Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Full Fee for CM Holiday?

(40 Posts)


My childminder intends on charging full fee for two weeks off per year - is this usual practice? I do not take exception at their time off at all btw, it is the paying full price for it that I am taking umbrage at.

Whilst I accept for parent/child holidays the place cannot be used and full fee applies and I also pay for Bank Holidays when they are not open, I can't help but feel pissed off that she is charging me £300 for not providing a service and during those weeks I have had to make and pay for additional childcare.

I do not pay my hairdresser or window cleaner when they are away on holiday confused

Cindy34 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:52:37

Some will charge full fee, some will charge half fee, some won't charge at all.

What happens when you take holiday, is that full fee?
What if you took holiday at the same time as them?

2 weeks does not sound that long, some may take longer off than that.

When looking at childcare cost, calculate the cost over a full year, as every provider will have their own terms regarding what they do and do not charge for.

Bluecarrot Wed 07-Aug-13 08:56:25

Do you get paid holidays at work??

Personally, I didn't charge if I was closed, and did if I was available and they didn't come.

Is your CM changing your initial contract with her?

SuperiorCat Wed 07-Aug-13 08:59:23

Bluecarrot - an employee would get paid holidays, someone who is S/E (eg a CM) doesn't.

DH and I used to be S/E and it used to piss me off no end to pay a CM for holidays that she would not work but still charge for, yet we could not work as had no childcare, so no income.

YANBU OP but you need to check your contract thoroughly which we should have done.

It's one of the reasons that we reluctantly went to a nursery.

minderjinx Wed 07-Aug-13 12:28:50

I've said this before, but what you should look at is the whole package and costs over a period (e.g a year). As Cindy has said, some CMs charge for holiday, others don't. But the ones who do may have a lower hourly rate, or include more extras such as trips out, or provide a service which fits your particular needs better than others. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to structure fees, as long as it is properly set out for parents to consider. I also think it is important for the continued quality of care that CMs and other carers do get a break - which she might not be able to afford to take without income. But I would say go elsewhere if you don't like it - it's not fair to seethe and your child may well pick up on the bad feeling. I'd say the relationship with your child's carer is a little more important than that with your windowcleaner (usually!)

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 12:34:55

a CMer sets their own terms and a good one will be willing to negotiate if she values you as her clients and source of income- however she is entitled to refuse to negotiate on this issue and you are entitled to not use her as a CMer.

some charge full fee, some charge half fee, some charge no fee, some average the year's fees out and spread it equally over every week so you know you are paying the same amount each week but takes into account the leave both you and she will take.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 12:37:45

and i will never understand the regular comparisons i see on here between childcare providers and a once a month visit with a hairdresser or a windowcleaner. they aren't the same thing at all. for starters you have no contract with your hairdresser or windowcleaner.

Karoleann Wed 07-Aug-13 12:47:23

Its completely taking the mickey anyone self employed should not be charging for holidays- its one of the reasons I would never use a childminder.
I would make your feelings known and is she won't compromise maybe find someone else who doesn't charge for holidays.

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 07-Aug-13 12:48:55

Find another childminder then.

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 07-Aug-13 12:53:25

Karoleann not all CM's charge for their holidays or bank holidays.

Yet another example of CM's being tarred with the same brush. You wouldn't use a CM because some of them charge for holidays.

If it wasn't a valid concept CM's charging for holidays, surely it wouldn't be included in the NCMA's/ PACEY's contracts.

I don't charge BTW.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 12:53:47

karoleann- my dad has been self employed for most of his working life- do you think when he cost out his work he doesn't factor in the cost of him taking a few weeks off in the year? he would be mad not to build that cost into his fees over the year- the man would be run into the ground if he couldn't afford to take a break- it's the same with other SE people- they mightn't be so upfront to tell you you are paying for part of their leave this year but you will be paying for it when you hand over that money for whatever job they've done for you. at least CMers put it into the payment plan so you can see what you are paying for.

Thurlow Wed 07-Aug-13 12:53:58

I'd look at the overall package. We pay a set fee every month to our CM irregardless of her holidays, our holidays, her illnesses/emergencies, our illnesses etc. It works out a bloody good deal when we look at it as an annual cost, and she's happier because she has a set fee every month (we don't do the same hours or days every week). Some months we might use her more than we technically pay for, if you looked at it on a cost per hour rate, other months she might be getting 'extra' fees.

If you're happy with the CM and with the overall cost, it's not really worth quibbling over.

Bakingtins Wed 07-Aug-13 13:09:54

I don't think it's fair to expect you to pay whilst CM is on holiday and also have to find and pay for an alternative but fair enough that you pay when she is there to provide the service and you choose to go away.
I get a bit riled that we have to pay bank holidays at nursery when they are shut - since we only use them 2 days a week, one of which is a Monday, we end up paying for a disproportionately high number of days that we can't use. All nurseries seem to do this though. If it was in the contract you signed then you can only either suck it up or change CM.

MUM2BLESS Wed 07-Aug-13 13:14:12

I am a cm. Yes some charge full fees. I have charge half and still parent questioned it. That's why its important to read the small print and asks as many questions as possible, before you sign your contract. Childminders differ a lot in what they do.

I personally would not charge full fee, but that's me. Bank hols also seem to cause some fussing too. I do not charge if I do not work, if I did I would charge a higher fee.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 13:15:51

put it this way the CMer needs to have regular breaks from her work. she physically and mentally needs to have that time to recharge or she wont be providing quality care for any of her mindees. the fact is she will be taking time off and she can only do that if she earns enough throughout the year to cover that time off- in other words, whether you pay for the weeks whilst she is off or she raises her hourly rate to add up to the cost of two weeks care you WILL be paying for those two weeks.

Thurlow Wed 07-Aug-13 14:27:13

ImNotBloody14 has hit the nail on the head. I'd imagine any CMs fees will be worked out to ensure that they have an annual income that is ok for them. So they're either thinking that charging X amount will allow me to have 3-4 weeks unpaid holiday, or that they'll charge Y amount but get paid for their holidays. It probably works out about the same over the year.

Karoleann Wed 07-Aug-13 14:59:34

Imnotbloody14 - I'm SE too - I don't charge for holiday and I suppose that your dad doesn't either.
That's exactly how it is should happen - you factor in your holiday costs and then don't charge when you're not available.

marypoppinsbag - its only one reason I wouldn't use a childminder.
All of the CM's in my area at the time all charged for 4 weeks holiday (we have now moved). At the time I was employed and had to give 6 weeks notice for my holidays - which none of the childminders would give me.
There's other reasons too - the set up just didn't work for me or DS1 (who was 6 months at the time), so we ended up terminating the contract after a couple of weeks.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:04:45

you are still charging for that holiday whether you take the money at the time of the holiday or throughout the year in your fees.

Karoleann Wed 07-Aug-13 15:09:00

no you're not, you're building up a reserve to let you take some time off.
I do not charge if I am not working and I don't think your dad does either. If you asked him I'm sure he would say that he doesn't charge when he is on holiday.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:13:55

"you're building up a reserve to let you take some time off. "

same thing.

"I do not charge if I am not working "

because you've already taken the money ahead of time in your fees.

face it- whether you adjust your fees to cover non-working weeks or charge for those weeks as normal you are still getting that money from the same source- your client. your client is paying for that week you are off whether they do it 6 month in advance or at the time.

Strix Wed 07-Aug-13 17:13:16

My childminder charges full fees if I do not show up and nothing if she does not show up. Seems fair to me.

Whether or not Ian paid holiday at my, where I am an employee and not a business owner is not relevant.

RosieGirl Wed 07-Aug-13 19:03:19

ImNotBloody14 - Yes but many other SE occupations earn a good living wage. At the moment we are being battered by the press and the government, telling us we are too expensive and need to lower our costs. I don't see a public uprising about garages, plumbers, electricians being too expensive and the government battering them. Considering we are supposed to be SE, we are so controlled by the government and the LA I get very little say on what and how I can do things, whether the parents care or not. I am not full and mainly have part-timers, taking into account all of my outgo, I don't charge for food, wipes, outings (been to several farms, duxford and other lovely places) as well as normal playgroups, after all is taken into account I am still earning less than minimum wage. I put my fee's up once in 5 years and still get constantly moaned at and told I am raking it in. Its a lot harder to us to put our rates up to make a decent living without it impacting on families.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 20:17:42

CMers (and other childcare providers) get it in the neck from the Govt because the service they provide has a direct impact on the taxes they collect- if CM provided care is too expensive, people will choose to stay at home rather than work and pay taxes- this isn't the case for services like plumbing, garages or electricians so they are left to their own devices when it comes to setting their rates.

but tbh i'm not really sure what your point is in relation to my posts.

twinklemumtp Wed 07-Aug-13 21:06:08

I am a childminder. I choose not to charge when I take time off as I know parents have to find alternative care. I charge Half fee if parents are on Hols for up to 4 weeks as this is in line with the local nurseries. However I charge full if kids of sick as it is unplanned and will effect my income.
My hourly rate is slightly more than some of the other childminders but I justify this as I am graded outstanding. I porvide lots of activiites and outings and healthy snacks apart from lunch and dinner I dont charge for any extras.

badguider Wed 07-Aug-13 21:11:49

If you are salaried then it makes sense to pay the cm the same amount every month as it's a fixed outgoing. You can try to book your holidays at the same time as her or just take more time off work, either way if you're salaried you'll get paid the same amount too.

If however, you're self-employed or on an hourly rate contract without paid holidays then it makes sense to find a cm who doesn't charge for holidays. As the cash flow of you not being paid because you're not working yet paying the cm will be tricky.

I am self-employed and chose a nursery that only closes between xmas and new year for this reason.

Hmm mixed views!

I think my situation is esepcailly bad in my eyes because I had previously only worked 2 days Mon and Fri which I paid approx £24 for (before & after school).

I sucked it up and paid for Bank Hols (plus alternative or time off) because thats just the way it is but I have recently got a new job in the second week of the school summer hols and I now need 4 full days. The second week is where she has taken her holidays and my invoice is due before I get my first wage and most of it will go on this non existant minding for a full week.

SHe charges for my time off holidays or when I pick him up myself, fair enough it's my place I am paying for.

I just feel full fee, especially full daily rates are a bit much when there is no care provided.

To the CM who says 'I don't charge for food, wipes, outings' - surely thats just daft confused

Akasa Thu 08-Aug-13 08:08:23

It is for the childminder to present the financial proposal to his/her client in the way it will be best received. I had an enquiry recently and not surprisingly, the mindee's parent had been speaking to a number of different providers. It was made clear that she did not want to pay for my time off and was clearly also looking for some time off herself for which she could pay a reduced rate or possibly nothing at all.

Having established her requirements in terms of hours/days and the amount of time off she would want (I had already told her that I like to take a minimum of 3 weeks) I told her I would get back to her.

A quick 10 minutes on the calculator followed and having started with the figure that I would have normally earned for a 35 hour per week child over 52 weeks, I then divided the figure by the number of weeks she was looking to pay for (i.e. 45). I called her back and gave her an offer of a place with the newly-calculated rate. Her response was, "You are dearer than everyone else but I like the fact I am not paying for your holiday or mine"!!! She starts with me at the beginning of September and has paid her first month's fees as a deposit to secure the place. I am getting the amount I would have earned on my normal terms and she is delighted as in her eyes, she is not paying for 7 weeks care.

I will of course need to be especially carefully about how I write the contract/agreement to ensure the amount of time off on either side is stipulated and what happens if this is exceed on either side but as a previous poster has said, one needs to look at the total cost.

HSMMaCM Thu 08-Aug-13 08:30:14

I charge an all inclusive rate which is payable whenever I'm available (includes - amongst other things - food, wipes, outings, nappies, etc).

I feel this is easiest to explain to parents and although I have not deliberately inflated my rates, if you add it up over the year, I probably charge the same as another local minder who charges for holidays.

Most parents appreciate having a lower bill in a month when they may need to find and pay for alternative childcare, because I'm on holiday, but others pay by standing order, so pay the same amount every month anyway.

It is different to other Self Employed businesses, because it is a contracted arrangement, often based over 10 years of care. The most important thing for both parents and CMs is to make sure the contract is clear at the start.

(Interesting reply from Akasa)

Tanith Thu 08-Aug-13 09:01:11

SugarSpunSister, charging separately for food, nappies etc. is just the same as charging for holidays. Some CMs do it, some don't. Those that don't will have factored it into their rate or may charge for something that another childminder does not. That's why Minderjinx said you have to look at the whole package and not get hung up on the holiday charge.

Some parents actually prefer to pay for holidays separately and be charged a lower overall rate. It is simply the way some childminders run their business.

As self-employed operators, childminders are in the unique position of providing their services for more than one client simultaneously. That can make it very difficult to charge a higher overall rate in order to factor in holidays, especially when the childminder has tailored contracts individually to suit the client (e.g. Term time only contracts).
That's why a lot of them charge for holidays and bank holidays in a way that is clear and transparent for the client.

A lot of parents do prefer to see exactly what they're paying for and when. Others prefer a higher overall charge and no extras. It's up to the client to decide which is preferable to them.

Thurlow Thu 08-Aug-13 10:09:36

The food and wipes and that isn't so straightforward either. My CM prefers us to send little ones with a packed lunch, but will give them dinner (I can see this is easier as she is cooking for 6-8 people then, rather than 1-2 toddlers at lunchtime) and so far isn't charging us for the odd dinner DC has. She also provides snacks and milk included in her fees. Outings she has never asked for money for, and even took DC to Pizza Express the other day and refused our offer of any money to cover that - it was unplanned and I thought it polite to offer. We provide our own nappies and wipes.

I don't think there will be a standard. Our CM really is very cheap, but I know packing a lunch every evening for an 18mo would drive a lot of parents barking.

Booh Thu 08-Aug-13 10:31:51

There keeps being threads on here with parents questioning childminders paid holidays, fees etc.

If you have read and signed and agreed the contract then you are agreeing to paying the fees. Simple isn't it?

I charge four weeks holidays every year, I have only ever had one perspective parent argue about it, but she only wanted to pay me £2 per hour.....needless to say I never cared for her children.

CaptainUndercrackers Thu 08-Aug-13 10:37:08

My CM charges full fees for 2 weeks holiday and 50% for a further 3 weeks. I have no objection to this. Surely as a self employed person you are free to set your charges out as you see fit, and people can use your service or not? My CM has a waiting list, because she's excellent, so why shouldn't she charge for hols if people will pay? She's running a business, not a charity. The fact that self-employed people in other industries don't routinely charge for holidays is neither here nor there. They would if they could, I'm sure.

Karoleann Fri 09-Aug-13 19:08:18

I'mnotbloody - it's clearly not the same if it were:

All SE people would be doing it - rather than just a few childminders. As its easier for them to be paid rather than saving for a holiday.

The OP wouldn't have posted

If the childminders holiday period is different to the parents contract period, you may end up paying for more holidays.

Having paid holidays wouldn't be a question on the HMRC website when working out employment status.

I think lots of childminders do a fantastic job, lots of parents wouldn't be working at all without them. But it is bloody cheeky to charge for holidays when you are self employed. Maybe it's one for HMRC to sort out.

Trying2bMindful Fri 09-Aug-13 19:11:52

We have to pay our CM if we take holiday when she is available but we don't pay when she is on holiday.
I hear that is the norm but of course it depends if you have any room for negotiation. Ie are there any other convenient CMs for you that would take your lO instead & not charge you?
If you don't have any room for negotiation then there is no point even getting worked up about it!!!

ImNotBloody14 Fri 09-Aug-13 19:20:45

karoleann- if SE people aren't charging enough to allow them to take holidays then they wont be taking holidays. if SE people are taking holidays then they have calculated their fees to allow them to take holidays- this is exactly the same as a CMer working out her fees to cover the cost of 2/3/whatever weeks holidays. if you cant understand that then there really is no point me engaging with you any further.

Karoleann Sat 10-Aug-13 08:13:25

Imnotbloody its not the same for the 4 reasons stated above.

I suspect you're a childminder who is now feeling guilty (as you should be) of charging when you're on holiday.

Anyway off on my holidays (without holiday pay) as I am SE.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 10-Aug-13 10:05:56

No im not a childminder but ive used several and ive used nurseries. I, unlike some, understand that they are a business not a charity and they must cover all their leave through their fees.

ImNotBloody14 Sat 10-Aug-13 10:06:55

And none of them should feel guilty for earning a living at what can be a very difficult job for various reasons

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 10-Aug-13 10:34:34

karo why on earth would a childminder feel guilty for having paid holidays?!

They can charge what they like and up to parents to use their service or not. It's such a simple system, why can't you get your head round it?

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 10-Aug-13 11:55:43

I agree why should a CM feel guilty?

One parent pays me for my holidays as I pro rata the term time only rate. That is effectively what those who charge for holidays are doing. (Although she doesn't gave to get additional cover obvs)

As SE people we set our own hourly rate. I charge 25p-50p more than some if the CM's near me. Should I feel guilty for that?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now