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paying childminders while child at nursery

16 replies

olsmum · 04/09/2007 22:29

just joined mumsnet as i'd like some of your opinions, my daughter goes to a childminder 2 days a week when i work, she drops her at nursery and picks her up. i still get charged the two and half hours from my childminder who assurres me this is standard practice by all childminders although she couldn't really give me any reason why. cm has two others, as well as mine, the same age who attend the same nursery. this means she will be getting £9 per hour when she isn't looking after any children and free to do as she pleases until pick up time. i would like to hear from you to hear what you think!!

OP posts:

chankins · 04/09/2007 22:32

Its because your child and the others are oficially in her care while at nursery, as she drops and picks them up - they are effectively taking up her limited childcare places, she wud not be able to look after other children while these are at nursery. It does seem unfair, and she must be chuffed getting paid for not working, so I can understand your concern. But I'm pretty sure thats the reason why.


Katymac · 04/09/2007 22:33

If the nursery is closed where is your DD?

Because if she would be at the C/Mer then you will probably have to pay

How can she sell 2.5 hrs (less the travelling back from and back to nursery) to anyone else if it might be needed by your child?


bonkerz · 04/09/2007 22:35

It is standard practice to charge whilst mindee attends pre school sessions at nursery or pre school. TEchnically your child is still using a space that cannot be filled by another child. If your child cannot attend nursery for any reason the childminder is available. If anything happens to your child whilst at nursery your childminder is responsible. Trust me its alot easier to have children with you all the time than it is to do pick up and drop offs etc so please dont begrudge oyur childminder this free time.
If it bothers you that much why not see about putting your daughter at nursery full time for 2 days. You will then be able to use 4 of your 5 free sessions per week and it will be cheaper term time.


hennipenni · 04/09/2007 22:35

Hi olsmum, I'm a childminder ans I'm afraid that your minder is right. As we can't technically use that 2.5 hours for another child (your child is taking up an under fives space) we charge you for it, also it means that you don't have to look for alternative care during holidays/inset days etc. I'm sure that somebody will explain it better than me!


smeeinit · 04/09/2007 22:38

olsmum,this is standard practice with cms,your cm can not fill a space for the 2 and half hours that your dd is at nursery so you are paying to keep this space open,us cms can not just take as many children as we think we can handle,we are limited with spaces by ofsted.

do you actually really think that in them 2.5 hours your cm is free to do as she pleases? im sure she is proberly rushed off her feet doing planning,preperation,paper work etc etc...


Ellbell · 04/09/2007 22:39

Hello and welcome to MN

I paid my cm half price for the hours when my dds were at nursery and part-time school. I pay her the full-price if, for some reason, I don't need her on a day when she would normally have my dds (e.g. tomorrow dd1 starts a new school and I am going to pick her up myself, but I'll still pay the cm for the two hours when she normally has dd1). The reason is that your cm wouldn't be able to fill your child's place with another child for just 2.5 hours a day, so - yes - on one level you are paying her 'to do nothing', but at the same time the fact that she is committed to taking your dd to nursery and picking her up and looking after her before and after means that, unless you pay her, she is effectively prevented from earning anything for those 2.5 hours. She is available to work for you (e.g. if the nursery was closed for some reason one day, half-term, whatever...) and therefore she gets paid.

I must admit, I'm glad my cm only charged me half for those hours , but I do see the logic of it!


Ellbell · 04/09/2007 22:40

Oops, I was very very slow typing that!


kathcariad · 04/09/2007 23:09

Also don't forget that nursery is optional , not compulsory.Some childminders can provide early years education at the same standard , funded by your LEA , but it is your choice to send your child to nursery and the childminder's business should not suffer as a result of your decision.They are in loco parentis and also have to keep that time available for your child during school breaks.Your copy of your childcare contract will explain this if it is an NCMA one(notes on reverse).


maximummummy · 05/09/2007 00:34

well olsmum
you'd be a bit stuck if your childminder did fill the 2.5 hr session(very unlikely) while your dd is at nursery and then nursery had to unexpectedly close for the day due to staff shortage/no heating etc

I'd just like to point out that while we do have the mindees with us we get NO tea/meal breaks or loo breaks and you can guarantee the minute we make a cuppa a mindee will need the loo or a cuddle or a story the list goes on !!!!

so don't begrudge your childminder her time "off"


Shoshable · 05/09/2007 07:24

I have this policy within my handbook, that explains to all my parents. Your CM should have something similar to explain it to you.


A child is counted as an under 5 by Ofsted until they are in full time education i.e. at school for 10 sessions a week.

A child who is at pre school is a under 5 and if they are with a childminder before and after pre school, and require a fulltime space during the holidays they therefore are taking a childminders full time space. As such you are required to pay retainer fee for the time that they are at preschool, as the childminder cannot then fill the part time that they are at pre school.


mummykench · 05/09/2007 08:32

Hi there, I'm charging half-rate for the time my mindee is at Nursery - if it bothers you, you could look round for someone who doesn't charge full rate.


olsmum · 05/09/2007 08:48

thanks for your comments, i can see the resoning behind it now, just thought i'd get some other opinions on it. i suppose i was just a bit worried she was taking me for a ride, its the first time ive used a childminder.

OP posts:

mindermummy · 05/09/2007 08:49

My charges have to pay half pay whilst at pre school/nursery. To hold their place open as it is taking a place of mine.x


Mum2Luke · 05/09/2007 12:40

I do the same Olsmum I'm afraid. We are 'on call' if we take and pick up your child, it might seem like we are doing nothing but we actually cannot take another child on in your child's space in case of things like INSET days.

I have this with the baby's parents I mind, his dad is a teacher and cannot understand why I need to have half-pay when he looks after him in hols.

I also have issues with paying on the first day of minding how do parents expect us to pay for food or outings to tots groups when we are not paid until the Friday? I have reminded them on countless occasions that its no pay, no minding, why do us cms have to feel guilty for asking for our money? I have read in the NCMA Who minds that they are trying to get the Childcare element of the WFTC paid direct to whatever childcare the parents use as it gets swallowed up elsewhere sometimes and the parent says they have no money to pay.


smeeinit · 05/09/2007 13:02

mum2luke, this used to bug me too,the whole not getting paid on time thing UNTIL i introduced a late payment charge!
if my fees are not recieved on teh first day of the mindees week with me then a £5 charge is applied. its worked!


olsmum · 05/09/2007 14:12

mumtoluke, i think it would be miles easier if the childcare element of tax credits was paid directly to the childminder,it would also elimate people claimimng more money than they are entitled to.

OP posts:
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