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Childminders Child is ill!!!

(28 Posts)
Toothache Thu 14-Apr-05 07:49:19

I've always used a Private Nursery for both kids, but due to circumstances I had to move dd (8mths) to a Childminder.

She phoned me at 8pm last night to say her little boy isn't well and she couldn't take dd! So DH is having to stay at home until I get home then go to work until 11pm.

I know it can't be helped and I'm glad she didn't just take dd and have her catch the bug (sickness & diarrhea), but I just hadn't thought of this scenario before! Call me niave.

So now we have to take time off when we are ill, when the kids are ill and now when the childminders kids are ill too! I'm starting to regret having to use a childminder.

Don't really know why I'm posting this, more sounding off than looking for advice.

nailpolish Thu 14-Apr-05 07:56:57

toothache, i have used a childminder for 2 years now (2 days a wk) and she has never had a day off sick, if i were you i would not go worrying about this, its probably a one off rare occurance that you will not have to worry about again for a long time.

if the cm phones you and takes the day off you dont have to pay her? thats how mine works, whereas if i called her and said i wasnt taking dd's i still have to pay

please dont worry.

MaryP0p1 Thu 14-Apr-05 07:57:34

Toothache, I know its a pain. I've been there.

Just a suggestion, but, call tonight to see how her DS is and have a chat about arranging an alternative childcarer should the situation arise again. When I worked as a childminder I had a friend, a childminder too, who would take mine and I would take hers for holidays, sickness etc. Saved a lot of inconvience for the parents. I used to see her most days so the children were very used to her, her childcare style very similar to mine, charges were the same, and she was near me so additonal inconvience to the parents. I used to arrange for the parents to meet her if they decided to use my services.

P.S. I was also of the understanding that newly registered childminders have to now have an emergency backup, has she not mentioned this to you.

Twiglett Thu 14-Apr-05 07:58:20

I used a childminder for almost 3 years - think she had one day she couldn't make it in all that time (because her sister was dying) - agree with nailpolish

nailpolish Thu 14-Apr-05 07:59:29

but surely if 1 cm then takes over another cm's children too, the ratio of cm to children would be too much? unless they are both well under the quota?

MaryP0p1 Thu 14-Apr-05 08:05:28

We never met our full quota, so was never a problem.

Toothache Thu 14-Apr-05 08:14:47

That's a good idea. She's not due to go back to the cm until Monday, so hopefully her ds is better by then. I've only been using her services for 3 weeks! Doesn't give a good impression does it.

Marypop1 - Is that only for newly registered cm's? She's been registered since 2000.

clary Thu 14-Apr-05 08:15:44

toothache, sorry you have had this problem. I had a c/minder once who I really liked, but she or her child were always being ill. we were constantly having to call on gran to come over at short notice to have the children.
Have to say, tho, we have had four differnet childminders (for various good reasons, usually that they have had another baby!) and she was the only one we ever had this problem with.
I do agree that c/minders can be tricky in that they are ill, they have holidays, their circs change etc, but we have certainly gained in terms of flexibility re hours which has been vital for us, also prefer the homely atmosphere of a c/minder for my tinies, and the fact that they have one carer and she doesn't change. After all, if we had had 6 yrs of nursery instead of 6 yrs of c/minders, there would have been several different carers in that time too.
(not callign anyone for using nurseries of course!)

MaryP0p1 Thu 14-Apr-05 08:19:37

I'm not sure. I just know when we moved house and therefore had to reregister had to show I had emergency cover.

Bearess Thu 14-Apr-05 08:49:41

Toothache - I think saying it doesn't give a good impression is a little unfair - surely if her child is sick that is the end of the subject, although I know it's an inconvenience for you work-wise. My sister has been a childminder for 4 yrs now, can't remember her ever taking a day off because she was sick, maybe once because her kids were sick - although parents frequntly try to fob their sick kids off on her!

MaryP0p1 Thu 14-Apr-05 09:05:24

Parents are always trying to bring their children in when they are fit to be anywhere but home. At work we often have parents who have told there children not to tell us they have been sick and then half way through the morning they throw up and are grumpy and unwell. I feel sorry for the children really. I have to admit to bringing my DS in when's he's not 100% but I do warn them and say tell me if you think he'd be better at home. Being a parent is really difficult sometimes.

Toothache Thu 14-Apr-05 09:44:01

Bearess - I wasn't trying to sound fair or unfair.... but like it or not that's the bad feeling I'm getting about using a childminder!!! I KNOW she can't help it and I KNOW I wouldn't want dd around her ds when he's ill, but it doesn't stop me being pi$$ed off about it. And I'm having 2nd thoughts as to whether a childminder really is more convenient than a Nursery. Afterall, I've never had the Nursery phone me at 8pm the night before telling me I can't take my child in. There's no point in moving dd to a childminder to save money if we are having to take days off unpaid when her kids are ill..... and my work do deduct a days pay of you're off with a dependant. So although I won't be charge the £25 for the day dd isn't there.... I will lose £86 for not being at work. DH has opted to stay off today to avoid this. But he will now have to go in 4-11pm.

It's just inconvenient. Not slagging the Childminder for having a sick child... just a bit wary about what will happen in future as I'd never considered this.

Bearess Thu 14-Apr-05 11:36:44

Toothache, I do totally understand where you're coming from, but I think maybe you're worrying unnecessarily - there is no reason at this point to think that this is going to be a regular occurrence, just bad luck and a PITA. All forms of childcare have their pros and cons - good luck.

Toothache Thu 14-Apr-05 12:32:06

Bearess - You are right, I'm jumping to conclusions, but I'm on the defensive right now after being let down already for childcare by my Mother. I'd rather err on the side of caution than lose out on more money.

Another thing I didn't really think out properly is the holiday situation. I informed her last night that we were going away for a week from 7th May. I was just letting her know dd wouldn't be there that week. She said oh thats fine, but we are away from 30th May. SO now I have to find alternative care for her that week.

How is it done??? If you don't book your hols at the same time as the Childminder how do other people manage? I will from now on book at the same time as her, but it's too short notice to change our holiday now. >sigh<

clary Thu 14-Apr-05 13:08:45

toothache on the holiday front, it hasn’t been a big problem for us in the past; cm has given us notice and we have taken some of our holiday then. I have found that they usually only take a week or two a year, certainly not 5 wks.
Mind you, this was before school threw a spanner in the works in terms of us needing to conserve all our hols (and then some) for when DS1 is off!
Hopefully current cm will take her break in school hols too, it’s just a question of negotiation and communication, but there are other benefits you have to weight it up against I guess.

Bearess Thu 14-Apr-05 13:10:28

Hmmmmmm, 30th May is half term week isn't it. Do you have a contract with her?

Toothache Thu 14-Apr-05 13:13:30

Yes I do, but I signed them and DH handed both copies over instead of keeping one for us!
Must get my copy back.

Bozza Thu 14-Apr-05 13:32:40

Toothache. Am surprised you didn't really think about the illness and holiday issue. It was a major factor in my choice of childcare. Although having said that I read your thread about your mother and realise you were put in a bit of a position. Like you I cannot afford unpaid time off when my children are ill so take it as holiday which is a bit naff but the only way round it.

When I started back at work after having DS I ended up in A&E with him the first week because he had a bad d&v bug (was only 15 weeks so quite serious). So I bet my work thought the same. Since then I have had at short notice 1.5 days off with him and 0.5 days off with DD - and DS is going to school in September so a bad start to a very good 4 years.

nailpolish Thu 14-Apr-05 13:36:25

toothache, we have to take our hols the same time as cm. but she only takes 2 wks a year

i know you dont get paid when you have to take a day off, but would you get paid if you took something like carers leave? does your job have that facility? do you get paid if you call in sick? you dont have to tell your work its your child thats sick

i know how you feel, i dont get paid if im sick or anything

Toothache Thu 14-Apr-05 13:42:40

Bozza - The illness thing I just never considered. But the holidays I had discussed with her and it's only now the reality is creeping in. Like you said I was totally backed into a corner and had to find affordable childcare PDQ coz of my Mum.

She's going away for a week from 30th April and away for a fortnight in October. The October thing isn't bothering me too much. It's a long way away. But the May holiday just took me by surprise. I'll have to book a holiday I suppose.

I could take days off sick and not tell them it's for a dependant I suppose, but the Project Manager on one of my jobs is my Dad (found out last week) so he'd have to do a lot of lying too.

ho hum...

Bozza Thu 14-Apr-05 14:01:36

TBH its one of the hardest things about being a working parent. I am forever conscious about it and only this weekend was hastily getting DD onto eye drops for conjuncitivitis to ensure I could legitimately get her into nursery on Tuesday. I'm always saving a bit of holiday just in case. And of course as you are just finding once you've got two you've got double potential for problems to arise.

feelingold Thu 14-Apr-05 16:31:19

I am a childminder and in January I give my mindees parents the dates of the 2 weeks I am going to take for my holidays. I allow my parents to take 4 weeks holidays when they do not pay me and all I ask is that they give me 4 weeks notice.
Emergency cover is in place for, if example I was to fall down stairs and break my leg and have to be taken to hospital whilst I was minding children, I need to have someone nominated who could provide emergency cover (and have contact numbers for parents)until a parent could pick them up, not someone to care for children if I needed a day off sick (my emergency carers are my mum and dh) so they are not registered childminders.
If my kids are sick I ring parents, tell them what is wrong and give them the option of whether they still want to bring their kids (obviously not an option it your child is very ill).

jothorpe Thu 14-Apr-05 18:38:57

Sickness is often a problem with any form of childcare.

With Childminders you have to remember that they often have their own children, so the childminders children can be ill and thus your child must not attend. If your own child is ill, then they must not attend, else risk spreading to other children.
The childminder themselves may also be ill.

With Nurseries you only have issue of your own child being ill, as nurseries like childminders do not take sick children. Nursery staff may be ill but nurseries tend to call a temp agency when that happens.

With Nannies, they will often care for a sick child, which is a good plus point to employing a nanny. However as with the Childminder, if the nanny is ill, then there is no backup facility, so you would have to stay home with your child.

I suppose you just have to try and have a flexible employer for those occasions when you HAVE to take time off at short notice due to childcare problems/your child being ill. Pity not all employers are flexible!

blodwen Thu 14-Apr-05 22:05:43

I am a childminder, and your story about your dd only being with you c/m reminded me of when I took on a litle boy of 7 months. About a week later I woke up with a migraine, flashing lights, sickness, the whole lot. I felt dreadful having to ring his mum and tell her I couldn't have him that morning. (I did tell her that it might be gone by lunchtime - it was, so I had him then). She must have felt, just as you do, that it didn't bode very well! However, the little boy is 10 now, and still comes to my house, with his sister (7), every day before and after school. Only one or two days off sick in all this time. I, like some of the other c/ms on this thread,, have a group of close c/m friends who can often take an extra child in case of sickness. We all know each others children really well, and all the parents are happy. In the case of this little boy though, as he was so new to me, he hadn't got to know the others well enough by then to go to one of them for the day. At 7/8m, it would be very unkind to send them to a 'stranger'. Come to think of it, I suppose that's what a nursery 'temp' would be to them too. I hope your c/ms child is better soon .

Toothache Fri 15-Apr-05 08:03:51

Thanks Blodwen, it's good to hear that perspective.

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