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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11423
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My 2 year old daughter was in a private nursery. Initially

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My 2 year old daughter was in a private nursery. Initially she was happy. However, they made some staff changes, and she became very unsettled and unhappy. After the nursery were unable to re-assure her or me, I took her out of the nursery and found a new care provider. Terms and conditions stated a one month notice period. However, as I could not physically leave her there due to her level of distress, I was not happy to pay this. Do I have any rights to withhold payment due to my concerns over the care provided. I raised my concerns with the nursery, and paid half of the notice period but told them I was unwilling to pay the rest. They have now sent it to a debt collection agency
Thank you for your question.

The answer to this depends on whether there was a failure in their care of your daughter which could be argued as being a breach of contract. A two year old can become settld and unhappy simply because of a change such as this but that on its own doesnt mean that the nursery is at fault. Staff changes will not amount to a breach of contract unless there was something wrong with the staff they employed thereafter to care for your daughter or unless there is some other fundamental breach of their obligations towards you.

If that is the case then you can argue that the care fell short of the care you contracted for. If not then you have to observe the terms and conditions and pay the one month's notice.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I believe that an incident took place that distressed my daughter, as she was previously happy, and settled immediately in her new care provider. However, as a two year old, she could not verbalise the issue. How can I argue that I believe there was failure to care?
What kind of incident do you suspect and what is the basis of your belief?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I suspect from her limited description that she was treated impatiently when being changed. She frequently needed a full change of clothes. I had to speak to the manager about it previously. It was addressed but then they moved her into another room. I was called at work and the staff told me she had been inconsolable and I had to go and pick her up. She was fine as soon as we left, and not ill.
I asked the manager to speak to the staff and/or review their CCTV but this did not happen. She went back once after that, but was really distressed.
I would stick to your guns and tell the debt collection agency that the debt is in dispute. You do have evidential difficulties but I advise that you put your position to them in writing and hold them in breach of contract for not looking after your daughter as a result of which she is now extremely distressed at the thought of that nursery, whereas she was not before.

Nurseries have neither the time of the money to take this type of thing to court and I doubt that they will do so for the sake of a month's fees which they didn't earn in any event.

If they do appear to be taking it further then you can review the position.
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