Paid Your Nursery Fees? Is This Nursery Owner Right To Take This Course Of Action?

Hands Up Who Hasn't Paid Nursery Fees!
13 September 2016

The owner of a nursery in Lancashire has criticised parents who fail to pay for their children's nursery fees whilst splashing out on other expensive luxuries.

Jessica Webber took to Facebook and wrote:

If you see this as unprofessional, then so be it, but I'm fairly livid after going through today's outstanding debts at nursery! Therefore, until you have paid up and/or if you are unable to afford the fees, in order for us to pay the wages for the people to look after your children and pay for the food to feed your children and the toys for them to play with etc, maybe consider prioritising. Holidays, new cars, new outfits, hair/nail extensions, tattoos, nights out etc are luxuries, not essentials, to all of us. Housing, utilities, food, and if you choose to use a nursery, child care fees, are necessities. Please remember this. We are not a charity. We are a small business with large overheads and merely ask for prompt payment for the services we provide and you receive. Jessica

Inevitably the post provoked a strong reaction on social media and was quickly picked up by various news and media outlets. To those who suggested that a private letter to the non-paying individuals in question might be more appropriate, the nursery owner wrote:

Believe me. All tried. I wouldn't have posted anything at all if it wasn't a last resort and my customers and staff know me well enough to know this. Unfortunately, people need to face the facts that not everyone puts the care of their children as a priority and that in reality, there's just a minority of people who are egocentric individuals who think the world owes them!

I'm not usually one to argue in favour of using social media to air a grievance but in this case I can't help but feel some sympathy for the nursery owner. And if, as she says, all other avenues have been explored then why shouldn't she make the matter public as a last resort?

As someone who runs a small business I know only too well the stress that can be caused by late payment of invoices, so to translate that to a nursery setting where the 'work' in question is looking after the children of people who choose not to pay their dues, well I don't blame the nursery owner for losing her cool.

I can understand the argument which says that it's not the nursery owner's place to tell parents how to prioritise their spending but if she's the one out of pocket because of their financial recklessness, why shouldn't she take issue with that?

And yes, there is always a case to be made for keeping personal conflicts and annoyances off social media - no matter how valid your point, telling the world about it on Facebook tends to come across as passive aggressive which can rather weaken your argument, in my view - but I absolutely see why the nursery owner let her fingers do the talking on this occasion. Why put up and shut up as her business goes bust while those that owe her book holidays and facials?

But what's your view? We'd like to hear your views on this story. Tell us what you think over on our Facebook page or leave us a comment below.

98 comments

  • Carolyne G.

    I think she should have said that the children will not be able to attend until fees are brought up to date. That's what my kids nursery does.

  • Carol B.

    If you dont pay your bills, those services will be withdrawn, if she has tried other avenues ... maybe she should try services are ceased until you pay your bill ... see how fast they are paid then.

    • Stacey C.

      Totally agree, unfortunatly though a lot of the time when this happens the parents take their child out of nursery and move to a different one, owing the previous nursery money and a lot of the time they don't get that money x

    • Carol B.

      and as sad as that is ... most business's know this, but it doesnt mean they should suffer .... how does she pay her staff and overheads ... I hate seeing people taken for granted and that oh i'll sort that later attitude .... what would all the people who do pay on time do if she had to close or make staff redundant??

    • Kate S.

      We had to pay a two week deposit before my little girl started nursery and you aren't allowed to go more than two weeks in arrears so theoretically they shouldn't be owed money. Personally I don't understand why people wouldn't pay. When I get paid it's one of the first things to get paid along with mortgage, bills etc. It's a priority payment.

    • Rachael C.

      ^ Exactly what I would do if I owned a nursery. How did she allow them to get into so much debt anyway? I would remind them after the first week that the payment was overdue, on the second week they wouldn't be able to attend. Once you've already allowed them to get into so much debt what is to stop them from just taking their child to another nursery when you cease services?

  • Carly W.

    How the hell does she know that parents spend money on luxury items, I think she is wrong to air it on Facebook and should have just refused the children until fees are paid that is what normal nurseries do!

    • Stacey J.

      Probably when they turn up with their nails freshly done or their hair etc, or things posted on facebook about their recent nights out/holiday pics. I say good on her!

    • Kelly G.

      most people r friends with the chilldminder or setting so they can see what the have been up to by the parents own admission

    • Alison P.

      Exactly

    • Catherine F.

      They don't have to see anything the children will tell the staff wot they have been doing at the weekend or on holiday or mums nails

    • catb

      you usually know!! Standing their listening to parents brag to others that they have just got xyz, showing off their new purchases, talking about their second holiday for the year they have just booked as you stand beside them not having been paid!!! You know. I've stood beside people talking, knowing they have not paid their fees to others. Thankfully at the moment I have a great bunch who all pay up but that has not always been the case

  • Stacey C.

    You wouldn't go into a shop everyday, fill up your trolley and take the items everyday and not pay for them so why would you send your children to nursery and not pay? If I didn't have the money then I wouldn't send them. A nursery is still a business with real people who work there who have families and bills of their own to pay for.

    • Anna L.

      I'm a nursery owner and that is exactly what I told a parent when she wasn't paying her fees!

  • Leona J.

    If parents are having to pay say rent or something that could keep the roof over their heads that's one thing

    But having hair nails holidays abroad etc are just taking the pee

    • Lucy F.

      The kind of parents who are barely scraping by to the pay the rent are also the kind of parents who receive housing benefit and extra child tax credits to pay towards the cost of childcare. Upto 70% of the cost.

    • Liz L.

      Lucy Marie Faircloth we never got any help for the costs or rent or anything - kept saying we weren't eligible despite being clearly within the threshold for earnings. (Still paid though obv)

    • Leona J.

      And not all people in that situation are the same I work 42.5 hours a week on £3.30 an hour I barely see my daughter I'm a single parent the money is there to help parents in low income houses I didn't choose the live Iv been handed but it's happened and until I can find myself a rich husband to pay for everything like other women seem to have it's how it is I know id rather have a bit of help towards my rent than live on the street with my child As for shopping sprees nails hair cars etc I do none of those I can't even afford to learn to drive at 25 years of age

    • Becs F.

      The minimum wage is 7.20 per hour, 3.30 is against the law

    • Leah D.

      Where is this cause in ireland 9.65 is minimum wage

    • Hannah L.

      £3.30 an hour is apprenticeship wage so not against the law unfortunately

    • Amanda M.

      Are you saying that if rent needs to be paid that it's ok not uk pay the nursery?​ The nursery have provided a service, food, bills for heat, water, electricity, toys and equipment... so why should the parents think it's ok not to pay?

      It's wrong! It's rude!

      How much thought do theses parents put in to the care of their children if they are happy to move them every time they run up outstanding fees, what kind of parent would allow their children to suffer because they have been asked to leave, or chose to leave because their hair/facial/nails are more important than the care and education of their children!

      Rent, food shopping, heating - why are these more important than the nursery fees. If you are using a service you have a responsibility to pay for it. If you can't afford it, give notice and take them out of nursery, look after them at home yourself - maybe then you will see what an amazing job these nurseries do. I'm sure the parents would soon 'moan' if they weren't paid their salary or tax credits!

    • Leona J.

      I'm not saying don't pay nursery fees at all

      I was just saying how it's one thing to struggle because of rent issues but another not to pay because of going out on shopping sprees etc

    • Lucy F.

      Leona if you are doing an apprenticeship and only earning £3.30 per hour and are a single parent then you will be entitled to housing benefit, council tax benefit, child tax credits, child benefit, depending on your child age you will also be entitled to healthy start vouchers, and childcare element of child tax credits.

      Child tax credits pay upto 70% of child care costs for eligible families.

      I honestly resent you saying you hope to find a rich husband to pay for everything. With that mindset it's no wonder you haven't found a husband yet as you appear to see men as a meal ticket. My partner and I aren't entitled to any help at all due to our earnings. And we don't have a huge income. But with a bigger income come bigger bills. So we actually have less 'spare' money than many people I know who live on benefits

      The problem is that they lay this money directly to the parent, not the nursery or childcare provider. So some parents will obviously be a bit shit and use that money for other things.

  • Angela C.

    Omg I was just reading it :joy::joy::joy:

  • Gail S.

    Good on her, she has staff to pay and people would rather get their nails done etc they'd soon say something if they showed up with their children and she sent them away because she hadn't paid the staff so they'd left.

  • Arlene R.

    The nursery my wee ones attend are very clear on this, don't pay then kids will not be allowed to come. Barefaced cheek to continue to bring your kids knowing that you owe fees!!

  • Laura B.

    what does this remind you of? xx

  • Stacey J.

    Bloody good for her! And the people who disagree are probably people who also struggle to prioritise their money!!

  • Rebecca W.

    I can see her point.

  • Jo P.

    Hell no! Pay your bill! :rage:

  • Nikki L.

    So wanna share it to our page see what our parents think!!! May give them a kick up the bum.

  • Laura M.

    Good on her!

  • Bekey C.

    At a nursery i worked at we had parents who would avoid the 'you owe money' talk by jumping over walls!

  • Catherine M.

    :clap::clap: about time someone said it! Good on her xx

  • Victoria B.

    I think this is spot on....Facebook is a great way of getting the point across...

  • Edwina A.

    Good on her!!! Well said!!! :clap::clap::clap:

  • Moanie S.

    She's right but she is wrong with how she's gone about it. Not a professional approach at all.

    • SusanB

      Probably the last resort. Many nurseries are struggling to stay afloat whilst the government condemns more of us to failure with the prospect of 'Free' 30 hours which costs the Nurseries money.

  • Kerri M.

    Definitely !!!

  • Emma W.

    The owner is accountable to people and their families too & also has to pay her own priorities. Utterly selfish 'parenting'. I agree with above; withdraw the place & also with why should she 'be polite' and silently let her debt mount? Rant away!

  • Karen G.

    While I totally agree with her sentiment, I do think this is an unprofessional way to address the issue. Stop the children from attending, this, surely will have the desired effect and only for the culprits. A rant not specifically directed at any individuals is like keeping the whole class in for one or two that misbehave.

  • Kimberley H.

    I think this is fair play, and sadly some parents do need a lesson in priorities. We're all on the breadline sometimes, well most of the time actually! And I think there's this real sense of entitlement in our culture today, 'I haven't got any money but because I WANT to have the latest phone or have my hair and nails done then why shouldn't I?' There's a real 'you can't tell me what to do' attitude with a lot of people these days.

  • Cheryl L.

    the story of our life :joy:

    • Chelsea R.

      I won't miss that nonsense!! :joy:

    • Cheryl L.

      It's the best feeling ever! That and the anx6of your phone ringing get at 6am x

    • Cheryl L.

      Anxiety

    • Chelsea R.

      You must not have known what hit you when all that crap was lifted from you me shoulders! Just looking after the kids :ok_hand_tone2::relaxed:

  • Danni A.

    Fair play to her, getting money out of some people is like trying to get blood from a stone! Some take advantage and it's not fair!! The people running the nursery have a life to pay for have bills food families this is her job which she has to be paid for!! Not paying they are obviously Selfish arrogant stuck up self absorbed people! I'd refuse to take the children in until payment was received. You wouldn't have gas or electricity if you didn't pay you wouldn't get your food if you didn't pay why the hell should you get childcare without paying?!

  • Nic N.

    Alot of people receive tax credits to help pay towards their childcare costs but most choose to spend it on themselves and worry about childcare costs at a later date. I am talking from experiences as someone who works in a nursery and haven't received my wages on time due to people not paying the company on time.

    • Toerags C.

      I worked in a nursery & it was the same problem . Chasing parents for their fees & late wages due to non paying parents , it was a nightmare . Some even ran up a bill then left to start another nursery , shocking .

  • Joanne B.

    Yes she was right. The nursery owner has staff that need paying, food to buy to feed their child at nursery, as well as God knows how many other bills & overheads. I work in a nursery and it amazes me how many parents don't pay their fees & they don't seem to care. They are also the parents who complain about everything!!!!! My daughter attends the nursery I work in and her fees are always paid on time. You wouldn't go into a shop get loads of stuff and say oh I will pay for it next month would you. It's the same thing!

  • Catherine B.

    Happens with childminders too :( (not myself personally but have heard some bad stories)

    • Toerags C.

      Yep , I've been burnt a few times just when I started out , learned the hard way .

  • Hannah C.

    They must realise that them paying their bill allows the manager to pay their staffs wages..... The people who teach NOT BABY SIT their children. Preschool/nursery practitioners work their bottoms off to help their children to reach their full potential and be ready for school, all the "back stage" planning, preparation and paper work for their child . Drive me mad when parents don't pay :disappointed::persevere:

  • Emma S.

    I can totally understand why she's done what she's done. She's clearly at the end if her tether and hopefully putting her points across on social media might reach out to the offending parents. Definitely think she should stop any children from attending the setting if their parents haven't paid their fees.

  • Sam B.

    A lot of nursery around my area take a months payment in advance with invoice due on a set date no payment no place -simple

  • Clair F.

    Omg! It is true what she is saying, but I just stop the children from coming in. Xx

  • Catherine F.

    Yes you are maybe taking food from the staff and there family if you use the service you should pay

  • Catherine F.

    Some eole are so full of there own self importance that they need to be told in plane English they would not bring there children and not pay the bill

  • Susan H.

    The nursaires I worked in if the parents fell behind with fees the child was refused entry till the debt was cleared (unless some sort of re payment package was sorted out)

  • Rachel H.

    Love it, maybe she's on to something. Xx

  • Janine B.

    I worked in a nursery and in these situations letters were sent home and staff were told to refuse the child until fees were up to date. Not once did my managers complain on Facebook about it

    • Katrina M.

      Same at the last place I worked at. Seen a few people turned away.

  • Ann S.

    Absolutely x

  • Sarah R.

    Totally agree with her.

  • Clare W.

    I think she should have refused the children attendance until the fees were brought up to date instead of resorting to social media. However that being said I can't understand how parents can feel right about not paying the fees. If I don't pay nursery my daughter can't go so I can't go to work. That makes it my second priority after paying my mortgage. The poor woman has staff dependant on her for a wage and if she didn't have the money to pay the wages then there would be no one to look after the kids. Parents need to remember that priorities change once you have kids. It isn't possible to carry on spending like you could before the kids came along.

  • Majella M.

    Yes absolutely

  • Rebecca B.

    Isnt it normal proceedure to take away the childs nursery place in the event of none payment etc? Im sorry but no matter how frustrated the manager is it is extremely unprofessional to air her grievences on a social media site. Shes just shot herself in the foot with that, if those parents see that post and it goes to court to chase payment shes not really made herself or her business look very good at all. Silly woman

  • Kim N.

    My nursery fees are crazy expensive (almost three times my mortgage!) but I pay it via standing order, every month on time! I'd never spend that money assigned for nursery on anything frivolous or prioritise luxuries over childcare.

  • Kath R.

    Too right ! I do the same with tenants who don't pay their rent . If you went to a pub , ordered food ate it and didn't pay its the same thing!

  • AnneMarie V.

    Totally, she's running a business not a charity ! I started my business to help small businesses collect what they are due for precisely that reason. Why should people expect to have their kids looked after and not pay for it ?!

  • Tracey D.

    The most important thing in your life are meant be your kids.... So the money should be there upfront every week before a new outfit, haircut, bag, night out!!!

  • Louise T.

    She's just right they should be paying there fees on time!

  • Becky B.

    Definitely wrong, simply because it's really unprofessional. When it comes to business you shouldn't moan and complain about any client on Facebook regardless of the circumstance. However I agree with her completely on the subject and understand her frustration. X

  • Katrina M.

    The owner has the right to be upset, but doesn't this breech confidentiality between the nursery and parents??

    • Angeline M.

      I don't think she'll have named the parents in her Facebook comment.

  • Jacqueline L.

    It's extreme to shame people publicly however she does have a point people are like that today though no priorities immature and really just enjoy the moment sod the consequences lol

  • Bernice S.

    Yes she is right. Too many people now think they are entitled to have what they want even if it means not paying their bills or what they owe.

  • Julia L.

    I owned a nursery, I'm owed thousands from parents that never paid.

  • Marie M.

    Fair play to her! Why would they expect someone to care for their child for free?!?! Child care should be one of the first bills paid after food and housing costs. I'd refuse the children until outstanding balances were paid xxx

  • Heather S.

    spoken debts a paid debt

  • Jill G.

    I know a nursery that at one point put peoples names in the window

  • Kay P.

    I am glad she put it on Facebook because the sector needs to let everyone know that we are a business and have to pay bills like everyone else.

  • Emma C.

    I've been working in nurseries for 13 years (only 2 mind) but each one of my managers would never air it on Facebook, they would just let the staff know to refuse the child entry into the setting as they owe fees and give the parents owing courtesy phone calls to remind them to pay, if they still didn't it would be up to the powers that be what action would be taken next

  • Jody B.

    My child attends a nursery and if i fell behind or didnt pay my bill i would feel so embarrassed even taking him to nursery! I couldnt face people knowing i owe that money and the thing is i bet the staff no aswell who needs to pay up! Threatening doesnt wrk until you do actually follow through, when someone at my sons nursery got turned away that morning, they was soon back quick enough with the money!

  • Pip12e

    I think she was 100% right. These parents need to realise what's important. At the end of the day you don't get something for nothing people in this sector work extremely hard for very little and don't get much credit for what they do. Good on this owner for showing individuals like this up!! 

  • Lisa L.

    They don't go to nursery anymore, simple!

  • Amy H.

    Pay your nursery fees or lose your place and will be pursued through small claims court. I remember being soo embarrassed when my daughter first went to nursery and I forgot to pay the bill for a week! They were fine as it was the first bill and I was 'only' a week later but I felt awful....

  • Jackie S.

    Quite right. These people make me sick. It is not a new problem either been going on for years. All above comments true. Preschools should get more help to get the money.

  • Rick T.

    All sounds too familiar!!!!!!

  • Sally S.

    Absolutely right, they have to pay staff wages out of the money so why should they get away with paying, nobody wants to pay but it's part of being an adult. Fair play to her, people who have things and expect not to pay deserve to be told!

  • Irem A.

    Wish my daughter's did this. Place was great then suddenly things changed. Numerous teachers left. New ones came and left. They wernt doing any of the extras they were doing before. So I went and questioned it. Only to find out that there had been alot of people not paying so the school wasn't making enough money :angry: as a result all the kids suffered even the ones who's parents were still paying.

  • Jo L.

    I think she had every right tbh it's her lively hood at stake fees help pay wages etc. some people just take the mick so good on her for standing up for what's right!

  • Naomi V.

    I can't get my head around people who don't prioritise paying bills over luxuries.

  • Katie R.

    If you pay your fees you would know that the statement isn't aimed at you and therefore not take offence.

  • Elizabeth M.

    I would put paying the nursery fees above all else. Without nursery i couldnt work. Without working we couldnt live the life we do.. which isnt luxurious lifestyle! :( so nursery has every right to turn a non paying client away and take them to court if needs be! Its a business like any other.

  • Claire D.

    Damn straight she's right... she's got a business to run!!! The nerve of some people :angry::angry:

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