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broken contract where do i stand? new to all this

(9 Posts)
nobrains123 Fri 31-Jul-15 21:47:37

Ok so basically I messaged a parent in the week with the invoice, with it broken down stating how much for holidays and then the hours the child came.

i received a text back saying this was redicilous I was charging for holidays... she signed the contract stating this and believe me she read it thoroughly.

Then the following day I text to say what they will need to bring in for the activity the next day when she was coming as I always do.

The reply I got was her giving notice from then.

Reasons being. I've 3 days x3 off so 9 all together without giving 8 weeks notice as stated in my contract. These appointments I had told all parents about before they started. My contract says where possible I will give 8 weeks notice if this can not be done I will give as much notice as possible. in one case it was two weeks. Bare in mind said parent would give me the hours on a friday for the following week and not a week in advance as stated in contract.

2nd reason I have caused friction for asking for money I am owed and she wouldn't want her child around some one like me.

3rd reason I'm not available every weekend. I stated when she started I work some weekends but also take time off.

I replied saying that this is what she owes and is to be paid by said date.

she has replied saying she wont be paying for the notice period as I have broken contract due to said appointments.

I had a text from her today admitting she is in the wrong and has broken contract and she is happy to pay half the fees im asking for and we should come to a deal because I have also broken it.

1. I dont agree I have broken it.
2. she has agreed and I now have proof.
3. she has given notice via text this is not a written notice so another breech of contract.

nobrains123 Fri 31-Jul-15 22:39:54

ANY ONE?? sad

mistlethrush Fri 31-Jul-15 22:41:50

small claims court

lovelynannytobe Fri 31-Jul-15 23:08:03

Text is 'in writing' so just accept it otherwise it will look petty. This is not a breach of contract.
Other than that just quote back the paragraphs from the contract which she signed and ask for full payment. If the payments were up to date you wouldn't need to remind her ... I always hated reminding to be paid (after payment due date) but I had a 'choice' ... either that or let my mortgage payment bounce ...
Good luck. x

Tanith Sat 01-Aug-15 00:07:06

I would write to her, saying you acknowledge her notice, received today by text, to terminate the contract. You then have notice on a formal standing.

In your letter, keep it professional, saying how sorry you are to lose the child, you hope future care arrangements will be as successful as you feel their time in your care has been - or words to that effect.

Clearly state the notice period according to your contract, and the date on which the contract will end. Ensure you say that the child's place with you remains open for them to use during the notice period. If she then chooses not to send the child, you can't be said to have refused to have him.

Explain that you don't accept her reasons and why, and that you therefore reject her offer to pay half the outstanding fee.

State the amount due you according to the notice period, and any outstanding amounts. Give a date by which you require the money to be paid.

Finish up with a thank you for your custom message and send a copy by email and a copy by post.

Hopefully keeping it professional and factual will help her decide to pay you without resorting to the small claims court, but make sure you keep replied, texts etc. as proof.
If you're a member of one of the childcare organisations, talk to them for advice. I would also let your insurance provider know in case you're able to claim with them. They may give you guidance on how to deal with this. Needless to say, their advice trumps mine smile

If you have to send a follow up letter, mention that you will be informing your insurer - in my experience, most non-payers cave in at that point.

I laughed aloud at her second reason, by the way - is she such a delicate flower that her other bills upset her enough to refuse to pay them, I wonder? I imagine she won't get far with that excuse!

HSMMaCM Sat 01-Aug-15 08:50:06

Tanith I'm loving the reason about actually having to pay for childcare too grin

luckylou Sat 01-Aug-15 09:59:59

Ask the parent to send her notice of termination of contract by email or letter - a text isn't written notice. The notice period begins on the date you receive that letter.

Are you a member of PACEY or Morton Michel? Both have a good record of recovering such debts.

I'm with PACEY, and the one time a parent gave notice and then refused to pay for the notice period I contacted their legal department. The parent had ignored all emails from me, but one solicitor's letter from PACEY and she paid up like a lamb. Had to pay PACEY's costs too...

At the time, you had to have used PACEY's childminding contract form - I assume that's still the case. I understand MM will act whether you use their childminding contract or not.

I believe there has to be a minimum amount owing for PACEY to take the case; in my case it was around £300, four years ago.

They'll need copies of all the correspondence, which is why a text isn't acceptable as written notice.

So - ask for proper written notice; when you receive it, send an invoice for the amount outstanding (make it clear you won't accept half payment). If she doesn't pay up, phone PACEY, MM or whoever your childminder insurance is with

nobrains123 Sat 01-Aug-15 12:35:02

thanks very much for the help.

Ive wrote a letter today saying notice was given via text from date blah blah and will end 4 weeks after.

I wrte i do not accept her offer of half pay. she hs untill the end of the notice period to pay.

im wioth MM and have already contacted them and set up a claim.

Ive also printed a copy off of the contract and will be sending it with the areas highlighted.

other than that is there anythign else i can do?

Tanith Sat 01-Aug-15 13:32:23

It sounds like you have everything in hand. Try to stay detached and professional, whatever she may come back with.

Definitely keep your insurer up to date and ensure you send any reminders according to what they suggest. There may be a deadline by which you must claim so stick to their timetable.

You might also try your local authority for advice if they have a childminder support team. I once suggested to an aggressive father that he might like to call the council in order to raise his trumped up complaint to them and get their advice on payment of contract. Our support officer spent a very entertaining half hour telling him exactly where he stood and how remote his chances were grin

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