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to think that if my friend really was a friend, she'd care if I had money to feed my kids ?

(62 Posts)

Long story, but basically, I childmind for my friend, before and after school. All above board, registered as self employed etc, not registered as a childminder though cos she is over 8.

Anyway, stupidly, because she is a friend there was never a contract, and now she is screwing me over.

The agreement was as follows. I was to get paid £50 per week, term time only wether I had her or not. This is because my friend works shifts so each week could be different. Depending on the shifts, I would have her at 6:50am, until school, and then after school until 5. This was usually 3/4 times a week somtimes 5.

Recently she has increasingly started to take the piss, ie asking me to collect her anyway, even if she is at home herself, because she cba to get out of bed etc. This means me driving her dd home, and costs me petrol money. I have started to say no sorry, i'm walking the school run, which is perfectly true.

She has also started doing extra hours, but not paying me any extra.

Anyway, this week I was due to have her on tues pm, wed am &pm, thurs am &pm and fri pm.
On tuesday my ds ws sick at school, and i had to fetch him. I rang her and said i couldn't fetch her dd, and i couldn't have her on the wed either. She said ok, not to worry.
I txt her on thursday night to say my ds was fine, and going back to school the next day (thurs), so i was fine for the rest of the week. No reply

Her dd didn;t arrive on the thursday morning. I saw her at school, and it turned out her elder brother had taken and fetched her on wed, and taken her that day. I said 'i'm fetching you though right ?' and she said no, her brother was.

I knew right away what was going to happen.

Today, i very briefly saw my friend in the playground, and she said she was fetching her dd that afternoon, and so that means i've not had her at all this week, and so they haven't paid me.

I think they have done it on purpose, because i couldn't have their dd on tue/wed, but fgs i use that money to feed my kids, and she knows that.

I have no idea now wether i am having her dd next week or not, or if i am ever having her again at all.

Icelollycraving Fri 18-Jan-13 23:00:43

I think you need to make things more formal. I think her arranging to collect her child is actually reasonable as presumably she had to alter her work hours.

Pancakeflipper Fri 18-Jan-13 23:00:55

It's very messy this. End it and use the place for a family who do pay you.

MsVestibule Fri 18-Jan-13 23:01:06

TBH, the whole arrangement sounds a bit slapdash. I think you either have to draw up a contract whereby she pays you per hour, or say you can't look after her at all.

Out of interest, do you have other mindees? If so, did you say you couldn't look after them at the last minute when your DD was ill?

Nope, she carried on as normal and got her son to fetch her on his way home from secondary school.

katiecubs Fri 18-Jan-13 23:02:09

Um text her or speak to her to clear it all up?

Also agree on some more specific terms.

Icelollycraving Fri 18-Jan-13 23:02:20

Also IMO to not pay you is fair enough for the cover you couldn't provide.

I don't have any other mindees no.

But i was available thursday and today, she just chose not to use me.

the original agreement was, I got paid £50 per week whatever hours i had her, including if i didnt have her at all, because some weeks i'd have her every day, so it would even its self out.

I agree that it isn't formal enough but you know, because she was a friend, i thought i could trust her not to rip me off.

The hours have got longer, and the extra request more, but despite always saying she will pay me more, she never does.

It doesn't normally bother me as much, as long as I get my £50, but this week she has left me without money.

HollyBerryBush Fri 18-Jan-13 23:05:27

Well, you aren't going to be losing anything by not having the child as you arent getting paid. Although without a contract was this a cash-in-hand or through the books? Do Ofsted not give advice on this sort of thing?

Cut your losses and don't have the child again, your friend will have to make alternative arrangements.

maddening Fri 18-Jan-13 23:05:48

I'd do an hourly rate

Narked Fri 18-Jan-13 23:06:44

No contract, no security. Stop minding her child.

Ofsted aren't invloved becuse i'm not registered.

I don't pay any tax cos i don't earn enough, but my income is declared yes and I file a tax return.

If i stop having her then the friendship will stop, but then that says all I need to know really doesn't it.

shesariver Fri 18-Jan-13 23:08:42

Why dont you register as a registered childminder? Im pretty sure you are breaking the law by accepting money as an unregistered child minder looking after a child and taking payment, but Im prepared to be corrected. Anyway these type of agreements between friends when they involve money are a recipe for disaster, it wont end well.

shesariver Fri 18-Jan-13 23:10:23

If you are not a registered child minder and complying with Ofsted what are you registered as self employed as? confused

HollyBerryBush Fri 18-Jan-13 23:10:37

I didn't know you didnt have to be registered to look after a child over 8 years.

You don't have to be registered to mind a child over 8. Her dd is 10.

There are several reasons i haven't registered which are too long winded to go into atm.

I was meant to stop having her in july anyway.

Over 8's childminder is what i'm registered as. I spoke to the tax office before hand and they were fine with that.

Its very rare I hear of this sort of arrangement that actually works out for all parties. I have seen quite a few friendships end over this type of thing.Tbh with the arrangement as it is I don't think she is being unreasonable because she didn't know how long your ds would be ill and probably made the arrangements on tuesday.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 18-Jan-13 23:12:55

If she's paying £10 a day whether or not she's using you surely she has kind of been doing you a favour by not using you some days, but is entitled to use you everyday? (The cm we were thinking of using calls it a retainer as they can't fill your slot if they keep it for you)

If it works out at £10 a day every day then they're entitled to use you every day whether its because they're working or fancy a lie in surely? If you've started saying no you can't cm when she's relying on you then I guess I'd be tempted to look elsewhere too as I'd need to know my cm is reliable.

I'm not sure where the "money to feed my kids" bit comes from. Surely that should be from your income/benefits/tax credits/whatever your reliable income is? A friend would care about not having money to feed kids and may help out one month but thats completely separate from a cm agreement surely? Or do you feel she ought to be giving you the money regardless?

Or maybe I'm just missing something?

HollyBerryBush Fri 18-Jan-13 23:17:36

TBh she isn't paying you becasue she cant afford to - and to her, feeding her children are a higher priority than you feeding yours.

Cut your loses, she is using you.

how are you going to manage in the meantime?

Believe me can ihaveapetgiraffe, they more than get their money's worth out of me. I could count on one hand the weeks where i haven't had her, infact i think it has happened once. I also feed her, and take her home if my friends been on nights. Non if which was in the original agreement.

When this arrangement first started, I lived within spitting distance of them, but i've moved. When i moved i said it was up to them if they still wanted me to have her or not. They did, and the agreement was that I only dropped her home, if her mum had been on nights. If she was on a late shift, i bought her to mind and her dad collected her later.
The after a while she started txting me just before the school run saying she was tired, so could i fetch her and take her home. That wasn't the agreement, and tbh her dd likes her mum to fetch her herself when shes not at work.

Hollyberry - They can more than afford to pay me. They take home £70000 a year plus.

I'm a single mum, so I do rely on the money. I will have to go back to signing on and find something else.

Tbh i should have seen it coming. Her last childminder gave notice because she took the piss and paid late etc, and she can;t use the schools before and after school club because she owes them money.

No other childminder would have her dd so early, which is why I ended up doing it.

nannynick Fri 18-Jan-13 23:23:55

I would presume that you had a verbal agreement with your friend. Without something in a written form, it is going to be very hard to enforce anything in my view.

So I think you need to decide where you go from here... do you want to continue providing care for your friends DD? If so, can you draw up a formal written agreement which sets out clearly your terms of business?

For those not fluent with Childcare law in England, may I suggest this Factsheet from Ofsted about Registration Not Required. The OP does not need to register with Ofsted.

Thanks nannynick. It was a verbal agreement yes.

I am going to mull it over, over the weekend and then decide.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 18-Jan-13 23:26:38

Sounds then like she's been taking you for a ride sad

i understand your frustration, but surely your verbal agreement works both ways? You've agreed £50 a week, regardless of how much or little you have her dc. So you expect to get paid on a week she doesn't come - fair enough - thats what the agreement was.

She expects you to mind/ collect her DC every day, (regardless of whether she's working or just cba) - fair enough - thats what the agreement was too.

Just as you're pissed off that she's seeming to change the arrnagement by not paying this week, surely you also changed it by refusing days?

I think you need a new, clear (written) agreement, or stop the arrangement altogether, as you'll probabky have no end of heartache over this type of thing if it stays as it is

WorraLiberty Fri 18-Jan-13 23:28:08

They can more than afford to pay me. They take home £70000 a year plus.

So why are they using you and their son as unofficial childcare? confused

The agreement was that I minded her IF my friend was working, not if she wasn't and that was her words not mine, and thats why she was only going to pay £50 a week. Her previous minder charged a lot more, because of the early starts and sometimes late finishes.

Worra - Last childminder got rid, and they owe before and after school club money. No other minders will take their dd so early.

wannabedreams Fri 18-Jan-13 23:31:19

She sounds like a cow sad

I do agree that it is time for the agreement to come to an end though.

I need a reliable income, and this isn't one.

shesariver Fri 18-Jan-13 23:43:59

I guess the rules are different in England then because you do have to be registered in Scotland with the Care inspectorate, the equivalent of Ofsted). My DH is a child minder and DS2 whos 10 is counted in his numbers, I wish he wasnt !

shesariver Fri 18-Jan-13 23:45:53

And I agree with Holly, its time to cut your losses and if that means cheerio to the friendship so be it eh.

I am confused...confused

You said you couldn't have her DD on short notice as your DS was ill, you have no formal arrangement but you expect her to pay you regardless of whether you had her DD that week? We used a CM for my DD for school drop off/ collection and it was £10 per day if we had booked and agreed that 5 days were our contract (we agreed to 3days) we would pay if it were US to cancel the arrangement but not if it was HER decision...why should she pay you for times that you chose not to collect her DD?

She paid you a daily amount for a presumably daily service regardless of shift patterns etc and you say on a number of occasions she asked you to collect her DD and you refused despite being paid to do so...It sounds like she is getting pissed off paying a CM who won't collect her DD on the days she pays her to and judges her for her reasons...

It is not her responsibility to pay you for doing nothing for her so you can feed your family...It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your actions don't affect your income and looks like in this case you have acted like less than responsible IMO...

So sorry in this case I think YABVU

holidaysarenice Sat 19-Jan-13 02:27:25

To me, you both sound as bad as each other. You sound unreliable and jealous of her using you when she wants a lie in. You are being pad regardless of her reason.

Her for not being honest, and for asking more than agreed.

End the arrangement, look for a new mindee, contracted and if needs be you can say you need a reliable income source. Or start doing it by the hour used. You might find she uses less hours but that's fair.

Tbh if you'd let me down two days and not texted until the night before I wud have looked elsewhere too. Yes your daughter was sick but professional childminders still have other kids in this instance.

ENormaSnob Sat 19-Jan-13 02:58:16

I think there's fault on both sides tbh.

Agree with nomoremarbles.

SavoyCabbage Sat 19-Jan-13 03:38:08

I think she has thought to that as you weren't available, she would make her own arrangements fr the rest of the week, and she has.

ZooAnimals Sat 19-Jan-13 04:04:02

'Yes your daughter was sick but professional childminders still have other kids in this instance.'

Not if it's D&V or something else highly contagious they won't.

OP when you first made the agreement about £50 a week did she give you an indication of how many hours it would avergae out to? If she said it would average out to X amount a week, but is now using you more and more (when she isn't at work etc) then I can see your point. Otherwise I think she does have the right to use you when she isn't working.

HollyBerryBush Sat 19-Jan-13 06:21:27

Just because she's on 70K doesn't mean she hasn't got money issues. Just that they are very different to yours.

My son had vomitted, so I couldn't have had her dd. If it was anything else, i would have done, and have done.

When i say that she doesn't want to get out of bed btw, I am on about for the afternoon school run, not the morning. She regularly spends all day in bed, telling me she will see me at school run when she fetches her dd, and then txts and asks if i will fetch her instead. I am not jealous of that. I don't want to spend all day in bed, and I like to collect my son myself.

I didn't contact her at short notice either. I give her a lot more notice than I ever get. I have had her dd turn up on my doorstep before now at 6:50am when no one had told me she was coming.

I can see what some of you are saying, but it was my friend who came up with this whole arrangment not me.

As I said, her old cm gave notice because she started to take the piss, so this is not a new thing really.

Anyway, I am going to give her notice to find someone else.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Sat 19-Jan-13 06:47:10

I think that's the right decision op. you would think having already shot herselff in the foot with other options she would be grateful of you. It'll be her who suffers in the long run, I doubt her son will want to do it for long

HollyBerryBush Sat 19-Jan-13 06:47:47

You know - I wouldnt give her notice - next time she turns up simply say 'I can't have your daughter until you pay me what you already owe'.

If she owes everyone money round the school yard 9another childminder, after school clubs etc) no one will have any sympathy for her if she bad mouths you

When you provide a service like this, if you are not able to deliver for any reason then you have to accept you won't be paid. But the issue you have is that there is no formal contract here which means there isn't really anything you can do about what has happened. If you want to continue the arrangement, talk to your friend and draw up a clear written agreement. That way you also have boundaries in place to protect yourself.

anewyear Sat 19-Jan-13 09:17:57

Somebody up thread mentioned it, but have you looked in to becoming a Ofsted Registered Childminder?
Is it something you had even thought as doing?
If not why?
Is it the start up costs etc?
prehaps you could look into getting some funding to help out from somewhere?

It is a PROPER job, although we dont get lunch, tea or Loo breaks.. the
money can be reasonable if you have a couple of full timers..
just a thought

Start up costs were one of the reasons I haven't registered yes. Also because I claim housing benefit and tax credits, I was worried about my income constantly changing and them cocking it up.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place tbh atm, cos my eldest is having spinal surgery in the next few mths, and she will be off school for 8 weeks altogether.
Now, as it stands (or stood) this wasn't going to effect my job, as the friend had said she could book the week off that my dd was in hospital, and then i'd still be ok to do the school runs while my dd was at home.

If i now try and get another job, I face having to have a lengthy period of time off, not long after I have started. That was another one of the reasons that I did this arrangement with my friend, because I knew I could work around it.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 19-Jan-13 11:36:12

The service wasn't available for half the week so she is quite right not to pay for that. Thats the risk with self employment.

If you want to continue to provide this sort of care then you need to do it more formally. Contracts need to be in place, insurance at the very minumum plus first aid as you are offering chidcare services.

If not, then you either need to find something else self employed or look for work. With the new changes in benefits coming up, the £50 income level a week would have been a problem anyway and you will have been expected to take on other work as well.

As a side note given you are claiming tax credits, without a contract how would you prove you had worked the min 16 hours a week in order to qualify for the payments as the minimal payment doesnt equate to many hours a week.

As for feeding your children, being SE is always a risk and therefor you need plans in place to ensure where there is no work or late payment you can still pay the bills.

anewyear Sat 19-Jan-13 16:10:31

Sorry to hear about your daughter.
Childminding is a fantastic job for times like this when your own kids may be ill (and apart from D&V and other infectious illnesses) you can look after them at home whilst still working. And as long as the illness doesnt impinge on the care of your minded children.
Ring the benefits and whoever else offices up and ask their advice, tell them this what what youd like to do, ask exactly how it would affect you, benefits etc

MrsMushroom Sat 19-Jan-13 16:30:46

Why don't you make some flyers and see if you can get a similar arrangement with someone else? There must be lots of parents who need before and after care for their over tens?

charlottehere Sat 19-Jan-13 16:36:08

If she pays you for the full week then surley she can use you for the week wether you she is at work or not. As you are SE then you cant expect to be paid when you are not available (unless you have a contract that states this)

However she should pay you and you shouldnt be taking her DD home.

Very quick update : I txt friend to check wether I was having her dd this week. She said yes and that she would send £20 for the 2 days I was available to have her last week.
Fine, not what we agreed but fair enough.

The dd has turned up, but no money.

I am not surprised, but very dissapointed in her and will be giving her notice.

Morloth Tue 22-Jan-13 09:31:12

Contracts are your friend.

Verbal agreements are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Sort it out properly or stop doing it - nothing will change otherwise.

LittleChimneyDroppings Tue 22-Jan-13 09:58:26

She sounds like a cheeky cow. I would tell her you cant take her dd anymore.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 22-Jan-13 10:04:34

I think you're right to give her notice. She sounds unreliable and difficult. Next time make sure you get a written contract at the start. I'd say it's easier to maintain a professional relationship with someone you are not already friends with.

EnjoyResponsibly Tue 22-Jan-13 10:59:01

She's got form.

Terminate arrangement.

Advertise for other DC - it seems that good ones are always in demand.

Only agree to take a DC when you've got a contract.

EnjoyResponsibly Tue 22-Jan-13 10:59:49

Advertise as a CM for other DC obvs grin

Yfronts Tue 22-Jan-13 12:28:33

Text her and just say that things are getting very confusing with working more hours and things being so changeable. Say that from now on it would be much easier to do what other childminders do and charge an hourly rate of x amount. And that you will just bill her at the end of each week from now on.

I recon she has kept her child away as she wanted to avoid sick bug.

Yfronts Tue 22-Jan-13 12:29:10

Bill her for every hour you work rather then 50 pounds a week.

No contract, no comeback, not her responsibility to pay you for days you don't collect her child, no timescales for payment written down anywhere then don't be surprised if she's slapdash with coughing up the money.

I've never seen these type of 'arrangements' between friends work out.

You'd be better off making this into a proper business, with contracts in place, and not doing it for friends.

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