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childminder/court problems.

(15 Posts)
looloo Fri 19-Mar-04 21:12:54

In brief: we discovered that our childminder was doing various things we did not agree with and we felt they were serious enough for us to take our children away and terminate our contract with immediate effect, and therefore not pay the months notice. (£1,000). She took us to court. Lied. And won! We now have to pay her, plus costs.We reported her to ofsted but as they base their judgement on what they find on the day of the visit and I would imagine she lied about the issues, again she was cleared. She is still childminding. How can someone do this and look after other peoples children. We feel we have a duty to do something more about this, but don't know what else to do! Any suggestions? Anyone experienced anything similar? Feeling terribly cheated and a bit desperate at the moment!

WedgiesMum Fri 19-Mar-04 21:15:33

If she is a member of the National Childminders Association you could try an approach through them. I had problems with someone and they were really helpful to me.

sorry to hear you've had a bad time

looloo Fri 19-Mar-04 21:39:50

Yes, we have approached the NCMA and they have always been very helpful. But of course now it has gone through the court process I guess it makes it slightly different. And because it went in her favour it almost lets her off the hook. The contract was an NCMA contract, but in the court the areas she should abide by didn't really stand for much. But the 4 week notice period did. Thanks for your suggestions and sympathies.

carla Fri 19-Mar-04 22:40:23

looloo, amazed she took you to court for that amount! Can you - or don't you want to - elaborate on what went wrong? Only ask as a pal just got us over £1,200 (ish, from memory) in nursery fees.

looloo Fri 19-Mar-04 23:01:33

Carla, don't really want to go into too many details. Bit concerned about the legalities with it being a court case etc.! But basically, transporting our eldest without correct seat restraints, and leaving our youngest with other members of the family. Witnessed by myself and denied by her. Money seemed to become the priority with her towards the end.

jampot Sat 20-Mar-04 00:06:18

Looloo - sorry to hear about this. Did you write to her/bring to her attention you weren't happy with her service and that you knew she was transporting the children safely? Also when was Court case and do you have a right of appeal?

jampot Sat 20-Mar-04 00:07:14

Also you shouldn't have to pay costs because under 5k should be dealt with in Small Claims where no costs are payable. Check this one out.

Freckle Sat 20-Mar-04 07:40:32

It's not strictly true that no costs are payable in the small claims court. No *solicitors'* costs are payable, but the plaintiff is entitled to recover the issue fee and any out-of-pocket expenses claimed on the day, such as travel, loss of earnings, etc.

looloo Sat 20-Mar-04 09:09:14

Interest has been added to the amount (£121) plus legal fees of around £200, can't remember exact details. She tried to claim travel expenses - from down the road - the judge thought this ridiclulous and dismissed it, but it just about sums things up! We had to state on the day whether we intended to appeal and we said no. It has been going on for 18 months and is so stressful. We represented ourselves.

alibubbles Sat 20-Mar-04 09:32:46

looloo, I am disappointed to hear that you lost. As you know, I supported your case, because I as a childminder, agreed completely with you that she contravened the terms of her contract and firmly believed that you had a genuine case to be heard fairly and in your favour. Did you have any other reports from anyone who had seen your children not strapped in correctly and left with her son? Would that not have been witness evidence?

I am sorry, I do not know what else to say about this, just that childminders like these give all childminders a bad name unfortunately. I find it frustraing that when myself and other have reported childminders for similar offences we are told that they have to'catch the childminder themselves'. We have repeatedly reported one particular c/m and they don't do anything. So we tell people looking to be very careful when they mention her name. beleive me there are those of us you are very anti childminders like this.

looloo Sat 20-Mar-04 10:04:10

Thanks for your response, alibubbles. Yes we did have a witness statement, but she said it was a lie and had been made up. When challenged she denied all alergations. She had also got others to provide statements to qualify her story, again lies. The judge deemed certain points on the contract to be 'quality of care' not law. What is the point, from the parents point of view, in having this contract if the childminder can break the regulations and get away with it under the guise of 'quality of care'. It makes a mokery of the system does it not?

Clarinet60 Sat 20-Mar-04 11:55:47

looloo and Allibubbles, I sympathise, as I reported a childminder, only to be told that the inspectors would have to catch her in the act. It's terrible. She's not childminding any more and I won't go into full details, but amongst other things, she left children alone in her car while she went shopping, and as she ran an ironing business from home, she would spend most of the day doing that while babies and toddlers ran riot. When people called to collect their children, she'd point proudly to the pile of ironing she's managed to get done!

Anyway, enough of my rant, no advice I'm afraid, just sympathies. TBH, it's made me turn my nose up about the business of only using registered minders - I think the systems of control are still total pants.

Clarinet60 Sat 20-Mar-04 11:57:12

Could you do a feature for a magazine, with names changed? Would that be allowed?

looloo Sat 20-Mar-04 13:29:49

Droile, thanks for your messages and sympathies, I agree with you completely. In our case the childminder is still looking after other children and that is what worries me. There seems to be something really wrong with the system. This idea of catching them in the act by an official doesn't really fit with other 'wrong-doings' in society does it? And looking after children is such a major issue. I have thought about the magazine article idea and would welcome any further ideas about which ones. Anyone got any contacts?

tigermoth Sat 20-Mar-04 13:58:09

aloha, where are you?

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