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Should I be paying my former childminder when she ended the contract?

(17 Posts)
Hayhay30 Fri 04-Nov-16 21:55:19

My former childminder ended our contract with immediate effect, she gave me no written notice. She was due to collect my son from preschool at 12pm and called me at 10am to say she wouldn't be having him anymore. The contract states that if it is necessary to end the agreement immediately, then payment in lieu of notice must be made. I have taken this to mean she must pay me back the outstanding balance (which is 1 week and 2 days). I don't want to go down the legal route so just wanted to ask if my understanding of the contact us correct?

PikachuSayBoo Fri 04-Nov-16 21:57:19

Have you paid for the next week and 2 days upfront?

In which case yes, she should pay it back

Hayhay30 Fri 04-Nov-16 22:01:44

Yeah I paid her 4 weeks up front, she only have 1 full weeks childminding, 1 day her son was sick and the last day that she didn't pick my son up fron preschool, the following week was paid for but she had already said she wouldn't be having him anymore.
I'm just drafting her a letter but wanted to check I was within my rights to ask for a refund.
Thank you x

NickNacks Sat 05-Nov-16 07:50:05

Yes she should refund any childcare that you have prepaid but have not been able to use.

It's very very usually for a cm to end a contract so abruptly, what happened?

FourToTheFloor Sat 05-Nov-16 07:55:24

She gave you 2 hours notice? shock

There must be more to this as that is unbelievable, shockingly unprofessional behaviour.

rainyinnovember Sat 05-Nov-16 07:58:25

Maybe there is but the bald facts are still the same.

Hayhay30 Sat 05-Nov-16 22:31:02

She was a new childminder and for the first 3 months she only had my son, she took on 3 babies 2 weeks before she canceled our contract, two 11 month olds and a 14 month old. The day before she cancled she said that the babies had been unsettled and cried all day which has caused my son (nearly 4 year old) to be tearful and mentioned he misses me a lot. The next day she told me she wouldn't be having him anymore as he is too emotional and she feels it would be damaging to his emotional health to continue him in her care, he was apparently disconnected and uncomfortable in her setting. Prior to his his last day there he had never shown to be unhappy in her care and always looked forward to going to play.
When I spoke to my son about why he was upset that day he said that the CM made him sit on the sofa all day because the babies were crying, he also said that when he got upset she sent him to bed (he doesn't nap in the day). The CM said that it's unsafe for him to be playing on the floor when she is carrying the babies so she asked him to sit on the sofa and she thought he was tired which was why he was upset and asked him if he wanted to go to bed.
3 days before the termination she changed our contract, she would no longer be collecting him from preschool as it was the new babies lunch or nap time, she also said I would need to collect him earlier as she didn't want to work past 6pm (i collected him at 6:30) I managed to change my working hours so I was able to collect him earlier.

facebookrecruit Sat 05-Nov-16 22:32:19

Wow she sounds like a horrendous childminder! shock

farfallarocks Sat 05-Nov-16 22:37:44

Sounds bizarre and I don't think it's legal to have the amount of young kids she has in her care. Totally awful behaviour on her part. Wouldn't be collecting your son? What? You are much better off without this sort of childcare professional in your life.

PikachuSayBoo Sat 05-Nov-16 23:19:41

I have had two childminders give hours notice so I can believe it. My dd was quite well behaved so it wasn't her.

First CM was shut down with immediate effect by ofsted so guess I had no choice.

Second one was a nightmare to get out of bed in the morning and would eventually stagger down after much banging on the door. One evening at pick up she just told Dh she was knackered from early starts and she couldn't be bothered anymore so not to bring dd back the following morning as she was packing it in!

Starlight2345 Sat 05-Nov-16 23:31:59

This woman is running a business mot interesting in your child..She gets more money from having the babies all day..

I assume the 11 month olds are twins as you can only have one under 12 month old unless twins or a couple of other exceptions.

Yes if she is not able to care for your child then you should not pay..

Can I suggest you look at nursery for your DS ..I am a child minder but if he is going into school September it may be a good stepping stone.

Hayhay30 Sun 06-Nov-16 00:20:56

My personal belief is that she committed to my sons school pick up before she had any other children then realised it was a inconvenience to her to have to leave the house to go and get him.
One of the 11 month olds she had on my sons last day was just on a trail/taster/get to know you day so wasn't actually one of her children yet. I think she said she could have 1 child under 12 months and 3 children under 5 years, I'm not sure of the legality in regards to ratio's though.
I'm in no doubt we are better off without her, she just left us in a pickle and acted extremely unprofessional. Not a great experience with my first ever childminder and now my son has to go through the settling in process all over again. I sent her the letter today requesting my money back so we will see where that takes us x

lougle Sun 06-Nov-16 08:13:24

Did the childminder apply for an exception for siblings, then? Because the regulations only allow one under 1 year old per childminder:

"Childminders
3.41. At any one time, childminders may care for a maximum of six children under the age of eight. Of these six children, a maximum of three may be young children, and there should only be one child under the age of one. A child is a young child up until 1st September following his or her fifth birthday."

lougle Sun 06-Nov-16 08:17:47

But what does your contract say about notice? Because 'pay in lieu of notice' doesn't mean 'money back that you've already paid'. It means that if she was meant to say 'from next month I can't have Johnny' but instead said 'I'm not having Johnny with immediate effect', she owes you one month's childminding and if she's not willing to provide it in actual childminding she should be paying you the cost of it.

NickNacks Sun 06-Nov-16 08:27:25

Did the childminder apply for an exception for siblings, then?

This doesn't exist any more. CMs are required to read the EYFS themselves and interpret the rules on allowed exceptions themselves.

Even if the babies were twins (so allowed) she would have still gone to 4 in the early years for new business (not allowed).

Doglikeafox Sun 06-Nov-16 15:06:07

Such a shame that some childminders like this give us all a bad name.
Personally I think she should pay you back as that is the trust that you place in her when paying in advance. It seems like the honest thing to do however I'm pretty sure she doesn't have to give it you back. There is no harm in asking though.
I think that she has taken on 3 babies and then realised that she is over her ratios. I was of the impression that you can still speak to OFSTED about increasing your amount of minded children under 5 from 3 to 4, at least the option is still there when I rang them to speak to something different the other day (press 1 for X press 2 for Y). I'm pretty sure the rule is that they never allow you to have more than 6 under 8, but were lenient as long as you stuck to that and spoke to them first. However it seems unlikely she has done this given that she gave you such short notice! If one of the babies was on a taster day then maybe he isn't starting full time until he is 12 months? Either way, it wasn't very nice what she did to you and your poor DS and I can't imagine ever doing this to a parent of mine.

grandmainmypocket Thu 10-Nov-16 01:02:27

It is so sad to read these stories about unreliable childminders.
They exist but there are lots and lots of amazing childminders out there too to reassure those with no experience.

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