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Wraparound care - am I too expensive?

(13 Posts)
LydiasLunch Wed 24-Apr-13 12:43:51

I am a cm who looks after various part time children and I work term time only. I don't charge for holidays. I have a 6yo who comes to me most days and the hours agreed were 7am -9am and 3.15 - 6.00pm including school pickups and drop offs, breakfasts and hot evening meal.

For these hours I charge £12 for the morning session and £13 for the after school, my reasoning being that the morning is classed as unsociable hours. Some days the child comes at 7am, sometimes mum texts me the night before to say it will be 8. Sometimes I am up and ready and they don't come til 8. Mum's shifts vary a lot and I work out what she will pay when she gives me her hours for the week.

I'm not sure if I should be charging her less for the mornings where she tells me the night before as I am then charging her £13 for an hour which I am a bit uncomfortable about. She's a single parent and really struggling with money. If every day was always 7am I think the charge would be reasonable. Should I drop her rate based on the fact that the arrival time varies or stick to my original charge? Hope this makes sense.

LydiasLunch Wed 24-Apr-13 12:45:16

"I am then charging her £13 for an hour which I am a bit uncomfortable..." sorry that should say £12!

narmada Wed 24-Apr-13 12:50:18

Well, I think it's fair to charge from seven because you have to be available from then. If she could let you know in advance (e.g., a week before or more) then as a gesture you could reduce your fee but I really don't think you should feel obliged.

LydiasLunch Wed 24-Apr-13 12:58:40

Yes, that's how I feel. I really want to sit down with her and have a chat about it but she's always in such a rush. I just feel uneasy about charging a struggling single parent more money for hours she isn't using.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Wed 24-Apr-13 13:01:37

Has she actually asked for a reduction? She may get a lot if help from tax credits or somewhere and really appreciate the flexibility, I had a single student nurse parent who used to pay for loads of hours she didn't need but I also couldn't plan my life around the fact she may turn up early/late every day/week depending on her shifts and emergencies etc.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Apr-13 13:03:13

From a business perspective, you are perfectly entitled to charge for every hour that you need to be on call (available) for a charge.

You are having a moral quandary here, because you think that this mother is struggling financially. If you want to make a personal gesture towards her, you could charge her per hour she actually uses, but enter into an agreement with her that this is a strictly personal arrangement about which she must not breathe a word to other parents, nor bring you other customers for the same arrangement.

LydiasLunch Wed 24-Apr-13 13:16:18

I have texted her to ask me if she could give me a weeks notice for drop off time rather than 7am. But I think it depends on the day if she can get a lift or has to come in a taxi. I can see its really hard for her and she has never asked for a reduction. But I don't charge her in the holidays to keep the place so it will be easier for her then.

minderjinx Wed 24-Apr-13 13:39:40

I don't think you can really take into account other people's finances. Would you expect to be paid extra if you had parents who were really well off? I'm afraid I keep having to remind myself every time I contemplate offering a freebie that this is a few pounds less to treat my own children.

Bonsoir Wed 24-Apr-13 13:40:38

People in business give different terms to different customers - nothing intrinsically odd about that.

Saltire Wed 24-Apr-13 13:47:28

It is your business so therefore you set the prices et.
Having said that, I look fter one little mindee from 3.30 till 6.30/7.00pm some nights. I give her an evening meal. She is from a single aprent home, I made the decision not to charge the parent extra for working till 7pm (my usual hours are 7.30am till 6.00pm)(I just charge my usual hourly rate till 7pm) and I don't charge for the evening meal because the child eats what we eat and becasue I have two bottomless pit teenagers there is alway a lot made, so I don't feel i am losing money.

LydiasLunch Wed 24-Apr-13 17:46:31

Managed to have a chat with her. She can't give me notice on arrival time due to relying on lifts eye so from next month I'm going to change the morning price from £12 to £10. I may be being too soft but I feel more comfortable with this.

narmada Wed 24-Apr-13 20:56:54

That is really kind of you - I bet you will be rewarded by a v loyal client. Or at least, that's what I hope.

Whatalotofpiffle Fri 03-May-13 19:21:46

I have 2 mindees who are contracted from 7:45 but never arrive until 8:30 but I always charge as I am available

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