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CM with holding £900(9 Posts)
I feel lied to , let down and now ripped off.
We entrusted a local CM to care for our toddler. She collected him from our home, brought him to part time nursery and cared for him in the afternoons. On the first day she put him on a booster cushion without any support. When I raised this point with her she moved him to another seat but put a 14 month on this booster cushion instead. She left children (all under 5) alone and without even a line of sight to them in her car while doing pick ups and collections. She told me that she only looks after 4 children maximum but on 2 days had more children in her car. She had our little one in the car for 2 hours everyday (out of 6 she cared for him). I could go on but won't bore you. I terminated our agreement on day 4 because I felt she wasn't trustworthy with our little one and was taking short cuts, and she texted me to "call in sick". She is now withholding our deposit and the 2 weeks upfront payment we gave her, £900!
Anyone have any experience or suggestions how we can make her see that she was not providing the care she agreed to and refund our money?
Thank you, Bobbie
£900? how much deposit did you pay??
on your contract - does it say it can be terminated within the first however many weeks with immediate effect?
how do you know all this about her out of interest, after only 4 days? did she tell you your child was in the car for 2 hours each day?
And of those 6 children - how many were under 5?
Not saying she is the right - just wondering!!
What was the deposit for? Did that perhaps hold the place open for when you needed it to start?
Have you terminated the place in writing, stating that you feel they were in breach of contract (listing the things that you consider are a breach of the agreeemnt)?
Childcare already provided has to be paid for, so you won't get that back in my view. From the point of terminating the place in writing, then that money I feel should be refunded if the childminder agrees that they breached contract, such as not providing the correct carseat for your child.
Initially small claims court will want to see that you have tried to settle things yourself, so consider what you feel is owed and state that in a letter to your childminder. Give a date by which you expect a response, such as within 14 days.
Look up info about small claims court procedure and costs, so you know what will be involved should you decide to take things further.
There was no trial period in the contract, just said 1 months notice required. £600 was to cover this notice period. Plus we stupidly paid 2 weeks in advance. We had no reason for concern.
4 of them are under 5, plus an additional 2 year old who she minds only 1 day per week. Re: 2 hours, I worked this out based on the pick ups and drop offs she does. These 2 points are the lesser of my real major concerns, the thing that really concerned me was the lack of baby seat and her attitude toward that when I raised it as a concern, plus the children left unattended in the car really worried me, and I witnessed this myself.
I have pointed out all of the reasons for termination, in writing and only want a refund of the money paid in advance and deposit money. She disagrees that she was in breach of contract and accused me of being "unprofessional" and said she was going to terminate anyway because of the way I spoke to her and claims to have had serious concerns about the nursery my son attends but only mentioned this in her email response to my termination letter. I have since found 3 other parents who experienced similar with her, 2 of whom did not get their deposits back because they found it too stressful. It's really been the most stressful time for me. i had to find emergency care for our son as we don't have family in London to call upon. I have felt like giving up but I don't her to continue to get away with keeping people's money and providing such poor care to little ones.
May be worth reading this thread, different situation but does talk about some of the court process and timescale.
Any other witnesses?
As they say they were going to terminate you anyway, would they agree to returning the 'deposit'.
Maybe you should contact ofstead, they would be interested in the complaint. I'd hate to leave my baby with someone so slack so you should make sure other people don't.
Hi Bobbie5, you have had a terrible experience and a raw deal with this childminder.
I was a childminder for 11 years and I am now a nanny. If a parent booked a place in advance I charged a deposit equal to the first month's fees. The deposit was non-returnable if the place was not taken as agreed, however the deposit was used to pay for the first month's fees once the child started. Also our contract stated a 4-week settling in period for the first four contracted weeks whereby if either party was unhappy or the child wasn't settling well the contract could be terminated within that 4-week period without a notice period. although all other areas of the contract applied.
Thankfully in 11 years I have never had a parent, or myself feel the need to end the contract within the first month. If a parent took their child away after the first week due to them not being happy I would endeavour to resolve the matter but if it was unresolvable I think returning the deposit may be a grey area but personally I think I would return the money for the weeks childcare that hasn't been used.
Leaving children in a car while dropping/collecting school children is going against Ofsted regulations and a serious issue, Ofsted regard this as 'leaving children unattended' and should be informed!! Also not using age-appropriate child car seats/restraints is a serious offence, Ofsted must be informed as she is not keeping children safe!
You must report these concerns for the safety of other children in her care and you can do so anonymously.
I'm sorry you've experienced such bad practice with this childminder and hope you find someone lovely soon :-)
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