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Paying childminder when she is not available to work?

(22 Posts)
Threeboysandus Thu 23-Jul-15 18:54:32


I am looking for full time childcare. I went to see a lovely girl, brill refs, lovely family an home. She is doing another small business on side. I am a shift worker and unfortunately sometimes my shifts aren't given to us until a week or two before. We are due to work. I always work three long days ad I am prepared to pay the cm for three days even if I actually only need two days childcare (if I work one day when dp is off).
Due to the nature of cms other business, the odd time she will get bookings weeks in advance. As I won't know my duty, this work may fall on a day I'm working (which is fine as my mother said she can cover those days as shouldn't happen too often, I would pay her to do it) but cm still wants full pay even though she is not available to work. Is this what normally happens? I just feel it's unfair as I have to pay my mum and cm but she gets paid from me and the other business?

I don't think this is going to work. Cm was very open about it all and has been cm a good while. I just don't think it's going to suit.

bobajob Thu 23-Jul-15 18:57:27

So do you need the CM to keep a place free 5 days a week, but only pay for 3?

SurlyCue Thu 23-Jul-15 18:59:00

I dont think it will work either tbh. She cant really commit to looking after children then on some days say "oh i cant do it" that defeats the purpose of paying for proper childcare!

I would look elsewhere OP.

Littlefish Thu 23-Jul-15 19:04:54

I think you will struggle to find childcare which is as flexible as you need it to be, and this childminder certainly doesn't seem to be able to provide you with the days that you need.

The only scenario I can see working is for your to pay for 5 days a week and then use just the days you need, with another childminder or nursery.

I'be read on Mumsnet that some nurseries, particularly those near hospitals or airports offer more flexible sessions to allow for the number of shift workers who use them.

Altenatively, you might get lucky and find a nanny who is only looking for part time hours and is willing to do them to fit around your shift pattern- perhaps a nanny with their own small child?

SurlyCue Thu 23-Jul-15 19:06:36

So do you need the CM to keep a place free 5 days a week, but only pay for 3?

My previous childminder cared for a little girl whose mum worked shifts. She had her 3 days a week but it wasnt the same three days meaning she had to keep a full time space available for her so she charged a different rate than I paid needing 3 regular days each week. Some are happy to do this. Perhaps the one OP found was doing this.

Ludways Thu 23-Jul-15 19:13:08

If you look for a nursery near a hospital they're usually more flexible as they cater for nurses.

RainbowRoses Thu 23-Jul-15 19:20:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Threeboysandus Thu 23-Jul-15 19:24:30

No sorry, she only wants to take on one child, the three different days don't bother her. She is setting up this Other business so not looking to take on other kids. She just wants to be able to take on booking for business in advance (which wouldn't be usual so may not even happen often). If they happen to fall on day I'm working, that is no problem but I don't think I should pay as she is not around and I have to pay someone else to do it.

Threeboysandus Thu 23-Jul-15 19:27:07

Also crèche near hosp won't work as it would mean ds is in crèche from 7-9pm as I work 13 hr shifts. Dp drops and collects...ugh I hate searching for childcare!! Older boys are in the perfect crèche who are flexible and I just pay as I go but they only take them over 2.5 years (1 yr away smile )

SurlyCue Thu 23-Jul-15 19:28:36

Why is she looking after children if shes only going to care for 1 child and she's going to prioritise her other business? confused

OP i'd leave this one. Childminding isnt her business, she will give you notice as soon as her "real" business takes off. Sounds like she is using childminding to keep money coming in til she gets the other one up and running. Not what you need from a childcare provider.

SurlyCue Thu 23-Jul-15 19:30:14

it would mean ds is in crèche from 7-9pm as I work 13 hr shifts. Dp drops and collects

What time does DP finish work at? And who has the other boys til 9pm?

Threeboysandus Thu 23-Jul-15 19:36:04

Do would be dropping them all at 8 to creche and cm and then collect at 5:30pm. Ye I don't think this will work. I don't mind her using at as stepping stone to get to other business. She's being wry honest. We woul prob move ds to the boys creche next year anyway.

Threeboysandus Thu 23-Jul-15 19:36:34

She also has her own two kids.

Mintyy Thu 23-Jul-15 19:40:27

Not a professional childminder - leave well alone!

bobajob Thu 23-Jul-15 19:43:36

To be honest for the level of flexibility you want (effectively having a place held for 5 days and only paying for 3) then I think you are getting a good deal.

Tanith Thu 23-Jul-15 19:44:38

You need to keep looking.

Some childminders would charge full fee to reserve the maximum hours you need; some will pay as you go; some will charge full for the hours you use, plus a retainer for those you need to keep free; and some will average out the hours over a full shift pattern so they, and you, pay the same amount regardless of the hours each week.

We're all different, so shop around and check out nurseries as well.

Threeboysandus Thu 23-Jul-15 20:37:24

Thanks all! The search may continue smile

HSMMaCM Thu 23-Jul-15 21:41:08

If she has 2 pre school children of her own, then she can only take on one other pre school child. It sounds like you are paying for flexibility and you just have to work out if it is reliable enough for you.

Maryann1975 Fri 24-Jul-15 20:01:11

Don't give up hope of finding someone to work 3 variable days a week. I'm a cm and I would be happy to do this. I have two full timers so am busy enough, but would happily fill my third space with 3 days out of five for a situation like yours.
This dm doesn't sound overly reliable though, as a pp said she is using you as a stepping stone and may well give notice as soon as the other business takes off.

Duckdeamon Fri 24-Jul-15 20:05:04

Your job requires a lot of flexibility which will likely be very hard to find and / or expensive.

worridmum Sun 26-Jul-15 23:56:02

I concur you most likely wont get a childminder to keep spaces open for 5 days a week put only charge you for 3 as they would not be able to fill the other 2 days.

But I think most CM would be happy if you paid for 5 days but only sent in when you needed it (but would be more expesive as you dont actully need 5 days but the the felixibilty will be very difficult to fit others around

BackforGood Mon 27-Jul-15 00:08:01

As a general rule, then no, you shouldn't be being charged, for a day when the CM isn't available to you, unless it's part of her holiday allowance.
However she is helping you out considerably if she is willing to let you use her for 3 different days each week - most CMs would need to know which hours you want them to be working for you.
So I'd say that's a fair balance of you both being a bit flexible to help the other person out with the other things that are going on in their lives.

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