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Childminder poorly - problem

(25 Posts)
35London35 Sat 02-Nov-13 00:39:10

Got a phone call today to say our childminder has been in hospital for a week (and still is!) and wont be able to work next week. She is fantastic and we all love her to bits - were not even sure why she was in hospital but to be in for a week sounds serious.

She is fairly elderly for a childminder and we think her health could be deteriorating and were not too sure what to do?

Our child is 3 in the next few weeks so we were looking at starting a nursery with her in January anyway to take advantage of our 15 hrs and the fact we think she is ready to be around more kids her age and a different environment.

Next week both my partner and I are having to take time off work to look after our child and we are not even sure if the following week our childminder will be well enough to start childminding again.

With this is mind we spent today looking around nurseries to see what we thought...some we liked some we didnt!

At the moment we are basically just waiting for a call from our childminder (when she gets out of hospital) to let us know whats going on and where we stand. Could easily fine things stay the same....or im too ill to continue.

If our childminder is ill for the next few weeks what should we do?

Should we put our child in a nursery ASAP and just have it sorted and taken care of? we do feel a bit rushed doing that and our LO wont really have much settling in time and will be basically dumped in the new nursery to get on with it (sounds awful) - she is quite robust and take new situations and new people really well. (not even sure what the nursery policies are on settling in periods?!?!)

we dont want to swap to another CM for just a few weeks until after Xmas...want to keep the disruption to a minimum

Or should we hang around for a few weeks waiting for a childminder to get better? (not actually sure we can both take that much time off work without it becoming a problem!)

any advice?

ReetPetit Sat 02-Nov-13 08:12:35

You are jumping the gun a bit here tbh. Does your cm have a backup cm you could use?
Whichever way it goes (and best nother to jump to conclusions - you don't want to offend anyone!)
You are going to have to pay notice and take some time off work to settle your ddi into nursery. Personally, i wouldn't rush into putting her in a nursery before you planned on it - it's an important decision. It sounds like your dd has been with cm for a while and it is important the transition is smooth as possible - try not to get ahead of yourself!!

HSMMaCM Sat 02-Nov-13 08:39:48

See if one of the nurseries you like could do some part time emergency care. That way, you don't have to miss as much work and you can get a taster of whether nursery is the route you want to take.

Remember your CM may be able to offer you the free 15 hrs and may have gone into hospital for something very simple, which has dragged on due to an infection or something. (I took a week off for an OP a few years ago and ended up being off for a month)

Alternatively, does your CM look after other children? Can you do a rota to help each other out?

superzero Sat 02-Nov-13 08:49:20

My CM had a network of other local childminder friends who met up with the children regularly.When she was hospitalised her husband sent me a text with one of their numbers and between them we arranged care for DS,he went to whoever had a space that day.It meant that he wasn't at the same house every day but at least recognised them and knew the children.
Could you arrange something like that?

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 02-Nov-13 09:37:09

I'm assuming you/she took last week as holiday - seems weird your cm has been in hospital for a week and you didn't know - tho obv cm doesn't have to reveal personal situations - maybe she thought a week would be enough to cover whatever op/treatment she was having?

Who has your dd last week?

Cm can give 15hrs of childcare but also agree at 3 some children need nursery

I would ask cm politely and carefully how long she thinks she needs off so that you can find alternative childcare while she is ill - a perfectly normal thing for any parent using childcare needs to know

You can then make other plans - normally cm and nannies have a back up plan or people they can ask

If not then I suggest a temp nanny or between you taking the week off

Hope your cm is ok

35London35 Sat 02-Nov-13 10:33:14

Thanks everyone,

think we were jumping the gun a bit.
It was half term last week and I am a teacher so LO was with me all week.

We are looking into other local child minders and will spend next week having a look and seeing if any would be happy to take our LO for the short term if our regular childminder doesn't recover in time.

shes still in Hospital this weekend (as far as I know - just been told by one of the other mums who spoke to her husband) I don't like to pry so will probably give her a ring midweek next week and ask her politely how long she thinks she needs off....then I will be able to tell the "new" CM what kind of time-frame we are looking at.

Thanks again for all the replies...helps to kind of bounce it off a few people.

PhoebeMcPeePee Sat 02-Nov-13 10:40:26

I'm a cm and would be amazed if my parents didn't at least contact me by text to say get well soon & find out how long should they organise off or call my husband. I'm pretty sure any employer would take a dim view if you just said 'I'm not coming in' without any clue as to length of time needed off so I really don't think it's unreasonable to at least ask if a having this coming week off will be enough or should you start thinking about longer ahead. A nice card from DC (or bunch of flowers wink) would be lovely

ReetPetit Sat 02-Nov-13 12:26:18

I know it can be difficult for parents to get the balance right but i think a text wishing her well wouldn't go a miss and a card from the dc. Its not unreasonable to ask how long she feels she will need off but it shouldn't be your sole purpose of making contact. If anyone i knew was in hospital i would be contacting them to wish them well.

hettienne Sat 02-Nov-13 13:14:35

If you were going to move to nursery anyway, and can find one you like, I would make the switch now to avoid disruption.

35London35 Sun 10-Nov-13 18:33:46

Just to fill you all in....

Our childminder had bad respiratory problems. (on the mend though thankfully)

last week we managed ourselves with time off work and a helpful friend for a day.

during that week we contacted some childminders and a lovely lady has agreed to take our child on a week by week basis until our childminder is better.

Only problem now is original childminder has told us that she needs this week off too...(which was fine as we had arranged care)...but im not holding out too much hope for the following week either.

As far as LO is concerned she should be settled at new childminder but it does look like we are double paying for the weeks the other child minder is this common place?...we've checked the contract and it says nothing about childminder illness (doesn't say we pay and doesn't say we don't pay!)

The longer it continues the more likely we are to keep her with new childminder till the end of December ...(starting nursery in Jan) were not sure that all the back and forth will be ideal. That brings into account the months notice we have to give!

all a bit of minefield really!

Littlefish Sun 10-Nov-13 18:57:35

I would not expect to pay the childminder when she is ill unless it explicitly says so in the contract you signed. Our childminder always worked on the basis that if she was available then we paid her (so we had to pay her if dd was ill, or we were on holiday), but we didn't have to pay her if she wasn't available (ie. if either she or her own children were ill, or she was on holiday)

sleeplessbunny Sun 10-Nov-13 19:51:42

We don't pay DD's CM if she is sick. Same arrangement as Littlefish

MrsSpencerReid Sun 10-Nov-13 20:04:38

If you've found a nursery you like I would book her in now for jan anyway as places seem to fill quickly, at least where we are they do!! No advice re childminders but I hope you find a solution I can imagine how stressful it must be!

35London35 Sun 10-Nov-13 22:48:27

cheers - yes already booked...start in Jan.

Just going to have to have an awkward chat with CM about money...never a nice thing to do when everythings been lovely with her...

MrsSpencerReid Sun 10-Nov-13 22:55:03

Oh good grin good luck!

35London35 Sat 16-Nov-13 22:09:36

into her 3rd sick week now...beginning to be costly! - paying the other childminder on a weekly basis...

going to have to have a chat about money AND hand in 1 months notice at same time!

fingers crossed!

MaureenFry Sun 17-Nov-13 06:33:54

She is self-employed. Why are you paying her if she is not providing a service for you?

lagoonhaze Sun 17-Nov-13 06:42:55

If setting is closed most dont pay.

Poor contract agreement if nothing written down!

IDontDoIroning Sun 17-Nov-13 06:43:00

Why are you paying her - she's not your employe and isn't entitled to sick pay.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 17-Nov-13 08:28:01

Just check the contract and if it doesn't say anything regarding cm's illness stop paying.

Mildpanic Sun 17-Nov-13 09:01:11

We don't pay if the childminder is unable to work for any reason.
I'm sure you have sympathy for her illness but I really don't feel you should be paying while she is off.
I put dd into a nursery at 3 to take full advantage of the 15 hours nursery education that all children can have. I just feel that whilst a childminder is great to optimise attachment and bonding for little ones, at 3 they are ready for a bit more of a formal setting.
Dd carried on 1 day with CM as well as the 15 hours at nursery till she went to school but we all found tag she was incredibly bored towards the end as she was ready to be in a group/school setting.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 17-Nov-13 19:24:02

i dont get why you are paying your cm while she is off sick

im self employed and if i am ill/cant get to work at all, ie all the snow we had this/last year grrrrrrrrrrr, then i dont get paid

MrsSpencerReid Sun 17-Nov-13 19:46:05

I don't use a cm so no idea if this would work but is there anyway her time off sick can be counted into the notice period? Or is that totally unreasonable? I just think if you've been paying her and you have to give 4 weeks notice, which I assume is paid, she'll get 7 weeks pay during most of which she was unable to look after dc. I might BU and sorry if I am, this why I like nursery, clear cut rules and no worry if someone goes off sick grin

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 17-Nov-13 22:57:45

Most CM's have clear cut rules!

MrsSpencerReid Sun 17-Nov-13 23:02:23

Ok, possibly an unfair comment but I seem to read a lot of threads about issues like this with cm rather than nurseries!

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