Termination of Contract advice
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  1. #1
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    Default Termination of Contract advice

    Hello

    Just want to run this past people opinions before I actually go ahead and terminate the contract.

    Firstly.. I have been caring for the mindee for almost 1 year..contract is due to be revised as from 19th November. However Mum of mindee is expecting a baby and now on maternity leave and has changed the hours the child attends the setting.

    I have always been very flexible with this family - they choose 25 hours out of 40 a week and only pay for the 25. The mindee is now only attending 1 day a week sometimes more until she returns to work in 6-9months time. She is not paying for the space and only an hourly rate for the hours she attends. I am just keeping place open hence im losing a lot of money.

    I haven't had the bestest of relationships with the parent..lies about child being ill and bringing her when she shouldn't and turning up late etc. But despite all this I kept the child on thinking it would improve.

    No however I have been having a rethink and as I really dont want to be messed about for the next 9 months I want to the end the contract.

    What i am asking is ... as the contract runs out on the 19th November and she is no longer doing the hours stated on the contract anyway, can I terminate the contract with 2 weeks notice? I looked on the contract and stupidly I didnt at the time fill the section in so it is blank!

    I am feeling awful about this but know its the best thing to do for myself.

    Also if anyone has a good notice letter I would appreciate the help as I know Im going to be to emotional in what i write (does'nt help my dad passed away a week ago so im emotional anyway)

    Thanks in advance

    Gemma

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemz81 View Post
    Hello

    Just want to run this past people opinions before I actually go ahead and terminate the contract.

    Firstly.. I have been caring for the mindee for almost 1 year..contract is due to be revised as from 19th November. However Mum of mindee is expecting a baby and now on maternity leave and has changed the hours the child attends the setting.

    I have always been very flexible with this family - they choose 25 hours out of 40 a week and only pay for the 25. The mindee is now only attending 1 day a week sometimes more until she returns to work in 6-9months time. She is not paying for the space and only an hourly rate for the hours she attends. I am just keeping place open hence im losing a lot of money.

    I haven't had the bestest of relationships with the parent..lies about child being ill and bringing her when she shouldn't and turning up late etc. But despite all this I kept the child on thinking it would improve.

    No however I have been having a rethink and as I really dont want to be messed about for the next 9 months I want to the end the contract.

    What i am asking is ... as the contract runs out on the 19th November and she is no longer doing the hours stated on the contract anyway, can I terminate the contract with 2 weeks notice? I looked on the contract and stupidly I didnt at the time fill the section in so it is blank!

    I am feeling awful about this but know its the best thing to do for myself.

    Also if anyone has a good notice letter I would appreciate the help as I know Im going to be to emotional in what i write (does'nt help my dad passed away a week ago so im emotional anyway)

    Thanks in advance

    Gemma

    Firstly the contract doesn't end on 19th just because it is due for a review, nor does it end because the mum has reduced the hours.

    I would invite the mum in to do a new contract as she has changed her requirements, do the new contract for the one day a week.

    Explain that unless she is prepared to pay a retainer for the balance of the 25 hours previously used while the child is on the reduced hours, that you will actively be trying to fill those days because you can not afford to keep a space open for so long with no income. Make it clear that if this is the case you can not be sure to be able to offer her a place when she returns to work.

    If she wants to be sure of a place then she will need to pay a retainer for the days (not the odd hours) that she may require, that she may send the child to you on any of these days but if you charge half fee, the balance to the full fee for the day would be needed and make it clear that days and hours can not be traded on the basis 'oh I am paying half fee if I send a whole day can I just use up the fees paid for the week?'. No she can't if she uses a day she pays full fee for the day and she can't just send for half a day because she is paying half fee retainer either! Then she must commit to signing a contract when the baby is safely born and paying a deposit and retainer for the baby if she wants a place for them.

    It is very hard because the parents are often on a reduced income and can't afford to pay but you are a business and not a charity and can't just keep a place open.

    I would do the revised contract for the revised hours and as it is less hours put a two week notice period in if you want or a week, it is up to you and as it is unlikely that the mum will pay retainers keep the day a week income coming in and advertise a space. If you are able to fill it and need to give notice then it will be a short notice. If you are able to keep this one and take on a new one do and then if this mum wants a space you will be able to give yourself a variation on Continuity of Care to extend the hours and take on the sibling. At which point you would do new contracts again and you firm up on days and hours.

    Sorry, a bit long but do you get my drift?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickysmiths View Post
    Firstly the contract doesn't end on 19th just because it is due for a review, nor does it end because the mum has reduced the hours.

    I would invite the mum in to do a new contract as she has changed her requirements, do the new contract for the one day a week.

    Explain that unless she is prepared to pay a retainer for the balance of the 25 hours previously used while the child is on the reduced hours, that you will actively be trying to fill those days because you can not afford to keep a space open for so long with no income. Make it clear that if this is the case you can not be sure to be able to offer her a place when she returns to work.

    If she wants to be sure of a place then she will need to pay a retainer for the days (not the odd hours) that she may require, that she may send the child to you on any of these days but if you charge half fee, the balance to the full fee for the day would be needed and make it clear that days and hours can not be traded on the basis 'oh I am paying half fee if I send a whole day can I just use up the fees paid for the week?'. No she can't if she uses a day she pays full fee for the day and she can't just send for half a day because she is paying half fee retainer either! Then she must commit to signing a contract when the baby is safely born and paying a deposit and retainer for the baby if she wants a place for them.

    It is very hard because the parents are often on a reduced income and can't afford to pay but you are a business and not a charity and can't just keep a place open.

    I would do the revised contract for the revised hours and as it is less hours put a two week notice period in if you want or a week, it is up to you and as it is unlikely that the mum will pay retainers keep the day a week income coming in and advertise a space. If you are able to fill it and need to give notice then it will be a short notice. If you are able to keep this one and take on a new one do and then if this mum wants a space you will be able to give yourself a variation on Continuity of Care to extend the hours and take on the sibling. At which point you would do new contracts again and you firm up on days and hours.

    Sorry, a bit long but do you get my drift?

    good advice from Ricky
    if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I understand what you are saying but I don't want to mess them around, hence why I decided to give notice rather than to renew the contract to find it still doesn't work and then end it anyway!?

    I really wanted to know if the 2 weeks notice was fair?

    Thanks again

    Gemma

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    You say you don't have a time scale written in your contract, what about your fees policy, if you have one?
    If there is nothing actually written then in theory you can give them 2 weeks notice, some cm's state this amount of time although I believe 4 weeks is perhaps more usual.
    If you have definitely decided you want to terminate but don't want to mess them around then I would give 4 weeks notice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemz81 View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    I understand what you are saying but I don't want to mess them around, hence why I decided to give notice rather than to renew the contract to find it still doesn't work and then end it anyway!?

    I really wanted to know if the 2 weeks notice was fair?

    Thanks again

    Gemma
    I always put 2 weeks notice in my contracts for the reason if there's any awkwardness in the notice period at least it's just for 2 weeks not 4!!

    As you haven't put any notice period in the contract I would offer 4 weeks notice, as that is more the norm.

    hth

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    i don't think 2 weeks is fair, i think 4....

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    All my contracts are on 2 weeks notice . Used to do 4 weeks when I first started and got ''stuck'' with a family from hell, child was a she devil and whenever I would get ready to work out notice there was always a holiday and was difficult to get rid. Nearly gave up cause of them .

    All now on 2 weeks as if you have to give notice it doesnt drag on .

    If you are at the point where you have had enough and feel it best to end contract then considering what you are going through at the moment ((( hugs))) , you serve what you think is right for you xxx .

    You do not have to give a reason , just a basic letter similar to this - try and maybe word it a bit better (hubby normally helps me word letters but wanted to try to help you)

    Dear ''parent'',

    Due to personal reasons and after careful consideration I have decieded to serve notice of ...... weeks to end the childcare contract between ''your name'' and ''parent'' for the care of '' child''
    Therefore the last day of care will be ''date'' .
    Yours ............

    I was always told to date the letter,and always to make sure that the last day of childcare was dated as well. I also sometimes add the telephone number for our FIS .

    If you want to you could always give the legal team through your insurance company a ring to advise you just to make sure xx

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    All my contracts are on 2 weeks notice - I think that if you and / or parents have decided to make the break it is fairer on the child if it is terminated quickly.

    However, it does depend on what your policies say! You cannot just pluck 2 weeks out of the sky.

    Go back to your fees policy - what is your termination time? Even if you haven't written it into your contracts it should be stated in the fees policy. As long as it has been shared with parents then you can use it as your time scale.

    If you haven't told parents 2 weeks then you are probably best inviting them in for a meeting and explaining that things are not working out and you need to take on a full time / full fee paying child. Ask them to come to an agreement with you about notice periods - AND tighten up your policies in the future!!

    Hope this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    - AND tighten up your policies in the future!!
    <- Hehe this made me giggle Sarah, but soo true!!

    I have just terminated a contract with a parent, my first ever and I was so scared and I had a good cry afterwards! On all my contract it states 4 weeks I did this as it helps them to find new childcare, however, now family have said to me what happens if we don't find new care in time...my business head says not my problem, my heart says I will keep them until xmas, but it has just been our 1st week now and they have been and seen other cm's and 1 nursery next week. I am now thinking of revising my notice period to 2 weeks in my p+p for new parents and those I have already will stay on 4 until they are resigned (next year), I now feel that 2 weeks is perfect otherwise people take you for a ride and you have more time to take your foot off the break instead of stopping it in its tracks! It isn't until something like this happens that you realise how useful this forum is and that everyone is always therefore you no matter what!

    Its awful when things dont work out but sometimes it is just for the best and so we can keep our sanity!
    Here is a copy of what I sent:

    Dear ,,,,,,
    It is with much regret that I write to you to inform you that due to a change in circumstances I am no longer able to provide childcare for ........(child name)

    Therefore, as per the conditions of our contract, please accept this letter as four weeks’ notice of termination of contract. The last day of childcare being ......(date of ending). All fees will need to be paid before the end of the contract (.....end date). There is a refundable deposit of £... which will be paid providing there are no outstanding fees.

    I would like to take this opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed caring for .....(child name) and wish you both all the best for the future.

    Yours Sincerely,



    I sent this as I didn't want to be to emotional (forum advice!) but did't want to sound blunt either.

    Hope this helps Sending hugs!

 

 

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