How's business?
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Thread: How's business?

  1. #1
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    Default How's business?

    Is anyone else not receiving any enquiries at the moment?

    I used to receive them all the time via phone calls, texts and emails but despite advertising everywhere I can think of I have gone for months without a single enquiry!

    I was wondering if others are experiencing the same?

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    I've had a steady flow of enquiries but none that I could take on x

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    I've definitely had times where I've had no enquirers for months and probably a whole year.

    I've lost 8 mindees but managed to fill every single space so luckily business is booming atm but it's not always been the case.

    Hope those phone calls come soon
    Time Out.. The perfect time for thinking about what you're going to destroy next.

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    We've had the usual steady flow of enquiries for the most part. We've turned a lot away, as we're close to being as full as we'd like to be.

    Been a bit caught out this summer, though. Last year we had some leaving to start school, and we recruited quite a few little ones. The whole feel of the setting changed from an older to a younger child profile IYSWIM. We weren't expecting many changes this year apart from fitting in a younger sibling at the close of mum's maternity leave and the usual odd change to some parents' jobs.

    We were therefore caught on the hop to receive requests for changed days/hours from about 75% of families. There has been a definite trend for them to put lo's into preschool very early. One has given notice to start at a preschool nursery, and another 4 are all starting preschool whilst still coming here, though this means some have cut their hours here. None of these have yet reached their third birthday.

    But the recent enquiries have gone well and we've filled the gaps left by those who are leaving or reducing hours, including one who'll take up the slack in the morning when children are at preschool. They're starting between October and June, so a bit of a time lag, but good to have the changes spread out IMO. I daresay other changes will take place in that time, but that's the nature of the job. In any case, we rarely max out to our regulatory ratios, preferring to stick with what feels comfortable and still leave space for emergencies or the occasional swapped days, etc.

    We hadn't had a loony enquiry for a while, but sure enough one came along just last week. Had a call from a mum who wants the full week of school runs. I explained we can't do it, and I provided contact details for other local settings. In any case, I'm not keen on taking on schoolies outside those I've had in the EY stage, and heard on the grapevine this mum had given notice at two other perfectly good settings in the past 6 months. I can do without them being around for a term then flitting and leaving all the other children upset by the disruption. She laughed when I told her we walk to school, so I knew it'd be a non-starter even if we wanted the business. It would be a complete waste of time to arrange a visit, especially as I've only one free evening at home before the end of the holidays, so I declined to offer an appointment.

    She's now called again, claiming she's spoken to the LA and been told I must give her a visit/interview or I'm not giving her child a chance and could be discriminating against her. She seems to think I'm going to give notice to another family so I can fit her child in, whilst threatening all sorts of "action" through the LA (she hasn't mentioned Ofsted, probably because she doesn't know the first thing.) I told her to get on with it. I'm absolutely aching for the LA to dare call and ask me about this, so I can find out what they think they have the right to say to a parent about perfectly sensible choices I make.

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    We've had the usual steady flow of enquiries for the most part. We've turned a lot away, as we're close to being as full as we'd like to be. Been a bit caught out this summer, though. Last year we had some leaving to start school, and we recruited quite a few little ones. The whole feel of the setting changed from an older to a younger child profile IYSWIM. We weren't expecting many changes this year apart from fitting in a younger sibling at the close of mum's maternity leave and the usual odd change to some parents' jobs. We were therefore caught on the hop to receive requests for changed days/hours from about 75% of families. There has been a definite trend for them to put lo's into preschool very early. One has given notice to start at a preschool nursery, and another 4 are all starting preschool whilst still coming here, though this means some have cut their hours here. None of these have yet reached their third birthday. But the recent enquiries have gone well and we've filled the gaps left by those who are leaving or reducing hours, including one who'll take up the slack in the morning when children are at preschool. They're starting between October and June, so a bit of a time lag, but good to have the changes spread out IMO. I daresay other changes will take place in that time, but that's the nature of the job. In any case, we rarely max out to our regulatory ratios, preferring to stick with what feels comfortable and still leave space for emergencies or the occasional swapped days, etc. We hadn't had a loony enquiry for a while, but sure enough one came along just last week. Had a call from a mum who wants the full week of school runs. I explained we can't do it, and I provided contact details for other local settings. In any case, I'm not keen on taking on schoolies outside those I've had in the EY stage, and heard on the grapevine this mum had given notice at two other perfectly good settings in the past 6 months. I can do without them being around for a term then flitting and leaving all the other children upset by the disruption. She laughed when I told her we walk to school, so I knew it'd be a non-starter even if we wanted the business. It would be a complete waste of time to arrange a visit, especially as I've only one free evening at home before the end of the holidays, so I declined to offer an appointment. She's now called again, claiming she's spoken to the LA and been told I must give her a visit/interview or I'm not giving her child a chance and could be discriminating against her. She seems to think I'm going to give notice to another family so I can fit her child in, whilst threatening all sorts of "action" through the LA (she hasn't mentioned Ofsted, probably because she doesn't know the first thing.) I told her to get on with it. I'm absolutely aching for the LA to dare call and ask me about this, so I can find out what they think they have the right to say to a parent about perfectly sensible choices I make.
    She sounds like an absolute fruit loop! I prefer younger so don't look after school age and probably never will again save for a bit of ad hoc care for families I cared for before they started school. I would love someone to tell me that was unfair! She sounds like a right nutter!

    Business has been snail pace for me, I've lost 2 children as they are starting school and I can't do the school run and one family left due to me having time off for an operation. I have another leaving soon as mum is about to go on maternity leave. I'm starting to go into full panic mode now :-(

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    It was quiet for ages and i was starting to panic but suddenly i had a few enquiries and I've filled my spaces ... sort of ... like bunyip, some don't start for 6 mths and I'm hoping that things settle next summer, that next sept (2017) i can fit a babe in (not due till nov and things may obviously change)

    But it's gone quiet again now. I'm waiting for my annual loony call for school pick up 😁 last year school rang me to ask if i was collecting x as mum said i was, but they knew i hadn't mentioned it to them, plus it was my day off! Mum had rung and left a message telling me when i was collecting her child ... I'd returned the call saying sorry, no can do! Obviously message hadn't actually sunk in!

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    Stay clear bunyip- this one is not a keeper! Go with gut feeling.
    I am going back to what I want which is 2/3 days in September. I , like others,
    have gone from 3/4 year olds to a couple of under 2's and a 3 yr old- not my preference but siblings of the ones
    Just gone to school so I want to help these great families.
    On WednesdayI just have a one year old and so my childcare profile
    States Wednesday availability only and term time ... Every day I have requests
    For Mon- Fri pick ups, holiday care etc.. Do parents actually read our profiles!
    Helen - have you found a unique selling point ? It may be you need to look again
    At your profile and sell yourself ?
    It is an up and down business so if yo want continual taken places perhaps you could look at
    What others offer in your area and fit into gaps ? If I collected from
    Schools, opened until 6.30 and worked holidays I wold be busy!
    My LO's come from the same families or friends of the families, my parents have done m PR for me!

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  11. #8
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    FloraDora I have the same, just one space mon and wed, only collect from one school for which I have only drop off availability in the morning, yet get enquiries for collections from schools in town I'd have to drive to all days of the week!
    I wonder if parents leave it too late then just email everyone in the area the same message in the hope someone suddenly has a full time space they were keeping secret!

    I was in panic mode in about June as was losing one to school, and have already had one cut days down as mum on maternity leave and I'm expecting her to drop another day soon, I've known about it from before the baby was born in March and am amazed they've managed to carry on 2 days a week this long but am worried when she does drop down. However my own son is starting school in sept, so it's allowed me to shift everyone mon-wed rather than mon-thurs, and I've only got term time after schoolers on a Thursday so will have an extra day off to myself (unheard of since before my son was born!) and in school holidays will have Thursday and Friday off with just him which I'm really looking forward to it. I've signed up a new baby to start in Jan so just have 2 day spaces to fill now...almost got the perfect baby sign up, then work changed mummy's days! Hoping something turns up to slot in perfectly...!

  12. #9
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    I have two types of 'problem enquiry' for school runs: each the direct opposite of the other.

    This time of year i have the last minute rush, like Alex suggests. I think people are so used to having every product and service on tap and just two clicks away on some website, they honestly expect to be able to book a childcare arrangement like some last minute flight to Menorca.

    The opposite phenomenon happens with parents wanting to book ridiculously early. I say "ridiculously" because they want to guarantee a place before the child's entry to the particular school has even been confirmed. I regularly get these enquiries even before the application deadline has been reached: the earliest I ever had was either Xmas Eve one year. I have too remind them the place is not guaranteed unless the child is in LA care, which tends to stop them in their tracks a little. The more persistent assure me their sweet one will absolutely, definitely, positively get into the village school. At this point I offer to prepare a contract on receipt of a £200 deposit, non-refundable if they fail to take up the place. Oddly enough, this usually results in a pause, followed by mum asking, "but don't I get my money back if little Nigel doesn't get into the village school?" Gotcha!

    It took me 2-3 years of CMing to become totally fed up with the number of families who reserve a place months ahead for school runs (especially Year R) only to pull out in the last few days of the summer holiday, or give up on the deal within a few weeks of starting school. The latter type try another CM or after school club, usually after being manipulated by wee Nigel, then want to come back when they discover the grass is not greener there. I never take them back: don't need that type of client, and the other mindees don't need that kind of disruption.

    That's why my general rule now is to only do school runs for mindees who've been with me in the EY stage. Any exceptions have to give me very sound reasons why I should believe they'll stay.

  13. #10
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    I've lost 4 children all going off to start school this summer, that left me with one LO. Then I got one new LO 3 days a week and a new schoolie so it's not too bad now.

    Last term I was working long days 4 days a week but now I've managed to keep a Monday & Tuesday during school hours free (I might fill the Tuesday space though if the right enquiry comes along) so I'm happy with that balance.

    I've had quite a lot of enquiries lately but they're usually for schools I'm not anywhere near or for ridiculous hours (I had one where they wanted me to have LO for 7 hours after their first morning at school!)

    I do have someone coming to see me tomorrow about doing a day and a half with a 13 month old so will see what happens there.

  14. #11
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    I loose 3 eyfs to school and have managed to fill the spaces but 2 of those for only 1 year as they will go to the same school next year.

    I had an enquiry this morning for school wrap around care for 5 days - they go back in 2 weeks. I don't have any spaces. Oh dear.

 

 

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