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To parents and CM- WWYD?

(15 Posts)
ButtonMoon88 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:37:48

I have 6 children on my books, all of which do 34+ hours a week.

Two of them are off to nursery in Sept, for possibly 2+ days a week, meaning that I would only be needed for 1 or 2 days max. This is quite a dramatic cut in income. However the difficulty is that both sets of parents haven't been told definite start dates, or what days they will be doing per week. It leaves me in a real limbo. We have a four week notice period but that isn't masses of time if I need to fill 2x25+ hours a week.

Is it reasonable for me to say to parents that I require 8 weeks written notice of change of hours? How far in advance do nurseries tell parents all this info??

CM- would you start looking to fill these hours now? What would you do if someone full time came along? Would you give them priority over the nursery children who I may only have for one day?

I really don't want to be unfair, equally I don't want to be struggling financially in Sept because I wasn't on the ball!!

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 02-Jul-15 15:53:16

You're trying to run a business, so really you need to do whatever you need to keep the money flowing. I'm not sure you can implement the 8 weeks notice if it's not in the contract, but you should definitely start looking for new full timers now and give them priority. The nursery ones will have to fit in around them unless they can reserve specific days and hours now.

PotteringAlong Thu 02-Jul-15 15:56:49

If the contract says 4 weeks you need to stick to that and change it for any new people you get in.

HSMMaCM Thu 02-Jul-15 16:22:25

I agree about sticking to the notice in your contract. If you get definite work, you can give the parents 4 weeks notice, although it's not ideal I know. Surely the nurseries know if they have vacancies in September ?

LUKYMUM Thu 02-Jul-15 16:25:18

I would start to look for ppl looking for ft care now. I would give them priority.
In an ideal world you would stick with the families who you've had for a long time, but that's a lot of income to lose. Especially if it's all happening at once.

ButtonMoon88 Thu 02-Jul-15 17:00:17

Yes contract specifically says 4 written weeks, I think in sept I will review this though!!
It wouldn't be such a problem if it was just one child reducing hours but as its two it's hard.
I too thought nurseries would have notified them by now...the cynical side of me is wandering if they are holding off telling me so they can weigh up options x

ButtonMoon88 Thu 02-Jul-15 17:04:33

Actually I don't think that at all im just panicking!!

Maryann1975 Thu 02-Jul-15 21:17:26

the parents need to be chasing the nursery and finding out what the hours will be in September. I can't believe a nursery hasn't worked out their places for September. They know which children are leaving and where the spaces are. I'd start looking for more children to fill the spaces. Mention to the parents if you get enquiries so they can sort the nursery hours out. It's really unfair of them leaving you hanging on like this.
I don't think you can up the notice period for existing families though. I'm not sure about having two different notice periods either. It would be easier for the family to terminate the first contract with a months notice and then get you to write another one rather than give you double the amount of notice just to cut their hours. (does that make sense?)

Are they getting the free misery sessions? The 15 hours?

I paid my childminder normal rates when DS got his 15 fm free hours as she wouldn't be able to get anyone to fill those slots, and she was still doing drop off and collection. But he did 5 mornings, not full days.

So I'd say they're already getting a good deal by not charging them.

ButtonMoon88 Fri 03-Jul-15 10:35:19

Thanks for your replies. They are both two but I don't know if the settings they are going to offer the free hours for two yr olds...I assume they do.

The parents have said they will be having 2 or 3 full days there so will just need me for 1or 2 so it's very hard to plan my future months.

So you're not doing the drop offs or pick ups?

I think you need to get info from them soon then. It would be very odd if they didn't know now what they were doing and seems like they're hedging their bets on something.

If you didn't have them at all would you be able to get full timers in quickly? Might be worth dropping a couple of hints that if they don't know what's happening you'll have to give notice and get full timers in.

minderjinx Fri 03-Jul-15 11:14:23

I have had lots of issues over the years with nurseries and preschools not letting parents know session allocation until the very last minute. I have resorted to going direct and telling the nursery manager that child X may lose their place with me unless they can sort themselves out. They do seem to be geared up to dealing with SAHPs and not taking into account that other decisions and arrangements are hanging on theirs. I would tell parents that they need to let me know which days they need by a certain date or you will advertise places and let them know which days you have availability. You will need to give 4 weeks notice to end your current contracts and start afresh.

Tanith Fri 03-Jul-15 11:19:20

Considerate and decent parents, who appreciate you, keep you well informed and notify you of changes in good time.

I would give them a deadline in writing, by which time you must be notified, or you cannot guarantee to fulfil their requirement for next term. When that deadline expires, I would give notice of termination of your current contract and invite them to renegotiate a new one for the new term. Actually, I might even forget about the deadline, depending on how soon I needed to know. They have, after all, had plenty of time already.

With parents like these, who happily keep you dangling, you need to take the initiative and tell them.
How many other self-employed people would tolerate being expected to hang on indefinitely like this? They'd write the client off as a time-waster!

And yes, I would be advertising for new clients now.

ButtonMoon88 Fri 03-Jul-15 13:57:27

No I won't be doing drop ofs and pick ups.

I have no concerns about filling the places if I start advertising now, I live in a busy borough of London so I get regular enquiries; I just wanted opinions on what was morally acceptable really. I don't want current parents to feel shafted and under pressure. However my own family is obviously of greater concern! I also wondered how true it could be that the nurseries hadn't already confirmed places for sept...but that seems to happen

Tanith Fri 03-Jul-15 15:15:14

So the childminder is expected to lose income while the nursery maximises theirs? hmm

It's their choice to use a nursery that apparently won't confirm places, not yours. It's for them to push back on the nursery and get a firm commitment.

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