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Forced to cancel our childcare contract

(14 Posts)
helloandthankyou Mon 01-Jun-20 18:17:47

Hi everyone,

My partner and I both lost our jobs at the end of March when everything kicked off.

Our 18 month old was with his childminder for a day and a half a week previously before she then had to close. During the lockdown she has stayed open for key worker children. She has not been charging us as she received the self employed help package.

Last week we received an email from her with three options. Either our son can start back immediately to his regular hours, he can start again in September for 80% of his fees or we can terminate our contract but we have to pay for four weeks of childcare in line with our notice period.

With no income, we are unable to keep his place. AIBU to ask that she wave this notice fee in light of the current circumstances?! We have taken a mortgage break, stopped as many outgoings as possible and are still very worried. We don’t know when we will be able to get work again; it’s all very stressful.

I understand this has been awful for childminders too and a very uncertain time, but being hit with a big bill just isn’t what we needed right now!

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
rottiemum88 Mon 01-Jun-20 18:35:05

This isn't meant to sound as harsh as it probably will, but do you think this is what your childminder needs right now either? It sounds like she's given you 3 reasonable options. If she has multiple families who choose not to send their children back, is it fair for her to lose her income and not even be paid her notice, as stipulated in her contract? I know it's hard, but I think you need to find a way to pay her the notice and accept that once it's paid it's paid.

LadyFeliciaMontague Mon 01-Jun-20 18:38:23

in The 8 or so weeks since you lost your jobs have you discussed with the CM your DS not returning?

Birkenshock Mon 01-Jun-20 18:41:41

Yes, retrospectively you should have given her notice 4 weeks ago, when she would have been closed anyway, and therefore you wouldn't have had to pay a notice fee, and the notice period would have fallen when she was unable to take your child.

She definitely has given you three reasonable options, and I think you need to be reasonable in return - you signed a contract that says 4 weeks notice and you need to abide by this. Could you suggest paying in installments?

helloandthankyou Mon 01-Jun-20 18:49:12

She has said that her notice fee would still have needed to be paid even if we had given notice at the start of lockdown.

We didn’t foresee that we wouldn’t be able to get back to work before this time. Perhaps we were naive, but obviously lots of people have gone back to work this week.

Ok that makes sense, I guess I’m just stressed about finding a way to pay it at the moment

OP’s posts: |
ChateauMargaux Mon 01-Jun-20 18:55:48

Talk to her and think about what the possible outcomes are. She is receiving self employed support and will this continue? Would she take you to court to enforce payment?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 01-Jun-20 18:56:00

Ok, so with neither of you working and you not needing her you can give notice and pay the notice off over a longer period of time?

I imagine she would be amenable to that? It's really about her knowing whether he's coming back

SandieCheeks Mon 01-Jun-20 20:49:30

If you want to cancel your contract that's fine, but you do need to pay notice as per your contract.

I agree with the PP who suggested a payment plan over a longer period.

helloandthankyou Tue 02-Jun-20 07:51:19

Great, thanks guys I’ll speak to her about my worries

OP’s posts: |
Blondeshavemorefun Tue 02-Jun-20 22:24:27

As others said you need to pay the notice

Sorry you both lost your jobs. Why didn’t the company furlough you

Or you look for temp work. Supermarkets always looking For drivers or I store people

Now things are trying to get back to normal hopefully you will find new jobs

Then will need childcare again

Emmamay1984 Sat 20-Jun-20 11:17:12

Wow! I’m so surprised by what I’m seeing on here re childminders!
My sons CM has not asked for a penny from us- even though her husband has been made redundant too. We paid her for an extra 6 weeks (even though she said we didn’t have to) and then had to stop because we couldn’t afford it due to change in circumstances. We’re ok now so have restarted payments even though my son’s not going and the CM said that we don’t have to but she appreciates it.
Bottom line- I would not want to send my child to someone who was essentially morally corrupt- if they can’t understand the circumstances ditch them!
(Ps. Look at capita etc for contact tracing jobs etc that you can do from home) x

Emmamay1984 Sat 20-Jun-20 11:21:41

Also- from a paid notice point of view- she has breached the contract because she wasn’t able to fulfill her obligations by caring for your children and so the contract is forfeited and she doesn’t have a leg to stand on- she’s just trying it on!

Emmamay1984 Sat 20-Jun-20 11:25:37

I can’t believe what people have said re notice!😂.... if they can’t perform the contract that’s it - no notice!!! (my dispute litigation solicitor has confirmed this)! 🙄😂

ivfgottostaypositive Sat 20-Jun-20 11:29:43

Unfortunately if her contract states 4 weeks notice then that's what it is - irrelevant that we are in a pandemic. The childminder is now open so IS able to fulfil her services it is the OP who cannot keep up her end of the contract

We experienced the same with our childminder who had our child full time for nearly 5 years. She was expecting full fees despite being closed and with me being furloughed and with the cap losing half our income and unlikely to return before September we gave notice and had to swallow the month worth of fees as notice

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