I think i would like to stop supplying dinner!?!
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  1. #1
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    Default I think i would like to stop supplying dinner!?!

    Ever since I started childminding I've supplied a home cooked hot meal for all children and we've been having dinner at about 4 o clock. That suited me fine when my own babies were small but now they are getting bigger I would like us to have our dinner with my husband a bit later. The children I mind are 5 and 18mths. The 5 year old is a nightmare at mealtimes so it would be nice not to have that stress but the 18mth old is a pleasure to feed.
    Do you think it would be unfair of me to change the rules like that??

  2. #2
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    No, not unfair, if you...
    - give some notice and discuss it with parents first to get their feelings about it (or at least let them know you are listening to them)
    - maybe give the option that they supply a packed-dinner for you to heat up if it suits you/them.
    - if food is included in your fees, be ready to address that as they won't be getting as much for their money any more.

    Or can you find a way to cook extra portions for your family's late meal and use those re-heated for the mindee's early dinner the next day, or frozen for future use (to save you cooking twice in a day)?

    I hope they take it well and you find a good solution for you all.

  3. #3
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    I agree with everything Moggy has said.

    Just wanted to add in 20 years of childminding I have never provided meals and it has never been a problem with parents. I don't have to fret about what to have, when or how to cook it and there is no stress about food not eaten

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    I stopped providing meals and the parents were not happy about it, but had no choice - now that those children have grown up and moved on I've just offered to heat up food parents provide - I don't push the children to eat and it just goes in the bin if they don't eat it. The relief is fantastic!

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    I'm seriously thinking about giving up doing dinners too - one mindee has a school dinner, dinner with me and then eats with parents!! The other mindees also get fed again when they get home. Its hard balancing all their likes/dislikes and I hate wasting food. Parents tell me not to worry if they haven't eaten all their dinner as they can have something later I think it depends on what time they are collected/how it impacts on your family mealtimes. I haven't increased my fees in two years so maybe I can go along that route - no increase in hourly rate but no longer provide dinner. That would be such a relief for me too Funemnx Good luck whatever you decide Donna x

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    We just do fruit/cheese/toast etc which fits in with my own children after school/park. Easy to do, can be eaten outside as a picnic if weather nice, & mine still get dinner later at a normal time. Also all kids eat that kind of food! but nutririous enough to function as evening meal if parents really want (though why anyone would want their last meal of the day at 4.30 is beyond me!)

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamai View Post
    I'm seriously thinking about giving up doing dinners too - one mindee has a school dinner, dinner with me and then eats with parents!! The other mindees also get fed again when they get home. Its hard balancing all their likes/dislikes and I hate wasting food. Parents tell me not to worry if they haven't eaten all their dinner as they can have something later I think it depends on what time they are collected/how it impacts on your family mealtimes. I haven't increased my fees in two years so maybe I can go along that route - no increase in hourly rate but no longer provide dinner. That would be such a relief for me too Funemnx Good luck whatever you decide Donna x
    Good point there!! I've just renewed contracts and haven't put prices up! :-)

  12. #8
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    I've always provided dinner but now I find that parents with a contract till 6pm are asking to collect earlier at 5pm which makes dinner even earlier and more of a rush which equates to more stress! My own children are older now and don't want to eat at 4pm/4.30pm which I can understand.

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    I did this a few years ago as I had a mix of children having dinner/not having dinner on different days, when the dinner ones swapped to a non dinner day I explained to mum that I wouldn't feed some children and not others and the non dinner children had been at my setting longest, she wasn't happy but understood. I do give a healthy and generous snack after school at about 4pm to tide them over until they get home, it was the best thing I did, less stressfull

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    I am just about to start childminding in Sept, I am supplying dinner at an extra cost, but this is because I have a 3 year old of my own that needs feeding, so for the time being it suits me. I can imagine as my own children get older then this will change but this is one of the reason I did not include in my fees as its then 'easy' to take away,

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    I have just given my parents a letter saying I will be no longer supplying an evening meal. The letter was sent end of July to say from 1st September no more evening meal but I will supply a healthy snack.
    Love Amanda

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    I'm the same Viki I charge for food, and therefore when I want to take it away it will be easier

  19. #13
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    I don't mind supplying dinner at the moment as they all stay until 6pm and my DD wants to eat at 5pm. I think as she gets older i may want to stop providing them as I do love eating as just a family, something we don't get to do very often. I don't charge for them at the moment but I'm the only minder round here who provides them so I don't want to as it seems to be my big selling point and I could lose business.
    If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes

  20. #14
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    I have just sent a letter to my parents saying my i am no longer providing meals and requesting they send a packed lunch. I have explained that this is a way for me to cut costs rather than put up my fees. The parents have all been fine about it thank goodness!!

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  22. #15
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    I sent out a letter beginning of july saying as of september the first I will no longer be providing cooked meals, but a healthy snack instead. I just put that as soon as I wss back from school run I was straight in the kitchen cooking, serving up and then washing up, and this is time I would rather spend engaging with children and doing group activities. All parents seen my point if view and completely agreed with me x

  23. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaicosMummy View Post
    I sent out a letter beginning of july saying as of september the first I will no longer be providing cooked meals, but a healthy snack instead. I just put that as soon as I wss back from school run I was straight in the kitchen cooking, serving up and then washing up, and this is time I would rather spend engaging with children and doing group activities. All parents seen my point if view and completely agreed with me x
    This is exactly what I'm thinking :-)

  24. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by donna porter View Post
    Ever since I started childminding I've supplied a home cooked hot meal for all children and we've been having dinner at about 4 o clock. That suited me fine when my own babies were small but now they are getting bigger I would like us to have our dinner with my husband a bit later. The children I mind are 5 and 18mths. The 5 year old is a nightmare at mealtimes so it would be nice not to have that stress but the 18mth old is a pleasure to feed.
    Do you think it would be unfair of me to change the rules like that??
    No not unfair, things change in your own family and that has to come first, i did this several years ago parents were fine but i did cushion the blow by saying i would provide a snack instead and since then ive never looked back. It certainly didnt affect my inspection outcome and it suits me and my family much better

  25. #18
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    i'm also thinking of going down the not providing food route too how much notice did you all give?

  26. #19
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    i stopped doing it as most of my dinner eaters left and decided it was too hard - it was such a pleasure to be able to not stress about entertaining the very littlies whilst cooking every night. My after school consisted of coming in, starting cooking, dishing up, clearing up and then parents would arrive. I felt like my own children didn't get any attention. Instead when i stopped, everyone had snacks together after school and then everyone went off to play and I could give everyone the attention they needed.

    I would pitch it rather not as you don't want to do dinners anymore but say, you feel you could give the children more attention if you weren't concentrating on cooking dinner for such an early time. Reassure them you will provide a substantial snack, say crumpets and fruit. I assume if you are doing dinner at 4pm they go home reasonably early so they should be able to have dinner at home but if they feel when they get home is too late for cooking and serving dinner to the 18 month old say they are welcome to send something to be warmed.
    if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got

  27. #20
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    I feel there are 2 problems in this
    1. we cook dinner and then the parents collect early and it is wasted
    2. Parents feed the children when they get home so our cooking is wasted there too

    My thinking is to discuss this very clearly when contracts are signed
    If you provide dinner then the parents must give ample notice when they will collect early so it saves on waste
    If the parents cook for their children then agree a good snack after school pick up but no hot meal

    All this can be reflected in our fees
    Personally I ask parents to be considerate that between 4.30 pm and 6pm is my busiest time and early pick ups in the middle of dinner are disruptive so notice is vital

    Little children cannot really go until 7pm when they get home to have a hot meal
    The reason for providing hot dinners is also, in my view, a way to help 'busy' parents so when they get home they can have some quality time before bed and encourage healthy eating in a social environment and promote PSED

    I am sure that many CMs cook excellent meals and are very organized only to be finding the efforts are wasted by early pick up and another meal offered when they get home...working in partnership with parents is a 2 way system...they too need to be part of the partnership

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