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CMs - What should I be agreeing to in my contract re holidays etc?

(13 Posts)
TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 00:36:51

I would be very grateful for any advice. I have agreed care in principle with a CM for my DC - 2 days a week - 1 full-time, one after school, on a term-time basis.

I have asked for a contract, but so far, haven't got one - they are due to start in 2 weeks time. [crikey]

I am a bit unclear on the norm for these things, and tbh I am having a few worries. My prospective CM told me she charged for bank holidays, as she was entitled to holiday pay.?

We originally agreed that the days would be Tues & Fri, but she phoned last week and asked if it could be Mon & Fri. This will mean potentially that I will be paying her for days I don't send my DC.

She has also raised the rate that was originally agreed - by £3 a day, but said she wouldn't charge for her holidays. But as we are on term -time basis only (and CM has school age DC) she will be taking her hols during school hols anyway.

She has said I need to pay a 1/2 time retainer during holidays.

On top of this, she phoned this week to tell me she has just got a new dog, and how do I feel about dogs? I hate them.

I felt I really got on with this CM when we met, but now I am having some doubts with all the chopping & changing. I probably just need a bit of reassurance, but can any CMs tell me the normal way of dealing with these things?


SillyMillysMummy Sat 15-Aug-09 08:21:08

I dont think there is any 'norm', things change from cm to cm and area to area too. I personally dont charge for my holidays, 1/2 fees for childs hols, no fees for bank hols unless requested to work then its double fees, i also do a term time only contract with one of my mindees without retainer.


danthe4th Sat 15-Aug-09 10:06:06

Term time only does not include bank holidays as these are not in the school term.
If you agree to pay holidays then there is not much you can do.Personally I do a term time only contract and this does not include any holidays unless children are taken out of school in which case I would expect full pay. I suggest you agree to see her so all the details can be sorted.I don't charge retainers but most cm do, if you knew this and have agreed then there is not much you can do, unless you could get her to do a slightly higher hourly rate instead.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 19:15:34

Thanks, I don't mind paying a retainer over school holidays, but the bank holidays present a bit of an issue for me. There are 3 which are in term-time, 1 in March & 2 in May. If I work Tues & Fridays, I can bank these days to use another time. However, if I work Mondays, I don't get to bank the days, and I still have to pay for the CM, even though she would not take the DC.

I will have a chat with her to try to clear up things, and ask for the contract asap.

stomp Sat 15-Aug-09 19:29:25

Why have you not done contracts yet? i would insist on an appointment to do them and if she still delays then i would find another childminder. changing days- sometimes it does happen when people phone and i say yes i have space on such and such day but realise later i've overbooked so i phone and offer a different day...but if you have met then i would found it difficult to understand why things have changed, dog- if you're not keen then ask how she is going to deal with it during minding hours, 1/2 fee in hols- its usual, i do not do it but many do, changing for bank hols- again many do but i do not, the not charging for her hols in normal and just because you have(will have)a term-time only contract does not mean she can not take holiday during school term- ask her if she plans to. hth. i must say that if you are having serious doubts now then now is the time to start looking for another cm -before you sign.

Sidge Sat 15-Aug-09 19:59:00

I would run away fast. The main thing for me would be that she hasn't yet drawn up a contract yet your DS is due to start in a fortnight.

Why would she want you to change your days after you said you needed her for Tuesdays and Fridays? Surely you need her to care for your child when you are working, not random days that she has decided to have your child? If she can't take him due to her numbers then that should be made clear to you, not just asking you to switch around.

I wouldn't pay her for her holidays either - mine yes, but not hers and certainly not if you had agreed a term time only contract.

Re Bank Holidays I would only be happy to pay her if she was available for work those days but I had the BH off and so chose not to use her. I certainly wouldn't pay her if she wasn't available to work.

I don't really understand why she would want a retainer either - I thought a retainer was to 'hold' a place and if she doesn't work the school holidays herself then she wouldn't need to hold the place for you.

The dog would also be a clincher for me - I wouldn't send my DC to a CM with a dog.

Maybe I am misunderstanding your post but I don't see much positive about this CM!

danthe4th Sat 15-Aug-09 19:59:24

If she won't take the children on the bank holidays then she can't really charge for them, if she will she is entitled to charge a different rate,but bank holidays are not part of the school term.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 20:23:10

I do have a bit of flexibility in the days I work, and it was in the knowledge of this that the CM asked if we could change days - there is only 1 other mindee, and there was some hard to understand reason to do with the other mum.

We first agreed to the arrangement in May, and she said she would post contracts out straight away. I have asked her a couple of times for them.

The thing is, initially she seemed really nice, and I'm sure she is, it's just all the changes to the conditions we originally agreed ie - rate, days, dog, and lack of contract which have me a bit concerned.

Sidge Sat 15-Aug-09 20:27:31

I'm sure she's lovely, but as a working mum I need solid reliable childcare, not someone who buggers me about before we've even started IYKWIM.

Maybe it's time to pin her down for a proper chat and get those contracts signed?

atworknotworking Sat 15-Aug-09 21:07:34

If it helps I have a mum who is a teacher, with two dc's Tues and Fri (spoooky eh)

Here's how I do it, mum pays monthly in advance for the sessions ie: Tues / Fri in the month.

I don't charge for B/Hol, bit hmm that this cm says shes entitled to them, she is s/emp she is technically entitled to nowt, she might like to be paid for them but thats not the same.

I don't charge retainer, they are T/T only so I take other mindees during holiday club to fill their space, so if mum did need extra care during holidays I may not have space.

If your dc's are starting in 2wks, have they not had settling in sessions yet? if not she's cutting it a bit fine.

You need to make it clear to her that what you originally agreed together is not whats happening now and ask her to change back to the original agreement if it suits you better, if she is this disorganised I would bet that once you start work she might ask for day / time changes again.

WRT the dog, you should ask her how she intends to handle the children/dog and ask to see her pet policy, if it really is an issue with you I would start looking for another CM, pretty sharpish as not that long left.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 21:21:13

Thanks Atworknotworking. You will be pleased to know I am not a teacher! smile

Out of interest, how much would you charge for 8.30 - 6pm for child 1 & 2pm - 6pm care for child 2?

atworknotworking Sat 15-Aug-09 21:36:40

Sorry don't know what made me think that, I charge £3.50 per hour. Inc all food/snacks trips.

pinenuts Sun 16-Aug-09 11:44:00

I am a childminder who has a dog ,but he does not have access to the childminded children,just a bug bare of mine as even if dog is 100% trustable in the owners eyes if it`s unwell or gets hit by a toy or trod on you can never tell how it may react.most dogs who bite, they always say he/she has never done anything like this before NOW.On the dog lovers side he has the run of a large utility room with loads of toys,access out to gdn when kids inside,radio on and older daughter walks him,there are times when i feel like i wish i were the dog LOL

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