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Childcare Charges - Amount of holidays taken with his dad

(16 Posts)
maria12345 Tue 28-Jun-11 12:16:25


I would be really grateful if somebody could give me some advice on this issue. My son is 2 years old and he goes to a childminder 3 full days a week. As you know, childminders charge you the same amount of money when you go on holidays.

My problem is this. I am separated and my ex pays me maintenance, which I understand is money that does not include childcare, but it is money for food, clothes, bills etc. Is that right?

I am currently paying 30% of childcare fees, as 70% is covered by tax credits. However, this year, my ex has decided to take extra holidays to spend with my son. While I do not have any objections to my son spending time with his dad, there is one issue I need advice on. This year my ex has planned already 6 weeks away on hols with my son and all the time, of course, I (and tax credits) pay the childminder when actually my son is away with his dad. I can only afford one or two weeks away on hols with my son... but total, this means I am paying the childminder full charges when my son is away for 10 weeks or so a year.

So the dilemma is.... Should I be paying (even if it is just 30%) the childminder for all these weeks my son is away with his dad? Or should I be asking my ex to give me the money for it? Do I have any legal ground?

Thanks very much in advance,


niceguy2 Tue 28-Jun-11 12:42:51

His maintenance covers everything whilst the kids are living at yours. There's nothing set out to say it covers x but not y.

So he'd be perfectly within his rights to say no he isn't paying towards the childminder. That said, there's no harm in asking for a contribution so long as you do it in a nice way and accept he is perfectly entitled to say no.

To be honest, if dad wasn't taking your son on holiday you'd be paying the childminder regardless so the real cost difference to you is zero.

As for legal ground, no you don't. Even if you did, it wouldn't be worth fighting over.

cestlavielife Tue 28-Jun-11 12:43:33

would deoend on how much maintenance he is paying anyhow, what sort of money you talking about etc.
you ahve to pay childminder anyway whether he there or not, you cant stop or you lose place presumably.. tax credits paying 70% anyway - how much is the rest?

also if son away with dad for hwole week you not paying son's costs of food etc that week - so dad might argue that.

how much is food for one week for son versus the bit you paying childminder?

depends - is it worth the agrro asking?

allnewtaketwo Wed 29-Jun-11 11:24:49

Surely though if your ex has your child for 6 weeks on holiday then that's a significant reduction in costs for you relating to your child while he's away. Also at the same time an increase in costs for your ex as he will be feeding, entertaining him etc etc.

And in any case you would have been paying the CM anyway. So actually the extra hols with your ex are saving you money. I'd be surprised if he agreed to pay you anything extra, on that basis.

Isn't it great that your chid is getting so many holidays though. Try to focus on that, instead of money

runningonmt Wed 29-Jun-11 13:39:44

I would very greatful that he doesnt ask you for the maintenance back for the six weeks he has him - Maintenace is to cover the childs day to day living expenses. When your DC is with him Ex is paying for them again.

I would use the money you are saving on not paying to entertain and feed your son to have a few nights out while you can (a bit like having a free babysitter for 42 nights). You are lucky that tax credits are paying the majority of your childcare costs. Just think how cross you would be if you were footing the bill for 6 weeks of fulltime childcare that you are not using.

I think that it would be beneficial to be reasonable - too many expartner relationships go sour over niggling over a bit of money here and there. There will be occasions in years to come when you may have the occasion to ask ex for a little bit more towards passports / school trips / unforseen expenditure etc ....

Please dont think I am having a go at you at all, but sometime we need someone else who is in lone parent position to remind you to look at both sides and to think about the long term plan.

Enjoy your 6 weeks off x

marycorporate Wed 29-Jun-11 18:40:48

There is no stipulation over what maintenacne actually covers. Morally, I feel that an ex should pay for half of whatever childacre cost is left over after any child tax credits but you can't insist on this through law I'm afraid.

marycorporate Wed 29-Jun-11 18:41:28

And what allnew said.

marycorporate Wed 29-Jun-11 18:42:59

sorry to triple post!! 6 weeks is 42 days a year... when does he have him as standard because the extra 42 days surely takes him in ot the next CSA threshold?

maria12345 Wed 29-Jun-11 20:38:13

Thanks everybody for your advice,

To be honest, I was more worried about the next few months than now. I started my own business a year ago but I only anticipate profits to start in the next month. Timewise, I was thinking of next few months, when I possibly can earn enough to have my tax credits reduced or completely removed, then having to pay the childminder in full for weeks when my son is away with his dad.

If I have to pay the childminder in full, this would be (by far!) much more than what I spend on food, etc, a week for my son, and also more than what I get as weekly child maintenance. I think if that situation arises, I will discuss sharing childcare fees with my ex (for weeks when he takes son away).


Latemates Thu 30-Jun-11 07:41:43

Focus on the positives... Your Childs relationship with both parents.

You can not force the father to pay for childcare (and in my opinion he should not) but if you go down this route things could get messy with every £1needing to be accounted for.

If the father pays for this child care then the following are the potential consequences to your child
* father can no longer afford to take as much time off during summer so child misses out on having a relationship he has become accustomed to with his father
* father takes time of but struggles to provide the food, clothing, activities that you child is currently benefiting from when he is with his father

I do not know you or his financial situation but maintenance is calculated based o. Wages. So if he was being paid £1000 a month maintenance would be around £200 (depending on circumstances) that would leave him around £800 to run a car for work, rent/buy a house, concil tax, bills, phone, clothing, shoes for both himself and his child, toys for the child etc.

Now in some areas houses are rented at £600 a month which means he does not have much left over to budget with.
He will not be eligible to the same benefits you as the RP are.

Now he may earn less and struggle more or earn more and have a higher expendable income. I do not know this. But I think the best angle to look at this is 'what is in the Childs best interest?'

The other option would be that you swap roles, then you would have none of the child care costs and be able to pay him the maintenance.

Truckrelented Thu 30-Jun-11 09:26:31

Split the childcare 50-50 and then he covers his own costs and you cover yours.

Would he be willing to do shared care?

niceguy2 Thu 30-Jun-11 09:28:34

Hi Maria

Your logic seems a bit flawed to me.

Firstly you are worrying about a point when you earn so much that tax credits are reduced and therefore must meet the costs of childminder yourself, correct? Well in which case you are earning more money.....why should either your ex or the taxpayer for that matter fund your childcare because you've earned more?

Secondly, why would your ex share childcare fees whilst your son is under your care? If the situation were reversed and say he wanted to put DS in nursery whilst he was staying at his dad's, would you meet the costs of that? Or would you tell him that it was his choice?

Thirdly if you ask your ex to share childcare fees, would you offer a reduction in maintenance or would you expect this on top of? Otherwise you are asking him for money because of something you've elected to do, which he's had no control or influence over, he legally doesn't have to pay and gains no benefit from. In short, what's in it for him?

maria12345 Sun 03-Jul-11 10:41:01

I am a bit disappointed with some comments to be honest.... it was the first time I actually posted here and I feel some of the comments are just written by ladies who have not taken the time to read what I said. And they certainly feel judgmental when all I ever asked was for some advice.

I said I would only ask my sons dad to share childcare costs on the weeks when he has my son, because they go on holiday. I do not complain about anything. I only asked for advice.

I just felt it was unfair me paying a childminder myself for 6 to 10 weeks a year when my son is away with his dad on holidays. I love the fact that my son can go away on holidays for as much as possible; I never complained about that!

All I said is that me paying for a childminder during all those weeks does not seem right. I never complained about paying for the childminder while my son is in my care... and I certainly never would ask the taxpayers to pay for anything while I earn enough money myself.

I never felt I had any need to mention my or my ex´s circumstances because it just did not seem to have anything to do with what I was asking advice for. But for those who feel so ready to judge, I left him after many years of abuse. I have now rebuilt my life, and although my relationship with my ex is a struggle (communication is awful, etc) I would like not to have to involve any courts or lawyers if that can be avoided, because it is not nice for anybody involved.

I am studying a degree with the Open University and I am working full time, not for a penny, for the last year. I never complain, ever. I have just enough money to make ends meat and my son is really happy and that is all that matters to me. I never ask for any money from anybody. I worked for many years paying my taxes, before having my son and any child or working tax credits I am getting now, I feel, are well deserved, until my business can grow. So those who make nasty comments about taxpayer´s money should just stop being judjmental of other people when they have no clue what their circumstances are.

Sorry I went on a rant, but I am working very hard at the moment and it feels wrong that some people take their chances at being nasty at the smallest thing. All I wanted is some advice...


gillybean2 Sun 03-Jul-11 10:59:07

Maria when do you take your holiday? I only ask because if your ds is away with his dad 6-10 weeks a year then you can probably take the rest of the 3-7 weeks as holiday yourself?

That would mean you would only possibly need term time childcare, and/or that you could find alternative holiday club childcare for the school holidays not covered?

I see you say or ds is only 2. But by the time he gets to school age (4) that will tie in with when you anticipate earning enough to loose your childcare element of CTC. Does that sound about right?

It may all work out fine if you think ahead a bit more...

maria12345 Sun 03-Jul-11 13:43:51

Hi gillybean,

I have not taken any hols this year so far and have not planned any yet, so answering your question, I do not tend to take hols at a particular time, other than Christmas.

But in the future, when my little one goes to pre-school and then school, both the hols he takes with his dad and the ones he takes with me will have t be when he is not at school, obviously. In addition, as he starts pre-school, childminder charges will drop considerably so the problem will be half sorted.

I have not yet looked into how much you have to earn to have the childcare element of CTC removed. Something I will investigate at some point. I do not know how much I will make or the timeframe right now, but in any case, I do think that it is fair to ask my ex to contribute to childcare fees for the weeks he takes my son on hols - and this includes discussing child maintenance as well, of course (even if this has to drop slightly).


Latemates Sun 03-Jul-11 13:57:05

It looks like you already decided and just wanted people to agree with you.

You said 2 post ago that relationship ended do to abuse, to me it looks like you are looking for aggro asking for money you would be paying regardless of if child see's other parent or not.
And then you say above that you will ask for money even if maintenance drops because of this. So say he pays 1000 a year maintenance now and child care fees for the time the child is with his dad amount to £400 you accept that if he pays this then yearly maintenance drops to £600.
Can you not see the pointlessness of going down this route. It would make far more sense to just leave it. Some battles just aren't worth it.

Stick to trying to negotiate the important critical stuff as as you admit he will soon be in school anyway

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