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Reducing childminder hours but still expected to pay?

(135 Posts)
motherofboys10 Thu 18-Apr-19 13:57:29

My two boys go to a lovely childminder, with the youngest going three full days a week. We would like to start him at pre-school (the same as his older brother) once a week, so we have raised the topic with the childminder. She has said that she would expect us to still pay her for that day, even though she won't be having him. There would be no wraparound hours, and we wont expect her to have him that day during the holidays, its just a (what I thought) relatively simple case of dropping a day. She says she can't afford to drop a day, and won't be able to fill it, as she will only be able to offer out a two day slot to another family (she currently already has one day free). My argument is - why is that my problem? She is suggesting that unless we agree to pay her for that day (which we won't ever use), we will have to pull the boys out altogether. Now I appreciate that this is her business and her rules. But we made our school choice based on the fact that she only does drop off and pick up at that one school (which is next to the pre-school). It wasn't the best school we saw, but it was good, and made most sense for making our lives easier. Now if we pull them out of her care, that decision seems pointless. We could have picked a BETTER school, and found a new childminder. Am I being unreasonable?? What would you do? I just can't bear the thought of paying for an extra day of childcare that we wont use!

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Thu 18-Apr-19 14:01:54

I can see both sides of this but if she cannot find someone to fill the one day slot then she is within her rights to ask you to remove your DC do she can offer the whole slot to another family.
While you think this isn't your problem, equally she could say the choices you made wrt schools isn't her problem.
But if you do end up paying for that day, you should use it in the holidays or when it suits you and keep an eye on the situation so that she doesn't ever use your slot for someone else and still charge you. If you pay for it, you have the right to use it.

KateyKube Thu 18-Apr-19 14:02:26

I’d call her bluff and pull your kids out completely. Switch schools if you’re going with a different childminder. I certainly wouldn’t pay for childcare I’m not using.

Pigpogtastic Thu 18-Apr-19 14:02:51

I would find a different childminder. Can he go to the pre-school more than one day a week? I would have thought doing a couple of days at preschool would be better anyway, one day isn’t a lot to nicely settle into it. It might just be a bit too much change.

ScrewyMcScrewup Thu 18-Apr-19 14:03:30

She's being unreasonable but all you can do is pay or risk having to find new childcare. It was very short sighted of you to choose a school for that reason but what's done is done.

Personally I'd rather remove them than pay an unfair fee.

Chickychoccyegg Thu 18-Apr-19 14:04:46

She's chancing her luck, you are perfectly entitled to drop a day if its no longer required, just as she is entitled to say she can no longer accommodate your dc, but absolutely do not pay for a day your not going to use, she is very cheeky suggesting this!

Waveysnail Thu 18-Apr-19 14:04:57

Her business, her choice

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Thu 18-Apr-19 14:05:27

Also could you easily find another childminder? In some areas spaces are limited and the cm gets to set stricter terms than they might in a more competitive environment. OTOH, if she works in an area with lots of childcare options she might find it hard to fill the whole slot if you withdraw your kids. It is a risk for you to call her bluff though.
Ultimately though she is self employed and you are choosing to use her service which puts you at a disadvantage.

bridgetreilly Thu 18-Apr-19 14:06:53

I don't really understand why you picked her because she does drop off/pick up at that school but you don't want her to actually do that for your son when he starts there?

Mistlewoeandwhine Thu 18-Apr-19 14:08:12

You’re asking her to lower her income which isn’t fair on her.

Gottalovesummer Thu 18-Apr-19 14:08:33

As a cm I find this a bit odd.

We are used to children dropping days in order to start pre school. Have you given sufficient notice? Do you have a contract?

It can be hard for cm's to fill odd days when children leave, but I have never heard of anyone charging when a child does not ever attend on a particular day.

If she won't budge, then give her your notice to leave and either find another cm or increase your hours at pre school.

AryaStarkWolf Thu 18-Apr-19 14:09:33

She's not BU, she's running a business, it's not her fault you chose a school based on her, that's your own fault. Obviously you wouldn't BU either to find a new Childminder

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Thu 18-Apr-19 14:09:36

I'm not certain she is chancing her arm though. Often cm charge for whole hours because they cannot fill part hours. This is just an extension of that. I mean, if you drop a Monday, for example, she might struggle to get a family who just want that day, but if she can offer Mon - Wed it improves her chances. Maybe she genuinely can't afford the pay cut.
Nurseries charge for days they are not open do I think maybe this is just one of the things that happens with childcare.

Margot33 Thu 18-Apr-19 14:26:15

This seems strange as most cm local to me require a month's notice to stop a day. I don't understand why you have to pay this day... forever?! Thats crazy. Is she going to say the same whenthe eldest starts school full time?! Just find someone else and pull them both out.

Numsitout Thu 18-Apr-19 14:28:14

All the CMs I've spoken to have said 1 month (or 4 weeks) notice to add/drop days. Not one expected me to pay for a day I don't use! It's cheeky of her to ask, and it'd leave me with a bad enough taste that I'd want to look for another CM anyway.

Yabbers Thu 18-Apr-19 14:29:22

I’m in a similar situation with after school club, but the important difference is, I need to keep the space as we may well need it later. No way would I pay if I was dropping it permanently.

NotFatTransslender Thu 18-Apr-19 14:31:11

I can't believe you chose your children's school based on something so flimsy. YABU to blame her for the fact that your DCs don't go to the best school you could have chosen for them.

As it stands, you've tied yourselves to her services so you'll have to suck it up. Her business, her rules.

Acis Thu 18-Apr-19 14:32:49

I think she could argue that the difficulty with filling one day is down to you, because had she known you might do this she would have said no to you and taken other children whose parents wouldn't have left her in this position. Also that it is your choice to send your child to pre-school only one day a week rather than two.

Unless there is a surplus of good childminders in your area, I'd suggest you accept this but on the footing that (a) if she does manage to get someone for the other day she will stop charging you; (b) if you need her to have your child on the relevant day for any reason she will; and (c) if or when your child moves to preschool two or more days a week this can be revisited.

ourkidmolly Thu 18-Apr-19 14:34:26

You're absolutely bonkers to base your children's school around a childminder. What if they stopped childminding? Or terminated contracts, or moved? I can't believe you'd choose a less good school for your children on that basis. Bizarre.

EssentialHummus Thu 18-Apr-19 14:36:24

I don't think she's saying "Pay for this day forever". I think it's "I only accept [three] days minimum, so even if you don't use the Monday you need to pay the equivalent of three days". Same effect but a bit different.

churchthecat Thu 18-Apr-19 14:37:31

It's because she took your boys on on the basis that she would be taking £X amount, but she will be losing money but still not able to fill the space he is leaving.

Whereas if you removed them both she could re-fill their places so as to not lose money.

It's kind of understandable.

ThatssomebadhatHarry Thu 18-Apr-19 14:41:25

Sorry but Yabu. Childminder would struggle to fill the space so she is entitled to say pay or remove the child completely.

stucknoue Thu 18-Apr-19 14:41:34

She's being unreasonable. You need to say you are dropping one session with notice (usually 1-2 months) otherwise you need to find a new childminder

wonderingsoul Thu 18-Apr-19 14:46:15

I'd would say I'd pay a months notice. But you wont be paying after that.

mrsm43s Thu 18-Apr-19 14:59:10

She has a 3 day minimum.

Perfectly reasonable business decision.

You can find another childminder if it doesn't suit.

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