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Should Childminders inform parents about their sickness and when they return to Work?

(74 Posts)
jagcv4 Sat 18-May-13 20:12:43


I am in an unusual situation with my childminder. She called sick as she was suffering from serious illness, continuously for a few days and then she failed to inform as to when she would be returning to work. So we held our son back until she informed us that she is fit and can provide a risk free environment. Now the childminder is threatening to sue us with payments for all those days. Aren't childminders obligated to advice us about their sickness and when they are fit to take back children under their care? Please advice me with your opinions and any standard documentation will help.



nannynick Sat 18-May-13 20:34:47

Seems a bit odd. Did you check each day if they could take your child, or did they say they would tell you when they were restarting.

Payment for when the service is not available is down to what is in the contract.

Seb101 Sat 18-May-13 21:57:50

I'd refer to your contract- does it state you still have to pay when minder sick? Some childminders charge when they are closed for sickness. If it does, then yes you have to pay her.

As far as her not contacting you when she was re opening for business; sounds odd! Maybe just mis communication. Did she inform you settling would be closed for... Xyz, and then presumed that you'd understand that it would re open after this if she didn't tell you otherwise. If I informed parents I was going to be off sick for 1 week, I would probably presume they'd turn up, business as usual the following week, unless I told them otherwise. Or have I misunderstood your post?!

jagcv4 Sun 19-May-13 18:53:00

Hi thanks for your messages.

The contract states that there is no payment for sick pay. However, the least I expect from my childminder is that a valid notification of return to work. We cannot expect to send our son when the childminder is sick. I don't really understand. When asked, now the childminder is claiming that she need not provide return to work notification. This appears ridiculous and as a parent I do have a right to know that the place I am sending is safe from Health and safety point of view.



nannynick Sun 19-May-13 19:27:47

So how will you solve this? Will you pay the invoice minus the days you feel are in dispute, then see what happens? It may get taken to small claims court and the court would make a decision.

NarkyNamechanger Sun 19-May-13 19:35:47

I don't understand - are you expecting to see a doctor's note from her?

KatyMac Sun 19-May-13 19:38:03

I assume she contacted you & said a version of "I can't work today/tomorrow"?

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 19:44:59

I'm not clear either. You mean you didn't send your dc back because she hadn't got a written document saying she could return to work, or do you mean she originally said "I'm not well today, I'll let you know about tomorrow" and then never did ?

ReetPetit Sun 19-May-13 19:48:43

I don't find your posts very clear, sorry...

Do you mean she called in sick and said she was unavailable? If so, and it states in contract that you dont pay for her sickness then you wouldnt have to pay for that day...

I find it odd that she didnt comtact you to tell you when she was better but equally odd that you didnt contact her to ask??

Was she minding others when you decided to keep your ds home? If she was available then im afraid you will have to pay her, are you saying she was infectious and unfit to provide care?

TwoFourSixOhOne Sun 19-May-13 19:50:06


LucyLastik Sun 19-May-13 19:56:00

We had something similar with our CM. she hurt her leg and was unable to walk, drive etc. when she was able to walk without crutches, she did let us know she was available to work but was clear she couldn't drive. She looks after dd2 all day but picks up dd1 and ds from school so driving was required.

In the end we both agreed that as she couldn't collect dc's from school she was unable to provide the service as stated in the contract so we didn't have to pay. In the end DH took 3 weeks off work and did the childcare. We regularly called to (mainly) see how she was recovering and when she would be up to normal service. Did you not think to contact her to see how she was getting on or to see when she would be well enough to resume service?

ReetPetit Sun 19-May-13 20:00:38

How many days/weeks are we talking about here? Seems bizzare that you didnt think to contact her - don't you have work to go to?? She may be trying it on but hard to tell with only part of the story to go on

lechatnoir Sun 19-May-13 20:34:55

From what I gather your cm called off sick one day and this extended for a number of days/weeks & this was unpaid as per your contract. She then called to say she was well enough to look after your child but you didn't send your child back as she couldn't provide a 'fit to work/clear of illness' note from her doctor & it's those additional data off that she wants & is threatening court proceedings to recover.

If this is the case then YABU as you are it her employer and if she reopens for business then you should pay her fees.
If this is not the case then I'm totally lost & have no idea grin

BackforGood Sun 19-May-13 23:38:40

Please come back and clarify what happened for us, OP

when our childminder was sick we use tues and fri I hadnt heard from her on the thursday so I text saying hope you are feeling better can you just let us know if you will be well enough to have x tommorow no worries if you cant just need to make other arrangements - she did text back and say she hoped to be well enough , so I replied saying great see you tommorow - and she did say ok and was well enough to have the 2 toddlers albeit a quieter day than normal.

I think she should have text but also as a parent I need to know so as I did text to find out.

But no you shouldnt pay for sick days if it says not in contract.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 15:00:15

Dear all,

Really appreciate all your messages. Apologies for all the delays caused in responding to this post.

Following my initial statement, the CM went to small claims court and filed a case against me for notice period. Though CM, wasn't claiming charges for sickness, but she, as per own accord, cancelled the contract and was now claiming charges for notice period.

I spoke to various agencies including Ofsted, HPA etc. As per guidelines, CM are obligated to provide parents nature of their sickness. If the CM has diarrhoea as in my case, the CM must immediately cease operation and shut down. CM must provide clear notification to parents. They just cannot claim that it is duty of parents to send children as usual after a day of sickness. Parents cannot send their children until and unless they are convinced that their children will be safe from all aspects.

Also, as per the email CM sent, she herself cancelled the contract at her own accord without consulting both the parents

In my response to the court I clearly highlighted these points and showed the problems. It is unfortunate how CM's have been overtaken by greed.

Prior to going to court the mediation service took over and resolved the matter. Eventually I agreed to pay, 1 day fee + court fee+£20. As against £200 they claimed.

I was prepared to go to court and file a counter claim and claim further charges as we had to pay CM alternative to look after the child.

After all this experience, I have, in a way lost faith in CM's. The best care a child can get is from the mother, next is grand parents. My wife chose to leave her job and is now looking after my son.

My son, under CM, was underweight and now has put on 4 kilos of weight and is healthy, clearly indicating ,with child minder's care. For me my child's care is important and I hope CM's take child care seriously and not just treat this as business to cheat innocent parents.

lovelynannytobe Fri 19-Jul-13 15:28:58

Consider yourself lucky you got away with paying so little.

Thurlow Fri 19-Jul-13 15:35:02

I'm sorry you had a rough time, but you really shouldn't be tarring all CM's with the same brush hmm

NomDeClavier Fri 19-Jul-13 15:36:05

I don't think you can generalise all CM's from that hmm

D&V is 48 hours from last episode, she should have informed you after being clear for 24hrs that she would reopen the following day. To do otherwise seems bizarre.

The alleged neglect of your son is a different matter.

I note you don't cite fathers as suitable carets for their own DC there. Interesting, given that you presumably are one.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 15:42:53


It isn't the case of being lucky or unlucky, it is the case of teaching CM's a lesson to not take parents for granted!! Our kids are everything for us in this world, every penny we spend for child care is to be accounted for. They just can't cheat us. I have also noticed that CM's deliberately withhold child's meals during the day to make further savings and produce false reports saying they have eaten well. This results in child falling weak and loosing weight and health. All those CM's who do this are nothing less than criminals.

I am satisfied with the result and with the news of this spreading within the neighbourhood, none of the parents are now sending children to this CM!

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 16:07:13

are you saying ALL childminders withold food? Sorry, you're a fruitcase and CM is better off without you.
You really think a cm would withhold food to save a few pence a day?
Like the way you want to ruin her financially as well. I take back my fruitcase comment and replace it with you're a nasty, paranoid, vindictive piece of work.

Thurlow Fri 19-Jul-13 16:09:21

So because you believe that your CM was negligent when looking after your soon, all CM's are negligent? How many CM's have you watched serving meals to children and deliberately withholding food to make more of a profit? If you believe that your CM was so negligent, have you spoken to Ofsted to get her inspected? Or are you satisfying yourself with gossiping to the neighbourhood about this woman when you have no official proof that she was negligent?

I won't ask how, if her care was so clearly negligent, you didn't notice while your son was in her care...

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 16:09:25

Oh, and CM's are not obliged to inform parents of the nature of teir illness. You think we should go into details of eg. gynaecological issues with the fathers of our mindees. A simple "I'm ill" is all that's needed.

Glad your son is doing well.
However my children are everything to me. My lovely childminder understands this only two well as she has two of her own. The last CM we used was also fantastic. it's not fair to have a bad experience (and I have to say the details are STILL not clear) and then decide all CMs are out to con parents.

Oh and my CM has in th epast called in sick from D&V> I took her word for when she was fit to return, why wouldn't I? hmm

only *too well

<desperately tries to blame phone>

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 16:19:54

Well, my CM deliberately withheld food, as my son lost weight under her care. This was picked up by my GP who was equally concerned. It is foolish to think that I referred to all CM's in general, it isn't the case. I have complained to Ofsted regarding this. I am awaiting a report from GP to take this further.

Why do you assume she deliberately withheld food though.

And your comments about "teaching CMs a lesson" was what made me think you had it in for all of them.

insancerre Fri 19-Jul-13 16:31:48

'to look after the child'


moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 16:36:07

Do you not feed your child at home? I find it hard to believe he would lose weight dramatically enough for a GP to be concerned from having a sparse lunch.
And this was picked up by your GP?? What, he said "your child is losing weight, in my experience it'll be the CM starving him"
Sorry but you're talking bollox

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 16:36:41

Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not British, are you?

" I have also noticed that CM's deliberately withhold child's meals during the day to make further savings and produce false reports saying they have eaten well. "

Again, more than one childminder implicated here, in fact it sounds suspiciously like a generalisation

exactly moogy. First thought would be a illness, followed by food refusa maybe. You'd talk to the CM. You wouldn't leap from "child losing weight" = "childcare not feeding child"

In fact if a child was losing weight and you suspected neglect over all else, surely the neglect would be by the parents?

insancerre Fri 19-Jul-13 16:39:59

be careful you don't end up being sued for slander
you really can't go around making those sorts of accusations
especially when somebody's business is at stake

Thurlow Fri 19-Jul-13 16:40:16

it is the case of teaching CM's a lesson to not take parents for granted!! Our kids are everything for us in this world, every penny we spend for child care is to be accounted for. They just can't cheat us. I have also noticed that CM's deliberately withhold child's meals during the day to make further savings and produce false reports saying they have eaten well. This results in child falling weak and loosing weight and health.

If that isn't tarring all CMs with the same brush I don't know what is...

And if you and your GP noticed your DS was losing weight, why didn't you remove him from the CM's care?

ImNotBloody14 Fri 19-Jul-13 16:48:08

How many meals a day was your so. Having at CMs that the alleged witholding of such caused weight loss?

clam Fri 19-Jul-13 16:58:21

How do you know that this Cm was "with-holding" food? Is your ds old enough to have told you this himself and, if so, how reliable is a small child's word?

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 19-Jul-13 17:03:16

OP I'd offer you a biscuit but you know being a childminder I need to withhold it so I can make as much profit as possible.

Shocked at your accusations levelled at all childminders.

We are not greedy most of us work hard in a demanding job that takes over our whole life and family. And earn close to the minimum wage or less after expenses.

Changed my mind here you go my first ever ...


jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 17:20:32

Hi Moggy

I am British!

We only gave our child an evening meal! The rest of the day's meals we expected the CM to provide but apparently she provided false info saying he ate lots of food. Also, as per my original thread there was an issue with her sickness and not informing parents. Anyways its all over and done with!!! My opinions are there because of this CM and it isn't going to change. In future if I have to ever hire a CM I will be very careful and will ensure my child's health is safe guarded.

clam Fri 19-Jul-13 17:46:26

"apparently she provided false info" I ask again: how do you KNOW this?

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 19-Jul-13 17:54:55

You didn't give your child breakfast?

Honestly as a CM I have found that children can be very picky when it comes to eating my food.

You have got to think that there are so many different varieties of each food e.g bread/ butter/ sausages etc children are used to what they eat at home and some turn their nose up a different variety of something or a different way of cooking a dish like spag Bol.

I looked after two brothers whose father fed them junk and they would not eat veggies or eat the pasta I cooked loaded with veg.

I ended up throwing most of their meals away and in the end just provided stuff I knew they'd eat.

And I made the decision to only provide a light tea when I realised how much stuff I threw away each day.

Some children might not eat because it is a strange setting. My eldest did not eat a snack at his school nursery the entire time he was there. Goodness knows why as he loves fruit. Might have had a funny tasting apple on the first day and would try again.

One of my mindees has not been eating a lot due to the weather and I have discussed this with her grown up on collection so that they know. I do hope her parents do t think I'm trying to save money!

If you were so concerned you should have sent a pack up or a meal ti warm up for your child. Personally I'd have flagged it up and had a discussion about the situation.

However, I also know as a CM these issues sometimes only surface when parents are made to pay what they owe and then they grasp at straws and criticise the service that they were more than happy to pay for before.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 17:55:28


The HPA guidelines clearly state that there are certain illnesses that need to be informed to parents. Open your mind and be sensible and FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES! For diarrhoea yes, you should be honest and clear or else you are putting the child in DANGER! If your gynaecological problems prove that it harms children then you are obligated to inform parents! If it doesn't then you have to keep it to yourself and call in sick. It will however be good to inform parents about the nature of illness and not the ones that are in the list outlined by HPA.

But she did?
But you seemed to want a certificate to say she was fit to retrn to work or something?
EVERYONE on this thread is saying you are making no sense. Take a step back. Think.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 17:59:52


The loss of weight showed this, this was confirmed by GP!

No weight loss does not automatically mean you are being starved by a childminder. It really doesn't.
The GP may have confirmed weight loss. I find it vry very difficult to imagine that they confirmed it was down to the CM withholding food.

Explain to me in very simple terms how weight loss =- food withheld by childminder.

I am losing weight. My childminder is definitely not withholding my food.

Actually you know what.

Withhold food from the bridge dweller.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:02:33


If the CM does not provide notification of fit to work, how well are you convinced that he/she is fit to work and provide a safe environment for the child? Nurseries in general provide a notification after outbreak and return to work

Well people have asked about the exact events below but you've not answered.

So she contacted you on day 1 to say I'm sick?
Then what?

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:15:57


She said that she had diarrhoea and couldn't work. This continued for couple of days then there was no communication. We held our child back for a day on Monday hoping to get a clearance. we sought clearance about her fit to work instead of giving clearance she cancels the contract and asks money.

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 18:19:34

We certainly DO NOT have to inform parents of the nature of any illness. With D and V I would just say I will be off sick for at least 2 days , I'll keep you informed.
I'm fascinated as to which gynae problems might put my mindees in danger.
The CM saying thet are fit to work is the guarantee that they are fit to work.
Did you really expect a note from her doctor??

moogy1a Fri 19-Jul-13 18:20:40

How long did she care for your dc for? Anything over 3 days with your attitude and I think she deserves a medal

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:35:30

Well whatever is the case, the CM got her lesson, and trust me I will be following up with agencies. Those who sympathise with my CM are disgraceful putting children at risk. I advise parents to watch out and be careful.

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 19-Jul-13 18:41:02

Oh do shut up OP.

I'd have given you notice too for being an absolute pain in the bum.

Is that what happened and you started inventing stuff to try to get your CM in trouble?

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:48:00


If you are having problems then you need not respond in this blog and get a life!

Some people learn the lessons the hard way

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 19-Jul-13 18:52:35

You are the one with the problem.

jagcv4 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:54:54

My problems have been resolved and my child is safe

Thank you!

clam Fri 19-Jul-13 19:03:41

I am not a child-minder, nor have I ever used one, so I have no bias here.
I wonder if, despite being British, English is not your first language? The CM did not, as I see it, "learn a lesson the hard way." I imagine she's thanking the heavens above that she found a way to get rid of you.

And I repeat what others have said, a GP confirming a child has lost weight (although I'm not sure why you needed it confirmed when you could have just stood him on the scales) is not at all the same thing as them confirming that your CM has been withholding meals and falsifying reports. Maybe your ds had some sort of issue that means he ate normally, yet lost weight. Why automatically start hurling accusations at the CM?

Delayingtactic Fri 19-Jul-13 19:05:15

Marypoppins your comment about the biscuit made me spit tea on myself!

OP seriously you need to unwind. No doubt you had a bad experience with this particular CM. but you do sound very much like you are tarring all CMs with the same brush.

My CMs are wonderful and annoyingly my DS eats more variety with them than with me. I can't imagine the person who'd be so cold hearted as to starve a child would otherwise look after them well enough so that they wouldn't display other signs (refusing to go to the CM being the first one to spring to mind, being ravenously hungry and tearful when picked up etc).

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 19-Jul-13 19:15:28

Glad to be of service wink

Moxiegirl Fri 19-Jul-13 19:15:46

How the hell could a child be starved and lose weight when they only spend daytime with the cm.
Surely the child would have stuffed his face in the evening in that case? Breakfast?
I bet she was glad to be shot of you! grin

lovelynannytobe Fri 19-Jul-13 20:39:33

I suspect all this is about money. The CM gave notice and OP didn't want to send the child during the notice period and she didn't want to pay up. OP then invented some allegations. She is upset the childminder got rid of her (just looking through your posts I don't blame her) so she's stirring it all. Be very careful OP because you may end up back in court this time for slander.

Borntobeamum Fri 19-Jul-13 20:40:11

Op - I'm highly offended by your remarks.
You now have no place to be here.
Therefore I suggest you disappear to the back end of still not far enough and never darken our doorstep again.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 19-Jul-13 20:49:29

Just an idea- is it possible the CMer was very active with her mindees, out and about everyday, getting them loads of excercise and the weight gain since your wife took over care is because she perhaps isnt as active?

Forresitters Fri 19-Jul-13 22:02:37

It is unfortunate that you have had this experience but not all childminders are the same.
You should refrain from gossip within the neighbourhood or anywhere else as your ex CM could sue you for defamation of character if she has lost business as a result.
If she is as you describe her to be, it won't be long before the truth comes out.

fivesacrowd Sat 20-Jul-13 16:12:53

Ha! Imnotbloody14 that's what I was thinking too. My mindees spend all day out and about, playing and having fun, burning off lots of calories, in the same way that my own dc lose weight in the summer as they are more active than in term time. I'm not starving anyone, children's weight fluctuates and surely if the weightloss was so severe it warranted a trip to dr then GP would look for medical reasons and not put it down to all cm routinely starving children (unless of course the parents were quizzed about unexplained weight loss and decided to try to pass the buck). Glad your dc is ok OP but please stop spouting this rubbish on here cos quite frankly its getting boring now.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:03:26

Exactly. Also, my dcs (and myself too actually) eat far less in summer months than winter, firstly because we are usually out of the house more and so dont eat out of boredom blush or to keep warm but also because its so warm we dont feel like eating.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sun 21-Jul-13 15:31:19

<lucky escape for OP's CM>

fivesacrowd Sun 21-Jul-13 22:20:20

Shame though that he's so determined to ruin her reputation.

fivesacrowd Sun 21-Jul-13 22:22:40

And the reputation of every cm. Since we are all starving children to save money apparently shock

MGMidget Fri 26-Jul-13 12:22:31

Sorry to hear OP that you had this bad experience and your wife felt she had to give up work. The sickness thing is odd. In my view the childminder ought to have communicated with you when she was ready to take children back. Otherwise you would have had to turn up each day with your child or call each day to see if she would take them. No doubt you were organising alternative care so you and your wife could get to work so you need to be kept informed by your childminder.

Regarding the weight loss, the fact that your child has now gained weight in your wife's care indicates to me that the childminder in question was the wrong solution for your child regardless of whether there was deliberate withholding of food. I hope you find the confidence to try again with alternative childcare, whether its another childminder or a different solution. I think you've been unlucky. Now, at least, your radar is up and you will be especially choosy next time.

Childcareisscary Fri 26-Jul-13 19:20:44

OP I'm sorry you went through this experience and your son lost weight. You know deep down in your heart that it's extremely unlikely that it was due to your childminder but she upset you and you are out to get her any way you can. I'm a childminder who's giving up and I adore my kids and their families. I will spend a decent amount of time ensuring they eat and if they regularly fail to eat I work with my parents to improve this. I think communication between yourself and mindee were not good to begin with, because if my mindees are 15min late I txt to check and the childminders I've used for my dc always let me know as soon as they were available.

I hope you can understand that this woman may have made an error and been greedy . No excuses there, but were you worried about malnutrition before or after the case. I'm not saying this to criticise you as a parent. My child is the most precious thing in my life, but is an unnecessary vendetta against her going to help anyone?

Gluggy Wed 31-Jul-13 15:31:10

I find all this very interesting and the OP should be careful that they are not sued for libel. The details given could be linked as they have been very specific.

I have experience of being a CM involved in small claims court proceedings and rather than it being the greed of the CM it tends to be the greed of the parent. As the defendant in this claim I think the OP is very lucky to have got off with paying so little and is perturbed with the CM having the audacity to sue him in the first place. That will be why he is so furious at ALL CM's.

Rather than this child having been looked after by a poor CM I believe from what has been said that the child was looked after by poor parents instead. You OP are looking for a scapegoat and I am fully supportive of the CM's on here who have stood up to you and your insulting ways.

All CM's be aware that parents can turn on you......

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 04-Aug-13 22:38:34

My CM is a goddess who very apologetically informed us that she needed to provide bigger snacks as the kids were so active.

cory Wed 07-Aug-13 21:02:48

I am seriously trying to work out how you would know when the CM was free from her diarrhoea except by her telling you so.

Even if she produced a doctor's note, that would be simply the doctor writing down what the woman had told him, non?

Or does the OP believe the GP would be following the CM around to check how often she went to the toilet and inspect her stools?

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