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childminder increasing fees because she bought a new car

(79 Posts)

My childminder is a long time friend.
She looks after my little girl. She charges £27 per day + £8 fuel costs as she drives to my house and picks her up and drops her off everyday. I don't have any problem paying this amount as it was discussed and we signed contracts in respect of this.
She is a brilliant childminder, cares so well for my little girl and my little girl loves going to hers- never any tears, just smiles and laughter.
The childminder has bought a new car- with more seats as a) her old one broke and b) she got two more mindees.
This new car has a bigger engine and uses more fuel. She has asked me for an extra amount to cover the extra fuel she is using.
I thinks she is being cheeky asking me to be honest.
She only bought a bigger car to fit more children in and make more money for herself. Surely the cost of fuel should be factored into their fees not mine?
She hasn't given me any notice- she told me yesterday that it will be an extra £10 per week.
What do I do?
My husband won't pay it, he says it was her choice to get a bigger car and should foot the bill for the extra fuel.

AnneUulmelmahay Fri 06-Sep-13 22:22:43

ummmm she shouldn't be charging you for travel to and from your home, because that turns her into a taxi service, IIRC. There are insurance implications.

Hoping Nick or MrA might be long to clarify.

Now, wrt the current situation - you have three choices, really: suck it up or get rid (oops I do mean give notice) and find someone else, ortell her she is being unreasonable as one weeks notice for an increase is not on.

What does your contract say about this? (bet there ain't one!)

PuggyMum Fri 06-Sep-13 22:23:10

How far does she drive to collect your dd each day?

AnneUulmelmahay Fri 06-Sep-13 22:24:43

oh sorry, I see there is a contract!

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 22:24:56

i think its pretty reasonable, lots of childcarers are having to put prices up this year

WafflyVersatile Fri 06-Sep-13 22:35:40

Well it's up to her to set her rates (whatever rationale she chooses to use for this) and her customers whether they want to pay them.

Is there anything in the contract saying that she will only put it up by a maximum each year or anything?

nannynick Fri 06-Sep-13 22:42:38

I feel the fact the newer car uses more fuel is her problem not your issue.

However fuel costs do go up frequently, so if cost was being calculated on an actual cost basis, then with the old car there would be frequent changes to the cost of the journey.

Your child is in her care during part of the journey and they could charge what they like for care and increase that charge with notice.

How much notice does the contract say you should get for changes to the contract? Not getting any notice is unreasonable I feel.

Try to negotiate, failing that find alternative care though in my view there will not be many childminders who would collect and drop off every day so you may struggle to find someone who would do that.

it is approx. 10 miles from her house to ours.
its 4 weeks notice if our daughter leaves her care, not sure about other changes to the contract though.

There were no childminders with spaces near to our home, if there were though i would walk/get the bus as we are fairly central to town.

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 06-Sep-13 22:57:07

So, really is it an extra £2 per day (an increase from £8 to £10) or an extra £10 (increase from £8 to £18)? If it is just £2 then I would accept it. She is doing the pick up & drop off for your convenience and your DD is happy with in her care.

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 06-Sep-13 22:58:11

Sorry, I've re-read and seen it's £10 a week. I wouldn't argue over this personally.

cece Fri 06-Sep-13 23:02:20

I pay £60 per day. Just saying...

TBH - she sounds fab. I really would not argue over £10 as she is making your life easier. A new cm may not be so convenient or cheap!

i think i'm more peeved that she told me yesterday and is saying it will increase from monday. tax credits won't update our claim that fast. An extra £10 a week doesn't sound much, but it was her choice to change her car for a bigger one.

nannynick Fri 06-Sep-13 23:14:41

40 miles per day... that's 9600 a year (48 week year).
I thought I did a lot of work mileage at just over 3000 a year!

Consider it another way, if she can't afford to do the trip, then she stops providing care for your DD, which leaves you looking for someone else.

Look at the bigger picture, is everything else going well? Is this likely to be short term, perhaps a space will come up at a local provider soon?

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 06-Sep-13 23:36:26

At least she has been honest with you. She could easily have upped her daily rate to £29 instead, which would be the same over a week, and never mention the extra petrol.

When did her fees last go up? If not for a while, then I would still think her good value for money.

Our contract is only term time, so 39 weeks per year, but i get your point-it is a lot of driving.
We pay for a full day but it's only 9.30-4.15pm

peggyundercrackers Fri 06-Sep-13 23:44:59

so to pick up your dd and go back to her house its a 20 mile round trip and she does the same at night - so 40 miles a day - and shes charging £8 a week to do 200 miles? that doesn't nearly cover her costs - I couldn't do 200 miles on less than 2 gallons of petrol.

BackforGood Fri 06-Sep-13 23:53:50

She's only charging you £27 for 7 hours, and only £8 / £10 (not clear if that's per day or per week - I'm assuming per day) for 40 miles a day travelling ??? shock
I would make sure you do a LOT of research into finding an alternative before giving her notice.

The £3.80 or so an hour might be average or might be cheap, depending on where you are in the country, but

If you are getting business mileage, it gets paid at 42p per mile where I work - that would be £16.80 per day, but of course, it is very, very unusual for a CM to collect and deliver your children, even if you were paying the going rate. I think you'd find it very hard to find someone else who would do that.

peggyundercrackers-its £8 per day that we pay. Thats not the problem i'm happy to pay that. It's that she bought a car with more seats so she could fit more children in (getting paid £150 extra per week) and then charge me more for fuel. Her old car was a 1.6 diesel, the new one is a 2.3 petrol. the 2 days notice isn't great either.
As I said OH does not want to pay it, but as she's a friend i feel i have to

Our little girl was the first child she took on, which is why she agreed to the pick up/drop off- she had no other income.

K8Middleton Sat 07-Sep-13 01:27:27

She can change her rates but she must give proper notice which in turn gives you the option to give notice and go elsewhere.

The reasons don't matter. She could want a new pair of boobs or be wanting to save for a trip down the Amazon but it's her business.

i'll talk to her on monday about it. the old saying never mix business with pleasure makes sense now!

holidaysarenice Sat 07-Sep-13 01:37:40

I think I would point that out. Do the mileage cost based on the two engines and compare.

If you are happy with the increase I would say so along the lines of. I have reviewed ur increased weekly fee, which whilst I disagree with funding the car, it is your perogative to increase ur fee. I will pay this in line with the notice in the contract, since notice is one month if we decide to leave you, or immediate if you are chaning terms (presuming that's correct) then a months notice of increased cost is fair.

I think that's a good compromise and reminds ur cm that you can leave and that these things work both ways.

At the end of the day is she worth the money and only you know that?

Loopytiles Sat 07-Sep-13 06:49:24

I think you're being unreasonable and should just pay up no quibble. The deal you get (price, pick ups, term time only) sounds very good.

Bluemonkeyspots Sat 07-Sep-13 06:58:36

I wonder if the parents of the new mindees know that they will be stuck in a car for a twenty mile trip twice a day five days a week!

No matter how great she is its not something i would be happy with, especially now we will be coming into the cold and icy mornings soon.

If I was you I would have a back up plan incase she decides with the new mindees income she no longer needs yours.

ravenAK Sat 07-Sep-13 07:25:07

That sounds like a good deal tbh.

£27 for 7 hours care is just under £4ph - don't know if that's the going rate near you? We paid £3.50 a few years back in Yorkshire, but that was a longstanding arrangement & I think we'd have been looking at £4ph elsewhere.

Additionally, you pay £8 each day to cover the costs of 40 miles driving - that's really low at 20p a mile.

She now wants to increase this to £10 (another £10 per week = £2 per day) - still only 25p mileage, which I'd say is very reasonable.

It's irrelevant why she wants to charge £10 rather than £8 for the pick up/drop service - no point winding yourself up about her car or other mindees she has in it.

As others have said, the pick up/drop is unusual for a CM, so you might well struggle to replace that, unless you went for a nanny arrangement which isn't going to be cost effective for one dc.

Really, the questions you need to ask are: can I get someone else to do all this for less money, & is it worth the upheaval for the sake of £2 a day anyway?

Whereas from her POV, the driving is hardly making her rich, & now she's established & has a couple more mindees she'd probably be quite glad to drop it - the other parents may see 40 miles in the car every day as a disadvantage, so she'd quite likely be better off in the long run if you made other arrangements.

I think you probably need her more than she needs you tbh...

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