View Full Version : Need help with what to say

05-01-2010, 01:33 PM
Hi everyone, I haven't posted in a while I have mainly been lurking recently.

I am just looking for some advice, Mindee's Dad text last night to say he is going to be taking some time off and would come and talk to me today. Surprise surprise he hasn't shown yet, and I don't really expect to see him.
I have just had 2 weeks off over Christas and was due to start back yesterday.

Dad's job is very seasonal and I know he isnt working much at the moment. We discussed this at the beginning and set the contract hours at only 15 hours. This is the minimum I can anage with, the understanding is that I will get at least 15 hours per week and a lot more in the summer. It was also agreed that for absence and their holidays they would only pay contract hours.

So I am just wondering where I stand and what I should ask for. I am reading between the lines and think he is going to want to look after her at home until his work picks up again in March/April time. But Obv I need 4 weeks notice of any change to the contract or ending of the contract.
And I can't keep a place open when I wont be able to make ends meet.

Would I be within my rights to say that I need 4 weeks notice and they will just have to take their chances of a space when they need me again? as I wont be able to keep the space open.

I think I will have a fight to get money from them as they aren't always reliable and dont always pay on time

I am terrified I wont find anyone else, I have just had 2 weeks of no pay while I was on holiday I can't manage for much longer :(

I am rubbish at on the spot thinking and so I need to have these scenarios worked out before I speak to him so I don't mess it all up for myself


05-01-2010, 01:41 PM
you are within your rights to demand a 4 weeks notice period of any change if that is what it states in the contract.

do you think they wont need you at all then until March/April?

If you cant manage then you need to find another mindee or tell them they need to keep paying you a retainer to keep the space.

You are running a business and it will do the parents no good if you tell them you will be keeping the space open for free but you wont earn enought to keep your business going and will have to look for somehting else to do..
parents should understand that too.

I would tell them that any change needs 4 weeks notice.
then you will be looking for new mindees straight away so you can fill the spaces as you have to earn a living and that you cannot guarantee the place for them when they want to return unless they pay you a substantial retainer fee for it (enought to keep you going so it is worth your while)

Sorry for the rambling...hope I am making sense

05-01-2010, 01:55 PM
Yeah he is not needing me at all while he is "taking time off" I don't know how long that is yet. The retainer would have to be for the 15 hours per week as I can't manage on any less at all so they would be better off putting her in. That is how much ot would take for me to keep thier place, is that unfair? I am not really sure I understand how a retainer works.

I know they will need me again when his hours pick up at work but he knew this would be a quiet time for him when we started. We discussed it and he knows how is work is. I told him Iwas willing to be flexible etc (I am ridiculously flexible with hours) but I would need hours throughout the winter , this was how we arranged the 15 hour contract. The only other option around this area is a private nursery and they would charge for 5 full days because the hours change so much each day. They wont pay the nursery which was why they came to me in the first place.

I am so frustrated.

05-01-2010, 01:58 PM
then I would say he has a choice:

keep paying for the 15 hours as agreed or terminate contract with you looking for new mindees and him loosing the place.

I dont think this is unfair at all especially since it has been discussed from the start.

I dont think there are any rules how much retainer fee you can charge. your business your fees...

05-01-2010, 03:39 PM
Are they getting help with your fees through the childcare element of the tax credits? (If they are and they continue to receive those credits and they're not paying for childcare then they will be committing fraud).
I would be tactful and ask them if they are claiming all the tax credits they are entitled to.

Definitely stick to your guns on the 15 hours per week (especially if tax credits can cover it) maybe saying that if you get another mindee in the mean time you may be able to reassess.

05-01-2010, 04:02 PM
Thankyou for your help.

I don't think they are getting tax credits, they have my reg number but I have never heard from tax credits to ask me about hours etc and they have never mentioned it either.

Right, so when I speak to him I will see what he is asking for and I am in my rights to say I wont hold the place if they aren't willing to pay for it.

I thought I was all sorted ugh this is one aspect of this job that I don't like, uncertainty :(

05-01-2010, 06:05 PM
I have just re read our contract. It is an SCMA contract and the wording is

" Written notice required for termination of this contract 4 working weeks or full fee in lieu of notice (this applies to both minder and parent)"

Does this mean that he has to give me 4 weeks notice if he wants to change the contract hours? Or just if he is stopping the LO coming? Although if he changes the hours then this contract will be terminated and a new one will need to be signed.

Sorry I am new at this , I don't know how all of it works

05-01-2010, 06:09 PM
if he changes the hours he will in effect be terminating that ciontract and starting another with new hours. so he needs to give 4 weeks notice or pay you for 60 hours .

05-01-2010, 06:24 PM
Thankyou Kath, he didn't turn up today like he agreed so I will have to call him tonight. I just wanted all my info before I called him.

I have a feeling this isn't going to end up well, I think I am going to lose the LO :(

09-01-2010, 02:49 PM
well Mum came to see me last night and paid 4 weeks notice, they are goign through a lot of change as a family and wont need a childminder just now. Maybe later in the year.

So I now need to advertise for the first time. eek so scared I wont get anyone else :(

09-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Fingers crossed for you that you fill your space soon :thumbsup:

09-01-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm glad you got your 4 weeks notice money.

Hope you manage to fill the space quickly

Miffy xx

09-01-2010, 07:49 PM
at least u've got ur 4 weeks notice pay!! Hope you get someone else very quick!!