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in what I'm paying a childminding friend? Honestly would like to know!

(16 Posts)
kt14 Wed 24-Sep-08 14:32:49

One of my best friends is a childminder, and used to have ds1 for a day a week. The going rate where we live is £30 ish per day - cheap I know compared to the London area, but my friend charged us £40 plus meals, nappies, paid holidays etc. I didn't mind paying the extra, because she is great with the children. She didn't get any other customers at that rate, and has since dropped her prices to £30(!)

Just asked her to have ds2 for 3 hours on a couple of mornings so i can do a bit of work in dh's office (she doesn't have any other child on these days, and doesn't want a full day's work either as she has her own l.o's). The idea was that I'd hand ds2 over to her as we both drop our eldest off at preschool, and then collect as we pick up 3 hours later.

I kind of assumed she'd charge us at her hourly rate, £3.50 per hour, as a good 40 mins of the 3hrs she'll have him will be spent in the car anyway. When I asked her today, she said it would be her full morning rate of £15, even though I won't be using almost 2 hours of paid time.

I know it's not a huge sum of money, and she is great with ds2, but it barely makes it worth me going back to work, as I'd probably only earn £20-25 for a couple of hours in the office. I can kind of see that if she's blocking off her time for us then we need to pay for the whole morning, and especially if she had other customers lined up, but I think if it had been me I'd have offered her the hourly rate, especially given we're such good friends.

Opinions please, am fully prepared to be told iabu, and there is no way I would ever risk a friendship over this, as technically she is going by the book, I just wondered either way what people thought.

SoupDragon Wed 24-Sep-08 14:34:18

She can't take another child for the time she has yours though, that's why you'll get charged for the whole morning. No one will want just the spare time.

SoupDragon Wed 24-Sep-08 14:34:35

I don't think friends and business mix very well TBH

GordonTheGopher Wed 24-Sep-08 14:35:40

This is why I will never take a friend's child - it's just not worth risking the friendship imo.

cheesesarnie Wed 24-Sep-08 14:38:19

also even if in car for 40 minutes-shes still responsible for him.hmm have i misunderstood?
i wouldnt have good friend as a cm.although ive made a friend in my cm.

brimfull Wed 24-Sep-08 14:38:20

I guess it's awkward for her as you're such close friends.
She's probably made a conscious decision to go by the book to avoid any feelings of resentment if she turned down another child becasue she had yours.

Tbh if I was you I'd rather keep it business like and pay the full whack.

alicet Wed 24-Sep-08 14:38:46

Sorry I think YABU - this is her job and not her doing you a favour. She wouldn't be able to have another child if she has your ds so of courseshe must charge the full rate.

I can understand why you thought she might but I don't think she is unreasonable. But maybe you could just ask her if there was any way she would accept just the hourly rate? That if she gets in the situation where she has another child she could take instead you will pay for the full morning?

On the other hand while it's not worth your while to go to work for about £10 after childcare it's probably not worth her while having your ds for only about £10 either as it will impact on what other stuff she can do during her day.

If it's bothering you all you can do is ask her!

Nagapie Wed 24-Sep-08 14:39:17

It is difficult employing friends - she needs to charge you the same as her other parents, but you feel that the friendship should give you some leeway ..

Is this rate not negotiable?

Upwind Wed 24-Sep-08 14:39:33

Would you consider finding another childminder?

kt14 Wed 24-Sep-08 14:44:04

thanks all, I guess it is slightly awkward, I always felt that when I knew we were paying well over the odds before. Will discuss with dh but think we will still use her, and possibly find a way to use more of the time we're paying for so I can maybe do some work from home while ds1 watches beebies!

Next year, ds2 will be preschool age so problem solved.

Not really looking for another childminder, simply because she is so good, and I wouldn't want to upset her by going elsewhere. I guess the extra few quid are worth it for that reason alone.

Upwind Wed 24-Sep-08 14:45:14

I'd feel taken advantage of if a friend charged me more than her going rates...

kt14 Wed 24-Sep-08 14:54:33

I know, I guess she isn't though really, she's just doing things by the book, whereas dh and I operate a kind of "mates rates" policy for friends of ours who are business clients (including her, but that's by the by..)

Bettyboobird Wed 24-Sep-08 14:55:07

My sister owns a day nursery in our town and she wouldn't give me a discount for my 2 dc as it is her business.

It's annoying, but I guess YABU, as was I when I enquired with my sister anout the possibility of a discount. BOGOF would've been nice though!!

Guadalupe Wed 24-Sep-08 15:05:56

I use a childminder who is a friend and I pay the same and have a contract the same as everyone else. I don't think it would work otherwise, and I want it to work as he loves going there anyway so there isn't a settling issue and I don't have to worry if he's happy.

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 24-Sep-08 15:14:57

so, ideally you want the childminder to take less money so that you can keep more of the money you earn?

Both of you are working and both of you want to make it worth your while. You will be getting £25 for the 2 hours work, she will be getting £15 for 3 hours work. Its not her fault that the going rate for your job doesn't leave you with much after you've paid her the going rate for her job.

I don't think there's much scope for a mates rates reduction out of £15, and (I'm not a childminder btw) I wouldn't commit myself to a full morning for the sake of a tenner.

witchandchips Wed 24-Sep-08 15:19:03

don't forget that the margins for childcare work are tiny to make any kind of living you have to charge everybody at least the market rate

also for many other jobs we can take on extra work for a mate by just working in the evening or a bit harder during the day. child minders can't because they have to stick to the legal ratios

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