/ Childcare dilema - Advice needed
We have been really happy with him being there and he loves going. He has a great bond with the childminder and we prefer the intimacy that the setting provides instead of a larger nursery.
A couple of weeks ago, my partner recieved a call and had to go and collect our son as the childminders assistant, (who is her sister) collapsed with chest pains.
This fortunately turned out to be a pulled muscle.
The same evening we recieved a text saying that our childminder is physicaly and emotionaly drained after what took place and wouldnt be working the next day, but hoped to return to work the day after that.
We thought that is understandable.
We then recieved a email the following day stating that our childminder has been through an awful lot this year and this current event was the final push and that she is no longer continuing to work as a childminder. Thats it. No notice at all.
We obviously feel completley let down as our son went to her at a young age and is really settled there. Now he is older and more aware of different people, it will be harder for him to settle at another setting.
Also as above, he had a great bond with her.
We now are struggling to find any childcare at such late notice, and my partner has had to take the last 2 weeks of work unpaid.
Now, since this has happened she has not been in contact, but today has just sent her invoice which we are due to pay for the childcare the week before the incident. I honestly thought she would just leave it be after all the inconvenience and money it would have cost people.
I know its what I owe, but we are seriously out of pocket also after the situation she has left us in.
So what are peoples opinions and advice on paying the outstanding invoice?
Also we dont have a contract, we have asked for one more than once and she said she will have it ready next time, but that never happened.
I understand taking time off, maybe if my child is ill etc, no probs with that, its happened before. But this could run into weeks/months before we find him a place. All this time my partner will be off work unpaid, maybe even lose her job. It all just seems very unprofesional from where im sitting, you cant just close your business without giving people notice! Especialy a business where people relay so hevily on you.
If I was to take my son from her setting immediately with no notice I would have to pay 4 weeks worth of childcare to her.
> I understand taking time off, maybe if my child is ill etc, no probs with that, its happened before. But this could run into weeks/months before we find him a place. All this time my partner will be off work unpaid, maybe even lose her job. It all just seems very unprofesional from where im sitting, you cant just close your business without giving people notice! Especialy a business where people relay so hevily on you.
> If I was to take my son from her setting immediately with no notice I would have to pay 4 weeks worth of childcare to her.
Not if you don't have a contract, surely.
Childminders and their rules have often left me feeling cross.
I can quite see your point about her closing the way she has, it is pretty bad, but I think you may well have to admit defeat, and chalk it up as experience. To be brutally honest, you should have gotten that contract, even if you had to write it yourself and give it to her. In fact, surely that should have been the case anyway? I mean, you are paying the money, so you should have agreed the terms? I know that my sister, who is also a childminder, has a contract with her "employers", which are the parents of the children she looks after.
So yeah, chalk it up to the learning curve, and move on IMO.
I'm sure you have but get a list of childminders from your local council. Childcare caused me stress when it went wrong, not least because you worry about leaving your children in the first place.
Anyway your previous childminder is obviously under a great deal of stress, probably better all round if she's out of the picture.
I do feel some sympathy for you....but not a lot.
Looks like you should just bite the bullet and pay her before she has to go to the small claims court to retrieve the debt, plus any other expenses that may well be racking up unbeknownst to you as a result of your delay in paying and for the further stress that may be caused.
You're a parent. Man up, and behave like one- you chose to have a child, now look after it. It really isn't up to everyone else to fall over themselves to do so!
With regard to settling into a new place - don't worry. My son (aged 2.5) says he doesn't want to go to nursery every day and then how much he has enjoyed it every evening. Nurserys are great places for your child to develop social skills with children of the same age, something you tend not to get at child minders so it can be a positive experience if you look at it in a positive light.
I note your are in Manchester. Where abouts? I can recommend a few places in the Stockport area if that helps?
I totally sympathise, our childcare arrangements fell through this summer and it was incredibly stressful on so many levels.
I think it is hard to understand the situation if you have never had children or been in this situation. I suspect that some of the 'get a grip and sort it out, take time off work, it's your own fault' commentators would be the first to complain if a work colleague had to take time off to look after their children if their childcare had fallen through.... I'm not sure that 'Should have used a condom' is really the most helpful angle here.
Anyway, in the short-term a nanny is an expensive, but possible solution. The advantage is that while it might drain your finances in the short-term, at least your wife can maintain some continuity at work. Do you have friends who might be interested in a nanny share? This can be a cost effective way of getting childcare to suit you. Also, could this be part-time, you don't say what age he is but a part-time placement at nursery might be suitable for him by now.
Your local council should have a list of childminders, also try your local schools - they sometimes give out a list of local childminders when children start in Reception (for after school care), but it might get you in touch with the local network of childminders. We actually persuaded one near us to take our little boy, although she was intending to only do school-age children. She agreed to take him for a trial period, to take the pressure of us while we found a more permanent solution, but she enjoyed having him so much it has become the permanent solution!
There are also baby-sitting/ childcare agencies which again you might be able to use as a short-term solution.
Sorry, I only have links for all of these things for Sheffield, otherwise I could point you in the right direction but I'm sure you'll find the right solution.
It is stressful while sorting it out, and be aware that your little boy will be picking up on that stress which may affect how he settles. This is not such a bad thing, just the way life is, so give yourselves a bit of slack over it!
I agree that you have to pay for the days she worked but the lack of empathy from some suggest that they have no kids or that they have parents close by whom are retired and can look after junior. (I also dont think they appreciate the costs involved in childcare). If you feel that you were treated unprofessionally, why not test her and say that you were let down badly which has cost you and see if she has the minerals to take it further - she may just cuts her losses too.
My wife and I have three kids, two of which went through nursery and I reckon its over £90 in fees I have pay, net of my earnings over ten years. I chose to have mine go through nursery for two reasons, there is structure in the play and they make friends and that we were left in the same position as you with my middle child whom was being looked after by a friend who decided they didnt want to do it any more. School holidays are a nightmare now.
I would suggest that you get the child into a nursery so that you can have structure and certainty in your planning.
I'm not asking anyone to fall over themselves am I?
I'm talking about being reasonable.
I know if I would have removed my child from her with no notice then I would have been happy to pay her the 4 weeks advance pay to her as it leaves her in a dilemma and loss of income which she will relay on.
If in my line of work I had to walk away and leave people in the sh1t in a big way then I would recognise the problems that my situation will cause and swallow my losses.
Maybe that's just me!
Thanks to yourself and the other recent posters.
I was thinking it was just myself who was seeing the situation I'm in for a minute!
Nursery is something we are looking into after what's happened. As both of us are full time working parents, we need reliability!
I mean who has long term child are backup?
As I said above we could be talking months before we get a suitable place for him. If I had long term child care backup then I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place would I!
Sounds like a nightmare - and, tbh, one of the reasons I chose to use a nursery.
One bit I don't get, though - if you don't have a contract, what makes you say you'd have had to pay 4 weeks care if you withdrew your child without notice? Suggests to me there's been some discussion, even if there's not a written contract?
As some of the helpful suggestions have said - check your local OFSTED childminders on your local council website.
To counter the childminding negativity posts - Nurseries and childminders both have positive and negatives to them.
> Great advice!
> I'm not asking anyone to fall over themselves am I?
> I'm talking about being reasonable.
> I know if I would have removed my child from her with no notice then I would have been happy to pay her the 4 weeks advance pay to her as it leaves her in a dilemma and loss of income which she will relay on.
> If in my line of work I had to walk away and leave people in the sh1t in a big way then I would recognise the problems that my situation will cause and swallow my losses.
> Maybe that's just me!
According to her profile, she's into foxhunting so I wouldnt expect too much from those quarters. Unless that's a deliberate troll to see who reacts.
So yes, on the basis of what I have read, the childminder should be paid for the work done, but the OP should also be compensated for his losses.
To the OP I have sent you a PM.
It's not just you, pet, it's most parents who have bairns then complain when they are expected to deal with their own childcare issues- and expect everyone to yes, fall over themselves to help out poor little you.
Pay the poor woman. YOU didn't get a contract sorted, even if you now blame the childminder for putting it off. YOU allowed her to do that. Why didn't you come up with your own contract and have her sign it there and then? stop blaming everyone else- you used a childminder to look after YOUR child- a situation that surely you realise could have failed at any time (as it has) and yet you didn't put in any kind of contingency? even look up and have handy information on alternative minders? come on....if your child is so precious to youk, and your job/s then a bit of prep wouldn't have gone astray. Seriously, what do you expect those around you to do about YOUR situation? You whinge on here about the situation being unfair given that you have to give 4 weeks notice, etc, yet you aren't prepared to pay for services rendered so far.
I hope she takes you to court. i would urge her to do so.
Needlessly aggressive, Sarah.
That's more or less what I was getting at, I think - particularly as there seems to have been (verbal?) mention of the notice period that would have been needed had the OP terminated the contract....
Out of interest, what's with the kiss at the end of your post? Kisses are usually signs of affection, and most of your posts are barbed in one way or another.
What nasty piece of work!
> It's not just you, pet, it's most parents who have bairns then complain when they are expected to deal with their own childcare issues- and expect everyone to yes, fall over themselves to help out poor little you.
> Pay the poor woman. YOU didn't get a contract sorted, even if you now blame the childminder for putting it off. YOU allowed her to do that. Why didn't you come up with your own contract and have her sign it there and then? stop blaming everyone else- you used a childminder to look after YOUR child- a situation that surely you realise could have failed at any time (as it has) and yet you didn't put in any kind of contingency? even look up and have handy information on alternative minders? come on....if your child is so precious to youk, and your job/s then a bit of prep wouldn't have gone astray. Seriously, what do you expect those around you to do about YOUR situation? You whinge on here about the situation being unfair given that you have to give 4 weeks notice, etc, yet you aren't prepared to pay for services rendered so far.
> I hope she takes you to court. i would urge her to do so.
Wow, I bet you're a hoot a parties.
> So yes, on the basis of what I have read, the childminder should be paid for the work done, but the OP should also be compensated for his losses.
> To the OP I have sent you a PM.
I've learnt from my professional advisors that if I turn up to work as a doctor without a written contract I am nevertheless entering a mutual contract with the trust employing me. Would the same not apply here.
My view - pay up, and pay up promptly. Just because you feel she's let you down, doesn't mean you have to go tit for tat and behave equally badly.
Hardly. it's the parent's problem, but he's having a go at me. Just returning his shit, in spades, Clare.
In defence of Sarah, it seems to me that a lot of what she says is fairly correct (if not the tone!). However - step away from court, contract, litigation routes please!
It is extremely frustrating to sudddenly lose childcaare, and understandably makes parents feel angry. It's not so much solely the loss of childcare, but also the loss of lifestyle, work identity and income. It's normal for loss to create feelings of anger, though hopefully time limited.
There is the somewhat contenetious debate about people having the right to have children (there have been more than enough right wing views here on who that should apply to), and now it seems to be stepping into the right to have childcare. One view is that you only get one go at building a child, that is rarely the case with careers. Hopefully when the anger and frustration have dissipated you may find a solution that results in more time with your child which I am sure will prove a positive outcome. As has been pointed out, this will be most useful during schoool holiday periods when childcare can be doubly tricky.
Either way, good luck, I hope it resolves soon.
Yes, he is, isn't he.
I win, then.
Consider your tone. Consider why people people might respond this way.
Maybe even look for a child minder!
Everyone is right with what they've said, pay up and unfortunately as no contract was made then no agreement/arrangement could've been put in place if this was to happen. Dependent on where your located in Manchester, I know some really good relaible child minders if you want any info?
That also applies to having children not losing child care. :-)
ps - love your comment on the sling/screwgate thread!
> I win, then.
Was this what the thread was meant to achieve?
It sounds like she's had a bit of a crisis and probably isn't in any better a position - she's also lost her income and is likely been talked into trying to invoice for work she has done to pay her rent (if it's a mental health crisis then she probably feels terrible asking for the money and is fully aware of the problem she's put you and her other clients in).
I should point out that I'm not a parent as that does seem to colour how you think on the issue.
When employing anyone for any purpose there is always the risk that they won't be able to provide that service - if she's essentially suffered a mental breakdown she might be in no better a condition that if she'd come down with any other illness that would impact her ability to provide you with a service.
If you had a contract then it might detail what would happen if something happened to her and she wasn't able to provide the service, although with no arrangement in place for her to find arrangements for you if for some reason she can't (including some kind of insurance against this fact) I can only assume the responsibility would fall to you.
I personally think you should pay her for the work she has done as to me it sounds like it's something unavoidable for her that she couldn't reasonably have giving advance warning for. I could of course be wrong I'm just going from how you've described it.
Whilst I fully appreciate the OP's frustration with the situation, I agree 100% with the above.
> but he's having a go at me. Just returning his shit, in spades, Clare.
I'd hardly describe Allan's first (and so far only) reply to you as "having a go"
He has not said he won't pay, so why are you saying you'd urge the childminder to take him to court? Nothing has happened yet.
FWIW I think the vast majority are in agreement with you, yet you present your viewpoints in such an infantile manner that people feel that you are arguing with them. Grow up.
And someone said SarahG was being harsh. Shish.
Nursery is a much, much better option.
Another vote for paying what you owe.
> Nursery is a much, much better option.
Yep - and I was siding with Sarah until she got nasty. But you got to work these things out before you have the little blighters in the first place.
Little Ent went to nursery.
Whilst I sympathise with the mess this has put you in, do consider that this is a woman that's done a good job for you for 10 months and that she's going through a tough time now. It would make you a really really good person if you would pay up with good grace and wish her well for the future. Good luck with finding an alternative arrangement soon.
Wrote that then got distracted and a lot more has happened in this thread since.
I don't really think that the OP is at fault for not having a back up option planned, it's not really something that most people think about or most people have set up, even if most people might have a back up option available in the form of parents, relatives or other friends but not everyone has this option.
I work two part time jobs but I do have some time off, I know that if my brother or a friend with a baby had a problem and they asked if I was able to look after their sprog for a day or even half a day a week I'd say yes (even though in my brother's case it's a 200 mile round trip) - have you got any friends you could perhaps ask, I wouldn't find it offensive if someone asked me and I couldn't, I appreciate why they are asking and the problem they are in, it's really just helping out a friend.
With regards to implied contracts, I agree that there is one but without taking her to court for compensation for failing to provide an implied service I don't think there's much you can do about it.
You do have my sympathy, but equally would you want someone who doesn't feel up to it looking after you little 'un?
Best of luck getting new childcare sorted anyway.
> Another vote for paying what you owe.
I think the masses agree - me included - its just that certain UKCers felt the need to be a little prickly in the response department.
Picture this, Sarah G and others, that a new person joined your climbing group and whlst setting up at the crag he/she asked for advice, perhaps emotionally because it affected them logistically and financially. They may well be in the wrong - or not - but they were confused and brave enough to ask what might to you appear like a daft question.
a. Listen to the question, think about it and respond with a sympathetic ear but suggest that they pay giving clear reasons from another's point of view.
b. Ignore them because you think they are an arse and continue putting on your rock shoes.
c. Flame them utterly, degrade them, make them feel petty and child-like by using suggestions like 'man up' etc.
I suggest if your answer is:
a. You are probably a well rounded individual whom has many friends whom in turn confide in you as they know you wont judge and that you give good friendly, constructive advice, even if sometimes they might not like the answer. Grade: Well done you.
b. You are probably a bit socially disengaged, perhaps wrapped up in your own crap to worry about other people and anyhow, "I dont know you from Adam, whay are you asking me this question." Maybe you are having a bad day and so all you wanted was to climb to get work/last nights beer/annoying partner out of your head. Grade: Could do better.
c. You are probably a really nasty person at heart with no regard whatsover for those around you. You have no friends and those you do think of reasons not to spend time with you. You buy meals for one, walk alone and climb solo. What's more, you are always the last to hear about work nights out. If this is incorrect, then you are a cyber hero who vents their pityfull anger through a PC screen with those whom you really wouldnt dare stand up to in real life, if real people would actually speak to you that is. Grade: Jimmy Savile.
I have no opinion, just pondering.
Not read to the entire post, but have you discussed the fact that her lack of notice has caused you a massive amount of ballache, disruption and expense and that you think the charge is a little unfair?
Maybe I'm being the eternal optimist and wondering if they might be a flexible and be prepared to bear your situation in mind...?
Anyhoo, just to add to the others - I live in south manchester (wythenshawe) and the lady who looked after our sprout was registered / qualified, very good, reliable and a top woman. If you need a contact, drop me a PM.
Contracts et al are nothing more than a blind alley here. You failed to get one and even if you did get one, would it have had reciprical cancelation rights in it? In hindsight you might have forced the issue but I suspect you may not have thought of it, or the carer would not have allowed wording around cancelation/interuption of service in as theres nothing in it for them to allow it in! They are hardly going to write a cotract that penalises them, if they are happily obtaining work without offering that level of security to their clients.
You could avoid paying - and that might result in court action against you or not. It might involve you kicking somebody hard when they are down or it might not (if she is just a chancer who suddenly decided she can't be bothered working any more... does that sound likley?? How many child minders do you think are doing it for the love of looking after a bunch of other peoples kids and could manage perfectly comfortably without the money??). I'm pretty sure whe is struggling without an income now, or at worst a heavily reduced family income.
Focus on the only issue here. Finding a new carer or nursery that you are happy with, and learn from this to make sure you are happy with the amount of certainty you have built into that arrangement. If you want certainty, Nursery or collective it is and even then things may not work out for one reason or another and you'll be cursing that you are paying for days you are contracted to but havn't used because you didn't like the place and pulled child out to try somewhere else.....
Because you didn't insist on a contract with notice periods, the additional costs she caused you from stopping work is nothing to do with her.
Lordy what a thread!
Sounds like she's left you right in the lurch which is not great at all. However, if someone's done the work I think they should always get paid. The rest can be chalked up to experience and the positive aspects (if such a thing exists) of contracts! Pay the bill and move on, it'll no doubt be better for your peace of mind too I think.
Thanks to all who contributed constructive advice.
Also thanks to all who have mentioned that they could put us in contact with a childminder etc.
We do now have a possible start date for our child in 3 weeks at a place we like, so hopefully that happens.
Excellent news. Hope it works out.
> Excellent news. Hope it works out.
Sarah-G: get down of your high horse
You really have no idea do you?
Self absorbed and hard done by.
Elsewhere on the site
A product review by James Turnbull. James Turnbull at Outside recently took the new Osprey Mutant 38 on a rigorous test in the... Read more
WINTERFEST 2014 at Outside in Hathersage 6th and 7th December 2014 Outside's ever popular Winterfest event is back... Read more
I am Matthew Phillips, I'm nearly 14 and I was born without my right arm below the elbow. I started climbing at taster... Read more
2014 has been a bumper year for climbing publications. Here's a few of the ones that we have either read, or ones that we... Read more
Nick Livesey discovered the mountains of Snowdonia over a decade ago and finally moved there a year and a half ago, quitting a... Read more