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childminder cancels contract and takes money

(33 Posts)
babi28 Sat 09-Mar-13 09:44:10

Hi. I recently signed a contract with a childminder in january 2013. I gave my two week notice on February 10th. I had family issues and had to go stay with my mum on the 11th of February. This was an unforseen emergency and unfortunately coincided with the first week of my two week notice period. The childcare provider was made aware of this and had no problem as she was paid in lieu of notice.

After staying at my mothers for a week I returned to my home on the 17th of February. My daughter had her last week at the childminders as the two week notice ended on the 24th of February. When I had text the childminder to say my daughter would be attending her sessions the childminder refused to look after her as she said that I has not contacted her for 7 days. She did not give me any written notice of cancelling the contract and she never refunded the money back to me. In summary she took my money for that week and did not work.

Since I am not rich I have been using citizens advice bureau for advice and I have sent the relevant letters via special delivery. The childminder is refusing to accept them and is saying that NCMA have advised her not to talk to me because the contract has now ended, she is also saying that I have to have a letter drafted by a solicitor to send to hers as they will not deal with myself. The other thing is that she never gave me a copy of my contract and is also telling me that NCMA is advising her to not give me a copy.

I really need some advise from other parents who have been through the same situation.

Booyhoo Sat 09-Mar-13 23:10:21

so she didn't know when to expect DD and would only know at the point at which she was expected to have her again? that is bad communication on your part TBH. you really should have kept her updated whilst you were away.

ZuleikaD Sun 10-Mar-13 06:59:09

Standard NCMA contracts state on the fourth page that
*"The registered childminder may terminate the contract immediately for any of the following reasons...
Failure by the parent/guardian to show up for _ days in a row without any communication"*

and the CM fills in the blank. In my case it's 5 days. If you didn't communicate with her or show up for 7 days then she's probably entirely within her rights to consider the contract terminated immediately.

I do think it's odd that she won't give you a copy of the contract, but you would have had your own copy and to be honest I do think it's a bit lax to have lost it already given that you only signed in January.

Branleuse Sun 10-Mar-13 07:26:09

your child minder is being reasonable and you are not.

babi28 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:23:28

Hi zuleikaD as you are able to quote the contract, when she brought my contract to look at I read that clause as I want this sorted, I read that sentence and thought the same however, it does say in brackets that each following reasons has to have a secondary qualifying reason from the list I believe the words (but not used solely). My cm cannot prove any of the reason stated in that part and also never gave me any written notice to cancel my contract.

One should not assume and as the citzens advice have advised me, they have also said there was no written confirmation by me. Even the written confirmation from the cm states I gave notice it does not state that when I gave notice my contract came to an immediate stop. Nor did she say that I could no longer bring my daughter when I verbally gave notice.

The cm has not filled my daughter's space in fact she told me that she is working a part time job and working as a part time cm. I could understand if she had an overflowing waiting list but she is only been operating since September 2012 and has only looked after 3 children.

I may not have communicated with from the 10th til the 17th but she knew i was having issues.

Reinette Sun 10-Mar-13 17:24:18

It sounds like you dropped the ball here and she fulfilled her contractual obligations. Sorry you were left stuck, it would have been nice for her to help you out, but from what you said ("When I had text the childminder to say my daughter would be attending her sessions the childminder refused to look after her as she said that I has not contacted her for 7 days") it sounds like her contract was clear ("The registered childminder may terminate the contract immediately for any of the following reasons...
Failure by the parent/guardian to show up for _ days in a row without any communication" being 7 days in her case). Chalk this one up to experience and move on.

ReetPetit Sun 10-Mar-13 20:16:56

i don't think your cm has done anything wrong. it is only a relatively small amount of money (1 week) and even that is debatable as to whether she actually owes you - so I would just forget it. it will cause you more stress and possibly cost you to take this further so personally I would just let it go.
Next time, you have a cm however, do try to treat them better - it would serve you well - do as you would be done by and all that.... hmm

galbers Sun 10-Mar-13 21:31:37

Frankly it all sounds a complete horlicks and poor communication all round. Put it down to experience, reflect on it from her view point as well as your own and move on.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Fri 15-Mar-13 11:15:00

If we are talking about 2 sessions here - perhaps £100 worth if that in total if full days? Galling as you may find it, I would really recommend deciding to let it go.

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