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Compensation Advice Please

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meglet | 12:30 Thu 20th Jun 2019 | Law
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I would be grateful if anyone could advise if they think I have grounds for compensation for my financial loss.

My 3.5 year old twin sons attend a nursery full time 08.00-18.00. Last Thursday the nursery handed me a letter from the owner stating that my son with global development delay will require 1:1 care going forward. This will be from the end of the summer term and I will be charged £13 per hour. He was assessed by a special needs professional from the council on Tuesday who has recommended he only needs 15 hours 1:1 care a week.

The nursery owner has not even met my son and has no qualifications in special needs education; however she has arbitrarily decided that he needs 1:1 care. He absolutely doesn’t and the council agree with me. It’s not just my son, the owner has said that ALL children with additional needs at the nursery (there are 5 of them) will now have to pay these fees which are almost double the normal fee. The net effect of this fee increase to me would be I would have to pay £2400 a month to keep my twins at the nursery.

I hit the roof and contacted the council who have opened an investigation as it goes against their inclusivity policies and is “wrong on all levels”.

I have found my sons a new nursery and they start on Monday. I could have waited until the end of term but, as the letter is a clear admission that they were not providing adequate care for one of my sons, I felt I had no choice but to move them as soon as I could. The nursery has refunded me the hours that I had paid but will no longer use.

Nonetheless this is going to mean a financial loss to me of £265. Do I have grounds and, if so, what is my next action? I will wait until the council has concluded it’s investigation as this will bolster my case if they uphold my complaint (which I am being given every indication they will).

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The old nursery. This should be handled completely differently. They should have called meetings with parents and explained themselves and applied for 1:1 care funding from the council. Or, if appropriate, given parents time and support in finding a new nursery. I was incredibly lucky to find a local nursery with space.

The thing is they have been there for 3 years (not full-time) so his needs are not something that has been sprung on them. Equally his behaviour has not deteriorated, in fact it has improved.

The fact that I was handed a letter on the way out of the door show meant that I lost all confidence in them straight away. Its straight up profit before care.
What is going to cause you the loss of £265 if the first nursery have refunded you the hours you've paid for but won't use?
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Due to the different ways council funding is applied at different nurseries, the fees until the end of term at the new nursery are higher. It's only happened because they're being moved before the end of term. I didn't feel I had a choice as he was not being adequately cared for.
If you disagree with the assessment there are probably processes you can follow to appeal to the regulators of private nurseries. Otherwise their decision is made and if you disagree you have done the right thing by moving away. However that is your choice, and no compensation is likely.

Just be mindful of the councils assessments as since they are so strapped for cash, their thresholds are lower.

Much like NHS, they might say you can wait another year for an operation (save the money until it far worse than it is now) while a private health care professional would prefer you had it sooner.
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Yes, I get that. Two weeks ago the nursery themselves applied for 15 hours 1:1 funding, that’s why the council assessed him on Tuesday. Then the owner got involved...

The nursery has to be registered with a council and there are laws and regulations they need to abide by. They may be private but that doesn’t give them carte blanche to discriminate, hence an investigation has been opened.

I see that compensation is unlikely. But there will be reputational damage.
Only of the top of my head, I would get letter from your GP to say he could be included. In the mean time send letter to nursery putting them on notice that you will be taking them to County Court for reclaim of fees.
im not sure you have any case at all (as you seem to acknowledge). the nursery is a business and i presume they can charge what they like. You have decided to move them way before you would have had to pay the increased fees, so the financial loss is actually theirs, not yours.
Incidentally, where on earth do they go to nursery? £2400 seems cheap to me for 2 at FT nursery, with one getting full time 1-2-1 care
Question Author
They also get 30 hours a week funded hours each. £600 a week is just top up fees. How on earth is that cheap?

I get they’re a business. But they accept council funding so have to abide by their codes of practise. Not to mention Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
ok then its not cheap. i didt take nto account the 30 hrs, i was just thinking that's not far off double what it costs for my 1 to be in nursery FT. I ould agree with the person above who says that the council probably have a tendancy to underestimate the care needed (in case they have to pay for it at a later date)

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