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Quick question ref CM charging during holidays

(6 Posts)
Rollergirl1 Wed 31-Aug-11 13:46:55

Just want to work out what other CM's would do in this situation. I have a CM that took over from my previous CM on exactly the same terms as my previous CM. I haven't signed a contract with her just yet so our agreement is purely verbal at the moment. CM charges a 50% retainer during holidays when my children are not with her. This is all fine.

I had informed CM of the dates of our 2 week summer holiday a month before. However I did tell her that we were planning to book something last minute so the commencing date of the holiday may start a few days later depending on availability. She said that was fine and she could slip the dates by a few days if need be. I said to her that if she had interest from other parties than I didn't expect her to have to factor any possible slippage in. So anyway, we booked our holiday and the dates did infact slip by a few days. This meant that I had a few days spare at the beginning of the 2 weeks when we should have been away and then that we were still on holiday for the days of the following 3rd week that the children should have been with her. I informed her of this as soon as I knew. So basically she had 2 weeks notice that the children wouldn't be coming to her for the 3rd week. I also asked if she would rather have the kids for the 1st week instead. She said no as she'd already arranged other things for those days. Fair enough.

Anyway, now she has billed me and she is charging me a full weeks childcare costs for the 3rd week where as I was only expecting to pay the retainer. I don't know if this is a mistake on her part or if she is charging me because it was very short notice. We haven't discussed what notice she needs for holidays and whether she charges the full amount if I don't give her the required notice. And as I said above there isn't a signed contract in place at the moment. We have a good working relationship and I don't want to cause any awkardness over this. If this is the done thing then I am happy to pay. I just wanted to see what other CM's would do.

Thanking you.

joruth Wed 31-Aug-11 14:58:19

hi I am a CM and think the real problem here is that neither of you actually know what is expected by the other...for me, if I know there is some slippage and had agreed it I wouldn't charge the full rate but I am a pushover and have often ended up out of pocket for my 'lax' (I call it relaxed) attitude. Be straightforward and ask....then get a contract signed!! Then you won't have any awkwardness in the future.

leesax Wed 31-Aug-11 15:01:20

The problem you have is that you do not have a contract setting out the fees etc.

Really when the new cm took over you should have had a contract set up so you were all clear on the hours, notice, fees etc...
As a registered CM she should have known better than to work without a contract!!
It is for you to discuss really .... I work on the basis if I am available parents pay full fee ( e.g holiday, sickness etc) If I am not available no fee is expected ( so my holiday, my sickness etc).

By my way of working, then yes you should still have paid... but by hers she may consider allowing you the 50%. The thing is you need to also know what her notice period for holidays is... mine is 4 weeks, so if I did only ask for 50 % fee - as it was less than 4 weeks notice you would have still been expected to pay full fee.

As you do not have a contract it is a very grey area. I would discuss this with her and I would get a written contract in place asap!

squinker45 Wed 31-Aug-11 15:02:06

On my contracts there is 4 weeks notice on either side for days off, holidays etc or full price is charged. There is no 'standard' but this is fairly common I believe, so yes it's the done thing but you really ought to get a contract, for the sake of clarity.

Rollergirl1 Wed 31-Aug-11 15:15:55

I know that there should be a written agreed contract in place. There are reasons (that I am reluctant to go in to) as to why this hasn't happened to date. Needless to say there has been a lot of patience and understanding on my part, I feel. But it had been verbally agreed that we would work to the previous CM's contact terms in the meantime. Unfortunately this situation never arose with her so I don't know what she did.

leesax Thu 01-Sep-11 15:08:03

What did your old CM contract state about notice time for holidays ( if it is an NCMA contract it has it on the final page). If the notice period is more than 2 weeks then yes you need to pay full.

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