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Should I be paying my childminder

(67 Posts)
IneedAsockamnesty Mon 11-Feb-13 21:59:22

When she cancels for things like her kids being sick or having docters/ hospital appointments.

I usually get the cancellation via txt quite late the night before meaning I don't go to work the entire next day.

I only use her 2 days a week as those days I cannot take kids with me and pay over £110 per day ( 8 hours)

These cancelations are over and above her normal holiday pay as she has 5 weeks a year on top of other absences.

So far out of the last 40 days I have paid for she has late cancelled 10 always citing her kids illness or appointments.

I cannot find our contract but apparently its a standered one (what ever that means) from a printed pad of them.

Sidge Mon 11-Feb-13 22:00:40

I'd be finding a new childminder! She's taking the piss.

I don't pay my CM if she's unavailable to work, whether through her own or someone else's sickness/appointments/holiday.

constantnamechanger Mon 11-Feb-13 22:01:10

no I wouldn't pay

Sidge Mon 11-Feb-13 22:01:56

To clarify, someone else's sickness/appts meaning hers or her family members, not my children's or my sickness/appts.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

doughnut44 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:17:46

generally a standard contract will be a template and you would discuss it with your CM before filling it in. If I don't work through my own fault then I do not expect to be paid.
If her kids are ill I don't think you can request a week before - lol- but she should give you plenty of notice for appointments at the hospital.
Ask her for a copy of your contract - she should have one.

SamSmalaidh Mon 11-Feb-13 22:18:51

I didn't pay if my childminder was unavailable, although she did have a certain number of weeks holiday at half pay. If your CM is that unreliable I would be looking for an alternative or nursery.

HSMMaCM Mon 11-Feb-13 22:43:07

Ask her for a.copy of your contract. Until you have that, you don't know if you have agreed to pay for these days or not.

My clients would not pay.

lechatnoir Mon 11-Feb-13 22:44:23

10 days out of 40, a QUARTER, is an absurd amount of time off shock. I charge for holidays but this must be booked at least 4 weeks in advance & definitely wouldn't charge if I / my family were off sick. And last minute cancellations for appointments (which by definition is surely a pre-booked event) is taking to piss - not ideal but why can't your children still go in? I would always try & arrange appointments on my 1 day off a week but if I worked FT then mindee would just come along like my own kids would. I would check your contract & if there is no provision for this either looking elsewhere or asking for a contract amendment in light of the frequency.

Flisspaps Mon 11-Feb-13 22:46:08

If I am sick, or my children are sick, or I can't work for any other reason, then the parents of my minded children don't pay.

If the children I mind are sick, their parents still pay as I am still available for work.

IMO, she is taking the piss.

lechatnoir Mon 11-Feb-13 22:48:24

Eta a printed pad of contracts sounds like the NCMA one & she would have to fill in the relevant section although it doesn't actually have a bit for CM time off for sickness/emergency so I add this under time off for mindee sick. You need to get a copy of your signed & completed contract and I wouldn't feel bad about telling her why you want it.

HSMMaCM Mon 11-Feb-13 22:48:46

Don't go in all guns blazing until you have read the contract, as you might have agreed to pay for all.this.absence. if you have, then you should ask for a contract review.

pluCaChange Mon 11-Feb-13 22:56:34

Even if it is in your contract, it sounds as though you need to move your DC. Then she will have plenty of time, too!

BackforGood Mon 11-Feb-13 23:04:47

I think it's fairly standard practice that you don't pay if she's not available, but ultimately, it depends on what you signed in the contract. Either way - paying or not - that's no use to you as a working parent. I used various CMs over 14-15 yrs (different arrangements with different children in different houses and attending different schools, etc.) and I think in all that time, I can only remember 1 CM having any time off at all - it was a week for a planned op for which I got about 6 weeks notice. I've never had a CM cancel the night before. I'd definitely be looking for alternative childcare.

Delayingtactic Mon 11-Feb-13 23:12:25

I don't pay my CM if she's off sick or her children are. I did feel sorry for her when she had a run of her kids getting D&V which meant that she had to cancel everybody for four days - it must have cost her a fortune. If my DC is sick then I pay naturally. I would be looking elsewhere tbh.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Feb-13 00:54:29

That's how I figured it should be, if my children don't attend due to a issue my end but she is still available to work then I would expect to pay

But if the issue is her end and it makes her unavailable then I expected that I wouldn't have to.

On top of the cancelled times there have been 2 occasions during the last 40 booked days where at drop off she's announced she is unavailable for the older child to be dropped off after school so that dc has been dropped off at my work instead and.entertained for a few hours before going on up to hers in a cab and 1 time when ive had to leave work to collect the baby who she claimed was ill but my gp couldnt find anything wrong but she still expects the same money to be paid.

Her system of payments gives her no incentive to actually do the work.tbh I wouldn't be bothered if it was not a regular occurrence but its looking much like it is, its a shame because other than that I rather like her but I think I'm going to have to give notice because of this.

Tasmania Tue 12-Feb-13 01:37:58

Wait... you pay her £110 per day?!? Go for a nursery place, if that's the case! I mean... what is she - the Ritz of all Childminders?

You shouldn't be paying a CM if they are unable to work. The whole point about a CM is that they are actually self-employed, and if they get sick, they don't "just get paid".

Ok - read the contract... but really, just look for another CM, because this one is taking the p*ss if she expects to be paid for this.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Feb-13 01:57:04

That is for 2 children she's the only one I found willing to have a baby and 13yo.

Tasmania Tue 12-Feb-13 02:11:41

Socket - nurseries around me take babies from 3 months (daily rate around £56), and most schools have after school clubs for the grand price of sth. like £9 per afternoon? That would be a lot cheaper than your CM.

And I live/work in one of the more expensive areas in the country - albeit outside London.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Feb-13 02:30:28

The 13yo is not in mainstream school and would struggle in most club type settings, but I've just found 3 nursery s whose websites look promising, I shall give them a ring to go look at them tomorrow.

But in a ideal world I could find a tactful way of bringing it up with cm and she will magically stop doing it,because if she did stop then it would cease to be an issue but I'm guessing its unlikely shame really because for the sake of just over a grand she will have lost guaranteed long term customers that would have been paying loads more over time,

Silly way to do Buisness if you ask me.

Fightlikeagirl Tue 12-Feb-13 06:41:28

Don't let this scare you off childminders. Most of us are professional and very reliable and would do anything to avoid having to let our parents down and on the rare occasion we're not available we definitely dont charge!

Isabeller Tue 12-Feb-13 06:50:46

It sounds like you'd prefer to stick with her and get some reliability. You do need to find a workable alternative and that's probably what you'll have to go with but you could ask her if she thinks her reliability is likely to dramatically improve soon as you want to stay with her but will be forced to move if she's not in a position to give you the arrangements you need.

eeyore12 Tue 12-Feb-13 06:51:08

Def find a new one, you do know for that amount actually less you could have a nanny come to you, yes you would need to register as an employer and sort out the tax and ni paying but with the £53 a week you would be saving (paying a nanny £10.24 gross a hour) (£167 including employers ni a week) you would soon cover the cost of getting a payroll company to do that for you (about £150 a year). And they would have your children when sick and do nursery duties like children's washing and ironing too.

Hope you get it sorted soon

HSMMaCM Tue 12-Feb-13 07:05:00

When you get your contract ... if it says you don't pay if she's not available (as mine do), ask for your money back. If you want to stay with her, ask for an immediate review.

ZuleikaD Tue 12-Feb-13 07:15:44

I agree you need a copy of your contract. If it's a standard NCMA one then there should be a suggested contract review date, which would be the ideal opportunity.

I certainly don't charge if I'm unable to work because of illness, and on the occasions I have had to go to the doctor I've either taken my mindee with me (with parental permission) or has been left with my DH (who has to take time off to look after our two) - again with parental permission.

lechatnoir Tue 12-Feb-13 13:25:36

If you'd rather stay with her & get this sorted, you need to have that chat. I would blame your work - tell her your boss has had words about the amount of time off, spell it out ie 10 full days out of 40 worked plus with the other early finishes etc you're getting on for half of your working days being lost or cut short. Ask if there's any on-going health issues you need to be aware that might affect her being able to offer reliable care for your DC & if she has a back-up childminder for these circumstances. I would add that you have to take these days off sick & don't get sick pay so simply can't afford this number of days off going forward but mainly are genuinely worried about losing your job over poor attendance. I would ask outright - no hard feelings but would I better off looking elsewhere so she has a way out.

If she is suitably apologetic / embarrassed (as I'm pretty sure most honest hard working people would be!) then I would give her a last go before looking elsewhere.

BackforGood Tue 12-Feb-13 18:32:49

I agree with FightlikeaGirl - this really isn't like all the CMs I've ever met, who seem to have the constitution of an ox grin
It's just no use to a working parent to have childcare that is regularly unavailable.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Feb-13 19:00:12

She knows I own the company, but could substitute the worried about losing job to worried about staff being put on and its causing issues.

ChunkyPickle Tue 12-Feb-13 19:13:04

Good lord! She is taking the mick! TBH I feel that CMs should include holiday in their rates too, as it's much clearer all round if you pay for what you use (so to speak)

My CM would never charge me for a day she couldn't work, and the angel she is, even if I have to cancel for some reason she'll just defer the day for some other time rather than charge me for it.

Strix Wed 13-Feb-13 11:11:31

I don't pay my childminder when she is unavailable for work -- no matter what the reason. I do pay her in full when we are unavailable to attend -- no matter what the reason.

5 weeks of holiday is not somethign I would sign up to, but I expect it is in your contract.

You don't really pay £110 for an 8 hour day, do you? If you are, I think I would make the move to a nanny /nannyshare.

lechatnoir Wed 13-Feb-13 12:03:04

Hang on a minute - didn't you say 1 of your DC is 13 so presumably at school from 9? That is extortionate if that is the case!!!

botandhothered Wed 13-Feb-13 12:19:05

Agree with Stix, a part time Nanny would be a much better solution. Would certainly be cheaper!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Feb-13 12:28:36

He is at school from 9-4 but we did agree that she would get the same flat rate term time and holidays,I'm quite happy with paying that because I expect her to be able to have him if he's not at school for any reason other than illness on his behalf. And it means I don't have to faff about working out hours and she's expected to keep his place during term time.

I hadn't even looked into a nanny. Because years ago when I briefly touched on it as soon as I said ASD the one I spoke to got all weird. But I will look into it again.

minderjinx Wed 13-Feb-13 12:57:05

I wouldn't charge a) if I was not available due to my own illness, my children's or personal reasons or b) to hold a place for a child of secondary school age - the latter because OFSTED are not interested in over 8's, they don't count in our registration numbers and so having an older child occasionally or even every day would not stop me having my normal number of babies or younger children. Charging for a child whilst at school is definitely not the norm.

The only caveat I would mention is that I would charge all day for a school age child if I was permanently on call (for example if health or behaviour issues meant they frequently had to miss school or be collected from school), and what I said above about not affecting the number of younger children I could care for might be untrue if the older child's health or behaviour demanded more attention than usual, so would in effect limit the number of other children I could safely care for

botandhothered Wed 13-Feb-13 17:22:39

If you decide to go down the nanny route, I think it's important to mention your son's additional needs in the initial nanny advert, along with ages, hours and pay.

Far from putting nannies off, it will likely attract a nanny who has an interest or experience with children with ASD.

If you have been happy with a childminder you could also mention you would be happy with a nanny who has her own child?

lechatnoir Wed 13-Feb-13 17:52:02

Sock she may be lovely but charging you full fee for a full age child under 8 is dubious practise but for a secondary age child is bordering on extortion!! I reckon if you took £20 a day off your current bill & offered it to a couple of local CM's they'd bite your arm off.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Feb-13 19:20:59

Forgive me for being dense but what should I be expecting to pay for the baby?

i would charge you £4 an hour for baby and the same for your biggun....only before and after school of course. (and hols) But i would only charge for what you need eg you need 8-3 then you pay 8-3.

I have had a run of illness (norovirus- i can identify which little one gave it to me) and my husband has has quite a bit of treatment for bowel tumours over the last 6 months so i have had odd days off (i try to give as much notice as i can). I dont charge for my off time whatever the cause. I charge for any holidays they take.

I am very flexible....i dont charge inflated amounts if parents are late and i have been contacted- i know what its like to get stuck in work/in traffic etc. and i would rather parents drove safely and get here than drive like maniacs and have an accident. As long as they dont take the piss then i am cool with it.

minderjinx Wed 13-Feb-13 20:42:02

I don't know where you are but £55 a day per child sounds quite plausible. So that's probably what you should expect to pay for the baby, give or take. For your older child perhaps a slightly higher hourly rate, but only for before and after school hours, and full days in the school holidays or any extra days.

lechatnoir Wed 13-Feb-13 20:45:37

It really does vary area to area but in my fairly affluent part of Kent it's £5-£6/hr, my sister in outer London/Kent borders pays £6hr and a friend in W1 (so prime prime London) charges £7/hr. We all have food, snacks included but again that does vary. For your eldest you might find a minimum charge before & after school but again for comparative purposes: I charge £21/day which is also what my sister pays for wraparound & my friend in w1 charges £10 before & £21.75 after school or £30 for both.

So taking the most expensive that's £58 for baby + £30 wraparound = £88 a day in one of the most expensive parts of London. So now you can see why we're all shockshockshock

lechatnoir Wed 13-Feb-13 20:48:47

And as for (presumably her) excuse for paying the same year round as it's easier - utter tosh!! It's fairly standard practise & really not difficult to still pay a regular amount each month but take into account lower term time fees.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Feb-13 20:51:55

Christ I even send all the food. I think I can understand,I thought what I was paying was the going rate.

Chubfuddler Wed 13-Feb-13 20:52:32

Your CM is majorly taking the piss. If I was off work for 1/4 of the time I should be there I'd get the sack.

SamSmalaidh Wed 13-Feb-13 20:57:13

I paid £30 for an 8 hour a day for my baby (Bristol rather than London though). Even his pretty expensive nursery is only £40 for an 8 hour day, and that's including 3 meals and 2 snacks. For £110 a day I would want a nanny to come to the house, cook for the children and deal with their laundry and keep their rooms tidy.

Chubfuddler Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:12

Totally agree about a nanny. I'm sure you'd get a nanny or nanny share for £500 a week.

Chubfuddler Wed 13-Feb-13 21:03:54

My cm is £3 per hour. And as long as the children are not actively miserable she's happy to have them when mildly unwell ie teething, colds etc. this week she sent me a text to say she wanted to give dd some calpol, I texted back oh dear shall I come and get her, her reply "don't be daft I can't just have the fun times, this is my job. If you can't work I don't work".

She's never had a days sick in five years of caring for my children. For £3 an hour.

lechatnoir Wed 13-Feb-13 21:16:08

Whereabouts are you sock? Might be worth just ringing another local cm to gauge prices in your area in case you're in some freaky expensive little bubble lechat clutching at straws

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Feb-13 21:38:42

I am in a very affluent area I do still have the list of reg childminders in the area will phone a couple tomorrow and ask what they charge.

lechatnoir Wed 13-Feb-13 21:40:08

Please come back & update us grin

Groovee Thu 14-Feb-13 08:59:36

I've been with my childminder 7 years and in that time she has had 1 day off at short notice for a sickness bug. 1 week off after gall bladder surgery and 1 week off after her dd had her tonsils out. Didn't pay her for any of it. I think she's been having her cake and eating it.

Sock not sure where you are located but here it would be £3.75 per hour for youngest child and oldest child paying for hours you actually use my fees also include fees. Having a child with Asd I know it can be awkward. I don't take on after schoolers as my own child struggles with older children who dont understand asd but I would have another child with Asd no worries

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 14-Feb-13 22:08:07

I wrote an email today basicly highlighting my concerns. Copy and pasting a few very good lines from advice you lovely lot have given me on here and via pm.

Ending it with a request to meet to discuss it ASAP, hopefully I will hear back from her soon.

MortifiedAdams Thu 14-Feb-13 22:12:31

£5ph per dc. 8x5 for the LO = £40pd. 1.5x5 for the 13yo = £7.50pm. Total £47.50 per day. And you are paying three times that!!!

MortifiedAdams Thu 14-Feb-13 22:14:12

Even if she has the 13yo eoght hours thats still only another £40 (working on fiver an hour eveb thoigh its cheaper than that round here). So £80 per day max.

And id expect meals for that.

BlingBubbles Thu 14-Feb-13 22:15:22

If our cm cancels we don't pay, if we cancel we pay. Simple.

minderjinx Sat 16-Feb-13 12:12:41

Hi, how did it go?

Bluemonkeyspots Sat 16-Feb-13 14:11:36

I honestly can't believe how much you are paying her for doing nothing 25% off the time

Charging full rate for a school age child is totally unheard off to me, childminders round here don't even charge when mindees are in nursery for their 15 hours a a week.

She is taking you for a total fool.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 16-Feb-13 17:16:06

We are meeting Monday evening.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 19-Feb-13 15:36:34


I had a email yesterday cancelling our meeting saying illness and a further email today saying that one of her mindees has hand foot and mouth so inline with ofstead requirements she is unable to have any mindees for a period of 10 days.

I've had a chance to check the contract and it makes no reference to absence on her behalf other than holiday.

So I have emailed her back given her notice in line with the notice period in the contract also said that I won't be sending the children back during this notice and have posted a cheque to cover the notice period minus the days she is unable to have any mindees.

minderjinx Tue 19-Feb-13 16:12:24

I think that's very reasonable of you. But have you got other childcare sorted out?

KatyMac Tue 19-Feb-13 16:19:37

good for you Sock......she is giving childminders a bad name!

I have had little ones with Hand foot and mouth and if they were really poorly then they go home but more often than not they stay! I had three go down with chicken pox and they all stayed here...the consensus of all the (fab) parents was "well if A had got it then B and C will go down with it!"....and they did.

I am sorry you have had such a shit time.....there are fab childminders out there. Its a pity i dont live near to you - i would show you what a childminder is like. I am full of a cold and sinusitis and would love to have time off but i havent (all have gone home now btw- i am vegging on the sofa).

good luck Sock

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 19-Feb-13 18:06:10

Well I've had a reply to my email basically saying she's disappointed that I have given notice,

So I've just sent a rather less reasonable reply back saying that I did because I was disappointed with her lack of reliability her general work ethic the high volume of absence from being available for work,and pointing out the info given by the above poster re hand foot and mouth and pointed out that neither she nor my children actually have it even if exclusion was warrented. I added that I felt she had taken advantage of my lack of knowledge regarding ofsted rules to try and use them as an excuse for not working and also taken advantage of my reasonable nature when it comes to making payments.

I haven't yet obtained other childcare but my brothers just told me his wife is finishing work next week so I'm going to ask her if she would be willing to be employed by me on a temp basis until I can find a suitable nanny.

HSMMaCM Tue 19-Feb-13 18:27:59

Good for you Sockreturningpixie. I too would love to be able to help you out and show you how reliable and honest a good CM is.

pluCaChange Tue 19-Feb-13 18:59:02

You tell her!

bran Tue 19-Feb-13 23:13:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Tue 19-Feb-13 23:14:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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