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to think I shouldn't pay extra to my childminder?

(24 Posts)
HappyGoLuckyGirl Tue 26-May-15 10:25:28

Background: My childcare provider charges £41.00 per day for my son's place. He attends full time.

Last week she was ill, so closed for the majority of the week. In total, he was in her care for 14 hours.

I asked for an invoice for last week so I could add it to this weeks payment and it appears she is trying to charge me for 2 days, an extra 4 hours which she didn't look after him.

I normally wouldn't quibble over a small sum of money but this hasn't been a one off. There have been several occasions where she has closed early, or shut for a day in the middle of week, so I think my willingness to be understanding is a little short at the minute. (I'm currently in the process of looking for a nursery for him).

Am I being petty and unreasonable? Should I just pay the extra and keep shtum? Already worried about what I am going to say when she asks why I'm moving him.

Theas18 Tue 26-May-15 10:26:55

What does your contract say. that's the key. I suspect you have to pay when she's illbut not if she just chooses not to work

Athenaviolet Tue 26-May-15 10:28:34

What does it say in your contract re: who pays when she's sick?

Because I wouldn't want animosity with someone who has sole care of my child all day I'd pay this but then casually say I think we need to go over the contract to clarify and get written down what happens under different scenarios.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Tue 26-May-15 10:32:27

She doesn't get paid when she is ill. This is why I'm hmm about it, as she is rightfully charging for when he was in her car but looks like she is charging for the full day, even though she finished early on two days due to her sickness. So effectively, 4 extra hours when she was closed.

Chunkymonkey79 Tue 26-May-15 10:37:11

It will depend on signed contract/agreement.

Though I don't think it's fair to expect parents to pay if childminders are sick.

Parents are left in a difficult situation at short notice where they may have to arrange alternative paid chil
It's part of running your own business, if you are unable to work and meet customers needs, you won't get paid.

Chunkymonkey79 Tue 26-May-15 10:41:24

Hit post too early by mistake. Retyped below:

What you HAVE to do will entirely depend on your signed contract/agreement.

Though personally I don't think it's fair to expect parents to pay for time if childminders are sick snd unable to work.

Parents are left in a difficult (though unavoidable) situation at short notice where they may have to arrange alternative paid childcare if no family/friends/neighbours can help. Why should they have to pay twice through no fault of their own?

It's a downside of running your own business, if you are unable to work and meet customers needs, you more than likely won't get paid.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Tue 26-May-15 10:42:00

I expect there is a clause that you pay for a full day even if you only get a half day for whatever reason.
If you're not happy with the childminder, you need to find someone else.

flowery Tue 26-May-15 10:42:24

Why not approach it on the basis that a mistake has been made? You obviously think it's deliberate and you may well be right, but why not go back to her very nicely saying thanks for the invoice but you think she might have made a mistake so could she check her records again, as by your reckoning she only had him for 14 hours. If she could send over a revised invoice that would be great.

Something like that. Gives her a chance to back down without confrontation or losing face.

AlternativeTentacles Tue 26-May-15 10:45:02

What does your contract say? We can't read it from here.

If it doesn't mention it then don't pay it.

Tanith Tue 26-May-15 10:53:58

Have you raised it at all with her?

From what you say, she isn't paid for sickness so wouldn't normally charge if she was ill. It sounds like it could just be an oversight.

I would query it, but don't assume she's done it deliberately.

I'd be more concerned about her overall reliability, but I understand you are already addressing that.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Tue 26-May-15 10:55:55

My contract says that no fee will be charged for periods of illness on the part of the childcare provider. No mention of half days/full days.

I'm thinking I might just pay it. Don't think I can be bothered with the confrontation and aggravation - especially as I will be removing him soon.

eyebags63 Tue 26-May-15 11:00:27

YANBU, either she has made an error or she is trying to rip you off. I hate this type of thing, she knows she has you in a difficult position and is taking advantage.

I would absolutely raise it with her and when you take him out of her care I would clearly explain that this was a factor too.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Tue 26-May-15 11:03:42

I've queried it with her, in a very polite 'perhaps there has been a mix up with another parent' way.

AlternativeTentacles Tue 26-May-15 11:03:49

Periods of illness can be in days or hours. Her fault if she isn't specific enough. Raise it with her.

Tanith Tue 26-May-15 11:05:22

I would expect a client to raise this with me so I could correct the error.

I would be really upset if they just left it and it caused bad feeling when I hadn't been given the chance to sort it out.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Tue 26-May-15 11:11:31

She said it's right. So she is fully expecting me to pay her for two early finishes due to her illness.

yellowdinosauragain Tue 26-May-15 11:15:34

If she's saying she's right I'd reply 'thanks for your quick response. You've invoiced me for 2 full days which is 18 hours. As you know, you finished 2 hours early each day due to illness and my contract with you clearly states that no fee is charged for periods of illness. I'd be grateful for a revised invoice and will arrange payment by return.'

Tanith Tue 26-May-15 11:19:46

Personally, I would not do this and I would not charge for those hours. I'd expect it to be challenged, but I appreciate you may not want the hassle if you're leaving.

Sounds like you're doing the right thing, making other arrangements.

AlternativeTentacles Tue 26-May-15 11:22:57

'no - it is wrong. You closed up due to sickness and as it states in your policy 'no fee will be charged for periods of illness on the part of the childcare provider'. The two hours each day were a period of sickness therefore you need to reduce your invoice accordingly'.

dreamingofsun Tue 26-May-15 11:25:01

agree removing him sounds like the best idea as she should be abiding by the contract. she doesn't sound terribly professional.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Tue 26-May-15 11:28:28

I've just said I will look it over tonight when I get there to pick him up.

Had this ballache with her when she went on holiday and told me I would need to pay extra. He attends 4 days, she wanted me to pay her for full 5 days, as it's her 'holiday pay'. She admitted it was a mistake, albeit once she came back from her hol.

Patapouf Tue 26-May-15 12:01:14

She sounds like a chancer, do not pay her for those extra hours as contractually you don't have to.

CrystalCove Tue 26-May-15 12:23:48

There is no "mistake" by the sounds of it, if it is in your contract which she has written herself that no fee is due for her sickness (which is usual with childminders) then no fee is due. As to what is going on - she is either trying it on or the other thing I can think about is you are getting a lower daily rate (because your child is there all day) than the number of hours times her hourly rate - so even though your child was there 2 hours less it might still be cheaper for you paying the daily rate! If thats the case she should have explained this to you however.

LoisEinhorn Tue 26-May-15 12:34:27

I'm a CM and I wouldn't pay it. Its in your contract that illnesses are not expected to be paid and that's exactly what she's charging you for

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