This depends on your situation. You don’t have to pay for your child’s funded hours, as these are paid for by the Scottish Government and your local authority.
If your child attends a private nursery or childcare setting, or if you pay for additional services on top of your funded hours, and are being asked to pay fees while they are closed, the first thing you should do is look at the contract you have with the setting. You should have signed this when your child first started there. If you no longer have a copy you can ask the setting to send you one.
The contract may say that the setting can charge a fee if they have to shut through circumstances beyond their control (such as the pandemic). In this case, they can ask you to pay a small fee to cover direct costs while they’re closed, but shouldn’t be asking you to pay the full fees, or a substantial part of the fees.
Or the contract may say that the setting can change the terms of the agreement. In this case, you and the setting may agree between you that you will pay a small fee while they’re closed. However, the setting shouldn’t use this to force you to pay large fees for a service you’re not getting. Nor should they put pressure on you to pay by saying that your child will lose their place or the setting will close down altogether if you don’t.
In addition, the Scottish Government is asking childcare providers to be sensitive to families’ financial situations when considering their charging policies as some families may not be able to afford extra costs at the moment, due to the pandemic.
You can find out more about your rights at the gov.uk website.
If you’re not happy with what your child’s setting is asking you to pay and think it’s unfair, talk to the setting first and see if you can work something out. You can get advice on your rights from Trading Standards Scotland.