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How to charge for term time only?(16 Posts)
I am having a bit of trouble getting my head around how to charge for term time only.
I have a parent who has two children in my care, they want the contract to change to term time only. I am happy to agree to this. So do I put the hourly fee up (currently stands at £5 per child) or do I charge half price during holidays. If the first how do I work out what to put it up to?
Also, in the likelihood that Mom needs me to have the for the odd day during the six weeks holidays, what do I charge then?
Our childminder charged 50% for school holidays. If you have them in the school hold I would charge full rate for the days you have them.
I used to do it one of two ways, which way depended on the parents choice and also how well I knew and trusted them.
1. Invoice at the beginning of the month for the days that are booked in. Supplementary invoice at the end of the month for any hours over and above that.
2. Set up a term-time contract for a fixed yearly period. This means that they have the same amount going out each month so handy for tax credits etc even though the care requirements fluctuate. So charge for 40 weeks per year split over 12 months.
Must add that I didn't charge a holding fee for their place during the school hols as I also had holiday time only children.
Another idea would be to divide the cost of term time only childcare over 12 months and charge the same every month. This means that your income won't change each month, and they will pay the same every month, rather than it increasing in term time.
If they do need childcare in the hols you could charge them an hourly rate. If they require you to keep a space open for their child during holidays, consider charging a reduced fee for that as you could potentially be losing out on income from other parents in need of childcare in holidays.
Thank you, I think will propose charging for 38 weeks but splitting it over 12months or charging as I do now but 50% retainer for holidays.
I had a real mind block earlier and could not figure out the maths for love nor money
Parents do not like paying for something they're not using. It's easier to 'sell' them an inflated hourly rate when they use you than retainer fee when they are not using you.
Also if you're charging a retainer fee in holidays this space must be available for them should they decide you use it. It can become tricky if you suddenly get the surge of people wanting holiday only place or you decide to go on holiday/or be off ill as they will be paying you to hold that space.
If you charge an inflated hourly rate this rate could incorporate the retainer fee without making you hold their space in holidays. And you can still take them for odd days here and there throughout the summer if they pay your full hourly rate.
The problem with charging 38 weeks divided over 12 months, is what if the leave before eg the summer holidays. They would need to continue to pay for the holidays for you to have had your pay for the work you'd done, but no incentive to pay you. Possibly also no legal need to pay you if they'd given notice?
Hmm food for thought re notice period. I can't see a way around that...
I still slightly favour inflated price as this gives me more flexibility in the holidays.
I've done it two ways (as someone who uses a childminder). My ex- childminder used to charge 40% retainer of usual weekly fees in school hols then 50% if she was on her holidays (always in school holidays as she had school ahe children - she took 6w per year). My new childminder charges a one off initial fee of £100 per year for a term time only contract then we just pay for the hours we use in term time.
Ah ok a one off fee- that hadn't occurred to me. Although a £100 wouldn't be enough for me to guarantee a place I don't think.... it's a tricky situation really because I love the boys but ultimately it's a very small amount of hours and it takes up two whole days, financially it would make much more sense to find a new child (not hard I am in central London) I want to find a solution that suits us both
Sorry posted too soon, I think she would prefer a pay as you go type contract but I don't work like that.
I'm a childminder and I only do term time as my kids and I both need some family alone time! Before a parent starts we agree on the hours they will need and I charge at the end of each month for this pre-agreed number of hours, and any extra hours that may have cropped up. If the children don't attend for those hours I still charge. In your situation I would charge a higher rate during term... but I wouldn't divide the year by 12 as I think its too risky if the parents decide to leave.
If I am around in the holidays and a parent needs me (hasn't happened yet) I state in my contract that it is double rate. If its an INSET day and we are around anyway I just do regular rate.
My co-childminder and I used to charge term-time only places at 39 weeks full fee and 13 weeks half fee, with the total divided into 12 equal monthly payments; we'd call the half fee a retainer, and accepted the PACEY contract terms that a family paying a retainer could use the place in the holidays with two weeks notice while making the fee for the day/s used up to full fee.
We still charge in the same way, but have dropped the retainer/use-the-retained-place-if-you-want bit. The 12 equal monthly payments are the fee for a term-time only place, with no hours/days available in the holidays.
We've had no complaints yet. I should add we're both experienced teachers, so we do understand the predicament of families wanting term-time only care.
At the same time we decided not to charge retainers to families who want an available place but not just yet; if someone wants to retain a place, they pay full fee (and can use the place they're paying for if they want to, on agreed days at agreed times).
Again, no complaints. I think many childminders are a little afraid of appearing greedy - but when we were doing our taxes once and worked out what charging half fee for retained places had cost us that year we were a little shocked. In every case, they were places we could have filled with a fully paid place.
Thank you all for your great input 👍🏻👍🏻
The parent and I have decided on an inflated rate and if she needs extra hours during holidays she will pay per hour.
I am aware of the risk of them leaving and not paying out the notice, but as it's a small contract and childcare in London is in high demand, I am not too concerned about being out of pocket.
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