Parents not sticking to Contracted hours
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  1. #1
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    Default Parents not sticking to Contracted hours

    Hi All,

    ok my nearly 3 year old mindee has contracted hours of 7.45am to 5.45pm Mon - Fri. on entry back in Sept I agreed that I would accept a few early drop/late collections as and when required with prior notice, and would charge the overtime accordingly per month. Anyway It started fine being notified maybe once or twice a wee at the most of out of hours care, as it was so few and sometimes they might collect or drop of early/late never charged.
    However over time parents seem to gradually drop of later nearly every day, at least 4 days after 8.00am. sometimes as late as 8.30am/9.00am, (pain in the backside as I walk to school at 8.35am, so never know if I will meet them down the road, or at home). and seem to pick up around 6.15pm most nights, and at least once a week as late as 6.20-30pm. I have never charged for any of the time out of contracted hours, as its easier not to bother paperwork wise, and I thought on the few occasions they drop of late or collect early its even stevens! however now this is happening almost daily it fees like they are beginig to take advantage of my goodwill.

    So I said to parents that we have parents evening on Tuesday at 6.00pm so if they can collect by 5.45pm, or we can drop mindee home on our way to school, worst case scenario meet us at school. So today at drop off dad says, 'about Tuesday, we both have early meetings can we do another 7.00am drop off, and I will be getting the late train home so will be back by 6.20pm ish if you can drop her back'

    so DH and I now have to take mindee to my 6 year old DD parents meeting (kids not really allowed!), I desperately need to concentrate at this as DD is having a few anxiety probs we want to discuss.
    I am so angry I have never asked them to collect on time so I can be out for anything, I have never charged for any over time, and the one time I ask for them to be on time they cant do it

    What would you do, would you refuse to do it and say they will have to collect, or would you just put up with it and take mindee with you?

  2. #2
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    First of all you definitely need to start charging for any extra time outside of contracted hours. Unfortunately I have found that this is what happens when you are too accommodating - parents take the mick . I have bent over backwards for people in the past, done lots of favours etc and at the end of the day I've been walked all over and not at all appreciated for it so now I don't do any of it for anyone.
    As for your DD's parents evening I would not be taking minded children with me, that is completely unacceptable. I would tell them now that you need her collecting at 5.45 and no later that evening although seeing as they have got used to collecting whenever they feel like it I would bet they won't collect on time and I'm not sure what you can do about it???
    Honestly my only piece of advice to you is to toughen up with parents. It's sad but they really don't care about us despite all the flattery they heap upon us when everything is going their way.

    xx

  3. #3
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    Number 1: I would tell them you have to re do the contract as it seems they need/want different hours to what the contract states

    Number 2:
    I would be really awkward and say I couldn't have their daughter any later than 5.30 on that parent evening day as you are not allowed to take children so can they get her picked up early either by them or someone else? It's the truth after all.

    Number 3:
    Yes I think they are taking advantage of your laid back approach and from now on make sure you charge overtime when they are late/early (my rate is time and a half for o/t)

    They probably don't even realise what they are doing (giving them the benefit of the doubt) and perhaps when you speak to them things will improve. I've done the same in the past but have learnt through my mistakes and now am more professional (in the financial side of things) and no one ever complains, I think actually they show me more respect for being more business like!

  4. #4
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    sounds like they are taking the **** out of your niceness which is rubbish but common! if the LO contracted hours are til 5.45 then TELL them they HAVE to of picked up BY 5.45 every night and definitely the night of your childs parents evening I wouldn't be taking mindee to parents evening and u shouldn't feel like u have too! its precious time to speak about your child with their carers ! tough love X

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    Contact one of the emergency contacts. They can collect the child on time! Maybe?
    Need a laugh? Visit my website: www.unclegargy.deviantART.com

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    No, I wouldn't be taking a minded child to parents evening... I think you're being too soft. If you give some people an inch they will take much more!

    I would have said definitely no. The child is the parents responsibility not yours, they shouldn't be telling you what time they're coming to pick up.
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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    Thanks for you kind words and support everybody.

    Well I tried online to change our appointment to a later one but they were all taken. So although I felt incredibly guilty (I know that's daft!) I told mindee's dad tonight that he would have to collect her by 5.45pm as I cannot take her with us. He said 'Oh really, well we will have a problem with that as neither of us will be able to get back before 6.30pm,

    so I stuck to my guns even though I felt terrible and said well I cannot change it, the only option I would have is to get you to sign a letter saying she is out of contracted hours, and you agree to her being taken to parents evening, being left in a classroom unattended with other children, no adult supervision and out of my sight and hearing range, and to be honest I would not do that with any young child, and I don't think Ofsted would think to highly of it either! so he then decided it would be OK he will get grandparents to drive 1 1/2 hours to care for her from 5.45pm, why not arrange that in the first place rather than expect me to do it!!!!

    Anyhow, its all sorted, I plucked up the courage to stand my ground, and I think on everybodys advice I need to tackle over time next!!!

    Emma.

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  9. #8
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    It's a hard lesson to learn and often "unnatural" for us carers to be "tough" but you are running a business and if they want flexibility then they need to be paying for it and also respecting you and your family when you can't do a certain time X well done you xxx

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    Well done for sticking up for yourself. Now you need to tackle the unpaid overtime. When they signed their original contract did you have an agreement to review the contract every 6 months or yearly? You could tell all parents that contacts will be updated and reviewed, say next month or whenever and then use this opportunity to discuss contracted hours and introduce fees for early/lateness.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmas View Post
    Thanks for you kind words and support everybody.

    Well I tried online to change our appointment to a later one but they were all taken. So although I felt incredibly guilty (I know that's daft!) I told mindee's dad tonight that he would have to collect her by 5.45pm as I cannot take her with us. He said 'Oh really, well we will have a problem with that as neither of us will be able to get back before 6.30pm,

    so I stuck to my guns even though I felt terrible and said well I cannot change it, the only option I would have is to get you to sign a letter saying she is out of contracted hours, and you agree to her being taken to parents evening, being left in a classroom unattended with other children, no adult supervision and out of my sight and hearing range, and to be honest I would not do that with any young child, and I don't think Ofsted would think to highly of it either! so he then decided it would be OK he will get grandparents to drive 1 1/2 hours to care for her from 5.45pm, why not arrange that in the first place rather than expect me to do it!!!!

    Anyhow, its all sorted, I plucked up the courage to stand my ground, and I think on everybodys advice I need to tackle over time next!!!

    Emma.
    Well done for taking a stand. (and don't you dare go on feeling guilty.)

    What's really sad and wrong here is the parents' work-life balance is way out of kilter, but they fail to see it as their problem. They'll do everything their bosses require and expect someone else to carry the can. First they'll assume you'll do it; then they'll try to make you feel guilty if you can't; and finally they'll put grandparents through a major journey as a last resort.

    At what point does it occur to some people to take responsibility as parents and stand up to their employers?

    I have no problem with parents asking me if I can/will do something 'above and beyond'. In fact, I cringe every time I hear a CM talking about "cheeky requests". But, to my mind, parents should request and not assume that we'll always agree to what they want. Absolutely no way should these parents be arranging to work late or book a late train back until they've asked and you've agreed (if convenient) to have the child beyond the contracted pick-up time.

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  13. #11
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    Default parents not sticking to contracted hours (update)

    Thank you all so much for your support, its been a fantastic help.
    Well the update is on Saturday I recieved a text to say granparents had confirmed they will come down and care for mindee on Tuesday. From that I got the impression its for the whole day. I replied and said great, I have never met them so I would like to drop her home so I know she has not been handed to a stranger, did not get a reply!
    Drop off this morning father confirmed grandparents will care for her all day Tuesday, I get the impresion from the text, and the tension at drop off, they were hoping I would not charge them, they can only hope!!! I am not saying I am unavailable, just not available out of hours!

    Anyhow, I feel that after all this the relationship has broken down, I feel that they think I am their childcare skivvy to treat as they think fit, and I really feel quite despondant about their total lack of respect for me and what I do, I am very close to ending the contract, I dont want it to affect how I am with mindee but I fear it might. And the fact I turn away at least 2 prospective parents a week, I feel its time for a change.

    Does that sound terrible?

    Emma.

  14. #12
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    no not at all its a shame if u have an extra special bond with child probably easier if u don't? But its the parents that you have the working relationship and all the awkwardness with not the child so even though it would mean u not caring for the LO anymore I think it sounds like you should go for that. Pastures new and all that jazz! x

 

 

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