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childcare fees

(20 Posts)
alibabs Mon 24-Aug-09 08:51:23

my children are looked after by a childminder after school for three nights a week. during holidays i dont need her to look after them but pay half of what i would pay which is fine. during the summer holidays i am paying half which i have been told by her that this is a retainer to keep their places till September again this is fine with me. But during the six weeks my childminder has been on holiday abroad and i assumed that i wouldnt have to pay for those weeks but i have been told i still do. I am not very happy about this because as far as i am concerned her being out of the country means her services are unavailable to me whether i need them or not. Any other time she is unable to look after them i dont pay her. please can anyone tell me if they have experienced the same and is it right that i still pay her thanks

chamaeleon Mon 24-Aug-09 08:55:38

It is up to the individual childminder. If it is in your contract then you pay. If it is stated that you do not pay for her hols and she is away then you shouldnt, altho she may argue that she is taking her hols when you have booked yours so she doesnt have unpaid time off. This should all have been written down and signed when you sorted out the paperwork, if it isnt then you can always ask if you can renegotiate. You may have to be prepared to lose or find a new cm if she refuses, its her business so her terms.

nannynick Mon 24-Aug-09 08:58:07

It really depends on the contract you signed.

As the service wasn't available, I don't feel they should charge... but every CM can do as they wish and they may well have it in the contract that they do get paid whilst they are away on holiday.

alibabs Mon 24-Aug-09 08:59:47

i dont remember signing anything!!!! i will have to check this out

BonsoirAnna Mon 24-Aug-09 09:00:12

I agree with the OP that a childminder ought not to charge a retainer for times when she is unavailable to care for children. You can discuss this with your next CM when signing your contract.

alibabs Mon 24-Aug-09 09:04:18

i dont think the rules should be any different for summer holidays, if i decide next year i want her to look after them in the summer holidays does that mean she wont be able to go on holiday? and if she does go on holiday would she still charge me?

BonsoirAnna Mon 24-Aug-09 09:06:55

A CM is self-employed and can take all the holidays she wants (albeit risking losing her clients if she isn't available enough when they need her).

nannynick Mon 24-Aug-09 09:07:50

If she gives you advance notice of when she is going on holiday, then she can go on holiday even if you need childcare at that time.
Some CM's will charge whilst they are on holiday, others won't. So you really need to find that contract to see what it says.
If the CM is a member of the NCMA then they will be using an NCMA contract (which from what I hear has quite small print on the back of it which details things like this).

HSMM Mon 24-Aug-09 13:49:59

Check whether your contract says you pay when she's on holiday. If it doesn't, or if you don't have a contract, then you don't have to pay. (and if you don't have a contract, get one)

flopalong Tue 25-Aug-09 19:52:53

I take paid holidays, everyone else gets them. I give parent lots of notice and we have them at the same time. If you people get tax credits (childcare part) do you inform them when she hasn't charged you??

flopalong Tue 25-Aug-09 20:01:21

I don't charge for sickness so never have sickdays. most people get paid for their time off otherwise like for my 1st 3 years childminding you couldn't afford to take them. Pay for a holiday and pay your bill on top of a week or 2 with no money.

AvadaKedavra Tue 25-Aug-09 20:05:21

A valid point there flopalong about tax credits and one I would be interested in knowing the truthful answer to

BigGobMum Tue 25-Aug-09 20:09:05

Anyone think that its about time that Cm's were somehow regulated in order to avoid this sort of confusion? And why if cms are self employed do they think they should get paid anything at all when they themselves are not available for work. No other self-employed person has this perk.

flopalong Tue 25-Aug-09 20:13:32

I should have said or he as well though sorry Nanny Nick but this has been an issue with some parents over the years. I used to feel bad, then one parent asked me to sign something to say she had paid me 1000 more than she had, she told them I had chared her for the holidays. The check of it. I wrote an invoice for the correct amount an proptly gave 4 weeks notice of the introduction of a retainer fee in the holidays

AvadaKedavra Tue 25-Aug-09 20:15:33

Anyone think that its about time that Cm's were somehow regulated in order to avoid this sort of confusion?

Hmm REGISTERED Childminders should give it away BGM lol

Seriously though, no other profession/trade are bound by rules on what they can charge/do, they set what they feel is right for them, CMing is exactly the same and rightly so.

The onus is on parent to find a CM that they agree with their terms at the outset, or negotiate those terms. Not sign a legally binding contract without reading it first and then start bleating.

BigGobMum Tue 25-Aug-09 20:20:00

Sorry Avada - Im not really up to date with rules and regs. Its a long time since I had my childminders. I remember though that I never had to pay when they were unavailable and paid half when we were on holiday.

flopalong Tue 25-Aug-09 20:20:41

stupid broken keyboard

nannynick Tue 25-Aug-09 20:28:13

The regulator won't get involved in financial issues. Are any other industries regulated to such an extent that the regulator can control how much someone pays for the service and what the terms of providing that service are?

flopalong Tue 25-Aug-09 20:28:55

That was before it was so regulated and I had to spend 10hors a week on to of the 50hrs I work doing paperwork, Risk assesments, observations, planning assesmnets, accounts, daily diarys and other things.
I work hard and regulary for the same people, and as I have pointed out. All the parents of the childen I care for reicieve the 80% childcare tax credits. They get this if I charge or not. (all parents at the moment tell me I deserve a paid holiday and they hope I have a bit of a rest)

flopalong Tue 25-Aug-09 20:33:21

I have children that I look after now and again, I don't look after them daily or weekly so don't charge a retainer fee. They just ring up and see if I'm free. I wouldn't charge them for holidays either, THAT would be cheaky.

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