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CM CLub: Contingency Planning - tied up in knots

(12 Posts)
Katymac Wed 22-Jul-09 14:16:06

OK I have been asked to make a contingency plan if the staff at the setting get H1N1 (refusing to call it swine flu)

SO how do I do it

I have 3 staff able to work 6 hour shifts 5 days a week, 2 staff that can do a maximum of 3 hour shifts 5 days a week & me who works 10 hr shifts 5 days a week

On any individual day I could have between 1 & 9 children during the day

How do i work it all out - I am sitting looking at it all in horror & confusion

holdingittogether Wed 22-Jul-09 14:36:30

If you don't have enough staff to cover ratios surely you have little choice but to close? Or do you have a "bank" person you can call on to step in?

holdingittogether Wed 22-Jul-09 14:38:26

Do any of your parents have flexibility? e.g. could anyone swap days if they had to in an emergency.

Katymac Wed 22-Jul-09 15:20:40

Is this reasonable?

Situation ======>no of Staff ill
Normal Childminding ======> None
Potential late drop off/ early collection times ======>1 or 2 Assistants
Requests to alter days/times ======>1 or 2 Assistants & 1 Practitioner
Minimum operating times (eg 9-3) ======>1 or 2 Assistants & 1 Practitioner
Closure ======>2 Practitioners & 1 or 2 Assistants

ThePrisoner Wed 22-Jul-09 18:18:06

Who has asked you to make a contingency plan?

Katymac Wed 22-Jul-09 20:16:29

Network co-ordinator

I guess because we aren't one childminder working by ourselves but we need a minimum level of staffing

TBH I think I will take it on a day by day basis if anyone goes ill

holdingittogether Wed 22-Jul-09 20:29:39

I think you are right to take it as it comes. If you end up with mass illness then chances are some of the children might be ill too so you can assess how many kids vs how many staff and make a decision based there on.

atworknotworking Wed 22-Jul-09 20:34:46

I would do it based on if / when happens kind of thing, staff / numbers probably change daily, if they were the same everyday you could probably plan ahead but in this job they never are sad.

I've tried to do it quickly based on what we have, but the probabilities are endless and I'm no mathmatician.

Could you write a quick RA type sheet which sets out what you would do if a staff member caught H1N1, ie: evaluate ratios, rearrange sessions, pull in other staff from another day etc or you could just ask your network coordinator to co-ordinate it for you grin. Failing that if worst comes to worst and your ratios are affected how about falling back on your registration "it is an offence for the registered person not to comply with the conditions of registration without reasonable excuse" I reckon getting H1N1 would be a sure cert for a "reasonable excuse". Not ideal but heyho worth a shot.

Katymac Wed 22-Jul-09 20:48:01

What she doesn't feel I can do is say "Well I am short-staffed so I'll look after a, b & c; x, y & z can go home"

Which I agree with, I think?

holdingittogether Wed 22-Jul-09 20:58:36

You know the families you work with. Do any of them work from home or have the option too? Do any have family back up? I agree you can't decide to send half the kids home and keep one half but maybe a mutual arrangement?? Presuming you wouldn't charge for children you couldn't care for, maybe ask parents their thoughts. Slightly different but when our preschool years ago had it's roof damaged they set up temporarily (with ofsted approval) in another part of the school but didn't have quite as much space so had to limit numbers. They asked parents who would be willing to keep their child at home and luckily enough were prepared to otherwise the loss of income to close the preschool totally until roof was fixed would have sent the group under.

atworknotworking Wed 22-Jul-09 21:08:29

Agree that it's not the best scenario to keep a,b,c and send x, y, z home but really if this situation occurred you wouldn't have a lot of choice but to play devil's advocate.

If it was us I would phone around and say sorry were short staffed, I will be over numbers, can we work together and arrange alternative care for the mindees between us. Do you have a minder on your emergency closure policy or one that you reccommend if your'e full? perhaps you could get in touch with a couple of local minders and arrange something together as they have probably been asked for a contingency plan as well.

Katymac Wed 22-Jul-09 21:14:55

The co-ordinator thinks we would be better to close if we can't operate at normal numbers

I'm not sure - but some days we should have 9 children (with some leaving at lunchtime with other arriving as they leave)

It all seems quite hard to organise - tbh as long as I am OK I can 'pull a rabbit out of a hat' as long as some staff eg parents might help out/ex-staff etc. But if I am ill, no one else could co-ordinate it all

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