Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will do my best to resolve this quickly for you.
Sorry to hear of the issue. It sounds like the potential claim has no merit from reading your question.
It is not your doing - Covid has obviously caused the delay and not only that, the minder is claiming for monies despite not having your child for the period, so her claim is significantly flawed. As a claimant the burden is on them to prove their claim. They may well be penalised by the court for bringing a claim without merit - the claim can be struck out if she does go on to issue one against you. If she sues you, she has to show you are to blame for her loss. I doubt she will be able to do this.
If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help. A claim will also take 6-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest. Once you file a defence you have the option of applying to strike out the claim as it would have no merit in my view. I can guide you with the application - the court would grant it if the judge was satisfied the claim had no merit and there was no reason why the claim should continue.
I hope this helps and answers the question which is easy to understand - please feel free to ask me anything else. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.
Thanks for using our services and have a good day,