View Full Version : christmas and your time off work

21-10-2014, 12:22 PM
Do a lot of you close completely over Xmas and New year and re-open when the schools start back or do you open up for any days inbetween? I guess some may say it depends if a parent needs me, but what i'm asking is do you prefer to shut fully or does it not bother you to open up in between? This year Xmas day,boxing day and New Yr day fall on a weekday so that is good! For the last 2 years i have just worked the first few days of the Xmas school holidays then shut from Xmas eve up until the start of the new school term. I love doing that and my own children can play with their new toys downstairs and watch films,and i tell parents from the word go that i shut. Now what niggles me is when a new parent or one visiting says that they have to work the days in between,including Xmas Eve so would be stuck for childcare. Does that then make you feel guilty for closing? I have a parent who says she works Xmas Eve, but without this sounding horrible i don't actually want to work it and have her 2 kids with me for the whole day and some places to take them may shut early or shut altogether. Do you think well it's my time off,special time of the year,lots to do and don't want people's kids in my home, or do you think well it doesn't me!? My DH is self-employed and i know he will also take a bit of time off over that holiday period

21-10-2014, 12:41 PM
I usually close when schools break up and open again when they go back in January. Like you, I make it clear from the start that I close over Christmas. I remind parents throughout the year and let them sort out their own cover, if they need it. I don't feel any guilt at all! If parents are likely to struggle for childcare over Christmas then I'm not the right childminder for them.

After my last working day I pack all of the childminding stuff away and leave it away for a full 2 weeks. As a family we switch to full Christmas mode once the last child has left :clapping:

21-10-2014, 12:42 PM
I close for the whole school holiday. parents are told this up front - and much like all the other terms of my service they can choose to accept or choose to go elsewhere. I don't feel guilty , if having care during this period is essential to them then Im not the right childminder for them and they keep looking.

21-10-2014, 12:45 PM
The very first year i worked as both parents said that normally over the christmas they take time off between them, so i thought i would have a quieter christmas...how wrong i was. Yes the parents did have time off but not once picked their children up early or came later. So i ended up working until 5:30pm xmas eve and the day after boxing day at 7:45am. I vowed never again.

So I changed my contracts to state that the only holiday I get paid for is the christmas period where I have a shut down from the eve of 21st December and will re-open on the day after New Years day, at full pay. I have done this for three years. It is stated on my initial leaflets that all parents get before they visit me, it is discussed with them verbally on contract take up and is clearly mentioned on all holiday documents plus i remind parents three months before any holiday and each month up to the holiday so there is no confusion.

Not one parent has said anything, it has not stopped people signing up and surprising all my families for the last three years have managed cover themselves with most being off anyway. I would never feel guilty if a parent said they didnt have cover because they have had plenty of notice to get organised.

I love Christmas and have a 5 year old myself, so i want to be prepared, have house ready have lazy days and have guests over. It works well for me.

21-10-2014, 12:45 PM
Same as Mouse here too. I close over the whole period (not a term time only childminder though), its part of my annual holiday that I take. I don't feel guilty about taking time off.
Parent's holidays and ours are never going to match up completely. There are going to be times when we're off and they need additional childcare to cover those days. I don't think you, or anyone else should be made to feel guilty about taking time off. You don't sound horrible at all for wanting time off work, even if it does happen to inconvenience one parent. :thumbsup:

21-10-2014, 12:49 PM
Thanks all,that has put my mind at rest! Glad so far you are all with me on that one!

21-10-2014, 12:49 PM
i don't get paid if I take time off so I work up until xmas eve and then don't come back until the new year. That way ime not loosing out on too much. I don't work in between as most parents are off work anyway and it's nice to have this break off.
I used to be crafty and ask parents when they were off first so I would get paid but I don't do that now as you have to be available to work and I don't really want to work so I book it off first now.:rolleyes:

21-10-2014, 01:02 PM
I usually take Christmas eve to new years day off but this year I am taking the whole 2 weeks school hols and can't wait! Otherwise I'd have to work the tues before Christmas (with 4 EY for 10hr day) and then the last Friday for 1 child! I'll miss those days but having time to relax and not have to do anything will be great. I don't get paid if I'm not workung either but its worth it for the time off.
When I nannied I used to work Christmas eve and often between Christmas and new year and it was ok. But I didn't have my own children to be with!

21-10-2014, 01:33 PM
I take the week in between christmas and new year off and xmas eve and sometimes the day before it as well depending on when christmas lies......

21-10-2014, 02:11 PM
I used to wait until the parents had booked it off but it never worked because there will always be one family who send regardless. One child, contracted to 6.30 p.m. on Christmas Eve - mum was off but spent the day doing last minute bits and pieces and who can blame her? I would have done the same in her place. Now I just book the 2 weeks off and go without the money :thumbsup:

hectors house
21-10-2014, 04:38 PM
I work up until the 23rd - take off 24, 25, 26, 27 as these are days my husband is always off - it's my birthday on the 30th so try to take it off or get children to swap days, try to finish a little earlier on New Years eve if I can, don't work New Years day. This year as I have a significant birthday - I will be taking the 30th, 31st & 1st off - and my husband has booked extra time off too - not sure what we will do yet as hotels are expensive at that time of year, not many West End shows are still running between Xmas and new year. Don't want to hijack this thread but any suggestions would be appreciated?

21-10-2014, 04:40 PM
Previously I have had parents that would all be off and want to spend the time with their LOs. At the moment I have several families who will send their children when they are not working and also several that are self-employed so will continue to work if I am open, so today I have sent out letters saying when I am closed (I am not closed for all the holidays but like Hectors house I close eve 23rd and re-open on fri 2nd:clapping:)

21-10-2014, 06:06 PM
hi I am a newish minder and only have one mindee one day a week at the moment who is 8-2.30 so have decided to work Xmas eve this year, will re evulate next year x

21-10-2014, 08:18 PM
I'm also closing the 23rd and reopening the 2nd. I was originally going to work Christmas Eve but decided to book it off 2 weeks ago, I just want to be with my family at such a special time of the year. I've already decided I ll do the same next year as well :-)

21-10-2014, 09:49 PM
I always close for 2 weeks... I need it as I be exhausted by this stage and want to spend that time with . my children. All parents are told this at the beginning so as mentioned before if it does not suit the parent I'm not the cm for them. I also charge full fee for the 26 days I take off a year and again parents are aware if this. Once the last child leaves I pack all cm related stuff away and flop on the sofa after doing good a wee happy dance :)

21-10-2014, 11:08 PM
I have always offered to work as having worked in industry before childminding I know how I liked to work between Christmas and New Year because it was quiet and I could get such a lot of work done. I have always worked up to and including Christmas Eve if needed I enjoy Christmas Eve even when my two were younger!

I start asking parents now what they may want over Christmas and New Year. I have to say over the last 5 or so years no one has wanted any time and they have taken it off as holiday. If people aren't making decisions I give them a booking form and tell them I need it by the 25th Nov so I can plan as I may only have one child etc and I have my own plans to fit in as well and my family and friends need notice. If they haven't given me the form they have one ask and then I assume they are taking holiday and I write and confirm that and that I won't take anyone last min. I charge full fee for the whole time because it is the parents choice not to send their children over that time.

This year one family finish the Friday before Christmas and the other two are finishing on the 23rd. I am then off until the 2nd when I have one child, the other two come back on the 5th.So I have from the 23rd to the 5th off because having one on the Friday won't really be like work! We will have fun.

hectors house
22-10-2014, 07:27 AM
I find if I do say that I am working between Xmas and New Year it means that all parents have to pay half fee but hardly ever send the child so at least I'm not too down on my income. I have in the past just had one child occasional days during that week but the mum worked in a pub so obviously still had to work, the mum knew that her child would probably be on her own and said that if I wanted to have family round or go out visiting it would be fine to take child with me. My own children are grown up and left home so it was nice to have one to one time with a little one playing with new Xmas presents.

22-10-2014, 11:28 AM
If I am required between Christmas and New Year I tell the parents that we may have family or friends round or we may go out. I am not dictated to by the parents as to what I do.

22-10-2014, 11:44 AM
I have taken the week of Xmas off back working 30th.

22-10-2014, 11:45 AM
I finish on the 18th December and I am back to work on the 6th January, can't wait!

I just tell parents that I don't work over Christmas, none have ever moaned but I wouldn't care if they did, christmas is MY time!

22-10-2014, 01:38 PM
As im a humbug and oh works all but the bh's im available if the families need me.

22-10-2014, 01:46 PM
It's really good to know what you all do and the majority close for 2 weeks or most of it. I gave a letter out this morning saying that i will be closed from Xmas Eve up until the new school term which is 5th Jan. Available to work the first 2 days of the hols. There would only be 2 days in between Xmas and New Year where i may be needed for one family anyway,so for me i would rather close. It's the only time of year where now i am putting myself and my family first and our home being turned back into our home for that special time of year. Also my family and i have friends visiting or relatives or we go to them,so the thought of knowing that i will close means i can make plans and enjoy them.Happy days!

23-10-2014, 09:06 AM
I'm going to close for the 2 weeks this year for xmas. I have always worked til xmas eve and between xmas and new year. But this year ive decided i need the time off. Plus Im fed up of every year asking parents if their sending los (as im available to work,but know full well that parents arent working), for them to not turn up and not let me know or to say 'well im not working so im might bring xx at lunchtime or i might send them on xx day but I'll let you know'.
I just want to sit and watch cheesy xmas movies with my daughter too!

23-10-2014, 01:39 PM
This is really putting me In the mood for Christmas... I can take down the fire guard have scented candles burning pack away the toys and high chairs onto the garage. No tripping over cushions which they always throw on the ground. I can sleep late eat loads of rubbish during the day not have to pick glitter out of my hair and have food thrown all over the floor for two whole weeks. I can also have a glass of wine for breakfast and lunch if I want too... lol

23-10-2014, 01:44 PM
This is really putting me In the mood for Christmas... I can take down the fire guard have scented candles burning pack away the toys and high chairs onto the garage. No tripping over cushions which they always throw on the ground. I can sleep late eat loads of rubbish during the day not have to pick glitter out of my hair and have food thrown all over the floor for two whole weeks. I can also have a glass of wine for breakfast and lunch if I want too... lol

I like the way you think!! Haha!

23-10-2014, 03:42 PM
I'm finishing on Friday 19th dec and opening on weds 7th jan


18 days off for only 9 of my holiday days whoohoo

23-10-2014, 10:43 PM
Most of my mindees are TTO & I only have 2 in the holidays & both on the same days so it's already a rest for me. I'll be doing half day Christmas Eve then not working until 5th - 1 parent already booked it off so worse case it's only 1 mindee pay lost 😄

04-11-2014, 11:26 AM
My hubby's factory is shut from Xmas eve til after new year so it will be booked off as my annual holiday :-)

Chatterbox Childcare
04-11-2014, 01:26 PM
I asked all my parents 3 weeks when then would need me from Friday 19th December to Monday 5th January. So far 11 out of 14 have said that I will finish on 19th and 1 may need me, other two haven't confirmed either way.

I have had 5 weeks off this year so I don't think it is far to say that I am not available otherwise I would close