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Is my child minder in breach of contract

14 replies

amandac43 · 17/10/2007 16:33

Please help me i need urgent advise.

I have had to dismiss my childminder as she is constanlty asking me to collect my child early as she has an appointment with Dr Hospital etc.. during her working hours. She then texts at the last minute with no other alternative child care as she is off continuosly sick with herself or her child for silly things. Like chest infections and thraot infections In her contract she has 4 weeks holiday a year to date she has had 30 days in the space of 10 months. I have been given a final warning at work and so have my partner as we had had to use all our holidays to cover her time plus extra days we have had to take as sick to look after our child. She is claiming that all her sick is fine as she has proof. She is demanding 4 weeks pay in lieu and has given me till friday or she is taking me to the small claims court. I have tried to ask to come to see me to discuss the matter but she is refusing. She is still in her first year of being a childminder and i don't feel its fair that another parent is going to suffer when she treats them the same.She is With the NCMA
Does she have a leg to stand on i have had to find alternative child care with a new minder and had to pay a deposit etc there. I do not have 4 weeks money in the bank, what do i do. This is making me ill with worry.

OP posts:
jura · 17/10/2007 16:37

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bloodsuckingLOONEY · 17/10/2007 16:47

I think it's really off that she's been like that. God, I felt bad closing last week as ds had a bad bout of Diarreah but I ONLY closed due to the health authority saying we shouldn't be open due to risks, otherwise I would have continued as normal (as much as poss anyway). I'm the opposite with appointments, I went months and months without having the smear test I should have because I didn't feel it was appropriate to take mindees and I didn't want to let parents down. Then I took some time off and I spent most of it at Dr's, dentist etc. All this time off is very annnoying but I'm not sure she's in breach on the contract? If however she's taken that amount of holiday then yes, she's in breach!

Poor you, did you warn her before giving notice (because it's not actually dismissing) that you are having problems and you can't keep on like this? Also, did she charge you for the time she wasn't childminding? If so, I think that will help you!

amandac43 · 17/10/2007 18:26

She has had 30 days holiday plus approx an extra 4 weeks sick. The day she came back of holiday she sent me an email asking for another 3 days holiday to go away again regardless of the fact that she knew we had used all our holiday plus sick days and other members of the family to cover her time off. And asked me to collect my child early again on her 4th day back to work. This has all got to much so i had to remove my child. She was never dressed when i dropped him off in the morning, and did not bother getting dressed before i collected him in the afternoon, she lied to ofsted claming she took the children out when she can't have because she was always in her Pj's.
I am at my wits end.

OP posts:
hennipenni · 17/10/2007 18:32

at not being dressed, especially when you pick him up. I'm a childminder and I have recently (well a few months ago) had to have quite a few individual days off which I hated doing but it was neccesary, however I always gave parents as much notice as possible. I think that you really need to look else where to be honest as it comes across that she's taking these days off for the sake of it, not for a vali reason.

S88AHG · 17/10/2007 18:36

It seems like you have had a pretty bad time. There is an advice line for parents to ring when they have a complaint about a childminder which is 08456 404040 thats for Ofsted, if you felt you wanted to take it that far. I think you have a valid reason for not paying for the notice period, but you will need to check the contract, is it an NCMA one? If not I believe its wuite hard to get it into court as there is no free legal advice if not using NCMA paperwork, if in fact she is an NCMA member. This is an awful situation and this is what goves childminders a bad name!!! There are loads out there who are lovely and tons of them on here!!!! Please go an see some more to restore your faith in them.

nannynick · 17/10/2007 18:42

4 weeks holiday = 20 working days (assuming childminder is working Monday-Friday). So taking 30 days holiday could be breach of contract - however, it depends on when the holiday year started.

I'd say that it is best to keep lines of communication open for as long as possible, to try to resolve the situation without going down the legal route.

Does the contract say that notice period is 4 weeks? Does the contract say what happens if you do not give that notice?

Have you spoken to a solicitor yet? Many insurance companies provide free access to a solicitor via the phone, for a consultation of a certain time period (say an hour). Check your policies to see which insurance cover provides that - always worth getting some legal advice. You can also try posting in the Legal/Money section of Mumsnet Talk.

How much money are we talking - how much would you pay for 4 weeks childcare with this childminder? Would you be prepared to pay anything for notice period?

Hold on to all correspondence you have with the childminder, particularly evidence of when they took holiday (so your own diary, plus newsletters/notes from the childminder).

amandac43 · 17/10/2007 18:43

Hi Thanks for your support.
Yes it is A NCMA contract. Will they still represent her even if she is in the wrong.
Or will they look at both sides of the story.

OP posts:
Megsdaughter · 17/10/2007 18:50

my God NOT DRESSED I cant believe it!!!!!!!

Ring Ofsted put in a official complaint. That way it is on record.

Did you see her Ofsted report. She should have her Ofsted cert and her NCMA membership on show.

You can go to Ofsted site, look up childminders reports, put in your postcode and then find her EY number if you've never seen it.

I would be totally aghast at anyone I mentored running a business like that.

Are you SURE she is registered?

maximummummy · 17/10/2007 21:42

i always get dressed before drop-off
i'd feel really bad if i got caught out in my jim-jams
what does she say they've been doing all day?

amandac43 · 17/10/2007 21:53

She doesn't say what they have been doing she quickly gets him out of the door when i turn up to collect him. He has always got his coat and bag ready to leave and he is only 2. I really am at my witts end. My child started with a new childminder on earlier this week and she is great.

OP posts:
Santasmissyontheside · 17/10/2007 22:00

Have no experience with child minders etc but she sounds awful. You poor thing.

maximummummy · 18/10/2007 20:17

i am amazed that you would use anyone so obviously unprofessional for nearly a year - actually i'm GOBSMACKED

MissInvisible · 18/10/2007 20:19

i have some drop offs at 6.15 in the morning and im fully clothed!!!..p.j's at 10pm pick up's, but i think that is reasonable!

eleusis · 19/10/2007 08:09

It sounds to me like she is in breach of contract on several levels. I would most certainlypull my child out on the basis that she is not available to to offfer the job she is contracted to do. You are not her employer, so stop her dead in her tracks if she says anything about employment rights.

If she threatens to ge nasty, perhaps you could mention that you will report her to Ofsted if she keeps it up.

Did you have to pay her for her holiday time? Or is this 30 days of unpaid leave?

She does sound dreadful. Glad you have found a new one. And obviously, even if the money and time off weren't issues, the new childminder is what is best for your son.

Good luck with the new one.

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