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To have expected a bit more notice?

(31 Posts)
missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 13:50:18

Or is it reasonable for my cm to tell me today she is taking a 2 week holiday in 2 weeks time, i know she is entitled to take it at some point but just expected a bit more notice than this, neither dp or I have that amount of time spare to take as leave and no family we can rely on, she said it was a last minute booking and i dont begrudge her the time off, im just really worried about finding replacement childcare at such short notice. I also remember last year she forgot to tell me she was going on holiday until really late in the day but we were lucky then we had some family to fall back on. I just feel a bit wrongfooted or am i BU?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 27-Jun-11 13:52:57

Yes, I would expect notice to be in the contract and to know much further in advance.

However, you knew she was going to take a certain amount according to the contract so you need to keep enough holiday to cover it anyway.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 27-Jun-11 13:59:18

No you are not being unreasonable, I'd expect six to eight weeks notice of holidays like that. And if she's done it two years in a row you really need to be looking for a better childminder frankly.

oneofthosedays Mon 27-Jun-11 13:59:37

My cm used to try and give several months notice where possible, not weeks, there were a couple of hospital appts for her DD that she was apologetic at giving only a couple of weeks notice and then still offered to take DS with her (we managed to get something else sorted). I would say a couple of weeks is good enough for a day or two but not 2 weeks, we'd have been screwed if that were us a my works leave gets booked up nearly a year in advance (I kid you not!), is there no alternative cm she can ask for back up?

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:00:25

Well it was never going to be a case of taking the time off work as we use the fortnight slot to go away as a family on holiday, its just finding replacement childcare is going to be a PITA, wereas if we'd have had longer to organise we could have looked for another CM or creche in the area for that period and dd would have been able to get used to her new, albeit temporary surroundings, as it is with calling around this afternoon the only thing we can find in the area is a creche which dont offer temporary places and dp is pushing for a premanant move, i feel a little uneasy with this in case cm thinks we are trying to be spiteful for the short notice however i cant see any other option atm, gah stress city!

Flisspaps Mon 27-Jun-11 14:03:08

Just to play devil's advocate, she's not put the dates in months and months worth of newsletters (or on her website) and is now giving you a verbal reminder now as well though, has she? Just thinking although the booking is last minute, she might have decided on those weeks and then found the holiday after.

If not, then YANBU. But if you look through past newsletters and it's there then YABU. My dates are on my website and in my parent pack and I make sure that parents know when I'm off when they come for their first visit!

Portofino Mon 27-Jun-11 14:03:19

This was the big reason we went for a nursery over a childminder, tbh. Open all year, no nasty surprises. I would be hopping if I were you.

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:06:26

Yes i am a bit frustrated this is the second year in a row we have been left scrambling for alternative childcare, no there were no offers of back up from our cm which im presuming she would have offered at the time of breaking the news.

Flisspaps Mon 27-Jun-11 14:11:04

Not all childminders take their holiday at short notice.

I think your DH has a point about changing carers if she's left you in the cack two years running - you need someone who not only is ace with your DD but who is reliable and offers the service you need - which doesn't include giving you two weeks notice for her holiday! It's not being spiteful to move over short notice periods, it's sensible. If you really don't want to move your DD then ask to amend the contract to state that she needs to give you 4 weeks written notice of any holiday periods so that you can arrange alternative childcare.

WhoAteMySnickers Mon 27-Jun-11 14:13:52

YANBU. I'd expect a minimum of four weeks notice. This was one of the many reasons I chose a nursery over a childminder.

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:14:49

Flisspaps no she doesnt offer a newletter or have any kind of website so it definately wasnt mentioned before, we also had a chat earlier in the year and she specifically told me she had no plans and would probably just take her holidays in a few day slots so i wasnt expecting anything, however i know she is entitled to change her mind, but expected if she did I would have plenty of notice, I dont know of many people who would be able to take a fortnight off in any job with such short notice, i think a permenant move is our only option at this stage, which is a pity as dd really likes her, and I ideally wouldnt have liked to part on these terms, but she is slightly scatty (always late etc) and I can see why dp is pushing for something more reliable.

ashamedandconfused Mon 27-Jun-11 14:18:49

surely you have a contract? what does it say there?

ashamedandconfused Mon 27-Jun-11 14:19:17

(about notice to be given of dates she cannot have your DC, I meant)

RevoltingPeasant Mon 27-Jun-11 14:21:14

OP I don't have DCs yet so am not in this position, but I can tell you that when/ if I do, this kind of mucking about would leave me in an impossible position because my work has certain inflexible times when I must be there. This must also be the case for lots of other people - policemen, teachers, lecturers, surgeons, all sorts who can't move their shifts/ classes/ clinics around. Surely your CM must see this is unreasonable!

I am with your DH on this. Also, it has made me think about what kind of childcare I want to use - nursery seems significantly more expensive round our way compared to CMs but I think it might be worth it!!

ashamedandconfused Mon 27-Jun-11 14:28:27

RP - "OP I don't have DCs yet so am not in this position, but I can tell you that when/ if I do, this kind of mucking about would leave me in an impossible position because my work has certain inflexible times when I must be there. This must also be the case for lots of other people - policemen, teachers, lecturers, surgeons, all sorts who can't move their shifts/ classes/ clinics around. Surely your CM must see this is unreasonable!"

but what if your DC was sick and could not go to the CM anyway? You'd need an alternative carer you can call on at the last minute (eg a grandparent) or one parent has to take time off. Employers, to some extent, have to accept that people are going to take parental leave for a family crisis now and then. Once you are a parent the children come first.

even the best nurseries let you down at times too ! Shut for snow, boiler breakdown, vehicle crashed into fence & police on site investigating, water mains burst, and road being resurfaced so no access are just a few i can think of that affected my 3 at some point!

The OPs case though is very annoying as its not "emergency" its the CMs holiday plans. VERY unfair of her to give so little notice.

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:30:00

AAC i have just checked the contract and the notice period is 4 weeks, so she is in breach of contract, ive also just noticed it is 4 weeks notice in regards to ending the contract, would this still stand even though it is her breach of contract that has forced our hand in finding childcare elsewhere? I am happy to pay her holidays acrued so far but will then be paying double the amount in childcare for the next month if having to pay her 4 weeks also grin

ashamedandconfused Mon 27-Jun-11 14:34:21

Hmmm, good question. If she has already breached her contract then I dont see she can complain. You can always give HER the option of sorting you out a qualified CM to cover her leave, with her paying any excess,if she makes a fuss.

personally once there is any bad feeling for any reason, i would not want her looking after my child.

Insomnia11 Mon 27-Jun-11 14:34:32

I would negotiate with her as she has breached the contract - say you will allow her to take the holiday but with no pay as she hasn't given adequate notice.

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:34:44

I have no idea why i put a smiley face at the end of my post lol, yes there have been times in emergencies were we have been let down as is the same with nurseries, in this case it is only reasonable either dp or I take the time off, but this has usually been a day or 2 at most, and although can still happen with a nursery there is a lot less chance and will only happen in genuine emergencies, I think my mind has been made up tbh, although I am dreading giving the news!

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:39:56

Sorry that was mind made up to go with the nursery, as a pp said if there is any bad blood stirred up over this I dont want that uneasy feeling hanging over, as well as the fact a nursery seems our only option of stable childcare at the minute, yes i think 2 weeks holiday pay sounds reasonable especially as we are going to be very out of pocket with deposits and a month upfront childcare for the nursery.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 27-Jun-11 14:45:53

If the contract says 4 weeks notice then you can tell her not to take the holiday. She shouldn't have booked it without consulting you first if she wanted to give less than her contracted notice. She drew this contract up, so should stick to the terms.

When I was a CM, I charged if the parents took holiday, but not if I did. If she takes the holiday, I definitely wouldn't pay her. When she returns you could give the 4 weeks notice, but use the service, so you are not paying for time you don't use. Arrange it so your child starts somewhere else once the notice period has ended.

If you do decide to let her go on the holiday, tell her you want her to arrange a back up CM to cover this.

If you say no to the holiday, (which she has presumably paid for), she might give you notice herself in which case you could agree to pay her for the next 2 weeks and then stop paying and using the service as she will be away and unable to work.

missmalteser Mon 27-Jun-11 14:56:59

KB I think the fact she booked the holiday knowing it was short notice sort of says its all really, so i doubt very much she would cancel it, and I cant use the 4 weeks notice as she will be away on hol for 2 of them, and if giving her the notice on her return still leaves us in the predicament of finding alternative childcare for 2 weeks, then having dd return to cm, then finding other childcare after the 4 week notice period is up, which is causing more problems than its solving really, and I would rather find dd somewhere she can settle into asap now i know this is whats happening. I feel we have made the right decision but hate any kind of confrontation like this so I hope it doesnt get arsey.

If she is in breach of contract by giving you less than 4 weeks notice the issue is whether or not the breach is serious enough to allow you to terminate (possibly not given that you knew she would take 2 weeks at some point).

If not then you could, in theory, ask her to make good the difference between the cost of the "emergency /short notice" childcare you put in place and the cost of the childcare you would have been able to source had she given you 4 weeks notice.

I think you best bet is to sit down and talk it through with her and come to an agreement on the date of termination of the contract and the amount that it is reasonable to pay her.
You could give her the 4 weeks notice now, she has your DD for the next 2 weeks whilst you find a nursery then she moves permanently to the nursery when your CM goes on holiday.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 27-Jun-11 15:17:37

In that case, I'd give her the notice now. Give her the option of either working the full 4 weeks and getting paid for 4 weeks or keeping her holiday but not getting paid for it. She broke the contract first, not you. Even if you knew she'd be taking a holiday at some point, she still has to adhere to the terms of the agreement that she drew up.

Think you have to be a bit confrontational here, because she is not worrying about you. She has pretty much given you a take it or leave it situation.

Perhaps your DH could handle this, if you feel really uncomfortable with confrontation?

knittedbreast Mon 27-Jun-11 15:23:50

yabu. but shes hired help, i get it....

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