1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Did not read childminding contract and now it seems that we are tied into it forever!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by delmamerchant, May 26, 2018.

  1. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    We take full responsibility for reading the contract properly but the money for holidays is a retainer - so if we are not retaining the place then we should not pay. We will pay if we have to as this arrangement has run its course.
  2. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    We are going to inform her next week
  3. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    The contract says that you cannot terminate before or during the holidays. It is unclear. Sign contract in haste repent at leisure.
  4. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    Thank you for your comments and advice.
  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    This is a good contract then.
    Can you cancel after the holidays, or is that also before the next holidays? Is this all holidays or long holiday?
    Can you ever cancel?
    You cannot cancel during the holidays if you want child care the next term I guess.
    However, if you don't want child care from the minder ever again, then just cancel at the end of term. Give her four weeks notice. Time enough to find other children I think. Give her the option of having the children half the holiday on normal fees. Then she can have a holiday. It might work out the same for her in monetary terms but she will have to do some work for it.
    Although, the new parents will not want to pay a retainer for the long holidays. Just to hold the place open.
    You'll be paying that then.
    Seriously I would be talking to the local authority Child Care Advisor Team or whatever you have in your neck of the woods. Just for clarification.
  6. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    This minder likes to work term time only I see on reading the opening post. She chooses to do this.
    The retainer can only be charged if you are retaining the service after the holidays. Otherwise it is not a retainer.
    I hear someone say, oh she is entitled to paid holidays. I agree.

    But not 13 weeks out of her own choice.
    Refer this to you local organisations.
  7. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    The Retainer is to retain the place for the next term..... if you pay it you are entitled to care for however far it extends ie 50% retainer you can have 50% of her time. By legal right. And for all holidays where you have paid her a retainer, you had the right to use her services as a child minder in ratio..
    But you do not need to pay a retainer if you are not retaining her services.
    She will need to find another client and they pay the retainer as they will be retaining her services. Although she is on a thin line there, because she did not intend to work during the holidays. Still , it is a kind of booking fee.
    Her fees should reflect the fact that she is term time only and should include an element for her paid holidays., ie be higher than other minder's fees.
    Just cancel.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There's a lot of reckless advice given on here about what the contract means. Not even a Supreme Court judge on here could tell you what a contract means and whether it is unfair or unenforceable based on half a dozen words of it (and even those not quoted verbatim). Courts interpret contractual documents as whole, no court would decide what one phrase meant without seeing the whole contract and interpreting it in the context of the contract overall. So assurances to OP on what the contract means are unhelpful.

    And recourse to law should be the last resort not the first.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
    sbkrobson likes this.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    There may be some extenuating circumstances that you have eg change of circumstances, illness, debt, moving home..

    Even so, Go to Citzens Advice - get the docs checked if you still need to.

    Happened to us six years ago. We explained we could no longer afford it and apologised. Also that a member of the family was ill and we had to plough money into private treatment. The childminders were ok about it and were quite understanding. We gave a month's notice.

    They found someone else pretty quickly
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  10. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

  11. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

  12. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Talk to the childminder before thinking about Citizens' Advice or solicitors … even if you feel she seems dictatorial, most people do not want to get caught up in legal battles. I'm sure you will have to give a period of notice, which will cost you - but it won't be as much as legal fees. Good luck - and a lesson for all of us. Read the small print and ask if you're not clear!
    border_walker likes this.
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    If you can't get out of the contract then take solace from the fact that eventually the kids will be old enough to pay it themselves!o_O
    colpee likes this.
  14. delmamerchant

    delmamerchant Established commenter

    OMG! Have been told by CM that contract means that we cannot leave at the end of the term Umm she is term time only:confused:. However, we can leave 2 weeks before the end of term and we only need to give 2 weeks notice..again :confused:. some people cut off their noses to spite their faces.
  15. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I fail to understand. You can leave then, without retainer for the hols?
  16. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    Can you find an alternative for the last two weeks, and finish then?
  17. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    So if you leave --- she will not do the last two weeks of term? Argh.
    Report her.
    She is supposed to love and value your children and work in genuine partnership with you.
  18. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Report her for what? Nothing to do with Ofsted - it's not in their remit to adjudicate contract notice period disputes between childminders and their customers.
  19. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    This childminder is being obstructive and vindictive?
    Someone needs to have a little word with her.......OFSTED hear lots of complaints about nurseries and childminders. They are responsible for these as well as for schools and where teachers who need childcare term time cannot be dealt with in a supportive way, then yes, OFSTED are interested.

    Before that though, there will be a local authority person whose duties include supporting and guiding child minders. They need to know how local child minders are faring and what parents think - they have targets and objectives too. And a great deal of local knowledge and insight. They co ordinate the child minders and will be able to help parents stuck for child care.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Ofsted will not get involved in a complaint about a teacher having trouble with their childcare. Nor with contractual disputes with childminders.

Share This Page