Nearly the end of settling in..... What to do
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  1. #1
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    Default Nearly the end of settling in..... What to do

    Hi
    Next week is the end if a 4 week settling in (non contract) period for a schoolie & my first mindee. Lo is fine on the whole, a little loud and knows everything but apart from that fine lol
    Thing is mum hardly ever sticks to contract times, usually picks up 1 hour early (which is fine unless she hasn't called in advance and we're in the middle of something, or like last week 20mins away at dance lessons!)
    Every other week they turn up 20-30 mins late as mum is on late shift which again I do know about, but this morning is the 2nd time they have not turned up in the mornings. I have to call to see where they are and get told sorry thought I'd text last night stepdad is taking to school this morning. Needless to say I've had no text and it puts me behind with the morning routine.
    I have 4 more children starting after half term which with my own means 7 children to look after and organise, I can't have my routine messed up like this.....
    What would you do?

  2. #2
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    I'd probably ask them in for a meeting and tell them they need to change contracted hours, or at least let you know if they aren't coming! And if they don't agree to that then I'd give notice at end of settling in period. Do you charge a late collection fee? That would make them get their finger out!

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    It is annoying when parents just don't think. I sometimes have children picked up early and I'm sure parents think they are doing us a favour but actually it's a pain unless we know about it beforehand. Children can be in the middle of an activity, we could be out, children could be eating, a child could be sleeping, the childs daily diary / sheets will probably not be completed fully, there's no end of reasons why it's a pain. TBH if I was out and a parent came to collect early I'm afraid they would either have to wait until we got back or they could come and find us. As for not informing you that someone else is taking the child to school you NEED to know about this, how long does it take for parent to send a text!! I have a set time when we HAVE to leave the house for school in the morning and if any child is not here by then we will go anyway, I wont wait for someone, so in that situation I would have gone off to school with the others and then contacted mum when I got back to ask if I was needed for the collection. You should speak to mum about these issues. Call her in for an end of settling in meeting or arrange to give her a call one evening but do tell her.


    xxxx

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    I understand the going to stay at ...... I have 2 sisters before school , 1 of them after pre. School I am fed up with parent not coming in the morning or only 1 child coming as different dads, has come to the point this week as it is half term asked what was happening over pre school hours .. Could I have her , yes , elder sister was just the 2 hours in the morning , Monday no show , text about 3 hours after they were due to say not coming but would be here Tuesday 7 in the morning text she off work so not coming , Wednesday no show dad having her last night about 10 message if youngest comes can dad collect at 9.30 going pictures yes that's fine 10.30 message dad is going to have them from 7 . Now I said to mum last week if you book children during holidays you will need to pay if you don't bring them as I have told others no space now, can see tomorrow mum complaining over costs as neither child has been all week but I turned down other children . If mum refuses to pay for the hours I think notice will be given or make Christmas holidays payment in advance

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    I had a child start with me...i lasted 3 weeks and gave immediate notice (as was within the first 4 wks). From the second day of having him the parent messed me about with start and pick up times. The first day parent moaned as 6pm was too late to pick him up, even tho this was the agreed time we put in the contract! Then asked if i could have him til 'just after 6' one day. I said no got to be collected by 6 (was contracted to finish at 5), as had things to do. The cm child went to before had him til all hours. The 3rd week just took the biscuit and i thought this is just the way the family are and its not going to improve, it would of just got worse so i gave immediate notice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    I'd probably ask them in for a meeting and tell them they need to change contracted hours, or at least let you know if they aren't coming! And if they don't agree to that then I'd give notice at end of settling in period. Do you charge a late collection fee? That would make them get their finger out!
    I agree with this, but i would be a lot more forceful about it. Tell them that you cannot run your business with them not sticking to times and not letting you know if the children aren't coming. Very often it's not that parents are being awkward, or not thinking, it's that they don't realise how important it is to you that they stick to the agreed times. They tend to assume that as you're at home they can come & go as they please. Explain to them clearly how their time keeping can disrupt your day.

    If it seems that they do understand and accept what they're saying, add an extra 2 weeks to the settling in period, explaining that you are prepared to give it a little bit longer to make sure it's going to work OK. If they don't seem to take on board what you're saying, warn them that you will give it to the end of next week, but will have to end the contract if there's no improvement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I agree with this, but i would be a lot more forceful about it. Tell them that you cannot run your business with them not sticking to times and not letting you know if the children aren't coming. Very often it's not that parents are being awkward, or not thinking, it's that they don't realise how important it is to you that they stick to the agreed times. They tend to assume that as you're at home they can come & go as they please. Explain to them clearly how their time keeping can disrupt your day.

    If it seems that they do understand and accept what they're saying, add an extra 2 weeks to the settling in period, explaining that you are prepared to give it a little bit longer to make sure it's going to work OK. If they don't seem to take on board what you're saying, warn them that you will give it to the end of next week, but will have to end the contract if there's no improvement.
    I agree with this - it's important to lay down the rules early on or the parents will continue to mess you around. Extending the settling in period makes sense and hopefully will make them realise you are serious and that they could lose the place.

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    2 late pick-ups in 4 weeks isn't the end of the world, but I agree that with no-shows and early pick-ups too, it's certainly worth nipping in the bud.
    I agree with other members that mum may not realise the importance or impact on you and other mindees, so an open and honest discussion is needed.

    If possible (within your contracts/policies) I'd extend the settling-in period by another 2-4 weeks, allowing you to give immediate notice if she continues to disrupt your setting.

    Charge for all booked time, whether it is used or not.

    Charge late collection fees: hopefully these are set at a level which will provide a strong deterrent effect.

    Point out that regular lateness is not "lateness" - it's a sign that you need to extend the contracted hours and set a new fee accordingly.

    Never delay an outing/activity/school run cos of a late arrival. You set off, and it is up to them to contact you and find you. Put this into your policies. Lack of planning on their part does not constitute a crisis on your part.

    If the early collections are a nuisance, plan your day to ensure you are out when mum is likely to arrive. She may think twice about d1cki1ng you about if she has to stand on your doorstep and await your return (especially as the weather deteriorates.)

    Remind mum that you need a basic level of respect and trust if the relationship is gong to work.

    Remind her that some LSCB's are now treating regular non-attendance at settings (or failure to notify reasons) as a potential safeguarding issue and cause for concern - and that you may need to start recording/reporting this as a 'concern'.

    Ultimately, look at how many other contracts you've been able to secure (and well done you) and decide how badly you need this client or would you rather have the space for someone more thoughtful/relieble.

    Hope it works out.
    Last edited by bunyip; 25-10-2013 at 09:01 AM.

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  12. #9
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    I totally agree with Bunyip, well said.

    It has happened in the past that myself and my mindees have been waiting at the front door with coats and shoes wanting to leave for the school run but instead have nervously awaited a late child. I think parents can't envisage sometimes how much longer school runs take when trying to get six or seven children into the car/or walk down the street. They don't realise the importance of punctuality.

    I have also had a parent arriving 20 mins late consistently and expecting me to feed their child cereal in ten minutes flat before the school run.

    In both cases I sent polite reminders via newsletters that if arriving after such and such time a child would need to have had their breakfast/ that we leave for school at such and such time and after the departure time the setting would be empty.

    Newsletters are such a handy way to communicate and send reminders.

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