A childminder/parent arrangement can be referred to as a written agreement or contract. It is advisable to have a contract in place with your childminder as it can protect both parties from misunderstandings and pave the way for healthy communication.
A written agreement clearly states what is expected from both the childminder and the parents/guardians. It can be referred to if needed and is important because the details of verbal agreements can easily be forgotten or misremembered.
A contract will help with agreement on issues such as deposits for a place booked, holiday pay, policies on sickness (the childminders or your child’s) and notice periods.
It is advisable to agree how you plan to arrange your holidays at the beginning of the arrangement where you can.
The terms and conditions should include the following:
- Days and hours of childminding. This should be specific for each child/family.
- Payment for childminding: Date due, in advance, weekly or monthly and the method of payment i.e. direct debit, cash.
- Payment for absences/holiday arrangements
- Care required: Who provides which meals? Who provides equipment?
- Notice period or arrangement if the either party intends to terminate the agreement.
Remember childminders are self-employed individuals providing a service and therefore set their own terms and conditions.
The contract needs to be signed by all parties and copies provided. It needs to be reviewed regularly, every 6-12 months, or as situations change and your contract needs to reflect any changes to the original agreement.