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HELP PLEASE...................SETTLING IN

(25 Posts)
chickenrice Wed 03-Sep-08 21:53:41

Hi

I have just started using a childminder for my 1 year old DS one day a week. I did ask her how she was going to settle my DS in before we started the contract and she offered what were 3 sessions which I was told I'd have to pay for. I have only previously ever used a nursery where you get a few free settling in sessions but I agreed to this as I thought that was the way it worked for childminders. I paid for the first session but then the CM cancelled the 2 subsequent ones saying she was too busy preparing to go for her holidays. She assured me that DS will be fine as he had been okay during his first settling in session and previusly on our first visit when I just came to look around her premises with him and meet her for the very first time. Trusting her years of experience and her great Ofsted report, I went along with this arrangement and started DS officially after his first settling in visit. I did say to her that of course she could contact me if there were any problems as you would do. First official session, I think he was okay. Upset for a little while but he was settled after that. Only cried when I came to the door to collect him. Next session, as it was the school holidays, I took my older son into town approx 20 mins away to the city centre as we'd never done a mum and son outing alone since he's got sensible with his road sense as we've always had DS with me. CM rang me and wanted me to pick him up early. I said I'd come straightaway but we were on the bus home. She wanted to know whereabouts on my journey home I was. I picked him up an hour earlier than arranged that time but she said he had been unsettled around midday. I have since had another session; an outing with my older son and his friend and his mum (who drives, unlike me) so we went further afield, half hour away. I got a call around lunchtime which I could not pick up because of a poor signal. In the end, after numerous attempts, I called her back back 5 mins later and she wanted me to collect him asap which of course I was happy to do since he was upset. She sounded unhappy when she found out I could be there in 45 mins or so. She said if she knew I was going out for the day, then she would have told me not to as I may have been needed. I only went on these 2 outings with my older son because he's starting Reception next week and we won't have time alone for just the two of us to go on outings as I find it difficult using public transport (with buggies) and managing 2 children at the same time. Now she says that we should redo settling in. I'm fne with that. But she wants to charge a full days' rate although we may do one or 2 hours at a time building it up over 4 weeks ie 4 days. She says she wants to give it 4 weeks ie 4 days. After that, if it does not work out then we should not proceed further. Please can someone advise as she wants me to agree to this and I am not sure what to say to her. I have been exhausted and feeling very low lately because I've found it hard to cope with two young ones especially since DS sleeps little during the day. If I am l lucky, only 40 minutes and gets up everyday at 5am. He only started sleeping through a few months ago. Thanks in advance.

chickenrice Wed 03-Sep-08 22:24:27

Anyone please????

KatyMac Wed 03-Sep-08 22:25:39

Chickenrice - I'm going to copy your post in to word & add paragraphs - it's very hard t read in a block - I'll get back to you soon

YouNeverKnowIMightFlounce Wed 03-Sep-08 22:28:45

bump for you

to me she sounds bit horrible but i have no experience

KatyMac Wed 03-Sep-08 22:30:41

OK - I agree with the childminder about settling in - you do need to be close by to step in if needed.

Whether a C/Mer charges or not for settling in is up to her, tho' I do think a full day for a few hours is quite steep

You sound very tired and down - are you doing ok?

TBH I would worry about one day a week in this situation - when a child is struggling to settle I like to see them everyday (or as much as possible) fr a short while.

I wonder if you and your childminder are working well together, if you aren't happy do look at other childminders

chickenrice Wed 03-Sep-08 23:40:06

Sorry for the lack of paragraphs KatyMac. I am doing okay I think. Thanks for asking.

Yes initially she agreed to do 3 settling in sessions; 2 of these did not go ahead as mentioned before as she cancelled.

I did ask her if she could see him more frequently that than the allocated day once a week but she refused as she said she had other kids on the days she worked so could not mind him as well and she has one day a week off altogether and she does not do any CMind on that day. How does it work with you and how do you arrange to see them everyday or as much as possible during settling in?

So far I have gone along with her guidance on settling in but I don't think that has worked. Also the only reason I went out for the day was so that I my 4 year old could enjoy a short day out with mum and get my sole attention b/4 he returned to school. Anyway she had assured him the previous week the little one was fine. Any advice appreciated.

ThePrisoner Thu 04-Sep-08 01:30:32

I also charge for any settling-in visits (if I am caring for the child without a parent present). However, I would only charge for the hours used, and certainly not for a whole day.

To be honest, it doesn't worry me how far away (time-wise) a parent is during settling-in visits as long as I have contact numbers to call/text.

I tend to ask parents if they want me to call/text to let them know how things are going - if a child is upset, the parent can choose whether or not to return early. I have never told a parent that they have to come to collect. I am capable of caring for a child, even if they are crying (we usually go for a walk!)

To be honest, you need to have a good relationship with your CM. The tone of your op makes it sound as though the CM was telling you off, which I didn't like!

If your son is only doing one day/week, it may take a little longer for him to settle, but you need to be able to discuss this in a nice, friendly way with the CM. If you are not 100% happy with the way things are, then I would visit other CMs and just see if you have made the right choice.

KatyMac Thu 04-Sep-08 07:56:17

Just goes to show how different childminders are

It is difficult to know what to suggest- think about what TP says

chickenrice Thu 04-Sep-08 09:19:36

Thanks for your advice.

She said i had to pay a full day's rate as she would lose income she would otherwise have had had she taken another child instead of my ds.

i have no problem with paying her for the settling in sessions. How many settling in sessions do you provide before starting the contract? We only had the one as she cancelled the subsequent two. ds then started his full allocated day straight after her previous child left so she has not had to lose any income so far. Also is it correct that you cannot settle in kids on days other than those allocated to them as you'd be over the limit of kids allowed. if so how do you tackle that? thanks

PinkChick Thu 04-Sep-08 10:09:55

ok, firstly you can go where ever you like and do whatever you like when your child is in childcare, you had already had your settling in sessions, even though SHE had cancelled the second and third, your son was now going to her one day a week 'proper;y' not to settle in.

For a childminder to ring you EVERYTIME your child has been in her care to TELL you to collect him NOW, she sounds to me she is unable to cope and isnt a very good childminder.

Overall, sorry to have to say this but i think for 'some' reason she's changed her mind..she wants to scrap your contract and start again with settling in (which SHE should have honoured originally), she CANNOT cahrge you a full day when your child is only there an hour or two!

She doesnt sound like a good, reliable or honest childminder at all, which goes to show lots of these so called caring proffesionals can con Ofsted making things harder for us who want to and DO do a good jobsad

PinkChick Thu 04-Sep-08 10:12:32

its HER fault she didnt fulfill her agreement of 3 settling in sessions!, you shouldnt be footing the bill now!..i DO NOT charge for these sessions and have been doing them one a week for a baby starting end of month for last 3 weeks and will do till date of start, i have her up to 3 hours and unless was making herself Ill being upset, would NEVER ting parent and tell them to pick up!

Maybe she's asking for a retainer for the space??..but its her problem that SHE wants to cahnge contract now, YOU already agreed to one and are still happy with it, its her who wants to change..id call it a day and find someone much nicersmile

chickenrice Thu 04-Sep-08 18:00:41

Thanks PinkChick for your advice. I've spoken to her today about the settling in.

I asked her whether, although we would have to try settling him again,perhaps she could charge us for the period she settles him for for the next two sessions as a replacement for the 2 she cancelled previously. She refused saying that she would lose income if she did it that way and wants the full day's rate whether he's there for 1 hour or all day. She says that he's had plenty of contact with her over the 2 proper sessions we did although he had to be collected a few hours early so although he needs settling in it wil not be at her expense. Surely this can't be right as I was led to believe that those two sessions were his normal days rather than settling in days as she had previously said that he would not need any more settling in.

navyeyelasH Thu 04-Sep-08 18:17:00

at the end of the day she is "losing income" because she cancelled the second 2 sessions! If she had gone ahead with them as paid then she wouldn't be losing anything and you wouldn't have to be paying more than originally agreed.

She is saying your son is taking up a space with these settling in sessions but this would not be the case if she had stuck to the original plans. Besides IME it is unlikely she would be unable to fill her space next week (presumably) if you did not go ahead with the settling in session and as a result she would lose a whole days space rather than a few hours.

If you think about it your CM has been unable to cope with your son for 2 sessions; when you really think about it (and forget about all the consequences answering the question truthfully brings) do you think shorter periods of time with CM will help settle him?

Can you ask the CM if your DS can do a few hours with her every few days for a few weeks as settling in? a few hours once a week from my experience is not "settling" in a child.

Either way refuse to pay full whack for these settling in sessions - it's her fault she badly managed her time, as an experienced CM she should have been aware of settling in issues from the outset and factored this into her schedule. OR explained from the outset you would have to pay for days for settling in periods. She is in breach of an implied term of your contract (I'd imagine - but am no lawyer!)

ThePrisoner Thu 04-Sep-08 19:12:22

I do not really understand this "settling in" idea she is offering you.

To me, "settling in" is a CM, a child and a parent all getting used to each other.

If I have a parent who wants a child looked after from a specific date, the parent has the option to book as much or as little time prior to that for the child to "settle in". If the child is not "settled" before the official start-date, you don't just start having more settling-in periods. You either carry on with the arrangement that you wanted in the first place, or you decide that you want do find alternative childcare.

I don't really understand why the CM would lose income. If she has the offer of having another child for a full day (I bet she doesn't), then she should suggest a different day for you when she can offer less hours - this may or may not be the days you would be using when your contract begins, it would totally depend on if she has spaces.

I also feel that she is not organising any of this very professionally. An "experienced" childminder should be able to cope with a child who is upset, and I assume that your son wasn't actually hysterical?

PinkChick Thu 04-Sep-08 19:58:23

ChickenRice i would be running away faster tahn my feet could carry me from this CM..sadly another example of people 'in it for the money'..despite the money not being well paid, 'some' people dont 'care' about the children or making the parents at ease..prime example here im afraidsad

I would actually tell this CM that you are discgusted with her attitude and her behaviour and that you have now seen her for her true self you no longer wish to bring your child to her home as she is in no way setting any kind of positive example to any of the children!, i would say to her that SHE is having problems because SHE let you down and cancelled your childs settling in sessions, as a result, she DID NOT fulfill her contract agreement so you will be removing your LO with immediate effect and should she question money of any kind/notice period, say to her that both you and HER know she is in the wrong doing what she is doing so if she wants to start a fight over the money then fine..(she will get absolutely NO WHERE!)

argh am so angry for you!smile..the hardest thing im finding at the minute is getting people/parents to speak to me/be straight with me!..so i do suggest that IS the best thing to do..even suggest to her that you wonder why she wants you LO when he is OVER 12 months?, has she taken on someone else and now 'doesnt want' you LO until he fits into her underhand plans again??

PinkChick Thu 04-Sep-08 20:01:35

and re the LO being upset, ive had a little boy come a while back, he was emergency childcare from a cm friend of mine (she had important hosp app at last minute) and i literally had to pick him up off the floor kicking and screaming and he was a 'big' little boy..he clung to me ALL day, cried if i left the room..but i kept him until home time!, told friend cm when she collected him he was upset this morning but settled down later although still unsure so stayed close!...totally no need to ring you b'cos you LO was crying, she has no patience!

PinkChick Thu 04-Sep-08 20:01:44

and re the LO being upset, ive had a little boy come a while back, he was emergency childcare from a cm friend of mine (she had important hosp app at last minute) and i literally had to pick him up off the floor kicking and screaming and he was a 'big' little boy..he clung to me ALL day, cried if i left the room..but i kept him until home time!, told friend cm when she collected him he was upset this morning but settled down later although still unsure so stayed close!...totally no need to ring you b'cos you LO was crying, she has no patience!

PinkChick Thu 04-Sep-08 20:04:00

a little trick...get a friend to ring her asking for a space for a child under one(give an age) see what she says smilewink

busymum1 Thu 04-Sep-08 20:19:24

can I explain how I have just worked exactly same thing with child of 11mths so very similar age

3 weeks: to go comes with parents to familiarise with setting parents leave her for 10 mins she comes to door to say bye so she understands they are going then settles for 10 mins comes back to door to meet parents happy they returned

2 weeks to go as above 1 hour first day 2 hours second day

1 week before comes for one whole session she will be doing next week

On first day: similar to settling in but cries for 5 mins asks for reassurance few times e.g. cuddle by putting arms up generally fine.

second day settles better tears for less than 1 minute

now 3 weeks later pretends to cry at door enjoys 6 hours goes home happy

wanted to give this example as this is how settling in sessions normally work with me

agreed half pay for hours worked but parents wished to pay full fee as were very happy she had settled and did not want free or half price as I had put lot's of work in

chickenrice Thu 04-Sep-08 20:47:35

During my chat with her today, I pointed out that the 2 subsequent settling in days that she cancelled were not on our allocated day; one in fact was on a Friday, the day she does not work so would it be possible to say try for an hour tomorrow (paid of course). She said 'no' as she was going away and is extremely busy with her community childminding, courses, etc to have any spare time to accomodate us.

I then asked her when she settles her new starters in as it seemed she always had her full capacity of children each day. She said she did this when she has a 'spare hour.' Doesn't make sense.

How did her other kids settle with the odd space she may have had say once a month or so? I have asked whether my DS can do fewer hours as suggested by Navylash. She says that is up to me but I will have to pay for a minimum of six hours anyway.

She did not offer to see him more frequently as she's 'extremely busy'. I wonder if she is committed to settling in my DS at all or is she wanting her full income whilst she finds an alternative child to fill his place. She said to me today she wants the contract back so that she can insert a clause about settling in. I guess she wants to terminate without notice or something using her new clause.

I certainly did not expect any of this from an 'outstanding' rated Ofsted CM whom I am paying up to a couple of pounds above the going rate per hour! I told her I will discuss with DH and get back to her. Any more thoughts anyone and thanks to all for your opinions. Much appreciated!

chickenrice Thu 04-Sep-08 20:48:03

During my chat with her today, I pointed out that the 2 subsequent settling in days that she cancelled were not on our allocated day; one in fact was on a Friday, the day she does not work so would it be possible to say try for an hour tomorrow (paid of course). She said 'no' as she was going away and is extremely busy with her community childminding, courses, etc to have any spare time to accomodate us.

I then asked her when she settles her new starters in as it seemed she always had her full capacity of children each day. She said she did this when she has a 'spare hour.' Doesn't make sense.

How did her other kids settle with the odd space she may have had say once a month or so? I have asked whether my DS can do fewer hours as suggested by Navylash. She says that is up to me but I will have to pay for a minimum of six hours anyway.

She did not offer to see him more frequently as she's 'extremely busy'. I wonder if she is committed to settling in my DS at all or is she wanting her full income whilst she finds an alternative child to fill his place. She said to me today she wants the contract back so that she can insert a clause about settling in. I guess she wants to terminate without notice or something using her new clause.

I certainly did not expect any of this from an 'outstanding' rated Ofsted CM whom I am paying up to a couple of pounds above the going rate per hour! I told her I will discuss with DH and get back to her. Any more thoughts anyone and thanks to all for your opinions. Much appreciated!

chickenrice Thu 04-Sep-08 20:52:04

During my chat with her today, I pointed out that the 2 subsequent settling in days that she cancelled were not on our allocated day; one in fact was on a Friday, the day she does not work so would it be possible to say try for an hour tomorrow (paid of course). She said 'no' as she was going away and is extremely busy with her community childminding, courses, etc to have any spare time to accomodate us.

I then asked her when she settles her new starters in as it seemed she always had her full capacity of children each day. She said she did this when she has a 'spare hour.' Doesn't make sense.

How did her other kids settle with the odd space she may have had say once a month or so? I have asked whether my DS can do fewer hours as suggested by Navylash. She says that is up to me but I will have to pay for a minimum of six hours anyway.

She did not offer to see him more frequently as she's 'extremely busy'. I wonder if she is committed to settling in my DS at all or is she wanting her full income whilst she finds an alternative child to fill his place. She said to me today she wants the contract back so that she can insert a clause about settling in. I guess she wants to terminate without notice or something using her new clause.

I certainly did not expect any of this from an 'outstanding' rated Ofsted CM whom I am paying up to a couple of pounds above the going rate per hour! I told her I will discuss with DH and get back to her. Any more thoughts anyone and thanks to all for your opinions. Much appreciated!

chickenrice Thu 04-Sep-08 20:55:39

Sorry my post appeared 3 times. Had a problem with my internet connection so ended submitting a few times accidentally. Am reading your post busymum1. Really appreciate you explaining how you do your settling in.

busymum1 Thu 04-Sep-08 21:04:23

tell her she can have terminated contract back whenever she wants it and get out quick ofsted obviously told her they were comin & she seems to have 3 problems
1)seems to have too many children if she can't accommodate during settling in must not have space available
2)seems to want community work as more money
3)if she can't keep arrangement now what would happen if you at work, hospital etc

PinkChick Fri 05-Sep-08 09:52:11

I would send her a letter now saying that YOU are terminating your agreed contract due to her behaviour, unproffesionalism and the sheer fact she is NOT adhering to it.
Say that you are NOT giving any notice as you feel the contract is not worth the paper it is written on as she has changed so many things without notice herself and that you dont feel she ever intended having your ds back as from what you have seen she woud be over her ratio's and even you (as a non childminder) underastands this is illegal and insuance would not be in place to cover this.

She doesnt actually 'need' your part of the contract!!, so do not give her it, she will have her own copy, shes going to try and add something to say she isnt in the wrong!..shes very underhand and sounds a horrible horrible person!

best of luck sorting it outsmile

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