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To be worried about not getting my money!!!

(45 Posts)
MaryPoppinsMagic Sat 08-Oct-11 10:22:47

I have just started out as a childminder and have taken on a parent with 2 children, one is at school + one is 2. The parent is at college and the college are paying for the childcare costs.

There has been a few complications with regards to the eldest childs school hours, (he has autism so is not going full time just yet) the college said they would only pay for 1 month of the child being part time at college after that the parent needs to cover the shortfall. Parent cannot afford this as is at college etc etc. So i have been going backwards and forward with the college to get the money i am supposed to be paid, i was told by the college that they pay childcare termly so i was supposed to get paid from October - December on the 3rd October.

Being told i would be getting every 3 months (termly) i re-arranged my bills and rent payment to pay in line with when i get money, as this is my first job as a childminder i felt this would be the right way to do it,

Anyway, On the 3rd the college only paid me for the month of October with no communication as to why they had not paid up to December, i managed to get through to the person who deals with it and she advised that i would get the rest of the payment this thursday (6th) as they needed to get it agreed for the hours however would let me know if there was any problems, so i went ahead and made a budget on what money i had already and paid some bills which i was behind on (i have been out of work for a while) then yesterday comes and there is still no money in my account so i called the college to be told the invoice had not been put through as there was still a problem with child 1's hours at school.

After a lot of being fobbed off i got a call from the 'finance manager' she proceeded to be really really rude to me, telling me i should manage my money better, calling me a liar that the person had never told me i would get the payment this week, i came off the phone in tears.

i seriously dont know what to do about all this, i sure as hell know i dont want to be going through this stress all the time! what can i do?

RedHelenB Sat 08-Oct-11 10:27:24

Maybe you shouldn't have this child if there is a doubt you will be paid. In a way I can see the colleges point, in most jobs you don't get paid 3 months in advance!!

ElsieMc Sat 08-Oct-11 10:32:26

Is your contract with the mother or the college? This is an unworkable situation for you, how would the "account manager" like having her salary withheld for a couple of months. Horrible woman.

Basically you are, at the moment, looking after these children for nothing but because you are conscientious and do not wish to offend you are struggling on. You need to speak to the mother, tell her you cannot manage without payment and ask her to pay you or else you simply cannot carry on. Explain how rude and difficult the college have been with you.

You cannot put up with this uncertainty. Although you may feel sympathetic toward her, which is only natural, you are offering a service, not being paid, and are struggling.

FabbyChic Sat 08-Oct-11 10:32:38

Cease to look after the children you need to be paid, its rubbish that you arent.

Find other children whereby the parents can afford to pay.

pippilongsmurfing Sat 08-Oct-11 10:35:43

Regardless of being paid in advance or whatever I'd clarify exactly how many hours the college was going to pay for child 1. Otherwise you could end up having looked after him for more hours than they will pay.

Did you not check all this out before agreeing to take them? It all sounds very complicated.

Shutupanddrive Sat 08-Oct-11 10:36:44

I don't understand why it is up to you to sort the payment out? I would expect the parent to do it, and deal with the college. You should not be out of pocket because of this arrangement. I would ask the parent to sort it out, and tell them you will not be working for nothing!

pippilongsmurfing Sat 08-Oct-11 10:36:53

Agree with Elsie, you need to sort this out otherwise you are just going to be worrying about it allthe time.

Oakmaiden Sat 08-Oct-11 10:39:15

I can't really see the problem? You have been paid for this month, which is fair - there is no real reason why you should be paid for next month yet. And if you don't get paid for that in good time then stop childminding for them.

Oggy Sat 08-Oct-11 10:39:32

"In a way I can see the colleges point, in most jobs you don't get paid 3 months in advance!!"

I would agree except that (from what I gather) it was the college that wanted to do the whole 3 months in advance, not the OP who was expecting originally to invoice monthly in advance which is completley standard for childcare (CM or nursery)

MaryPoppinsMagic Sat 08-Oct-11 11:50:01

When i took the parent on she did not tell me that the payment was coming from the college until around a week before they were due to start with me.

i would much rather have the money on a monthly basis, that way like every normal person i could pay my bills once a month.

If someone said to you x amount of money will be paid on this date you would budget around having x amount of money. Yes i have been paid for October however when told i would get all of it i budgeted and am now left short by it.

My contract is with the mother, i really don't want this stress i was in tears over it last night and today i just feel so deflated by being a childminder!

Shutupanddrive Sat 08-Oct-11 12:34:34

If the contract is with the mother she should be sorting out the payment! And if your not paid on time then she should pay you even if it means she is left short herself. I would speak to the mother and say that you expect to be paid on time, or you won't be looking after her child. It's her problem not yours, let her sort it out.

notabankersmum Sat 08-Oct-11 14:10:40

It is not within your role to call for payment from the college, it's up to the parent to ensure the invoices are paid on time.

I would not continue to care for this child - if this is the setup that's been arranged from the onset, it's only going to get worse.

I think you maybe need to gather up a plan of action for taking on more work in future - you need to set out very clear, black and white guidelines/rules for each parent as to what is and is not expected.

There's being helpful, and there's taking the piss.

Your first customer is taking the piss. No other childminder I know would do what you've done - they'd simply warn that there's a problem with payment and potentially look to sever the contract (if there is one) for pre-booked childcare if it continued to cause problems. Everyone has muddles now and then - at our current CM (who we really use just for emergencies) I mucked up the payment the first time, but they let me know, and I got it fixed immediately, no harm done.

Put it this way: you're running a business. If you've spent 10 minutes on the phone to her college, that's running up business costs. It's also 10 minutes that you're working but receiving no more payment for it.

Imagine you childmind a couple more kids as your reputation grows. Where does your chasing and helpfulness end? By the time you realise where you are, you're spending 3 hrs out of every month on the phone, having to reclaim phonecall costs, and those are 3hrs you haven't been able to claim back in terms of income.

Seriously, nip this in the bud if you seriously want to continue to childmind - you need to deal with this much more professionally (meant in the nicest possible way).

fedupofnamechanging Sat 08-Oct-11 14:26:07

When I was a CM, I got paid by the parent every week. I set it up that way, so there was no chance of me doing a full months work and not being paid at the end. I also took a deposit from the parent at the start of the contract, again to protect myself if a parent ever became difficult about payment. The deposit was given back at the end of the contract, if I had been paid for all hours worked.

Agree with the other posters that it is the mother who should have been busting a gut to resolve this. What does your contract say about payment dates, because this should all have been decided before you began.

I'd be inclined to tell her that you expect to get paid on X date and if you are not, then you won't be providing child care. No excuses from her. For god's sake, don't work 3 months with no payment.

whathappenedtom Sat 08-Oct-11 14:34:25

I think you need to simplify the situation. The contract is between you and the mother not you and the college. The mother needs t nake sure you have your money on time or deal with as you would any other parent ie late paymeny fee, refuse to mind DCs ubtil paid, warining about paying on time - whatever you would do if this was a normal situation.

whathappenedtom Sat 08-Oct-11 14:35:41

I also think the mother has mislead you by not telling you the college will pay and not her. You can of course by sympathetic to her situation but that does not change the fact childminding is a job which you expect and should get paid for. smile

Birdsgottafly Sat 08-Oct-11 14:44:21

The collage has to pay the CM direct, as previously many parents were claiming the child care allowance and not handing it over. This is standard for some courses.

This is a lesson to be learned and quite usual when going into business for the first time.

In future, take a refundable payment or deposit from a parent in this situation.

Do you have a children to replace them with? If not then perhaps hang on.

Have i got this right, you have been paid in advance but for not as far in advance as you wanted?

A parent paying for CM won't give you three months in advance.

fourkids Sat 08-Oct-11 14:47:55

The college may well insist that they pay the CM direct, but any decent parent (client) would be doing the chasing to ensure their CM gets paid as promptly as possible, not the CM. this is ridiculous.

the college are paying on behalf of the parent and if the parent wants childcare she needs to pull her finger out. I would tell her so!

Birdsgottafly Sat 08-Oct-11 14:50:22

Fourkids- she has been paid for October, she wants three months because she re-arranged her bills, you cannot do that when you are self employed.

Andrewofgg Sat 08-Oct-11 14:50:40

Money up front and everything in writing. To quote from another thread now current "that was an expensive lesson".

Birdsgottafly Sat 08-Oct-11 14:52:52

Try walking into work and demanding you get paid until the end of December, it won't happen. The OP has had the money upfront, for October.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 08-Oct-11 14:53:04

She only rearranged her bills because this is the way the college works. It wasn't her decision.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 08-Oct-11 14:55:20

She was led to believe she would be getting 3 months in advance and having organised herself for that, the college hasn't done so, because it is in dispute over the funding generally for the child. OP could find herself doing the work and then the college could refuse to pay at all, which is why the mother should be guaranteeing the payment and sorting all this out so the OP knows where she stands.

Birdsgottafly Sat 08-Oct-11 15:01:08

Thats why i suggested a refundable deposit, but the OP can only go with what is in her contract, if she hasn't stated three months upfront, then she cannot ask for it, if she happens to get it, it is a bonus.

It was her decision to re-arrange her bills, but as i said it takes time to learn how to handle your finances when you are self employed, you cannot rely on your income, unless you have insurance that starts straight away in the event of illness (on the OP's part, or the OP's children), which it doesn't usually. You cannot guarantee being able to work.

MaryPoppinsMagic Sat 08-Oct-11 15:03:29

Not sure if i have not explained myself properly in my posts; but to clear up a few comments being made

- When i first spoke to the college they told me they pay termly which is roughly every 3 months. The asked me to invoice for October upto December.

- on this basis these children being my first and only mindees i have re-arranged bills payments & also the agreement with my landlord to pay my bills and rent termly (3 monthly) this is so i know i am always upto date with bills and rent.

- the college have now gone back on this and have only paid October, leaving me short of cash to pay my 3 monthly rent / bills etc

- i did NOT ask to be paid the way they are saying they do it, i wanted it to be monthly but they dont work like that.

My biggest problem here is being told i will get x amount of money on x date, and then it hasn't happened. i have budgetted based on what i have been advised will happen.

If you are told you are going to get x amount on x day you would arrange things based on what you have been advised you will get (unless you are in a comfortable financial position, of which i am not)

birdsgottafly not sure you have read it all properly?

RedHelenB Sat 08-Oct-11 15:07:23

I would still arrange my bills monthly because what if they stop using you?

I agree with the other posters, you need to work a month behind not three in front.

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