View Full Version : Christmas holidays

25-09-2015, 12:54 PM
I ask for 4 weeks notice of any holidays so do you think it's unfair at this stage to ask customers their plans over Christmas and which days they need me? Thanks :-)

25-09-2015, 01:08 PM
Have you given the parents your holiday dates for Christmas? That could start up a conversation?

25-09-2015, 01:35 PM
Have you given the parents your holiday dates for Christmas? That could start up a conversation?

I was going to do my Christmas holidays around their needs if I can :-) x

25-09-2015, 01:37 PM
No, it's not too early. I've already asked one family what their plans are for the last day of term (I'm hoping to have that day off if possible!).

I only work term time but I'm usually around in holidays if need be but I point blank refuse to do Christmas holidays, that's my family time!

25-09-2015, 01:47 PM
I found, over the years, some parents would play a 'waiting game' and wouldn't commit to saying when they are taking time off. Because, if I say I'm not working they don't pay! I found it very stressful waiting to find out if I was working Xmas Eve, 27th etc. So I now tell them when I will be available. In fact they will all be told next week when they get this term's bill. As my holidays will be listed. I do loose money but at least I won't be stressing about it early December and have already got plans for my days off. You do whatever works for you and your family. You may find that what you do this year may change next year.

25-09-2015, 02:08 PM
You can ask, it's not rude at all. However are you going to make them commit to what they tell you? You can't really. Even if they think they know now something may come up between now and then. At Christmas I just tell them my holidays and it usually works out to what they would have taken anyway but I don't get paid because I put in the dates first. However there is absolutely no question about when my Christmas holidays will be and so I just factor it into my annual takings anyway. Like someone else said, you do get parents playing the waiting game, but I have found that you win some, you lose some and it generally works out even stevens.

25-09-2015, 02:35 PM
I used to wait until parents told me what they were doing over Christmas, but it ended up getting so messy with them all being off at different times, or wanted me to have the children on different days!

A few years ago I decided it wasn't worth the hassle, so I just started booking the time off that I wanted. I have already told parents what my holidays will be over Christmas so it gives them plenty of time to sort something out, or fit their time off around it.

25-09-2015, 05:17 PM
In September I ask parents to tell me in October what they would ideally like over the Christmas/New Year school holidays. This means I have the information to make a decision in November as to when I will open. This gives parents sufficinet time if they then need to make other arrangements, though it is difficult convincing them they need to be addressing the situation now if they are going to get that sort of information in time for them to do something about it.

I don't promise to open simply because 1 child might be here, but I do take their needs into consideration. I have no problem working any bank holiday, but have a liking for taking Christmas Eve off if at all possible. I'm prepared to make short-notice emergency changes, and have even worked New Years Day at about 12 hours' notice. What I won't stand for is the parents who can't be bothered to tell you, then ask about working Xmas Eve when they've had their work rotas weeks in advance. :mad:

25-09-2015, 05:41 PM
Lol, it's not too early if my parents are anything to go by. In the last 2 weeks I've had one parent ask me if I am on hols in Feb next year and another ask me if I am on hols in June next year!!! Needless to say I said I doubt I'll be on hols but I can't guarantee it just yet :panic:


25-09-2015, 08:33 PM
I am definately in awe of you all.
I am term time only and have only teachers children and solicitors who work from home/ only want to work term time too/ have great grandparent backup so holidays are simple.
We have had a rough week, Min law poorly and DH spent beginning of week with her so I was on my own (!!!!) I know you will smile or be exasperated by this...but getting breakfast and lunch on my own has really opened my eyes! I opted for sandwiches one day and tapas the next, I prepared at the table with the children....but my kitchen looked like abomb had hit it..Thankgoodness we have loads of crockery and utensils, because I didn't even have time to put them in the dishwasher! I know if I was on my own totally I would work out a system, but being thrown into it with a poorly dog too it tested me ( how did I ever run a school of 400 children!!)
It must be a slow dance situation...waiting for parents to tell you to see what holidays you are going to book, weighing up if nobody needs you you can have Christmas Eve andthe 27 th off paid..or announcing that you are closed so parents don't have to pay.....
It strikes me that Bunyips routine of ' tell me what you want and I will let you know', having the upper hand on decisions over Christmas works best, be confident, ask, don't promise....review and decide on how much compromise you want to make over payment.
But I appreciate this is easier said than done!!

26-09-2015, 06:19 AM
I used to be available to work over the christmas hols purely as i couldnt afford to not work. but the year before last I was messed around by being told the children might or might not be coming, they would let me know. Then didnt. So last year i decided i was just going to take the 2 weeks off and doing the same this year. Its also nice to have time off and be at home cos my time off is 'going on holiday'.

26-09-2015, 06:33 AM
The problem you have especially when its Christmas is different parents do different things.

You have the parents who have to work so will still need you.
You have the parents who are off and will keep their children at home on holiday.
You have the parents who are off but will use you for some of the days so they can get stuff done.

If you charge parents for their holidays you may well play a very long waiting game while the parents wait for you to book Christmas off so they don't have to pay.

Childminders fall into different groups as well.7

You have the cm's who stay open because their parents work.
You have the cm's who close every year.
You have the cm's who don't mind working the odd day to help out (though if you have a few families this may mean you working all the days).

Personally I know for my family its important to close for Christmas. I finish the day school closes and go back when they do (unless there is an inset day). However my dh works a job where he will work Christmas so I fill that its important that Im here entirely for my children.

26-09-2015, 07:03 AM
I've been thinking about Christmas these last couple of days too!
I was thinking of waiting and seeing what people would book off as ideally I'd like 2 weeks but that's a lot of money to go without at the most expensive time of the year, but the parent on the couple of days before Xmas when I'd like to close will send their child even though they're off with their school age child because she's paid, so I'm thinking I'll just close and have the time with my family and plan for the drop in money now.
I only took 1.5 weeks off in summer and haven't had anything else since last Xmas and really regretted not having an extra week so I know I'll regret saying I'm around in that Xmas week when they all send their kids! I think I'm just going to book it off

chris goodyear
26-09-2015, 09:06 AM
When I started many moons ago I didn't take any time off unless I was actually jumping on a plane or driving miles and miles to go somewhere! Over the years I gradually increased the much needed time off and now take 6 weeks per year, this is accepted without question by my parents and to stop them panicking (as some still do even though they acknowledge that I need this time) when I'm not open I give them a list of the coming year's dates in January. I usually follow the same pattern every year which is I don't work Feb half term, 2 weeks in mid August, roughly 2 weeks at Christmas depending on where Christmas falls, and the last week could be Spring or winter half term or the beginning of October as I have a timeshare that week. They all get used to these times and I just have to also get used to the drop in money but it works for me and my parents.

26-09-2015, 09:25 AM
Cms vary on holidays and that is of course acceptable....we all do what is best all round.

Surely whether the parents need to take a holiday, or the cm does, both instances mean the other party receives 4 weeks notice....is that not part of the off the shelf contracts anymore?

If a cm takes fixed holidays at particular time that should be in the contract so parents are well warned in advance and all that is required is a reminder.

I admire those who really bend over backwards on the holiday issue

28-09-2015, 06:45 AM
I give parents my holiday dates for the year by February latest then we know where we are and parents can book holidays same time as me if they wish to.

28-09-2015, 10:27 AM
I give parents my holiday list in January. It's usually the same every year but this year I'm thinking of changing my summer holidays and have already told them :) I like to keep everyone informed. But they rill know for definite in January... I can't suit all the parents so I set my own holidays