After a couple of threads last week and Pip's call to NCMA, I did what she suggested (with a large bee in my bonnet) and complained. I got 4 apologies for the delay in response and this is what they have now come back with. My response to this is below also.

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Following your email below, I hope I can add clarity to some of your queries.

To stop minding itself would be potentially a breach of contract opening up the child minder to a claim by the parents for alternative minding charges or loss of earnings. To a certain extent it would depend on individual circumstances, why has the parent not paid, how long for etc would be considerations. If for example the parents were in dispute over a couple of days payment for some reason to stop minding would be dangerous if they owed several weeks without explanation less so. The courts would ask the question why is there a notice period in the contract if the minder does not want to use it, or feel obliged to.

With regard to loss of earnings claim see above, if the minder breaks the contract by failing to give contractual notice period, then there may be a counterclaim for losses incurred. The Childminder must balance the risk and make up their own decision as to whether they want to terminate and stop minding immediately. Our legal partners, we hope provide a balanced view based on experience of dealing with hundreds of contract disputes for child minders.

With regard to your final paragraph can we have names or details of the Childminder so we can look into further? Similarly the second complaint needs more information if possible?

Our legal partners have explained that we would not give the advice they are alleged to have given in the circumstances, 9 weeks owing is effectively a repudiatory break and the lady would be within her rights to stop minding, in fact she should do so to mitigate her losses.

I hope this clarifies some of the information you have requested and it’s our intention to ensure we work with our legal partners as closely as possible to ensure the best service possible to our members. If you are able to obtain/provide me with the details requested I’ll ensure we do all we can to help the members.

As a final comment I truly value your input and thank you for being an NCMA member and supporter.
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Customer Services Manager

National Childminding Association


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Hi xxxxx

, I don't really want to pass on any names as these minders are already in contact with your legal team. However, this is the advice one lady received last week. I will pass on your message so she can take it up with her contact directly if that's OK.

With regards to your reponse, I see that a dispute over a few days money would be still requiring notice but surely if parents haven't paid up and the money is not disputed just unpaid then notice period is fine, but I still don't see how we can be expected to work until the monies are paid. I agree the notice period should be offered, but surely as minders we have the right to offer the notice period but NOT work until monies are settled. Thus the parents have got notice to find alternative care and they have a choice of paying monies owed and using that notice period or choosing to remain in breach of contract in which case they are the ones who are still in breach as we are happy to work the notice - but not for free.

That is entirely different from immediate termination surely?

I would welcome your legal teams response to this.