Flexibility
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Thread: Flexibility

  1. #1
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    Default Flexibility

    Just reading about others offering funding and wondered about generally how flexible your terms are with regards to your services? I know some people who dont offer before or after school children, wont do nursery/pre school picks ups or drop offs, wont offer just one day a week care, wont or will only offer term time only etc etc and wondered what flexibility or conditions you have on your business? I'm finding more and more that I have to just go with whats asked in order to remain full so in my head I think "I wont do this, i dont want to do that" etc but in reality I have to!

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    I guess it comes down to the demand in your area. I don't do all the things you list but am always full and turning away enquiries. If you really don't want to do something then stick to your principles and say no. You need to feel comfortable and confident with what you are offering, or it will cause negativity for you and that can effect all around you.

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    I don’t take on new funded children. Existing children only who’ve been with me since babies/toddlers. As I don’t work a full week I now share all funded children with either a preschool or nursery. I insist they take the majority of funded hours and I take the rest. The pay gap is big from my hourly rate to the funded rate so parents all pay an hourly voluntary contribution to make up the loss and this is for meals, outings, provisions etc. I don’t do preschool pickups. The children are here all day. One child attends one day only. You have to do what’s sustainable for your business. Maybe you could alter terms for each new child as your business has a period of growth or not.

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    I don't take new funded children unless they completely fit in, are happy to pay an additional contribution and usually take additional hours.
    I don't do lunch time pick ups but will pick up from nursery IF i have space ( i often have a couple of school hours only little ones that this fits around )
    I have no problem with saying 'no that isn't possible'. I am flexible ... if i can be, but i do think about mine and my families needs and sometimes they DO come first!
    I've booked a few days off later in the year because DD has a dance competition and i don't know exactly which days/times and already 2 parents are pushing me to have their children 'if i can' ... the upshot of that is that i just say NO rather than trying to help if i can!

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    One person's flexibility is another persons idea of horror.

    I try not to use the word flexible as it really does mean different things to different people.

    I have had other cms tell me i shouldnt do certain as they wouldnt and neither will other cms my response is well know you know other cms will

    My advice to anyone always do what suits you and your business not to suit parents or other cms business.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    I don't do school or nursery runs anymore but some parents see it as a bonus that their young children won't be taken out several times a day to drop off and pick up older children, so I use it as a selling point. I only open 4 days a week and have a relatively short day, 8.00am - 5.00pm, so that doesn't work for all parents.

    On the plus side I do offer funding, term time only contracts and one day a week contracts (I have even done one day a month before) but only of they fit in with what I'm looking for at the time. It means I can often pick up work that other childminders don't want.

    I think it takes years in this job to realise what works for you and what doesn't...then even longer to find the confidence to say no to the things you don't want to do!

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    I love hearing how everyone works. Im not sure how long I will be in a position to saying no to funded children...theres now even a call to provide "free" childcare to babies from 9 months! Theres a petition going on that will be debated in parliament because there is enough signatures which is worrying!

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    It's tricky - I used to do half days but meant I had half days empty that I couldnt fill plus if we were out for a trip I'd have to rush back for collection/ drop - off. I also (same family actually) tried to be flexible with days in terms of the parents shifts so some weeks it would be different. One week I was at the zoo and the parent was at my door for drop off - I'd got my days muddled!
    I don't offer half days or shifts now.
    Now I offer a full day and charge for the day - it works out cheaper for those who have the full day but those who want a shorter day pay the same so I'm not losing money.
    Funding is a nightmare - I charge extra and it's only about £3 a day for most but I've got some starting soon o ly using me for funding and only using those hours to I don't feel when they start I can be charging them extra.
    I always try to be flexible with earlier or later starts / finishes within reason. I can attend groups that the parent particularly wants me to attend so have attended a signing class and know others that can take child to gym club or whatever. Having said that I was asked to go to a French club at the library but couldn't as the other children I take care of were too young.
    I have got more flexible and often regret it but recently numbers have been down so trying to be a bit more accomodating even though it doesn't suit me / my family
    I don't mind offering funding but wish it was a better rate - to offer hours at a lesser income and for the hours to be less (say 2 days of 7.5 hours instead of 2 days at 9.5 hours adds up to be a big difference with lots of children on funding!)

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    I'm fairly flexible with my existing parents, I work on the basis it's a two way street lol, but new children have to 'fit in' with my existing plans, so a child that needs collecting at 12.30 would throw my routine out twice a week due to meeting the needs of existing children.
    I also do not work Fridays anymore - I have another business that means I work most weekends so I NEED at least 1 day a week to catch up otherwise I meet myself coming backwards

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