View Full Version : More snow advice/keeping mindees here!

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 10:30 AM
Hi, after some advice again!

The school I 'service' decided to open today even though the snow is far worse than it was last week when they closed:rolleyes:

Well, mum drops off her two and said she had forgotten wellies. Not a huge problem as I drive anyway........so off she goes.

My car wouldn't start!!! Its a good half an hour walk, but we set off anyway, two mindees and my own son. But five mins into the journey, little girl mindee is shin deep in snow and is wearing little dolly school shoes. Her tights are covered in snow cos she has fallen twice too. I decided to turn back and get us all back home.

I rang mindees mum and told her what had happened and she could either come and collect them or I would keep them all day but she would need to pay me for those hours. She opted for me to have them all day, but she sounded a bit miffed, not overly, but obv not happy to have to pay when school is open!

One of after schoolies has gone to school today and I had to ring their mum to say I wouldn't be able to pick up because I had a mindee without suitable footwear and a car that wont start. I will not be paid for that now and I also hate letting people down! So, now I'm miffed!!!

What would you do now? Would you ring back first mindees mum and ask her to collect so that you would be able to do the pick up later?

13-01-2010, 10:41 AM
I think I probably would - she has sent the child in inappropriate clothes - even though you were going to use your car, she can't presume in this weather.

It's not really fair that the other family miss out. Are both sets of parents at work or is one in a better position to pick up?

Difficult one :panic:

13-01-2010, 10:43 AM
i don't know!
difficult decision to make.
maybe phone mum of first child and ask her to collect OR bring wellies!


13-01-2010, 10:49 AM
If the child was wet on the school run presumiably she's wet now? Or do you have a change of clothes for her? I'm not sure I'd charge her for today. IMO you made the decision not to go. I appreciate the difficulty with the no wellies situation but I would also be miffed if I was her

13-01-2010, 10:51 AM
I think I would leave things now

You have explained already and you have offered already to have the child all day

What did the other parent say - can she arrange pick up for her child if you can not go
I know it was not your fault and I am sure she understand that shame about missing out on payment but its the way it goes sometimes and now you will get more for the others that are with you all day ??

I have told my parents already that if schools are open tomorrow but the weather is bad then I am not doing nursery or school drop off or collecting so they can either stay with me all day at an extra charge or they can make their own arrangments
I know its a pain for everyone but at least this way they know where they stand

In your case I would also say that parents will have to come back with spare clothing / footware if they do not dress them right for the bad weather :laughing:

If you feel that you should do the school pick up and call the other parent then do it - its what you think is best at the end of the day

Angel xx

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the replies so far! At least no one is saying I should have taken them to school which is something else I keep thinking!

Both mums are at work, so both need me! After schoolie mum was abit upset as she will lose hours at work if she needs to pick up her daughter, but said she understood my dilemma and if my car won't start, it won't start, it can't be helped. She asked me to ring again at 2pm if my car still won't start and she will pick up herself.

Maybe then if the car is still dead, I could ring first mum and ask her to collect early so I can walk to school to get after schoolie. Sort of a compromise! (sp)

13-01-2010, 10:56 AM
Hi :),

This weather is bringing up lots of niggles, isn't it? I haven't known what 's going on from hour to hour some days since the first snow fall!

I think I'd call the mum of little one without wellies and ask her to bring wellies asap as you can't pick up other children without them. I agree its really not fair on the other parent, or on you to lose out on pay! If she can't /wont bring wellies or collect herself she really ought to pay what you lose out on at the least.

... unless your car is now ok?: was it just the cold that stopped it from working earlier?

Good luck with the rest of your day whatever you decide :thumbsup:

Wendy :)

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 10:59 AM
If the child was wet on the school run presumiably she's wet now? Or do you have a change of clothes for her? I'm not sure I'd charge her for today. IMO you made the decision not to go. I appreciate the difficulty with the no wellies situation but I would also be miffed if I was her

Ah, this one came in after my last post! She wasn't so much wet as cold....she is fine now as I didn't let it get to the stage where she would have been wet as well! I can understand her being miffed, but I stand by my decision! That poor little girl would have been frozen by the time we got to school, like I said we were five mins into a half an hour walk! I am annoyed as well, because my own son has had to take the day off too!!! And also, if she didn't want to pay, she could have come and got them and taken them herself.

13-01-2010, 12:32 PM
Have you not got breakdown cover? Or a friendly neighbour with jump leads?
Sounds like the cold has got to your battery as if it was working perfectly OK yesterday.
Try it again, push down the clutch, turn off all fans and give it a try :thumbsup: It might kick into life, you never know.

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 12:43 PM
I am a member of RAC, but only roadside, not homestart!!! Methinks I might have to change that now!

13-01-2010, 12:54 PM
Ah, this one came in after my last post! She wasn't so much wet as cold....she is fine now as I didn't let it get to the stage where she would have been wet as well! I can understand her being miffed, but I stand by my decision! That poor little girl would have been frozen by the time we got to school, like I said we were five mins into a half an hour walk! I am annoyed as well, because my own son has had to take the day off too!!! And also, if she didn't want to pay, she could have come and got them and taken them herself.

Well, as I said I wouldn't have gone about it that way personally. I know I'm in the minority in thinking that. But to my mind if I have made the decision to keep another persons child off school when I could have gone in (and got her changed into PE shoes at school) then I wouldn't be charging Mum for the extra time. You say about her just dropping her work and picking LO up or bringing wellies and I do understand your argument but these things are harder to do than say.

13-01-2010, 01:10 PM
Can first parent drop off wellies in their lunch break? To enable you to collect the mindee at school if you car is still out of action? Seems a little unfair to let the other parent down due to the first parents oversight.

If I had made the decision to keep the children off then I don't feel it would be right to charge, parent didn't sent suitable footwear but the parent is not responsible for your car not starting - particularly if you drive every other day.

What will the school mark the mindees absences as? it could be unauthorised as its not illness.

Having said that, if I couldn't get hold of the parent on route I would have turned back also but not charged for having the mindees all day but got a policy in place and signed by parent in the event of similar happening in the future.

13-01-2010, 01:12 PM
I wouldn't charge.

I agree with Venus- you have choosen to tak ethe day off because you couldn;t make it. When parent dropped off little one school was open, therefore your not providing the service you offer.

I am not having a go, honest! I just think I would be mega P*** off if I had a childminder who did this! But then I agree about the no wellies, but I have a little one who comes in those horrid fake ugg boots, can't walk in them, have to cross a boggy icey snowy field and no matter how many times I ask, then have to dry them off on radiotors after school, still no wellies:rolleyes: It was your choice not to go to school when you could 'get there' IYSWIM!

Sorry I feel awful but I know others will be thinking this and it is always good to here both sides ;)

13-01-2010, 01:23 PM
I wouldn't charge if it were me who had made the decision not to go to school when it was open.

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 01:30 PM
I know no one is having a go, but I am now mega p***ed off myself!

Next time, I'll let the little mite suffer then.

I only have schoolies so I have given up my free time to look after her two kids all day. My own son would have gone as he does have wellies, but he has had to miss out and he will also have unauthorise absence on his file now. I don't see why I should give up my day and not be paid for it! I tried to ring her mobile when we were five mins into the journey but she wasn't answering her phone. I rang her at work when we got back, as had her work number on contracts. She could have come back and collected them and taken them herself, it was till early AND her car was ok! If my son had got sick after she dropped her kids off, she would have to come and collect and take them to school, so this is similar.

At the end of the day, she didn't expect my car not to start and neither did I, but these things happen and I did everything I could to try and make it to school. But I couldn't put that child through another 25 mins of that snow on her feet, even if she could change into pe shoes at school.

I will tell mum I will charge half rate this time as a gesture of goodwill, but she must make sure her children are wearing suitable clothes/footwear in future in case this happens again.

Sorry, if I sound so angry, I just feel like I'm being set upon here for making sure a little girl didn't freeze to death!

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 01:50 PM
Im slowly calming down now. I can see now that in her mums mind, I should have taken her daughter to school. I just can't get my head round this now. I feel like crying!!! So, I'm supposed to let a five year old child suffer in future. I'd rather give up childminding. I've had my feet freeze up just waiting for the kids to come out at hometime and I've had two pairs of socks and boots on. And besides it states in the NCMA contract that 'the parents agrees to: provide the following items: i) change of clothes (not got) ii) set of outdoor clothes suitable for the weather (which she didnt by not bringing wellies). So if we want to get all formal about it, she has actually breached her contract and I have done her a massive favour by giving up my time!

Pudding Girl
13-01-2010, 02:08 PM
I think I would have done the same as you but come to a compromise about fees and charged half. I have it written in my extreme weather policy that I make the final decision as to if we can get out to school, and this would have come under that.

Actually on further thought I would have insisted Mum came to collect child (or emergency contact) and take her to school, or bring the wellies.

I do think people are being a little harsh here, it's not always apparent in the heat of the moment what is the right course of action for everyone. At the end of the day a little one was at risk of hypothermia (extreme maybe but very possible) People in cars are the worst for not ensuring their child is well dressed to suit the weather.

Look on the bright side though. At least mum won't forget the wellies in future! ;)

green puppy
13-01-2010, 02:10 PM
My daughters school was open too ( others all shut ), I phoned to ask about absence mark if we couldnt make it, they said it would be marked as a snow day so authorised. As it happens the school were also hoping that kids would be picked up early as its still not very safe walking or driving there. Parents have a duty to bring their child to us in appropriate clothing, the little one would have still had to walked into the school grounds in silly shoes. You made a snap decision based on the needs of the child under the circumstances you were in so do not feel guilty or set upon. It was probably safer to turn back and you did inform mum who then made the choice to leave her child with you all day, you also informed her there would be a charge. Safety and comfort is priority and i would not have liked to think of little one being cold with wet feet, pe shoes or not( not all children have them). You did what you thought best and as her childminder thats what counts.

13-01-2010, 02:14 PM
We all do what we think is best at the time, and personally I would have probably made the same decision as you. You offered the mum the chance to collect the child or to pay for her to be with you and she chose for the child to stay, although I think I would have come to an arrangement and not charged for a whole day.

I am sure on collection you will be emphasizing the need for wellies and appropriate clothing....also point out that it is in the signed contract as one of the parents responsibilities and that in future you would prefer her to return home if need be

13-01-2010, 02:26 PM
sorry but I agree with you - the PARENT has inconvienienced YOU by not ensuring her childs welfare and comfort by NOT providing adequate and suitable clothing for this weather, i would not have let a child trudge through shin deep snow in little dolly shoes and i think (and have before) turned back.
And yes I totally agree you rang and let the parent know that you was willing to keep the children there - at a cost - why should you be out of pocket - the parent had the choice of coming to get the child or delivering the correct attire.

not your fault the car wouldn't start - my car is tempermental in this weather and its pot luck if it starts and I certainly wouldn't be driving anyway.

13-01-2010, 02:26 PM
I think I'd have phoned the mum as soon as you realised that your car wouldn't start & you'd have to walk and ask her what she wanted to do. I wouldn't have kept any children off school when it was open, unless parents said to.
If she'd wanted the children to go to school I'd have trudged them through the snow & changed the little girl into spare clothes (borrow them from school if necessary) when I got there.

Yes, the little girl would have been wet & cold when she got there, but she'd have soon dried out & warmed up & is very unlikely to have suffered any long term effects. It would also have meant you didn't have to cancel your other after school child.

I can see why mum would have been miffed at having to pay for a day when her children could have gone to school. Hopefully though this'll make her realise that she should always send appropriate clothes & footwear.

13-01-2010, 02:53 PM
As you gave the parent the choice of taking her own child to school when it was clearly in the best interests of the child not to walk through deep snow in unsuitable footwear, you have done absolutely nothing wrong.
I have no idea why anyone would do as you have: give up your own free time to help out a parent who should have provided suitable footwear... And then not charge... ??

The parent is inconvenienced through her own (in)action. if she's peeved you wouldn't cause harm to her child that says more about you than her - You have made all your decisions for the benefit of her child and for her convenience.
the only things I would possibly change in hindsight, is accepting the child without wellies in the first place.... but you weren't to know your car wouldn't start., and insisting she came back for the little one or with the wellies.
Personally I'd be getting tougher with the parent after this experience, not beating myself up or giving up my time for free!! to inconsiderate parents.

I hope you managed to sort something out about the second parent...?

At least its a working demonstration to the parents of why they should bring the correct stuff each day!

Anyway, hope the rest of your day improves :) :thumbsup:
very best wishes,

13-01-2010, 02:55 PM
[QUOTE=Pudding Girl;614422]
I do think people are being a little harsh here, it's not always apparent in the heat of the moment what is the right course of action for everyone. QUOTE]

We were asked for an opinion, we gave it. Nobody is having a go and as far as I can see everyone agreed it was a matter of opinion - I fail to see that anyone has been harsh.

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 03:26 PM
Thanks everyone, obviously it feels much nicer when people back up my actions for today!!!

Alls well that ends well as they say! Dad came and picked the kids up from here instead of school as he normally would. He called me 'a little lifesaver'! and tutted and cursed his wife for not bringing the welllies! At which point I felt sorry for her and did say that she wasn't to know we would be walking. Don't want any big rows at home!

Texted second parent at 2pm to say car still dead, that I was really sorry to let her down, but of course I would be giving a refund. She texted back to say, no problem, will bring work home with me and instead of a refund can you have X one extra day next week instead?

So everyones happy! And if these do go down as 'snow' days, then even better!

Thanks for EVERYONES opinions, even if I didn't like some of them!:D

little chickee
13-01-2010, 03:26 PM
IMO the child should not have been wearing "normal" shoes regardless of whether you were driving or not. She still would have to walk to and from the car in and out of school etc.

This weather has not come upon us unexpectedly and the parent should have had plenty of time to but appropriate footwear.

I would have done the same as you - gone back home and charged the parent for the day.

Lady Haha
13-01-2010, 03:34 PM
Just thought I should add that this experience HAS taught me a thing or two! I will be making a Severe Weather Policy (not that the parents would read it :laughing: ) and in that policy I will say that children should be brought with suitable clothing if we are walking to school or they will need to return home to get it. If parent has already left thinking we are driving and circumstances change (as they did today), parent will need to collect their children if they don't have suitable clothing.

In hindsight, I think I would have preferred mum to come and collect straight away and then my own son could have gone to school and I could have had my time to myself! So this needs to be put into words!

13-01-2010, 04:15 PM
I'm glad it worked out for you in the end. These situations can be SO stressful while you're in them and it's good to have a happy ending. Well done :D

13-01-2010, 07:32 PM
If you do a policy I would give each parent a copy as say that some things came to light cos of the severe weather that you hadnt thought of and you would appreciate all taking the time to read just in case its necessary in the future

13-01-2010, 07:45 PM
I would have done the same thing, parents should be dressing their children correctly!

I would have gone back home, called parent to give them the option to collect and then try and get the car sorted. I wouldn't have walked in this weather for half an hour.

I have a LO who comes in fashion clothes rather than practical clothes so the coat isn't waterproof, the boots aren't waterproof and have no grip etc and she cries all the time we are walking anywhere in this weather.

13-01-2010, 08:00 PM
Glad it's all sorted out...and get that Homestart added, it's great :thumbsup:

13-01-2010, 09:55 PM
Glad alls well that ends well. You had the welfare of the child at the centre of your decision which in my opinion was the right call.. I too had a mindee arrive without wellies even after asking for suitable footwear as we have a fair way to walk to school.