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Childminders and holiday pay, I just dont get it

50 replies

saintdorothymantooth · 04/04/2013 15:45

OK, I have nc'd for this as I will probably get flamed......

I was hoping someone could explain to me why every CM we have looked at, including the one we chose charges holiday pay when they claim to be self employed?
Apparently we dont employ them, they are self employed, so surely that means no holiday pay? One of the downsides to being self employed surely is that if you are not working you are not earning? I just dont get it. I'm being thick aren't I?

OP posts:

ENormaSnob · 04/04/2013 15:48

My cm doesn't charge for her holidays or if she's off sick.

We pay for our holidays or if we keep the child off sick.

I love my cm!


Scholes34 · 04/04/2013 15:49

My childminder was paid when I took holiday, but we didn't have to pay her when she took holiday.


ImTooHecsyForYourParty · 04/04/2013 15:50

That's normally how it works, yes. When you are self employed, you invoice for work done and how you manage that money is down to you.

They could always raise their fees to cover holiday instead of charging it separately.

That's what you normally do if you are self employed, set your charges to cover such things.

Do you think that childcare fees should be a little higher for hours worked rather than as low as it currently is, but with payment made for holidays?


thebody · 04/04/2013 15:51

Hi yes as an ex cm I was self employed so I choose to charge for parents holidays but didn't charge them for theirs.

That was my business and my choice and equally its the parents choice to accept terms or not.

Practically speaking for me it was to ensure a regular predictable income.

If all my parents pissed off to France for 3 weeks of the summer holidays at the same time my mortgage wouldn't be paid.

Not all cms do though.


Jelly15 · 04/04/2013 15:57

I am a childminder and I don't charge for anytime I am unavailable for work, be that holidays or sickness. However, if contracted customers don't use my service for any reason they have to pay as normal. Most of the childminders in my area do the same.


Preposteroushypothesis · 04/04/2013 16:00

I am a childminder and I, as other pp's have said, charge for parents holiday and sickness but not for my own. Without this I wouldn't be able to budget as my income would be completely unreliable. I agree with you op that it is one of the drawbacks of being self employed that you don't get sick or holiday pay and it is greedy to charge parents for time that you are not willing to look after their child.

Some other childminders have said to me things like 'yeah but they get tax credits to pay for childcare anyway so it's not like they lose out', I always say that not everyone gets tax credits and in any case it's none of my business how much the parents get paid or whether they get any benefits to help, I'm only interested on what is actually fair. Prices for childcare are already high as it is. In return for not getting sick and holiday pay I get flexible hours and to be home with my daughter all day every day whilst still being able to afford a comfortable family life. It's definitely a good trade to me, I do not need to screw parents over to have my cake and eat it too!


Vendettamoon · 04/04/2013 16:03

Everyone does it differently. I only work term time and I don't charge for school holidays. I still charge if my minded kids are off
sick or don't come but I don't charge if I can't open due to


NickNacks · 04/04/2013 16:04

I'm a childminder and I don't charge whilst on holiday or sick.

I do charge for child's absences though.


Squarepebbles · 04/04/2013 16:06

I never used to charge for it or sick pay as it just felt wrong and I'd have been too Blush to expect it.

Also we were told on initial training that if you're not available to work you don't charge.


BackforGood · 04/04/2013 16:07

It's a different relationship from say a builder or a plumber though. With a 'trade' you employ them for a specific job (might be 1 day, might be 4 months) but then that's it. They can go straight to the next job, or go to Spain for a fortnight, it doesn't matter to you, as you are no using them. With a CM however, you might well use them for 3,6,8,or 10 years - you can't reasonably expect them not to have a break in that time.
They then have a choice - they need to earn £x a year, so can choose to either divide £x by 48 weeks they are working, and charge you for that, and nothing for the weeks they take as holiday, or can charge you £x divided by 52 weeks, so you actually pay the same amount each week, regardless of if it's their holiday or not - as happens to employed people.
It doesn't cost you anymore over the year to have to pay for holiday week,s it's just that it's evenly spread out rather than having 48 slightly more expensive weeks and 4 free ones.


stressyBessy22 · 04/04/2013 16:31

yanbu it is unfair. But you know what their terms are and have the choice of entering into a contract with them or not


Fightlikeagirl · 04/04/2013 17:28

There are no fixed rules for cm's so none are being unfair, we just all do things differently, If you don't like a particular childminders terms and conditions then don't choose that one or ask before signing a contract if there is any chance to change certain conditions.
Ime most cm's do not charge if they are unavailable but do charge if child is absent for whatever reason. That's what I do and most cm's in my area do too.


Viviennemary · 04/04/2013 17:36

I can see your point. But there are no fixed rules. Most childminders charge half in the holidays. But it did annoy me if a childminder expected to be paid half even though she wouldn't dream of minding a child in the summer holidays even if the parents requested it.


Groovee · 04/04/2013 17:46

Being self employed means they can set their own terms and conditions. As a parent you can then choose if you are happy with them or not.


anothershittynickname · 04/04/2013 18:00

backforgood pro rata payments and charging for holiday are two totally different things.

I don't charge for my time off but I do (in most cases) pro rata the pare T's annual payment so I receive the same payment every week for 52 weeks of the year.

Personally I think it's a bit naughty to charge for hours that you are not available to work BUT as a SE Childminder you make the rules and those rules are in your contract which parents choose to sign! I suppose if all CM's in the area charge though you're a bit stuck!!

Most CM's I know don't charge when they're off but I know some that charge 1/2 for their time and 1/2 for parents too - same difference in the end!

FWIW, most, if not all nurseries change for BH's too!


anothershittynickname · 04/04/2013 18:02

Parents* I have NO IDEA what pare T's means - stupid phone!


MortifiedAdams · 04/04/2013 18:03

My CM.charges for my hols but not hers. Coincidentally, most parents take holidays at the same time as her so they dont pay her either way.


DoJo · 04/04/2013 18:08

You pay for their holidays one way or another - it's just the way they present it to you that differs.


anothershittynickname · 04/04/2013 18:23

No dojo, that is wrong, in case you didn't read my post above I'll repeat, "I don't change for my time off"


FarBetterNow · 04/04/2013 18:39

If CMs don't charge for children being on holiday, the parents may send the children off to GPs for a couple of weeks here & there to save money on CM fees.

This would affect the CMs budgeting.


BackforGood · 04/04/2013 19:03

another - the point we are trying to make is that, in order to have the income you need to have the minimum standard of living that makes it worthwhile your working, you need to earn £x. It doesn't really matter if you say 'I don't charge for my holidays' or 'I do charge for my holidays'. To received £x from your work, you can either charge a bit more for each day you do work and then not charge for those you don't work, or charge a little bit less for the days you work, and charge for all days throughout the year. But the simple maths of it is, you have to make the 2 figures add up to £x, so the hourly or daily or weekly rate will be higher if you don't have any income for 4 or 6 weeks a year. It has to be. dojo and I aren't wrong mathematically, however it's written in the contract.


HappyMummyOfOne · 04/04/2013 19:19

Some do believe they should get paid holidays but if parents accept the terms thats down to them.

I wouldnt personally pay for a service that wasnt available but others do.


anothershittynickname · 04/04/2013 19:30

You ARE wrong though back because I haven't increased my hourly rate in order to not charge for holidays!!

My parent pay me the SAME annual sum whether it be over 48 or 52 weeks!!


Emilythornesbff · 04/04/2013 19:38

We pay our cm if ds is absent due to illness or hols.
She doesn't charge if she's sick or on hols.


nannynick · 04/04/2013 19:39

Maybe think about it as paying for a childcare place, regardless of if you use that place or not.

Some childminders will not make a charge if they are closed, others will. Their business they can do what they want and maybe it is a way to keep the hourly cost down, thus making them seem at first to be cheaper than other providers - it's marketing! Is there price competition in your area?

Some providers include things in the cost, others charge extra - outings, hot food, nappies, wipes etc. There can be various differences between providers, so if comparing providers try to calculate the typical yearly cost and compare that.

Why charge when they are closed... Because they can. It's their business and they can do what they like. If they increased price instead, would they still get the business... maybe but perhaps they do not want to take that risk if many parents are happy with the current arrangements.

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