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Parents who work termtime only - What is reasonable?

(23 Posts)
Coconutfeet Sun 14-Nov-10 08:56:04

I am currently looking for a new CM as my current one is leaving the area. I'm a teacher, so obviously work termtime only. I've been really lucky up to now, as current CM also works termtime only and doesn't charge for the holidays. I realise this is unusual.

What kind of arrangement do CMs normally make in this situation? I fully expect to have to pay more than I do now, but is it reasonable to ask for some kind of reduction, at least during the long summer holidays if we're not using the CM at all?


HSMM Sun 14-Nov-10 08:59:46

Some will charge you for term time only. Some might charge a 50% retainer during the holidays (when you can use them, by topping up to 100%). Others will charge for their availability and charge 100% all year. Others may have different arrangements. You will need to ask around I'm afraid, or get a recommendation from another teacher.

Just remember, if you are charged for the holidays, you should be able to ask the minder to take your DC (with reasonable notice).

Coconutfeet Sun 14-Nov-10 09:47:20

Thanks HSMM. So it varies from CM to CM but no-one's going to chuck me out of their house for asking the question at least, even if the answer is that they charge in full.

HSMM Sun 14-Nov-10 17:20:43

Hopefully you will ask before you get through their front door , but I don't chuck parents out. You'd be surprised at some of the things i've been asked over the years. If you are chucked out, think of it as a lucky escape!

pointydog Sun 14-Nov-10 17:34:35

Both times, I found cms who didn't charge for the holidays. It suited them too not to have so many kids in the hols.

phipps Sun 14-Nov-10 17:35:28

I would ask before you see them to stop you wasting both your times.

Danthe4th Sun 14-Nov-10 20:13:54

You may find that cm's who do term time only contracts actually charge a slightly higher rate(I do) than childminders who work all year round.
The difference between paying a retainer for holidays does not always work out much more and you can also use the cm if you need to. Definately worth shopping around as we all charge very different rates, some charge for bank holidays and also charge for 4 weeks holidays others don't.
As a teacher I would say the most important thing is she doesn't take holidays during the term and also that she lives in the same county so the holidays are the same.

Concordia Sun 14-Nov-10 20:16:40

i study at home and there is no point sending my toddler to childminder during school holidays when ds is at home anyway. i pay half during holidays. was hoping to find someone who didn't charge at all but tbh i am happy to pay a retainer as she is a great childminder and obv it is fairer all round.

StarExpat Sun 14-Nov-10 20:25:29

<waves to cf> I love this board on MN
As you know, my cm charges in full for my holidays (nothing for hers or if she's ill-and that's not happened yet). Except summer when dh and I between us have 10 weeks home and that's a 50% fee as retainer.
8 hours per day = £200/week. So this means (as I've recently calculated) that I pay a total of £7400/year in childcare. As we have 21 weeks out of 52 at home (different term times) we pay £3200 in total where he's not going. It's a lot but well worth it when considering cost of a nanny or a nursery. And I think my cm is better than both grin She's amazing.

PinkCanary Sun 14-Nov-10 20:39:25

I have termtime only children, holiday only children, and all year round, and I charge the same rate for all. I've found that There is equal demand for all these in my area.

Plus I'm too soft to charge retainers. :-/

KatyMac Sun 14-Nov-10 20:44:03

& I charge full all year round

It's only ever lost me one client & most mums use me in the holidays anyway some of the time at least

StarExpat Sun 14-Nov-10 20:45:52

I've tried to calculate this three times now tonight. I forgot to include a whole chunk! blush Lol so it's £9400 per year shock. and for the times we don't use her of that it's £3200. Best not to calculate over a year to avoid passing out.

MUM2BLESS Sun 14-Nov-10 20:46:41

I do some term time contracts only. only charge for that time. If I wanted to do holiday time only then I could If I wish,

Everyone is different. Shop around and you will know what you are comfortable with.

Coconutfeet Sun 14-Nov-10 21:28:25

Thanks everyone. To be honest it's much more about finding the right person, and I would pay for the holidays if I had to, but it's good to know that it's something I can ask about.

Hello Star! I've been looking at nurseries as well and working out the various costs over the year. It's terrifying isn't it. I'm trying to see it as a month by month cost as that makes it slightly less scary.

ojmummy Sun 14-Nov-10 21:32:44

I use a CM for term time only and dont pay anything in the hols - she was fine with this and she wasnt the only CM I found willing to do this. When looking for a CM I just said from the start that I would only be looking for term time only and was not able to pay anything in hols (maybe I was just lucky?).

I also found a nursery willing to do term time only with no fee in school hols, but decided in the end to go with CM. I am in the East Mids.

StarExpat Sun 14-Nov-10 21:33:30

Even though I pay for our holidays with the cm, it still works out cheaper than a nursery. And I know she's better than the nurseries I saw, too.
I agree, the right person is most important. At this age you might find your DS more suited to a nursery environment anyway

Tanith Sun 14-Nov-10 22:07:06

I have several term-time only parents and I charge them for term-time only because I can fill the places during the holidays with holiday-only children.
(Does that make sense?)

If I were unable to fill the places, then I'd have to rethink my policy, but this way seems to work out well for everyone.

Coconutfeet Mon 15-Nov-10 06:44:23

Thanks Tanith, I wondered if that was the case for some CMs.

Sandym3g Mon 15-Nov-10 16:10:02

Currently me and my DH (both CM's) only have term time only parents. Not out of choice but that is how it has worked out so far. We don't charge for holidays. (theirs or ours.)

One of our parents spreads the cost throughout the year so we still get paid during holiday time. The other parent pays weekly. Both in advance.

We want to be able to provide for holiday care. But currently the parents both work at schools.

At least this way we can have those who want holiday care only. Was hoping to have eyfs children and older siblings joining them in the holidays where spaces opened up because of term time only children not needing the space.

Early days yet though.

Ripeberry Mon 15-Nov-10 20:34:24

I'm aterm-time only CM and advertise myself as such. It's written on my website and adverts TERM-TIME ONLY! But people still ask about holiday care hmm
I have two children of my own and it suits my familly to keep holidays for ourselves.
We can't go on holiday out of term time anyway.
I'm on the border of two counties, but the only term that overlaps is the start of the school holidays by about 3 days.

And as Sandy said, if you have term-time only contracts, if you needed the extra money, you could just offer holiday care on short-term (NCMA 28day) contracts at a higher rate.

rakwell Tue 16-Nov-10 12:42:18

Hi I am a term time only childminder, because it works best that way for our family. I am finding it so hard to find even 1 child to look after on this basis! I dont charge any sort of retainer either! It amazes me how different areas have different needs.

LightlyKilledCrunchyFrog Tue 16-Nov-10 17:57:56

I used to pay half in the holidays, but worked out the annual price so I paid the same every month, it was easier all round that way.

serenity Tue 16-Nov-10 18:29:16

My BF childminds, and only does term-times (she has 4 children of her own, and found it too much of a pita to have minded children and her own around at the same time!) As she actively doesn't want to do holidays, she doesn't charge a retainer.

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