Perplexed!!
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  1. #1
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    Good evening all,

    I have been trying to find an assistant and seem to be hitting a brick wall when it come to annual leave. The current way I work it is the there is business shutdown for holidays and due to having registered childminding status, this means the assistant will be required to be on holiday when I am.

    Heres the BUT: assistants don't want to have set holiday - they want to choose their own holiday. Hence, I am now stuck
    My ideal is to grow to be a nursery, however, without staff I can not do this (need 4 staff to be even classed as Childcare on Domestic Premises) and in a catch 22 with holidays as when a nursery, may be able to work around the holiday issue.

    If anyone has assistants, please can you inform me how you work around holiday? Any information or ideas would be greatly received.

    Many thanks in advance.

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    My daughter is my assistant and when I have my holiday then so does she. To be honest I can't see how an assistant can work when the childminder is on holiday unless she (the childminder) is away and maybe that's how others can make it work. The assistant can't use her own house as she is not registered in her own right and also assistants can only be on their own with the children for up to 2 hours.
    When I took a week off in term time we had to tell the parents that my daughter was still working but only for the school age children who would only be cared for by her for an hour or so after school, all the under 5's had to be sorted by parents. We even rang the insurance company to see if she could be insured for that week for a couple of families who were really struggling to find alternative care and were happy to leave the children with my daughter but they said no as the '2 hour rule' applied.

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    There is no way of getting around the holidays.

    Either they accept that they have holidays when you do or you find an assistant who is a cm in their own right
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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    Interesting, because if these potential assistants worked in school they would have to take holidays that LEA/Acadamy set.

    I have always had set holiday time in school holidays, took the job, no choice, no cheap holidays for me ever!
    Like Fussy said, they either will go with it or not.
    There are bound to be some out there who realise this has to go with the job.

    I think the whole assistant thing, unless it's a member of your family is tricky in a childminding setting, especially if there is just chm and one assistant - as soon as they call in sick you still have to pay them and pay someone else or let a family down, holiday pay, CPD and when they do it, making sure the tax and NI is sorted paying them enough yet making a worthwhile profit....

    But it seems to work for some so I expect you will find someone soon. What about working with another childminder?

  5. #5
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggle Wiggle View Post
    Good evening all,

    I have been trying to find an assistant and seem to be hitting a brick wall when it come to annual leave. The current way I work it is the there is business shutdown for holidays and due to having registered childminding status, this means the assistant will be required to be on holiday when I am.

    Heres the BUT: assistants don't want to have set holiday - they want to choose their own holiday. Hence, I am now stuck
    My ideal is to grow to be a nursery, however, without staff I can not do this (need 4 staff to be even classed as Childcare on Domestic Premises) and in a catch 22 with holidays as when a nursery, may be able to work around the holiday issue.

    If anyone has assistants, please can you inform me how you work around holiday? Any information or ideas would be greatly received.

    Many thanks in advance.
    If you are employing your assistant you need to look at the Employment legislation. Check on the DWP website under Employment laws.
    Employees are entitled to statutory holidays and the days increase with the number of years in service.

    If your assistant is an employee you can clearly state in the contract when she can take her holidays ...when the setting is closed as an example.
    She is, however, entitled to take the remaining leave at any time of her choice unless otherwise stated in her contract.

    Nurseries are slightly different as they normally close just one week a year and all employees that that week off
    When they take the remaining leave the nursery will use ' supply cover'
    This would apply to you if you are running a nursery.


    Check the legislation and also get advice from your insurer if not sure

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    Thank you for all your replies,

    Chris Goodyear and Fussy Elmo, this is the regs and there is no way around it - I can see that hence my frustration. I just wanted to see if any Childminders who have assistants have found a way (within the rules and all legal) as I had a candidate recently who stated they worked for different CM's and they could choose their holiday - I can't see how as that would be breaking the rules.

    Flora Dora - exactly - I too have been in jobs where there has been set holiday and that was that you accepted they were the terms (I actually though it was fine and had no issue with it) - however, times have changed I am finding.
    I have looked at co-minding although the prospect of two inspections when in my own setting, does not appeal at present.

    Simona - I have the contract side looked in to throughly and know that set holidays are allowable so sorted on that front and thank you for the information. Yes, the no agency is something CM's are not allowed and this again is another negative.

    Sometimes (please don't slate me I am all for safeguarding) to run a business as a CM is very difficult.

    Thank you all once again for your responses - it is appreciated.

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    Floradora - you can't compare teachers with a childminder's assistant because as teachers, no, we couldn't choose our holidays but we got so many that it made up for that fact! I doubt a childminder's assistant is being offered half the holidays teachers get.

    I looked at a job description recently and I have to say it was this very issue which put me off.

    Sorry, I have no solutions to offer but yes, things have changed. People don't want their holiday dates dictated to by someone else, unless a) they are offered loads of holiday or b) they are paid loads and loads of money to make it worthwhile. I honestly do not think people are being unreasonable by being put off by the holiday situation.

    It's a good discussion to have and I really hope someone comes along with an idea that would work for you Wiggle Wiggle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Floradora - you can't compare teachers with a childminder's assistant because as teachers, no, we couldn't choose our holidays but we got so many that it made up for that fact! I doubt a childminder's assistant is being offered half the holidays teachers get.

    I looked at a job description recently and I have to say it was this very issue which put me off.

    Sorry, I have no solutions to offer but yes, things have changed. People don't want their holiday dates dictated to by someone else, unless a) they are offered loads of holiday or b) they are paid loads and loads of money to make it worthwhile. I honestly do not think people are being unreasonable by being put off by the holiday situation.

    It's a good discussion to have and I really hope someone comes along with an idea that would work for you Wiggle Wiggle.
    I wasn't comparing teachers - I mentioned it because it is the situation for any staff that works in a school. Lots of potential childminders assistants probably have the qualifications to be a teaching assistant in a school as an alternative career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloraDora View Post
    I wasn't comparing teachers - I mentioned it because it is the situation for any staff that works in a school. Lots of potential childminders assistants probably have the qualifications to be a teaching assistant in a school as an alternative career.
    Sorry, didn't mean to come across as challenging you at all. If we want to employ assistants then we do have to think about what we are up against. As you say, if potential cm assistants could alternatively work in a school with all those holidays then we need to make sure we can offer an attractive package to compete with that, and I personally think 'fixed and fewer' holidays is a turn off. x

  11. #10
    Simona Guest

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    If we employ an assistant we cannot choose the number of holidays we give them...that is bound by the employment law and EU legislation.

    We can put 'fixed' holidays if we employ people in their contract but I would get those Terms and Conditions checked properly.

    Schools cannot be compared with cms as teachers do not have the option of taking holidays when the school is open as Flora Dora rightly stated.
    Cms are a small business where we are either self employed and remain so, even when we become 'employers and employ an assistant with all the conditions that go with that.

    Wiggle wiggle...sorry to come back but I am confused as to what barriers you have in front of you?

    I have employed an assistant in the past and we both agreed our holidays...so never a problem there
    If you look at having a co-minder...which I did too.....that changes the game altogether as she would be self employed and can take her holidays when she chooses as she recruits her own children.
    As an employer in my preschool staff had some ' fixed' holidays and some taken at their choice...no problem there either

    I agree it is not easy for cms at times...that is because a lot of the powers that be ....or some representing us.... are 'stuck' in the past and still think cms earn 'pin money' and do not treat us as 'small businesses.......it is obvious in the way cms talk about HMRC and still sticking to old rules invented over 30 years ago....some have changed.
    And then we have CMs agencies...because according to a past minister many cms were unable to run their financial affairs so now an agency will come and help us!...dear lord give me strength!

    As an EY provider I have worked across the sector...I was always happiest as a CM running my setting they way I wanted with no one telling me constantly what to do

    Have you looked at the new 'deregulation' thing that comes in January 2016?...doe that help with your future plans?

 

 

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