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I feel so ruthless!

(94 Posts)
GwarchodwrPlant Tue 25-Aug-09 21:39:04

I've just had to terminate one mindee (part-time) to make space for a full-timer and mum didn't take it too well on the phone!

I feel a bit bad about it and sorry that I have lost a lovely little lad but I am a business and I need to think of my finances.

This is a crap part of the job that I hate. I've written a letter to give to the parents of the mindee tomorrow. What do you think?

Dear Mr and Mrs G,

I refer to my telephone conversation with Mrs G yesterday and it is with regret that I must give notice to terminate the contract for the care of X.

I hope you will understand that as I am running a business, I have to give priority to the clients who wish to take up a full-time position.

As stated in the contract a 4-week notice period is agreed from today until the 23rd September 2009.

I really regret losing X so soon, just as we were getting to know one another. X is such a sweet, affectionate and bright boy with a fearless character and I will miss him a great deal.

I would like to thank you both for your custom and for giving me the opportunity to look after X.

Kind regards

Yours sincerely


milknosugarplease Tue 25-Aug-09 21:45:33

letter sounds absolutely fine

nannynick Tue 25-Aug-09 21:47:51

You don't need to give a reason to terminate, as you are giving the notice as required under the agreed contract.

Sounds like you haven't been caring for him for very long. Not surprised that the mum isn't very happy.

GwarchodwrPlant Tue 25-Aug-09 21:54:51

No I havn't had him very long nannynick, about 6 weeks! That is why it feels so awful!

atworknotworking Tue 25-Aug-09 22:09:30

Times are hard and at the end of the day you have to do the right thing for you, it's a toughie as I can understand the parents view as well especially as he's just settled in, is their another minder that you could reccommend?

nannynick Tue 25-Aug-09 23:31:19

Why did you take him on?
Morally I don't feel it is right... but contractually you are within your rights. I can understand that you need to fill full-time places to survive financially, but if you needed a full time place filled, why take on the part timer?
I'm not a CM, so I'm not having to make that kind of tricky decision. Decisions of this type must be difficult.

LadyMuck Tue 25-Aug-09 23:35:29

Letter is fine. Obviously your reputation may be tarnished, unless you had made it very clear that you would do this is a FT mindee came along.

Most businesses value their long term reputation over short term gains. Doesn't mean that this decision was wrong, but it is not always clearcut.

morocco Tue 25-Aug-09 23:44:48

letter sounds fine

I wouldn't use a childminder if I knew they'd done this though (at least not if I wanted part time childminding). is most of your business full time mindees?

MissSunny Wed 26-Aug-09 01:36:40

Message withdrawn

gingernutlover Wed 26-Aug-09 07:59:49

legally you have done nothing wrong at all

morally i think this is dreadful for all the reasons that everyone else has stated.

I would not be suprised if word gets around about this. I agree that you shouldn't have taken the mindee on, it is likely that you knew 6 weeks ago that you needed full time mindees, so why take this one on? Did you always know in the back of your mind that you would dump them the miunute a more lucrative mindee came a long?

I will be looking for a childminder part time in a years time. I sincereley hope I do not have an experince like this!

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Wed 26-Aug-09 08:05:29

you are being ruthless. [shudder] @ you referring to your business. they are children not farm animals

gingernutlover Wed 26-Aug-09 08:12:09

well it IS her business, so fair enough to plan ahead for your finances.

But it is also supposed to be a caring profession and what the OP has done shows little or no regard for the family in question.

The family must be feeling that you were dishonest with them, assuming they werent aware that this may happen in advance

Tombliboobs Wed 26-Aug-09 08:19:44

You shouldn't have taken him on in the first place. A 'business' wouldn't take on a contract they couldn't fulfill.

I can understand why you have done it, but don't agree with it.

moomillion Wed 26-Aug-09 08:43:52

i am a childminder and no we dont all do this if he was only a day or 2 i would have asked ofsted for an extension for that day and if they said no i would turn down the full time place and pass them onto another childminder that i know and trust would care for their child
so sorry but i think its wrong especially telling them that is the reason...

shoshe Wed 26-Aug-09 09:01:13

No Cm's in general definitely don't work like that!

I only take full time children, state that when somebody rings.

I hav a little boy at the moment part time, he was full time, Mum lost her job and wanted to drop o part time, I said yes, UNTIL I was asked for the full time space, at which point, I would give her first refusal at going back to full time, or terminating her contract.

As it happens, she still hasnt got a job, and has decided to leave, as I have had a enquiry for next month, her DS is now old enough to go to Pre School, so is going to go there insted, so have signed ontracts with the new Family for 1st November.

the original mindee is starting at pre school, a couple of days while he is still with me, so that we can have a gradual settling in for him.

AvadaKedavra Wed 26-Aug-09 09:05:06

oh ffs get off the OP's back. It is a BUSINESS.

LadyMuck Wed 26-Aug-09 09:09:54

Yes, but it won't continue to be a business if she can't get any new customers because of the way she has treated existing customers.

gingernutlover Wed 26-Aug-09 09:15:14

agree, a good reputation takes years to earn - can be gone in a flash when people start talking.

OP I understand why you have done what you have done, for your own financial reasons.

I also understand how that parent is feeling now, and how all their friends/mums at coffee morning/people at work/all of their friends will be feeling when she talks about it - they will be thinking they should avoid your business at all costs

annh Wed 26-Aug-09 09:48:01

I don't think this is a good way to run your business, either financially or morally. If you find another mum who wants two full-time spaces or a mum who wants longer full-time hours than your new full-timer, will you terminate this new child to make way for them?! Word will get around and I would be very reluctant to use the services of a childminder whom I felt I could not rely on to provide continuity of care. You could end up with no mindees at this rate!

AxisofEvil Wed 26-Aug-09 09:58:46

I do sympathise but how far depends on how you'd explained it to the parents when they took the place. If you'd made crystal clear that you were only taking this boy until a full time request came up fine but I'd be well peeved if I thought I had a permanent place for my child and got bumped after 6 weeks.

TrillianAstra Wed 26-Aug-09 10:01:25

A business wouldn't take on a contract they couldn't fulfil? She is fulfilling the contract, she's doing exactly what the contract says.

The OP says she's not feeling happy about it, there's no need to berate her for it.

PuppyMonkey Wed 26-Aug-09 10:08:53

There aren't many other businesses that could get away with treating their clients so poorly. I'd be livid if I was that parent.

BoffinMum Wed 26-Aug-09 11:08:45

Do as you would be done by - I just hope the OP never gets treated as badly as this when it comes time for her to look for a nursing home place .... as I have said on another thread, there is no excuse for pleading business grounds as a basis for rampaging over children's psychological wellbeing. As a childcare professional there should be respect for the young individuals in your care, and a difficult but important conversation with the parents should have taken place before you even thought of sending out a letter. Similarly when they signed up it should have been on the understanding that a f/t place would have to take priority. It sounds like you haven't even given them the opportunity to ramp up their hours. I am not impressed.

atworknotworking Wed 26-Aug-09 11:29:01

GwarchodwrPlant I just wanted to offer a little support as some of the posts would upset me if I was in your position. I agree that it's a difficult judgement call to make and yes it's not great for your reputation and it may well put some people off from using your services.

As I said before I can appreciate that the mindees parents will be non too happy that they are having to find alternative care so soon. But as I read this I can't help thinking about all of the minders I know where mindees just don't turn up, no call, message, letter at least you have had the courtesy to stick to the terms of your contract.

To me childminding is a business, that does not mean that we don't care for or form attachments to our mindees, it's more of a career choice and often we have to make decisions that are not necessarily what we want to do, but from a sustainability aspect they have to be made.

I would ask that before people get too judgy take a step back if you had a job and were offered a better contract for twice the pay doing the same thing what would you do, I imagine that if people were very honest with themselves they would give notice and start the new job. The OP ultimately has to put her needs and the needs of her own family first that is where her priorities lie, she said she feels sad about the situation, she does care about the little boy, she has made a difficult decision and I for one agree with her.

crumpet Wed 26-Aug-09 11:36:06

Yes this is a business, but as a parent if I had heard this story, then it would make me think twice about using this childminder.

As a parent continuity of care is important, and unless the cm had made it VERY clear that she would accept a part time child only until a full time child came along, then I'd be broadcasting this treatment to all and sundry. Local people do talk about local childminders.

Even if I wanted to place a full time child with her I would have no confidence that if a sibling pair came along wantign a palce that my child would not be booted out to make room.

Right as per the strict letter of the contract, but wrong on so many other levels.

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