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new childminder

(21 Posts)
gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 13:11:34

Good afternoon everyone. I am going to start childminding in March and need help with my policy about being paid. Could anyone tell me if I need to ask money from the parent to keep a childs place open when I go on holiday, if so how much? I am asking for a £20 deposit for each child does that sound ok?

Becp Fri 01-Feb-13 13:20:43

Hi the bad (& also good) thing about minding is you set your own terms of employment really. Some childminders ask for holiday pay, some charge for children's holidays only & some don't charge for either. I only charge when children are away if I'm open & I tell parents when my holidays will be for the year so they can arrange their's at the same time if they want. Good luck with minding, I hope you enjoy it :-)

MUM2BLESS Fri 01-Feb-13 13:23:46

gingeme A lovely welcome to childminding

I do not charge to keep a childs place open. I have term time kids (6) and holiday time (1). I take my hols in the holiday time. Inform parents who use my hol service when I am going away. Its as required during the hols.

I would however advice you to GET PAYMENT IN ADVANCE. I have expereince so much problems with late payment. I have a late payment fee of £5.00 which I have used more than once grin

Hope that helps.

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 13:24:03

Right ok that sort of makes sense. The trouble is I cant really plan my hols like that because DH does shift work but I see what you mean. Ive just got to get my head around the self tax bit now !

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 13:27:02

MUM2BLESS do you also charge if the parents are late picking the children up?

MUM2BLESS Fri 01-Feb-13 13:31:20

We are here to help gingeme

It can seem very daunting at first but with time it will be clearer. You will also realise that cm differ in how they do things.

I would like to think my parents have a good package as well as a good service. I am fussy about my own kids and I also try to do my best with other peoples kids.

I started with cm kids the same month they introduced the EYFS in Sept 2008.

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 13:35:51

Yes I have been quite stressed about the whole thing to be honest. But now Im ready. Passed my Oftsted inspection, passed my CYPOP course, done my first aid course. Have loads of toys, books, tricycles, playhouse etc. Got my insurance and NCMA membership, written most of my policies just need to look into the tax side of things next. Phew

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 13:40:42

Well thankyou ladies I shall be off to wright my policy now. x

Becp Fri 01-Feb-13 13:51:09

One other thing with regard to policies, I looked at Bromley childminders website loads of ideas on there smile

Bluemonkeyspots Fri 01-Feb-13 13:51:17

As someone who has only been minding for a few months can I please just advise you to make all payment policies watertight and stick to them from day 1 (apologies if that sound patronising)

I made the mistake of thinking most people would be like myself and see paying childcare as a priority and actually stick to the agreed hours on the contract but have quickly found that (some not all) of my parents try and take the utter piss.

I made the mistake of trying to be to helpful at the start I think but it meant a few months in I had to have words with one parent who in the end was turning up 35 mind every morning after i had already agreed to start 1/2 hour earlier than usual to help her out. So instead of starting at 8 I was starting at 6.55.

Was totally my fault for being to soft and letting it go the first few times but i really wish I had been on top of things from day 1

Bluemonkeyspots Fri 01-Feb-13 13:52:08

That was meant to say 35 mins early!

HSMM Fri 01-Feb-13 15:09:22

Welcome. I charge when I'm available and give parents as much notice as possible of holidays. Definitely get payment in advance.

ZuleikaD Fri 01-Feb-13 15:44:19

Agree with parents paying in advance - if they haven't paid then I don't care for their child. Also yy to late fees (for both payment and pickups). I have in the past charged half rate for my holidays and half rate for parents, but I'm thinking of moving to charging full rate if I'm available and then not at all if I'm not (because I so rarely take holiday, and also for some reason parents don't seem to mind paying full rate for holidays but sometimes get narky about running out of half-rate days!). I ask for and give four weeks notice of holiday, six weeks notice for end of contract.

On your 'deposit' policy I would say that a £20 deposit (to be deducted from the first month's fees?) isn't enough. It's not going to stop anyone messing you around, nor is it enough to compensate you if someone rings the day before they're supposed to start and tells you they're not coming. I charge £100, but I know some who charge the first months' fees.

HSMM Fri 01-Feb-13 16:07:27

I charge 4 weeks deposit

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 16:21:58

Wow that has certainly given me food for thought. Yes Ive been told I need to be tough as far as payment is concerned. I was also advised to get full hours pay every half hour they are late picking the child up. Thankyou so much ladies. grin

HSMM Fri 01-Feb-13 18:06:26

If you take an hours pay for every half hour late, how much would you charge if they are 25 mins late, or 35 mins late? I know some people charge per minute, or per 5 mins late. People have been caught out by saying they will charge £x for every hour, or part and then a parent who is running 5 mins late thinks ... well ... I might as well stop off and get some shopping, as I will be charged for the hour anyway. I charge double time for every minute (but if I had people being persistently late, I would raise that).

You also need to think about charges for late payments.

Hopefully you will have lovely clients who will pay on time and turn up on time (like most of mine do).

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 18:33:40

Oh my goodness. Do you accept child care vouchers ? How does that work with late payers etc ?

HSMM Fri 01-Feb-13 19:09:00

I accept childcare vouchers from an assortment of companies. The parents need to set the payment date sufficiently far in advance to ensure the money arrives with me in time. Computershare are a bit of a nightmare and I am asking all new parents using Computershare to bank a months vouchers in advance. Apart from that, they are all fine.

ZuleikaD Fri 01-Feb-13 19:11:55

I had a parent claim that the childcare voucher provider didn't get paid by their company far enough in advance for me to be paid by the last working day of the month. After one month's late fees the childcare voucher provider was magically able to get the payment to me on time.

MUM2BLESS Fri 01-Feb-13 21:01:15

Gingeme my advice would be

Choose carefully the amount of kids and the hours you do. Will it fit into your family routine.

Be clear on drop off ( for me not more than 10 mins early) and pick up times

Think about after school clubs, are you doing these. I only do one. Be clear with what you will and will not do.

I have a diary which I use to write arrival/dept time, menu, purchases, activities etc. Saves on paper

I email policies and procedures and invoices.

It was easier when I started, not so much financially. Not sure how much you had to pay.

All the best to you

gingeme Fri 01-Feb-13 21:28:47

That makes alot of sense . I have written a list now of what to put in the policy. Going to give my brain a rest over the weekend then Write it out properly to print up. Thankyou so much for your help.

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