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Tricky situation wrt before & after school care - possibly this should be in freelancers/self-employed

(29 Posts)
Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 20:59:19

In the next village over the before & after school club is closing at (very imo) short notice - less than 3 weeks.

I have been asked if I can help - so I am off to a meeting tomorrow evening to meet the parents who have been let down (I also have a fair amount of sympathy for the staff who have been dropped & to some extent the company who have 'apparently' gone bust)

There are staff available to employ
There are children available to care for & transport

I do not want to make any empty promises but neither can I commit to anything tomorrow evening.

My problem is I can envisage either employing a new member of staff (or 2) & ending up with not enough children as parents make alternative arrangements OR having loads of children but no employee to ferry them about

I can't expect people to wait for me to sort it all out & neither can I ask for guarantees (or money) if I might not be able to provide care

I don't really know where to start

Danthe4th Wed 21-Oct-09 21:13:12

I would ask if you can see any figures before the meeting, at least get the chance to see if you can make it pay. Is the school going to employ you directly or expect you to run this as a childminder bearing in mind the employers costs etc. You mention transporting the children is there a vehicle available already. Sounds like you aren't going to be able to make any decisions tommorrow.

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 21:21:02

That is what worries me

No - I will be doing this as a childminder

Ideally I would employ someone & they would do the school run - however due to the time scale the new person would stay at mine with DH & do breakfast, my current employee would do my school run & I would do the new one

I have a smaller car which would do my school run & a people carrier to do the new school run - but a minibus might have to be considered (it is already under discussion tbh)

The problem is the brake even pint is awfully close to the max no of children I can take

Danthe4th Wed 21-Oct-09 21:26:15

Do you employ anyone at the moment as you stert to get in to the realms of employers paye etc and employers insurance. Is it worth the hassle if the brake even point is a bit close.

Danthe4th Wed 21-Oct-09 21:27:17

oh sorry read that again so you already do employers tax etc.

Danthe4th Wed 21-Oct-09 21:29:13

Could the school supply a room for an after school club to be ran at school

nannynick Wed 21-Oct-09 21:31:11

I think you are lacking information, so can't really make any decisions until you know a lot more.

I would say that if you have the capacity to take some of the children at present... without employing another member of staff, then you can offer that. But I wouldn't suggest employing someone especially so you can take on this new work, until you know a lot more about the number of children needing care is involved, what parents are prepared to pay for that care and travel costs.

nannynick Wed 21-Oct-09 21:34:42

Another potential issue... you +DH +current employee +new employee = 4 people. Is that then Childcare on Domestic Premises rather than Childminding registration?

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 21:39:58

Do I ring the Early Years team & see if they can help me 'pull a rabbit out of a hat' & set up on site (or at least in the village)

There is a community centre, several churches & an emergent children's centre

Maybe the children's centre are the people to contact?

TBH Nick without a member of staff I cannot 'do' anything we are on the edge staffingwise atm

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 22:03:23

Or do I phone OFSTED & see what they suggest

nannynick Wed 21-Oct-09 22:03:42

Perhaps call the early years team and ask them to send someone to attend the meeting. They could then bring with them a list of all childcare providers in the area who have vacancies.

Children's centre may be worth chatting with, as their venue may already be registered with Ofsted.

Nice that you are wanting to help... but I'm not sure why you are. Your own families health and your childcare setting are your priorities. Go to the meeting by all means but don't make any promises to help, unless you have the ability to take more children in your existing setting with your existing staff. Setting up a new setting in a new venue is not going to be something that will happen quickly, and I don't feel you really what that hassle. You may be able to advise someone else on how to go about doing it... but providing the care yourself I feel is not worthwhile given that you can't care for those children at your existing setting.

cat64 Wed 21-Oct-09 22:15:33

Message withdrawn

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 22:15:48

Nick - I've got to help, you know me

There are 15 families needing care, I have got to try & help

I agree that I must not promise anything - I cannot invite the EY team or the children's centre people to the meeting - it is someone's house

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 22:22:28

I think the church may be the people to contact - I have good links with the local church - we might be able to use their premises as a short term measure, while something is sorted out

I wonder if that village is on our circuit - I will email my Rev tomorrow

cat64 Wed 21-Oct-09 22:22:34

Message withdrawn

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 22:31:26

Complicated CAT - until a short while ago I was ready to open a daycare nursery with an OOSC, it didn't go ahead because of start-up costs of around £450K

I may be able to support a local parent to register as a childminder/childminding setting

Or do a short-term thing in a temporary space or even set up an OOSC permanently

I really won't know until I can see how many families need care & when also important is what they are prepared to pay for it

nannynick Wed 21-Oct-09 22:33:06

What is actually possible? I am assuming that the setting was Ofsted registered - is that the case? Is it still registered... have they notified Ofsted, resigned registration? If it is just the owner which is changing, then it may be possible to get it open again come November. But if anything needs changing Ofsted reg wise (so would include moving venue), then I would have thought it doubtful - a re-registration could take 6 months or longer.

Could you get the list of childcare vacancies for the local area from FIS and go armed with that... then at least you could point families towards providers who may be able to help them.

Katymac Wed 21-Oct-09 22:37:55

Hmm Nick a list......we haven't got one of those (but anecdotally there are no spaces locally - I checked)

If I have a member of staff I can do 6 every morning & between 4 & 6 each afternoon

Would OFSTED not pull their finger out for continuity of care (Well it is nearly)? I really don't know, it seems a shame if they won't

nannynick Wed 21-Oct-09 23:00:29

I doubt they would. The local CCI may be able to help speed thing up a little but by how much is questionable. Lot easier if the venue and staff don't change.
What happens to resources... who owns the equipment? If the company has gone bust, then that may be owned by a bank or some other financial entity.

If you have another member of staff... wouldn't that then mean you had 4 people working with children at the same time? You've been through all that stuff, so you know better than I do about the rules for when Ofsted will consider your setting to be no longer childminding.

atworknotworking Thu 22-Oct-09 06:49:13

Sounds a bit tricky hmm

I'm sure I read on here that you co-childmind so one of your employees is a reg'd CM? If you have one with a Level 3 or playwork qual could you not make them the reg'd person on site, yes it would mean that you technically employed more than 4 people but you would be working at the same time but at different sites so technically not together. Is the existing club running from the school? or does it have its own building? could this be the opportuntity to open another branch of WC?

Just thought you can't CM on non-domestic premises, tried that before Ofsted wouldn't go with it bugga!

Katymac Thu 22-Oct-09 08:09:17

Very tricky - I am emailing the newly formed children's centre to see if they can help before I attend tonight

They are in a shared portacabin which does appear to be part of the problem.

Currently I have 3 level 3's & 3 reg C/mers (not necessarily the same people wink

Oh I don't know

Katymac Thu 22-Oct-09 15:33:49

I have written a letter - but it sounds very officious tbh

"Thank you for inviting me to come this evening. I understand that A ‘out of school provision’ is due to close and this meeting is to discuss childcare options for the children who have been displaced.

To discuss re-opening the ‘out of school provision’ I would suggest that you contact Development Worker on XXXXX as I am unable to comment on the situation.

If OFSTED are prepared to alter my registration to that of ‘Childcare on Domestic Premises’ (rather than childminder) I might be able to help with regard to out of school provision for some of these children. At this point in time I am unable to commit to providing this service, as there are too many variable for me to take into consideration.

If you need childcare I would need to know what days provision you need and whether am/pm or both. Because of the nature of this service (and the fact that I would need an additional staff member) I would only be able to take firm bookings, ad-hoc or occasional bookings would not be taken into consideration when deciding the viability of the service.

Please email me with you requirements as soon as possible (email addy). Once I have all the possible booking I will examine the options and see if there is a viable business case to start providing this service.

I have two main concerns, firstly that I will commit to caring for children and not have a member of staff to be responsible for them or that secondly I would have a member of staff with no children to care for."

What do you think?

atworknotworking Thu 22-Oct-09 18:39:04

Probably a bit late for feedback now, but had a busy day.

Sounds good covers main areas and your concerns, doesn't commit you to bailing parents out and makes it clear that you could/would help as long as it was firm bookings.

Just wondering whats the difference between the two registrations (in brief cos I'm not very bright) childminding as opposed to childcare on domestic prem?

nannynick Thu 22-Oct-09 18:47:41

Why send a letter? Could you not just go to the meeting and see what gets discussed. You could then tell them that they need to chat with the Development Officer if they intend to reopen the setting.

Katymac Thu 22-Oct-09 19:04:02

Childminding is up to 3 adults (CM or Assistants)

C/C on domestic premises is 4 or more


I think the school is intending to open next Sept on site so I am only a temp measure - which I am happy with tbh

Nick - because I can offer a short term solution & I like to help (if I can)

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