the police, safeguarding, Ofsted or the Local Authority. We may enhance personal information we collect from you with information we obtain from third parties that are entitled to share that information, but in each case as permitted by applicable laws.
From time to time you might give us information about third parties such your next of kin allowed to collect or alternative emergency contacts. If you intend giving us personal information about someone else, you are responsible for ensuring that you comply with any permissions and consent obligations under the data protection laws. In so far as required by applicable data protection laws, you must ensure that that you have their explicit consent to do so and that you explain to them how we collect, use, disclose and retain their personal information or direct them to read this Policy.
We gather information directly from you in a number of ways:
- paper and hard copies of forms;
- computer networks and connections;
- web based software and platforms;
- web and tablet-based applications;
- communications systems;
- survey platforms;
- email and instant messaging systems;
- telephones, voicemail, mobile phone records; and
- and other hardware and software owned, used or provided by or on behalf of us.
Some limited personal data may be collected from monitoring devices and systems such as CCTV.
We use your personal information for:
- performance of our contractual obligations;
- equal opportunities monitoring;
- diversity reporting requirements;
- social security laws;
- statistical analysis;
- contacting service users in an emergency situation;
- communicating with service users;
- compliance with legal, regulatory and corporate governance obligations and good practice;
- gathering information as part of investigations by regulatory bodies or in connection with legal proceedings or requests;
- operational reasons, such as recording transactions, training and quality control;
- security vetting and credit rating;
- preventing unauthorised access to the nursery setting and the children;
- checking references;
- administration, assessments and monitoring;
- marketing our business our additional services and those of our group companies, for the purpose of our legitimate interest and so long as that interest does not infringe on your rights and freedoms;
- analysing purchasing preferences of our product and services and making improvements;
- improving our customer services provisions;
- operational reasons, such as recording transactions, training and quality control;
- insurance purposes; or
- ensuring business policies are accurate and relevant.
We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law. We will not share your personal information with any other third party without your consent. For complete details of our GDPR policy please refer to our website or contact the office.
Ongoing impact of COVID on our nursery – since the beginning of the year, we like many schools and nurseries have experienced significant staff shortages, and in some COVID outbreaks, we’ve even been compelled to close rooms. Whilst the ‘Living with COVID’ guidelines state that even if someone has tested positive, it is their or the employer’s choice whether to come into the workplace, in practice to do so would be utterly unfair on others who may be exposed to the virus. Regrettably, we anticipate that the infection will continue to cause staffing and operational issues for some time to come, and in the circumstances, we ask for your ongoing understanding. Unfortunately, if your child is away from nursery through COVID related reasons, then we will need to treat this absence in line with our normal infection policy, and we are unable to provide refunds. If on the other hand we are unable to provide childcare, for example we are compelled to close a room(s) because of COVID, then we will refund 50% of your fees for the first week and 75% thereafter up to a maximum of 4 weeks. A further decision will be made in the unlikely event of closure lasting more than 4 weeks.
If you would like to discuss any of our terms and conditions in more detail, please do not hesitate to call the office on 01273 551515 or email email@example.com.