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CM Club - Please help me forward plan, not sure what to do about mindees????

20 replies

looneytune · 10/03/2007 10:51

Hi everyone

Some of you will know that I lost my first mindee a few weeks ago as she started private school. I had people lined up to visit, 2 came, 1 wanted to see me again with the view to signing up Mon-Thurs and then mother of current mindee said she does want to sign up new baby with me afterall (she hadn't made up mind about her plans i.e. nanny, au pair etc) so that means I'm now full Tues, Wed & Thurs (mindees currently 19 months & 12 weeks).

My problem........

A) Monday's and Friday's proving difficult days to fill on their own, not currently working those days
B) I'm really worried about my future with the 2 mindees I have. When mum decided not to sign up baby, it was because she was looking for some kind super-nanny/au pair who could do breakfast for her b & b guests as well as do the childcare, housework etc (something like that anyway). She soon found that a nanny wouldn't be happy about do breakfast for b&b guests and that an au pair is normally at college and therefore can't do full childcare. Why am I worried now???..........because when mum announced she did want me, she said it on the phone like this "can you sign baby x up and not the other you've lined up, I've now worked out my plans for the next few months and have an au pair starting". I sort of ignored the "plans for next few months" bit and was just pleased I was keeping the sibling who I've had for over a year now and started with me at 6 months. I've been fine about our arrangements until now. Something is niggling at me. Parents are off skiing next week and au pair will look after the 2 lo's whilst they are away apart from 2 day's when I'll still have them. This au pair is doing lots for the family which is great and they are happy with BUT, what if they decide to use her instead of me as it would be a lot cheaper? I can understand why they'd do this but I have to think of myself and about what will happen IF they do take the girls out of my care! If they go, I'll have NO MINDEES and I'm very worried. I'm more worried that I've turned away work during a busy time and could loose them at a quiet time when it's harder to get work.

What would you do? I've asked mum about contracts and said 'you mentioned next few months and wondered if that means baby is a temp contract? if so, let me know and i'll do a short term contract' She confirmed that it's indefinate 'for now'. So to me, that could mean anything.

Ideally I'd love to keep these girls. I'm very close to the 19 month old as had her so long but I'm also already very fond on the little baby sister as I've had her since she was 7 weeks old. The only problem with the actual mindees is the days I have them. Bang in the middle of the week so other days hard to fill.

I really really need some advice on all this. I'm so scared of loosing all my business at once. We're already loosing lots of income since mindee left and we will struggle big time if it carries on like this.


OP posts:

looneytune · 10/03/2007 11:37

Another thing. I've had lots of people saying 'why don't you see if they will swap the days you have mindees' - I know people have done this but how on earth do you bring this up? I'm friendly with mindees mum and feel I could say a lot but still, not sure I could ask if she swaps her days.

Any thoughts/advice?

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looneytune · 10/03/2007 11:41

One more of the local childminders is expecting twins and will stop childminding from June. Little boy she has is 1 and I'm pretty sure he's full time or Mon-Thurs. She was going to recommend me, said I'd be perfect and wanted to tell the mum about me BUT I'm full midweek.

Would this be worth pursuing?

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saltire · 10/03/2007 11:52

Personally, i would just come out with it to the mother, mention the bit in her phone call about "plans for the next few months, andsee what she says. Maybe tell her that you are getting a lot of enquires and need to know what's happening.


nannynick · 10/03/2007 11:56

I would follow up on the two families who may be able to fill your mon-thurs. From how you are describing the current family, they do not seem all that committed - just a feeling I'm getting. If it pans out then you would work 4 days per week, which is more than currently and for 2 families, so if one left, you don't lose all your income.

You do get very attached to the children, but you need to think about business viability. Thus I would try to establish if the other enquiries will become firm bookings.

When do you need to make a firm decision by? Could you take on the baby for now and then give notice if you find you can fill 4 days per week?


SHOSHAlee · 10/03/2007 11:58

I would pin her down, Looney and ask her how long the arrangement is for, as you have had a enquiry for June, if she cant be more specific and the one in June decided definitely to come to you, I would give notice in may, it would be easier to fill a full time space than two days a week in my experience.


looneytune · 10/03/2007 12:01

What, asking about swapping the days? If it's to ask about her plans, that's what I asked on Wednesday and she told me indefinitely 'for now' which is what worries me. She maybe making sure she's got childcare sorted whilst she explores different options and I could just end up getting the 4 weeks notice if no longer needed. I know this can happen at anytime BUT because I have a niggling feeling AND they are my only mindees, I'm just really concerned. Maybe I could tell her I'm worried and let her know about this person wanting a childminder from June and see how she responds. I've never given notice to people to get better mindees purely down to circumstances, only ever gave notice once for awful behaviour and wouldn't NORMALLY even consider giving notice.

Just really torn as money SOOO tight now PLUS dh is really worried about us being left with no mindees too.

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looneytune · 10/03/2007 12:06


Nannynick - baby is already with me, it's just the contracts haven't been done as I've still not received them from NCMA. Mum is fine with waiting for contracts and said on Wednesday that it's a proper contract she needs and that I'm required indefinitely 'for now'. It's this 'for now' bit that bothers me. I mean, ALL contracts will be 'for now' as noone knows what's round the corner BUT it's the way it's being said, just sounds to me that mum wants to keep me until she finds a better/cheaper option now she has the 2 kiddies. Totally understandable BUT I have to think of my business.

For now, I've decided to put more into my website business but ideally, I want to be working as a childminder full time or at least Mon-Thurs.

Decisions, decisions!

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Tan1959 · 10/03/2007 12:09

I can sympathise with your dilemma Looneytune; Sometimes it can be so hard to get everything to slot in nicely. I have been really lucky in that all my part-time children have slotted in very nicely although, since last June, I have not had any work on a Friday . All I can say is, that due to my own very recent experience, you need to look after 'the business' and sadly I say this having been left with a very bitter taste in my mouth!

Briefly, in January, I took on 4 adorable before and after school children from same family (mum returning to work after triplets) - first five weeks were very busy with calls from 5 families (turned them all down) towards end of February, mum decided to give up work offering me no notice . I am because I had asked her several times whether she intended on staying in her current job as she told me she was unhappy there. My 'business' has almost been left in ruins as I was owed 7 weeks fees (x 4 & still owed half the money).

Apart from the financial side, I had also become quite attached to them (so can identify with you there) as well as my 16 month old mindee, who I have 3 days a week and my two year old mindee on 1 day, has lost 4 playmates who they had become quite attached to!

I should think what is worrying you is the term 'indefinite for now'? you are right, that could mean anything.

I find that the uncertainty of whether more work is around the corner or not, is a constant worry.


looneytune · 10/03/2007 12:18

Oh Tan, how awful for you. I must admit, my ds is missing his best friend (mindee who left few weeks ago) like mad so I understand how your mindee must be feeling And poor you about the money etc, presume you're fighting that?!

I've now emailed that other childminder for more info and will see what she comes back with.

I hate even considering this but I do need to think of my family and paying the mortgage etc!

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StrawberrySnowflakes · 10/03/2007 20:05

as hard as it sounds i think you need to cut to the chase with this mum and say you are going to have to start thikning of returning the enquiry calls you are getting as, as a family and being your business you cant live one week to the next, i wouldnt turn anyone else away tbh, id get them round for visit..ask mum if she can change days, if not..put your feelers out.


franyfroo · 11/03/2007 02:40

i agree. you need to know where you stand. at the end of the day these people are clients and not your friends, I found that out the hard way, they will treat you as they see fit.


looneytune · 11/03/2007 11:55

Thanks again ladies, I will speak to mum when they are back from their skiing trip! The other childminder is keeping me in the loop re: the Mon-Thurs mindee she'd talked to me about and I will get CIS to update my details to show that full time and part time vacancies may be available shortly. Oh yeah, will update my website too. Then, I'll see if I get any more enquiries.

Thanks for the advice, I hate doing all this but I really do have to think of my business!

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looneytune · 19/03/2007 15:00

Right, mindees due back tomorrow, parents back from skiing yesterday so hopefully I'll get to talk to them.

At the moment I have someone due to call back tomorrow about after school care Mon-Fri. This doesn't affect my under 5 numbers.

I did have a lady with a 9ish month old come and see me just before baby mindee was signed up. For those who haven't read old thread, mum had 2nd baby but didn't want to commit to contract so I just did adhoc care. Advertised space when another mindee left and once mum heard I'd got someone wanting to meet me again, told me she does want me for baby after all. So, I had to tell this other lady I was now full. Well, I've emailed her asking if she had any luck finding another childminder and she said she'd decided to stick with the nursery for now. I casually mentioned I may have a space after all due to possible changes and she thanked me and asked me to keep her posted.

So, do I go ahead and let her know I've got a space coming up? Do I speak to the mindees mum to see what her plans are? Surely if I ask, she'll just say what I want to hear for now? What would you do?

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StrawberrySnowflakes · 19/03/2007 15:24

you need something concrete from skiing parents, she must sign standard contract terms or you will have toa dvertise space as you have to forward plan and ensure you are not turning children away in the uncertantly of her required care.good luck chick..oops sorry shosha


looneytune · 19/03/2007 15:37

Well, when I've asked her recently what her plans are she still says indefinate for now. So, if I just ask her that same question, I'm pretty sure she'll say yes, they are staying so that she's covered, then could just give me 4 weeks notice any time. It's my 'suspicions' that are bothering me

Does that make sense? Have I given a clear picure of my situation or shall I try again? (did rush last message)

Thanks CHICK

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StrawberrySnowflakes · 19/03/2007 15:41

you could always try getting them into a 8-12 week notice period or just start offering their places and if someone wants to take, she will either have to go or give you a definate..i know what you mean tho, they could just say yes and bugger off next minute, but i dont know what else to suggest, other than get the new mindees if shes so elusive, youll never know if your coming or going


looneytune · 19/03/2007 15:47

I know, decisions, decisions

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looneytune · 19/03/2007 18:21

Now I've had an enquiry about adhoc care for 5 week old. She's looked at my website and now wants to meet so I've just emailed her back. I don't know how frequently she'd want someone? I know she said she MAY be getting a part time job in a few months but I don't have the days she requires. Again, I will IF I didn't have these 2 girls I have at the moment.

Still can't decide what to do about the lady who said to keep her posted??? She wanted to meet me again with her husband for Mon-Thurs care of under 1, all day.

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quietmouse · 19/03/2007 18:47

I would ask mum of your current mindees for a definate, as to whether the places are permanent/temporary. Just be honest with her and tell her that you have had other enquiries and if she can't guarantee she wants permanent places (as much as anyone can) then you may have to take other children on and possibly give her notice or ask her to swap her days.

I would see both the mum wanting the 4 days a week (as quickly as possible so that you know where you are can make some decisions) and also the 5 week old's mum.

You have to look after yourself and your familiy. You can't do people favours, as much as you would like to, and I know it's hard when you have bonded with a child, but you know they would do the same to you if the shoe were on the other foot.


looneytune · 19/03/2007 21:36

Thanks. Going to speak to mum tomorrow evening but I'm pretty sure I know what she'll say. Will have a real big think about this before I get the other lady back again (if she wants to come) as there's no way I want to turn her down again for a second time.

OP posts:
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