Short and sweet quick question for you lovely childminders out there. I pay a retainer during school holidays etc. This, I assumed, was to keep my children's places open. I wanted CM to have my 2 for one morning this week but she has said she is full. She has obviously therefore filled my places? Am i wrong to be a little annoyed about this. I thought the whole point of the retainer was that my places were open to use if i wished and th retainer is so she has an income but she has obviously made money on top of this?
What do you think/what is childminder etiquette on this? She is fantastic in all other ways btw so am not thinking of leaving just wondering whether to have a word or not?
Yup, you're right, a childminder would normally be obliged to keep that space open for YOU, that's why you're paying! There may be something different in the contract so check that first - if not, then I would most definitely have a gentle word and if she's as good as you say, should not be offended if you do! She should also by rights reimburse you your retainer as Bradfordmum said.
The way I worked it (before charging F/T in the holidays) was that the 'retainer' was to retain the place for the following term - otherwise I could 'sell' your space to anyone who wanted it - this could be the case here
You may find that you are paying to keep the space available so she doesn't fill it in the term. Read youre contract and ask for a chat to clarify. If you have never used the space in the holidays how much warning did you give the minder that you wanted the space. She is perfectly entitled to try to fill the space for full fee in the holidays but not in the term time.
Thanks for the replies everyone...can't find my contract to see what it says. I don't think I will say anything having thought about it because she is so wonderful and we have never had a cross word so don't want to start now but i will check out my contract and think about saying well in advance if i want her to have DC's during holidays.