How do you vet potential parents?
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  1. #1
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    Default How do you vet potential parents?

    Hi I was just wondering how you all vet parents? For me it starts with their first phone call, text or email if I don't like their attudude etc they dont get a intervirew.

    I recently had someone text me all it said was I need childcare get back to me now! So I texted back asking what days,hours they needed and how old little one is. I texted as I did not have time to speak but did not want them to think I was being rude not replying. Their reply back was I said phone me! no please,thank you i would prefer discuss etc and they never phoned me. I will not be calling them as i do not like their tone of either text messages.

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    Filter out the fruitloops then just go with the pretty mummies.

    .................works for me.

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    KateA, you were too kind. I wouldn't have even replied to the first text. How rude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealady View Post
    KateA, you were too kind. I wouldn't have even replied to the first text. How rude.
    Neither would I !!!

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    I wouldn't either, rude person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealady View Post
    KateA, you were too kind. I wouldn't have even replied to the first text. How rude.
    Crikey! I missed that until your post had me re-read it. I'm the first person to say text messages are often misread, and then loaded with context/emotion that isn't there, but that seems rude even to a rude bu88er like me.

    I had an email enquiry for childcare last week, which included the sentence, "are you a real childminder? I will need to see ID evidence you are a real childminder." It struck me as odd, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt, as it might just be somebody being a bit inarticulate and not meaning to be rude.

    I had reason to visit a CM friend round the corner (quite a story in itself, as the poor CM had a far bigger problem as it turned out). I took a printout of the email to ask what she'd make of it. Once we'd sorted out her crisis, she looked and said she'd had an enquiry from the same mum. She had a virtually identical email but without the query about "are you a real CM". Weird. My friend did draw my attention to the mum's email address, which I'd also previously missed: [location]no1blonde@etc.

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  11. #7
    Simona Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by KateA View Post
    Hi I was just wondering how you all vet parents? For me it starts with their first phone call, text or email if I don't like their attudude etc they dont get a intervirew.

    I recently had someone text me all it said was I need childcare get back to me now! So I texted back asking what days,hours they needed and how old little one is. I texted as I did not have time to speak but did not want them to think I was being rude not replying. Their reply back was I said phone me! no please,thank you i would prefer discuss etc and they never phoned me. I will not be calling them as i do not like their tone of either text messages.
    After the initial interview and before signing a contract I ask for 2 referees for parents which go down in the contract.

    parents can ensure we are who we say we are but we also have some right to know about them...and with the 30 hours of childcare this will be very important as the Childcare Bill is revealing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    After the initial interview and before signing a contract I ask for 2 referees for parents which go down in the contract.

    parents can ensure we are who we say we are but we also have some right to know about them...and with the 30 hours of childcare this will be very important as the Childcare Bill is revealing.
    That's interesting! How do parents react when you ask? I never thought of that. I have been very lucky with my parents and any I have had doubts about haven't come to me in the end anyway. Who do you have a referees?

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealady View Post
    That's interesting! How do parents react when you ask? I never thought of that. I have been very lucky with my parents and any I have had doubts about haven't come to me in the end anyway. Who do you have a referees?
    The request for 2 referees is in the contract and I ask for their names and a contact number.....I have heard of cms who ask for the employer's name too....I don't specify.

    Never had a problem and always have the 2 names.... they may give me the name of a previous practitioner if they have had to move from there
    That is useful so I can approach to get info on the child's progress and get to look at their LJ if possible..
    Also parents often ask me for references...so I give them a parent who has been in my setting and someone not connected with childcare.

    why do I ask for referees? just to reinforce I am entering into a legal contract and offering a service which has terms and conditions from both parties signing it.

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    I do think we are put in an unfair or unequal position by the confidentiality rules. A potential client can talk to current parent or ask for references from past customers, but we can't ask that parent's last childminder or nanny or nursery for honest feedback. I have had a couple of parents who have been a bit dodgy, to put it mildly, and would quite possibly never have taken them on if I had first spoken with their earlier childcare providers - in fact one of them denied that their children had ever been in childcare and we then met the previous childminder in the street! I have just ended a contract with someone. I do not trust her in the least as she has told me so many contradictory tales. I returned her deposit by cheque, which she has been very slow to bank. I am beginning to wonder if she has given me a false name as having money owed TO her is really not her style!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mummits View Post
    I do think we are put in an unfair or unequal position by the confidentiality rules. A potential client can talk to current parent or ask for references from past customers, but we can't ask that parent's last childminder or nanny or nursery for honest feedback. I have had a couple of parents who have been a bit dodgy, to put it mildly, and would quite possibly never have taken them on if I had first spoken with their earlier childcare providers - in fact one of them denied that their children had ever been in childcare and we then met the previous childminder in the street! I have just ended a contract with someone. I do not trust her in the least as she has told me so many contradictory tales. I returned her deposit by cheque, which she has been very slow to bank. I am beginning to wonder if she has given me a false name as having money owed TO her is really not her style!
    I think CMs need to write their confidentiality policies to 'cut both ways'. Clients inevitably gain information about us/our families, and a lot of us fail to state that such information is not to be made public, etc.

    There's nothing to stop you at least asking permission to speak to a prospective client's previous childcare setting - and maybe pointing out that you may draw conclusions from a parent who exercises their 'right to remain silent'. There are some questions you could ask to get relevant information which would not constitute a breach of confidentiality. If a parent leavs with an unpaid bill, that is a statement of fact: it is not sensitive/confidential data. It could constitute slander if it were untrue, but if it's true, then I see little problem.

    The truth is, a lot of CMs/groups operate a de facto 'blacklist' of bad debtors, unreliable parents, call it what you will. I've had the odd tip-off from other CMs myself, especially when I was starting out, which is when I was being approached by those mums who had already worked their way through every other CM in the village.

  18. #12
    Simona Guest

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    Parents get references about us we can get references about them...all fall in the 'Confidentiality' mantle.
    For those who do the EYPP or will do 30 hours of childcare the parents will need to provide us with a lot of personal details...see DfE sample for EYPP...all is in confidence.
    I won't digress but if unaware follow the Childcare Bill and see what the worries are in this area.

    When a child moves from one setting to another their records of progress should follow so we can see them...so the final assessment by that setting will be our starting points.
    It rarely happens... many cms report so.

    If I don't get any records from the previous setting I ask the parents ...have done it several times ...even had the previous settings records here during my inspection.
    When a child share cares and I am asked to see my records I share...all in confidence and following ICO guidelines...it goes without saying that the Confidentiality policy is both for parents and providers and also implies getting permission...that goes both ways too

    To stress this point read Wilshaw's speech about the EY report into inspections and performance which he gave yesterday...he is stressing the importance of sharing.

    If your contract does not include references...ring your association and ask how you can go about it ...if that is what you want.
    I agree there maybe unreliable parents but unreliability, especially in the 'non payment' issue, can be overcome with clear Terms and Conditions in our contract.and preventative measure that won't allow a parent not to pay....regardless of where those parents have been and what is talked about in cms circles.
    Last edited by Simona; 14-07-2015 at 08:49 AM.

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    There was a family looking for care for 2 children, 1 about to start school and one younger. I knew them from toddler groups that we both attended. Mum was a teacher and going back after maternity leave but only seemed interested in outstanding school's. Well she had a minder sorted whom then let her down. She rang me and left a message on my answer machine which lead with 'Hello I'm looking for a childminder, do you have any vacancies, I'm getting desperate'. Followed by an almost apologetic ' you were recommended'. Well obviously I wasn't good enough before she was desperate! Do unfortunately I didn't have any spaces left!

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    I would love to be in a position to pick and choose and vet! but unfortunately I have sooooo much competition now that my usually successful 'full' business is suddenly looking not so good! Lots of nurseries run by childminders suddenly popping up with all the flexibility of a childminder with all the equipment and resources of a nursery! what hope, they even do flexi contracts for shift workers and are open 7-7!

    I'm lucky if people give my services a second thought now let alone a text or call, not even rude ones! the mindees I did have half have moved away from the area or gone on maternity so haven't lost any to these places, but no new enquiries since they opened.

  21. #15
    Simona Guest

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    I think there is a difference between 'vetting' and getting references.
    It is not compulsory to get references...so no worries if CMs do not feel they want to do this.

  22. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    Parents get references about us we can get references about them...all fall in the 'Confidentiality' mantle.
    For those who do the EYPP or will do 30 hours of childcare the parents will need to provide us with a lot of personal details...see DfE sample for EYPP...all is in confidence.
    I won't digress but if unaware follow the Childcare Bill and see what the worries are in this area.

    When a child moves from one setting to another their records of progress should follow so we can see them...so the final assessment by that setting will be our starting points.
    It rarely happens... many cms report so.

    If I don't get any records from the previous setting I ask the parents ...have done it several times ...even had the previous settings records here during my inspection.
    When a child share cares and I am asked to see my records I share...all in confidence and following ICO guidelines...it goes without saying that the Confidentiality policy is both for parents and providers and also implies getting permission...that goes both ways too

    To stress this point read Wilshaw's speech about the EY report into inspections and performance which he gave yesterday...he is stressing the importance of sharing.

    If your contract does not include references...ring your association and ask how you can go about it ...if that is what you want.
    I agree there maybe unreliable parents but unreliability, especially in the 'non payment' issue, can be overcome with clear Terms and Conditions in our contract.and preventative measure that won't allow a parent not to pay....regardless of where those parents have been and what is talked about in cms circles.
    Apologies if this is off-topic, but here goes.

    Any idea where we stand on confidentiality when the 30 "free" hours comes in for "working families" as per the Queen's speech?

    I infer that parents will only qualify if they do #hours of work, but who checks this? Will they bring a letter to prove this (like funded 2yo's get a letter from the LA) ?

    If not, do we have to check they are working? and what right do e have to make enquiries with employers, etc.?

    What happens if someone is just lying? Or if they stop working but don't tell us and keep claiming? The LA would be under its public duty to recover the money from the CM. But the CM would have the Devil's own job enforcing a small claims court order if the parent is unemployed and has no means of paying.

    Any ideas?

  23. #17
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    Perhaps bunyip parents employers will be added to the "working together with other settings" so we can access information and reassurance they are working. Don't know what we do with the self employed??!

  24. #18
    Simona Guest

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    The 30 hours of childcare requires parents to give information on their employment....how that is to be obtained is still being debated and really not known
    Those who have followed the Childcare Bill through the House of Lords will be aware that there are serious issues on this which have also been reported in childcare publications

    No one can say what we need to do at this stage or what the LAs will require us to do in order to release the funding..we need to wait and see

    One of the issues is that parents could face jail for not giving the correct information....in turn this is also something providers may face if they do not get the info required.....this has been discussed elsewhere in the forum

    It sounds as if this new promise was rushed by the govt at the very last minute of the election but not thought out.

    To relate this to this thread is not easy...references are testimonials on characters ...not sure they have anything to do with the increased hours in childcare or employment status.
    We just need to stay tuned and see what happens...the summer break is now on and govt will not return for a long time....what happens now is a guess.
    It may be good to follow the new Big Childcare Conversation which will address all these questions....info is on the ICMs section for those interested....I posted that today.

 

 

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