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Childminder suggesting she might change the pre-schools/schools she can cover?

(12 Posts)
NellyBluth Wed 19-Nov-14 11:33:16

A few months ago we moved our nearly 3yo DD from the CM she had been with for a long time, and who we really liked, to a new CM who was much more local. It was a tough decision but the old CM was on the other side of town so we decided to try and find a CM who could cover our local pre-schools and schools so we could start planning for DD hopefully getting some funded hours in April. All the conversations we had with the new CM related to our local schools, my original advert she replied to said we wanted someone who could do drop-offs etc at these local schools, we talked in our first meeting about the future plans for DD to hopefully start local pre-school next year. We even talked about how we were looking to find a CM who might be able to look after DD for years, even when she started school, and the CM was agreeing with all this.

Now the CM has casually dropped into conversation that she is thinking of sending her kids (similar ages to our DD) to another school the other side of town (ironically the school our old CM covered...), in which case she might not be able to cover the local schools. But she won't know for ages as she has to apply and wait for her kids to get places.

I'm so frustrated with this. Possibly unreasonably, which is why I'm posting here first to get opinions. I do understand that her kids come first, of course they do, they do for every parent. But now I'm getting worried about the future. In theory it's not an immediate problem as DD doesn't have to start pre-school at Easter (though she will be ready for it, and we'd like her to) so there's no problem with care. But it has been so hard to find a local CM as there aren't that many in our town, and due to are other logistics we will need to CM for drop-offs and pick-ups for years. This all seemed perfect.

Sorry, I'm rambling because I'm stressed about how this was so casually mentioned. Before I talk to her - nicely, of course, I like her very much - is it normal for CMs to change their schools like this? Do we have any leg to stand on to say it is a bit of a problem for us, this 6 months not knowing where we can put DD on a waiting list until the CM finds out where her kids are going? What can I ask her that is still nice and professional?

Frusso Wed 19-Nov-14 11:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NellyBluth Wed 19-Nov-14 12:14:03

Sorry, I realise that mini rant makes it sound like I think she's doing something wrong, which of course she's not.

I think I just want to know how to approach this, as it is a new relationship and I don't want to cause any problems. But there is a problem as she won't know for quite a while until she gets council allocated places, so we're very up in the air and I imagine it will cause problems putting our DD on waiting lists for pre-school. On the one hand, I don't mind where DD goes to pre-school and if I thought she could get a place where the CM is hoping to send her kids then that would be alright. But on the other hand, I like the local school, I'd like DD to go there for multiple reasons, and so it would be nice if she went to the pre-school that feeds into it.

Is there a nice way we can explain that 6 months of not knowing whether the CM will be able to cover the schools she has advertised is a bit difficult for us? DD is very happy with her and we don't want to look for a new CM if it will turn out that she can cover what we agreed on?

Frusso Wed 19-Nov-14 12:24:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FlorenceMattell Wed 19-Nov-14 12:25:44

I think you need to choose the pre school and school that you want for your child.
Then when she gets a place sort our childcare.
With school places there is no guarantee you will get the place you want; you may get a school the other side of town etc.
I appreciate this sounds harsh not meaning to be, but you must decide based on the choice for your child as the child-minder must too.
With the pre school is there a chance you could put her on both lists?
Maybe re school have a backup e.g. a relative who could do school drop off and pick up if you need to find another child-minder.
To be honest children have different teachers every year at school I don't understand why parents get so het up about changes in child minders or nannies. You and her father are her prime caregivers children will adapt to having other people.

NellyBluth Wed 19-Nov-14 12:35:21

I know the schools are up in the air, which never helps. I'm not sure we can put her on both lists as there might be a fee involved with all the waiting lists, but also the local one will take DD in Easter with the funded places, but the one the CM has in mind only takes children twice a year through council allocated places. I think - I'm finding the set-up for funded places in our town quite confusing! But I will definitely look into it.

The problem is we have no back up - no relatives locally, DP and I both commute for work which is why we use a CM rather than a nursery at the moment. One of the reasons why we want the local school is that we are starting to make friends with neighbours who have kids a similar age and so, operating on guesses which is all we can do at this stage, we will know people who also take the kids too and from the same school which will help in the long-run.

And all complicated by the fact there seems to be a shortage of CMs - it took us long enough to find this one!

Sigh. It's all confusing. I felt quite organised and it took a huge weight off my mind to find this CM sad

(Sorry, I know I'm just venting here. I do need to talk to her and I will, I just don't want to get the tone wrong)

HSMMaCM Wed 19-Nov-14 12:42:29

She might not have known when she took you on and might have planned to send her own children to the local pre school. It's a shame for you and your DD, but not necessarily a deliberate move on your CMs part.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 19-Nov-14 13:37:19

I'd just try and not worry about it. Send DD to the school you want and deal with 6 months time in 6 months time. Anything can happen in 6 months.

Phoenixfrights Wed 19-Nov-14 13:39:59

I'd be a touch miffed she hadn't mentioned it when you moved to her only a few months ago although of course you can't count on any childcare arrangement to be in place for the foreseeable... best laid plans and all that.

Realistically, though, does the CM have a chance of getting her children into the school on the other side of town? What has been its historical cut-off distance and is she inside that, if it's a school that goes by distance? If religious, will she meet the faith criteria? Do her children have any SEN or other needs that might give them higher priority?

When they start looking for schools, some people have unrealistic expectations of where their children will be offered a place.

Phoenixfrights Wed 19-Nov-14 13:43:55

I don't understand why the nurseries/ settings are charging deposits if you are intending to only use the free 15 hours. They are not supposed to do that and any that are might be breaking the conditions of the funding.

NellyBluth Wed 19-Nov-14 14:37:21

I need to investigate the deposits, that might be something I am misremembering. I know there was a slight issue as most places here only took new kids on the funding in either January or September, despite the fact that funding is available from the April term for children born Jan-April. Our local pre-school have said they will take DD with funding at Easter if a place is available. I don't know if others will.

Personally I don't think the CM will get places at that school, as it's very popular and we're completely out of catchment - hence why we changed CM, as we knew we probably wouldn't get DD into that school (which was where the old CM went). But she might do. Or the wait might just delay us getting DD that place at Easter as we're up in the air.

I don't think it is deliberate but it is just a bit stressful when we only started there a few months back. I probably am worrying over nothing but it just seems so hard to get a CM in our town, and we have no back up.

Does anyone know what happens if we ask for that funded place at our local pre-school but then have to turn it down? Would we have to wait another term to get a place in another pre-school? (I know it's pre-school not school and so hardly a disaster, but DD is ready for it already)

FlorenceMattell Wed 19-Nov-14 15:18:42

Hi OP
I think you are perfectly reasonable to vent on here that's what the forum is for.
Re schools even if a school is 100 ms from your door you may not get a place. One of my charges applied for a school that's in their road. One form entry of 28 children. They didn't get a place due to large number of sibling that year plus other children nearer.
As others have said just be open with the childminder. I would say to her your child is very happy with her and you hope that school runs work out. She will surely let you know as soon as she can if she can't accommodate you. If she is in a childminding group she may know other childminders who can help you and your child may have met them.

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