Your advice on notice please!!!!
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  1. #1
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    Default Your advice on notice please!!!!

    Hi there,
    I have been looking after a one year old since October. We are just about to move to five days but after lots of talking today she has said that today will be the little girls last day because I can't meet her childs needs. (I cannot stay at home five mornings a week for her nap with my four year old and one and a half year old boys)
    I asked for two weeks pay to "tide me over" however she says she will only pay to the end of the week because its unfair that I can't meet her childs needs.
    Advice please! I hate conflict.
    We had put 8weeks notice but I thought moving down to two was fair. She doesn't believe so.
    Thanks for your help,
    Gemma

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    Do you have 8 weeks written in your contract?? If so then that is what she must give so if you have agreed to 2 weeks then she should count herself very lucky. I do think though that you shouldn't be "asking" for 2 weeks "to tide you over". This is a business agreement and you should be asserting yourself over the contract terms and conditions not asking for favours. Sorry to sound blunt but too many parents don't seem to realise that they have signed a contract and therefore all conditions of that contract should stand.

    xxx

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    Lets turn this round- its not that you are not able to meet her needs. She is not willing to try how her daughter gets on with a different routine (I'm guessing you are more than happy to provide the opportunity for her daughter to sleep in a buggy etc, not deprive her of sleep ) Stand your ground and point out the contract you both signed states 8 weeks.

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    Totally agree with the advice given.

    Out of interest, what childcare arrangements does the mum have in place for next week onwards?

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    Mum is being unreasonable, I don't know any childminders that would stay in all morning purely for lo to nap. When parents come to see me I always tell them that I will try and follow their routine but the child also needs to fit into my routine, if that makes sense. Sounds like a nanny would be better for her!

    Stand your ground, charge her for notice and if she gives you grief explain it's in her contract and she agreed to the terms when signing. I would also explain that you need to take others into consideration, the care of her child shouldn't be detrimental to the others in your care. Having to stay in while child sleeps means you can't go out for the day and give the children good experiences and form a good learning environment

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    Thanks so much everyone. She came back about half an hour ago to take her child away from me. She didn't want to step through the door and barely looked at me. She was horrified that I mentioned anything about money and she said she felt I only had my own children's interests pushed forward rather than her childs.
    I feel sick!

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    Sending hugs. You need to consider all the children in your care. Even if the other children were mindees and not your own it would be unreasonable to expect you to stay in for 5 mornings. As already said if she wants individual care then she needs a nanny. It sounds like she knows she is in the wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcragg View Post
    Hi there,
    I have been looking after a one year old since October. We are just about to move to five days but after lots of talking today she has said that today will be the little girls last day because I can't meet her childs needs. (I cannot stay at home five mornings a week for her nap with my four year old and one and a half year old boys)
    I asked for two weeks pay to "tide me over" however she says she will only pay to the end of the week because its unfair that I can't meet her childs needs.
    Advice please! I hate conflict.
    We had put 8weeks notice but I thought moving down to two was fair. She doesn't believe so.
    Thanks for your help,
    Gemma
    You need to take this a formal complaint. Which needs responding to in accordance with your policy.

    Has something caused this to happen?
    have you got the daily diary etc which shows nap times etc the activities you have done.

    The notice period is entirely different you need to put it in writing contact your insurance who will be able to support you with the wording etc.

    Hugs
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    I agree with Fussy, you need to treat this as a complaint as she has suggested you are not providing adequate care for her daughter.

    Follow your complaints policy and keep a record of all correspondence. Make a note that at the time of the complaint there was a disagreement over money.

    How many days have you been having the child up until now? Have you stayed in so she could sleep in the mornings? Has it ever been discussed with mum that you wouldn't be able to stay in for all 5 mornings once lo was with you full time? Where is lo going to go now that mum has ended care? DO you think she maybe has something else in place, wants to leave straight away without paying so is using the sleeping issue as an excuse?

    As for money, did you tell her what she will need to pay, or did you ask her if she would pay something? Does she pay in advance and has she already pad for this week? I would speak to your insurance company and ask for their advice. They will hopefully tell you how to word a letter and how long you leave it before taking it further.

    Good luck.

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    I agree with Mouse and Fussy.

    You need to deal with the two issues here: the complaint and the contractual notice.

    Tbh, you really shouldn't have even verbally agreed to a 2-week compromise on the notice payment as the client can now hold that against any claim made by your insurer or legal representative. Live and learn.

    Deal with the complaint as a complaint, since mum is alleging you've failed to meet the child's needs. Log everything as detailed by previous posts.

    Tbh, I think mum has come into this arrangement with somewhat unreasonable expectations, especially over the sleeping. It will be important to show if you have any policy or agreement with mum over that issue. Did you promise to stay in, or have the child sleep in a particular place or time? Or is it clear that children can be allowed to sleep safely in a buggy and will be regularly checked?

    Without wanting to second-guess the situation, I can see how a certain type of scenario might've developed. Mum finds a CM who has 2 EY children of her own at home, so only room for one daycare child. Mum therefore thinks she can dictate the pattern of each day around her child. If CM doesn't comply, then it's 'obviously' because the poor CM is "putting her own children before the mindee." I wouldn't be the least surprised if mum is folowing some freakish Gina Ford sleep diktat. She clearly thinks she can dictate how her CM organises her day around this one child.

    Similarly, I'd not be surprised if mum had found she couldn't succeed in dictating to other CMs who have other mindees to consider.

    Last, but not least, I'd not be surprised if mum now has an alternative CM lined up whom she feels more able to manipulate, hence the immediate notice with (suspiciously) no worries about finding new childcare in a hurry. Either that, or she just lost her job (perhaps because she acts equally selfishly at work?) And all this just before the contract is extended to 5 days. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................... ........

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  19. #11
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    Or maybe a family member arriving from somewhere in the World this weekend?

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  21. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    I agree with Mouse and Fussy.

    You need to deal with the two issues here: the complaint and the contractual notice.

    Tbh, you really shouldn't have even verbally agreed to a 2-week compromise on the notice payment as the client can now hold that against any claim made by your insurer or legal representative. Live and learn.

    Deal with the complaint as a complaint, since mum is alleging you've failed to meet the child's needs. Log everything as detailed by previous posts.

    Tbh, I think mum has come into this arrangement with somewhat unreasonable expectations, especially over the sleeping. It will be important to show if you have any policy or agreement with mum over that issue. Did you promise to stay in, or have the child sleep in a particular place or time? Or is it clear that children can be allowed to sleep safely in a buggy and will be regularly checked?

    Without wanting to second-guess the situation, I can see how a certain type of scenario might've developed. Mum finds a CM who has 2 EY children of her own at home, so only room for one daycare child. Mum therefore thinks she can dictate the pattern of each day around her child. If CM doesn't comply, then it's 'obviously' because the poor CM is "putting her own children before the mindee." I wouldn't be the least surprised if mum is folowing some freakish Gina Ford sleep diktat. She clearly thinks she can dictate how her CM organises her day around this one child.

    Similarly, I'd not be surprised if mum had found she couldn't succeed in dictating to other CMs who have other mindees to consider.

    Last, but not least, I'd not be surprised if mum now has an alternative CM lined up whom she feels more able to manipulate, hence the immediate notice with (suspiciously) no worries about finding new childcare in a hurry. Either that, or she just lost her job (perhaps because she acts equally selfishly at work?) And all this just before the contract is extended to 5 days. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................... ........
    How right you are in your last paragraph....not a very unusual situation CMs find themselves in when sudden/short notice is suddenly served like a stale slice of bread!! ....all is well ...then suddenly the news of good-bye!....nobody buys that.

    Parents seem to breach Cms' contracts a lot more than I know they try to breach a nursery's one....I wonder why this happens? but there is a need for cms to get their contract sorted and really finally sort this situation out.

    Contracts ...if properly agreed and signed they are legal documents...there should be no breach of notice and no getting away from something that is legally binding such as giving appropriate notice as is due.

    There should be clear understanding of the consequences of giving short notice ..and what it means when a contract states 'fee in lieu of notice'....any legal dept or solicitor will request that to be in a contract.

    I am not sure about gragg...is there a deposit in place? it is so important to ensure that sudden notice is covered by a deposit that covers the time allocated for notice...4 weeks is usually enough.
    Deposits do prevent sudden notice given ...best to get that checked.

    Another issue that bugs me...if these off 'the shelf' contract are so good than there should not be so many instances of 'non payment' and 'sudden notice' happening to cms

    are there little holes that need to be plugged and those who write...and sell them...made to review and update them?

    I really hope by the time the 30 hours comes to be effective that cms will have sorted this matter out...it will be so much easier for parents to jump from one provider to the next in that scheme!!...don't let it happen and there is plenty of time to get all issues in order.

    ggragg...if your parent is making a complaint, ask her to do so in writing although her reasoning is ...for me... a very last minute excuse to create a situation that does not exist and leave your care....just a hunch as I do not know the situation well so no point in speculating.
    Not all comments by parents are actually complaints...look into it....hers seems to require a little adjustment on her expectations for the sake of your setting....we are becoming obsessed with complaints when there is no need to do so.

    If she does not want to sit down and discuss then you have to be in charge and ask her to respect your mutually agreed contract...then she can go as she pleases

    Good luck
    Last edited by Simona; 31-03-2016 at 09:27 AM.

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  23. #13
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    To all,
    I am so grateful for the expertise and support from this post. I have certainly learnt A LOT in the last 24hours.

    Since the drama of yesterday the mother has settled down and although not apologised- she text to explain she has been extremely stressed with going back to work, a house move, and her little girl having been in hospital two weeks ago. She has said how much she "thinks the world of me" and how it "broke her heart" to say goodbye.
    She has lined up her sister who will take early maternity leave to look after the little girl at home, ensuring she gets her sleeps at home. This was obviously set up from today so for them was in the pipeline.

    For the last two months, her mum has wanted a "go with the flow approach" and I tried desperately with my two sons to make her naps work. Due to my 4years old nursery sessions in the afternoon and her being picked up at 2pm, I found it so hard to get the morning nap in when we would normally have activities planned. Due to the new environment she was very alert and I tried a variety of approaches to settle her which probably meant (in turn) that it was hard to establish a rhythm. She also slept in her cot in the dark at home on the days I didn't have her so it was almost impossible to achieve consistency.

    I was realising that this set up would not work in the long term so had planned a meeting to share my concerns about how best to move forwards. I had hinted that I felt I was unable to meet her needs without an impact on the other children which is probably why she put this phrase back to me when she was angry.
    I had communicated regularly about naps, had diary entries every day and was hoping that moving to five days would enable a pattern to be set up. I had suggested sleeps in the buggy or a 1pm nap after returning home from dropping my four year old.

    She has now paid me to the end of this month and I have actually accepted that for an easier life (WITH A HUGE LESSON LEARNT).
    I agree that a deposit is so necessary and that it is a deterrent for notice issues. I did feel so upset yesterday and felt because I wasn't a nursery, she felt she could dictate things over me.

    I feel quite foolish and that although she is being very nice now in terms of her comments "I was like part of the family…can we still be friends…..they absolutely "loved me". I still feel disrespected professionally.
    When her daughter was ill in hospital I didn't charge and I even went to the hospital with a balloon (As rightly said with a on year old and a four year old I only took on her and invested lots of time with the family since October.)

    We live and learn and I cannot thank everyone enough for their feedback. My childminding experiences have always been with one or two families over a year or two so for this new situation to arise so quickly and almost from nowhere- I felt completely out of control and unsure how to stand my ground. I have cried most of yesterday but today feel that this was a great opportunity for me to ensure the next family I work with accept me and my pattern and that I can meet their needs within the framework of my setting- instead of feeling like I have to be pinned down or risk seeming "selfish"

    Its been a learning curve and this forum has really helped me not to feel alone- many thanks
    xxxx

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  25. #14
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    For what it's worth I think you've done the right thing in accepting money till the end of the month and being able to end any contact with them straight away.

    I seems we were right to think mum had other plans in place and wanted a quick release from your contract. I bet you she is probably now panicking that she may need childcare again at some point (when the sister has her own baby, if she decides it's not working out for her) so is trying to keep you sweet. I wouldn't be surprised if you hear from them again when they need a childminder!

    Well done for dealing with it professionally and good luck in finding a new family

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    Gcragg: thanks for the update and feedback.

    It sounds like you've done everything you could've done.

    I had a big problem with a child who, amongst other things, had a home routine that ill prepared him for CMing. I was very clear about expectations, routine, etc. and still mum treated her maternity leave as a sort of 'free baby-holiday' with no effort to be ready when she returned to work. Hence, he was used to a 0730 sleep, only to be plonked in the car and brought to mine at 0800, too upset to sleep and too tired to stop being upset. there were other issues, but I mention this just to highlight how mums can have unreasonable expectations an uncooperative behaviour patterns.

    Make sure you're always clear about what's reasonable and possible. Trainers have done CMing a huge disservice in the way they frequent insist we are "positive" when we need instead to be "realistic" - not to mention the insane notion that a couple of 'settling-in visits' will do the job of a magic wand.

    Notice is always a tricky issue. Personally, on the few occasions I've been offered notice, I just couldn't get rid quick enough. I'd far rather lose the money than put up with that 'atmosphere' and it's effect on the entire setting: I do insist on getting paid for work done. But I'd happily release parents the moment they've decided to go. The alternative is to have to listen to mum finding a mounting list of little perceived faults, whilst my "X is leaving countdown clock" ticks ever more loudly.

    That said, I respect Simoana's point about getting what money you're due.

    To be reasonably sure of getting the full money, you need a deposit to match the notice period. Anything less and you might win a smalls claim procedure but never see the money: often the courts cannot make someone pay if they simply don't have the money, and they no longer lock debtors up in the Fleet until they can. The flipside of this is that a deposit equivalent to 8 weeks childcare is going to be a deal-reaker for an awful lot of families.

    Anyway, well done all round and I'm jealous because Isleworth is lovely.

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  29. #16
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    Very true Bunyip that a court cannot make anyone pay ...but show me a court judge who is not aware of 'contractual' responsibilities....oh! they do know and it is good to hear when a party is told they have breached terms and conditions...the guilty party may not pay but they will have a court judgement against them...with the relevant consequences.

    As you confirm a deposit has to reflect the notice required...so if it is 4 weeks we are required as notice in our contracts we get 4 weeks deposit...or fee in lieu if this is breached....and it is relevant to both parties!

    It is not really about getting paid for what is due...sometimes it is easier to let parents go without the stress that goes with confrontation...but the point is parents must never try this trick on CMs and if cms have a sound contract it will never happen.

    Your point on settling in should also be followed as so much misinformation is given on this very important transition.

    I would say this issue will pop up again and again in future years...and we will continue to argue who is right and who is wrong....but certain issue do not change

    Well done gcragg....I like your attitude ' another lesson learnt'...philosophical and always admitting we have so many learning curves all the time ...hope it will help you in future

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