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Childminders notice

(23 Posts)
ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 20:04:42

How much notice would you expect from a childminder who was discontinuing service?
Just trying to find out if it's 1-2 months as I would expect or pretty much as short of notice as they like (not covered in contract)
Thanks smile

NickNacks Mon 12-Nov-12 20:06:31

Surely it's in the contract?? Period of time to give notice on either side is usually 4 weeks.

Flisspaps Mon 12-Nov-12 20:07:22

Whatever notice period is in the contract for any other reason. My standard notice is 4 weeks, so I'd give at least that - regardless of why.

GrimAndHumourless Mon 12-Nov-12 20:08:56

unless an emergency, 4 weeks standard

HSMM Mon 12-Nov-12 21:04:13

Surprised it's not in the contract. Ask the CM and if you think the notice is unreasonable, see what you can negotiate.

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:04:48

Thanks for advice everyone.

It's not in the contract. I should have made sure of this from the beginning but as I stay at home it's not as much of an issue as if I had worked. I mAinly find it sad for my ds1 that he didn't get to say goodbye to her or anyone, and that I had all ready reminded him today that he'd be going tomorrow..... I'm now unsure how to explain to him that he won't go there again confused

She has given me less than a days notice.

It's a long story but essentially she didn't like me asking about her procedures. sad I asked in a friendly way and wasn't trying to be accusatory at all, however she said she felt I was "questioning her environment" and that perhaps it wasn't right for me/ my son. I had even said it was a question I would ask of any nursery / child are provider. )

After a recent outbreak of hand foot and mouth disease (her son was the first to display symptoms) I asked what sort of disinfecting she does/ has done. I didn't think or insinuate she doesn't do any sad in fact I assumed she did and as a responsible parent just wanted to enquire as to what it was ( thought maybe I'd see if there were any tips I could glean). I guess I would have thought she would want to reassure parents about spread of germs etc?

At any rate this is the main reason she has cited for cancelling the services she provided. The other reason was that I had offered a suggestion about maybe sharing some advice regarding illness with the other parents in case they didn't know. sad she said she found it offensive. The advice was simply that a fever can indicate infection and that someone has a contagious infection.... Nothing earth shatteringly offensive.

I've written her a long email basically saying I'm disappointed and why....
She is new to this, but I still would have expected more, or atleast some sort of warning...Or a discussion? Or her saying how she felt to give me a chance to explain that my enquiry was innocently intended?

I'm starting to suspect that actually its due to her finding a family with 2 kids who she can make more money from sad

I have never had any other negative feedback from her, so it went from literally nothing to she can no longer look after my son.

She sent the email today at 11.30 and he was due at hers tomorrow at 815 am.

Flisspaps Mon 12-Nov-12 22:08:23

Sounds very odd.

Were you in a four week trial period or anything (I have one where no notice is required, but after that its four weeks unless its a really serious incident that completely destroys a working relationship, eg violence)

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:15:44

Some of What I've said in response To her cancellation is:

I am surprised that you would cancel our agreement on such short notice and respond to some parental concerns and simple questions in such an extreme manner, especially given the "good faith" favour email I provided you with for your Ofsted application.

I am shocked that you would react this way instead of letting me know how you are feeling and discussing it with me. To get this kind of response after having had no negative feedback is, well, surprising to say the least. It is very “out of the blue”.

I have never heard of a childcare provider ending service over something like this (questions about policy and procedure from a parent) and with less than 24 hours’ notice.  Standard notice periods are 1 or 2 months.

You have never spoken to me of any problems you have had with my son, or my family or my emails before, so I feel your reaction in cancelling his care with less than 24 hours’ notice is not in keeping with our agreement, unprofessional and an example of poor customer service. 

What if I had plans tomorrow or was a working parent as Dh is? Would you cancel on a working parent with such short notice? It’s unreasonable to expect a parent to find alternative arrangements when given 21 hours notice.

In addition to this, you are aware that you were Ds1 first outside of the home childcare. A child’s relationship with their care providers and other children is important.

I had already told Ds1 this morning that he would be going to see you and Your son tomorrow.... how confusing to him that he won’t be, and that his time with you has been ended so abruptly. This is NOT what is best for children and NOT the way to look after children. He should have been given an opportunity to say goodbye to your son, other kids, yourself etc.

I find it very sad and disappointing that my sons first experience of childcare outside the home has ended this way and so abruptly.

I don’t understand how you could take offence at the questions I asked, or my suggestion in relation to the onset of contagion, and making sure the other parents have all the information.

The questions were very innocent; I clearly stated that they were questions I would ask of any nursery etc.  I did not criticise your cleaning or environment.  I merely asked what you do as status quo and what you were doing in response to this outbreak.  Wouldn’t you ask the same if Your son caught some nasty bug at nursery if they hadn’t informed you of any actions they were taking? Wouldn’t you want to know?

If I didn’t ask I would not be a responsible parent.  I feel it is my responsibility to know about the environment where Ds1 will be spending his time.

You will see if you re-read my message that I assumed you would be doing something and was just enquiring as to what it was. Of course a parent would want to know what you are doing as common practice, and you should expect to get these types of questions.

As for the advice, it’s also innocent.  Running a business means that you will get comments and suggestions all the time. You don’t have to follow it, however sometimes maybe someone will have a good idea. Also maybe parents DON’T genuinely know about what I was suggesting, and maybe it would be a good idea to inform them.  Getting some thoughts from a parent and a suggestion shouldn’t be something to take offense to. 

Its poor business practice to over-react and cancel service because someone wants to know what your practices are (which they PAY for) and because they make an innocent suggestion.


I then shared a couple other concerns I had sad (she gossiped to me about other parents and children and childminders etc). I had tried to take it easy and not say anything as she is new to childminding, but I know that child minders aren't meant to do that (I did childminder training in London as I briefly considered it myself before we moved out if London).

It's really surprised me to be let down this way....

Her email literally cited no other reasons.

ReetPetit Mon 12-Nov-12 22:16:37

sorry op but it seems she has taken massive offensive at what you have said. it may not have been your intention but for her to give notice you must have said it in a way that made her feel you were putting her down/questioning her hygiene. have you made comments like this before? maybe this was the final straw for her? not saying it was intentional, just trying to work out why she could have reacted so badly....

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:18:48

Nope, he had been attending since July (as I wanted him to start before ds2 was born in September).

No violence on either side sad nothing that was in her exclusion policy etc.

It's so weird I didn't know what to do besides email her about how disappointing I find it.... So far no response, but it's only been1/2 an hour and it took me 6 hours to write a measured response to her email. sad

I'm just shocked.

ReetPetit Mon 12-Nov-12 22:21:32

it seems she dislikes you. maybe she feels you have overstepped the mark in advising her how to run her business? why was she gossiping about you to other parents/carers and who told you? this means she must have had other issues with you before this...
perhaps she felt she could give notice like this as you don't work? if you have no notice period in the contract, im afraid there is nothing you can do about it.

it's a shame for your ds though sad

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:22:23

Never made comments before.

Never questioned this sort of stuff before, but given that she is so new to childminding (my son was like her second mindee) and that she is very laid back generally about things, I just wanted to "make sure" that what I thought would/ should be happening was in fact happening,..... I mean how do you know if you don't ask?

And if you don't ask are you a responsible parent?

It is the sort off thing that you'd normally ask BEFORE your child starts, but I didn't want to overwhelm her with too many questions if you know what I mean?

ReetPetit Mon 12-Nov-12 22:23:28

what did you think/advise her she should be doing then??

lechatnoir Mon 12-Nov-12 22:26:27

I'm not surprised you're shocked & angry. If everything is as you say on here then this is a ludicrous over-reaction on her behalf and I suspect you're right about her finding a better offer. Are you sure there is no notice period in the contract? I'm amazed either you or she can just decide one day to cancel the service the next without any financial penalty. Do you pay in advance or pay a deposit as I'd be making damn sure I got all that back if nothing else!! Sorry this has ended so badly op but this is most definitely not the norm for a CM sad

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:27:35

Sorry maybe my message was confusing, but I do not know if she has gossiped about me, only that she gossiped TO me about other mums, other children and another childminder on her street.

Maybe she didn't like my question or comment, but wouldn't you normally just say so? And shouldn't a CM expect questions about how they do things?

I know I can't do anything re the notice if it's not in the contract. It mostly saddens me for my son PFB.....

I'm sure I can however report my concerns re her gossiping and sharing confidential info re other families to Ofsted?

I have really really not wanted to be offensive sad but also really really try to be a good mum and look out for my son .... That has to come first and to do that I had to atleast ASK what she was doing to disinfect after the outbreak .... Atleast I thought?

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:29:48

Reet - please see below some text copied directly from my message to her re my question (re disinfecting) and advice that maybe she should let other parents know (in case they don't) that a fever can indicate an infection.... sad

HSMM Mon 12-Nov-12 22:31:13

It's a shame your son has no closure, but it sounds like your relationship has broken down now and you need to move on. Maybe it is just because she's new and still learning how to deal with 'customers', but a great shame.

ReetPetit Mon 12-Nov-12 22:36:45

i don't mean to be rude op, but you don't need to inform a childminder that she needs to tell other parents that a temperature indicates infection hmm

it seems things have gone too far now and for whatever reason she feels unable to care for your son. best to let this go now and move on. at least you are not working so you can take your time finding alternative care.

Ofsted would not be interested in her talking to you about other chiildminders/parents by the way...

ThePinkNinja Mon 12-Nov-12 22:49:58

Thanks for the comments ...
Just wanted to know I wasn't crazy for thinking a days notice is freaking ridiculous.

I know I have to move on.... It doesn't stop me being angry for a day.... Or so

Totally thought it was in Ofsted requirements that cm's treat personal information confidentially.... Anyway that's not the main issue... Just a tangent...

I have asked her for a photo copy of my signed contract and will check through there re notice, but it is not listed in any of her policies ...but even then not sure if it matters. She doesn't want to look after my son anymore and theres nothing I can do about that. It has all gone too far and is over.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy to think that a days notice is ridiculous.

Reet- I know I didn't "need" to tell her re infection, but I don't see how it Could be that inflammatory either.., my son has been quite ill from this, and I have a newborn and neither are sleeping due to this, so ya know maybe she couldve just cut me some slack and let it slide as unwanted info? Or just mentioned to me that she didn't like it? Ive never done it before, and she is my sons first CM so she could say to me- hey it's not cool to offer your thoughts?- know what I mean? I would have said, oh, I'm sorry I didn't mean any offence at all. My apologies, clearly in my sleep deprived state I didn't think it through..... But really I don't see that it's something she should have discontinued service over. I basically think she over reacted and I'm just surprised.

I agree. Clearly she was offended.

ZuleikaD Tue 13-Nov-12 07:43:58

Childminders are bound by the data protection act which means that personal information they hold about the child is confidential, but it's not an Ofsted thing and gossip about other parents is only bound by someone's personal moral standpoint!

I'm surprised that you don't have your own copy of the contract - all my parents have duplicate copies. I agree that a day's notice is ridiculous but given how offended she appears to be (and it sounds like a massive overreaction to me that suggests that actually she may not have been taking the appropriate precautions) your son is better off not being there for a long notice period.

Unlurked Tue 13-Nov-12 08:05:09

I think she has behaved terribly! I'm in scotland so maybe inspections are different here but my CIO places huge importance on sharing information with parents and looking for feedback. I think it's totally reasonable to have a conversation with her about the infectionthat has affected the cm's setting. I would be doing my best to ensure my parents knew what I was doing to prevent the spread of infection in her situation. So maybe with the temp as a sign of infection thing you told her something she already knew, it's really not a reason to end a contract confused.

In your position I think I would let ofsted know about your experience with this cm so it can be taken into consideration at her next inspection.

shesariver Tue 13-Nov-12 10:38:17

Notice period should definately be in the contract and a day is not acceptable. Bit suprised you dont have your own copy of your contract really.

Flisspaps Tue 13-Nov-12 11:49:44

All sounds very odd. You should have a copy of the contract from the start, as well
as having sight of policies and procedures.

However, I have to admit I'd be a bit hmm being quizzed as to what I'd done re. infection control and being told to tell other parents, but I'd answer questions and reassure - not give notice. I feel, as a CM, that the parents of my charges should trust me to take appropriate actions where necessary, and not feel the need to 'check up'.

I don't think your email was necessary, again I'd be hmmconfused at receiving that but it seems there's no longer a working relationship to worry about, and your (ex?) CM sounds rather unprofessional in general. I suspect you are right in your thoughts about the other two minded children.

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