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Paying for childcare during shut down?

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Interested to know how others are handling the childcare situation as I'm aware many nurseries and childminders are still asking for fees to be paid despite the fact they are shut down from next week and not providing any service for an unknown period of time.

My son goes to a childminder a couple of half-days a week.  Given the latest government advice the childminder is closing her doors (until who knows when), but is still asking us to pay 50% of the fees whilst she's closed.  We've got a good relationship with the childminder (who lives locally) and we've been going to her for about 18 months.  It wouldn't be a huge sum each week so we could afford it without putting ourselves in hardship, but I just instinctively object to the fact that someone is asking us to pay them money and receive nothing in return.
The shut down isn't her fault and she has to follow government guidance to close, her losses aren't covered by insurance (we've been told) and she's self employed - so can't access any of the more recent gov. schemes to support small businesses.  So I feel really sorry for her, but at the same time just instinctively object to the idea that I should carry on paying her money to do nothing.
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  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I can see where you're coming from, but as long as you're going to want to send your child back to her whenever this is over, I'd do it, especially as you say you can. 
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  • annabanana82annabanana82 Forumite
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    I've just spoken to someone who's children are in nursery, both parents work full time on a decent salary and he is saying that he will not pay regardless of Ts&Cs if they aren't getting a service. I can see how people want to protect their finances but you've really got to look at the bigger picture here and do you (not you personally) want a place at nursery again, if everyone stops paying there may be very few places in 3 months time!
  • Mrs_SoupMrs_Soup Forumite
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    If you are being paid by your employer now is the time to pay it forward. Half fees is actually a good compromise. Some minders will charge that to hold a place.
  • DrawingalineDrawingaline Forumite
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    If you can afford it I would pay it. So many businesses just won't be there in 3/4 months time, if you have secure jobs you may find that childcare options will no longer be available once we are over the worst.

    I wouldn't do it indefinitely, but review it monthly maybe. 
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  • Addison_75Addison_75 Forumite
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    I understand were everyone is coming from, but for some of us we have 3+ children who go to childminders and to have to continue paying them for 'who knows how long' is quite a lot of money.  My childminder is seeking FULL payment not 50% which I don't believe is right as they were forced to close and I have read that the Govt are going to help them.  If they are not entitled then they should seek the help that other unemployed people can get that the Govt have offered.  I know this is a very hard and trying time for the country, but we pay childminders for a service - to keep our children safe. If this is the case for them, then so many other people who have lost income ie window cleaners, garderners, cleaners who can do the same - provide no service, but ask the public to continue paying them.  In my opinion, a little unfair and a bit greedy!   
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  • SplatfootSplatfoot Forumite
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    I understand were everyone is coming from, but for some of us we have 3+ children who go to childminders and to have to continue paying them for 'who knows how long' is quite a lot of money.  My childminder is seeking FULL payment not 50% which I don't believe is right as they were forced to close and I have read that the Govt are going to help them.  If they are not entitled then they should seek the help that other unemployed people can get that the Govt have offered.  I know this is a very hard and trying time for the country, but we pay childminders for a service - to keep our children safe. If this is the case for them, then so many other people who have lost income ie window cleaners, garderners, cleaners who can do the same - provide no service, but ask the public to continue paying them.  In my opinion, a little unfair and a bit greedy!   
    It may be 'unfair' but it's not greedy. People still need to live. Your child minder may decide to go and get another job in the meantime, if no one pays, because she has to live. Then she may not be there at all at the end. A child minder / nursery is different in my opinion, to window cleaners etc. They've not been forced to stop working. 
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  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    I posted the following in a very similar thread a couple of days ago......

    I saw an excellent comment from a reasonably eminent gentleman in his field of work, which read something like.....

    "If you employ someone to clean your house, do your garden or mind your children etc. and they have to self isolate you might like to consider continuing to pay then - as you can almost certainly afford it a lot better than they can"!

    Not quite the same situation but it has similarities........
  • Waxy666Waxy666 Forumite
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    Thanks all for comments.  Nice to know I'm not alone in feeling conflicted about the situation.  In my case I have agreed a contribution, but for a limited period to be reviewed regularly (thanks for the suggestion @Drawingaline ).  Partially this is because I expect further support to come from the government for the self-employed sometime soon, partially because I have no clarity over our own income over the medium term so don't feel I can commit to paying costs for an unknown period of time.
    I think this puts it well though Addison_75 said:
    If this is the case for them, then so many other people who have lost income ie window cleaners, garderners, cleaners who can do the same - provide no service, but ask the public to continue paying them.
    There are a lot of self employed people out there who are in a similar position to child-minders and similarly have limited support from the government / insurance at the moment, but I haven't seen any other trade approach it's customers and seek payment to not provide the service.  We pay taxes to the government to support those less fortunate than ourselves (a welfare state), it's unreasonable to then expect individuals to also take on extra personal financial responsibility for anyone around them that the government has (seemingly) forgotten about.
  • wism79wism79 Forumite
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    Hi Waxy666. I can certainly relate to your concern as we are in the same situation. We have 2 children at a childminder who is also asking for half fees even though the setting is closed.  Our contract is for both kids for 4 full days which is a considereble amount to pay for no service. We also queried about my 3 year olds free hours per week as this was not refelcted in the recent invoice and were told that the setting does not receive funding whilst closed, even though on the government website it clearly states that funding will still be provided even when settings are closed. Unfortunatley this has put us in a position where we need to think about finances as i wont be receiving my full income and who knows how long this will carry on for. I wish you all the best.
  • humbug125humbug125 Forumite
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    Wism79 - i have been grappling with this matter for a few days. My son attends a nursery [now shut except for key workers] and i have paid the 50% fees for this month and they did not issue any refunds for the end of March. I know the staff have been furloughed and so no food/staff costs and that they will be getting the gov funded hours for quite a few children which should provide at least some income for the owner. I am not sure why your childminder stated they did not receive funding when closed - that does not seem to be the case for other childcare settings. I would question it. The current intention is that they will continue to seek 50% voluntary contribution throughout period of closure so actually when you factor in less food/staff costs they will be not hit that hard [it is a home nursery and mortgage holiday granted]. If i knew that staff wages were being paid i would have less of an issue with this or the requested % was less or zero with a caveat that they may need to review their fees upon reopening. Either way it has left a bad taste in my mouth - i love the childcare setting but i am not happy with their approach so far.
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