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Would You Send Mindees Home In A Taxi?


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I have a parent who has signed contracts for 3-6.30pm. A few hours later she text me to say she wont be able to afford our agreed rate and she wants to change the hours till 3 -6 and send a taxi to pick them up. The children are 7, 9 and 12 yrs old. Would anyone do this? and also where do i stand with the contract? I did originally tell her she should give me 4 weeks notice.

 

URGENT HELP NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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So she's paying for a taxi to save half an hour's fees? That's a bit odd.

 

I think you need this in writing in great detail including the fact that she uses a firm whose drivers are CRB checked. Children with SEN are often transported in taxis so she shouldn't find that hard.

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I think it would be useful to view these as two separate requests:

 

1. Change of hours.

It seems like the parent had an afterthought as the request was made within hours of original agreement.

Your options are to stick to the contract; by the letter, and request 4 weeks notice or;

Consider that these are genuine logistical needs of the parent and agree to changing the hours.

Would you risk losing the children altogether ie: 9 hrs of custom for what is a request for a 1.5 hrs reduction in custom, if the parent decides she can't send the children for the original agreed hours due to whatever reason.

If you decide to agree changed hours, make clear to parent that once signed, this new contract will require 4 weeks notice to change it.

 

2. Taxi Travel.

As Upsy Daisy says, children do travel in taxi's. My son has special needs and although he is 12 yrs old he functions much younger. His school provide a Taxi to and from home every day. The contract for this service is between the LA and Taxi firm.

All taxi drivers have to have CRB checks ( my brother recently started a job as a taxi driver). I will check with him whether the check is 'enhanced' or not.

In this case you will either have to trust that the parent ensures that drivers are enhanced checked and have an agreement/permission to allow a named taxi firm to pick up the children, in writing from the parent. I don't think it would be acceptable in terms of the children's well being that the parents books taxi's from different firms on a daily basis, the children need continuity of care even for short journeys to and from you.

Or maybe this is a service you could organise with a local taxi firm, drawing up your own contract with a Taxi firm to provide transport for not just these children but for others in the future, should they be required. A 'Unique selling point' for your business. If you agree a contract with a Taxi firm it could include any agreements such as children don't travel in front seats, booster seats to be provided by taxi firm, protocol for cancelled trips etc. Maybe ask your LA for an example 'Taxi travel contract'.

 

Let us know what happens, an interesting dilemma.

 

Peggy

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Peggy my experience has always been that there is an escort present in the taxi if it a special needs child. Does this no longer happen?

Our Children's Centre uses Taxi firms to take children to and from their schools, but there is always a member of staff accompanying them. Obviously this would be different if it is the parent making a private arrangement and therefore having responsibility, but I would be concerned about what would happen if there was an accident.

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Peggy my experience has always been that there is an escort present in the taxi if it a special needs child. Does this no longer happen?

Our Children's Centre uses Taxi firms to take children to and from their schools, but there is always a member of staff accompanying them. Obviously this would be different if it is the parent making a private arrangement and therefore having responsibility, but I would be concerned about what would happen if there was an accident.

 

My older daughter has a taxi to take her to and from school funded by SEN services and she does not have an escort unless she is sharing with another child who has been assessed as needing one.

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Peggy my experience has always been that there is an escort present in the taxi if it a special needs child. Does this no longer happen?

Our Children's Centre uses Taxi firms to take children to and from their schools, but there is always a member of staff accompanying them. Obviously this would be different if it is the parent making a private arrangement and therefore having responsibility, but I would be concerned about what would happen if there was an accident.

 

 

Yes, my son has an escort, he travels in a people carrier with 4 other children.

 

A good point to consider about if there was an accident.

 

I also had to speak with the firm who take my son because they were allowing children to sit in the front seat, although this is entirely legal, I personally prefer my son to sit in the back seats. This is for two reasons, one safety and second in my case because of Foster child safe care policy with regard to protection against false accusations (inappropriate touching) between driver and passenger.

 

Peggy

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It sounds as if the presence of an escort varies between authorities doesn't it? It's worrying really as no doubt not having one is a cost cutting exercise. For safeguarding reasons I would have thought that two adults were essential. I agree with you about children not sitting in the front seats. :o

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It sounds as if the presence of an escort varies between authorities doesn't it? It's worrying really as no doubt not having one is a cost cutting exercise. For safeguarding reasons I would have thought that two adults were essential. I agree with you about children not sitting in the front seats. :o

 

I do have slight qualms about her being alone in a car with the taxi driver but when the school buses carrying 50+children don't have any adults on board apart from the driver I don't think anyone is going to listen to me and that's a battle I can't fight just now.

 

Good point about the driver's CRB being enhanced.

 

If I could be satisfied that I've taken all steps I can to ensure the children's safety by asking the parent to put the whole arrangement to me in writing I think I'd feel comfortable to go ahead. After all you don't question anyone else sent by parents to pick children up unless they appear to be seriously unsuitable for some reason.

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I have spoken to the legal dept @ NCMA nand the Early Years team and both of them have said as long as you get the parent to sign an agreement between you and parent stating that all responsibility is handed over to parent when children are in the car then that is ok. Also said to write this in the contract.

 

Hope this helps everyone xxx

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I was pre-school, but we had a parent who regularly used a Taxi to send and collect her child from us...

 

we had a written letter form her which included the responsibility once the child had left our care... and used to call us in the morning to say she was using a Taxi that day.. it was always the same driver each time and even then we had a password system.

 

think one important thing to do is perhaps set up a password system with the parent and Taxi driver so you know it is the correct person collecting.. would feel unsure about handing over to a different person each time and not ensuring they were the correct person to collect..

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I would be unhappy that I wouldn't then have any contact with the parents! The doorstep handover is really important to me and I wouldn't be happy without that.

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Well after signing contracts etc she decided 4 days later that she no longer wants my service. I rang the legal dept and they said she has full rights to pull out even though she signed the contract and did not have a settling in period. Was due to have her kids on the monday and she text me to say she nolonger needed my service on the friday before. Contract was signed the monday before she text me - sooooooooooooooooo mad as she made me complete 2 contracts and 3 record forms!!!!!!! Now i have to fork out for new contracts etc.

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I know that this may sound odd - but in some places a scam arose whereby the same sort of scenario happened - although not a mention of taxi.

 

Some people sign contracts etc., in order to obtain your details so that they can claim certain allowances from the tax office etc., they need for one your URN number- send her a letter telling her that you have a duty to inform certain government bodies, such as the tax office that you will not be looking after her children.

 

Sounds to me as if you were a stop gap in her childcare arrangements!! Usually I take a non-refundable deposit (around about one month in advance and not returnable) - but obviously equates to the first month worked.

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Well she did take my URN number so now im unsure what to do? I think i may write her aletter stating that just for peace of mind. Shall i call the tax office ? Does anyone have a number at all? What happens if she is claiming using my URN number, will i get into trouble??????

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No you shouldn't get into trouble. It would be her that would be claiming fraudulently. The only responsibility we have is when they write to us for confirmation of the hours we're being paid for.

 

You could give them a call just to be sure.

 

Tax Credits Helpline 0845 300 3900

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