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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.

Outragedfrom Leeds- so the new fees will kick in on the 6th October. Cheers thanks for that

eurycantha Sun 08-Sep-13 14:41:45

Most nannies around here are paid 45p a mile!

Me23 Sun 08-Sep-13 10:22:37

Agree with the others re you've got it very good in terms of the cost you incur.

I'm in London my son has just started nursery as my partner is going back to work he was a Sahd. The nursery charges £74 a day! 8-6pm. We will be paying over £11,000 a year in childcare including our dd's after school club!

With a joint income of 49k we will only see an extra 8k a year from my partner going back to work. Still we are struggling so much right now we have no choice.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 08-Sep-13 10:17:50

You have a very good deal - very cheap daily rate and the fact your cm picks up and brings back adding major miles to her car and hours to her day

If you don't want to pay for the extra petrol then do the commuting yourself

Tbh I don't know of any cm that pick up - that's the major disadvantage / difference from a nanny - that you would normally get your child to the cm then yourself to work

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 08-Sep-13 09:47:13

I think she can just give you notice of an increase in fees.

Maybe you aren't jealous but you are resentful. Which can be just as nasty. She is not being cheeky. She is running a business.

She is doing you a massive favour. So I would be careful how you tread.
You might need her more than she needs you. And you aren't irreplaceable. She would soon find a new customer.

I had some children leave I think they resented paying when the children were sick. All of it coincided with the husbands new BMW and our house move though. Not saying they were jealous but I think they thought I shouldn't ask for the money as we look well off. But I run a business not a charity, have bills to pay and do a job that many admit that they couldn't do.
I replaced them very quickly because I have a good reputation and when their alternative child are fell through they ended up with another CM. Their 3rd one in just over a year. Poor kids.

And you said in your OP her car had broken.

Just pay it and think of your child's happiness and continuity of care.

nightcircus Sun 08-Sep-13 09:04:26

Yes do pick up and drop offs yourself- problem solved.
As mentioned up thread, a lot of people would not want to add so heavily to their mileage. She drives 7,600 miles a year for your child.
And yes the car could be a red herring- she may have been thinking of upping fees for a while. It sounds like she is very kind/accommodating so perhaps found it awkward to tell you her prices are going up especially as you are friends.
Would you be questioning the increase if she had said it was to make her in line with other providers? £2 a day increase does not sound excessive.
Where I am nursery fees are in the region of £45 per day.

Mimishimi Sun 08-Sep-13 07:14:17

She can put her fees up but surely that would be when the contract is up for renewal or with sufficient notice, not at a whim? I'd pay the extra as you are getting a good deal. If not, she will probably insist you do pickups/drop-off's.

ModeratelyObvious Sun 08-Sep-13 01:35:56

My allowable mileage rate at work went up from 40p a mile to 45p recently. That's what HMRC allows in light of increasing fuel costs.

WafflyVersatile Sun 08-Sep-13 01:28:42

She can put up her prices if she wants. She can do it because she invested in a new greedier car, or bought more toys, or because her husband has taken a pay cut, or because she's taken to getting weekly manicures and massages, or because her astrologist read it in her stars.

She can set whatever price she wants and her clients can suck it up, try to negotiate a discount, or take their business elsewhere.

Maybe she's known for a while that she is undercharging in comparison to the going rate and when her car broke down, instead of getting it repaired she thought this would be a good time to upgrade and use that as the rationale for raising her fees.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Sep-13 01:28:24

4 weeks would be in 4 weeks time. 4 weeks from today is 6th October.

Contract states 4 weeks notice for changes- does that mean next months fees should include the increase or the one after?

Sirchenjin- thats exactly how i see it
Marypoppins- not jealous- i have a 7 seater too
Bonkerz- the contract states i pay £35 in fees per day (which includes the £8 fuel charge)
Other mindees are charged £27 per day, even though she drops off/picks up from school.
CM only works term time, so doesn't charge for holidays, she just works out the fees pro rata so she has an income every month

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Sep-13 01:11:25

'Crikey, that's like me saying to my employer that I've bought a bigger car so I need a pay rise'

No it's not, It's like a window cleaner telling you his prices have gone up because fuel costs have gone up/he needed a new ladder/his van broke down.

The OP is not an employer. The childminder provides a service that the OP uses. She can charge £1000 a minute if she wants, it's her business she can set her charges as she likes. The OP can continue to use her (good, reliable) service or she can look for a better deal elsewhere. Why the childminder has put her prices up is irrelevant.

she didnt need a new car, she could've got the other one fixed

Bonkerz Sat 07-Sep-13 22:02:31

There are a few issues with this situation.
A) a childminder who charges extra for mileage will need to have different insurance and a taxi lisence as they are using the car for payment and reward. Check her insurance as she could be breaking the law. Business insurance will not cover her (if fee is listed separate on invoice)
B) you cannot claim tax credits for this extra cost (again if listed separate). If this cost is part of her hourly fee then its fine but as you have said you pay this extra it changes things.

Ragusa Sat 07-Sep-13 22:02:23

Yes, it really is a minimum of £60 per day in London and surrounds for childminder places. More for a nursery place. They're not making it up when they say it's an expensive place to live. I earn around £47,000 pro-rata P/A, a level which just about makes it financially viable for me to go to work. When both children needed childcare, though (one's now at school) it wasn't viable. I took a career break and we lived on beans grin

Be grateful if your childcare costs £37 per day I say!

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 07-Sep-13 21:54:36

She isn't paying for the car she is paying for the fuel used.
Which is changeable!

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 07-Sep-13 21:53:33

Her old one broke.
It's pretty standard for CMs to have large 7 seaters.

If a nursery's costs went up either new building or rent increase the cost would be passed on. All that has happened is the CM circumstances have changed.

SirChenjin Sat 07-Sep-13 21:45:52

The fact is the CM has decided to buy a bigger car so that she can take more children (and therefore make more money) - it's hardly up to the OP to factor this into her costs! Crikey, that's like me saying to my employer that I've bought a bigger car so I need a pay rise. They would just laugh at me, and rightly so.

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 07-Sep-13 21:43:14

I can't see what the problem with paying extra is? It's a flat rate cost surely. Surely you'd think a CM may need another car at some point due to breakdown or getting a people carrier. And factor this into your payments or potential payments.

She sounds put out that the CM has bought a car that will seat her other mindees. She is not her Nanny.

What should she do buy a small one to suit the OP's family?

The only other reason that I could think that the OP / Op's DH don't want to pay it for is jealousy over a new car. Obviously no proof as don't know OP.

But families do sometimes resent what their CM have as they believe they are paying for it.

forevergreek Sat 07-Sep-13 21:33:20

Sir - well a one bed flat will bed in same area is around £1300-1500 a month, so for someone to afford to live in a place large enough to childmind I suppose they need to have high fees ( and be full all the time)

DontmindifIdo Sat 07-Sep-13 21:31:35

I'm not in London, but round here it's £6 per hour for childminders, a lot charge during the school day even if your DCs are at school and don't discount for siblings. Plus I've not heard of childminders dropping DCs back home/picking them up from you. While here it's still cheaper with 2 DCs to use a CM to a nanny, there's not much in it, particularly if you need to work long hours (which most CM won't cover).

It's always surprises me to see on MN that having a nanny or even an au pair is seen as a sign you are rich or posh, whereas for large parts of the south east, that's just the cheapest form of childcare if you have 3DCs...

Anyway OP, if you would be happier using a nursery, then do that, at least then your 15 hours pre-school can be knocked directly off your bill. Must say though, if you currently only use her for term times, will you find a nursery that will allow you the same deal or will you end up paying for a lot of childcare you don't need?

SirChenjin Sat 07-Sep-13 21:19:32

Bloody hell Forever - really?? shock

So - nothing to base the jealous claim on then Mary?

forevergreek Sat 07-Sep-13 21:16:36

Sir - it's £8.50 an hour here in central London. So £85 for 10 hr day. So £170 a day for 2 children. Hence why nannies are so popular as with even with tax it's around £150 a day regardless of whether you have 1 or 5 children

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 07-Sep-13 21:14:05

She needed a new car her costs have changed. She is charging for fuel not car repayments.

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