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I am being walked all over here..

(14 Posts)
MaryPoppinsMagic Wed 28-Sep-11 20:18:41

So i have allowed myself to be walked over.. I have just registered as a childminder and have had 2 parents lined up for a few weeks, i have been to soft and i don't know how to get out of it!

Parent 1 - the college are paying me for the childcare, they apparently pay at the start of each term so i have had to figure out the childcare costs for the rest of the school term - fine done.

the problem is, one of the children has learning difficulties so the school cannot confirm when they are taking him on full time - the college are saying they are with holding my payment until it is confirmed what hours, this is no good to me as i need to be paid for the hours i work and not 'wait and see'

they basically want me to work for nothing for this term and pay at the end of it! urmmm no?! but stupid me because i need the kids to mind i say 'ok then' How do i solve this?!

Parent 2 - Firstly wanted me to pick her son up from school and drive him home (10 miles) to his grandparents house every day, i said i cannot do this because i have other children to consider, then she wanted me to look after her son after school for 2.5 hours, on investigation i have found most if not all CM's charge full hours and not half hours, but i have already given her the costs worked out based on the half hours, i told parent i require a month upfront and she said ok and then...

I am supposed to be starting with this child from monday and tonight the parent has said she wants to pay me weekly by cheque!! I do not want to accept cheques as it means a treck into town and waiting for it to clear while i mind her child!

she then tells me tonight her son may be getting transferred to another school in a few weeks, i told her my contracts require 4 weeks notice but i will do 1 week notice contract on this occassion, so basically i am a stop gap..

AIBU to feel a little walked over? how can i avoid this in future? i am so stressed worrying about money and trying to work out when i will get anything! Popping this into AIBU aswell!

IsItMeOr Wed 28-Sep-11 21:07:49

Not a CM, but a parent.

First of all, you're just getting started, so while these arrangements aren't ideal, they will at least enable you to do some "real" childminding. Make your mistakes with Parent 2's stop-gap child and then get it all right for your proper mindees wink.

Parent 2 is easiest - I would expect you to tell me how you want to be paid. So, how do you want to be paid? If cheques aren't acceptable to you, why can't you just say so?

Parent 1, I think you just have to go back and say that you can't work for x weeks without getting any payment. Explain what your usual terms are, and any flexibility you could offer. Are you prepared to lose this mindee?

I think its difficult as you say when you start out and you bend over backwards to get the work and get some "references/good feedback" as well. You will learn as you go along.

With regards to situation 1 I would work out costs based on hrs you have been asked to do (max amount) and invoice the parent who can then pass it onto the nursery and inform the parent you will require a mth payment in advance otherwise you cant have the child.

Situation 2 I would say to the parent you will require 1wk notice as thats what you have now agreed however cheque is not a payment option she must pay in advance and either in cash/bank transfer or childcare vouchers.

Keep advertising for work you will find some good mindees/families - have you tried

FootballFriendSays Wed 28-Sep-11 21:56:42

Can't you just send the cheques to the bank by post, why is it such a big deal?

MaryPoppinsMagic Thu 29-Sep-11 08:05:11


The child is due to start on monday coming.

If I accept a cheque it takes 5-7 days for it to clear in my account, most if not all cm's ask for the payment upfront before the child starts.

If I accept the cheque. Do a weeks work while I wait for it to clear then the cheque bounces and the parent decides not to use me anymore, I am out of pocket then you see?

That's why its such a big deal

MaryPoppinsMagic Thu 29-Sep-11 08:05:11


The child is due to start on monday coming.

If I accept a cheque it takes 5-7 days for it to clear in my account, most if not all cm's ask for the payment upfront before the child starts.

If I accept the cheque. Do a weeks work while I wait for it to clear then the cheque bounces and the parent decides not to use me anymore, I am out of pocket then you see?

That's why its such a big deal

IsItMeOr Thu 29-Sep-11 08:15:52

MaryP - definitely just tell the parent that you need the payment upfront. Either cash or transfer to bank. You could even point out that you're already being very flexible on your notice period. They're hardly a desirable client, are they?

MaryPoppinsMagic Thu 29-Sep-11 08:40:17

No they are proving to be quite difficult!

lesstalkmoreaction Thu 29-Sep-11 09:15:30

Most colleges pay after the parent has attended the course for 4 weeks and then every 4 weeks when you invoice. Its a pain but i've always got paid. Any other parents I always do 2 weeks in advance, I find it easier to keep on top of rather than every month or 4 weeks. I also wouldn't accept cheques but do ask for a transfer direct into my account this can either be done by them at home if they do online banking or they can go into their branch and ask them to make the payment. Weekly wouldn't bother me as they may be getting their tax credits weekly. I'm sure you'll get some better parents along soon its always difficult when you first start.

thebody Thu 29-Sep-11 10:48:13

poor you , we all start out soft but unfortunatly you get the usual non payer and then you toughen up.

FOOTBALL.. I dont accept cheques unless its from a tried and tested parent, certainly not a newbee as had to many bounce sky high..

never had experience with being paid by college but couldnt afford to be unpaid for 4 weeks though see above post, it can work.

parent 2, be very careful here, dont accept cheques, she sounds a user imo and may well move child to the new school and not pay for last week(i had this).. get her to pay weekly in advance if thats ok with you BUT make it cash .. she is going anyway so dont bother with direst debits. theres nothing you can do about the half hour, just that you will no better next time.

honestly we have all been there, next parent be polite, helpful but firm, your business your rules and you will get confident and find lovely parents.

WhoWhoWhoWho Fri 30-Sep-11 11:16:33

Chalk it up to experience.

For first mindee either take the risk that the college will pay you at the end of the term (have you been told this directly from the college??) or explain to the parent that unfortunately you cannot care for mindee for a whole term without payment and if you had known this was the situation from the start then you would have told them this. It is the college's miscommunication that has caused this, it's not your fault. OR suck it up, take the mindee and run the risk you won't get paid at the end of the term.

Mindee 2 sounds like they won't be with you long. If parent wants to pay you weekly in advance rather than monthly then say fine as a compromise but insist on cash rather than cheque.

Starting out cm'ing is a huge learning curve and I got much more confident as I went along and you will learn from your mistakes and will rewrite policies and change renewed or new contracts as you learn. grin

If a parent ever puts you on the spot you need to use the stock phrase of "I'll have to check on that, (or I'll have to have a think about that), I'll get back to you [insert appropriate time] and let you know if that's possible". Gives you time to think through decisions.

MaryPoppinsMagic Fri 30-Sep-11 17:02:39

Well, parent 2 reached a whole new level of taking the proverbial this evening!

After telling the mother that I can only accept cash and that they need to return the welcome pack before the child starts on monday!

Well tonight the father turns up..

No welcome pack and a cheque book. I told him nicely I can't accept cheques and I need the welcome pack before child starts on monday.

Not impressed by this whole situation to be honest.

thebody Fri 30-Sep-11 17:51:45


IsItMeOr Fri 30-Sep-11 22:23:39

Well done for standing your ground MaryP!

They sound like rubbish clients to me. I am continually amazed at how little some people seem to respect other people's needs in these kinds of ways. (Gets off soapbox).

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