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Do you usually pay a childminder still when they take holiday?

(25 Posts)
Starlight85 Wed 13-Dec-17 08:28:14

I’m a first time Mum due to go back to work around February. My DD will be 1 and we found a childminder that after speaking to I was sure was the one we would pick for my DD. We went to visit her the other day and I still think she is the right choice for us but both myself and my DP had 2 reservations. Not having ever used a childminder before we aren’t sure if these things are normal.

Our first one was that we would have to pay half the normal cost when we take holiday from work so DD doesn’t need to go regardless of how much notice we give and we would also have to pay half the normal cost when the childminder takes holiday and she takes 6 weeks a year. I thought we might have to pay when we took holiday but not when she did? She said she does it like that rather than we pay the full cost when we take holiday and it works out the same, but my DP thinks because she takes 6 weeks it wouldn’t. I only know one other person who uses a childminder and she doesn’t pay for holiday at all as long as she gives a lot of notice.

Also the room she had seemed very small, I know size is hard to explain but at one end of the room the area a child was playing was the width of the door and in front of back door. The main area they had to play may have been 7ft wide by maybe 10ft long (they are guesses!). Are there guidelines saying how much space a childminder should have? I assumed maybe there was and so it must be fine? Both me and my DP expected to be shown the other areas the children play but we weren’t.

2cats2many Wed 13-Dec-17 08:33:28

The holiday thing is completely normal in my experience. Re: the size of the room, it's a personal decision whether you are happy with that or not. What was your feeling when you visited? What was the mood of the place. How did the other children and childminder seem? Do they go on lots of outings?

You've got to listen to your gut on this one.

Auspiciouspanda Wed 13-Dec-17 08:39:07

Childminders usually will either charge you when they take holiday and have a lower cost per hour or not charge for holiday they take but have a higher cost to take this into account.

They're self employed so can set their own terms and it's up to you if you agree and use them.

If you think the room is too small then keep looking until you find someone that fits.

Lillylollylandy Wed 13-Dec-17 08:40:02

It’s normal to pay for holidays - you’re paid when you take holidays from work aren’t you?

Space - agree with PP that it comes down to how you feel about it. I’m not aware of any minimum space requirements. I think I would ask the childminder how much time they spend at home. We’ve used the same childminder for all 3 of our children and she has a really varied schedule for them of classes, library trips etc so they don’t actually spend the whole day at home very often.

The right childminder will be an amazing support to your family - my children adore ours and she’s become a good friend after 6 years of working together.

Mybodydoesntlikechildbirth1 Wed 13-Dec-17 08:44:55

I pay full price for our holiday/ sick days and nothing for her holiday/sick days or if I need childcare while she’s off I use her childminder friend but pay my childminder as normal.

R.e the space it’s a personal decision as to how much it bothers you. My childminder very rarely stays in side and is usually only home for drop offs and dinner so it wouldn’t bother me but if they stay in a lot and have a lot of children it may bother me if space was limited. Depends on the garden size as well, Childminder’s often use the garden as extended space as keeps the kids entertained and in all weathers you can still get out and have a run around.

You need to trust your instinct, how did she interact with your child? When I visited my childminder, she picked DD up from me and sat her on her lap playing with toys with her and told me to go and look around. When I came back my DD was laughing and playing and I signed the contracts there and then, if it’s right then you know and the most important thing is that your child will be happy in her care.

ohlittlepea Wed 13-Dec-17 08:45:07

Its normal to have to pay something for holidays at nursery or childminder. Have you had a look at a few as you really cant make a decision on the best setting for your little one until you have a few things to compare it to. Can you go for a trial stay and play session with your little one for a couple of hours?

rachrach2 Wed 13-Dec-17 08:46:09

We met 4 and they all had slightly different holiday arrangements (they all just took 4 weeks holidays though). We pay full price for our holiday and bank holidays and half price for hers for the one we went with.

Another didn’t charge for her holiday but was more expensive generally.

Ours hasn’t got a massive dedicated space, but she does have a playroom and they also use her dining room and living room at times, plus the garden and they go out every day.

It’s worth speaking to a few, once I met this one I was really happy!

ohlittlepea Wed 13-Dec-17 08:46:50

PS I know everyone moans about childcare costs but for me there genuinely is no more important investment that yoi can make than a happy and positive enviroment for a childs early years.

Starlight85 Wed 13-Dec-17 08:55:35

Thanks for all your replies.

I did ask if they use any other rooms in the house and she said the conservatory, but when we looked at it there was a 3 piece suite in there, a big coffee table and a sideboard so not really much space.

I thought we would have to pay for holiday and I was expecting full cost for our holidays but not for hers as well, but as I said this is my first experience with a childminder.

Her cost is on the higher side of the average for this area and that doesn’t include any food or snacks or nappies etc.

I will look around and see if I can find anymore with spaces that we can visit.

DandySeaLioness Wed 13-Dec-17 09:03:22

Our childminder doesn't charge for her holiday. She charges half for holidays taken by parents.

ny20005 Wed 13-Dec-17 09:05:24

When I had a childminder, I didn't have to pay for her holidays

Price also included snacks & lunch. I would expect to provide nappies though

6 weeks holiday a year with you paying half rates is a lot.

You're obviously unsure about the space for children so I'd keep looking

Littlelambpeep Wed 13-Dec-17 09:06:15

I think the holiday thing is normal but six weeks is a bit much !

I would look around mainly because of the lack of space

HSMMaCM Wed 13-Dec-17 09:51:18

Do the 6 weeks include bank holidays, so that's 30 days (on a full
Time space) less 8 bank holidays = 22 days of other holidays, which might be similar to the number of days you get at work? CMs are different. Many do 50:50, I do full charge for child's absence and none for mine. Others do something different.

jannier Thu 14-Dec-17 13:51:24

There is a minimum space requirement per child registered fo and according to their ages. to pass the registration for EYS she must have met this or her registration would be limited in numbers - but as others say you may not like the way its used and that is personal choice.

Paying for holidays - its down to a cm to make her decision - remember too that there is nothing to stop you booking the same holiday as her so not 10 to 11 weeks to pay for but 6 -ask her which weeks she takes if she has fixed holiday like Christmas and how much notice then check how much the charge would be if both off at once.
Work out an annualised fee bearing in mind all costs - fee x full charge weeks plus half fee weeks plus cost of nappies outing etc if not provided or deduct this cost if she provides them - this then allows you to compare and childcare setting price wise and assess if the cost is worth the quality of care.

Generally in childcare you are paying for a space used or not if you are off so most will charge you full when you are off, but unless they take no time themselves the fee they set must cover their time off in some way - a cm working 60 hours a week 50 plus weeks a year may not have the same energy and enthusiasm as one who has 4 or 5 weeks off.

sinceyouask Thu 14-Dec-17 13:55:55

MY CM charges half rate for holidays we take (that I've given her at least 4 weeks notice of) and for holidays she takes. Same as if she's too sick to work. It seems entirely reasonable to me.

Twofishfingers Thu 14-Dec-17 15:36:44

re. holiday pay. Think about it - if the child would go to a nursery, you would also pay for the staff taking their holiday. They spread the fees to cover costs associated with wages, holiday pay of staff, pensions, training, staff insurance, etc. As self employed, childminders can set their own contractual arrangements with customers, some will charge for holidays, others will not. Those who don't are probably charging a bit more per hour/day.

thisgirlrides Fri 15-Dec-17 20:24:51

room size is hard to say without seeing and shouldn't impact the care especially if she goes out & about and has space for sleeping etc I know a childminder who works from a tiny tiny 2 up 2 down cottage and offers amazing care so personally wouldn't worry about that too much just go with your gut instinct on that one.

Re holiday, as others have said it's up to the individual to set terms but I do think 6 weeks is high as you will either be forced to take all your leave the same time or double up on costs. I'd ask for it to be dropped to 4 weeks with 2 unpaid so you can at least afford to pay for alternative care if needed.

Abbotswood Thu 21-Dec-17 23:35:48

I don't charge for any holidays or sick leave. Beginning to think maybe I should! Six weeks is a lot, in my opinion.

BackforGood Thu 21-Dec-17 23:48:52

The question I would be asking, is how you are going to cover the 6 weeks when she doesn't have your dc ?
Unless one of you are a teacher or work term time only in another capacity, that's a big chunk f time to cover if you then plan to take holidays at a different time.
If you will take them while she is away, find out how much notice she gives of her dates (ie, can you both book time off work then, and also, if not a lot of notice, can you book where you want to go for your holidays).

The way she charges isn't so important as comparing the total for the year. So someone else might not charge at all when they aren't available but charge you full price if they are available and you don't take your dc there. Someone else might not charge for holidays at all, but might charge a higher hourly rate. Another with a lower rate might charge full price even when not available. I had one CMer who like to look at the whole year and divide into 12 equal monthly payments (in the same way a teacher gets paid) so she didn't end up with a month with no money coming in, or, say at Christmas she only got half the money as you took your holidays then.
If you are comparing on price, make sure you look at the bigger picture.
If you didn't feel comfortable with the space she had to offer, then keep looking. It isn't about actual square feet, it's about your instinct, and what you want (if there is a choice of available spaces where you live).

Fundays12 Fri 22-Dec-17 04:52:22

I don’t pay for my childminders holidays but I pay half for my holidays unless she fills the space then i pay nothing. She has a few kids that drop in for extra hours though as and when so it’s a bit different as it’s a service she offers.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 25-Dec-17 23:40:25

6w does seem a lot but it’s the cm terms and conditions

Maybe ask her when her dates are and try and go same time

Half pay for you swag is normal

Tho as other have said add up cost of whole year and divide weekly /monthly to get rough idea

Think it’s nornwl to provide own nappies and wipes

Food varies. Some like to cook. Others bring in food

Trust your gut. Seems you aren’t keen due to space a

How many under 5’s will she have

hookiewookie29 Wed 27-Dec-17 20:31:09

I'm a Childminder and take 5 weeks per year plus bank hols.I don't charge when I'm not available but if parents take holidays when I am open then I charge half fees as I am available.
5 weeks may sound a lot but please remember that a majority of us work long hours- 11 a day for me- and we don't get tea breaks or lunch breaks.
I don't provide nappies or food-that's a whole new thread!-but I do provide drinks, fruit, other snacks and wipes.
There is a minimum amount of floorspace required per child-however if the childminder is registered then Ofsted would have passed it in her house.

Marcine Wed 27-Dec-17 20:34:52

Minimum floorspace is approx 3m square per child under 5 (usually 3).

Starlight2345 Wed 27-Dec-17 20:49:39

I am a childminder and have a small space.. I would say I become an expert on using the space really well.

I also don't charge if I am off sick or on holiday, parents pay if there children are off however they are free to take all holidays the same time as me if they wish.. You could ask what would happen if you take holiday at the same time.

I would also say trust your gut instinct. I have met parents who I have really clicked with and others who I have felt we work very differently, I think make sure it is clean, and talk about what they will do during the day.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 28-Dec-17 20:56:37

5w unpaid is fine but 6w paying seems harsh as it’s the cm holiday

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