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How much to charge to hold a place?

(9 Posts)
Snoopychildminder Fri 10-Aug-18 17:19:31

I have been asked to hold a spot for my friends daughter, she is due to start November but the place is available from beginning of October. I want to give them the space, it’s a full time position, I trust them and she trusts me, she expects to pay a deposit to hold the place but I just don’t know how much? Can anyone offer me and help?

Bamaluz Fri 10-Aug-18 18:28:31

I usually charge two weeks fees as a deposit, this does go toward the first month's payment. The balance for the full month is then payable on the start date. I always get paid in advance too.

Other childminders sometimes take a full months fee as deposit which does not count as the first payment though, it is kept to be used when the contract ends or notice is given.

HSMMaCM Sat 11-Aug-18 03:19:18

I take a 4 week deposit. You could also charge a 50% retainer from the date the space is available, but I probably wouldn't bother for a month (as long as you're sure she won't delay the start date).

As the PP said - payment in advance always.

Snoopychildminder Sat 11-Aug-18 16:45:02

Thank you!
Yes I always do payment in advance smile
Haven’t ever charged a retainer or deposit before as generally people start within a couple of weeks.
This is looking more like 6 weeks after space is available so it’s quite some time.

itsaboojum Sun 12-Aug-18 09:25:30

I assume you’re doing this as a deterrent against the parents locking up the vacancy then failing to take up the place, right?

The right amount to ask for a deposit depends on the parents' circumstances. If you ask for more than they can raise, they might just look for another childcare provider. OTOH the deposit must not be so small that they consider it worth losing in order to let you down. So, the 'correct' figure lies somewhere between those two variables.

Consider how long you need to hold a deposit before returning it. Many CMs will hold it until the child has attended at least a month; some as long as six months. This protects you from the rare devious types who quietly book a place at several settings then use the first few weeks as a sort of trial period before giving notice.

Your contract should state that it is a "non-refundable deposit" and be absolutely clear about the circumstances in which you would be entitled to retain the money.

Snoopychildminder Sun 12-Aug-18 10:27:18

itsaboojum I don’t think they will fail to take up the place, it’s more of a case that it’s a full time spot she wants, I get a tonne of enquiries being in London (and close to a station) so I would be turning down an awful lot of business waiting for her to take the hours.

I have Pacey contracts so I’m not worried on that front.

I am very aware of the money and I wouldn’t for a second want to bankrupt them, equally as I said above, I will be loosing out on a full time invoice for up to 6 weeks and that’s a heck of a lot of money to me...

Thanks for all your input!

jannier Sun 12-Aug-18 14:31:35

So it sounds like what your really asking is can you charge a retainer (compensation for loss of earnings that is a reduced wage not a refundable deposit) If this is the case the amount is really up to you and is based on how much you can afford to loose income wise for those 6 weeks, maybe suggest a settling in period building up from a few hours the first week or two to a few days by the end and charge for them so mum gets some time to adjust and do last minute jobs or just charge a percentage like 50 % but could be different and say the space is there for her to use if she needs.

Snoopychildminder Sun 12-Aug-18 15:36:28

jannier yes I think I will do that! Charge a 50% retainer...

itsaboojum Mon 13-Aug-18 10:09:43

It certainly sounds like a retainer would fit the bill rather than a deposit.

Remember the place must be available for their use throughout any period for which the retainer is charged. So you can’t charge if closed, on holiday, or if you fill their reserved place, even temporarily or for one-offs. Also, they must have the option of attending, so long as they pay the difference.

I still wouldn’t rule out taking a deposit. They wouldn’t be the first family to fail to take up a booking completely unexpectedly.

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