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Childminders club - need more help

(31 Posts)
JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 18:29:42

Now i have started asking for advice it is not gonna stop till i sort it all out.

One of my new ish parents is being a bit of a handful.

1)She is a bit skint, she says to skint to put credit on her phone, she doesnt have a landline so she texts whenever she needs to discuss something and wants me then to text her back. I have been doing this for ages now and it has to stop as i am spending about10-15 approx per month on texts just to her. I cant afford it. I have asked her lots of time to call me rather than texting
1) because i might not have my phone on me as i dont have to and it could be a really important text that i could miss - her response was well keep it on you then.

2) The safety angle somebody to get hold of her phone and ask me to take her child somewhere which i could do without voice confirmation, worse thing i can think of her ex partner who is trying to get custody kidnapping etc. (sorry have to worry about the childs safety)

3) i explained that it was costing me 8p per text which is to much so i have to stop - her response was well it costs me 12p i am more skint than you.

4)i have had lots of problems for her asking me to look after child for 5 days and nights without pay (not ok'd for overnight care and she knows this)

5) even though i give receipts with breakdown for each session on them she wants a breakdown on a letter addressed to income support saying what she pays and for how long, charges etc. I have told her that i give receipt for this reason and that should be ok, i have said you right it and i will check it. I dont think they should be requesting this and my other half says to charge her for it, an hours work.

6)Late payments which she has disputed, even though late payment fee in contract. Not asking if ok just telling me thatshe is not paying half pay through the session.( child is dropped off by somebody else)

What does everyone think of this, i know i need to get rid of her( she was my first client and she was a friend, so it does make it difficult). I really like looking after the child and my son likes it too but everytime i talk to her my ezcema flares straight away she is making me so stressed about it all.

i was thinking about writting a letter detailing this this weekend any other points about the texting apart from the safety angle that could support my case?.

Does anyone know if i give a weeks notice on these grounds if i can be sued, i use ncma contracts and state 4 weeks either side.

In case you havent guessed i hate confrontations and i think this might start one.

Thanks any ideas much appreciated.

Twiglett Tue 28-Jun-05 18:32:02

give her notice she sounds more hassle than she is worth

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 18:36:25

You were very quick, i am a bit worried that if i do she might bad mouth me to all the groups and as i am having problems finding the children anyway because of the lack of children and the amount of minders i dont think this will help.

KatyMac Tue 28-Jun-05 19:57:52

I'd "lose" your phone if I were you and ask for calls on your landline.

I don't think you'd get away with one weeks notice - but someone else might know more....

I'd give her 4 weeks notice as I wouldn't put up with the nonsence...but I just don't need the hassle

Good Luck

HellyBelly Tue 28-Jun-05 20:07:23

Hi JJ, you know what I think - get rid of her, she's a right pain and stopping you earning a fair price. Expecting you to do 5 nights at no charge and knowing you're not allowed to is well out of order. Some friend! She's never going to understand so I'd give her the 4 weeks notice.

Good luck whatever you decide!

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 20:11:05

Thanks, i didnt think i was out of order but i wanted to get other childminders thoughts on this. I was going to give her the benefit of the doubt and write a letter to her this weekend then see if she messes up again. Why you say because i love my job and really like looking after the child.

ThePrisoner Tue 28-Jun-05 22:55:09

You should say in your letter that u enjoy looking after her child (so are being positive!)

Don't understand why she has to be in so much contact during your working day anyway?? What happens if u ignore her texts? If u are going to give her a 2nd chance, could u suggest that you have discussions at the end of the day in person instead of by text, because then it won't interrupt your wonderful care of the children ...

I don't think u can get away with less notice than on contract, unless one of u is obviously not fulfilling their side of the contract.

It sounds as though u want to give notice anyway, just be positive in your letter!

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 23:02:27

it is not just during the session its is during the week, how much is ther session? (the same as last week)Not sure what time the session will be from.? Lots of different things.

I have tried ignoring her texts she will just send them again, i ignored some of them because i just dont always have time, i have a family to look after myself.

The lastest was 'Tell your friend i have her birthday card and it will be with you (me) on thursday'.

That type of things. I do a de brief and a diary for her to read at the end of the session. i dont do it on text and it would be so long.

ThePrisoner Tue 28-Jun-05 23:13:23

So her texts aren't even anything important!!! I asumed they would be asking if her child was OK/eating/playing nicely???

Parents sometimes contact me to see if their child is OK, especially if they are new, or might have been a bit under-the-weather, but they understand that I might not be able to text back immediately and if they phone, I may answer but say that we're a bit busy.

It's very easy to say "just give notice" but it's a hard thing to do in practice, but it sounds as though that is what u want to do??

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 23:18:02

bit fed up of late payments not even asking if that was ok but telling me, she is stressing me out so much about this that i have lots of patches of ezcema which only come out when stressed and never this bad.

no it is never is the child settling stupid stuff like the one asking me to call me friend to tell her i will have a birthday card for her. Running up my bills. We share care with another childminder on the same day and she is getting annoyed at always having to respond to her texts. The other c/m view is if she wants to talk then call not text.

I really love looking after the childbut she is so hard to deal with and it is the other childminder thoughts as well

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 23:19:01

ps will send a text to new parents or call at my expense for the first couple of days if they need to or they are invited to call whenever they need to.

allieballie Tue 28-Jun-05 23:21:13

Am I being stupid or something but if it costs 12p to text you how is she paying for all these texts without putting credit on her phone? Maybe if you keep ignoring them she'll run out of credit eventually. Sorry, I know thats not constructive but I really feel for you having to put up with this.
Did she pay the late payment fee in the end or could you use that as breach of contract?
I wouldn't worry too much about her bad mouthing you to groups, any other childminder who took her on would soon be on you side!

ThePrisoner Tue 28-Jun-05 23:24:06

Then ditch them (but nicely!!) Not sure how to do that though as I'm too soft to be assertive! Will she get mad if u are truthful - I've asked u not to text/would like u to pay money without arguing/feel uncomfortable if asked to do overnight when not allowed to etc.??

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 23:26:23

I said this and her response was 'i spend longer on the phone' (yes my phone bill)., i keep it for texts only. She has been late 4 times now but as i was a bit lapse at doing the contract some wasnt in it but the last tiome was. i have told her that i cant accept texts and that my new contract i wont have any allowance on it but she doesnt care about.

JELLYJELLY Tue 28-Jun-05 23:30:13

I dont know if i should explain one strike further then out in a letter or face to face, she will get mad and will challenge me. She challenged me on putting a collection/drop off fee and made me feel really uncomfortable.

ThePrisoner Tue 28-Jun-05 23:51:14

I would put something in writing to her, as it is easier to make sure u don't forget any points that u need to make. It's easy to tie yourself in knots in a face-to-face situation.

Ensure that what u say is in very plain English so that she will have no excuse to "not understand" what u are saying. Maybe ask her if there is something she doesn't understand on your contract?

Be assertive!!!

JELLYJELLY Wed 29-Jun-05 07:14:08

I havent got anything about texts in my terms and condidtions but i will this weekend. I have learnt from this situation and the situations she puts me in.

ssd Wed 29-Jun-05 08:42:44

Jelly, it can be really hard being a childminder can't it? I think lots of people think it's cushy but it ain't! Dealing with the parents is the hardest thing going....some are fair and nice and some take the mickey left right and centre. TBH this parent is giving you too much grief to make it worth your while, I had to sack a parent before Xmas last year and I was ill - but thank God I did, best move ever. And I'm sure the other mums and c/minders in your area realise what she's like and if she bad mouths you they'll look at it and probably guess you'd no choice but to get rid of her.

Good luck, I know how hard it all is!

ThePrisoner Wed 29-Jun-05 19:40:04

Good luck with whatever u decide to do! Perhaps you could give her notice by text!!!

JELLYJELLY Wed 29-Jun-05 22:04:18

Thanks everyone, really glad that this board is here to discuss these things. I have decided to give her notice, could be really mean and do it by text, that would be funny. I had a new lady around today and when i said i had a vacancy coming up she said 'i'll take it' so not out of pocket and now i wont be so stressed.

Downside is i lost a so called friend, bit sad about that but have to think of myself which i dont often do.

Again thanks

ThePrisoner Wed 29-Jun-05 23:21:30

Perhaps not such a good friend if she takes u for granted ??

RTKangaMummy Thu 30-Jun-05 02:52:20

jellyjelly I was trhinking as I read this that you should dump her PDQ and get to the latest post and you have decided to

And getting new family hopefully without all the hassle

SaintGeorge Thu 30-Jun-05 02:55:19

RTK - what on earth are you doing up at this hour ?

RTKangaMummy Thu 30-Jun-05 03:09:57

Cos am a neurotic mother and DS is on a school residential trip about 4 hours away from home so I am staying in hotel near to where he is just in case I am needed for emergancy

ssd Thu 30-Jun-05 08:52:52

How old is he RTK? And how long is he away for? Is it his first trip away? Is your dh with you?

Sorry I am nosey and neurotic too

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