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CM club - snow policy

(20 Posts)
HiccupHaddockHorrendous Mon 21-Jan-13 21:14:23

Just wondering what others do about fees when there's snow.

Do you charge or not?

On Friday, I should have had three mindees but all cancelled and my DS' school was shut.

Today, 4 (different mindees) cancelled and the other two came as normal...DS' school and mindee's school both open.

As we've got more snow forecast tonight, I'm expecting at least two cancellations tomorrow.

I can't really afford to not be paid but I feel bad about charging when parents haven't been able to get to me or to work and possibly not be paid themselves.

HSMM Mon 21-Jan-13 21:48:55

I get paid when I'm available and I have been available, so I've been paid (mind you ... all the children turned up too).

SizzleSazz Mon 21-Jan-13 21:52:23

I always paid as my CM was always available (i did not use school runs so as long as she was at home she was 'available')

We pretty much always turned up too though as we have a heavy duty 4x4 grin

Dontbreakcharacter Mon 21-Jan-13 21:58:35

I always charge if its the parent decision to keep them off for whatever reason. If was your decision then no charge.
Obviously it's bad for the parents if they don't get paid but as mean as it sounds that's not your problem as you're trying to run a business.
( must learn to listen to my own advice!!)

minderjinx Mon 21-Jan-13 22:02:42

I charge if I am available. Last year when the school was closed one of the parents stayed home with their kids all day then walked them around - through snow too deep to drive in - to my house at 3:15 so they could still have their "after school" place until 6pm.

Dontbreakcharacter Mon 21-Jan-13 22:10:37

I can believe that minderjinx, I have one of "those" parents too!! ....

HelenLynn Mon 21-Jan-13 22:15:42

I'd certainly pay my son's childminder if she were available but we were unable to travel to her. (I'm pretty sure it's in the contract, but even if it weren't, it wouldn't occur to me to do otherwise.)

SizzleSazz Mon 21-Jan-13 22:18:10

We took our 2 to the childminder so DH and i could go sledging blush

Disclaimer: DC hated snow and ice when v. small

Not sure I agree with the "those parents" definition hmm You've confirmed you would still charge as you were available, so to demonise parents who choose to utilise you (as paid for) seems very unfair.

In my case, if I'd had to WFH with the kids, I would need those hours in the afternoon to catch up with calls etc. that couldn't be done with children yabbering on in the background - or that might just be my lot... grin

minderjinx Tue 22-Jan-13 06:44:39

I don't think I was "demonising" anyone.

looneytune Tue 22-Jan-13 06:55:30

I have a policy which covers this should you find it useful in the future:

School Closures or other unforeseen events

If I provide before and/or after school care for your child and the school is closed during term time for any reason, the fee is still payable as long as my usual service is available. If you need all day childcare due to this, I am happy to care for your child, as long as I am within my allowed number of children. In this case the fee would be for the day instead of the before/after school session. If for any other reason your child doesn’t attend my setting (i.e. very bad weather etc) but I am available, full fees are due. If for any reason I am unable to do the usual dropping off and collecting from school, i.e. because I have carried out a risk assessment and decided it is too dangerous (i.e. bad weather) or if my car breaks down etc, I will contact the parents affected immediately and you will be refunded for that day. Alternatively your child may be able to come to me for the whole day and you will only be charged the usual outside of school hour’s fee.

In the event of my setting being without water, heating, cooking facilities etc, depending on the problem, it may not be possible to provide my usual childcare service. For example, if my heating breaks down in the warm weather, it’s unlikely to cause a problem so I would be open for business as usual, however if this was in the cold weather and my house was too cold, I would have to decide whether or not I have an alternative method of safely heating my house. It may be that the lounge is warm enough but not the playroom, in that case I would contact the parents and let them decide whether or not they were happy with me opening with the playroom out of bounds. I may possibly use an oil filled radiator to provide adequate heating. It may be that I can still provide a service but not home based that day i.e. activities in the community and eating out instead of at my setting.

I aim to provide a perfect environment for your children but in the event of any problems which would alter the service I can provide, I will review the situation and decide whether or not I am able to provide a service for that day and if I can, ensure parents are happy with what I propose.

nokidshere Tue 22-Jan-13 11:18:51

I dont have a policy particularly for snow. If the parents can get to me and then wfh or go to work then I am always available. If they decide they need to take a snow day they still pay me as I am still available.

And if they wanted to spend the day with their children and bring them to me for after school hours so they can get stuff done then thats also fine by me.

blondefriend Wed 23-Jan-13 17:08:28

I would expect my CM to charge during a snow day as she looks after my DS in her own house and would be happy to have him. It's not her fault if I can't get there.

I must be "one of those parents". I often send my DC to childcare when I don't go to work. Usually to get paperwork done, sometimes to spend time with one without the other but sometimes just to sit and read my very neglected book.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Wed 23-Jan-13 17:28:38

Thanks for all the replies.

I know most of my parents won't think twice about paying but I also know there will be one or two who will quibble.

Borntobeamum Thu 24-Jan-13 10:18:25

How would you put this in your policy?!
Parent sent this text to me on Monday.

Hiya. I will be bringing xxx slightly later due to snow. As I have to walk, and not going into work can I stay at your house with her to save me walking home then back to collect?

I said no as she wasn't crb checked!
I had to think quickly of an excuse other No you bloody cant!

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Thu 24-Jan-13 10:50:19

What an unusual request!

I'm not sure if I'd have been able to say no (because I'm a wimp and wouldn't have thought of a reason quick enough grin). However, I don't think I'd actually mind any of my parents spending some time here. How long was mindee due to be with you?

Infact, thinking about it, one of my parents did this before Christmas. Mindee only comes for 3 hours and mum's appointment had been cancelled at the last minute so she asked if she could stay for an hour or so.

Borntobeamum Thu 24-Jan-13 14:58:16

It was a 8am - 5pm place.
Don't get me wrong, at pick up time I will quite often happily chat away but I really don't want a mum sat there all day!

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Thu 24-Jan-13 15:10:38

Crikey, that's a long time grin. I'm not sure I could manage that long.

BoffinMum Mon 28-Jan-13 15:17:31

TBH if I was using a CM I would expect to pay for any days I had booked and he/she was open.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Mon 28-Jan-13 17:23:46

Thanks, Boffin. It's good to hear from the parents' point of view aswell.

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