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Help...Notice to Childminder?

My childminder used to collect my children one day a week from school and keep until 5.30pm. We found more suitable arrangements and I gave her notice before the end of the last term that we would not be needing her any further. I gave seven weeks notice - inclusive of summer holidays. She sent me an email saying that the contract excludes notice during "holidays" and charged me the entire month of August (£110) as her notice period. The contract requires four weeks notice and excludes holidays, which is not a defined term in the policy - i had assumed it meant her holidays, when she was unable to find replacement work as she was not working. The CM did work over the summer holidays, as I saw on FB as she put numerous posts up -she took two weeks off in the summer only. The contract is a standard one and is not relevant for the term time care she verbally offered so am surprised by her reliance on the contract term (and makes me wish I had called her our on her breaches of contract, for example, that her daughter collected my children from school once - without telling us and without permission). I think the use of 'holidays' is an unfair contract term, unless defined - it could mean her holiday, my holiday, school holidays, bank holidays etc. I am happy to accept that she was 'on holiday' for two weeks, so I should give her six weeks notice - but we gave her seven. Do you think I owe her the £110?


  • Guest101
    Guest101 Posts: 15,764 Forumite
    The better question is - will she take you to court ?

    I'd say it's unlikely over a small amount
  • notrealname
    notrealname Forumite Posts: 15 Forumite
    Yes, true enough..... I'm a tad inflamed as we have paid her over £15k in fees and have put up with with numerous issues on her part only to receive this bill. Seven weeks notice! It just comes across as incredibly grasping. I have seen other versions of childminder contracts where holidays are defined as 'childminder's holidays', which is fair enough.
  • scd3scd4
    scd3scd4 Forumite Posts: 1,180
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary
    Can you not let the child stay there to the end and then start the new minder.
  • Sparkleybutterfly
    Sparkleybutterfly Forumite Posts: 45 Forumite
    As an ex-child minder, reading your post made me feel slightly sad. This is a precious little person you are talking about, entrusted to another to mind. Taking the notice period out of the equation, did she do a good job? Was your child happy in her care? What was her hourly rate - I'll bet it is below minimum wage? Was she offering good value for money? When her daughter picked your child up, did this save you from taking a day off work or making other arrangements in the absence of your childminder? If you could take a little time to answer these questions maybe it could take the sting out of the amount of money she is asking and you could move onto your other arrangement in the knowledge that your child was happy during her time with the previous child minder. Looking at it from the child minders side, she has had your little one in her care for what seems to be a fairly long time (given the amount you have paid), do you think she is feeling a bit anxious at losing someone that she has put a lot of time and effort into raising. Maybe this is her way of dealing with the detachment - albeit not very well. I really do hope you resolve this, as child minding is a wonderful vocation and when the 'contract' ends, for whatever reason, it should provide happy memories
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass
    It's about learning to dance in the rain
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