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how much retainer?

(7 Posts)
economistextra Wed 07-Nov-12 22:23:27

I'm visiting childminders at the moment as I'm due to start my one year old with one three days a week in three months time. How much retainer should I expect to pay? I'm getting concerned it may work out very expensive, but am worried if I wait I might not find one closer to the time sad I live in London.

Also, how many settling in sessions one anyone recommend for a fairly attached one year old?would these sessions usually be part of the retainer if the were an hour or two at a time? Sorry for the questions and thanks in advance!

lechatnoir Thu 08-Nov-12 00:19:15

I ask for a deposit of £150 from everyone regardless if when they want to start but if it's more than a month or so off tell them they may get charged a retainer if someone else wants the space & that's at 50% of usual fees.

ZuleikaD Thu 08-Nov-12 06:11:32

I charge a deposit of £100 and would also charge 50% of fees to hold the place. I charge 75% of fees if the space is likely to be used in that time.

malovitt Thu 08-Nov-12 06:26:05

I'm in London and don't charge a retainer or a deposit. I just hold the space free of charge and have never been let down or messed about. I don't charge for any settling in sessions that are less than two hours. If I did charge a retainer, the longer settling in sessions would be deducted from that charge.

Akasa Thu 08-Nov-12 06:44:32

The retainer doesn't count against fees but in my mind a deposit does so I tend to charge one full month's fees as a deposit payable as soon as the contract is signed even if minding is not due to start for threee or four months. I hold the deposit which is "returned" when the child finishes in my care which effectively is offset against the final months invoice. This also means that I have a "buffer" in the event of non-payment. All my charges are payable at the beginning of each month in any case. I have been told by my network co-ordinator that I could charge a retainer as well to hold the space as apparently a deposit does not do this as it is simply a down-payment against future fees. Not sure I could charge both but do know of one of two C/Ms who do and seem to find parents who are willing to pay both.

minderjinx Thu 08-Nov-12 07:13:01

Around here you would expect to pay half fees to hold a vacant place open, but just a deposit if your CM was aware of a place coming free at the time you wanted it, such as if they had a current child leaving to start school. In your position, with an attached one year old, I would probably try to negotiate an immediate but phased start, perhaps a couple of days or three half day sessions to start, building up to your three days. Again, only my personal experience/opinion, but I would take him/her for a quick visit or two with Mummy and/or Daddy i.e coffee and chat with CM to show that you like and trust her, then leave the minder to get on with settling in and bonding with the child, and give her a reasonable amount of time to do it (at least half a day). The child is often more unsettled by the parents' reluctance to leave and anxiety than by a strange but friendly face, and the longer it is delayed, the longer it takes, especially at a year old.

economistextra Fri 09-Nov-12 10:18:47

Thanks all very much.I'm seeing a few cms in the next few days do I'll see what the expectation of each would be with a retainer. I'd love use a cm rather than nursery, but if there was a retainer I wouldnt be able to afford to as cm are more expensive than nursery here. I worked out last night that I would effectively be working my first couple of months to pay off the retainer and current fees. I guess the only answer would be to find a cm closer to the time, feels risky though. Hopefully I may find one who uses a deposit rather than retainer smile

Thanks again!

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