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Tricky situation with childminder - what to do???

(13 Posts)
emmaluxford Thu 16-Jun-11 19:31:26

I have been using a childminder for about a year for my son who is in year 2, from 3pm school finish time to 6pm Monday to Friday. To begin with, she was fantastic, but every other week or so, for about 3 months she is saying that she cannot do a pick-up because she has other commitments - usually with two hours notice!!!. I work in care, and I am frustrated at having to leave people who depend on me because the person I pay to look after my child in woefully inadequate.

My friend has offered to take my son home from school instead, but as my childminder is seen as 'the queen bee' in childminding circles I worry that my friend will be marginalised for doing so.

Basically, how do I let this childminder down tactfully, and how do I broach the subject of someone she knows taking my child instead? Help!!!

needanewname Thu 16-Jun-11 19:36:04

Why let her down gently.

You need to be professional about this and let her know that 2 hours notice is not acceptable. If she is unable to commit to the hours in the contract then you will have to look elsewhere for childcare. She doesn;t need to know its your friend.

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 16-Jun-11 19:45:47

2 hours notice is not acceptable except in an emergency

give notice - you could say that reliability is paramount to support your working and that you have been disappointed with the times she has let you down*

no need to say where you intend to place your child in the future, none of her business

*she may have an ongoing illness that she has not disclosed to you, entailing visits to a clinic at short notice or something like this, fair enough but your care needs for your child outweigh her personal circs IYSWIM. I am aware that I am being harsh but I HATE unprofessionalism

TheOriginalFAB Thu 16-Jun-11 19:47:34

Queen Bee bollocks. She is letting you down, give her notice and sort out someone reliable.

emmaluxford Thu 16-Jun-11 19:49:49

I am in complete agreement with you both. She took her children out of school during term time to go on a cruise!!! So I had no childcare for two weeks and had to PAY HER to go!!!

I will def tell her next week.

Has anyone else had similar issues? I hate confrontation but I feel I now have no choice.

needanewname Thu 16-Jun-11 20:16:06

She's taking the piss.

I think she needs a warning rather than just letting her go now.

You need to sit down and go through the contract. Talk about the fact that you need someone reliable, 2 hours notice is not enough. Holidays are to be taken in school holidays, explain why. If she is not able to meet these requirements then let her know that it won't work for you and give her notice.

apotomak Thu 16-Jun-11 21:10:14

I don't think you have to mention other arrangements you're going to have. Just give her a written notice as it's written in your contract (usually 4 weeks) and leave it at that. If she ask for a reason just say you need somebody reliable and she has let you down many times and you just can rely on her any more.
As for her behaviour it is absolutely unacceptable and unprofessional ... I would never leave a parent with such short notice ... on one occasion when I was involved in a car accident and was due to mind in 30 minutes ... I still managed to sort out back up childcare for the mindee.

MUM2BLESS Thu 16-Jun-11 21:39:40

Its not good enough. If you have a contract with her then she should really do the pick up. Its different if an emergency arises and she cannot. Do you still pay for this?

If I was in your situation I was think about changing cms. As a childminder of six and mother of four I know how important it is to have reliable childcare (that gives you peace of mind).

Every cm is different, check what they are offering as yoy will be very surprised how different we are.

All the best in choosing, woudl you consider after school club?


clutteredup Thu 16-Jun-11 21:44:56

If your agreement with the CM is for her to pick up from school and she's not able to do this for whatever reason then you have no need to honour your side of the contract as she is breaking hers. If a CM can't pick up from school as agreed then she isn't doing what you are paying her for. If there is a personal reason for it she needs to tell you and then you can choose to be sympathetic as relevant but what's the point in having a CM if you have to make other arrangements after school -I take it she's not charging for these sessions.
Sorry might sound harsh but you need a CM you can rely on.

Scholes34 Thu 16-Jun-11 22:26:12

On the issue of your friend picking up DS. If you do ahead with this arrangement, treat her how you'd like to be treated yourself in the same situation. Pay regularly and on-time. If she refuses to accept payment, give her something in kind. Be sure not to take her for granted and spoil what sounds like a good friendship.

Numnums Fri 17-Jun-11 11:19:02

If you use your friend, and you pay her (either money or in 'kind') then either she or you (or both of you) will get into trouble...because you will be using someone who is not registered to care for children (sometimes called Unregistered Childminder)...I agree that current CM is not being fair and 2 hours notice is not acceptable...personally I would find a new CM.

Flisspaps Fri 17-Jun-11 11:26:15

Numnums - as long as no money changes hands then it is ok to use a friend who is unregistered. Goods and services are deemed to be acceptable - from the Ofsted leaflet Childminding between friends:

You do not need to register with us if your friend gives you goods or services in exchange for childcare. Goods and services are things like repairing your friend’s washing machine or car; or buying a bag of groceries.

This was cleared up following the Ofsted investigation into two police officers who were friends, not registered as childminders but offering reciprocal care for each other's children. If cash or vouchers exchange hands then you need to register.

cinpin Sat 18-Jun-11 15:33:21

If it was me I would just keep quiet if you were paying your friend nobody would know.

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