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    Default Advice please

    Hi, I've not been on here for months and months, hope you are all well I just needed somewhere I can have a moan /get advice discreetly.

    I've had a baby with me since Jan, he's settled so well we have a fantastic bond, absolutely no problems anywhere at all, parents are fab everyone happy etc.
    I get a email this week from mum saying she's got no choice but to leave and go to another childminder (my friend!) As I'll be doing nursery picks when their baby will eventually be having a nap. (At the moment he has a nap 9.30 for an hour then another nap at 1.30 for 1 hour 20 approx , she's said "our sleep trainer has advised us to drop to one nap a day 11.30-1.30 so that's why they are going good to move baby.
    Now am I being sensitive but wouldn't a cm friend give you a heads up? I messaged my friend and she took over a day to reply, saying she was sorry etc but I feel so so cheated and that mums only moved ship as my friend just advertised a space. I feel that she was only with me until a space became available.
    The thing is we see each other weekly, groups training, bounce off ideas etc so I just feel a bit hurt.

    This week I've had 3 parents cancel minutes before contract /deposits meeting saying they no longer need childcare , found another closer to home etc,
    So now I'm frantically trying to fill spaces!!
    I'm so fed up, gutted, and feel so lonely 😣

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    Oh crumpet, how awful for you. This job has such wonderful advantages but such depressing lows.

    We would all be hurt if a friend did that to us, especially when you will have to see her with the little one at playgroups. Through life I have learnt that you can't expect everyone to have the same morals as you do. Maybe your friend was desperate for business, but she could have handled it better. I think the fact that she took a day to respond probably means she feels really awkward about it and didn't know what to say. There is nothing you can do about it. You just need to accept it and move on.

    The other thing I have learnt in this job is that parents will drop us like hot cakes as and when it suits them, no matter how good a relationship was with them. It's a shame that she didn't mention the sleep concerns to you and to see how you would manage them. It does seem like a shame to uproot the child over 'future' sleep patterns which might not even work out anyway! Even if it does work out, that sleep routine would evolve again quite quickly into a later/shorter/no nap at all routine.

    It does shake you when you have prospective parents cancel too. Pick yourself up and get advertising. Do something kind for yourself too. x

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    Oh, you poor thing. That must be very hurtful for you.

    Have you spoken to the parents about it? It does seem a strange reason to change childminder if it's not something they've ever even mentioned before. It does sound as if it's an excuse they've come up with to justify leaving and it's a shame they couldn't have been more honest with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet54 View Post
    Hi, I've not been on here for months and months, hope you are all well I just needed somewhere I can have a moan /get advice discreetly.

    I've had a baby with me since Jan, he's settled so well we have a fantastic bond, absolutely no problems anywhere at all, parents are fab everyone happy etc.
    I get a email this week from mum saying she's got no choice but to leave and go to another childminder (my friend!) As I'll be doing nursery picks when their baby will eventually be having a nap. (At the moment he has a nap 9.30 for an hour then another nap at 1.30 for 1 hour 20 approx , she's said "our sleep trainer has advised us to drop to one nap a day 11.30-1.30 so that's why they are going good to move baby.
    Now am I being sensitive but wouldn't a cm friend give you a heads up? I messaged my friend and she took over a day to reply, saying she was sorry etc but I feel so so cheated and that mums only moved ship as my friend just advertised a space. I feel that she was only with me until a space became available.
    The thing is we see each other weekly, groups training, bounce off ideas etc so I just feel a bit hurt.

    This week I've had 3 parents cancel minutes before contract /deposits meeting saying they no longer need childcare , found another closer to home etc,
    So now I'm frantically trying to fill spaces!!
    I'm so fed up, gutted, and feel so lonely 😣

    Agree with others. If the parents had spoken to you you could have told them that baby's sleep routine will be constantly changing so will they keep changing childminders to fit? (obviously you wouldn't have said the last bit!)Are they new parents so listened to the health visitor and thought they had best do what she said? Maybe it was just an excuse -sorry to say - but sometimes parents don't give us the right reason do they? Your friend probably feels bad but it would have been kind for her to warn you. I had a little girl a few months ago who was lovely and settled from day 1, I got on well with the parents (or so I thought) and was shocked to say the least when on a Monday I received a text to say they had been talking over the weekend and decided their child would be better in a nursery where she could mix with more children of her own age. My daughter is my assistant so we have a fair few children here and at the time we had a 1year old, a 2 year old, 2 x 3 year olds and a 4 year old, their daughter was 14 months. About 3 months later I saw her with another childminder who had no one else at home during the day!They had gone straight there from me (I spoke to the new childminder as I know her). I would have respected them more if they had said the real reason they left. It always hurts as we put put a lot of love into our job and then we don't always receive it back!

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    The other childminder has an assistant and they've just had a space become available. I think she just wants to go to her and that's it really, she's taken advice from her personal sleep trainer they hired when he was a baby to put him in a strict routine. She's the one with the advice , I should make a joke and say will he coming back when he stops having a nap......... (joke I wouldn't)
    Mum has given me the most amazing reviews which is the positive I've got to take from it all, just bittersweet!
    She's texting me daily saying she's heartbroken at the thought of him leaving etc I feel like saying well don't! I don't know if she's feeling guilty and that's her way of trying to soften the blow.

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    As they say, there's nowt as queer as folk!

    Fantastic that she gave you great references - well done you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet54 View Post
    Hi, I've not been on here for months and months, hope you are all well I just needed somewhere I can have a moan /get advice discreetly.

    I've had a baby with me since Jan, he's settled so well we have a fantastic bond, absolutely no problems anywhere at all, parents are fab everyone happy etc.
    I get a email this week from mum saying she's got no choice but to leave and go to another childminder (my friend!) As I'll be doing nursery picks when their baby will eventually be having a nap. (At the moment he has a nap 9.30 for an hour then another nap at 1.30 for 1 hour 20 approx , she's said "our sleep trainer has advised us to drop to one nap a day 11.30-1.30 so that's why they are going good to move baby.
    Now am I being sensitive but wouldn't a cm friend give you a heads up? I messaged my friend and she took over a day to reply, saying she was sorry etc but I feel so so cheated and that mums only moved ship as my friend just advertised a space. I feel that she was only with me until a space became available.
    The thing is we see each other weekly, groups training, bounce off ideas etc so I just feel a bit hurt.

    This week I've had 3 parents cancel minutes before contract /deposits meeting saying they no longer need childcare , found another closer to home etc,
    So now I'm frantically trying to fill spaces!!
    I'm so fed up, gutted, and feel so lonely 😣
    So sorry this is happening to you and that you feel awful.

    It's always going to be difficult when friendships and business overlap, creating awkward situations. From the time I first registered I was instructed by my DO to join the local CMs group, I never quite understood the complex relationship of individuals who were competing for business whilst putting out the impression of a cheery Mr Tumble-esque "we're all friends " attitude. I learned that you only have to scratch the surface to realise it was a lot more complex than it appeared.

    I don't suppose it's easy for either you or the other CM. In the cold light of day, I guess a CM's first responsibility is to the child, then the family, then their own business, all before considering another CM's feelings, but I still think it's wrong to disregard you completely.

    I've had children move between me and another setting (in either direction) and it is tricky. I only accept children from elsewhere if there's a very sound reason. Either it has to be mutually agreed as best for the child, with everyone happy about it, or (the other extreme) an irreconcilable breakdown between parents and provider. I expect the client to have made an effort to resolve things first with the other setting, and to tell the other setting in good time before switching. If they're determined to move, I tell the parent they must notify the current provider within a couple of days, or else I will do it, because I value the trust I have and often have to work in partnership/shared-care arrangements with nurseries, etc. That partnership trumps any misplaced notion of "confidentiality" as the quality of that partnership will no doubt affect the well-being of children at some time in the future.

    I'm tempted to say your CM friend is welcome to this one, given the undignified haste with which mum is prepared to up sticks. Call me a cynic, but the words "sleep trainer" instantly caused my eyebrow to raise and had the indicator needle twitching on my FreakyMum-o-Meter.

    Just in terms of getting your emotions in perspective, would the other CM's actions be less upsetting if you hadn't suffered the multiple disappointments of other prospective contracts falling through? That's not meant as judgment or criticism, and I don't expect you to answer (you're certainly not answerable to me or anyone else). I just feel it might be worth you thinking over privately, if it helps get things in perspective and possibly repair the damage the other CM has done.

    I don't think your friend has behaved particularly well, but I don't like to judge quite how badly IYSWIM. Perhaps the best response is to rise above it and, as my teacher used to say of fall-outs, "be the better person."
    Last edited by bunyip; 29-07-2017 at 09:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet54 View Post
    The other childminder has an assistant and they've just had a space become available. I think she just wants to go to her and that's it really, she's taken advice from her personal sleep trainer they hired when he was a baby to put him in a strict routine. She's the one with the advice , I should make a joke and say will he coming back when he stops having a nap......... (joke I wouldn't)
    Mum has given me the most amazing reviews which is the positive I've got to take from it all, just bittersweet!
    She's texting me daily saying she's heartbroken at the thought of him leaving etc I feel like saying well don't! I don't know if she's feeling guilty and that's her way of trying to soften the blow.
    This indicates one of two things.

    1. It was a truly difficult decision for mum to make.

    OR.....

    2. She's trying to "sugar the pill" to give the appearance of a difficult decision, so that she can feel ok about it.

    I wouldn't like to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    So sorry this is happening to you and that you feel awful.

    It's always going to be difficult when friendships and business overlap, creating awkward situations. From the time I first registered I was instructed by my DO to join the local CMs group, I never quite understood the complex relationship of individuals who were competing for business whilst putting out the impression of a cheery Mr Tumble-esque "we're all friends " attitude. I learned that you only have to scratch the surface to realise it was a lot more complex than it appeared.

    I don't suppose it's easy for either you or the other CM. In the cold light of day, I guess a CM's first responsibility is to the child, then the family, then their own business, all before considering another CM's feelings, but I still think it's wrong to disregard you completely.

    I've had children move between me and another setting (in either direction) and it is tricky. I only accept children from elsewhere if there's a very sound reason. Either it has to be mutually agreed as best for the child, with everyone happy about it, or (the other extreme) an irreconcilable breakdown between parents and provider. I expect the client to have made an effort to resolve things first with the other setting, and to tell the other setting in good time before switching. If they're determined to move, I tell the parent they must notify the current provider within a couple of days, or else I will do it, because I value the trust I have and often have to work in partnership/shared-care arrangements with nurseries, etc. That partnership trumps any misplaced notion of "confidentiality" as the quality of that partnership will no doubt affect the well-being of children at some time in the future.

    I'm tempted to say your CM friend is welcome to this one, given the undignified haste with which mum is prepared to up sticks. Call me a cynic, but the words "sleep trainer" instantly caused my eyebrow to raise and had the indicator needle twitching on my FreakyMum-o-Meter.

    Just in terms of getting your emotions in perspective, would the other CM's actions be less upsetting if you hadn't suffered the multiple disappointments of other prospective contracts falling through? That's not meant as judgment or criticism, and I don't expect you to answer (you're certainly not answerable to me or anyone else). I just feel it might be worth you thinking over privately, if it helps get things in perspective and possibly repair the damage the other CM has done.

    I don't think your friend has behaved particularly well, but I don't like to judge quite how badly IYSWIM. Perhaps the best response is to rise above it and, as my teacher used to say of fall-outs, "be the better person."
    I have to say Bunyip - you are excellent at helping to put emotions in perspective. You have helped me do so in the past and I have often read your replies where you have done the same to others. Not hijacking the post, but once you did suggest to someone else to 'literally time' the length of the handover at home time. I did just that and whilst it was a stressful and loud handover it was indeed much shorter than I was imagining it to be. So, a very belated thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    This indicates one of two things.

    1. It was a truly difficult decision for mum to make.

    OR.....

    2. She's trying to "sugar the pill" to give the appearance of a difficult decision, so that she can feel ok about it.

    I wouldn't like to say.
    I was thinking along the same lines. It wouldn't matter how many text she sent me, after the first reply I wouldn't be texting back anymore

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    So sorry this is happening to you and that you feel awful.

    It's always going to be difficult when friendships and business overlap, creating awkward situations. From the time I first registered I was instructed by my DO to join the local CMs group, I never quite understood the complex relationship of individuals who were competing for business whilst putting out the impression of a cheery Mr Tumble-esque "we're all friends " attitude. I learned that you only have to scratch the surface to realise it was a lot more complex than it appeared.

    I don't suppose it's easy for either you or the other CM. In the cold light of day, I guess a CM's first responsibility is to the child, then the family, then their own business, all before considering another CM's feelings, but I still think it's wrong to disregard you completely.

    I've had children move between me and another setting (in either direction) and it is tricky. I only accept children from elsewhere if there's a very sound reason. Either it has to be mutually agreed as best for the child, with everyone happy about it, or (the other extreme) an irreconcilable breakdown between parents and provider. I expect the client to have made an effort to resolve things first with the other setting, and to tell the other setting in good time before switching. If they're determined to move, I tell the parent they must notify the current provider within a couple of days, or else I will do it, because I value the trust I have and often have to work in partnership/shared-care arrangements with nurseries, etc. That partnership trumps any misplaced notion of "confidentiality" as the quality of that partnership will no doubt affect the well-being of children at some time in the future.

    I'm tempted to say your CM friend is welcome to this one, given the undignified haste with which mum is prepared to up sticks. Call me a cynic, but the words "sleep trainer" instantly caused my eyebrow to raise and had the indicator needle twitching on my FreakyMum-o-Meter.

    Just in terms of getting your emotions in perspective, would the other CM's actions be less upsetting if you hadn't suffered the multiple disappointments of other prospective contracts falling through? That's not meant as judgment or criticism, and I don't expect you to answer (you're certainly not answerable to me or anyone else). I just feel it might be worth you thinking over privately, if it helps get things in perspective and possibly repair the damage the other CM has done.

    I don't think your friend has behaved particularly well, but I don't like to judge quite how badly IYSWIM. Perhaps the best response is to rise above it and, as my teacher used to say of fall-outs, "be the better person."
    Thanks you always so helpful, yes it was probably a domino affect for me, /bad timings with the other disappointments etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYLVIA View Post
    I was thinking along the same lines. It wouldn't matter how many text she sent me, after the first reply I wouldn't be texting back anymore
    Oh yes I'm not participating in that

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    Thank you so much for your replies xx

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    Another two cancelled before 2nd visit and visit to sign contracts, getting a bit of a joke now, so keen on the first visit, all goes well then the day to sign contracts they cancel at the last min.
    I did a massive social network advertising push yesterday got 3 enquires that result to nothing.
    At what point do I say enough is enough? Have no money!
    Nap time here and I'm just sitting in despair /panic /frustration 😣
    I've printed off a load of leaflets/flyers I'm going to drop off around the community again.

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    I remember when I had a few mums in succession who didn't come back after the first visit. It certainly does make you feel a bit panicked. Once I started analysing it I realised that a lot of them were non starters before we even began, no matter how well the initial meeting went. The majority of them just lived too far away and hadn't realised exactly where my location was. I live at one end of a VERY long road - the other end of my road is a tube station and so on paper my address looks really convenient. Now I ask them lots of questions over the phone/email BEFORE I even agree to a meeting. I have turned down lovely sounding parents at the telephone stage before now, just because I don't want to waste my time and have my hopes built up for nothing. It obviously doesn't get the bills paid, but it somehow seems less of a blow.

    On the other hand, one of the parents who didn't come back after the first visit (I didn't work until 6.45pm/7 and she hadn't realised this until the first meeting, even though it said my hours in my profile) gave me a glowing report and an amazing recommendation months down the line to someone else. I had thought that she had used her hours just as an excuse to go elsewhere, but it wasn't the case. So don't be too hard on yourself. It would probably be worth asking them for feedback on why they are not accepting a place with you - maybe there is something that you hadn't thought of that you could just tweak.

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    I've had my fair share of people who string me along with promises of second visits and appointments for contract signings. They were just keeping their opinions open, so I didn't give up "their" place before they'd seen a few other settings.

    Maza is right. Try to find out why they didn't sign up. It can be difficult to get an honest answer because people want to appear 'nice' and not 'offend' by saying anything at all negative, but it's actually the most helpful thing they could do. I once had a client who admitted she nearly didn't sign because our house was "too tidy" (don't know which day that could've been ) and she found it a bit "intimidating ".

    Are these mums going somewhere else, or just not needing childcare after all? If they're going somewhere else, what's drawing them away from you? Is it the free hours at an otherwise less attractive nursery?

    See if you can find out, so you can offer that 'something' else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    I've had my fair share of people who string me along with promises of second visits and appointments for contract signings. They were just keeping their opinions open, so I didn't give up "their" place before they'd seen a few other settings.

    Maza is right. Try to find out why they didn't sign up. It can be difficult to get an honest answer because people want to appear 'nice' and not 'offend' by saying anything at all negative, but it's actually the most helpful thing they could do. I once had a client who admitted she nearly didn't sign because our house was "too tidy" (don't know which day that could've been ) and she found it a bit "intimidating ".

    Are these mums going somewhere else, or just not needing childcare after all? If they're going somewhere else, what's drawing them away from you? Is it the free hours at an otherwise less attractive nursery?

    See if you can find out, so you can offer that 'something' else.
    One said they were having trouble with tax credits so had got an auntie to care for children.
    One said they didn't need childcare anymore as grandparents had changed hours so we're now able to care for children.
    One found a childminder closer
    One lost their jobs

    They've all said they would have chosen me but it was circumstances etc and nothing but positive praise and feedback

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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet54 View Post
    One said they were having trouble with tax credits so had got an auntie to care for children.
    One said they didn't need childcare anymore as grandparents had changed hours so we're now able to care for children.
    One found a childminder closer
    One lost their jobs

    They've all said they would have chosen me but it was circumstances etc and nothing but positive praise and feedback
    So it isn't about you needing to improve the service you offer. That's good.

    Is there a general over-supply of childcare in your area?

    Are local settings also struggling to attract business?

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    I have noticed some local childminders are offering little focussed sessions in the holidays: jewelry making, water play, art, music, forest school type activities - just one offs or one a week - drop off whilst you shop or stay and play / with/ without parents.
    If you did a few of these, parents might get to know you and when they need more childcare you might be the first port of call.
    Another CM I know does pick up and drop off at work - she put leaflets in large companies and has 3 little ones from the same company. Where you live therefore is not a deciding factor.
    Are you part of a childminding network so that others can recommend you to parents who enquire to them who they can't accommodate - or be the childminder who does holiday cover?
    Some childminders are also emergency foster carers, linked to social services. Could you work for an agency -(admin type not childminding!) or to be a supply TA on days you are free?
    Find a unique selling point...hours based, activity based....check the childcare.co.uk and analyse what the parents in your area are looking for....do a little bit of nannying perhaps too.
    Could you develop another small work from home business along side so a little money trickles in to see you over tougher times? I used to do home tuition. ( very lucrative at £20 min per hour). My friends do various: cake baking and small catering ( your kitchen will already have the food hygiene certificate though I think you have to inform them), dog walking, etsy businesses, gardening, befriending someone elderly or with special needs and proof reading and translating work.
    It must be so stressful wondering where to get the next child and therefore income but try to channel this into a positive plan. Hold a stall at a summer fete - an activity based that parents will chat to you whilst children complete and you can give out your leaflets.

    You may have considered all of these but thought I'd just list what I know other childminders do.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    I have noticed some local childminders are offering little focussed sessions in the holidays: jewelry making, water play, art, music, forest school type activities - just one offs or one a week - drop off whilst you shop or stay and play / with/ without parents.
    If you did a few of these, parents might get to know you and when they need more childcare you might be the first port of call.
    Another CM I know does pick up and drop off at work - she put leaflets in large companies and has 3 little ones from the same company. Where you live therefore is not a deciding factor.
    Are you part of a childminding network so that others can recommend you to parents who enquire to them who they can't accommodate - or be the childminder who does holiday cover?
    Some childminders are also emergency foster carers, linked to social services. Could you work for an agency -(admin type not childminding!) or to be a supply TA on days you are free?
    Find a unique selling point...hours based, activity based....check the childcare.co.uk and analyse what the parents in your area are looking for....do a little bit of nannying perhaps too.
    Could you develop another small work from home business along side so a little money trickles in to see you over tougher times? I used to do home tuition. ( very lucrative at £20 min per hour). My friends do various: cake baking and small catering ( your kitchen will already have the food hygiene certificate though I think you have to inform them), dog walking, etsy businesses, gardening, befriending someone elderly or with special needs and proof reading and translating work.
    It must be so stressful wondering where to get the next child and therefore income but try to channel this into a positive plan. Hold a stall at a summer fete - an activity based that parents will chat to you whilst children complete and you can give out your leaflets.

    You may have considered all of these but thought I'd just list what I know other childminders do.

    Good luck.
    Thanks you,
    I've done a big leaflet from in several large factories very close to where I live, and contacted several training providers/colleges etc seeing if any of their students are looking for childcare.
    Parents on childcare.co.uk don't seem to reply or read my messages or ask lots of questions which I answer then they ask to come and see me then I don't hear nothing from them, I really don't get it, that particular scenario is happening almost daily.

    Another cm close by has passes on a lovely parent to me who came last week and signed up straight away but she's not starting until middle of September and doesn't no what days she needs until she gets her university timetable. But she said it'll be either 3 or 4 days. So that's good but not paying bills now is it!

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