These terms and conditions govern the basis on which we agree to provide childcare services to parents/carers.
Availability and Offer of a Place
- A child must already be born for a nursery place to be offered or for the child to be placed on a waiting list.
- To register a child the setting must first confirm the availability of the place including start date and exact sessions required and the parent must have received this as a formal offer by email from the setting.
- Children are offered a place based on a number of factors including availability at the time, waiting list position, fit of sessions required to what is available, start date. This list is not exhaustive.
- Places are only offered by email in writing as a formal offer and the offer may have an expiry date after which the place will be offered to another child.
- There is an internal waiting list (existing parents requiring additional sessions) and external waiting list, our internal waiting list takes priority.
- To register for a place, the place must already have been confirmed with the setting by email and a non-refundable registration fee of £100 accompanied by a completed and authorised registration document (online preferably) must have been paid. This fee is not part payment of fees. No space is reserved until the registration fee has been paid.
- The sessions are considered contractual once the registration process is complete.
- A child must attend a minimum of 3 half days or one half day and one full day session per week to be offered a place at any setting of Red Bus. Individual settings may vary this upwards.
- Children are registered until school leaving age unless otherwise advised by the parent/carer. This is at the end of the Summer Term (for Term Time Only Children) or on the 31st August following their 4th Birthday for all other children.
- The registration fee entitles parents/carers to a minimum of 2 x 2 hour settling in sessions prior to a child’s registered sessions commencing and 1 entry fob to gain access to the front door (returnable when leaving Red Bus). This fee also covers the end to end administration, on-boarding and settling process. Additional fobs can be secured for a £10 fee (non-refundable). Fobs should be returned at the end of the contract.
- To secure a Local Authority funded only place (for those children eligible and who do no additional hours) a £75 deposit is required, this is returned in the first month of attending.
Sessions and Fees
- Registered sessions are committed to on an ongoing basis and are chargeable accordingly.
- Red Bus does not operate any kind of ‘holding fee’ arrangement, discounted payment or guarantees of a returning place where extended periods of time away from nursery are requested.
- For the purpose of a registered place, a full day session consists of a maximum of ten hours of childcare between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Half day sessions are a maximum of five hours either between 8am and 1pm or 1pm and 6pm.
- If the setting is operating early start sessions and late finish sessions (7.30am and 6.00pm respectively) these should also be pre-booked.
- The setting is open all year round except for all standard Bank and Public Holidays and the days in between Christmas and New Year, no fees are charged on these days.
- The fees payable are those in place at the time of the child starting NOT registering, please note that fees are subject to at least an annual increase, at least 4 weeks’ notice of any changes is given to all parents, including for those children who have still to start at the time.
- Extra sessions can be booked and will always be charged at the standard rate unless otherwise stated at the time. When an extra half day session is booked making a full day, the standard extra half day charge is added to the charge already in place.
- We allocate staff based on our pre-booked sessions, and by registering a child you are registering them on a contract rather than a crèche type facility, sessions cannot be swapped. Extra sessions can be booked subject to availability and charge.
- If children don’t attend nursery for any reason including emergency/statutory closure but also where a parent decides for a child not to attend for any reason, charges will apply and there will be no refunds given, including early starts and late finishes.
- For extra sessions (over the permanent booking pattern) 2 working days’ notice is required to cancel, otherwise full payment is required.
Registration pre-payment and cancelled registrations (does not apply to children taking any Local Authority funded hours)
- A pre-payment will be required 13 weeks prior to the start date of each child, or immediately if the child is starting in less than 13 weeks.
- This pre-payment will be the equivalent of one week’s fees (based on the first full week of the child starting) and is payable per child.
- This payment will be held as a credit on the bill payer account and the value of this will be deducted from the first invoice.
- In the event of the place being cancelled in the 13 weeks prior to the booked start date, the payment will be non-refundable.
Sessions and start date changes prior to start (does not apply to children taking any Local Authority funded hours)
- Sessions may be added to a child’s place prior to starting if the additional sessions have been requested and agreed with the setting. Any changes must be requested/notified in writing.
- Where a session or sessions are dropped prior to starting (except where a place is cancelled, see above), the following charges are made :
Longer than 13 weeks before the start date
Between 13 weeks and 8 weeks
A non-refundable charge equivalent to 2 weeks of cancelled sessions will be made
Between 8 weeks to 4 weeks to start date
a non-refundable charge equivalent to 4 weeks of cancelled sessions will be made
From 4 weeks to the start date
a non-refundable charge equivalent to 8 weeks of cancelled sessions will be made
- A parent/carer should book the sessions they actually require and not additional ones just in case they are needed as this causes unnecessary financial loss to the nursery and blocks the space for another parent.
Postponed Start Dates
- All postponements are at the discretion of the Early Years Manager. A postponement is considered depending on the circumstances eg reason for the postponement, length of notice given, ability to fill the space with another child on the waiting list, this list is not exhaustive.
- Where a postponement is agreed, a charge of either 1 week of fees for every month of postponement or £150 for every month of postponement (whichever is the higher) will be payable for the original registration to be held.
- Parents/carers will be invoiced in the relevant month.
- If a place is cancelled, no previous payments made will be refunded.
Booking and then postponing places blocks vital spaces for other families in addition to causing a financial burden on the nursery, places cannot be offered and filled creating unplanned lost revenue for the setting and missed opportunity for other parents.
Invoices and Payments
- Invoices are issued approximately in the middle of the month in advance of the coming month.
- Full payment of fees is due by the 1st day of the month in advance of sessions being taken.
- Monthly invoices are sent to the registered ‘Bill Payer’ email address unless an alternative is provided.
- Valid payment methods include Direct Debit (selected settings only), BACS, Tax Free Childcare and Childcare Vouchers.
- In exceptional cases we may agree to payment by cash, in this instance the onus is on the parent/carer to obtain a receipt from the setting as proof of payment.
Late Payment Charges
- A late payment charge £25 will be added on the 7th of the month if payment has not been received on the 1st day of the current month. Any account where payment remains outstanding after the 7th day of the month will have an additional late payment charge of £25 added every five working days until the account is cleared, a formal payment plan is agreed or service is withdrawn.
- Under exceptional circumstances this late payment charge may be waived but only in agreement with Finance.
- The nursery reserves the right to refuse to accept any child into nursery until full payment is received. The nursery may serve immediate notice in writing to terminate the contract where payments are not forthcoming.
Local Authority Funded Hours
- Local authority funding is available for the term after a child becomes 9 months old using various qualifying criteria.
- Extended funding is also available for eligible children.
- All places are subject to availability.
- Please refer to the Red Bus Early Education Entitlement Admission Policy for further details of Local Authority Funding.
- Details of session times and fees are documented separately.
Late Pick Up
- Children collected later than the pre-booked session time without pre-arrangement will incur a late pickup charge of £10.00.
- Anyone expecting to arrive late to pick up a child must contact the nursery as soon as possible.
- For children who are still not collected twenty minutes after the end of their session, a further charge of £10.00 will be administered.
Force Majeure (Disruption to Service)
- The setting cannot be held liable for being unable to offer a service to any/all parents/carers and to close the setting due to anything outside the control of the setting. Examples include closure due to extreme weather, third party actions outside of the nursery’s control, government action or legislation, public health closure, disruptions to highways, public transport, utilities and industrial action. This list is not exhaustive.
- All fees are still payable in such circumstances.
Notice of Termination or Reduction to Sessions
- 4 weeks’ notice in writing or 4 weeks’ fees in lieu of notice is required from the parent/carer to terminate a child’s place in the nursery or reduce the number of sessions normally taken by the child. This applies from the start date of the child (prior to starting please refer to the ‘pre-payment and cancellation’ section and ‘session changes prior to start’ sections above).
- Specifically, we reserve the right to end this agreement with immediate effect if :
(1) Fees are outstanding and reasonable efforts to collect fees has resulted in failure;
(2) Breach of these terms and conditions;
(3) Exclusion (see Exclusion section);
(4) Parent/carer behaviour. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination or aggressive behaviour towards Red Bus staff or other parents/carers/visitors;
(5) Financial, business or commercial reasons compel us to radically change the nature of the setting’s operations, including but not limited to permanent closure of the setting, change of childcare service provider, re-registration of child numbers and age groups, changes to the registration and bookings policy.
- We accept no responsibility for any loss suffered by parents/carers, arising directly or indirectly, as a result of the setting being temporarily closed or the non-admittance of a child to the setting for any reason, this applies to absence due to sickness, holidays, Public and Bank Holidays.
- We accept no responsibility for children whilst in their parents/carers care on setting premises, including inside our buildings and in our car parks, i.e. prior to arrival or after collection from their room.
- We will not be liable to parents/carers and/or children for any economic loss of any kind, for damage to the child's or parents/carers property, for any loss resulting from a claim made by any third party or for any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind.
- All efforts will be made to resolve issues that arise and a child will only be suspended or excluded from the service when all other avenues have been exhausted. The decision to exclude or suspend will be based on information collected by staff and the decision will rest with the Early Years Manager. This step will only be taken after consultation with the family. Under certain circumstances, the exclusion of a child may be the only option open available.
- Examples of reasons for exclusion notwithstanding general policy :
(1) The child’s behaviour endangers his/her safety or the safety of others;
(2) The child frequently assaults other children or staff. Assault includes: hitting, biting, kicking, pushing or serious verbal aggression;
(3) The child disrupts the room on a regular basis;
(4) The child has disrespect for the staff/the other children/Nursery’s property.
Up to Date Information
- It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the setting immediately of any changes to information previously supplied to Red Bus and especially the following : contact details; approved persons to collect a child from the setting (including removal of individuals from the approved list); if the child becomes the subject of a court order (a copy of such order must be provided to Red Bus if requested); changes to the child’s medical health record. This list is not exhaustive.
- Under no circumstances will a child be allowed to leave the setting with anyone not on the approved list for that child, unless by prior approval where circumstances require and subject to security checks.
Policies & Procedures
- The setting works to strict policies and procedures, made available to you and accessible at all times.
- If further clarification is required the Early Years Manager/Practice Manager will arrange a convenient time to go through this with you.
Information Sharing (General Data Protection Review)
- Any information shared with the setting will be regarded as confidential.
- Information will only be shared when it is a matter of safeguarding a child.
- Photographs are taken during the nursery day by staff as supporting evidence of child development under the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and for sharing with parents/carers.
- All other uses of photographs is subject to approval by the parent/carer via the Red Bus permissions list completed at the time of registration. The option to withdraw permission is available at any time and this request should be emailed to the setting.
- If a parent has any concerns regarding the collection and use of personal data, or any other queries in relation to Data Protection, they should raise the concern with the Data Controller at Red Bus in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
- Red Bus has an obligation to report any instances where a child is considered to have been neglected or abused to the relevant authorities.
- Any concerns regarding the service provided should be discussed with the Early Years Manager or Practice Manager in the first instance, after such time without resolution, escalation can be made to the owner of Red Bus.
- These Terms and Conditions represent the entire agreement and understanding between the parents/carers and the setting.
- Any other understandings, agreements, warranties, conditions, terms or representations, whether verbal or written, expressed or implied are excluded to the fullest extent, permitted by law.
- Red Bus reserves the right to update/amend these Terms and Conditions at any time with notice at the discretion of the company.