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My childminder charged me full price during COVID

(77 Posts)
wirldsgonemad Sat 24-Oct-20 06:42:16

So April and May she didn't have my little girl at all, as per lockdown rules. She started taking her back in June. I worked full time from home the entire lockdown, we were busier than normal. I was demented trying to keep my 3 yr old entertained whilst also going on one teams call after another, phone calls emails, all needing urgent responses. DH worked throughout as he's a key worker so it was just me and my daughter. The childminder has been self employed for well over 3 years. I don't understand why she's charged me full price, I did pay but now I'm wondering if I should ask for the money back. I paid at the time because I was taking a full wage and felt really bad for those whose wages were affected by COVID. At the time self employed people couldn't make a claim until June and you worry about people not being able to pay mortgages and bills. In recent weeks I've felt really paused off because she's talked about how she really enjoyed lockdown and her family had loads of quality time together. Whilst I was tearing my hair out, leaving my poor 3 yr old to watch CBeebies whilst I neglected her and sat on teams calls and emails for most of the day. I've written out emails to send, but I can't get the tone right because I'm actually really upset that I've paid full price when she could easily claim 80% from the government. What would you do? Child minders opinions welcome

OP’s posts: |
Goingdooolally Sat 24-Oct-20 06:47:07

I totally understand your feelings especially on the back of her saying how much she enjoyed her lockdown! angry

However, I would think carefully about what you want to achieve. Do you still want her as a childminder? If so I wouldn’t say anything. If you’re happy to lose her then I would say something (face to face probably) but write off the money.

I’m sorry you had such a shit lockdown. flowers

JacobReesMogadishu Sat 24-Oct-20 06:56:14

You don’t understand why she charged you? Seriously?

Do you not think she had bills to pay and food to buy.?

I insisted on paying my dog walker who felt awful about accepting it but I felt it was the right thing to do as I was still getting my full wage. I’m sorry you had an awful time trying to work and look after a toddler, I can only imagine it must have been very hard and stressful but that’s not her fault.

Fralla Sat 24-Oct-20 07:01:52

Do you know if she claimed the self employed grant?

Collaborate Sat 24-Oct-20 07:21:20

If she claimed the self employed grant she should refund you, morally, but you can’t insist on it.

wirldsgonemad Sat 24-Oct-20 07:23:39


You don’t understand why she charged you? Seriously?

Do you not think she had bills to pay and food to buy.?

I insisted on paying my dog walker who felt awful about accepting it but I felt it was the right thing to do as I was still getting my full wage. I’m sorry you had an awful time trying to work and look after a toddler, I can only imagine it must have been very hard and stressful but that’s not her fault.

She should have claimed the furlough wage, that's what it was there for!

OP’s posts: |
wirldsgonemad Sat 24-Oct-20 07:24:25

I don't know if she claimed the grant, if I ask her she might just say no even if she did.

OP’s posts: |
Samiad85 Sat 24-Oct-20 07:27:07

Holidays got cancelled. We didn’t have to pay for them. I didn’t have to pay for my gym membership, because I didn’t use it. Hair appointment and nail appointments got cancelled and I didn’t pay, presume they all had bills to pay too but I didn’t use the service so I didn’t have to pay. I really don’t know why people say this about nurseries and childcare. They are a business providing a service and if you don’t use that service I don’t believe you should have to pay. She probably had the self employment grant and didn’t have the overheads of running her business.

SinkGirl Sat 24-Oct-20 07:28:50

But you said she took your daughter back in June and there was no assistance for self employed people before that was there?

lifestooshort123 Sat 24-Oct-20 07:30:45

If you want to lose her then talk to her and tell her how you feel but be prepared for repercussions. I wouldn't have wanted to fall out with someone who was caring for my child tbh.

WoWsers16 Sat 24-Oct-20 07:31:38

If you've already paid then realistically I don't see what you can do - you should of sorted something out at the time and come to an agreement then x

TheTeenageYears Sat 24-Oct-20 07:38:00

I don't know all the rules re claiming the self employed grant (only some info from a friend at the time), didn't anyone claiming have to show no money was going through their bank? If she was being paid would she have been able to claim?

As much as I agree with you that you shouldn't have had to pay when she was closed I think the time to deal with this was in June when the self employed grants were paid. It's just too late to raise now if you want to keep her as a childminder.

fitzbilly Sat 24-Oct-20 07:40:23

I don't thick site was totally to charge you, but if you paid I don't think you can ask for it back.

The self employment grant was 80% of profits from the last year, not 80% of earnings.

happylittlechick Sat 24-Oct-20 07:41:20

I'm self employed and didn't qualify for government assistance. My friend did but at a much reduced rate. I think you should have paid 50% at the time. However asking for it back now may not be possible. I don't have £3000+ lying around I doubt she does.

Copperblack Sat 24-Oct-20 07:44:33

I know several childminders and they were eligible for the self employed grants - it might not have made up their full income, but they definitely hit money. In general as she was self employed you should not have had to pay, though I think a proportion is fair - I paid my cleaner 50%. Perhaps have a conversation about future situations and ask for them to be clearly stated in your contract - if she has to self isolate it if there is another lockdown for instance, and if she is going to charge would she be available to entertain over zoom or similar for an hour or 2 - I know nannies who have done this.

Alexandernevermind Sat 24-Oct-20 07:48:46

I think you were generous to pay in full in the first place, particularly before knowing what government help was available. However there is no point being the martyr at the time and then having sour grapes about it now.

Moondust001 Sat 24-Oct-20 07:49:16

She couldn't have claimed 80% furlough from the government; and I think that you are over-reacting to a casual comment about someone enjoying some family time. Nor do I see why the length of time she has been self-employed is relevant. You were at liberty to refuse to pay at the time. She was at liberty to tell you that your child not longer had a place, and you might still be juggling childcare with working. Whether you like the terms of a contract or not, you entered into it and agreed it, so no, you can't unilaterally change it after the fact.

Alocasia Sat 24-Oct-20 07:57:40

Are you sure she would even qualify for a grant? Do you know the details of how she runs her business? If she employs herself through a limited company she wouldn’t qualify for any government help.
I’m not sure she was fair to charge you 100% while not operating but I don’t think you can really do anything now you’ve paid it.

newmumwithquestions Sat 24-Oct-20 08:07:17

Try to separate your feelings here. I have lost count of the times that I feel my blood rise when people assume that we had a lovely lockdown. Everything you say about feeling like you neglected your daughter I get. I’m working on getting over it, but the assumption from what seems like the bulk of the population is that jobs got less busy. They didn’t necessarily do so!

Personally I think the money is gone, you agreed to pay her 100% and did so. I think she’s been a cheeky fucker and 50% would have been fairer. Though some of the posts assuming she could just go on furlough are wrong - it doesn’t work like that for self employed (though there was assistance available)

So there are 2 things here.
1. She overcharged you. That’s not good, but it’s all it is. How do you normally feel if you get overcharged? But also, own your part in this. You should have challenged at the time. You didn’t. No judgement for that. You were doing your best to deal with a hard situation. But that’s all it is.
2. She was insensitive about how hard it was for you during lockdown and how her saying how easy it was for her rubbed in the insensitivity. So she’s not that empathetic. Well neither are most people. It’s genuinely hard to see things from others point of view. Everyone had a different lockdown.

If you want to ask for some money back then keep it factual and short. Don’t justify your actions or thoughts. I don’t fancy your chances of getting any back unfortunately! But you can express how you think it was wrong that she charged you the full amount.

newmumwithquestions Sat 24-Oct-20 08:13:15

And another thing flowers for this. Whilst I was tearing my hair out, leaving my poor 3 yr old to watch CBeebies whilst I neglected her and sat on teams calls and emails for most of the day.

Try to stop giving yourself such a hard time. Was your 3 yo fed and clean? Then you did a good job. It was incredibly hard for those of us juggling. Your 3 yo will have learn some lessons about how adults have commitments and how her mum has a strong work ethic. Those aren’t bad lessons to learn.

Didyousaynutella Sat 24-Oct-20 08:16:40

It was cheeky of her. My nursery didn’t charge at all. But for the sake of two months I would leave it unless you plan to get other childcare.

ChickensMightFly Sat 24-Oct-20 08:21:16

I think your feelings are valid.
The money side of your upset is a ship which has sailed imo, and whatever the rights and wrongs of it were, you and she were navigating uncharted waters, it played out the way it did in a way which is too late to back pedal on.
Maybe with hindsight you might respond differently to her payment requests now, maybe she thought it was the fair thing at the time, but it's done now.
It's ok to feel like you've paid some money unfairly and be pissed off about that, but it's too late to challenge it at this stage, and maybe it saved her from financial crisis in which case you did a good thing.
However, her comments are rubbing salt into the wound, which given the service she provides and what her clients were up against is really pretty insensitive. I think if this is going to interfere with your interactions with her, or even just to let her know, it would be ok to say to her that you understand everyone had a wide variety of experiences in lockdown and are glad they weren't all dreadful, but yours was distressing (due to having to ignore your dc a lot) and traumatic (due to competing demands and impossibility of meeting them) which means that hearing how your childcare provider was having a lovely time while your money was being paid in full as you struggled massively to care for your child is incredibly insensitive, for her to be publicly talking about it, and some discretion on her part would be kinder and more respectful of the two sides of the coin you were both on.
Hopefully she will understand that and that may go some way to calming your feelings of resentment and anger.
If she hears that (put politely I don't think it is unreasonable to let her know it rubs salt in the wound) and doesn't care, your feelings are likely to fester on and perhaps that will get in the way of your dealings with her. Maybe it would be time to look around for a new childminder if that is possible.
Hopefully it would give her chance to realise she needs to consider the impact of her words and respect the related experiences of those in her care

Frazzled2207 Sat 24-Oct-20 08:25:03

You should have argued with her about it at the time- too late now. Nurseries round here made a negligible charge when closed to cover their essential costs such as property, once they realised they could claim furlough for staff. If she’s worked as a CM for at least 2 years she should have got a decent self employed grant as long as her accounts were in order. That said as pp said she would have had to wait for that money.

LadyB49 Sat 24-Oct-20 08:25:44

My gd hasn't been to childminder since March but has been paying 50% to retain her place

mamabear2010 Sat 24-Oct-20 08:26:07

As a ex childminder , i would have only charged a retainer fee , i have had a lot of friends that have been charged full price when they been furloughed and have struggled to keep up with bills etc

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