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Is my childminder being unreasonable? Help!!

(24 Posts)
Kelnew86 Sat 22-Nov-14 11:20:10

My childminder is taking 4 weeks leave all in one go in December, she gave us the option to use a childminder that she knows, but we weren't comfortable doing this. We've decided to put our little one into a nursery starting in jan (can't cope with her annual leave!) we've given her 6 weeks notice, which is what she requires, she then said we shouldn't have really given her notice while she's on leave (contract does say that sad I checked afterwards) said she won't charge us her4 weeks leave even though she's meant to?? But is going to charge us for Xmas day and Boxing Day? I'm worried it's going to be triple pay or something?! I don't know if she's being unreasonable or not? Can anybody give an opinion on this or some advice? I'd be so grateful, thank you smile

Kelnew86 Sat 22-Nov-14 11:27:24

Just to clarify we don't pay her anything whilst she's on leave but because we are meant to pay her in full for notice given (and this happens to be when she's on leave) she said she's doing us a favour by only charging for Xmas day and Boxing Day. But she's not actually clarified how much she's going to charge us sad

GotToBeInItToWinIt Sat 22-Nov-14 11:37:52

Hmm well if your contract states you should pay in full for notice given then theoretically she is doing you a favour for not charging you for the 4 weeks she's on leave. Ask how much she is planning to charge for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, then you can decide if she is or isn't being unreasonable!

hollie84 Sat 22-Nov-14 11:39:19

It sounds like you should pay her for 6 full weeks of normal minding tbh, so anything less than that is a bonus.

ditavonteesed Sat 22-Nov-14 11:40:00

I have no idea, but I have to say that situation sounds mad, how can she expect you to manage for 4 weeks.

superram Sat 22-Nov-14 11:40:00

Assuming that 2 days, even at double time (worst case guess), is still cheaper than 4 weeks full time?

Artandco Sat 22-Nov-14 11:40:01

Paying for x2 days is surely better than x20?

m0therofdragons Sat 22-Nov-14 11:40:15

Was she due to be working Christmas and boxing day?
When we moved dd from cm to nursery we paid for the notice period but if cm had been on holiday we absolutely wouldn't have paid for the time off (her contact said we didn't pay for her holiday). Does the contract specify back holiday charges? If not then she can't charge more than standard charge for those days.

busyDays Sat 22-Nov-14 11:45:00

It's a pretty standard clause in childminding contracts to say that the notice period can't include any of the childminder's unpaid time off. So yes, you should really be paying her for 6 weeks in full. Like others have said, if the total she is proposing to charge you is less than 6 weeks full pay then she really is doing you a favour.

addictedtosugar Sat 22-Nov-14 11:49:34

is the charge for christmas and boxing day as per bank holiday pay? ie we have to pay for nursery per week. if that week has a bank holiday, we pay the same.
She might also charge for new year?

Can you use nursery for Dec, childminder for Jan (notice period), and then back to nursery? Would nursery play that game?

OR, what notice do you need to change days? Could you drop to 2 days/week at child minder ASAP, and have the other three days at nursery for a few months, and see how that works?

Jinxxx Sat 22-Nov-14 12:04:41

It is very usual for notice periods to exclude holiday - so that you are in effect talking about 6 working weeks. You have to remember that the notice period applies on both sides, so a CM cannot terminate your contract while she or you are on leave, so it protects you from having to find new childcare in a rush and her from having to find a new client when she is away and unable to see people. I think to be honest you have jumped the gun in arranging nursery to begin in January without checking the notice requirement first. If she is willing to charge you significantly less than the six weeks, I would suggest accepting her offer. Alternatively, see if you can postpone your nursery start date. I am assuming that your CM contract actually allows her to take 4 weeks together and that she has not exceeded the total amount of leave agreed or failed to give whatever notice of leave was agreed/documented? If she is within her contract terms she could possibly turn the matter over to her insurers to pursue her contractual rights so think carefully before rejecting a compromise offer, even if the rationale for it is a bit odd.

Tanith Sat 22-Nov-14 13:07:54

Good heavens! I'd grab it with both hands and thank her for her consideration!

As others have said, it's a pretty standard clause that the holidays should not be included in the notice period. She is doing you a real favour by waiving this. Don't throw it back in her face by quibbling over the bank holiday charge!

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 22-Nov-14 13:11:22

It might be a standard clause but if a childminder went on leave permanently that would mean you could never give notice.

hollie84 Sat 22-Nov-14 13:13:30

Why would you ever sign a contract that included unlimited leave?

nannynick Sat 22-Nov-14 13:24:45

As you don't usually pay when service is not available, the max you would pay is your usual weekly fee x 6 weeks.
4 weeks off all at once seems a bit unreasonable but same thing could happen if CM broke their leg, they have offered alternative care.

Work out total cost, agree a payment date and leave on good terms. You may want to use their service in future.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 22-Nov-14 13:42:47

Why would you ever sign a contract that included unlimited leave?

Why sign a contract that allows 4 weeks leave?

Tanith Sat 22-Nov-14 14:37:04

The fact is, the Op did sign a contract that allowed 4 weeks holiday, and specifies the policy for giving notice.

The childminder in question is waiving her notice period fees for her client but, as a compromise so she does get something out of the compromise, she'll charge for the bank holidays. I don't really understand why the Op is querying this, given her childminder's already generous offer.

Forresitters1 Sat 22-Nov-14 14:47:28

How long have you been with your childminder and has she taken any other holiday or is this her first this year? Also do you know the full extent as to why she's taking it all in one go as it could be for family reasons or something unfortunate that she hasn't disclosed with you. She has offered you alternative childcare which would normally be a back up CM whom your child knows and feels secure with and she isn't charging for her annual leave and I'm assuming she has given you enough notice of her holiday?
We all know what a busy month December is for many families and I feel she has tried to sort out something fair for you here.
I usually take 3 weeks off in December due to having my own birthday plus 3 members of my immediate family and christmas all in the same month! I never took time off in December before and found I felt so unappreciated and exhausted and I was missing out on special time with my own family so now I put it in my policies about December holiday and I offer alternative care with local CM's.

Forresitters1 Sat 22-Nov-14 14:48:45

Agree with you Tanith

Kelnew86 Sat 22-Nov-14 17:24:17

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts on this, I actually get on really well with the CM and it's mainly down to our needs and circumstances why we need to change our childcare situation, I too think she is being helpful but was unsure about what we may be charged for the 2 public holidays, but I think what you have all said about weighing up how much we really should be charged compared to what we are being charged is a good thing, I don't think I would've disputed it but I wanted to hear some opinions from others.
She takes the 4 weeks every year plus other holiday throughout the year, we thought we'd be ok with the 4 weeks at the beginning of our contract but our LO was only 6 months old then and we've since found out he has some issues so we weren't comfortable with leaving him with a CM we or him didn't know very well. Thanks again for your comments, it's my first time using this and I've found it really helpful smile

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 22-Nov-14 17:53:00

why does she need 4 weeks, is she ill/needs an op, seems a lot for a parents to have to cope with, tho tbf she did find you different cover so not leaving you in the lurch

2 days even at triple pay would be less then 6 weeks notice so grab with both hands

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 22-Nov-14 17:55:41

teach me not to refresh

so you always knew she would have all of december off then, and that cm finds cover for her mindees/parents, but its your decision (and thats fine) not to use the cm

Kelnew86 Sat 22-Nov-14 18:35:01

No I wasn't aware of when the 4 weeks would be at the beginning but she did tell us in advance, I didn't read the contract properly before handing in the notice which is why it ended up being over her leave, thing is our hands are tied as to when he needs to start nursery due to our circumstances, she's knows the ins and outs of our problems which is why she's probably choosing not to dispute over money.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 22-Nov-14 18:45:03

oh, thought you meant she told you would have 4 weeks off for dec

seems a weird way to run a business to have 4 weeks off in one go, as obv not medical, unless flies to say oz /usa etcand spends time with family there

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