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Full Fee for CM Holiday?

(40 Posts)
SugarSpunSisters Wed 07-Aug-13 08:42:13


My childminder intends on charging full fee for two weeks off per year - is this usual practice? I do not take exception at their time off at all btw, it is the paying full price for it that I am taking umbrage at.

Whilst I accept for parent/child holidays the place cannot be used and full fee applies and I also pay for Bank Holidays when they are not open, I can't help but feel pissed off that she is charging me £300 for not providing a service and during those weeks I have had to make and pay for additional childcare.

I do not pay my hairdresser or window cleaner when they are away on holiday confused

MaryPoppinsBag Sat 10-Aug-13 11:55:43

I agree why should a CM feel guilty?

One parent pays me for my holidays as I pro rata the term time only rate. That is effectively what those who charge for holidays are doing. (Although she doesn't gave to get additional cover obvs)

As SE people we set our own hourly rate. I charge 25p-50p more than some if the CM's near me. Should I feel guilty for that?

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 10-Aug-13 10:34:34

karo why on earth would a childminder feel guilty for having paid holidays?!

They can charge what they like and up to parents to use their service or not. It's such a simple system, why can't you get your head round it?

ImNotBloody14 Sat 10-Aug-13 10:06:55

And none of them should feel guilty for earning a living at what can be a very difficult job for various reasons

ImNotBloody14 Sat 10-Aug-13 10:05:56

No im not a childminder but ive used several and ive used nurseries. I, unlike some, understand that they are a business not a charity and they must cover all their leave through their fees.

Karoleann Sat 10-Aug-13 08:13:25

Imnotbloody its not the same for the 4 reasons stated above.

I suspect you're a childminder who is now feeling guilty (as you should be) of charging when you're on holiday.

Anyway off on my holidays (without holiday pay) as I am SE.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 09-Aug-13 19:20:45

karoleann- if SE people aren't charging enough to allow them to take holidays then they wont be taking holidays. if SE people are taking holidays then they have calculated their fees to allow them to take holidays- this is exactly the same as a CMer working out her fees to cover the cost of 2/3/whatever weeks holidays. if you cant understand that then there really is no point me engaging with you any further.

Trying2bMindful Fri 09-Aug-13 19:11:52

We have to pay our CM if we take holiday when she is available but we don't pay when she is on holiday.
I hear that is the norm but of course it depends if you have any room for negotiation. Ie are there any other convenient CMs for you that would take your lO instead & not charge you?
If you don't have any room for negotiation then there is no point even getting worked up about it!!!

Karoleann Fri 09-Aug-13 19:08:18

I'mnotbloody - it's clearly not the same if it were:

All SE people would be doing it - rather than just a few childminders. As its easier for them to be paid rather than saving for a holiday.

The OP wouldn't have posted

If the childminders holiday period is different to the parents contract period, you may end up paying for more holidays.

Having paid holidays wouldn't be a question on the HMRC website when working out employment status.

I think lots of childminders do a fantastic job, lots of parents wouldn't be working at all without them. But it is bloody cheeky to charge for holidays when you are self employed. Maybe it's one for HMRC to sort out.

CaptainUndercrackers Thu 08-Aug-13 10:37:08

My CM charges full fees for 2 weeks holiday and 50% for a further 3 weeks. I have no objection to this. Surely as a self employed person you are free to set your charges out as you see fit, and people can use your service or not? My CM has a waiting list, because she's excellent, so why shouldn't she charge for hols if people will pay? She's running a business, not a charity. The fact that self-employed people in other industries don't routinely charge for holidays is neither here nor there. They would if they could, I'm sure.

Booh Thu 08-Aug-13 10:31:51

There keeps being threads on here with parents questioning childminders paid holidays, fees etc.

If you have read and signed and agreed the contract then you are agreeing to paying the fees. Simple isn't it?

I charge four weeks holidays every year, I have only ever had one perspective parent argue about it, but she only wanted to pay me £2 per hour.....needless to say I never cared for her children.

Thurlow Thu 08-Aug-13 10:09:36

The food and wipes and that isn't so straightforward either. My CM prefers us to send little ones with a packed lunch, but will give them dinner (I can see this is easier as she is cooking for 6-8 people then, rather than 1-2 toddlers at lunchtime) and so far isn't charging us for the odd dinner DC has. She also provides snacks and milk included in her fees. Outings she has never asked for money for, and even took DC to Pizza Express the other day and refused our offer of any money to cover that - it was unplanned and I thought it polite to offer. We provide our own nappies and wipes.

I don't think there will be a standard. Our CM really is very cheap, but I know packing a lunch every evening for an 18mo would drive a lot of parents barking.

Tanith Thu 08-Aug-13 09:01:11

SugarSpunSister, charging separately for food, nappies etc. is just the same as charging for holidays. Some CMs do it, some don't. Those that don't will have factored it into their rate or may charge for something that another childminder does not. That's why Minderjinx said you have to look at the whole package and not get hung up on the holiday charge.

Some parents actually prefer to pay for holidays separately and be charged a lower overall rate. It is simply the way some childminders run their business.

As self-employed operators, childminders are in the unique position of providing their services for more than one client simultaneously. That can make it very difficult to charge a higher overall rate in order to factor in holidays, especially when the childminder has tailored contracts individually to suit the client (e.g. Term time only contracts).
That's why a lot of them charge for holidays and bank holidays in a way that is clear and transparent for the client.

A lot of parents do prefer to see exactly what they're paying for and when. Others prefer a higher overall charge and no extras. It's up to the client to decide which is preferable to them.

HSMMaCM Thu 08-Aug-13 08:30:14

I charge an all inclusive rate which is payable whenever I'm available (includes - amongst other things - food, wipes, outings, nappies, etc).

I feel this is easiest to explain to parents and although I have not deliberately inflated my rates, if you add it up over the year, I probably charge the same as another local minder who charges for holidays.

Most parents appreciate having a lower bill in a month when they may need to find and pay for alternative childcare, because I'm on holiday, but others pay by standing order, so pay the same amount every month anyway.

It is different to other Self Employed businesses, because it is a contracted arrangement, often based over 10 years of care. The most important thing for both parents and CMs is to make sure the contract is clear at the start.

(Interesting reply from Akasa)

Akasa Thu 08-Aug-13 08:08:23

It is for the childminder to present the financial proposal to his/her client in the way it will be best received. I had an enquiry recently and not surprisingly, the mindee's parent had been speaking to a number of different providers. It was made clear that she did not want to pay for my time off and was clearly also looking for some time off herself for which she could pay a reduced rate or possibly nothing at all.

Having established her requirements in terms of hours/days and the amount of time off she would want (I had already told her that I like to take a minimum of 3 weeks) I told her I would get back to her.

A quick 10 minutes on the calculator followed and having started with the figure that I would have normally earned for a 35 hour per week child over 52 weeks, I then divided the figure by the number of weeks she was looking to pay for (i.e. 45). I called her back and gave her an offer of a place with the newly-calculated rate. Her response was, "You are dearer than everyone else but I like the fact I am not paying for your holiday or mine"!!! She starts with me at the beginning of September and has paid her first month's fees as a deposit to secure the place. I am getting the amount I would have earned on my normal terms and she is delighted as in her eyes, she is not paying for 7 weeks care.

I will of course need to be especially carefully about how I write the contract/agreement to ensure the amount of time off on either side is stipulated and what happens if this is exceed on either side but as a previous poster has said, one needs to look at the total cost.

SugarSpunSisters Thu 08-Aug-13 07:34:46

Hmm mixed views!

I think my situation is esepcailly bad in my eyes because I had previously only worked 2 days Mon and Fri which I paid approx £24 for (before & after school).

I sucked it up and paid for Bank Hols (plus alternative or time off) because thats just the way it is but I have recently got a new job in the second week of the school summer hols and I now need 4 full days. The second week is where she has taken her holidays and my invoice is due before I get my first wage and most of it will go on this non existant minding for a full week.

SHe charges for my time off holidays or when I pick him up myself, fair enough it's my place I am paying for.

I just feel full fee, especially full daily rates are a bit much when there is no care provided.

To the CM who says 'I don't charge for food, wipes, outings' - surely thats just daft confused

badguider Wed 07-Aug-13 21:11:49

If you are salaried then it makes sense to pay the cm the same amount every month as it's a fixed outgoing. You can try to book your holidays at the same time as her or just take more time off work, either way if you're salaried you'll get paid the same amount too.

If however, you're self-employed or on an hourly rate contract without paid holidays then it makes sense to find a cm who doesn't charge for holidays. As the cash flow of you not being paid because you're not working yet paying the cm will be tricky.

I am self-employed and chose a nursery that only closes between xmas and new year for this reason.

twinklemumtp Wed 07-Aug-13 21:06:08

I am a childminder. I choose not to charge when I take time off as I know parents have to find alternative care. I charge Half fee if parents are on Hols for up to 4 weeks as this is in line with the local nurseries. However I charge full if kids of sick as it is unplanned and will effect my income.
My hourly rate is slightly more than some of the other childminders but I justify this as I am graded outstanding. I porvide lots of activiites and outings and healthy snacks apart from lunch and dinner I dont charge for any extras.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 20:17:42

CMers (and other childcare providers) get it in the neck from the Govt because the service they provide has a direct impact on the taxes they collect- if CM provided care is too expensive, people will choose to stay at home rather than work and pay taxes- this isn't the case for services like plumbing, garages or electricians so they are left to their own devices when it comes to setting their rates.

but tbh i'm not really sure what your point is in relation to my posts.

RosieGirl Wed 07-Aug-13 19:03:19

ImNotBloody14 - Yes but many other SE occupations earn a good living wage. At the moment we are being battered by the press and the government, telling us we are too expensive and need to lower our costs. I don't see a public uprising about garages, plumbers, electricians being too expensive and the government battering them. Considering we are supposed to be SE, we are so controlled by the government and the LA I get very little say on what and how I can do things, whether the parents care or not. I am not full and mainly have part-timers, taking into account all of my outgo, I don't charge for food, wipes, outings (been to several farms, duxford and other lovely places) as well as normal playgroups, after all is taken into account I am still earning less than minimum wage. I put my fee's up once in 5 years and still get constantly moaned at and told I am raking it in. Its a lot harder to us to put our rates up to make a decent living without it impacting on families.

Strix Wed 07-Aug-13 17:13:16

My childminder charges full fees if I do not show up and nothing if she does not show up. Seems fair to me.

Whether or not Ian paid holiday at my, where I am an employee and not a business owner is not relevant.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:13:55

"you're building up a reserve to let you take some time off. "

same thing.

"I do not charge if I am not working "

because you've already taken the money ahead of time in your fees.

face it- whether you adjust your fees to cover non-working weeks or charge for those weeks as normal you are still getting that money from the same source- your client. your client is paying for that week you are off whether they do it 6 month in advance or at the time.

Karoleann Wed 07-Aug-13 15:09:00

no you're not, you're building up a reserve to let you take some time off.
I do not charge if I am not working and I don't think your dad does either. If you asked him I'm sure he would say that he doesn't charge when he is on holiday.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:04:45

you are still charging for that holiday whether you take the money at the time of the holiday or throughout the year in your fees.

Karoleann Wed 07-Aug-13 14:59:34

Imnotbloody14 - I'm SE too - I don't charge for holiday and I suppose that your dad doesn't either.
That's exactly how it is should happen - you factor in your holiday costs and then don't charge when you're not available.

marypoppinsbag - its only one reason I wouldn't use a childminder.
All of the CM's in my area at the time all charged for 4 weeks holiday (we have now moved). At the time I was employed and had to give 6 weeks notice for my holidays - which none of the childminders would give me.
There's other reasons too - the set up just didn't work for me or DS1 (who was 6 months at the time), so we ended up terminating the contract after a couple of weeks.

Thurlow Wed 07-Aug-13 14:27:13

ImNotBloody14 has hit the nail on the head. I'd imagine any CMs fees will be worked out to ensure that they have an annual income that is ok for them. So they're either thinking that charging X amount will allow me to have 3-4 weeks unpaid holiday, or that they'll charge Y amount but get paid for their holidays. It probably works out about the same over the year.

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