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CM CLUB advice regarding changing opening times

(8 Posts)
OFSTEDoutstanding Wed 22-Aug-07 19:50:47

Hi, I need some advice in September I will be contracted to work Monday to Thursday term time only by all the families on my books. School holiday dates are booked as days that are mutually agreed. During Term Time the first child arrives at 7.45 and leaves at 6pm every day. This school holiday the families (5 in total have booked the occasional Friday for me to have their children and as I am only starting out I said it was fine. When they all go back to school I want to send out a letter to let the families know that as of Jan 1st (have to say then as already doing a Fri in christmas hols) my opening hours will be Monday-Thursday 7.30-6. Do you think it is ok to do this, I really don't want to work Fridays any more and it only ever ends up being the same mindee that comes and I know when she is not with me she is with grandparents so shouldn't affect her as she could go to them on a Fri and me a diffrent day.
Would love to hear all your opinions, do you think I should do a letter to tell parents or do you think that when they try to book a Friday in the holidays I just say sorry I can do any other day that week except the Fri? Also those of you that think I should do a letter do you have any advice on how to word it please. TIA

nannynick Wed 22-Aug-07 21:00:26

I would suggest thinking more long term... how many families only need 4 days per week Mon-Thur childcare? If these families leave you (and they will at some point in the future), will you be able to replace them, if you are not offering at least 5 days per week childcare?

In my view, the market is changing, parents are wanting more flexibility. Parents no longer work 9-5 Mon-Fri, they have various shifts around a 24-hour 7-day week.

If you limit yourself to only providing care for 4 days per week... will you lose out on business, or is there sufficient demand to see you though the next 3, 5 or more years?

With regard to doing a letter... if you have decided never to open on a Friday, then do a letter stating that. If you want to have most Fridays off, but would occasionally consider it - don't do the letter, just don't take the bookings when you don't want to work.

Rubybees Wed 22-Aug-07 21:10:12

I generaly have one day a week off because one of my families work shifts. More than often i work 5 (mon-fri) but at the beginning of summer I wrote to them stating that although as a goodwill gesture I often provide tmy childcare service out of 'contracted' hours from August I will be unable to do this with a change of contract.

I did this because during a month I would be lucky to get 1 day a month not working. It got the point where I thought about the fact that when they take holiday they only pay a retainer for 4 days not 5 and also wanted to be able to plan things during the summer with my own children and dh, and now dd moving up to pre-school I'll have a 'shock horror' morning to MYSELF' hehe

Rubybees Wed 22-Aug-07 21:10:41

without a change of contract

duh

MaureenMLove Wed 22-Aug-07 21:18:57

I agree with Nick. It might seem like the right thing to do now, but things change so quickly. Eg - those that are preschool now, may not come to you once they are at school, which means thats only 4 years worth of guaranteed work for each child iyswim. I had a lovely set of families about 6 years ago and everything worked like a dream. I managed to have Monday PM off and so I started running a Rainbow Guide unit. Suddenly, that child left me and I needed to fill a space, but it was really hard to get one that didn't need me Monday PM, because I could not then leave my Guiding thing. It took me a long time to sort it all out again and atm, I get Weds & Thurs pm off, but it won't last much longer I know.
If you are sure it'll work for you, for as long as you want it, fine, but you must think long term.
Sorry to sound negative.

OFSTEDoutstanding Wed 22-Aug-07 22:31:14

No thats fine its exactly what I want honest opinions. I hadn't thought about long term I suppose because my full timers are all under 2 so school seems so far away!

ayla99 Thu 23-Aug-07 08:31:34

I think you're better off enjoying the time off while it lasts without making any announcements.

You don't have any obligation to be available when parents ask for hours outside of those in their contract. Accept or decline as it suits you each time - you might find there are times when you don't mind working an odd day - eg if you have had to close for sickness, you might find the extra days handy to make up for the loss of £££ - keep your options open.

looneytune Thu 23-Aug-07 10:01:52

Agree with NOT putting anything in writing - just say no if they ask. I used to not work Friday's but I never made that formal as I didn't know what was round the corner.

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