This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Childcare fees(8 Posts)
I am asking advice on how to tackle a situation with our childminder who looks after our daughter 16 hours a week. We don’t claim anything so we pay her on payday via her preferred method. Usually cash.
We paid her up until December the 31st last month on the 23rd of December. It made sense to pay early since it was Xmas and she was immediately taking holiday up until the 21st of January. We usually pay her every month on or before the 28th. I took a weeks holiday from the 21st until the 28th.
She has just sent her bill for January via text message. 4 weeks half pay (three weeks her holiday, one week mine) and the week from January 28th including Friday the 1st of February. So the bill runs from December 31st until until Friday 1st of February.
To be honest I was expecting to pay for the four weeks as she demands her pay always on the 28th. I don’t mind paying till the 31st but I don’t see why she’s billed me up until and including the 1st.
I know most will say query the bill directly with her which I will do, but quite frankly I know the business of every other parent because she freely discusses it even though I have no interest and quite frankly don’t want to know. I know who hasn’t paid her on time and who “queries their bill” as she talks quite badly of them. She runs a private Facebook group so the parents can see photos of activities etc, but this is mostly used as a platform to be passive aggressive regarding childcare fees or whatever else is bothering her. Her most recent post was the fact her “contracts stand up in court”, obviously aimed at someone.. We are in the process of trying to get our daughter into a private nursery but until then we’re stuck with our jobs and locked into a contract.
From a childminders point of view, is it reasonable for a parent to expect to pay until the end of the month? Not days from the following month? She took three weeks holiday which is absolutely her right and I fully expect to pay half fees - but I’m not happy for paying for days from next month.
It feels like a fuss more or less over £40 but st the end of the day we’ve had to pay for alternative childcare for 3 weeks with no overtime in January so it feels like a lot of money.
Does she only bill in whole weeks? Is that why it's Monday to Friday billing? In which case I would have billed to Friday 1st. I do full months though, so I'd have billed to 31st January. I bill in advance though, so you'd have paid that in December.
I know it’s only £40 but I would still ask her. January is always a tough month with expenses and often a long wait until payday, especially as you had extra childcare fees during her holiday time. I guess it will mean paying less for February as the next bill would only start from 4th Feb assuming you don’t work at the weekend, so will work out better next month?
From a childminder's view, is it reasonable for a parent to expect to pay until the end of the month? Not days from the following month?
There is no straightforward "yes/no" answer to this. Childminders do not have a single unitary way of doing payments as they are each separate businesses. Like any self-employed sole trader, a CM is free to set their own terms, conditions and policies (my own personal frustrations at how so many of them tend to just follow the crowd notwithstanding.)
My personal opinion (others will disagree) is that your CM is an utter fool for allowing you to pay in arrears in the first place. It leaves her wide open to abuse by a client walking away without proper notice. Professional organisations such as Pacey strongly recommend payments to be strictly in advance, as well as holding a significant deposit (a month’s fees is suggested) throughout the contracted period of the arrangement. So, if she was doing it 'professionally' you would be required to pay for the whole of February by the end of January.
In your specific case, the key is that you should both be adhering to whatever was agreed in the contract. And, as you already are aware, if anything is amiss, discuss it between you in a sensible manner.
If she is changing her billing period, this would require a new contract or a variation to the extant one. Either way, as this would represent a substantial change, you should be giving the same period of notice as you would be entitled to in the case of the contract being terminated.
I am surmising here, but it sounds like she has problems with late payments from other clients. She could be trying to fix this cash flow issue by pressing prompt payers such as you to pay a bit more. If this is the case, then I have to say she’s going about it the wrong way, but that’s not unusual. IME some CMs have a very strange approach to cash flow issues.
Not sure if you want this view, but imho I’d be far more concerned about the gossip and lack of confidentiality. If my experience is anything to go by, childminders are often privy to some extremely sensitive and confidential information.
It hardly needs saying that FB is where common sense goes to self-harm, and well worth steering clear of. As a platform for all manner of abuse, I fail to see why anyone would want to associate with it, far less a childcare provider.
Sounds like she just thought it would be simpler to Bill in whole weeks.
If the extra day is a struggle for you just explain that and ask if you can just pay to the 31st.
I’m a childminder and a lot of people we’re uneasy with January’s fees. I had a cpl of queries BUT it’s a 5 week month so most ppls bills were considerably more. I bill from 1st to 31st but tbh if I worked Fridays I may have added that on for ease. I would be happy to take it off though but I would’ve been a bit taken aback
Doe she normally charge for whole weeks? I’d be a bit confused tbh, as if she has always billed until the 30th/31st why is she changing that without speaking to you first?
Please login first.