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Below average childminder fees

(12 Posts)
6thapril13 Thu 23-Jul-15 07:22:07

Looking for advice if anyone can help. I've been looking for a CM for DD (2) for a couple of weeks, we live in an area where average fees are £6-£6.50 ph. We are on a really tight budget and I have managed to find two who charge £5 and £5.50 ph respectively. Obviously I need to meet them etc before making a decision, but DH is convinced there is something 'off' about them charging less than average. I was thinking maybe it means they don't take them out to the expensive zoos, farms etc as a lot of them seem to do around here.

Are there any CMs who charge less than average who can tell me why or any experiences of this from parents?
Thanks a lot

longdiling Thu 23-Jul-15 07:27:25

I charge a bit less than an average. I started off on a low rate because I was new and felt I just needed to get some customers in and get some experience before putting the rates up. I've not put them up much since because I am a crap business woman grin. I often end up doing extra hours without charging because I'm just really bad at asking for money. Luckily the parents I work for are lovely and nobody takes the mick but I do need to toughen up a bit really. I do loads with the kids and have great reviews from my customers and good inspection reports.

The rates may also be low because they don't provide food or they expect you to pay all year round including if they're off. Some childminders don't charge if they're on holidays but charge a higher rate overall, others charge a lower rate but still charge if they're on holidays. Definitely don't dismiss them out of hand until you've had a chance to meet with them.

Bonkerz Thu 23-Jul-15 07:39:49

Average rate in my area between £3.50-£5 per hour. I charge £3 per hour. I have degree in early years, graded outstanding twice by OFSTED. I charge what I as a parent could afford if I was looking for childcare!

6thapril13 Thu 23-Jul-15 09:17:53

Thanks guys, that's really helpful and makes sense! I will definitely meet them, think I was just surprised because where I live childcare is extremely expensive! Also didn't want to straight out ask the ladies why they are cheaper as I don't want to seem rude. Fingers crossed smile

longdiling Thu 23-Jul-15 10:33:50

Nothing wrong with asking, I wouldn't think it rude at all! Just mention that you noticed their rates are a little lower and you wondered if there was anything not included in their service.

ButtonMoon88 Thu 23-Jul-15 15:01:08

I'm in NE London, so very similar prices to what you mentioned but j charge almost 50p less per hour, as I find it hard to justify asking for £1100 per month for a full time place. I am always full, I am outstanding and I had a child psychology degree, I still couldn't ask an average income family for £6p/h, I'm honestly earning enough

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 23-Jul-15 15:48:53

There are some lovely attitudes on this thread: proof that work is about more than simply maximising income! (Bankers, please take note!)

BackforGood Thu 23-Jul-15 16:03:34

I wouldn't equate 'amount paid' correlating with 'better care' at all.
My favourite CMs have just not tended to be very hard headed business people and just don't get round to / or don't like putting their fees up.

Also, check what's included - some may have a basic rate and provide everything, others might expect you to provide a lot more, or pay 'top ups' for meals, etc or trips out.

I wouldn't have been happy at my CMs going off to zoos etc though - would add massively to the cost, and hardly necessary. Often when you have LOs, your budget is really tight, and something like a zoo trip would be a once a year treat (with parents) (Although do U3s need to pay??)

HSMMaCM Thu 23-Jul-15 16:44:28

They might just simply charge less.

Others might provide outings, nappies, food, unpaid holidays, etc. you just need to find out what is included and see if you like them.

Prices in my area do not necessarily reflect quality, so visit them and see.

DizzyCow63 Thu 23-Jul-15 16:48:21

My amazing childminder charges £3 per hour (we are in NI but this is still below average of £3.50-£4.50), she's just been charging that amount for a very long time and never put her fees up. She also doesn't charge for holidays or sick days, although I didn't realise this when we signed up with her. I looked at quite a few childminders and the fees were bottom of my list of reasons to pick one, it just happened that she was the one I liked best. She does do activities like mums & tots but not more expensive ones like the zoo, but I am happy with this as I prefer things like that as an occasional treat anyway. Her care is second to none though.

HSMMaCM Thu 23-Jul-15 16:48:37

Backforgood- I take children to the zoo and don't charge parents anything. That's why I said to check what's included. Even a toddler group over a year would add up for however pays.

Thurlow Thu 23-Jul-15 16:49:58

We used a cm who charged slightly less than the going rate. Mainly it was food that she didn't provide, which we were fine with. Trips also weren't included, but she just asked if people were happy to pay their child's entrance fee. I'm sure it worked out cheaper over the year.

(Though having said that when other circumstances made us change cm, it was a relief to stop having to make a lunch box every evening!)

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