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Child-minders- ours wants a retainer whilst I'm on maternity leave even though DD not there!

(24 Posts)
newby2 Tue 04-Dec-12 07:14:12

Hi, any-one know about this? basically half pay for the days DD would be with her even though she will be starting pre-school nursery the day I start maternity leave. Half pay for 9 months until DD starts again on the usual hours again.

Any-one help?

lucidlady Tue 04-Dec-12 07:15:52

I guess it's that or lose the place? I think it's fair enough if you want a place held open - the CM is running a business.

Makes total.and.complete sense if you want the spot kept.

The alternative is to withdraw dd from that cms and not pay the retainer but that leaves cm open to take another.mindee and you looking for another cm when the time comes.

Why should she keep her spot but lose a wage because you have decided to oeep dd away for nine months?

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 04-Dec-12 07:21:28

I would keep on a couple of full days anyway, on those days CM can take and pick up from nursery. Otherwise it will be quite unsettling that all of a sudden its back to the CM again after 9 months. And it will help only looking after baby 2 days a week.

Hopengloooooooooooooooria Tue 04-Dec-12 07:28:50

Standard procedure - you can't expect her to hold a place open until you send DD back there in 9 months time. The alternative is that you don't pay and then she inds somebody else to fill the gap

FeelingOld Tue 04-Dec-12 08:03:06

I think most childminders would charge a retainer in these circumstances.
She is going to have a free space for 9 months yet can't fill it cos you want it kept open and i know i wouldn't be able to afford to do that. So like others have said, you either pay or risk she will have a place when you go back to work.
Have you thought about sending your DD for part of the time so you feel like you getting something for your money?

Are you also intending for her to have your new baby too when back to work? If so, dont be surprised if she needs a retainer for that place too.

OddBoots Tue 04-Dec-12 08:19:48

That sounds normal but you could end the contract then see if she has space in 9 months time instead. It depends how in demand CMs are around your way as to how likely it is that she will still have space.

ZuleikaD Tue 04-Dec-12 08:26:59

If a client was expecting me to keep a place open then I would certainly charge a retainer. Your alternative is to allow her to take on another mindee in that space and then take your chances when you go back to work.

nkf Tue 04-Dec-12 08:28:31

Totally normal practice.

dreamingofsun Tue 04-Dec-12 09:11:40

i rejected a childminder once who refused to work during school holidays but still expected me to pay a retainer - so what yours is suggesting seems quite reasonable.

Poledra Tue 04-Dec-12 09:18:24

I reduced my DDs hours when I was on mat leave, but still sent them 3 days a week. It held my place and meant I had some time alone with the new baby and could try to catch up on sleep without toddlers around the place! It was also quite comforting for the toddler in each case - they had consistency with the CM while they adjusted to the new baby at home. And my lovely lovely CM made a big deal of them at her house to help with any jealousy arising from the new baby taking up too much attention.

So, yes, completely normal.

ReetPetit Tue 04-Dec-12 11:45:02

yes,this is completely normal. you have two options really, to pay it or to not pay it,end the contract and then approach her again when you need the place and see if she has one available.
personally, i think if i could afford to, and knew that my dd was happy there and would definately be going back, i would have no hesitation in paying it.
it's your call really and depends on your circumstances but you can't expect her to take your dd back again if you haven't paid the retainer...

Karoleann Tue 04-Dec-12 14:14:13

I think that's fair enough too, your childminder won't be making any money from your daughter's place otherwise.
Personally I wouldn't pay it, I'd take her out and find another childcare option if need be in 9 months, your daughter will have completely forgetten about the childminder in 9 months time anyway.

Tanith Tue 04-Dec-12 14:17:53

I once stupidly waived the retainer. I thought I knew the parents and thought they would play straight with me. I kept the baby's place open for several months and agreed to reduced hours for the older child during maternity leave.

With just a month before she was due to return, the mother announced she was going back on reduced hours. Very reduced hours. I was left to fill two places for two full days at very short notice. I nearly went out of business.

That's why I charge a retainer.

BranchingOut Tue 04-Dec-12 14:24:47

You can still get childcare vouchers while you are on maternity leave, on top of your SMP.

Could these help meet some of the costs?

MrAnchovy Tue 04-Dec-12 17:57:11

You can still get childcare vouchers while you are on maternity leave, on top of your SMP.

Could these help meet some of the costs?

You can't use CCVs to pay a retainer.

ZuleikaD Tue 04-Dec-12 19:26:17

Huh. I didn't know that - why is that MrA? I mean, I also didn't know you could buy childcare vouchers if you weren't getting a gross salary to buy them out of, but why can't you use them to pay a CM for whatever you want?

Viviennemary Tue 04-Dec-12 19:29:12

I think I'd send your DD to the CM for a few hours per week. It will give her the chance of playing with other children as well as giving you a break. Then you won't be paying for nothing.

If you want the place then you pay for it. Honestly - what did you expect? Your CM can't fill that place for 9 months. Is she supposed to just be down on her income all that time? It isn't paying for nothing. It's paying for a place to be available when you want it.
I hope you haven't made a fuss to her face about this. In her shoes I would be thinking of giving you notice as you clearly don't appreciate that she is running a business.

HSMM Tue 04-Dec-12 20:42:48

My mindees have always carried on coming while their mums are on leave. It is less disruption for them and allows me to hold a space for the new baby if needed.

MrAnchovy Tue 04-Dec-12 21:33:25

why can't you use them to pay a CM for whatever you want?

Because you can only use them to pay for "qualifying child care". In order to be qualifying child care a service must first be "care" which is "defined generally for the purposes of these exemptions as any kind of care or supervised activity apart from what is provided in schools as part of the child’s compulsory education." A retention is not care or supervised activity.

newby2 Tue 04-Dec-12 21:40:40

Excellent advice. Thank-you every-one.

We have decided to send her to the child-minder on the mornings of the days she usually goes and pay the half price retainer in the after-noon so she gets to stay there when goes back in September. All in all the CM and us are happy.

HSMM Tue 04-Dec-12 22:03:34

Good idea

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