View Full Version : What would you do?

20-01-2008, 09:09 PM
In Septemeber, I had been minding for 8 months, & only filled 1 pt space. I got a few enquireries, and filled up after school.

One parent of a 6 yr old came to see me. Child A. She wanted him to do Tues & Thurs for 2 hours after school. Term time only & give him tea. When she came she asked if I would be able to provide a space for her other son B, from this Sept. I said I wasn't sure, and would speak to support cm & see what she suggests. Really, I didn't want to keep an after school space open for a year.

Anyway, nothing more was really said on the matter. A couple of times I've said about B coming to me instead of going to nursery, that way I can guarentee him a space from Sept. Anyway, since begininng of Jan he now comes to me on a Mon. I pick him up from playschool, & have him til 3pm.

From the end of Feb I've taken on a full timer, and a sibling. (an afterschooler - but both full time during hols so much more money.) The only thing is, this now means there are no spaces for B to come to me from Sept. Also the mum has changed her days to Teus & Weds, and Weds I'm way more full, so will need to give her notice for A from Sept too.

Anyway, I sent her a text saying dd was ill, and she's replied B isn't great either so she'll keep him home, but needed to speak to me. She'd sent me a e-mail last week, detailing the times she wants me to have B from Sept, due to the staggered start. I said I'm not sure what I'll be able to do as I've just taken on another child from feb, so will look at it. In her text to me tonight she said she's concerned as she thought we had an understanding, so was hoping it was just the days in Sept I couldn't help out with...

I never agreed to keep a space open for her. No contract has been signed. I have one for B at the moment, but it's for Mon pm only.

Things are so awkward when I have A. He's not allowed to watch tv, and when I have a 2 yr old (mine who is obsessed with Peppa Pig!!), 5 yr old, 2 x 6 yr olds & a 9 yr old, at least one of them wants it on. Mum collects at 5pm, and as she wants A to have had tea, I'm in such a rush after school. He's really fussy, doesn't eat sausages, mince, but loves salmon...! :rolleyes: , makes it really hard to make cheap filling meals for 6 of them!

To be honest, no one with a good business head would hold a space open for a year, for the sake of £468 a year (Yep that's right £12 a week). Did she really expect me to turn down these other 2 I have starting which will earn me about £4700 in the first 6 months alone! For the massive £468 a year extra she'll pay me.

It probabally sounds really mean, but as much as we do this job because we love kids, we all do it to earn money too.

Sorry I've rambled, and I hope someone's managed to read it all & make some sense.

Am I being wrong? Would you stick with the 2 kids 4 hours a week term time only, or take the ones with more money, and 'get rid'. TBH Dh has said I should give notice for A since before xmas as he finds him hard work when he comes in too...

Arrrggghhhh - everything's so difficult.

Kelly x

p.s anyone got any good termination of contract letters? (I use the NCMA ones & state 4 weeks notice.)

20-01-2008, 09:22 PM
Hi Kelly - nobody can really expect you to hold a place open for that long... but things do change and while you are full now, you might lose someone before September, so if you can cope with the child, it wouldn't be a bad thing to keep hold of him...

On the other hand, if he's being a difficult little so and so and you don't have the support of you dh, which is very important at times like this, you could consider suggesting to the parent that you don't feel he's settled and you're not sure yours is the right environment for him...

Good luck with whatever you decide! :D

20-01-2008, 09:24 PM
You have to do what is right for you.

If you have no conract with her there is little she can do if you have no room for him, and yes I think you would be mad to turn the other contract down ! I wouldnt hold a space for anyone for a whole year x

20-01-2008, 09:36 PM
I think the same as everyone else. There is no contract for the other child and she hasnt paid you a retainer to hold the place for him so "Tuff Luck".

You have to do whats right for you and your family whether its keeping A or letting him go. Personnally if it was me i would let him go as it sounds alot of work for nothing.

Forum Widower
20-01-2008, 10:26 PM
You have to do what best suits you and your needs.

But from a purely business point of view if you are in a position where taking children that earn you more money makes your quality of life better then that is what you should do. I have seen this with my wife and unfortunately being a childminder is a very different business to any other, it is hard not to get emotionally attached where children are concerned.

If you have to end the contract with the p/t children then obviously it would be great to end things amicably, hopefully if the mother is at all reasonable she will understand that you can only have a certain number of children in your care at any one time so naturally it makes sense for you to take children that earn you more money.

If you prefer to keep the p/t children you really should think about agreeing some form of deposit with the mother as it is crazy to think you can keep that space open to her for any amount of time when you could be looking after other children and earning.

Although i intend joining my wife and becomming a childminder soon, as a current outsider i have seen the effect this sort of situation has had on her and in a way it has made me look at things from a slightly tougher standing. Of course there is the issue of continuity of care but if the financials are right then you have to do what is best for you and try your best not to feel bad about making the tough decision.

FW :)

oakie dokie
21-01-2008, 06:44 AM
very difficult, its only difficult because we dont want to let anyone down, we know what we must do ,but cannot bring ourselves to end the contract, i am in the same situation, and i feel manipulated itto doing something that is becoming physically impossible. come august i will be giving notice. last week i had s for one and a half hours after school. do what you have to do. good luck hazelx

upsetting i know , i was in tears last week because i thought i had spelled it out to her, about numbers etc but know you have to come straight to the point.

21-01-2008, 09:03 AM
Hiya - definately tricky when you get yourself in a situation like this.

I would say that I would leave it open ended until August if you feel like you want to go ahead. Doesnt sound like you do though?

Also, I would explain to mum that you make dinner for 5pm (or whatever) so cant provide dinner for her son. I had one like that and it got a bit aggro over dinners in the end. Best just to say no, IMO.

Lastly, your comment about "It probabally sounds really mean, but as much as we do this job because we love kids, we all do it to earn money too." made me inwardly smile. Why is it that we, as childminders, always feel guilty about asking to be paid for our job? I do it too, and it annoys me!! Do nursery staff feel guilty? Do doctors and nurses or social workers feel guilty?? Nope!! Yet we constantly feel the need to justify ourselves. :( :(


21-01-2008, 09:11 AM
I think you should do what you feel is right Kelly

Sounds to me like you have made your mind up anyway

You are not wrong in what you want to do and the mother saying she thought you had an " understanding" well that is a bit cheeky because it is nothing in writing is it and no contract

Your business your rules go with what you feel is right

Good luck let us know what you decide to do

Angel xx

21-01-2008, 10:04 AM
I agree do what's best for you

Good luck

Miffy xx

21-01-2008, 10:04 AM
i am really just saying what others have said, if you don't weant to keep the place open and to be honest expecting you to keep a place open for a year is a cheek anyway then don't.

if i was you i'd give her 3 months notice so she can't complain about not having enough time to find someone to replace you starting 3 months before you want to start with new ones.
explain to her that it's not financially viable to keep a and b as c and d are full time.
and tbh if she doesn't like it well tough luck that's the nature of our job

21-01-2008, 11:29 AM
Thanks for all your replies. I haven't got the younger one today, as she's keeping him at home as dd is ill, so won't see her til tomorrow. I couldn't get to sleep last night thinking about her text & what to say to her.

I think I'll explain that I advised I couldn't keep the space open for a year, but if I had the space I would be happy to take him come Sept. As it turns out, I have had a full time enquiry, which I cannot refuse for the sake of a placement starting in 7 months for 4 hours a week. (2 hours for the first term... but not going to go into that! :mad: ) I'll explain I have to do what's right for my family, and that involves taking on children that will earn me money.

Hopefully she'll understand, but from the way her text was worded I think she's going to be really annoyed at me!

Then I think I'll leave it til next month, then give notice on the older one saying due to personal reasons. Is that a fob off...? :huh:

Oh the joys of this job.

Kelly x

21-01-2008, 01:23 PM
you have to do whats right for you! September is a long way off and you may have have a space then...tell her that you will let her know in August.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

21-01-2008, 01:31 PM
This is why I dont like text messages, you could rea dit anyway!

I hope you sort things out, I personally have in the past kept spaces, but for full time starters so not really the same (charged a deposit).

Good luck with what you decide, letr uis know how it turns out