gggrrr childcare

(86 Posts)
MrsBucketxx Tue 11-Feb-14 07:44:23

Aibu to think nurseries and cm's seem to be the only profession, that takes money regardless if they have done any work that day.

Sick children yup you pay
Holidays yup you pay
They take a holiday you have to find childcare and pay again
You want a holiday you pay
Children at nursery when you use a cm you pay.

It seems to be the same across the board. Aibu to think this is wrong.

I am self employed and this would never hapoen in my own line of work

OwlinaTree Tue 11-Feb-14 07:46:08

You are paying for their space. They can't take another child instead.

Forago Tue 11-Feb-14 07:46:45

Same here. I think it's probably fair enough if your child is ill as it short notives and they've made preparations, ratios, food etc. but I think charging for their holidays is a bit much (my cm doesn't, nursery does sad)

OrangeFizz99 Tue 11-Feb-14 07:47:11

The staff get nothing as it is. Nursery on a pay as you go basis and they'd probably be below the minimum wage!

grabaspoon Tue 11-Feb-14 07:48:53

I am a nanny I expect to be paid even when not needed as any employee does. Just because my boss goes on holiday, wants to spend the day with their sick child doesn't mean I should miss out on my salary. I also expect 5.6 weeks holiday as standard with employment terms - which my boss also gets!

Can you imagine if you were all ready living quite close to the bread line managing bills etc and your company just shut up shop for 2 weeks without paying you or they called you at short notice to say you can have the day off and be unpaid for it....

Yes it may seem unfair but on the other side you'd be kicking up a stink if it was you being employed.

My cm doesnt charge for sick childten or holidays. I think she is mad!

Goldmandra Tue 11-Feb-14 07:52:10

I have only ever charged for the days that I am available to care for the child and are covered by a contract.

I wouldn't charge if I was ill or on holiday and I know lots of other childminders who do the same.

Some take the p* and some keep their overall rate lower by charging to cover their own holidays.

Forago Tue 11-Feb-14 07:52:46

Grab this is what happens to me as a self employed person. orange completely take your point about nursery wages, the nursery should still pay them over Xmas etc in my opinion (I they are salaried) but not charge parents for days when they cannot send their children there.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 11-Feb-14 07:53:42

I think it's fair. You're not paying someone to hold a spot for you if and when you need it, it's their means of income. If you feel it's unfair then you can just do it yourself?

insancerre Tue 11-Feb-14 07:54:15

I work in a nursery, and therefore am not self-employed.
I have a contract, which states that I get paid every month, for a set number of hours.
In order to honour that contract the nursery has to charge parents in the same way.
You book a place ( and therefore staff), you have to pay regardless of whether you use it or not.
Or I could just not eat one month if you prefer, so you can have your holiday abroad and save on the nursery fees.

TheGreatHunt Tue 11-Feb-14 07:54:20

When you're off sick, you are unable to perform a function. The customer loses out through no fault of their own. so why should they pay.

When your child is off sick, your cm loses out as they cannot fill the place so they still charge.

When the cm is off sick I would expect them to not charge you.

So you're seeing it from the wrong angle.

Joysmum Tue 11-Feb-14 07:57:27

Off course it's fair and their are lots of professions that are the same. You are paying to be able to use that persons time, it's up to you if you don't.

oliviaoctopus Tue 11-Feb-14 07:57:33

You do realise how many parents try it on and say their child is sick to get out of paying dont you? And how many parents dont ever pay? And how hard it is to get that money back? I wouldnt be a nursery owner for anything in the world. So hard to make money and stressful

Lagoonablue Tue 11-Feb-14 07:57:59

Tabu. It is a low paid job anyway without stopping payment for your holidays!

Mrsindecision Tue 11-Feb-14 07:58:04

Yabu - I'm sure most of the working parents (employed rather than self employed) using a nursery are entitled to paid holiday from their employers - what's the difference?

funkybuddah Tue 11-Feb-14 08:16:59

Umm I get paid when I'm sick and when I'm on holiday. I've not done any work in those cases.

What a bizarre statement in the OP

WooWooOwl Tue 11-Feb-14 08:22:07

YABU.

I think whether CMs should charge for their own holidays is debatable, but plenty of people get holiday and sick pay, so CMs charging it really isn't that outrageous.

It is wrong to think that they shouldn't be paid for when they are available to work but their client is not using them for days like when the charges are ill or when the family wants to go on holiday.

Childcare isn't an industry like many that charges over the odds, most nurseries and CMs are on very tight margins, it's not like they are routinely earning enough for multiple Caribbean holidays at the expense of sick children.

These are people that care for the most precious thing in your life, why would you want them to be treated like donkeys?

Imnotmadeofeyes Tue 11-Feb-14 08:24:09

*ideally wonders if zero hours contracts will seep into the child care sector*

Not that I agree with it, but it's becoming the norm in a fair few industries, logically it follows that sectors that provide a service to enable employment may have to follow in some areas to stay viable.

Personally I'd like to see some very strict and clear restrictions put on zero hours employment, but that means nothing in the face of reality.

MrsBucketxx Tue 11-Feb-14 08:26:19

Lots of salaried jobs dont get sick pay. 20 day's holiday is only paid cause its the law in many cases.

This attitude across the board really stifles the economy imo.

I cant see how people in child care see it as a low salary when nurseries charge 40 pound a day and my cm is 34. I struggled to get a place so most arw full where I live. Even with three children its 26k a year. Not a low salary.

MrsBucketxx Tue 11-Feb-14 08:28:20

Sorry holiday is only paid cause they have to I mean

oliviaoctopus Tue 11-Feb-14 08:28:53

Im a nursery deputt manager mrsbucket and Im on 6.51 an hour. There is no job out there with more responsibility for a lower wage.

Sarah2506 Tue 11-Feb-14 08:30:28

Totally fine with paying for nursery when on holiday. I get I'm paying for a space. What hacks me off is they ask for as much notice as possible so that they can sell the space to someone else! So they get two lots of 61 quid for my missed day!

MrsBucketxx Tue 11-Feb-14 08:30:50

Ok im confused then even with my basic maths. Wheres all the extra cash going if its not on staff.

KingRollo Tue 11-Feb-14 08:33:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oliviaoctopus Tue 11-Feb-14 08:34:09

There is no extra cash in most nurseries. The last two I have worked in have made less than 10k a year profit. They are quite big as well

PeazlyPops Tue 11-Feb-14 08:40:52

Ok im confused then even with my basic maths. Wheres all the extra cash going if its not on staff.

Food, equipment, utility bills, maintenance?

MrsBucketxx Tue 11-Feb-14 08:42:23

Eeerrr I am not employing someone, I dont pay tax or ni. I am paying for a service no?

I dont expect to be treated like I employ someone, just get what I need.

foreverondiet Tue 11-Feb-14 08:44:16

Well, if your child is ill then then its short notice. If you are away and they have notice and can sell the space to someone else then you shouldn't have to pay!!! Thats ridic.

If they are away / closed then you aren't getting a service and so you shouldn't have to pay them - you pay someone else instead. CMs are SELF EMPLOYED so should not get sick or holiday pay. They may try and negotiate that as part of their rate though.

I have looked into the maths/accounting behind nurseries, they don't make money as unlike nannies or childminders they have to cover rent rates equipment. My local nursery (by the London zone 3 tube station) is £78 a day so only viable with one child, as a nanny would cost £100 (less even for someone less experienced) and look after more than one child.

CMs are generally the cheapest option as they have their house anyway so don't have to cover rent and rates and other building costs like a nursery does, and unlike a nanny they will have 3 or 4 children to one adult (for that reason for 3 or 4 children a nanny should work out similar in cost to a childminder).

There are downsides to childcare in your home as well - ie a nanny - if they are ill then you don't have childcare, plus you have to pay then and someone else when they go on holiday. Although the upside is they will generally look after ill children, and you can try and align your holiday and their holiday.

WooWooOwl Tue 11-Feb-14 08:44:45

Where's all the extra cash going?

Resources for the children
Building maintenance
Insurance
Training
Staff costs other than wages, like insurance and pensions
Utility bills

KingRollo Tue 11-Feb-14 08:45:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotNewButNameChanged Tue 11-Feb-14 08:45:59

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those threads where at least 90% of replies will say YABU but the OP will still argue the case they aren't being.

KingRollo Tue 11-Feb-14 08:48:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

foreverondiet Tue 11-Feb-14 08:49:13

MrsBucketxx - with with a CM they are self employed (ie its their house, their equipment, they tell you when they are away, they set the hours) so you are paying for a service hence no tax, NI and not entitled to annual leave or sick pay.

With a nanny they are an employee - you set the hours, they have to ask for annual leave, you provide equipment - so there is NI and PAYE and they are entitled to annual leave.

Many people make the mistake that their "childcarer" who comes to their house is self employed - this is unlikely to be the case. I am satisfied my cleaner is self employed as she comes at a time that suits her - once you get into the realms of dictating what time they come at then I think its likely they are an employee.

gordyslovesheep Tue 11-Feb-14 08:54:02

Well you are not legally obliged to use childcare...if you don't like it don't use it. I have a contract with my cm which I read and signed prior to my children joining. It outlined when I pay ...I agreed to it, I would be a giant cock to moan about it now.

KingRollo Tue 11-Feb-14 08:58:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

foreverondiet Tue 11-Feb-14 08:59:11

Lets put it another way.

Let's say I open a CM next door to your existing one. I still have the same costs to cover, but I want to be fair, so I say:

a) no holiday pay for me
b) no sick pay for me
c) don't have to pay for your holidays if I am told sufficiently in advance
d) half price if your child is ill as I have to make less food and I have an easier day

The problem is now I have less income but I still have the same costs. So now instead of £40 a day per child I have to charge £46 to end up with the same income.

When people come to see me I tell them how fair I am but all they can say is - why do you charge £46 a day and next door costs £40????

grabaspoon Tue 11-Feb-14 08:59:44

They see it as a low salary as they get national minimum wage and not much more to educate, nourish and care for future generations and your precious babies. That is why child carers see it as a low salary. Would you educate and care for 26 2 year olds 59 hours a week with parents bemoaning why a child has paint on their white fur coat why a child hasn't been potty trained in a day and with all the pressure of paper work and government initiatives for £6 an hour? And still be happy not to be paid when a handful of parents go on holiday to the Maldives for 3 weeks and the nursery don't need you thank you very much?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 11-Feb-14 09:01:53

I find these threads so depressing. There is barely any profit in running a nursery, the staff are on a low enough wage as it is, overhead costs are very high. People who work in childcare long term (from my experience) do it because they love children and love their work. That's important.

There is no way to make running a nursery profitable if you let parents off paying because their child doesn't turn up that day. I know it's the norm in some nurseries to be shut for a period over Christmas, but that is usually averaged out in the cost throughout the year.

And above all of the economical arguments about the costs of running a nursery, at the end of the day, I'm leaving my child with them. The single most precious thing in the entire world to me. I want them to be happy and to have a living wage and a rewarding job with good conditions. I want them to enjoy what they do and to take care of my son properly. I want to have a good relationship with the people I am trusting with his care. And that good relationship does not start with me expecting them to provide a service to me, free of charge, because I think they should be doing it a different way.

NotNewButNameChanged Tue 11-Feb-14 09:03:49

Pisses me off when people complain about the costs of childcare and how expensive it is to have a child.

Very few people are forced to have a child. It is their choice. You know it's going to cost you. Hopefully, sensible people work out a few sums before deciding now is a good time.

Similarly, once you have a child, no one forces you to pay for childcare. Either parent could stay at home and look after the child.

As with most things - apart from death, taxes and the fact that reality TV has been and always will be shit - it's personal choice. And there are probably people out there who would love to have kids and can't.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 11-Feb-14 09:06:57

You are paying to keep the place open for your child. As it is, childcare staff get paid a pittance. YABU and entitled.

bodygoingsouth Tue 11-Feb-14 09:09:56

well you are a but of an idiot arnt you op.

I ran a childminding business and the set up costs are substantial. that's fine and what you expect to run a professional business.

so you set up with car/personal/business insurance. A home carer certificate from college that of course you have to pay for and attend. a first aid certificate etc.

I never charged for my holidays or my sickness, hardly ever had a sick day anyway and gave a years notice for my holidays so parents could match mine to save then money.

I worked 8am until 6 on every day for £3 per hour per child.

all food and drinks included so that's healthy snacks and a full meal in the evening, home cooked and healthy.

my setting was bloody fantastic actually with visits to the farm,park, local beauty spots, picnics, library, toy library, soft play, and our yearly panto ( all included in the price)

when older ones started their free nursery places I took them but of course still charged for that place otherwise I couldn't afford my own bills/mortgage. my parents would have been horrified at the thought of not paying for this.

the job of a cm is extremely responsible, you are in charge of another parents most precious possession and they deserve the best care, love and attention while with you.

often like all working parents cms put their own children and family last. you expect that.

of course if you don't feel your children deserves the best care and are just focused on mean spirited sniping then that says more about you really.

ps so yes you are completely and utterly wrong.

moogy1a Tue 11-Feb-14 09:18:55

I'm a CM.
I don't get paid if I'm on holiday
I don't get paid if I'm sick ( not that it's ever happened!)
I do charge if mindees are off sick or on holiday.
How do you think I would have a viable business if all my parents decided to take 10 weeks holiday a year, and then add on a few weeks a year their child is ill?
You are paying for the space.
If your child went to a private school in a few years time, would you expect a refund each time they are ill or if you take them out of school on holiday?

pianodoodle Tue 11-Feb-14 09:20:32

I'm self employed. If I'm sick, I don't get paid.

If a student is sick I will try to rearrange for them so they don't lose out but I wouldn't be expecting to refund them the price of the lesson.

That would mean my income is reliant not only on my own health but every stomach bug (or birthday party) that's going around.

LegoCaltrops Tue 11-Feb-14 09:23:24

If you think the costs are unreasonable, don't send the DCs to nursery. We don't send our DD. I'm sole earner in our house, DH is full time student, I work round his college hours. We get 1 hour per week when family help with childcare, literally, as it was unworkable any other way. We looked at the cost of nursery and even with a grant for partial fees from DH's college, nursery just for one child would have been totally affordable. Sorry but I think YABU.

chandlery Tue 11-Feb-14 09:27:17

I found a local cm and a local nursery with more flexible attendance / sickness policies. After a visit guess what? I wouldn't put my child in there if it was free!

Do you want to pay for quality childcare or not? I didn't want to leave my baby with a couple of teenagers with nvqs so I'm paying extra.

bodygoingsouth Tue 11-Feb-14 09:51:25

can I add that the vast majority of cms have had careers prior to starting the businesses. many are teachers, nursing sisters, business women.

they have a Miriad of skills for which you are paying very littie.

Forago Tue 11-Feb-14 09:57:16

I find it very, very hard to believe that Nursery Chains (eg Asquiths) aren't profitable given that the staff are on minimum wage yet the parents are charged £70+ per day 256 days a year (averaged out per day but still paying for days when the nursery is shut). I understand about the overheads, insurance, food costs - but given what they pay the staff the owners MUST be making money. How do we know they are not? Are we just accepting that at face value because that is what they say (to justify under-paying staff and over-charging parents).

I am self-employed so know all about business rates, employers NI, employees NI, public liability insurance, corporation tax, personal tax, overheads and all the rest. But we are talking about large chains with 100s of nurseries and 1000s of parents (with the economies of scale that go with this eg all use same food supplier). They must make a healthy profit otherwise how do they continue to expand? (and put whiteboards, gardens and teepees in!)

Totally get it for independent non-chain nurseries though (are there any left?)

I am self-employed and if I don't work, I don't invoice/charge. I think that rule should apply across the board for self-employed people really. But equally, people on a salary should get sick and holiday pay of course.

Please don't anyone misinterpret what I am saying about people working in nurseries. I absolutely do not think they should be paid less to cover parents holidays (I think they should be paid more) - I think the nurseries should bear the cost (unless someone can convince me that their margins are that narrow)

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 11-Feb-14 10:02:54

There are independent non-chain nurseries left (I use one and know of a handful in my area, and only two big chain nurseries).

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 11-Feb-14 10:15:09

I used to earn a good salary in a City job where I didn't see my children for 4 days a week due to hellish hours and can tell you the past 2 years I've been a CM I've never worked so bloody hard in my life for so little return so I honestly do feel justified in charging parents when their child is off for whatever reason or for 4 weeks holiday a year. If parents don't like my terms they go elsewhere but as I'm full with a waiting list I'm clearly doing something right.

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 11-Feb-14 10:17:08

"I am self-employed and if I don't work, I don't invoice/charge. I think that rule should apply across the board for self-employed people really." But Forago how often are you invoicing at £3.50 a hour?

Forago Tue 11-Feb-14 10:34:59

I know, I know and that is a valid point. But isn't that like saying I shouldn't pay corporation tax because Amazon and Starbucks don't?

I really have no issue with CM charging for scheduled sick days or days the child doesn't attend, that is perfectly fair enough to me - they'll have worked out numbers, bought food etc. I pay the CM in advance and if, on occasion, I get back early or my dc wants to go to a friends after school, I certainly wouldn't expect a refund.

But I do think that if you want to be paid to go on holiday you have to be an employee. If you are self-employed, you build it in to your overall financial position, as a family.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Feb-14 10:54:11

But I do think that if you want to be paid to go on holiday you have to be an employee. If you are self-employed, you build it in to your overall financial position, as a family.

This.

There are benefits to being and employee and there are benefits to being self employed. When people want the autonomy of self employment coupled with the paid holidays of being an employee, there are, quite rightly, accusations of wanting to have your cake and eat it.

I don't know of any other self employed role where you can your punters to pay you while you're on holiday.

Tailtwister Tue 11-Feb-14 10:54:21

I suppose you're paying to keep the place. If your child is sick or you are on holiday, the CM or nursery can't fill that place with another child.

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 11-Feb-14 11:02:10

But if childminding is your chosen profession you have no choice but to be self-employed and it's all well & good saying build it into your financial position but this means increasing the hourly rate which then pushes you out of the market. If you can't afford time off unpaid you literally never get a break & believe me you (& family) need it! Give me employment over self-employments any day.

jellyandcake Tue 11-Feb-14 11:02:17

OP, what exactly is 'stifling the economy'? People getting sick pay a d holiday pay? Is it preferable for everyone to work themselves into the ground 52 weeks of the year for the sake of the economy?

My cm doesn't charge for sick days or holidays. Fine for holidays if that works for her - there is plenty of notice for holidays so I figure she budgets for them. I bloody well pay her regardless if my child is sick even though she doesn't charge because why should she unexpectedly lose out? I think a harmonious and resentment-free relationship is imperative for good quality childcare - I appreciate how hard she works and she will always be flexible with hours/days so it's give and take.

If my employer announced at random that they weren't going to pay me for a few days, I would be fucked. I have bills, mortgage etc to pay for. How on earth can a nursery or cm be expected to be different?

And I pay my cm for the 3hrs my child is at pre-school because she is on call for him during that time. I am paying her to be responsible for him - he has been sent home after a nasty fall for example. If that happens on one of her days, she would have to go fetch him. So she gets paid for that time!

bodygoingsouth Tue 11-Feb-14 11:25:21

ffs you read the cms contract of service and you sign it. it's then a legal document that all parties adhere to.

I personally didn't know any cms who charged for their illness or holidays. of course you charge the parents for theirs as you can't, unlike other businesses, just go else where for money. funnily enough you can't pull random children off the street to fill the place if your parents decide to go skiing for 4 weeks in the summer so you can't then afford your mortgage.

you pay for the place. if you choose not to use that place then you pay.

if you don't like the terms and conditions then shop around.

thank god all my parents saw me as a child care partner to be treated with the respect and love that I in turn showered on their children.

bodygoingsouth Tue 11-Feb-14 11:51:53

a cm is a self employed business owner and as such sets rates, terms and conditions. you either sign and agree if shop around. plenty don't charge for their holiday or sick pay. use the ones who don't.

if you signed a contract agreeing terms them don't butch about them in here. what a stupid thread.

Dahlen Tue 11-Feb-14 11:57:13

I sympathise hugely, but I think your frustration is aimed in the wrong direction.

In the past I have gone without food and walked round in winter wearing boots with holes in to pay my childcare bills, so I know where you're coming from, I really do. However, while childcare left me so broke it very nearly broke me, I never begrudged what I was paying.

While my DC were so little they were in the care of CM and nursery, these carers were the next best thing to me my DC had. They were entrusted with the care of the two beings most precious to me in the world. The fact that I had carefully chosen people I felt to be worthy of this task meant that I felt they earned every penny, and TBH if I'd have had more disposable income, I'd have happily paid more. While I won't pretend it felt unfair to have to pay for a service you're not getting (e.g. if child is sick) I totally understood why I had to - why should the CM be penalised for me having a sick child? It's not as though she could make her money back on the unexpectedly free place.

Your frustration should be aimed at the government (not just this lot, but all governments past and present of all political persuasion). We have the highest childcare costs in Europe. That's what needs to change. There needs to be more financial help for working parents, such as subsidies or tax breaks.

But I'd argue that if you're being charged with the task of caring for vulnerable members of the next generation, you should be of a high calibre and worth more than NMW.

KingRollo Tue 11-Feb-14 19:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paxtecum Tue 11-Feb-14 19:13:18

YABU.
You could always give up being self employed and save the �26k you spend on childcare.
Though you may find that your food bill and heating costs go up.

scaevola Tue 11-Feb-14 19:21:32

Perhaps OP should put her money where her mouth is, and open a childcare facility that does not have any of the practices she outlines?

If she's right, and it is just providers taking the piss, she'll rapidly be very successful with an alternative model.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 11-Feb-14 19:24:49

CM and nurseries really don't earn very much and would you really leave your child with somebody earning below the minimum wage.

Plus if your child is ill, its not as if they can fill it with another child that day, so they have to charge. My CM does not charge when she's ill and I think she's daft. However, as most of her parents would have to pay for care elsewhere, she feels its unfair for them to have to pay twice.

TheGreatHunt Tue 11-Feb-14 19:37:37

This attitude across the board really stifles the economy imo

Bullshit.

Your attitude is why people are so poorly paid = the need for tax credits to subsidise shitty wages = higher foverent spending.

TheGreatHunt Tue 11-Feb-14 19:38:03

*government <typo fail>

Borntobeamum Tue 11-Feb-14 19:44:34

I'm a childminder and am so glad the op isn't one of my parents!
I charge £3.75 an hour and that includes toddlers, soft play, food, outings and all crafts.
If the child is poorly, I still get paid but if I'm ill, I don't get paid.
In other words, if I'm open, I expect payment. If I'm closed, I don't.
Can I be any fairer op?!

TheScience Tue 11-Feb-14 19:49:58

You're paying for the place.

I've used childminders and nurseries and have never used one where I have had to pay when they are closed.

However, I have always paid for the place when they are open, even if I don't use it due to sickness or holidays.

You're using a service, so if you don't like the terms of a particular business, find another one.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Feb-14 19:53:07

If you rent a house do you then expect a rent refund for when you're on holiday because you're not using the house?

How about a refund of your council tax if you're out of the country for a couple of weeks?

Refund on your car insurance if you're not using it for a couple of weeks?

Do Tesco give you a refund if you don't use all the food they sell you so it goes off in your fridge?

You sign a contract to buy a service and you pay for it whether you choose to use it all or not.

NatashaBee Tue 11-Feb-14 19:57:14

* these carers were the next best thing to me my DC had.*

^^ This, exactly. Childcare is the last place I would want to cut costs and risk a lesser service.

i am a childminder

i work 45-50 hours a week.

I dont charge for my holidays or my sickness.

I charge for any time off taken by my little friends

just did my tax return for last year.....i worked a 45+ hour week for a fabulous sum of....drum roll.......£10,000!

when i worked it out (taking away my hols) i think it came to £3.50 an hour....

i am a graduate.....i love my job

i am not money grabbing or diddling anyone

collarsandcuffs Tue 11-Feb-14 20:02:03

Zero hours contracts were the norm in the childcare setting where I worked. There were 4 of us who were rung at 7am if someone was sick or was sent home if things got quiet (some children went home sick so I lost my days pay). Luckily I worked almost full time but was also a student at the time. This was more than 10 years ago and it was very common.

BazilGin Tue 11-Feb-14 20:42:31

I find it surprising that OP is being jumped on. I didn't think her post was criticising childminders or nurseries, but the cost which is one of the highest in Europe. I agree with Dahlen, the government is to blame. On average, we pay a third of our salaries in childcare whilst Sweden for example the cost is kept under 10 percent. In the past, parents also had more choice of staying at home which we don't have anymore due to increased cost of living and mortgage...so yes I agree with OP the cost is too high but the only way I can see it lowered i by government subsidy which is not gonna happen...better not have kids, huh? Just like some posters suggested.

TiggyCBE Tue 11-Feb-14 20:44:04

I find it very, very hard to believe that Nursery Chains (eg Asquiths) aren't profitable - I was at a big chain nursery today. I member of staff said that the company had made £10 million profit last year. It was a bottom end nursery chain, with not great resources and mostly minimum wage staff. I wouldn't send my children (If I had some) to it, or any other big chain.
The big chains account for quite a small amount of the market BTW. 5%-ish.

Charlilouise Tue 11-Feb-14 20:51:43

MrsBucketxxx
You may pay £40 a day for your nursery space, however the staff are on minimum wage in most cases, maybe a few pence more if in management.
The extra money goes on buying food to provide your child with meals and snacks whilst at nursery for the day, nappies and wipes for your child and other supplies for activities such as paints, glitter, paper etc. it also will be spent on new equipment for your child to play with whilst being at nursery.
Very little money is actually spent on staff wages, despite the fact that we are left to look after your child and the responsibility that leaves us with.
It is a job that is done for love of the children rather than for money!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 11-Feb-14 21:12:33

Reading this thread I've just realised how expensive my childminder is, are most of you seriously charging less than £4ph or paying less than that?

I had a nightmare one previously £100 a day no matter what, so of her DH or dc were sick then she still expected payment it's no wonder she was not available for work 45% of the time

PortofinoRevisited Tue 11-Feb-14 21:16:56

My nursery were closed for a week at Xmas. And assumed you would take 2 weeks hols. So they charged for 49 weeks per year/12. I thought this was more than fair. Better than dd's belgian creche that shut for the entire month of August at least leaving me with a slight problem....

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 11-Feb-14 21:18:27

Are you saying you dont know anyone other than CMers who get holiday pay OP? confused

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 11-Feb-14 21:23:02

OP if you want pay as you go child care then you have to accept the risk that you turn up one morning and there are no spaces. Childcarers are limited to the numbe of midees they can have and have to know that their spaces are filled in order to pay bills. They have to charge to hold the space or people would (and do) take the piss.

SS3J Tue 11-Feb-14 21:33:40

Many of the staff at a nursery are under 18 and are therefore getting an even lower minimum wage. Around �5 an hour. Unsurprisingly they are not always very motivated. You are definitely being unreasonable to begrudge paying a lot for childcare. Surely it is not something you want to scrimp on?!

fairylightsatchristmas Tue 11-Feb-14 21:43:35

I find it so interesting that there is such a variety of approaches with CMers. The first one we used was a cheap hourly rate and we only paid for exactly what we used, even if DC was sick at short notice she wouldn't charge us. She also didn't charge in the school hols (DH and I are teachers) because she could fill the place with school age children who don't normally need care. She was adequate as a CM but just barely. Once the DCs reached toddler age we moved them. Our current CM is more expensive and does have set contracted hours. She does charge for sick kids and we have negotiated a reduced holiday rate for school hols (which is very decent and we wouldn't argue if she had to charge full cost) but she doesn't charge when she is unavailable. She is also amazing and loves what she does and the kids adore her.

I think no sick or holiday IS the downside of being self employed but its the trade off for the flexibility and freedom of being your own boss. I think the problem with cost is that we pay over £1000 a month which is a huge chunk of our income so seems expensive but after tax etc, that's probably only about £750 for her which is only about 1/5 of our household net income so she is not raking it in. She has a few other kids for wraparound care but I know her household is pretty hard up and so whilst it is a huge bill for us, I don't begrudge it. I don't know if subsidised care is right or not - that's a different thread and there are arguments on both sides but I do think people misunderstand the economics of childcare as outlined above. What is a vast outlay to most households is not actually a very good wage for the CM / nursery at the other end.

stopprocrastinating Tue 11-Feb-14 21:46:27

My child doesn't charge when DD poorly or on holiday.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 11-Feb-14 22:54:43

Many of the staff at a nursery are under 18 and are therefore getting an even lower minimum wage. Around �5 an hour

Nmw for a under 18 is £3.72 it's £5.03 for a 18-21 year old

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 11-Feb-14 22:55:14

It goes up on your 21st birthday

Mimishimi Tue 11-Feb-14 23:14:32

With all your grievances, the only one I agree with is charging for their own holidays. I think that should be worked into the hourly rate of when they do provide the care. The rest? Not unfair at all - they are not there to serve you at your whim. You are paying for the spot regardless of whether you feel like showing up that day or not. And like any other business, if you don't like it you can go and take your custom elsewhere.

SingMoreWhenYoureWinning Tue 11-Feb-14 23:19:30

I have a cm for two ds's.

I can understand that a CM would still charge when the child is sick. Or when the family are on holiday or don't use the cm on an agreed day for any reason.

The one thing I have a problem with is CM's charging for their holidays.

My CM takes 4 weeks a year. She 'only' charges half price on these weeks.
Meaning that I have to pay 48 weeks of the year at normal rate, and 4 weeks of the year at time and a half as I have to use a temp CM.

Why? Other self-employed people don't get to charge their clients when they're out of the office.

I do feel it's really unfair. There's no alternative though, every cm I've looked into charges a minimum of half price for their holidays.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 11-Feb-14 23:25:44

Other self employed people set their rates to allow them to take holiday. Some CMers do too but it usually means a higher hourly rate and couldnt end up costing more over the year. Those that dont set their rates higher to allow for holidays will charge for holidays otherwise they wont take them and will burn out. That's not what uou want in the person caring for your child. So whether you pay at the time of the holiday, or pay via the increased rate you will be paying for those holidays.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 11-Feb-14 23:26:21

could end up

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