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Is it normal to pay your Childminder for weeks when they are on holiday?

(17 Posts)
kimberlina Fri 07-Oct-11 23:12:10

I'm just investigating getting a CM for the first time.

I've found a lovely lady, but the contract states that I pay her for 4 weeks when she is on holiday. So this basically means that I pay her yet have to find an alternative childcare for those weeks.

Is this the norm? Thanks

NotTheBlinkingGruffaloAgain Fri 07-Oct-11 23:22:14


LittleMissWoodscommaElle Fri 07-Oct-11 23:28:02

I woulkd say not.

childminders are self employed so not entitled to employment perks such as holiday pay.

however some do put it in their contracts. I peronslly would not use such a childminder. I am self employed as is dh. When we are not availble to offer our services, people don't pay us.

RitaMorgan Fri 07-Oct-11 23:30:43

It depends on the individual childminder's terms.

We pay half pay for up to 5 weeks for our CM's holiday, and also half pay for ours. When I was looking at CMs I met some who charged full pay for ours and nothing for theirs, or full pay for both.

littleacceb Fri 07-Oct-11 23:43:56

No. Childminders are self-employed and self-employed people do not have paid holiday. Obviously, it's completely discretionary, but generally, self-employed people factor in the costs of time off (holiday/sick) by charging higher rates than employees.

workshy Fri 07-Oct-11 23:50:20

my childminder has 2 paid weeks a year which are the same 2 weeks every year and as I know so far in advance then I usually take annual leave at the same time

any holiday I take I have to pay a 40% retainer up to a maximum of 4 weeks, anything above this I pay full amount so I think it balances out

if she can't have the kids because she is ill etc then I don't pay
if I don't send them because mine are ill, then I pay full amount

she is very up front about her fees and I think they are fair smile

HSMM Sat 08-Oct-11 07:20:05

As you have already seen, we are all different. I charge for my availability - full fees when parents on holiday, no fee when I am.

How much notice does she give of holiday?

FessaEst Sat 08-Oct-11 07:32:25

I would say this is normal/fair. Mine charges for 2 weeks holiday/year, and has the option of 2 weekss unpaid in the contract too (she's never used this yet). If she can't have DD because she is ill or at a funeral etc, then we don't pay, but if I choose to go away then we still have to pay.

Our CM has always given us plenty of notice of her holiday, so we just take ours at the same time. Some of my friends who use nurseries have to pay all year round - even when they're shut at Christmas! As long as it's in the contract and she's upfront about it, I think it is fair.

ChocolateCalculator Sat 08-Oct-11 07:37:24

You have to look at what she is charging you as a package. Our lovely childminder charges for her 4 weeks holiday a year, but her hourly rate is lower than average for our area, so over the year it works out the same. She prefers to have the consistent income and we prefer it too as we cover her holiday by taking holiday ourselves, so aren't paying for extra childcare.

kimberlina Sat 08-Oct-11 13:04:18

Thanks for the replies. She will give me the holiday dates a year at a time so in theory I could book my holiday at the same time. In reality, as DD is still preschool and her dates are all school holiday, I probably won't want to take my hols at that time .... but I suppose that is my personal preference.

She does seem really lovely, and a I feel so much happier about leaving my DD with her than any other CM I've met, I guess we just have to pay what she asks.

FessaEst Sat 08-Oct-11 13:25:01

I think if you have found someone you like, you have to go with it, unless it is v unreasonable. In truth, our CM holds all the cards as I would be so loath to move DD1 now, but luckily she hasn't exploited that fact (yet!)

nannynick Sat 08-Oct-11 14:11:13

I guess you are looking at the cost of childcare on a per-hour, per week, or per month basis.

Instead look at the cost over a year. That way you can compare different childcare providers, as every childcare provider will have different terms in the contract with regard to what happens if you take holiday, if they take holiday and what happens about bank/public holidays.

Your to-be-childminder is being upfront about the costs you will incur. This is a great start as you don't want to sign up to something to then later on find that there are costs you didn't know about.

If it is not clear what happens about Bank Holiday/Public Holidays do ask about those as well. Some childminders charge as per usual, others do not. So it's something you need to check.

You have met someone you like, that is a key point as it is often about the relationship between parent and childminder that makes it work. The relationship between child and childminder is also key, so does your DD like her?

electricalbanana Sun 09-Oct-11 22:15:03

i am porbably going to get a shouting at but hey ho

I dont charge for my hols or sickness but that is my choice. When i read (and i have been a bit of a lurker) about how child minders are self employed and shouldnt charge for holidays i get a little cross.

Yes...other self employed people dont charge for their holidays BUT they dont charge £3.50 an hour! (yes i know a cm has more than 1 child usually but i am yet to meet a cm who earns on average more than about £7 an hour after all expenses are taken off)

I bet most self employed will charge more than £15 a hour....and judging by the bloke who came to fix my boiler that was a very conservative amount.

so one makes parents sign up and at £3.50 an hour we give good service and care for your most precious things.

start shouting at me now

LittleMissWoodscommaElle Sun 09-Oct-11 22:19:48

Well for just over £4 per hour you can pay for nursery care where you don't pay if they are not open so I'm afraid I don;t buy that argument.

Parentsa are paying for a service and I wouod not have signed up for a contract where when it was not being provided I paid.

electricalbanana Sun 09-Oct-11 22:26:00

but thats it...OP and everyone else has a choice. No one is making them send children to CMs. I have used CMs, nannies and nurserys and there have been plusses and minuses with all of them.

and as you have said you are SE and i am sure your fees are a little higher than a cms. you have been able to factor in the fact you will have no income when you are on your holidays. a cm cant do that.

as i said i dont charge for my hols and illness. it goes against my feelings. But a repeat - no one is stood over parents making them sign the contracts.

LittleMissWoodscommaElle Sun 09-Oct-11 22:31:06

I don;t factor it into my fees (I run classes for children and dh teaches singing) I just try and find other work in the school holidays.

cat64 Sun 09-Oct-11 22:35:03

Message withdrawn

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