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How do you charge?

(42 Posts)
woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 19:41:44

I used to always have a policy of charging for a full hour from the start of the hour. One new client needed me from 8.30 - 5.30. I should have just charged an 8 - 6 charge really but for some reason this time I charged for 9 hours.

Now since starting client has quite a few times arrived early and a few times at 8.15 and sometimes at just after 8. On early arrival one morning and me opening the door and saying 'oh i didnt expect you quite yet, client said needed to arrive by 8.15 from now on really but could probably pick up 5.15.

I have now charged from 8 - 5.30 which I think is fair, but client is questioning me about it.

I just think where does it end, are the times going to keep changing, and how is it fair on the people who pay me from 8 - 6 but dont arrive until 8.10 and then pick up at 8.40. I cant start charging per the 10 minute slots can I, or am I being picky? I hate it when people quibble over 30 minutes, especially when I feel Ive already made an exception to the rule for them!

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 19:54:07

oh god, parent sounds awful. i cant stand it when they turn up early, to me its worse than picking up late.
stick to your guns on are in the right. and if they start picking up past 5.30, charge your full day rate.
i can't understand parents who quibble over the odd couple of quid, personally i would want the person looking after my most prized possession to feel valued for the job they are doing and long hours they are putting in!

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 19:58:48

So how would you explain this to them ReetPetit? I feel like an idiot now for not just charging 8 - 6. In their eyes, it is still the same amount of hours, just at slightly different time, which I suppose is right, but you have to have some kind of cut off point dont you. Do other childminders just charge for the hour from the start of the hour or am i being too rigid?

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 19:59:05

I charge per minute used... So if they sign into 10 to and out at 10past I charge them 20 minutes.

It helps that my fees are divisional by 60 and I have a handy little spreadsheet that calculates the fees when I put the times in.

I market myself as a pay as you go service.....and I'm happy if they pick up early....

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 20:01:20

Im not a pay as you go service though is the difference.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 02-Feb-13 20:08:41

But I don't get any of the mucking about.....

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 20:15:03

Im sure that if you are solely a pay as you go service then it has its advantages, but I do contracted amounts to guarantee my wage each month.
I'm happy if they leave early too (although I like to be prewarned about it in case it mucks up plans) but arriving early can be annoying if you're not expecting them yet, you might not be ready.

HSMM Sat 02-Feb-13 20:15:27

I used to charge for the hours they use and now I charge 8-6, because that's when I'm available and I charge for my availability. The problem you have it that you didn't stick to your own rules when you started, so they are expecting to be able to pay for booked hours. Decide what you want to do ... revise your policies and give them the required amount of notice for the new fees.

HSMM Sat 02-Feb-13 20:16:11

Oh ... and they can knock on the door before 8am if they like, but I won't open it.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 20:16:40

Could you say:

My usual t&c are for full hour payments, due to an oversight, your contract was an exception, I will continue to honour it on the existing terms but if you wish to change times I will need to move to my standard terms"

But... Do you charge late or early penalty fees? Because if you do, it won't take long before it works out cheaper to pay 8-6 anyway.

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 20:18:42

will they definately always come at 5.15? if so, i would charge them the 9 hrs as youve agreed.
if they start collecting late (ie after 5.15) i would tell them you have de ided to start charging them a full day.
do your other mindees come before 8.30? if not you could refuse the earlier start time or charge double for that 15mins

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 20:20:33

Yes HSMM, I should have stuck to my terms...this is what you get for trying to be nice! I do charge late and early penalty fees but only in a way of if they are late or early outside my open hours...not their contracted hours.

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 20:22:11

the arriving early drives me nuts!! i need that 15 minutes to get my boys ready.
i leave them outside the door now too. they still dont get the hint hmm

HSMM Sat 02-Feb-13 20:37:43

I put in my newsletter once that if they arrive early, they might be here before I'm dressed ... there were no early arrivals for some time after that grin.

HSMM Sat 02-Feb-13 20:38:14

No criticism woahthere - I have made plenty of my own mistakes over the years

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 20:39:01

grin lol

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 20:44:14

sorry the lol was at you answering the door in a state of undress HSMM, might try that myself next time wink

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 20:49:53

It does upset me when parents quibble about a few quid, but that they expect you to change your hours at will...

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 21:03:13

I did once have a parent arrive at 7.47, rather than 8, and I was on my last stage of getting ready...everything done apart from my hair which I am finishing drying, then Im usually downstairs ready by 7.55 ready to open door and prepare cereal in bowls. My daughter answered the door and shouted me down..I told him he was welcome to come in and wait in the lounge, then I went up and finished drying my hair. When i came down at 7.55 he was most disgruntled and said, I was only 10 minutes early, would have expected you to be ready. To which I replied as cheerily as I could muster...'ah, but 10 minutes is worth a lot to a girl who has hair to dry, and it is my 10 minutes.' The contract didnt last long, he was a bit of an arse....

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 21:13:31

good for you whoathere! what a total arse! grin

it amazes me how people feel they can arrive early, try and let themselves in your front door, i've even had people sit themselves down in my living room without asking, go in my kitchen cupboards hmm barge their buggies into my legs to get my to move out the way of my own front door. All sorts.

This job is certainly an eye opener.

parrotsandcarsnips Sat 02-Feb-13 21:16:21

Just remember parents read these posts too- you are being petty- do u subtract when the kids are collected early??

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 21:16:50

OP, start charging penalty rates outside your contract hours with this family. Or give them the option of 8-6 or the penalty costs after a week or so when you estimate their penalties to show the difference.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 21:18:10

I am a childcare user not provider, parrots, and I want the OP to stick up for herself.

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 21:19:07

parrots, that's a bit silly isn't it? why would we subtract when collected early if we are available to work? hmm
if you went into work early you would expect overtime. if you were told by your boss to leave work early would you expect to lose wages?? think about it....

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 21:19:30

They barge their buggies into your legs...oh my god!

I have many stories...too many.

Last week I told parent about her little boy biting me (completely normal I know, no massive berating, just involved informing her) she laughed like an absolute drain...thought it was hilarious...I was a bit gobmacked. Its totally normal for kids to go through this stage but I would have expected a bit of sympathy and apology , even if just as standard not for it to be found really hurt! I currently have 3 bite marks...honestly the shit we put up with.

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