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CM club: please give me advise here!

10 replies

ssd · 29/07/2006 08:13

I've new children starting soon and I feel the parents are putting me under pressure already. The main issues are settling in(they are convinced they won't settle) and they want me to guarantee I'll be childminding for the next 3 years! Of course I haven't got any plans to stop working, but I feel like they want the impossible.

But the main problem is they don't want a settling in period after they start. Usually I give it a few months when kids start and then re'asses to see how it's going. Usually it's fine, but this gives the parents and me a chance to see if the situation suits us both, like a trial period. But these parents insist if I take their kids it's for 3 years!! Not a trial settling in, just like you'll have them and that's that.They think they'll never settle the kids elsewhere if they don't stay here(?).

It's amking me feel uneasy, what would other minders do in this situation? I do want to give it a go as I think it'll be okay, but I feel under pressure before I've started!

OP posts:

jellyjelly · 29/07/2006 08:19

I can understand why you feel pressured, jesus nothing like wanting to make you quit now. I would say you offer an initial contact of say 3 months then have a review and then sign for a 6 month contract. You can always ask if they would like to sign up with their work for 3 yrs and no negioitation. They might realise that is is not nice to hold you to it.

Remember this is your business and they should be willing to go along with what you offer not the other way around. i think they are beign unreasonable to you.


looneytune · 29/07/2006 08:21

Don't commit, I really doubt any childminder could say 100% that they'll still be doing it in 3 years and if they do GUARANTEE 100% then I think they are just saying what the parents want to hear. I certainly still hope I'm doing this in 3 years but you just never know what could happen to change things. Or maybe you'll still do it but move to a different area or something then they still wouldn't have you.

If they are talking to you like they employ you and can boss you about rather than it being a partnership and you providing a service, I'm afraid I'd personally steer clear. If they are like this now, you could have a nightmare time of it!!

Whatever you do, IF you take them, DO NOT write on the contracts anything about committing for 3 years!!!

Maybe they are nice people who are just worried about the whole childcare thing but they shouldn't expect you to promise such a thing. Also, I'd insist on a settling in period because the arrangement may not suit and it's just as much for you as it is for them.

Sorry, not much help - good luck whatever you decide


trinityrhino · 29/07/2006 08:22

I think they are being unrreasonable too, but I should add that I have no experience at all in child minding, sorry

it does seem though that they should be doing it with the three month reveiw as you would normally becasue it is your business and also sounds like a sensible idea so that everyone can feel comfortable that everything is going well


HappyMumof2 · 29/07/2006 09:31

Message withdrawn


ThePrisoner · 29/07/2006 10:50

One of my "selling points" to parents is the fact that I have already been minding long enough to currently have mindees that started with me as babies, and I have continued caring for them throughout their primary school years. Many of my other mindees have been here for years too.

I have no intention of giving up yet, and do tell parents this, but I also tell them that I obviously have no idea what the future will hold.

You can't possibly commit to having the children this long, except in confirming that you don't have plans to give up yet.

I do know of many children that have had to change minders several times for a variety of reasons, and perhaps the parents are worried about this happening to their own children??


nannynick · 29/07/2006 13:01

To me this is sending out big warning signs. If the parents are wanting this level of control, before you have even started childminding their children, what will it be like in a few months time!

As others have said already, remember that you are running a business. YOU dictate how that business operates, not the parents who use your service.

Sick with the policys you have in place, such as the settling in period / trail period whereby you and they can terminate contract quite easily, should you find that things are not going to plan.

What history do you know about the family? They seem a little concerned over settling the children in... maybe they have had bad experiences before... maybe all the other local childminders refuse to have their children You just don't know, maybe a good time to ask around to see what other childminders know of that particular family.

Start as you mean to go on. Be business like about it, explain your policies to them and stick with them. If the parents can't cope with that, then let them go elsewhere.


ssd · 29/07/2006 18:20

glad you all feel the same.

does any parents not agree with this?

OP posts:

LoveMyGirls · 31/07/2006 07:54

stick to your terms, you are your own boss and dont have to do anything you dont feel comfortable with.


MaryP0p1 · 31/07/2006 08:09

I'm a parent and was childminder and they are taking the P*. What your suggesting is normal. Perhaps if they insist on this 3 year thing insist in the contract they guarantee payment for the period regardless of anything that might prevent the children from coming. I.e. they can't give you notice if they don't like you, you have a row, they have another baby and are on maternity leave, one of them become long term sick etc. I can see they want stability but they haven't understood that its not an employee/employer relationship where they can dictate the rules. I think before you start you need to make that clear (nicely) that as a childminder you are freelance and therefore free to operate your business under the policies etc you choose. Further in order to make the arrangement a success it has to based on muture respect and good communication with a lot of give and take on both sides.

Hope that helps


dmo · 31/07/2006 09:27

i was a nursery nurse for 13yrs before becoming a c/m 3 yrs ago
i did this for a few reasons but number 1 was to be my own boss
i ditate my contracts, hours, hoildays

if the new parents dont like this when they visit my setting they have opp to visit diff c/m in the area

dont let them boss you now or they will be ruling your hours/hoildays in a years time (they sound the sort)

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