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Childminder still wants paying

(24 Posts)
Gemm83 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:14:53

Wasn't sure quite where to put this but seeing as it's Corona related.....!

I was due to return to work on the 1st April and found a CM for my 9 month old. She will be going every Wednesday. I paid one day for deposit and she had 2 settling in sessions. Obvs Coronavirus hit so she hasn't actually had any full days with her because of closures.

DH and I have been furloughed. So are 40% down on wages and still having to pay full rent (£1000) as LL is unable to offer a discount. My CM has just sent me an invoice for just under £250 for April fees. I explained the situation and she basically said "You are still being paid, so I should be paid" (not a shitty as that, but in a round about way). I could understand if LO was an established member of her group, but she hasn't even been with her!!

She's sent a copy of her contract stating if she is forced to close then we must pay as its not her choice. Again, understand if we had been regularly paying, so she would be losing out, but we haven't.

Am I stuck? We can't afford it. Literally can't. Not sure whether to cut my losses, lose deposit and try looking for another CM when time comes to go back to work. Any ideas?

Would also like to hear from other CM's and their policies/experiences.

TIA

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Sun 19-Apr-20 14:18:39

You're 20% down on your household income, not 40% but that aside, see if she will accept a holding fee rather than full payment or find someone else if you feel there are other options. How hard was it to find someone you liked originally? She should be eligible for some government help - 80% of her self employed income if she has been going for long enough anyway, so she is also being paid.

Gemm83 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:34:08

@Doyoumind

Sorry, for the bad math!! 🤦‍♀️ I've asked her if she would take a smaller payment and she (very politely) said it was a no go. My DH is furious about the whole situation. I'm trying to play Devils advocate, but it's even pissing me off a little.

I was recommended to her by my previous CM who had to give it up.

OP’s posts: |
gogglegoggle Sun 19-Apr-20 17:45:36

I am paying half fees for April and May as a gesture of good will as govt help not available until June (DD only there 1 day per week so half fees are barely anything!) but have said beyond that I cannot commit to payment.

DP and I are frontline and are needing either unpaid leave or potentially find a childcare setting which is still open to key workers and I'm not prepared to pay twice. Especially since CMs should be getting a decent amount of govt help from June. A bit annoying for us as govt advice is that she can still open for us but has chosen herself to shut.

But it's a very grey and difficult area which I have found really awkward and uncomfortable to tread. Ultimately I like our childminder and respect her and don't want her to be struggling- but I don't see the difference between CM and other self employed people who will just have to wait for govt help.

(I'm very conflicted about it).

But no way in your situation would I pay full fees indefinitely. If she insists I would pay a months notice and find someone new after lockdown ends.

DivGirl Sun 19-Apr-20 18:00:21

Wait, £250 for one day a week? So about £58/day? For a childminder?

Lose the deposit, at that price you could put your child in a nursery and never have to worry about them being off sick or going on holiday.

Nelliana Sun 19-Apr-20 18:03:10

I'd look for a nursery tbh and cancel her.

DivGirl Sun 19-Apr-20 18:03:17

Oh, and I absolutely 100% would not be paying full fees for a childminder that I cannot use, and who I/my child do not have a strong relationship with. That's utter madness.

TJH130 Sun 19-Apr-20 18:05:33

Tell her to go forth and multiply

Indella Sun 19-Apr-20 18:09:54

I wouldn’t pay it. She should be entitled to a government grant to help her and even if not sadly they are the risks that come with being self-employed. It’s not your responsibility to guarantee her earnings. You wouldn’t book a builder and then pay him for work he hadn’t turned up to do, why is this any different?

pocketem Sun 19-Apr-20 18:10:34

Tell her to fuck off. Find a nursery instead

Doughnutsandducks Sun 19-Apr-20 18:13:38

For reference, we pay 330 a month for 3 days a week 7.30am- 4pm.... and our childminder has said if we cant afford not to worry. We're all getting 80% so all in it together

Littleshortcake Sun 19-Apr-20 18:14:16

No way would I pay in these circumstances.

babynamesarehard Sun 19-Apr-20 18:17:35

Our childminder costs a lot more than nursery so not sure why people are commenting about that

We are paying half fees whilst she's closed which is hard to stomach but we are hoping she'll still be around when this is all over!

Christmastreedown Sun 19-Apr-20 18:36:03

For long term, it's better to find another CM isn't grabby. I would give up deposit and find another CM, make sure you look at contract properly like holiday rate, notice period, sick pay, hours not worked etc. I didn't change mine because my DD isn't good with change, I have been paying significantly more than other parents in the same village because my CM's hourly rate is higher and she also charges all year round even when I don't use her (I only use her during term time). When she is on holiday, I have to pay her as well as someone else who take care of my kids when she is not working.

Not surprisingly, she charges me 100% since school closure - not negotiation even when me and dh have pay cut because we are still getting pay (just enough to pay the bills).

You really don't want to settle with a CM who sees money as her priority.

Good luck.

Viviennemary Sun 19-Apr-20 18:39:02

She sounds like an absolute grabber. I'd find somebody else. Certainly wouldn't pay up.

Oggden1 Sun 19-Apr-20 18:40:48

Our childminder is charging half fees but not to key workers. She shut but could have had our ds as u am a key worker and did for a few weeks initially. We're being charged zero as she is choosing not to have him rather than can't. Again this is as per her contract.
50% fees is pretty standard I thi k across the board.

EL8888 Sun 19-Apr-20 18:41:12

Haha nice try by her. She has literally done nothing for you. Wants to not work, get paid by you and by the government. Dishonest and grabby

ShootsFruitAndLeaves Sun 19-Apr-20 18:44:55

Just don't pay. She can sue if she wants.

ShootsFruitAndLeaves Sun 19-Apr-20 18:46:54

Also tell her she can get the government to pay 80% of her profits as well.

Same deal.

ivfgottostaypositive Sun 19-Apr-20 18:54:28

How much is her daily rate if the invoice for 1 month is £250!? Sounds more expensive than a nursery - childminders are usually much cheaper - in my area 1 day a week would be around £120 per month.

I'd tell her to jog on.

And for the person who replied saying it's only a 20% pay cut that's only if you earn under £30k - I earn over that and my wage has effectively been halved due to the cap. My childminder also demanded full fee (except my monthly fee is £800!) I've given notice as I think she's taking the piss (what self employed people do you know that get sick pay, holiday pay and bank holidays) - I'm sick of it to be honest.

Floatyboat Sun 19-Apr-20 19:11:44

Did you sign a contract? What's the notice period?

Not disagreeing with people who suggested just don't pay but would help to know.

YouMaySayImADreamer Sun 19-Apr-20 20:14:23

This sounds a lot like something my old childminder would have done. We stayed because the care and setting was good but in hindsight the grabby and questionable policies around anything money related were always there niggling us. In hindsight it affected the way we viewed her and ultimately our relationship with her despite best efforts to put it aside .

Fantasiaa Sun 19-Apr-20 20:37:19

Wouldn’t pay ! No way given that she hasn’t ever had proper sessions!

ivfgottostaypositive Sun 19-Apr-20 20:45:41

@YouMaySayImADreamer
I agree - we've been with our childminder for a few years but she refused to sign up to 30 hours (even though our LA pays more than her hourly rate and pays for the whole term upfront) and refused to sign up for the tax free childcare account as she didn't want the HMRC knowing her "business" - we felt backed into a corner as there is a lack of childcare spaces in our area compared to demand and had to agree and it has soured what I think of her. Demanding dull fees during this time has been the final nail in the coffin. My parents are now stepping in to help over the summer

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