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Help! unfair childminder contract


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Hi and thanks in advance.


I have a really lovely childminder whom i normally get on with and who my daughter loves. My daughter is treated as one of the family. Problem is (i know i should have read it properly) The contract i signed over a year ago says that i have to pay her no matter the reason if i don't take my daughter to her as my childminder would otherwise still be available. BUT, i also have to pay my childminder if she goes away on holiday (granted half price). I do not have to pay her if she can't look after my daughter due to an illness.


There have been many occasions when i have paid her for doing nothing but as it was me who chose not to take my daughter there, it was ok.


I really do object to having to pay her anything at all while she is away enjoying herself especially when i have to pay someone else at the same time! Recently, she went on a romantic holiday and normally i don't bother with invoices i just ask how much. this time, i asked for one for tax credit reasons, that's when i saw it "holidays charged at half price"


Main question, is this an unfair contract? can i get her to change it or is it just best to find a new childminder?


Any advice would be appreciated

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Hi BP, I would google the Association of childminders, I presume that she is registered, they set the standard terms and conditions, take a look at what they say about it



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Thanks Lula, it seems there's nothing i can do for the moment They have informed me that "even childminders have to have paid holidays" which is great bu i already pay her £150 per wk for 6hrs a day. She earns a lot from me because £150 is also the very same amount she charges full time per wk i lose out because she charges me per hr instead.

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  • 2 months later...

In regards to the thread about the unfair childminders contract I thought perhaps i would try and shed a little light on it from a professional point of view and i hope that it may help you in some way.


Childminders are self employed, OFSTED,The early Years etc, NCMA, do not dictate to childminders the way they must run their business, they do however, have suggested guildlines for us to take into consideration, but ultimately , we run our business as we choose to.


With your contract, its unfortunate that you didnt see that your childminder charged you for when she is away. I always make sure I sit down with the parent and cover every section, i need to know that they are happy with everything, and understand exactly what it is they are signing ( it is, after all, a legally binding contract)

When it comes to charges, fees, illness etc, again this is down to the childminders decision.

Some childminders will charge full price for your holidays, their own holidays, bank holidays, childs sickness, their sickness etc

Others simply dont charge at all if the child does not attend for some reason ( i have never known one myself to do this, but i believe they exsist!)

Some charge half fee for their holiday and full fee for parents, it really is all different to each childminder.

I personally charge full fee for parents holidays/child sickness/occasional days off etc

but i do not charge at all for : my own holidays/my sickness/emergency days off etc.

If the child is contracted in 5 days a week but mum decides to take a day off work that morning and doesn't bring the child in, then she would still need to pay as she is taking up the place.

If i were ill one morning and couldnt provide care i would not charge for that day


With holidays , i try to go away when the parents do, however with several sets of parents, this can be difficult!! So i end up taking 2 weeks off unpaid holiday toward the end of the year. I am self employed and therefore i believe i dont have the same rights to paid holiday as employed people, plus the parents would end up paying 2 lots of fees ( even if one was reduced)

It really is all down to the childminder and there is no standards or regulations in place to class it as "unfair'


I would advise speaking to her, especially as you so highly value her, just mention that you were not fully aware of the holiday policies.


What does she charge you when you go away? if she charges you full fee for your holiday and half fee for her own holiday, this is quite common practice, but if you really are unhappy about it, please speak to her, im sure she'll be more than happy to discuss it, and if you make a point that you would like this amended..the very least she can do is consider it.

Its worth a try, and if she has anything about her she will listen to you.


if she is a good childminder..she will help you and perhaps amend your current contract.

There will be other childminders in your area, who will charge you per hour/ per session etc and may be a little less than 5 per hour, as yours seems to be. I charge 3.00 p/h but with minimum of 3 hours a day and 10 hours per week.

it does seem, unfortunately that your childminder is caring for your child 30 hours a week, a.k.a part time but is getting the same amount of money as if she had filled it as a full time place. Again, this is her choice but you may find others that wont do this.


Remember..good childcare is very hard to find so if she is good..hold onto her and work something out. There's always a solution somewhere :)




hope this helps in some way!! xxx


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