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Can I claim loss of earnings from my CM?

(36 Posts)
Dep1704 Wed 11-Sep-19 22:03:25

My CM had recently been suspended by Ofsted.
She explained the reasons and we supported her.
My child was one of the first children she took on 2 years ago when moving to the area and prior to the suspension she was great. My LG loved her.

Anyway we were on holiday last week when my LG was due to return. The CM advised on 3rd September that the suspension had been lifted and back to normal.
I sent her a message congratulating her and she was already aware we may want to change the hours (to give more to the CM)
She told is to call her when we got back.

We arrived home Monday and called and text numerous times with no response.
We called an text tuesday again numerous times with no response.
I then texted another parent who advised her children have gone back to her and have settled in no problem.( as she has moved address, which she still hasn't forwarded to us)

I have since sent her messages via my partner's phone, facebook and email with still no response.

The CM was due to have my LG today as the first day back. My partner had to take the day off (he is self employed so has lost earnings)
We have now started looking for another CMbut until we find one we are happy with, we will both have to take time off of work (I have no holiday left so it will be unpaid).

So my questions are, if anyone has any experience of this kind
1) can we claim loss of earnings?
2) should we report this,if so who to?

She hasn't provided 4 weeks notice as per pur agreement but the biggest heartbreak is that my LG is asking for her and the friends she has made there.

Any advice would be greatly apprecited

OP’s posts: |
Starlight456 Thu 12-Sep-19 06:53:41

Are you sure suspension has been lifted?

Ofsted have no interest in financial matters.

If it is like my contact you would have no claim as you simply don’t pay if I am not available.

That said she has behaved appallingly and would not want my child left with her.

I have taken children on next day on a couple of occasions for various reasons so would get your partner to get the list off county council website and phone round for availability

CupoTeap Thu 12-Sep-19 07:05:39

So she's moved and is now ignoyyou?

MrsCollinssettled Thu 12-Sep-19 07:05:58

My CM shut down mid way through a term giving 4 days notice. There wasn't any recompense. Fortunately all her clients were in the same boat and between us we sorted out cover so each family took it in turn to have the dcs. Ended up saving a fortune. Are you the only family affected?

Lwmommy Thu 12-Sep-19 07:06:32

Have you been round to her house?

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 12-Sep-19 07:07:40

How can she, she doesn’t know where she’s moved to?!

Lwmommy Thu 12-Sep-19 07:11:56

She's been in contact with someone else who's child is there, surely they know the address.

8by8 Thu 12-Sep-19 07:15:28

She’s in breach of contract, so yes in principle you can sue her for your predictable losses.

Take a look at the small claims court, it’s straightforward and you won’t need a lawyer.

Bear in mind you have to “mitigate your losses” ie take all reasonable steps to reduce your financial loss, you’ll need to show that you’ve done all you reasonably can to find new childcare/adapt your working hours etc.

8by8 Thu 12-Sep-19 07:16:02

I’d report her to ofsted as she’s just disappeared without giving proper notice, that sounds like something they’d be interested in?

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 12-Sep-19 07:19:16

They won’t 8by8. It’s a contractual disputes which Ofsted do not get involved in.

lilypips Thu 12-Sep-19 07:20:08

Well you can try, but as you can't even get her to respond yes unlikely she is going to hand you any money.

8by8 Thu 12-Sep-19 07:21:22

@GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat thanks I didn’t know that.

Maybe trading standards then? Do they care about businesses breaching contracts?

AmIThough Thu 12-Sep-19 07:22:54

If you have a written contract, what does that say?

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Thu 12-Sep-19 07:26:09

Bear in mind that you will only be successful is suing her if she's in a position to pay. Why do t you go round her new house to ask what's happening

Sleepinglemon Thu 12-Sep-19 07:26:42

Why was she suspended OP? Ofsted may still be interested depending on the reason for suspension.

doublesheesh Thu 12-Sep-19 07:30:33

Have you got ANY idea why she would have cut her ties with you and not the other parents? Can you ask the other parents for her address?

AJPTaylor Thu 12-Sep-19 07:51:16

It's impossible to say breach of contract without knowing what the contract says!

Dep1704 Thu 12-Sep-19 09:34:52

Hi all.

Suspension has definitely been lifted as we have had official letter from Ofsted.

Our contract states we have to give each other 4 weeks notice on ceasing childcare arrangements.

I have now got her new address and will be going round there but currently focusing on finding a new CM (we have a meeting with one this afternoon)

Thanks for the suggestions I think I I will phone Ofsted as I think it is a disgraceful way to treat us and my child.

She has told me 1 week ago that she is looking forward to seeing my LG in September so the fact she is now ignoring us is so bizarre.

The suspension was due to personal reasons and then she had to have her new address signed off.

I am just so angry as she knows my LG and also knows that she is really bad with change (which is why we deferred her nursery place this year to keep her at the playschool this childminder collects from)

Thanks for all the advice so far. Will definitely look into some options.
X

OP’s posts: |
underneaththeash Thu 12-Sep-19 21:50:29

Yes, you can OP.
As a PP said, you can take her to small claims court - it’s very easy to file online and you can claim for any loss of earnings due to her breaching a contract.
It’s not within Ofsteds remit.

itsaboojum Sat 14-Sep-19 11:20:47

Much will depend on the contract, but I doubt you could claim loss of earnings. You’re buying a childcare/education service and nothing more: it’s not linked to any benefits that accrue to you as a result of that service being available. The childminder gets no additional reward when you do work, so she doesn’t have to accept any risk when you don’t.

Loss of earnings represent a 'consequential loss' in legal terms, which is difficult to enforce. There’s unlikely to be provision for this in the contract. The childminder could still argue that you are responsible for making your own arrangements for her being unavailable: there being any number of reasons why she might close at short notice.

itsaboojum Sat 14-Sep-19 12:14:06

I find the circumstances intriguing and can’t help wondering if this might be a case of the childminder suffering domestic abuse.

If she had a partner who became violent, that would explain the 'personal reasons' and the Ofsted suspension (unsuitable person at the address) as well as the need to move, followed by Ofsted immediately lifting the suspension once she was operating from new premises. It could also explain the difficulties in contacting her: she’d probably change all her phones, email, FB, etc and be secretive with the address in order to shut out an abuser. I guess it could explain her rather odd behaviour too.

I suppose she might have smaller premises and be licensed for fewer children. If so, she could legally terminate the contract with immediate effect due to 'frustration of intent'. Or she might have changed her working hours and not be able to accommodate the new times you had previously hinted at, so assumed you didn’t want her?

Another possibility is that the contract only covered childcare services provided at the address shown on the contract. So maybe it became void once she had to move?

In any of these scenarios she still should have notified you. I’m not sure how likely or far-fetched these explanations are: I’m just looking at what might be possible, based on the minimal information given here.

underneaththeash Sat 14-Sep-19 21:03:46

8@itsaboojum that's not correct, the point of a contract is to mitigate any losses (financial or otherwise) if the other party doesn't hold up to their side of the contract.
Contracts are pointless otherwise.

itsaboojum Sun 15-Sep-19 08:01:05

The contract, unless it is particularly badly drawn up, will limit the liability to the actual service provided.

This is not unlike claims against other service providers such as transport companies. If your train doesn’t run, you don’t have a right to claim loss of earnings or for wasted theatre tickets, or any other consequential losses, etc etc.

itsaboojum Sun 15-Sep-19 08:07:51

What the OP might do is make a claim for loss of earnings which might panic the childminder into passing the matter on to her insurer. The insurer will then decide whether it’s worth their time defending, or cheaper just to pay. If the claim isa small one, insurers sometimes pay out on cases they know they could win, because it’s cheaper than mounting a defence.

LIZS Sun 15-Sep-19 08:14:00

Did you dp take your dd round to new address on Wednesday? Maybe the lack of confirmation reply was an oversight or went astray and she was still expected.

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