Secondary School Childminding
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  1. #1
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    Default Secondary School Childminding

    I'm here again.

    Aside from unsettled children I have another issue at the moment that I could do with some advice on please.

    I only have one before and after school child, a girl who is in year 6, I've had her since she started school in reception. Her mum mentioned about 8 months ago about how she'd be able to come to me when she goes up to secondary school and I brushed it off as being in the future and we'd talk about it nearer the time. Fast forward to Thursday and she told me that she'd applied for her daughters secondary school. Its not their catchment school, its my daughters school and they are oversubscribed and way out of catchment. She's only put that school on the form and in the reason for choice section she's put that its the childminder's daughter's school. Holy moly.

    The thing is, I don't want to carry on minding for her in year 7! I need to have a very diplomatic conversation (bearing in mind I've still got her for another 9 months!) She's a mum who gets things clear in her mind and assumes they're happening. I think she assumes that my eldest will walk to school with her but she's got her own routine sorted with her friends and isn't going to want this one tagging along.

    There are alternatives if she doesn't come to me so I wouldn't feel like I'm leaving them in the lurch too much and it is a year away!

    Any thoughts please?

  2. #2
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    She's been silly not to put an alternative school. Parents do it thinking if they only put one choice there's more of a chance of getting it, but the reality is that if you don't get your first choice they can give you anything else at all and you might not even get a place at the school you are in the catchment area for.

    If your school is oversubscribed and out of catchment area, the fact she's put it's your daughter's school is unlikely to make any difference at all. It's not like you're going to be dropping her off or picking her up, so it's irrelevant really. The fact that she could walk to school and back with your daughter isn't going to sway anything, in my opinion anyway.

    It's going to be a difficult conversation to have with her. Maybe start by bringing up the subject of independent walking to school and back. Tell mum you assumed her daughter would be going to a school nearer home but as she has applied to your daughter's school you want to check that she undersatnds that if she gets into the school and if she is still going to be coming to you she is going to have to walk there and back by herself and that you are only responsible for her for the times she is actually in your house. If mum then mentions her walking with your daughter you can say well, no, your daughter has her own friends and walks with them. She can not be held responsible for walking your daughter to and from school so her daughter will be walking independently.
    At this point you could say that to be honest, you don't normally offer care to children once they are in year 7, so it has taken you by surprise that mum has applied to this school. Having thought about it over the weekend you feel it's important to say something now so that mum can look at alternative options in plenty of time.

    Good luck with telling her. If you think it might be easier, you could always put it in an email to her. I often do that if I want parents to fully digest the information - especially the ones who never listen properly!

  3. Likes chris goodyear, fluff1975, loocyloo liked this post
  4. #3
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    I think a lot of parents (and mums in particular) feel a bit daunted at the thought of their child going off to secondary school and having to fend for themselves but it's quite normal. I understand all your concerns but you could see it as a compliment as to how much they feel happy with your provision. If it helps I have often been asked the same thing and it's never materialised! Some have asked for maybe just 6 months until they all feel happy that their son/daughter is grown up enough to go home alone and be on their own until parents return but I've never had to do it. I think the year between year 6 and 7 is huge and while they still seem quite young in Primary school that extra year sees a big change and probably the child will not want to go to a childminder any more as that's for babies! I even just recently had a year 6 boy feel he's outgrown my setting and we are only in September!! So I would go along with it in the knowledge that 1. she probably won't get into the school and 2. if she does you can either deal with it then and say you do not offer your service to secondary school children (but that could backfire) or do it and I'll bet it won't last.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris goodyear View Post
    I think a lot of parents (and mums in particular) feel a bit daunted at the thought of their child going off to secondary school and having to fend for themselves but it's quite normal. I understand all your concerns but you could see it as a compliment as to how much they feel happy with your provision. If it helps I have often been asked the same thing and it's never materialised! Some have asked for maybe just 6 months until they all feel happy that their son/daughter is grown up enough to go home alone and be on their own until parents return but I've never had to do it. I think the year between year 6 and 7 is huge and while they still seem quite young in Primary school that extra year sees a big change and probably the child will not want to go to a childminder any more as that's for babies! I even just recently had a year 6 boy feel he's outgrown my setting and we are only in September!! So I would go along with it in the knowledge that 1. she probably won't get into the school and 2. if she does you can either deal with it then and say you do not offer your service to secondary school children (but that could backfire) or do it and I'll bet it won't last.
    The problem with that is that if the child did get into the school, it's possibly not close to home for the child to walk themselves (the OP says its way out of catchment area). That would leave parents with a child at a school they can't get to unless they're still at the childminder's.
    As the childminder, I wouldn't want to take the risk of them getting into the school and being their only option or assumed option. I would rather set the record straight now and avoid any confusion or upset when the schools are known.

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    We look after an older child who goes to high school. She is fine here - she walks back, does her homework, has some tea and plays with the little ones if she wants to - other times she reads her book or plays on the tablet.

    I've often looked after older ones - they usually come through the first terms and drift off a bit in the summer then come back after September again. As long as they keep in touch and i know where they are and have parents permission, that's fine with me

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  10. #6
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    I tend not to have secondary school mindees .... BUT, they know where I am, and can call/pop over/in if they want to. Usually, that is enough support for them to be home by themselves. occasionally one LOs big sister comes over ( usually to ask if I have heard from mum and where is she?! usually at work! )

    I don't charge parents unless child is actually in my house! works for us, but for Fluff, I don't know how that would work, as mindee wouldn't be at a school local to home.

  11. #7
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    I had a similar conversation with one of my year 6 kids this morning. My daughter and two other year 6's I care for all announced in the car which secondary schools they were going to. One girl announced that she was going to a further away school than the other two, and this school involves a bit of a walk to the bus stop, then a bus ride. The other two will be walking to the local secondary, but they go past the bus stop for the other school. IYSWIM?

    The 'bus child' announced that she would be able to still walk with my daughter down the road to the bus stop. This is a very unconfident child, and mum has probably said they they could all walk together.

    I pointed out that if my daughter was 5 mins late leaving the house in the morning, she would just have to walk a bit faster to school, or be a minute or so late. BUT if the other girl was late because of my daughter, she would miss the specially run bus !!


    I'm sure this walking was suggested due to the girls lack of confidence, but she still has to get herself there and back for the next 5 or 7 years!

    When my oldest daughter started at the secondary school, she walked for the first week with girls from her primary school, and within the first two weeks, make loads of new friends, and NEVER walked with anyone from primary school again.

 

 

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