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CM Club - School Holiday Only & Adhoc Care contracts (advice, pretty please!!)

(10 Posts)
looneytune Sat 08-Oct-11 15:21:23

Hi all

Been childminding over 6 years now but this is the first time I've had a School Holiday Only contract. Done school holiday care a lot but all on an adhoc basis. I'm just putting together a contract for a child I've had since 8 weeks old, they are now at private school and only require school holiday care. I want this contract to be very fair to them without me loosing out. So here are my questions for those who offer these contracts (if you don't but you have an opinion, please still give me your thoughts smile ):

1) What notice period do you offer? I have a 4 week notice period in other contracts but not sure if anyone does the holiday only ones differently? (I'd find holiday only care much harder to fill)

2) This contract is to start in January as I didn't have the space for them until end of Dec when one of my mindee's turns 8. Would you charge a deposit in this case? Obviously I'd then deduct this from the cost of childcare.

3) Adhoc Care bookings - as this mindee is at private school, they have a lot more holiday than public school. I've written that the contract is according to X primary school holiday dates which are as per my email dated Y. Any extra dates required (i.e. private school holiday but term time for my lot) are to be booked on an 'Adhoc' basis and are never guaranteed until booked. The situation I have when I'm fully booked term time is that I could have this child from the time I get home from the morning school drop off until around 2.30/3pm when I need to collect them from school again. If they choose to book these hours, that's all fine. Now I currently have an after school place 2 days a week so as things are NOW, on those days I know I could have this mindee until 5pm (their preferred collection time). Problem being that if I fill these after school places, I'm unable to do until 5pm. So, some more questions...........

- Do you think it's best I'd don't agree to any full hours (i.e. til 5pm) until nearer the time or do you think I should take the bookings based on my circumstances now? (I've been given dates up to August so this includes some July term time dates)
- Anyone got a system for adhoc bookings? For example, do you take a deposit for confirming the booking? How soon before the care is required do you expect the full payment for this booking (all other invoices are sent on 1st of the month - they will receive monthly invoices throughout the year for all the 'holiday contract' care as we've decided to work out the cost over the year and they will pay a smaller amount monthly)

I think that's all my questions, sorry it's long but I have to get this right! As I say, I want it to be very fair to the family but on the other hand, I need to cover myself as I have just had a difficult situation because they previously said they wanted the contract as per what I've written above and then recently asked if they could change to paying for each holiday they book and I had the awkward thing of explaining I couldn't afford to do that as would loose out on the rest of the holiday time (i.e. risk adhoc only or go for full hols contract). I felt awful but I had turned down a holiday only contract and had this not all worked out, I'd have lost a lot of money. I just need to make sure if I commit to adhoc bookings, I don't loose out as I could potentially be turning away other adhoc bookings! Am I making sense? LOL Sorry if not but I've had an awful sinus headache all morning so not at my best! wink

TIA smile

HSMM Sat 08-Oct-11 17:56:03

Depends what you can offer.

If it is a current minded moving to holiday only care, then I wouldn't charge a deposit.

My holiday only Minders are still on 4 weeks notice.

I specify the holiday dates are the dates for their school, because that works fine with my other mindees.

Just think about what you are able to offer.

looneytune Sat 08-Oct-11 18:31:52

Yeah, ideally I didn't want to charge a deposit and never thought about it, only entered my head due to them suddenly wanting to change what we'd agreed and I guess I was just thinking a little deposit of some sort would make me feel more secure about it. I think I'll leave the deposit as must admit, don't feel comfortable about it, was just getting nervous about turning others down and then it not going ahead for some reason.

As for the other adhoc booking arrangements, I could offer whatever but I wanted to get an idea of what others do to see what the norm is smile

minderjinx Sat 08-Oct-11 18:33:41

I think you are being very fair and generous committing to a holiday only booking, especially if you do not have a term time only child to match them with. I only offer ad hoc terms for care in holidays, which means payment on booking and no refunds in the case of cancellation or no-show (but then I have been SO messed about in the past by parents changing their holiday plans, not wanting to pay childcare because granny suddenly shows up etc etc - you will know if your family are the sort to try it on like that). In your position I'd suggest working the parents might like to book each holiday ahead at or before the end of the previous one. Then if they don't, you have in effect half a term's notice to look out for someone else to fill the space.

HSMM Sat 08-Oct-11 18:38:29

Also. Mine get billed for their hols on the 1st of each month, like all my full timers.

Ie. Bill in July for the end of July, bill on 1 Aug for whole month, bill on 1 Sep for a couple of days, bill on 1 Oct for half term, no bill on 1 Nov,bill on 1 Dec for Christmas, etc. They get a bill nearly every month.

HSMM Sat 08-Oct-11 18:39:01

Or they can do a standing order spread over the year

looneytune Sat 08-Oct-11 19:15:43

Thanks guys. I've worked out the annual cost for 2012 and calculated the monthly cost and they will pay a set amount on 1st of each month for the 'holiday' contract (we both preferred that option) from January. It's just the 'adhoc' bookings I wasn't so sure about. As those adhoc bookings are going to be to cover term time (i.e. the extra holidays for the private school), I can definitely help out, just not always the full 9-5 hours. All I know I have at this stage is 9-2.45 and the extra hours will depend on whether or not I'm full on those days with the after school children. I guess I can let them know that and see if they want to commit to that (and then I do extra if I can). If they are happy with those hours, they can book now as far as I'm concerned and then I let them know about the longer hours nearer the time. I'm just wondering when I should charge for those type bookings as I do sometimes get enquiries for the same hours for other adhoc bookings. I guess I could say I'd agree to them now but will charge the full fee for those on 1st of relevant month (so they'd make an extra payment on top of the standing order). And then maybe if I get an enquiry for the same dates, I'd double check they are sure they'll definitely still be requiring them. That would be fair wouldn't it?

looneytune Sun 09-Oct-11 19:48:11

Just bumping in case anyone else wants to share how they deal with this type of stuff, especially the adhoc bookings smile

KatyMac Sun 09-Oct-11 21:08:23

Ad-hoc is requested in writing (email) confirmed by email with invoice, once the invoice is paid the space is booked.

But I only ad-hoc book upto 6 weeks in advance

I'm not sure that helps

looneytune Fri 14-Oct-11 12:19:37

Thanks Katy. I've sorted out most of it, just need to work on the payment side. These adhocs are only going to be available for private school children and I only have 2 on my books. One I've just booked in for a few days but I never did charge them before, just got the money on the first day of their booking. Now I'll be doing it more regularly, I want some sort of system but I don't think I want to ask for full payment up front for booking as both don't really stop other business. I'll have a little think about that but if anyone else wants to share their adhoc bookings systems, please do smile I might even start a new thread just for that as my OP on this one is quite long!

Thanks for your help x

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