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Is my childminder incredibly cheeky or is it me

(46 Posts)
Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 14:17:52

My children started with our childminder last November when I went back to work after maternity. During the initial chats I mentioned that I may occasionaly be sent on a weeks course and would need a later collection time and would it be a problem, childminder said OK.
Since then I have been on 3 courses (having not had any for years) and agreed a pick-up of 1 hour later. Yesterday, when she gave me the invoice for the last week which had three late pickups (needed to clain for expenses) she had upped her charges by £2 per hour per child. This is in spite of the fact that dh was ended up working from home last week & collected at the normal time.
Far enough to pay her for the extra hours as we had booked if not used them, but I think its is very cheeky to put up her prices after the event without any warning.
Anyway I said I had no problem paying the higher rate the next time for the "unsociable hours" - till 6 instead of 5, but could she redo the invoce for last week at the standard rate, which I would then pay.
Am I too demanding as a parent or is what I said I would do fair.
Honest opinions please - though don't be too hard on me.

lunavix Tue 14-Jun-05 14:21:54

Did you actually agree the cheaper price? For example, as a CM I have a price sheet which sets extra hours at £1 dearer, and it's kept in my file. If a parent asked for extra hours, then I'd assume they understood it wouldbe at the extra rate. (Having said that, I would mention it to them, not assume it, and also I wouldn't charge an extra £2 an hour before 6!!!!)

gossifer Tue 14-Jun-05 14:21:59

i think she should forewarn you of ANY changes in price, like any other business transaction

Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 14:28:24

Lunavix - no mention of extra hours on the price list and this is the third course she has had the longer hours for.

Gossifer - that was what I thought which is why I said I would pay the higher rate next time.

The one thing that could be said in her defence is that I implied that this wouldn't happen very frequently. Before this the last course I was on was April 2001 !!!

lunavix Tue 14-Jun-05 14:29:57

Definately cheeky then. I'd refuse to pay the extra, or any other extra. Your CM contract should state her extra charges in it. If it doesn't, then tell her she needs to negotiate a new contract before you consider paying extra. If it does, sadly she's being cheeky but in her right to.

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 14:33:32

and agreed a pick-up of 1 hour later.

Am confused by this

Do you mean you had agreed the late pick up or not ????

Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 14:39:48

RTKangaMummy - The later pickup time had been agreed beforehand, as it had also been on my two previous courses.

Oh and before anyone asks - dh & I agreed ages ago that he would do drop off, so I could start work at 8 (leaving the house at 7:15)& so finish at 4, whereas he would do the late starts which have been anything from 9 - 10 depending on where he was based and work late as & when he needed to.

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 14:47:31

So she had agreed to have your children later

I am right or still muddled

"Far enough to pay her for the extra hours as we had booked if not used them"

Am feeling very confused

If you had agreed late pick ups but then changed your mind {DH collecting} then that is different

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 14:49:46

So previously you agreed to collect @ 6pm for the courses last month or whenever

Then last week you had a course and arranged 6pm BUT then DH collected them early BUT were charged as if they had stayed until 6pm with an addded charge on top

Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 14:54:26

RTKangaMummy - She had agreed to have DS & DD for 1 extra hour on each of the three days, my assumption was that this would be at the standard rate as on previous occasions. We didn't in the end actually use the booked hours as dh picked them up but still prepared to pay for them at the standard rate. What I felt was incredibly cheeky was nearly doubling her hourly rate £5 per hour per child, from £3 per hour per child without agreeing or even informing us in advance and she didn't even mind them for those hours anyway.

Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 15:01:09

RTKangaMummy - just seen your other post, that's what happened.

Lunavix - I have agreed to pay extra next time, because there is very unlikely to be a next time. As my department is being outsourced so I will be made redundant at some point in the next 12 months (hopefully sooner rather than later) as the new company will not cope with my existing 4-day week & early hours, no matter what they say now to protect themselves legally. Also they are rumoured to not be a good employer anyway so I want to leave & try & startup my own business.

crunchie Tue 14-Jun-05 15:09:21

Defineately cheeky. I also think a 6pm finish is not 'unsociable hours' I would expect 6pm as normal with any later being paid extra (but not £2 extra per hour per child).

Blu Tue 14-Jun-05 15:09:52

RTK - She's not objecting to a charge for the extra hour which was booked but not used (which was from 5pm -6pm), but the fact that for this extra hour she was charged £2 more per hour than she pays for her regular hours.

DebbietheMum - I think your cm is being cheeky if she did not tell you in advance that the cost of extra hours was £2 more, and that your response was reasonable.

How has she reacted?

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 15:11:09

I agree that she should have mentioned to you about the extra charge

But also think that you should pay for the extra hours overtime even if you don't use them

It may have meant something being changed for her family so that she could have yours later

It is very awkward when parents ask for overtime because it may not be convienent but if you can't think of a reason quickley enough you end up saying "oh yes that is ok" IYSWIM

I am very much a yes person and will say YES to anybody if they ask politely and then when I sit back and think about it regret being so accomodating.

btw I have a charge of overtime that is double normal rates not that it is used because only work short hours anyway cos of mindees job.

If you are sure that she has not mentioned it then you are right to feel as you do BUT she may also be very frustrated with you for changing your mind and having DH collect them earlier than was agreed

Blu Tue 14-Jun-05 15:14:21

DebbirTheMum isn't objecting to paying for the 5-6pm hour since it was booked, but she is objecting to the £2 extra per hour as she was not told about it.

Why would someone be frustrated if they had been booked and paid to work an extra hour and then got paid but didn't have to do the work?? in fact the child was picked up earlir than normal!!

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 15:16:08

Unsocialable hours for me are before 8am and after 4.15pm as after that it interferes with family life etc.

And the old families would finish work at 3.40 so that gave them time to sort themselves out and make the 5 minute journey to my house

Present mindee goes @ 2pm so would no way be there after 4.15

so unsocial hours can be anything as long as everybody knows where they stand

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 15:18:38

Because say for example they had said to their child that they couldn't go somewhere because of mindees being there and then they were collected early and so then their child could have gone whereever.

OR that they had arrangeed to take mindees swimming or to the park for a picnic tea and then had to come home so that they would be picked up @ 5pm

I agree that she was going to pay btw

Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 15:30:57

Blu - I am with you on this and am glad that most of you seem to be agreeing with me. She appeared fine with what I suggested, however she is not very assertive so may not have said anything, which is why I wanted to check with you guys.

RTKangaMummy - I have no problem paying for the hours between 5 & 6 and fully expected & planned to, because I agree that she may have rearranged her life to help me. It is the way she has changed her pricing policy for extra hours with no discussion or warning until afterwards, which is why I refused to pay the higher rate this time. However I have agreed that if I require extra hours in the future then I will pay the higher rate for those hours.

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 15:37:34

Sorry I think I may have come accross as rather angry with you

It is very very difficult to talk about money with parents

I usually give them a letter so they can discuss any pay rise etc between them rather than announcing it

BUT it is very very embarresssing to ask for more money

Debbiethemum Tue 14-Jun-05 15:43:58

RTKangaMummy - Don't worry, I was probably also too defensive .
I agree it can be very embarrassing to ask for extra money, I don't like doing it myself. Will pay her extra next time, if I ever get to go on another course again.

jinglybits Tue 14-Jun-05 15:53:29

I think you were right not to pay the extra charges and perfectly decent to pay for the extra hours even though you did not require her services in the end, as that is what you had agreed. Your childminder is being very cheeky to suddenly up her rates without speaking to you, this is not the agreement you have with her, if you had paid the extra she could well hand you the weekly statement at any date in the future with higher charges again. It simply isn't professional to bill a higher rate than agreed.

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 16:17:56

@ Debbie

ssd Tue 14-Jun-05 16:21:10

I'm a childminder too and I think yours is taking the mickey! She can up her prices as much as she likes, but she should discuss it with you first, not just invoice you and not bother mentioning it beforehand. This to me is cheeky and unprofessional.

I'd definately mention you're unhappy with this and if she is halfway decent she'll apologise and waive the extra £2 fee until you've both came to an agreed arrangement re late or unsociable hours.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

feelingold Tue 14-Jun-05 16:23:02

All charges should be agreed in your contract, of which you should have a copy. The contracts are signed by parent/s and cm and these rates are what you should pay, so find your copy and have a look at it before paying any extra.
Charges should only be changed when reviewing contracts.
I charge extra for before 8am, after 6pm or at weekends.

blodwen Tue 14-Jun-05 18:13:15

I am a childminder too, and definately think yours is not within her rights to charge extra without discussion in advance. If it's not mentioned in your contract, then she can't do it.

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