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** Some advice please (Childminder asking) **

(8 Posts)
MUM2BLESS Thu 04-Dec-14 13:26:48

I experience two cancellations this year just; for different reasons.

What have you got in place for parents who are taking up your services later rather than sooner?

I have never used a retainer before but I'm considering using a deposit system. What is a reasonable time to give parents if they are going to cancel without them loosing their deposit?

I guess I am looking at the money I could have made. I know its up to the parents if they cancel in good time.

Your advice is appreciated, need to respond to an email. Keeping a good attitude too.

Tanith Thu 04-Dec-14 13:52:29

If the place is unavailable until the child starts (usually because another is leaving), I ask for a non-refundable deposit. I will consider a refund at my discretion.

If I am holding a place open for a child who is unable to take the place yet, I ask for a retainer, also non-refundable.

I used not to charge for either, but got stung so many times by parents changing their minds and letting me know at the last minute, we nearly went out of business.

Tanith Thu 04-Dec-14 13:54:44

Oh, and no contract signed = no place. Also learned the hard way.

Jinxxx Thu 04-Dec-14 14:24:03

I learned the hard way to put a time limit on a retainer e.g half fees to hold a place for up to 20 weeks, thereafter full fees. I had a family repeatedly delay their child's start (for almost a year in total) and hadn't put in place anything in the contract to limit the length of time it could be deferred.

HSMMaCM Thu 04-Dec-14 14:49:26

The place is not theirs until paperwork and a 4 week deposit are complete. this deposit is non-refundable. (As Tanith said about discretion, in extreme cases, I might change my mind)

I have not charged anyone a retainer yet for a future space, but I do think it is a sensible idea if you have a space sitting empty. Good point Jinxxx about limiting the time a retainer can be paid.

LingDiLong Thu 04-Dec-14 20:22:04

Same here - their place isn't guaranteed until the contract is signed and I've got 2 weeks deposit. Also agree that Jinxxx makes a good point about a time limit on a retainer.

MUM2BLESS Thu 04-Dec-14 22:54:26

Thanks every one. I signed a contract for holiday time. I understand about asking for a advance payment but what if its not until say next time. I have spaces so that not a problem. I can still take more children on if I want to.

what would be a responsible time for cancellation? about three weeks notice? do you return the deposit if they cancel within that time. It was not a last minuet cancellation; but I was not expecting it.

As childminders we have to plan ahead and also let other parents know what we are doing also.

HSMMaCM Thu 04-Dec-14 22:58:56

Once they pay their deposit they don't get it back.

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