View Full Version : contract dispute

10-04-2013, 07:10 PM
Can any of u child minders tell me if u take ur children out on normal every day trips to supermarket , own child's hospital app(for broken arm) run to school if missed bus , shops & lunch out. Have a dispute over these issues with a parent who has terminated her contract without giving 4 wks notice. Be interested to hear ur views please . Thanx

10-04-2013, 07:32 PM
My minded children take part in normal family life, which means yes we pop to the supermarket for a few essentials (not a weekly shop) they know that they will be allowed to look at the toy section which can take anything up to 1/2hr to ooh and ahh at the toys which many parents will not have the time to look at with the child, we will also meet a friend for coffee in the cafe snack and books taken to amuse children, if l or my children have appointments l give parents the option of keeping their child off or they can come with me no parent has yet kept their child off, my son has had 6 weekly hosp appts for several years and l have usually had 2/3 children with me. Its normal practice for childminders to do school runs. I think you have grounds for asking for your notice fee, (unless of course you promised exclusive care in your home with no outside contact in the real world:D:D)

10-04-2013, 07:38 PM
i dont do a "big shop" at the supermarket but most mornings i will take mindees to the local shop for fresh bread and milk. They learn about shops and have a go at "paying".

On Wednesdays me and Beachgirl take our mindees to a local bakery/cafe where they have a gingerbread man. This is our routine for weds before we go to the local library for a rhyme and song time session. This is the law apperently. The cafe is great because the children learn to sit nicely, watch the ladies serve in the shop and build some relationships with the wider community. The local butcher comes in for a butty regularly so we get to say hello to all sorts.

Today Beachy and i took 5 mindees ages 3-10 to bowling. we stopped off for our cake first (it is wednesday you know) and after bowling we had lunch at pizza hut.

I had to have a 5 day ECG (heart monitoring) last year so i spoke to mum and she said i could take A and N (3 and 2)to the hospital with me (she picked them up from there as she finished work) N and A were very interested in what was going on and as they would be seeing this thing on my chest it meant they were no scared of it. Actually N was really sweet and held my hand as the monitor was being put on soothing me with "s'ok wibble, there there, s'ok".

so in a nutshell.....yes i take them out for lunches, a bit of shopping etc and i have taken them to hospital and doc appointments but i always say if we are going somewhere like docs. if mum doesnt want her child to go with me then mum has to make other arrangements, the bit of shopping etc is part of the home from home experience.

hope that helps

wibble xxx

10-04-2013, 07:39 PM
Thank u so much for ur comments, much appreciated . That is what I have done for 8 yrs and never had a complaint !!! I had said the child would be included in all every day things and was never mentioned before that this was a problem . She seems to think I am the exception and no one else takes them out !!! Also I'm extremely over priced. Ha ha.

10-04-2013, 07:41 PM
If you hold a 4 weeks deposit that should cover the abrupt notice?

10-04-2013, 07:42 PM
I work from 7am til 930pm mon to fri

so yes the children go to the doctors , dentist , hospital , shops , wherever i need to go

I try to make appointments when i have the least amount of children with me but if I didnt take mindees along Id never get anything done

parents dont seem to mind as its only occasionally

my big shop is done online and either delivered or click and collect , as i dont really see the need or have the energy to try and shop with little ones in tow

if i had a day off , in the week , I would do all these things on that day

I dont see why the parent shouldnt give 4 weeks or pay notice , unless she has terminated as she has concerns about her childs safety or standard of care while you are attending to these things

10-04-2013, 07:44 PM
To me that is all part of sending a child to a child minder setting. I explain to parents when they visit that we do these kind of things.

However. I always check with parents about appointments, especially Hospital ones as they tend to run late so a parent might be concerned that there child is going to be stuck in a waiting room for hours on end

Also, if these types of excursion were taking up a big portion of the day then as a parent I would wonder when my child gets to play and do more "interesting" stuff.

If parent is new and you have a settling period then you they can terminate on these grounds with immediate notice. If they are outside of any settling in period then four weeks notice should apply and I would pursue it.

10-04-2013, 07:44 PM
Thanx for that. My thoughts too. She was always aware of what I was doing but never complained before . Its part of every day life !!!! And they learn and enjoy a varied day time routine. Don't some parents wind u up x

10-04-2013, 07:51 PM
so what is the problem?......what are you doing/not doing?

why has she suddenly gone all "funny"?

wibble the inquisitor..x

10-04-2013, 07:53 PM
Yes, we do school runs most days, part of the job surely? We go shopping (not big weekly shop) the children make lists, help choose ingredients for cooking, resources for activities, learn about paying, getting receipts , all those things they then carry over into their role play. We go to doctors appointments, the last time LO wore the nurses outfit and took the doctors bag with her! We eat out at the cafe occasionally, go into shops in town, these can all be turned into learning experiences for children and one of the reason why I do not want my child in a nursery.

10-04-2013, 08:05 PM
I didn't take a deposit or charge retainer which I could of as kept her place open for at least 4 months!! She has bought all these issues up after not wanting to pay me for. An occasional day off she took, which was clearly stated needed paying in her contract .

10-04-2013, 08:11 PM
Exactly !!! I also took her to toddler groups out to socialize with other children on regular occasions kept diary and ofsted obs etc for her. Only had the one little one (the one in question ) during day others aft school. She knew all this in our meetings before she started and was quite happy for her to do anything with me. !!!

10-04-2013, 09:02 PM
I don't get why she's disputing either!! Don't most parents choose cm and nannies over nurseries because they WANT the home from home care whilst still being taught following eyfs??! If she wanted purely confined learning all day she should have put her child into nursery!! They're all life experiences that children learn the most unexpected things from!! Even of the basics of communication & language can be gained, something this parent is clearly lacking!!


10-04-2013, 09:05 PM
I think when a parent chooses a Childminder they are choosing you, your home, your family and lifestyle. Their child becomes part of your wider cm family, even if just for a short while. Family activities include trips to the doctor, supermarket, school etc. Just today I took my dd and one Mindee out to the super market to buy two bags of party food and treats for a tea party tomorrow. I hope the parents see it as life experience and that it's all part of family life.

10-04-2013, 09:12 PM
Same here. Mine come shopping with me ( again.. Not the big shop) most of what I buy benefits them anyway! I will top up on a few necessities for my own family whilst there as It Makes sense than to go back hours later. We eat out in the cafe sometimes too. I havnt taken any to docs appointments , but I should really as on a rare day off I can never get one so miss out.

I don't get why she would have an issue with it. The life experiences gained from being out and about are so valuable. I'd understand if you were down the pub!

10-04-2013, 09:18 PM
I agree. All these everyday things r all life experiences and they learn from these trips out . As u say be different if I was going to the pub lol. We wish!!! She has got like this over a simple issue of paying for an occasional day !!!!

blue bear
10-04-2013, 09:49 PM
So it really comes down to the fact she doesn't want to pay for a contracted day off and is looking to see what else she can moan about so she doesn't look petty, having read the contract and realised she has to pay she is trying to find another way to save face.
Send her a lovely worded letter explaining you have looked at her complaint and has she has never complained about the activities you have provided before including appointments etc you can't see what the issue is,explain how each experience was turned into a learning opportunity for her child adding in links to the eyfs. Then state the last day of care was x and that £x is outstanding for the xweeks. Notice required to terminate the contract as per the contract. You expect payment by x date.
Say how much you enjoyed looking after x and wish them the. Est for the future.

Ring your insurance company and take advice.

11-04-2013, 07:37 AM
sounds to me like she is clutching at straws to get out of paying , its up to you whether you want to play hard ball with her or not and threaten action

personally I often find that it sometimes less agro to let it go and move on

perhaps insist on a deposit next time , even if its only a small one

Chatterbox Childcare
11-04-2013, 07:43 AM
I wouldn't question your practice - everyone does this.

I think you parent is questioning money and not your services. I would write her a letter (not email or text) stating that you have received her 4 week notice which means a leaving date is ... and that the final amount due is £.

Send it recorded mail.

call your insurance company for further advice. If you are with PACEY then they will only act if you inform them within 90 days of money being owed so better safe than sorry, even if you don't use them

11-04-2013, 08:26 AM
I do pretty much everything listed by the OP. Personally, I'd get expressed parental permission to take lo along to any medical appointments, just to be on the safe side.

EYFS Statutory Framework:

Information for parents and carers
3.72 Providers must make the following information available to parents and/or carers:
• How the EYFS is being delivered in the setting, and how parents and/or carers can access more information (for example, via the DfE website);
• The range and type of activities and experiences provided for children, the daily routines of the setting, and how parents and carers can share learning at home;
• How the setting supports children with special educational needs and disabilities;
• Food and drinks provided for children;
• Details of the provider's policies and procedures (all providers except childminders must make copies available on request) including the procedure to be followed in the event of a parent and/or carer failing to collect a child at the appointed time, or in the event of a child going missing at, or away from, the setting; and
• Staffing in the setting; the name of their child’s key person and their role; and a telephone number for parents and/or carers to contact in an emergency.

The key is to make sure parents know you do all this stuff before the contract starts, also that all these activities are clearly done with the child in mind. Otherwise, with all due respect, the parent may think we're just dragging their lo round whilst we get on with our regular chores. If it is integrated into the whole care experience, backed up with talking about experiences, role play, etc. then such things are hugely beneficial to the child. But I know some CMs who just get on with their domestic lives with a couple of paying children 'in tow'.

11-04-2013, 08:31 AM
I actually took my mindee to do my weekly shopping a few weeks ago (shock horror). This is something I don't do on a regular basis but mum rang the night before and asked if I could have him extra so I said yes but said I had to do my food shopping because dh was home but back in work the days after.

11-04-2013, 08:46 AM
I have one morning that between 8.30-9.30 I have one little one and Yes we pop into Iceland do my shop and they pack it and deliver it when all mindees have gone. It takes all of 15 minutes parents do not have any problems

11-04-2013, 09:04 AM
Well she wouldnt want to leave her child with me lol

On Tuesday i had to take my car to local garage for essential repairs. I live in small village and couldnt manage school runs etc without car. I explained this to parents and they understood. So i took 3 under 5's with me, we dropped car off then went for small picnic in nearby park (luckily sun was shining)

Yesterday we had to drive to nearest town (24miles away) to tax car, again i explained this to parents and children thought it was a great adventure:laughing:.

Working full time means not everything can be done at weekends/evenings. I always tell parents if i have an appointment and give them the option not to send the children.

I think, as mentioned, this parent is looking for excuse to be difficult, good luck