Childminders and holiday pay, I just dont get it

(51 Posts)
saintdorothymantooth Thu 04-Apr-13 15:45:17

OK, I have nc'd for this as I will probably get flamed......

I was hoping someone could explain to me why every CM we have looked at, including the one we chose charges holiday pay when they claim to be self employed?
Apparently we dont employ them, they are self employed, so surely that means no holiday pay? One of the downsides to being self employed surely is that if you are not working you are not earning? I just dont get it. I'm being thick aren't I?

ENormaSnob Thu 04-Apr-13 15:48:48

My cm doesn't charge for her holidays or if she's off sick.

We pay for our holidays or if we keep the child off sick.

I love my cm!

Scholes34 Thu 04-Apr-13 15:49:55

My childminder was paid when I took holiday, but we didn't have to pay her when she took holiday.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 04-Apr-13 15:50:23

That's normally how it works, yes. When you are self employed, you invoice for work done and how you manage that money is down to you.

They could always raise their fees to cover holiday instead of charging it separately.

That's what you normally do if you are self employed, set your charges to cover such things.

Do you think that childcare fees should be a little higher for hours worked rather than as low as it currently is, but with payment made for holidays?

thebody Thu 04-Apr-13 15:51:58

Hi yes as an ex cm I was self employed so I choose to charge for parents holidays but didn't charge them for theirs.

That was my business and my choice and equally its the parents choice to accept terms or not.

Practically speaking for me it was to ensure a regular predictable income.

If all my parents pissed off to France for 3 weeks of the summer holidays at the same time my mortgage wouldn't be paid.

Not all cms do though.

Jelly15 Thu 04-Apr-13 15:57:43

I am a childminder and I don't charge for anytime I am unavailable for work, be that holidays or sickness. However, if contracted customers don't use my service for any reason they have to pay as normal. Most of the childminders in my area do the same.

Preposteroushypothesis Thu 04-Apr-13 16:00:51

I am a childminder and I, as other pp's have said, charge for parents holiday and sickness but not for my own. Without this I wouldn't be able to budget as my income would be completely unreliable. I agree with you op that it is one of the drawbacks of being self employed that you don't get sick or holiday pay and it is greedy to charge parents for time that you are not willing to look after their child.

Some other childminders have said to me things like 'yeah but they get tax credits to pay for childcare anyway so it's not like they lose out', I always say that not everyone gets tax credits and in any case it's none of my business how much the parents get paid or whether they get any benefits to help, I'm only interested on what is actually fair. Prices for childcare are already high as it is. In return for not getting sick and holiday pay I get flexible hours and to be home with my daughter all day every day whilst still being able to afford a comfortable family life. It's definitely a good trade to me, I do not need to screw parents over to have my cake and eat it too!

Vendettamoon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:03:28

Everyone does it differently. I only work term time and I don't charge for school holidays. I still charge if my minded kids are off
sick or don't come but I don't charge if I can't open due to

NickNacks Thu 04-Apr-13 16:04:24

I'm a childminder and I don't charge whilst on holiday or sick.

I do charge for child's absences though.

Squarepebbles Thu 04-Apr-13 16:06:12

I never used to charge for it or sick pay as it just felt wrong and I'd have been too blush to expect it.

Also we were told on initial training that if you're not available to work you don't charge.

BackforGood Thu 04-Apr-13 16:07:58

It's a different relationship from say a builder or a plumber though. With a 'trade' you employ them for a specific job (might be 1 day, might be 4 months) but then that's it. They can go straight to the next job, or go to Spain for a fortnight, it doesn't matter to you, as you are no using them. With a CM however, you might well use them for 3,6,8,or 10 years - you can't reasonably expect them not to have a break in that time.
They then have a choice - they need to earn £x a year, so can choose to either divide £x by 48 weeks they are working, and charge you for that, and nothing for the weeks they take as holiday, or can charge you £x divided by 52 weeks, so you actually pay the same amount each week, regardless of if it's their holiday or not - as happens to employed people.
It doesn't cost you anymore over the year to have to pay for holiday week,s it's just that it's evenly spread out rather than having 48 slightly more expensive weeks and 4 free ones.

stressyBessy22 Thu 04-Apr-13 16:31:37

yanbu it is unfair. But you know what their terms are and have the choice of entering into a contract with them or not

Fightlikeagirl Thu 04-Apr-13 17:28:24

There are no fixed rules for cm's so none are being unfair, we just all do things differently, If you don't like a particular childminders terms and conditions then don't choose that one or ask before signing a contract if there is any chance to change certain conditions.
Ime most cm's do not charge if they are unavailable but do charge if child is absent for whatever reason. That's what I do and most cm's in my area do too.

Viviennemary Thu 04-Apr-13 17:36:31

I can see your point. But there are no fixed rules. Most childminders charge half in the holidays. But it did annoy me if a childminder expected to be paid half even though she wouldn't dream of minding a child in the summer holidays even if the parents requested it.

Groovee Thu 04-Apr-13 17:46:48

Being self employed means they can set their own terms and conditions. As a parent you can then choose if you are happy with them or not.

anothershittynickname Thu 04-Apr-13 18:00:30

backforgood pro rata payments and charging for holiday are two totally different things.

I don't charge for my time off but I do (in most cases) pro rata the pare T's annual payment so I receive the same payment every week for 52 weeks of the year.

Personally I think it's a bit naughty to charge for hours that you are not available to work BUT as a SE Childminder you make the rules and those rules are in your contract which parents choose to sign! I suppose if all CM's in the area charge though you're a bit stuck!!

Most CM's I know don't charge when they're off but I know some that charge 1/2 for their time and 1/2 for parents too - same difference in the end!

FWIW, most, if not all nurseries change for BH's too!

anothershittynickname Thu 04-Apr-13 18:02:32

Parents* I have NO IDEA what pare T's means - stupid phone!

MortifiedAdams Thu 04-Apr-13 18:03:37

My CM.charges for my hols but not hers. Coincidentally, most parents take holidays at the same time as her so they dont pay her either way.

DoJo Thu 04-Apr-13 18:08:53

You pay for their holidays one way or another - it's just the way they present it to you that differs.

anothershittynickname Thu 04-Apr-13 18:23:19

No dojo, that is wrong, in case you didn't read my post above I'll repeat, "I don't change for my time off"

FarBetterNow Thu 04-Apr-13 18:39:08

If CMs don't charge for children being on holiday, the parents may send the children off to GPs for a couple of weeks here & there to save money on CM fees.

This would affect the CMs budgeting.

BackforGood Thu 04-Apr-13 19:03:52

another - the point we are trying to make is that, in order to have the income you need to have the minimum standard of living that makes it worthwhile your working, you need to earn £x. It doesn't really matter if you say 'I don't charge for my holidays' or 'I do charge for my holidays'. To received £x from your work, you can either charge a bit more for each day you do work and then not charge for those you don't work, or charge a little bit less for the days you work, and charge for all days throughout the year. But the simple maths of it is, you have to make the 2 figures add up to £x, so the hourly or daily or weekly rate will be higher if you don't have any income for 4 or 6 weeks a year. It has to be. dojo and I aren't wrong mathematically, however it's written in the contract.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 04-Apr-13 19:19:29

Some do believe they should get paid holidays but if parents accept the terms thats down to them.

I wouldnt personally pay for a service that wasnt available but others do.

anothershittynickname Thu 04-Apr-13 19:30:55

You ARE wrong though back because I haven't increased my hourly rate in order to not charge for holidays!!

My parent pay me the SAME annual sum whether it be over 48 or 52 weeks!!

Emilythornesbff Thu 04-Apr-13 19:38:57

We pay our cm if ds is absent due to illness or hols.
She doesn't charge if she's sick or on hols.

nannynick Thu 04-Apr-13 19:39:08

Maybe think about it as paying for a childcare place, regardless of if you use that place or not.

Some childminders will not make a charge if they are closed, others will. Their business they can do what they want and maybe it is a way to keep the hourly cost down, thus making them seem at first to be cheaper than other providers - it's marketing! Is there price competition in your area?

Some providers include things in the cost, others charge extra - outings, hot food, nappies, wipes etc. There can be various differences between providers, so if comparing providers try to calculate the typical yearly cost and compare that.

Why charge when they are closed... Because they can. It's their business and they can do what they like. If they increased price instead, would they still get the business... maybe but perhaps they do not want to take that risk if many parents are happy with the current arrangements.

Current cm is 50% fees for her hols n ours n bank hols n if she is sick no fees if child is full fees.

Old cm full fees if we didn't go n no fees if she wasn't available.

Current cm cheaper per day not by alot n both take/took 2wks Yr plus some long weekends

we actually use cm 2 days n nursery 2 days.

OnwardBound Thu 04-Apr-13 20:55:27

My CM charges for both our holidays and hers [2 weeks], also any days child is sick and we keep him off.

I met with a couple of other childminders when I was deciding on a care provider for DSs and they all had the same contract - that you pay when you are on holiday, when your child is off for other reasons and for 2 weeks when the childminder is on holiday.

CM charges £40 per child per day [0730 - 6pm] so we pay £80 per day for two.

I presume the paid holidays are factored in to her setting her daily rate, ie if she didn't charge for holidays she may instead decide to charge £50 per child per day for example.

We are in SE London by the way.

OnwardBound Thu 04-Apr-13 21:02:57

Slightly off topic but would any of the childminders on this thread mind letting me know what they charge or their policy in regard to a mindee who will be starting school in September?

I am just wondering whether it is the norm to charge for the full day when you have the child from 0730 to school drop off, then pick them up at around 3pm and keep them till 6pm when parents collect?

I see this two ways, one that the childminder may need to be paid for the full day as child is taking a place in her numbers in terms of needing some care and also picking up and dropping off during the day.

However I wondered if some childminders charge a fee per hour rather than a daily rate in this circumstance?

I haven't approached my CM to ask the question yet but was just curious to hear how others work this!

pamelat Thu 04-Apr-13 21:04:00

We pay nursery £45 a day per child

We pay if we go on holiday or if children sick, we also still lay for bank holidays when they close!!

We get Xmas free as the nursery closes

karenflower Thu 04-Apr-13 21:16:31

When I met with CMs for my DS one of them said to me "well its nit like its a proper job for me so I don't charge for holidays"

At this point I thought my current CM who charges but reduces by 50% if we take the same hols seemed professional and organised

surfandturf Thu 04-Apr-13 21:21:39

I am a CM and I too charge when I am available to work whether the child attends or not as this would be an inconvenience to me in as much as it is difficult to budget for unexpected absences. However I don't charge for my own holidays or sickness as I understand that this is inconvenient for my customers and they have the task of sourcing and possibly paying for alternative care.

I do think though that you are missing the point somewhat. A good childcare provider is worth their weight in gold and you can't really put a price on that. We (unlike plumbers and builders) don't get to have an hour lunch break to sit and read a newspaper and drink numerous cups of coffee. We are on duty from the start to the end of our working day and these are usually long hours. I also tend to try and be 'flexible' for my customers and regularly overlook the children being dropped off 5 minutes early or 'I'm sorry I'm late picking up - the traffic was really bad'

There are loads of hidden costs involved in being a childminder which I don't think parents consider. My outgoings are approximately £800 per month for things like food, petrol, cost of employing an assistant, craft resources, playgroup charges the list goes on. I care for children from 7.30am to 6pm, 5 x days per week and then I have paperwork to complete on top of that plus planning activities, preparing activities, additional training we are encouraged to do in our own time, plus keeping my house in order as it is also my business premises. We don't charge for any of the time we spend doing that. I understand that childcare is expensive but I don't think you can begrudge us a few weeks holiday -
paid for or not!

Rant over! blush

girliefriend Thu 04-Apr-13 21:21:50

Normally I think its at a reduced rate if you're on holiday and nothing if they are on holiday.

surfandturf Thu 04-Apr-13 21:26:52

onwardbound I charge an hourly rate for a child who is at school from 9 till 3 as once they are at school full time they do not need to be classed as early years and therefore would not be taking up a whole early years space. I would only charge for the hours before and after school. I am in the southwest and the average hourly rate here is £4


edwinbear Thu 04-Apr-13 21:45:57

onwardbound I am looking at childminders for when ds starts school in Sept. I am also in SE London and being quoted around £25 a day to look after him from 7am until 8.50am and then from 3pm - 6.30pm.

OnwardBound Thu 04-Apr-13 22:43:47

Thanks surf and edwin thanks

Tanith Thu 04-Apr-13 23:27:54

Op, you make the common mistake if assuming that, just because a child isn't physically with the childminder, that childminder is not working to the benefit of your child.

Do you know how much out of hours work we spend on paperwork, preparation, extra cleaning etc.?
Every holiday, I spend at least a week in maintenance of equipment, deep cleaning, and keeping my premises safe and up to standard.

Even if parents were to pay for my holidays, they wouldn't cover the hours I spend working.

For what it's worth, I don't charge for my holidays and sickness. I factor them into a higher rate, just like parents who raise this kind of moan claim they prefer.

Guess what? I get far fewer enquiries than the childminders with lower rates who do charge for their holidays. Which leads me to believe that all this posturing over holiday pay isn't actually the way the majority of parents prefer it.

Tanith Thu 04-Apr-13 23:32:43

Onwardbound, so long as your child is aged 4 and in full time education, or aged 5+, most childminders will not charge for the hours he or she is at school.
You'll normally be charged either for the hours you do use, or a fixed rate that doesn't cover school hours.
I would expect you to be charged normal fee for any school holidays and INSET days, though.

Snoopingforsoup Thu 04-Apr-13 23:37:42

Isn't it something to do with h

Snoopingforsoup Thu 04-Apr-13 23:39:21

Isn't it something to do with holding the child's place?
It always was with nursery. They could have another child during your holiday but don't so yours can return to the same place?

DoJo Fri 05-Apr-13 00:21:27

anothershittynickname But presumably you do set your rate at a level which means you can afford to take holidays at some point?

anothershittynickname Fri 05-Apr-13 02:34:38

dojo - I set my rate at a level which meets with the local average, in fact, I am lower than some!

I certainly didn't incorporate unpaid holiday into the rate! I don't charge for my holidays because I personally feel it's unfair to charge for a service I cannot offer!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Apr-13 03:55:49

I had one that charged no matter what.

On top of her normal daily rate ( over £100 a day) her 4 weeks paid holiday and any holidays and sickness my end.

She also charged me when her kids were sick or she was. I worked it out that due to sickness ( that prevented her doing nothing else) she was unavailable 25% of the entire time I used her over and above her agreed holiday at full pay.

She also used to invent exclusion periods ones that the dept of health say arnt needed and I would get texts on the the day saying oh I forgot I've got a course to go to so I'm not working today and still charge me full rates.

DoJo Sat 06-Apr-13 08:37:09

anothershittynickname But unless none of your local counterparts take any holiday throughout the year, and you don't either, then the rate you charge when you're working allows you to eat and pay your bills when you aren't. You may only charge enough to cover the basics, but unless you actually aren't taking any holiday time, then the money your clients pay you does fund any breaks you have.

I can see definitely your point.

We pay our cm 52 weeks of the year, whether she's on holidays/ sick (rare)/ or we take time off.

She prob has about 6 weeks hols per year (not all together)

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 12:43:30

Surely the sensible thing to do is to have a chat well in advance and co-ordinate the family holiday with the childminder's holiday. So that at least for the main holiday the childminder and the parents are away at the same time.

I would expect not to pay when the child minder is on holiday but to pay when my family is on holiday. Although my dc are much much older and things may have changed.

Filibear Sat 06-Apr-13 14:57:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

lljkk Sat 06-Apr-13 15:09:38

I think the govt. encouraged this with standardised contracts that came in about 11 yrs ago; I think many CMs ignore it because they know customers won't stand for it.

DeafLeopard Sat 06-Apr-13 15:39:53

Way back we were both S/E for a period.

If CM wasn't available we couldn't work, so didn't get paid. We resented having to pay our S/E CM for the day she wasn't working. It felt like she wanted the benefit of being self employed - picking and choosing her hours etc, and the benefits of being employed - paid holiday. We had to chose one or another, but as it was in her contract we couldn't complain at least not to her anyway

Tanith Sat 06-Apr-13 16:23:25

I did realise that, Filibear, although it may look as though I misunderstood smile
I just think it's up to the childminder to charge according to her business needs. It's not helpful to look at one aspect in isolation - you have to consider the whole package. A childminder who charges for holidays usually has a lower hourly rate. That might work out better for some parents than my practice of a higher rate overall - in fact, my experience is that many parents prefer it.

We've heard all about Pixie's ex-childminder on the childminding board shock
Of course there will be some that take the proverbial, just as they would in any profession. Most, though, have looked at the business they want to offer and the clients they want to attract, then set their charges accordingly.

ChristmasJubilee Sat 06-Apr-13 16:39:45

Our childminder didn't work school holidays but charged 1/2 fees. The other children she minded had a teacher parent so it suited them. I had to use another childminder for most of the holidays which was expensive and disruptive. However she was a great childminder so we went with it.

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