View Full Version : Can parents say no to a variation

30-11-2012, 01:20 PM
I was thinking this morning about a variation I'm putting in place for Feb.

I've already told all my parents in september about the new variations and they have all signed to say they understand.
I've granted myself a variation to have 4 under 5 for a couple of hrs two days a week that will last for 5m and now I'm in the process of letting the parents know.

But, it got me thinking. If I've got 4 under 5 I won't take anymore siblings on or do any extra hours with mindees due to the fact it will be too much for me, I won't have buggy space etc. plus I have 2 under 8's to pick up from school so can't go over 6.

But my 3yr old mindee (contracted 9-2.50) very very occasionally (only twice in the past year) has attended until 5pm due to Mum going on a course or having to do a talk at work. Shes always asked if i can have mindee till later and I've always said yes to this and been flexible but when I have this extra child I won't be able to say yes to this anymore.

So, does Mum have a right to say, no, I don't want you taking this mindee on extra hours because it will impact her. Does she have a right to stop my variation?
Is it my place to tell parents or do I ask parents?

The Juggler
30-11-2012, 01:27 PM
in short - no - unless this flexibility for her is written into her contracted hours and you are refusing her those.

They can voice concerns over how you will manage any variation and you need to address those concerns in your variation paperwork but these would be more practical than personal and you'd need to show how you will still meet the needs of all the children whilst in a variation - but that does not normally relate to whether you can offer extra hours or not it's more about the quality of the care you ARE offering than if you can offer a place. Does that make sense.

They can say no by voting with their feet - and leave - I guess so you would need to consider that but I think if you get in there first and say that you can't afford not to do this variation as it is regular extra hours for you whereas she only pays as she goes. You hope she understands and you will still accomodate her late finishes on the other days where you can.

good luck.

hectors house
30-11-2012, 01:32 PM
I gave my parents the letter explaining the changes in variations - then I gave them a letter when I needed to grant myself one, detailing the circumstances, ages of children involved etc, I ended it saying "please sign a form when your child next attends, to indicate that you have been informed of this variation in numbers and have received a letter explaining the new guidelines regarding variations. "Assuring my best intentions at all times, please do not hesitate to speak to me about this variation if you have any concerns".

I didn't ask them as such, I told them but gave them the option to speak to me about it.

In your case, this parent doesn't pay a retainer for the extra hours that are required very occasionally, so unless she wants to have contract changed, then can't see that she has the right to stop you.

30-11-2012, 01:40 PM
Theoretically - they can try to influence your decision - because they can make a complaint to Ofsted that you are overminding or doing something they think is wrong or not meeting their child's needs by caring for more children.

If this happens you would then have an inspector carefully checking all your documentation including your variation paperwork and asking why you didn't follow parents wishes.

While some childminders could probably talk themselves out of this type of scenario a good percentage wouldn't know what had hit them :(


30-11-2012, 04:43 PM
This strikes me as a bit of a grey area. :confused:

I can't find anything in EYFS Statutory Framework or the Ofsted guidance document on "The numbers and ages of children....etc." which says you must have parents' permission. However the guidance document includes an example in which the CM "....consults the parent of the two-year-old before agreeing to take the twins." This goes in hand with their general principle of it being 'best practice' to work with parents as much as possible.

I think, as Sarah suggests, the answer may well be to do whatever you can to get the parents on board, and be prepared to present a good case to Ofsted if/when required. I'd be inclined to invite parents to submit their comments, thus showing you have 'consulted'. The 3yo's mum may not even mention the extra hours (as it's so seldom). If she then complains, you can show you offered the chance to raise concerns earlier and frankly she's left it a bit late to kick up a stink. If she does raise a concern about the extra hours, then you can point out to mum that they are, well, 'extra' - you're not obliged to commit to offering any hours over and above what is contracted and paid for regularly.

Hope this helps. :thumbsup: