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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!

HSMMaCM Sun 03-Feb-13 19:54:00

If I have to collect DD and parents run late, I tell them where I am headed for, so they can come and get their children.

Wickedgirl Sun 03-Feb-13 19:48:37

I think it is like a mobile phone contract

If you use more minutes than you have paid for, you get charged extra
If you use less minutes, you don't get a refund because the minutes were there should you have unwanted to use them.

I am so glad I am no longer childminding. The early drop offs and late collections had a real impact on my own children. I would ask the parents to ensure they picked up on time as I had to collect my own children. Do you think they cared? No......they still picked up late. Every bloody week

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sun 03-Feb-13 09:57:11

...and you can sometimes get an early check in or late check out if you pay extra!

HSMM Sat 02-Feb-13 23:15:17

DH likes to link it to hotel booking. If you turn up early, they charge you for an extra night. If you leave early, they don't refund you anything. If you don't turn up at all they don't (usually) refund you anything.

IsItMeOr Sat 02-Feb-13 22:43:21

Hehe, OP, good luck sorting this. Good advice here.

But is anybody else wondering what line of work parrots is in?

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 22:39:25

I dont know why parrots thinks that childminders dont self reflect...we do!
I dont know about everyone else, but I spend so much of my time thinking about the children I look after, am I doing everything I can for them, what can I do better. I love them all to little bits. Ive had many problems with mindees over the years and sometimes assurances from other childminders, and parents can be really helpful. I have to say that everyone of the children I look after are well balanced and bright lovely children, and this is mainly because I have good communication with the parents. On this occasion I have failed to be straight with the parents. On reflection I should have taken the harder line from the offset...if for no more reason than to be fair and to have no confusion. It is in fact, a very small issue and in reality not a big deal. I have at times on here been told I am wrong about certain things, and I sometimes I dont agree, but then I think about it in my own time and realise I am wrong. I am very capable of self reflection, it is one of the things we are trained to do. I dont know what profession parrots has, but it is worth remembering that most professionals have an hr department, support, free training. Childminders dont have an hr department etc so it is all credence to us that we are as professional as we are. At the end of the day, I am just a human being though, and I fancied talking it out with some like minded people.

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 22:13:39

i did want to say don't let the door hit you on the way out but thought that might be just a tad childish and unprofessional wink

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 22:11:15

In MY view as a service user, you are perfectly entitled to set your terms and conditions OP, and if people want to use your service, they do so on those terms.

Bye parrots!

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 02-Feb-13 22:00:13

Well said Reet.

How is not wanting someone to turn up before you open unprofessional?

Do you think if you turn up at 'Next' 10 minutes before they open they welcome you in? You have to wait outside until they open. That's the same if you go to the doctor's or Pizza Hut or anywhere.....

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 21:55:55

lol grin

parrotsandcarsnips Sat 02-Feb-13 21:52:54

Fair enough. I don't think I will revisit. I hope that the attitudes here are just a select few. In my profession a bit of self reflection is encouraged. Maybe referring to the childminders posting on here as "professionals" is inaccurate

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 21:45:57


you don't have to read the childminder/nannies thread if this worry/annoy/wind you up...

i only use the cm/nanny section of mn. i wouldn't go on the ttc section or the adoption section or other bits that don't concern me so i don't see why you are letting a thread entitled 'how do you charge?' in the cm/nanny section concern you hmm

glenthebattleostrich Sat 02-Feb-13 21:44:16

I charge a day rate for up to 10 hours, then an additional £4 per hour outside of that. And I do not unlock the door until 7am (my start time).

I did have one parent complain that he'd been waiting for 10 minutes for me to answer the door and wasn't to impressed when I suggested he turn up on time instead of at 6:50! This family were consistantly late picking up and paying too. The dad threw a massive strop when he was 2 weeks paying his fees and I charged a late payment. That's about when I gave notice.

Some parents seem to forget that we have lives and families outside of work too and yes, childminding is just a job at the end of the day. One most of us love doing but still ...

parrotsandcarsnips Sat 02-Feb-13 21:43:05

Ok so you use mumsnet to have a moan I accept that. BUT bear in mind that in my view as a service user, you are letting your profession down.

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 21:41:17

well said whoathere smile

it is hard as a childminder - we don't have the luxury of a staff room or colleagues so it is nice to come on MN and chat/vent wink

woahthere Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:14

parrotsandcarsnips I dont subtract no, because I have been asked to work a certain amount of hours and it has been agreed and contracted to. If I am asked to work 10 - 6 and a parent only brings their child at 11 and picks up at 4, Ive still had my time taken away from me havent I, I havent been able to make any other plans so why would I refund? Some childminders now offer pay as you go service, which is beneficial to them and parents, but mainly only for those not requiring long term care.

You are right it is picky, it certainly feels picky which is why I worry about all these things, but when you dont pick up on the small things they get bigger until things are resented and are hard to be fixed. I have one parent who picks up just a few minutes felt picky to say anything, so then she started getting a few more minutes late...then she started getting 10 minutes late AND hanging around chatting for ages, so you feel picky because she is actually just being nice. The result is Ive got a child now that is here 20 minutes more than he should be and wont put his shoes on because he knows his Mum will keep him waiting so because he loves it here, he takes advantage and tries to go off and play...and now I cant say anything...because I will feel too picky....

I havent any other people that I work with to ask for advice so sometimes I ask other cm's on helps sometimes to get perspective and get it off my chest, and I would never identify, and I change details so nobody knows who Im talking about.

ReetPetit Sat 02-Feb-13 21:21:08

oh god, how strange to find it amusing that your child has bitten someone confused some odd people out there, that's for sure....

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.

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....

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.

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.

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??

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.

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....

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...

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