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CM's - do you charge friends for occasional childcare?

(10 Posts)
lechatnoir Tue 16-Jul-13 11:13:21

If a friend of yours (or someone with children your own kids are friends with) ask you to look after their child for an occasional few hours do you charge them? I'm never quite sure what to do & usually just say if it's the odd hour/day & they're happy to return the favour I don't charge, but then when I'm at home working all the time I never really need them so it's never reciprocal.

Bonsoir Tue 16-Jul-13 11:17:22

I think that if your friend is using the fact that you are a childminder stuck at home with charges to tag on her DC for free, that is not on. You should be upfront with anyone who asks and say that you must charge standard rates because otherwise you risk undermining your business to other customers.

chickensaladagain Tue 16-Jul-13 11:33:03

I think it depends if they are genuinely asking as a favour and your dcs are friends, or if they are using you as childcare

I asked a friend of dd2 to have her as dd1 had a hospital appointment and I wasn't sure I would be back for school pick up -in that case I would say don't charge

Meeting at work outside my normal working hours but important -charge for that

mrspaddy Tue 16-Jul-13 11:40:44

I would say that you have been contacted by authorities via letter about numbers you mind. That you have to declare everything.. as it may be difficult to start asking now when you haven't before. I can't believe they haven't left an amount for you when they picked up their child even if you said no. I would.

Tanith Tue 16-Jul-13 13:03:21

I would be inclined to ask for the favour to be returned, regardless of whether or not you really need it.

Your friend's attitude to your request should help you decide your own policy.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Tue 16-Jul-13 13:12:18

I have a friend who I do have them occasional hours for free but she will pick my dc up if needed as I did a few times when pregnant with ds3 a few weeks ago, I'm on maternity at the moment and she was stuck as grandma was ill so I had her dd for nothing but she's also friends with ds and no trouble. Others I would charge as I wouldn't ask them to have my kids.

lovelynannytobe Tue 16-Jul-13 19:33:11

You have to make sure it is reciprocal. It's your own fault it isn't. I wouldn't say no to an evening out with my OH or a child free shopping one weekend. Tbh if I were your friend I would feel bad you kept having my kids and not had anything in return ... I would make you go out myself or insisted on paying.

doughnut44 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:26:30

I don't but I don't have them if it will affect my income or my ability to mind my paying children properly.
in my circle of friends we all do favours for each other when possible x

lechatnoir Tue 16-Jul-13 22:19:57

Thanks for the comments. I think the key to this sort of casual arrangement between friends is to ensure it genuinely is reciprocal & as one poster put, it's my own fault for not 'using' my friend at other times as I've no doubt she'd happily babysit one evening or have my DC for a hour or 2 at the weekend. Thanks again grin

surfandturf Wed 17-Jul-13 22:30:25

If it's during my normal working hours I am working so I charge as it is taking up a space which I could potentially fill. Evenings and weekends (my own time) is different and I would do it as a favour. My friends all understand this and wouldn't expect me to care for their DC free of charge in my working hours.

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