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Childminder closed, asking for £ and I still need childcare

(75 Posts)
Zariyah Mon 30-Mar-20 17:54:20

I love the childminder. She provides a lovely setting for my daughter. I understand her position, I am not criticising her but I’m worried. The setting is closed, even to children of key workers.

I am a single parent, frontline worker and I need childcare. I have nobody else to look after my baby. My job cannot be done from home.

She is requesting 80% pay whilst closed but I cannot afford to pay her that and an alternative childcare provider.

What on earth do I do?

esjee Mon 30-Mar-20 17:57:25

Ultimately it's not your job to pay her if she's not providing a service and you can't afford it. Simply tell her what you've just told us.

CaryStoppins Mon 30-Mar-20 17:59:40

Give notice to your current childminder and find a new one. Contact the childcare team at your local council.

Myusername2015 Mon 30-Mar-20 18:00:27

I’m in exactly the same position. My cm originally argued saying I was required to pay even I gave notice. I said I would take legal advice and she decided I didn’t actually have to pay. Like you I couldn’t afford to pay twice; it’s a nightmare for childminders but even so they need to be reasonable

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:01:46

Ask her if she can lower the retainer fee if she’s self isolating for any reason.

She may have to self-isolate for 12 weeks.

In this case she may need to charge a retainer fee but 80% is too high if you need to pay someone else too so try come to an agreement.

DesLynamsMoustache Mon 30-Mar-20 18:02:44

You'll just have to be honest with her and say you can't afford it. Surely she will benefit from the government measures for self-employed folk anyway?

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:04:26

You’re usually legally required to pay 4 weeks notice on ending a legal contract, she is right.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 30-Mar-20 18:05:49

Find another? Is baby's dad around to pick up childcare?

BlueBirdGreenFence Mon 30-Mar-20 18:05:59

Tell her to claim the 80% from the Government.

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:06:12


If she has a contract with you it’s usually legally binding that you will have to pay 4 weeks after giving notice - legally binding and correct thing to do.

MzHz Mon 30-Mar-20 18:06:34

Hold on... she’s self employed right? She can claim 80% of her wages like everyone else! The MOST she should ask for is 20%

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:07:54


You do not know how much she has earned over the past three years and whether she can cover costs until June to keep her business afloat.

TerribleCustomerCervix Mon 30-Mar-20 18:07:56

It should say in your contract with her on what payment is due when the setting is closed- in my standard contract for our CM, none is due. I’d be happy to pay a 50% retainer, but 80% is ludicrous.

I can understand why they feel they need to charge something with the sudden way they had to shut up shop, but she’s taking the piss.

I’ve seen other threads of CM’s doing the same, and they’re risking losing good, reliable clients who’ve been alienated by these grabby tactics. Once this is all over, whenever that is, there will be spaces at lots of nurseries and CMs who’ve lost mindees when parents have been furloughed, made redundant or their employers are more open to flexible/ working from home.

fairgroundsnack Mon 30-Mar-20 18:08:44

Unless your contract says you have to pay her even if she is closed, I wouldn’t pay the notice period. The contract is that you pay and she provides the service. She is refusing to provide the service (even though she is legally allowed to WS you are a key worker) so I would see that as repudiatory breach of contract which would allow you to terminate immediately. She obviously doesn’t have to keep the place open for you if you terminate though.

PuppyMonkey Mon 30-Mar-20 18:09:58

Agree with BlueBird, she has had to shut her business down so she claims the 80% of profit as a self employed person as outlined the other day.confused

Myusername2015 Mon 30-Mar-20 18:11:06

4 weeks notice only if they are providing a service. My contract has no pay if childminder is away so I can’t possibly see how paying is required in this case.

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:11:49


Most childminders aren’t money grabbing profiteers. I use two and they work very hard and earn little.

If parents are in a position to pay a retainer (still being paid by their employers) most will as they appreciate child carers unlike you.

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:12:52


Presumably she’s closed due to having to follow government guidelines to self isolate so she’s not open because she can’t.

fruitpastille Mon 30-Mar-20 18:12:52

What's her reason for closing? My CM is taking children of key workers as she is legally allowed plus she wants to help those key workers to keep going.

Glenthebattleostrich Mon 30-Mar-20 18:13:16

I've asked for 50% fees but some families can't afford it and I completely understand.

Explain your situation I'm sure that your minder will understand.

Lumene Mon 30-Mar-20 18:13:37

If they are not providing a service the contract is not valid surely

esjee Mon 30-Mar-20 18:14:32

@sorrelli 80% when its highly likely the can access to government scheme is ridiculous, plus OP has already said they cannot afford to pay twice.

fruitpastille Mon 30-Mar-20 18:15:07

If you are getting childcare elsewhere I think it's fair enough to end the contract although paying notice would be the right thing to do.

Wineislifex Mon 30-Mar-20 18:16:01

No that’s completely unfair, you don’t pay for a service someone is refusing to provide. Hope you get alternative cover sorted soon!

sorrelli Mon 30-Mar-20 18:16:34

She may not have earned much over the past three years as is the case of my childminder and usually they have overheads, it is a business after all.

Obviously she has panicked, knowing she’ll be entitled to 94 per week Universal Credit and some low payment in June.

Please ignore other posters who don’t know the situation of self employed people right now.

She’s tried for the 80% but the right thing to do is just tell her you can’t. Maybe if you’re in a position to offer a retainer do so, to help her keep afloat.

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