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Issues with your childcare provider

Issues with your CC provider
Most childcare providers (a nursery, childminder or playgroup) work hard to make sure that your child – and you – are happy with their service. Issues don’t come up often, but if they do, it’s important that you discuss them with your childcare provider, before they have a chance to become problems.


What to do if you’re unhappy about something

Talk to your childcare provider about it informally.  Many times, niggles and issues can usually be sorted out straight away, and are often simply down to a lack of communication or a misunderstanding.


If you are still not happy, you should then put your complaint formally in writing – your childcare provider will have an outline of how they deal with complaints. 


If you do not accept the outcome of this, you can then consider approaching external bodies such as a solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau. However, this should be the last resort as this can be a difficult process and cause disruption to both you and your child.


I called Ofsted about a payment matter but they said it wasn't their role to deal with these types of issues. Why is this?

Ofsted only deal with complaints and queries in relation to the welfare of your childcare and the quality of care that they receive.


Contracts are seen as a legal matter between the childcare provider and parent and is not a matter for Ofsted to deal with.


I signed a contract agreeing to pay for childcare if my child is ill. However I don’t agree with this, what can I do?

A contract is a legally binding document. If you are unhappy with any part of your contract, you should discuss it with your childcare provider to receive a full explanation. If you have signed a contract and no longer agree with its conditions, you should seek legal advice. 


I can’t pay my childcare fees, what should I do?

Although this is a difficult matter, you should speak to your child’s childcare provider as soon as you realise that you cannot pay. Some may understand the difficulties parents face sometimes and may be able to help you with a repayment plan and help you check if you are getting all the financial support you are eligible for.


I have separated from my partner and don't want them to pick my child up, what should I do?

If your spouse (or any other person) doesn’t have legal parental responsibilities then you can tell your nursery that you don’t want your child to be picked up by this person.


If the parent  legal parental responsibility for the child and your spouse is named as being allowed to collect them, then the nursery cannot stop a parent picking up a child. If you want to stop your partner picking up your son or daughter, you will need an injunction.


My childminder/nursery  says I still have to pay for my child's place while we are on holiday or when my child is sick and I'm looking after them. If my child is not using the place, why do I have to pay for it?

Childminders are self-employed and most nurseries are run as private businesses so they set their own policies regarding sick and holiday pay. 


When the childcare provider starts looking after your child, you should sign a contract with them. The contract should give details about when you will and will not pay fees, for example, what happens when your child is on holiday and also when your childminder is on holiday, when your child is off sick, and when your childminder is sick.


The contract should also include, if appropriate, any notice periods that you can give to reduce or cancel fees for a period e.g some childminders may not charge, or may reduce a fee if either one of you or notifies the other far enough in advance of holidays.