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childminder charging for bank holidays even though she won't work them?

(62 Posts)
redundant Thu 28-Mar-13 20:10:25

as above really. I'm a bit gobsmacked. Is this common?

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 29-Mar-13 11:11:49

this comes up time and time again

i ALWAYS read everything i sign my name to-i dont get how so many parents sign a contract then bring something up in it months later

do you not read it properly before signing?

mamamaisie Fri 29-Mar-13 11:23:09

Sometimes childminders charge for bank holidays and/or their own holidays because there is pressure from parents to keep hourly rates as low as possible. Imagine if there are a few childminders in the area charging for bank holidays and one who does not. The one who doesn't charge needs to build this into her hourly rate and parents will see her as being more expensive. Lots of parents simply call around and find the childminder with the lowest hourly rate. It can be a pretty difficult decision for each of us to make. confused

badguider Fri 29-Mar-13 11:39:32

I suspect the OP is self-employed, as I am.

PERSONALLY I would prefer a higher hourly or daily rate but only to pay when the service is open. This is because I only earn when I work and therefore the calculations are far easier if I am only paying when I have the service.

BUT, i do appreciate that this isn't the case for the vast majority of people who are employed and either salaried or at least get paid holiday. So I see why CMs structure their fees as they do... but it's pretty tricky for self-employed people to work out - our income varies as it is but now we have to work out days we are earning when we pay childcare, days we are not earning and don't pay chilcare (we're looking after our own chlidren) and ALSO days when we ARE paying for childcare BUT cannot earn as the childcare provider is closed.

As I said though, I appreciate us S-E people are the minority.

MUM2BLESS Fri 29-Mar-13 16:34:06

Some cm charge for bh even though they dont work them.

I dont charge if not worked. If I did it would be a higher rate. I have not worked one as yet.

If someone chooses my service I offer them a good package. Each cm differs as our circumstances are not the same.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 29-Mar-13 17:15:16

OP it will only 'sour the relationship' for people who don't read the contract. Hopefully these parents are in the minority.

If you read the contract before you sign it and send your children to the childminder there is no relationship to be soured. If it sours your feelings you find a different childminder before any relationship is formed. If it seems fair, you send your child there, knowing what will happen on a bank holiday and there is no need for you to feel sour when it happens.

Any 'souring' is due entirely to you not reading the contract.

Goldmandra Fri 29-Mar-13 18:04:54

OP it will only 'sour the relationship' for people who don't read the contract. Hopefully these parents are in the minority.

One could suggest that, knowing that this is a contentious issue between childminders and parents, the childminder also has a responsibility to be up-front about it and point the matter out to parents when discussing terms. Contracts can be lengthy and complicated and it wouldn't be too difficult for a parent to miss this by accident.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 29-Mar-13 18:22:41

I agree it would be best to flag this up, but I guess if it's a policy the childminder has used/is using successfully then for her it isn't a contentious issue. If she's had loads of complaints in the past she'd know it was unpopular and bring attention to it. If all the other parents are OK with it, how is she to know that the OP would a. not read the contract, b. find the relationship soured because of it?

Goldmandra Fri 29-Mar-13 18:27:27

I read all the important point of a contract out to parents anyway to make sure they understand what they are signing and give them an opportunity to voice any concerns. I don't need to see something as a contentious issue to flag it up. I make my terms very explicit from the outset.

Clearly you would discuss whether holidays are paid or not so if you don't raise bank holidays in those discussions, don't include them in the childminder's agreed paid leave and are not going to be willing to work them you are highly likely to find some parents aren't happy.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 29-Mar-13 19:14:39

'I read all the important point of a contract out to parents anyway to make sure they understand what they are signing and give them an opportunity to voice any concerns. I don't need to see something as a contentious issue to flag it up. I make my terms very explicit from the outset.'

Well done you grin

Goldmandra Fri 29-Mar-13 19:24:09

Surely that's normal reasonable practice?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 29-Mar-13 19:26:02

Well done you for engaging in normal reasonable practice....

Is that better?

Goldmandra Fri 29-Mar-13 19:49:58

I'm glad you are so impressed by my excellent practice! grin

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 29-Mar-13 19:51:08


LucieLucie Fri 29-Mar-13 20:23:39

The contract is supposed to be negotiated on agreement between cm and parent. All terms and conditions should have been discussed and her availability and terms and conditions SHOULD be in her policies.

I didn't ever charge unless I was available as I thought it was cheeky, however many of my cm colleagues did and they also charge half fees for their own holidays.

Bottom line is that she should have got your agreement on this before letting you take the space. I would suggest a discussion to clear the air, she may well review it if she wants to keep you happy.

nokidshere Fri 29-Mar-13 23:57:31

I agree Goldmandra!

I go through the contract fully - holidays, bank holidays, sickness - everything fully before it is signed. I dont want parents who dont agree with my practice because it upsets the equilibrium of my home.

I would be more than a bit miffed if a parent signed the contract then started complaining about parts of it.

willowstar Tue 30-Apr-13 19:52:58

I have just come to this thread because I have been charged for bank holidays. I read my contract and she ticked 'I am not available to work bank holidays' so it just never crossed my mind she would charge for them. I have 2 children there and am making very little money as it is, just very difficult to swallow. My husband is self employed works round the clock and we are struggling, just feeling mighty pissed off about it!

Mintyy Tue 30-Apr-13 20:01:00

Op, how much do you earn per hour and how much do you pay your childminder per hour?

lechatnoir Tue 30-Apr-13 20:48:28

I charge for BH if a child's day falls on them & if they want to use my services they have to pay half again as I charge 1.5x normal rate for them.

It's all well & good saying factor in to your normal rate but I'd say 90% of people making initial enquiries want to know my hourly rate & if I put it up more than my competitors to make up for not charging for BH, I wouldn't get any business! I also charge full fee for 4 weeks annual leave otherwise I couldn't afford to take any & wouldn't last long without a break all year so don't feel bad about it. I've probably lost a few enquiries because of my BH / annual leave charging policy but am full with a waiting list so clearly must be doing something right grin

Fuckwittery Tue 30-Apr-13 20:52:01

pretty standard, I've had 3 childminders. I asked my Cm to work one bank hol and she charged double pay for working BH.

Akasa Tue 30-Apr-13 23:02:09

As a childminder, I charge my normal rate on Bank Holidays but my contracts stipulate that service is not available. I know that people question how a charge can be levied when there is no service but it depends how you write your contracts - more and more C/Ms are contracting some paid leave - I personally don't build in paid leave but have always had paid bank holidays - it is certainly a growing trend. In more than 10 years I have never once had a parent make a negative comment about paying for Bank Holidays if they fall on their contracted days. This is a classic case of caveat emptor - I write my contracts myself but "walk through" them with prospective parents section by section so there are no hidden surprises. If a prospective parent is uncomfortable with what I am proposing then I need to ensure they know everything at the outset.

DuelingFanjo Tue 30-Apr-13 23:07:22

This is a standard thing in nurseries isn't it. I get paid for my bank holidays in work but then spend it on the nursery even though ds can't go in because it's closed. Pretty normal I think?

ThePendant Tue 30-Apr-13 23:13:37

My cm doesn't charge for BHs.

But I pay her anyway because I love her to bits and it seems a nice way of saying thank you for putting up with my foul children smile

Stoney666 Wed 01-May-13 09:14:34

I charge
Always have done (over 12 years)
It's all in paperwork before they even come to visit me
Nobody has ever had a problem
I charge for my holidays to grin

longjane Wed 01-May-13 09:58:19

what get me it is is the SE people that are moaning
because surely
they are used to reading and writing contacts
and negotiating them

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 01-May-13 15:45:26

Willow - does it say in your contract beside the ' I don't work bh' that she still charges

Or does it say anywhere in the contract? Even in very tiny smallprint?

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