View Full Version : School holiday let down...

15-10-2012, 09:31 PM
I have 3 children after school 5 nights a week and when their parents signed contracts, they said they would definitely need school holiday and INSET day care... So we added it to the contracted hours at a daily rate of £32. My holiday notice period is 4 weeks (them and me). Tonight I reminded them that it is half term in a couple of weeks and that the school actually break up on Thursday meaning there is an INSET day followed by 5 days of care that they told me they needed. Both sets of parents have said they cant afford to pay for full days at the moment! 1 is just sending their children for usual hours 3-6 and the other not at all. Am i within my rights to ask for the money anyway as it is in the contract that id be having their children for holidays etc and that the notice period is 4 weeks and they havent even given me 2 weeks!
What would you do!? I am reasonably new to this, started beginning of September so dont want to be too harsh and have them leave and I have no worK.
Please advise!

15-10-2012, 10:12 PM
In my policies and in the contract and verbally . Parents are told that an after school place is given only on the understanding that the full day is used in the school holiday ( unless I take holiday then ).If the place is not used then it will still be charged for.

I have been caught out like this in the past and now make it air tight !

I suppose it depends how clear you were in the contract. Did you say the full day would be charged even if not used ?

I would not make myself available for the 3pm - 6pm either. What happens if you want to take the other children out for the day ?

mrs robbie williams
16-10-2012, 05:44 AM
if they have signed agreeing to the hours and fees during school holidays and you have it written somewhere that you charge for sickness/non attendance if you are open then yes charge :thumbsup: I have it written into my contract that if occasional days off are taken by mindee on a contracted day then full fee applies.

16-10-2012, 06:51 AM
I think they're trying to take advantage - they signed and agreed the contract so you are perfectly entitled to charge in full for the care they said they needed BUT you might risk losing them altogether if you do.

Miffy xx

16-10-2012, 07:16 AM
I had a parent like this BUT I didn't have it written on a contract that they were coming in school holidays so they let me down a few times, and used me, just before they left. I decided then that I will make sure it is on contract if I was to ever have children term time and then they need me school hols as well if not they start taking advantage of you like mine did.

You have it on contract so therefore she should pay you. She should understand this, I think she knows deep down but she is hoping, as you are new that you might not ask for it.

She says she can't afford it , so you might not get the money but at least make sure you ask for it so she understands you are not going to let her take advange of you anymore. Tell her you can change contract to term time only, this might make her see sense that she has to pay you for school hols even if she doesn't want to


16-10-2012, 07:56 AM
I'd go along with previous posts.

There are 2 issues here:-

Are you entitled to charge?
If so, is it the best thing to do?

Whether you're entitled to charge will depend on whether it's perfectly clear and agreed in the contract.

Point 2 is trickier, especially for a new CM. You don't want to go upsetting your first clients at the very time that you need to be establishing a good reputation and getting those all-important word-of-mouth recommendations. OTOH you need to establish that you are serious about contracted terms and not create a situation in which they think you'll constantly give in to their demands. Too many CMs end up getting walked all over, especially when trying to accommodate the first few clients just to get started.

It's an extremely difficult call and I'm afraid only you can make it. Either way there might be unwanted consequences. In the end, it might come down to practicalities: if they really don't have the money, it'll be difficult to get it.

What you can do is try to buffer the effects for the future. One way is to make a decision then be resolved to treat it like the right decision. ie. Explain it to the parents, but don't give in to the temptation to sound all moany and begrudging about it.

So, for eg, if you do let them off the fee, you can point out that you were relying on the money but don't make it sound like a big whinge. What you can do is make it clear that you're not going to be pushed around. Maybe point out that the fee was in the contract (assuming this is the case) so they are nullifying the contract - therefore you are entitled to renegotiate and review the contract immediately. In effect, both parties are agreeing to terminate the original contract without the due notice period in order to redraw a fresh contractual arrangement. (Remember, you'd be offering this to them as a solution: the alternative is to stand on the contracted terms and demand the holiday fee.) Straightaway that shows your intention to be professional and not just waive the T&Cs willy nilly when it suits the client. It will also give the opportunity to revise the fees for the hours required, which is perfectly reasonable given that you were expecting and depending on the holiday fees too. But be aware that scrapping the contract also gives them the opportunity to walk away and find another CM, so do handle this carefully: don't tear up the old contract until the new one is signed.

MrsRW has a very good point there, too. If the client is trying to dictate that you have the lo's for part-days in the holiday, just to save money, you don't have to agree to that if it messes up your day. OTOH, that might actually suit you as a compromise - in which case, I'd agree a slightly higher hourly rate and get it in the contract.

It may well be necessary to compromise. But, if so, do it professionally, get all the new T&Cs down into a fresh contract and don't just cave in. If you have to give a little, then make sure they give something back too.

All the best. :thumbsup:

The Juggler
16-10-2012, 01:07 PM
so rather than saying they don't need care they are saying they are taking it as annual leave? at no pay?

then if they do this and are taking a leave day they can't send child from 3pm-6pm they pay for the full day honey.

If they take them out the whole day and take as holiday then you would not be able to charge as long as it is within 4 weeks notice period but half term is NOT - it's in a week so they still pay.

16-10-2012, 05:55 PM
Thanks all!!
I spoke with her this evening. Explained she should have given 4 weeks notice if she didnt want the place and that as she didnt, i am expecting to have the girls for full days. Told her part days (3-6) are not an option during half term as I may have plans and be elsewhere at 3pm! As I am new, I didnt want to be mega harsh so have said I will have the girls and she can pay for the extra time over the next 4 weeks which she seemed to agree to! Gave her the "this is my income, I could have advertised the places if I knew you werent needing/wanting them" and i think she understood!
We shall see......

16-10-2012, 06:51 PM
you are definatly entitled to the money and I think you did the right thing as it shows you wont be walked all over, you could ask her if she would rather go term time only ifyour happy to do this but then make sure you say no when she asks for holiday cover or just pick the days you want to do,
at the moment all my schoolies are term time only as i want it that way and my littlys that are term time only dont pay in the school hols but they dont have a space then either but thats only because its better for my family to be quieter in the holidays.

16-10-2012, 07:39 PM
Good for you - sounds like a good solution :thumbsup:

Personally, I'd now follow up with a written agreement outlining your conversation and stating amounts to be paid and when, for her to sign the next time she is due at your house. It just underlines that you will stick to your guns while also allowing her some one time only leeway with the payments.

Good luck: hope she pays up :)

The Juggler
16-10-2012, 10:23 PM
i would also make sure that they are not only aware of the holiday notice arrangements but that they are also aware of the limit on the payment free holidays per year they can take - sure you don't want them takign 13 weeks if they now remember to give you the relevant 4 weeks notice (i.e. for all the school hols!)