Would you give notice? Where do I stand?
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  1. #1
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    Default Would you give notice? Where do I stand?

    Hi all.

    I hope it’s ok to post here for advice.

    I started minding at the beginning of July. My first parent brings 2 children to me, the older of the 2 is now funded. Basically parent has been unreliable with payment since day 1. And them being my first parent I let them get away with more because I needed the income. I ask for £100 deposit per child to be refunded on last invoice. But allowed this to be paid in 5 instalments as I know they are on a low income. I’ve also allowed payment in arrears weekly as that’s when the money comes in. When they were struggling I agreed to accept lower payments for 4 weeks until tax credits got sorted and catch-up when they were in. I include all food and snacks in my rates. I even provide nappies and wipes most days as, if they bring any, they only provide 3 or 4 for 2 children for 7 hours/5 hours. I’ve never charged a late fee and only charged for nappies once. I’ve dropped the children off, met them in town as parent was running late for work.

    Week 1 - payment plus 1/5th deposit due - received payment no deposit
    Week 2 - nothing paid - funding approved so payments reduced and cancelled deposit for child a
    Week 3 - paid week 2 & part of week 3 - also dropped a day for both children without notice (I allowed this as it fitted with me and made the new fees payments less than the reduced weekly fee)
    Week 4 - paid rest of week 3 and part of week 4
    Week 5 - nothing paid
    Week 6 - paid week 5 and part of week 6
    Week 7 - this week - due to pay yesterday no contact until today when I asked and was told tomorrow

    Now week 5 parent was impossible to get hold of, not that I chased or anything, until they wanted to check I’d still have the children in week 6. I gave them a statement of account showing all late and partial payments, and a letter explaining I would be extending the settling in period due to having received only one payment on time (and that wasn’t even in full). I also made sure I said I would be within my rights to terminate the contract should any further payment be made late and that all contracted fees would now be applied to all invoices and if they wished to keep their fees low they should provide basic items for their children. All of which is in the contract they signed so it’s not new.

    Now we are in week 7, payment was due yesterday, but I haven’t heard anything from them. I text today, reiterating that a £5 fee would be added each day unless I agreed to accept late payment, and was told it would be tomorrow. I was told a couple of weeks ago after the 2nd missed week that they had older kids birthdays within 2 weeks of each other and spent £500 between them. I’ve written off ever receiving the outstanding deposit.

    Basically would you give notice? They found it hard to find space as it is for 2 children and everyone round here is full. Can I give notice to a funded child as easily as a fee paying one? I have allowed them to take advantage of me I know, I was trying to help out and be flexible but I don’t feel like paying for my services has been prioritised even once. I can probably fill those spaces again quickly as those specific days are in demand in my area. I’m in the settling in period until the end of August, after which I’d need to give 4 weeks notice.

    Thanks. Hopefully this doesn’t come across as too much of a rant or anything. I’m frustrated, not upset, I have bills to pay as well of course and not knowing when or if money is coming in is stressful.
    Last edited by hbcm; 15-08-2019 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
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    I would give notice now while you don't have to give a month notice. I was in the same position as you years ago and I let it slide with the same excuses as your parents have given. I was paid monthly and never received the full amount as there were other priorities for them. I felt the court would not have sympathy with me if I went down that route as I had let it go on for so long so in the end when they emigrated to Australia I was left with outstanding amounts owed. I told myself never again so I now keep on top of parents who think it's ok to pay how much and when they want. As you say we all have bills to pay and that's why we work so don't give them any more chances to take you for a mug x

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  4. #3
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    I would also give notice while you can. They are not going to get any better at paying are they?

    Not sure how it works for funded children - I'm sure someone else will come along soon on here who knows how that works.

    Good luck. x

  5. #4
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    I too would give notice now.
    They are not going to improve!
    In the notice letter I would state all fees due including late fees and give a date for this to be paid by. I'm unsure about your deposit that has been paid ... you say it will be refunded in last invoice ... so you should refund the amount paid within amount due.

    ( as an aside, when parents pay me a deposit, I say it will be refunded in last month of care, provided that six months of care has been provided. This means that should parents up and leave sooner, then they don't get deposit back ( although depending on circumstances I might refund! I don't tell anyone that though! )

    Regarding funding, the best thing to do is phone your funding/ finance people at your LA and explain child is leaving. Every LA is different, but in mine, childminders get paid for every week they have a funded child whereas preschools/nurseries only get paid for whole term and if a child transfers mid term, they may not get that funding.

    Are you with pacey? Maybe phone their legal team ( or whoever you have insurance with ) and ask for their help in writing a letter of notice, as I suspect you may have to say that if fees not paid by x date, you will be taking them to the small claims court.

    Good luck x

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  7. #5
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    As others have said, notice is probably the best route for you to take at this point.
    If you aren't able to have a firm, sit down conversation with a late paying parent due to their avoidance of the subject, then it's really not going to get any better.

    We've all done it.
    Bent over backwards, gone above and beyond to be 'flexible' to parents, tried to help by adjusting fees/allowing erratic payments/sympathised with the situation.... There's a saying, No good deed goes unpunished. How true that is

    You could, if you still feel the situation could be resolved, and to let parent know you ARE being serious, this isn't a game or a hobby to you (many parents do think we do this job to earn pin money lol), suspend care for the older child until payments are brought up to date. Funding covers the care of the younger one, so I presume you're happy to care for the child that you are getting paid for...?

    Maybe that way, parent will twig that she needs to pay her bills on time if she wants to keep you.


    Moving forward..... No pay, no play rule is much easier to follow when you've had your fingers burnt.
    Explain to prospective parents that your contract is with them, not tax credits, not a voucher company, it's with the parent.
    I always tell my new ones that I honestly do not care HOW they pay me, stand on street corners if need be lol, but it is their responsibility to ensure that I am paid, in full, by cleared funds, on the date I'm due. If they are claiming help of any form, then that's between them and whoever they get help from.

    Like you, I will spread the cost of any deposit over a number of weeks, but the minute a payment is late I threaten to suspend care and they realise I am deadly serious.
    Their 'issues' are NOT your problem to solve.

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