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Help! (again possibly overreacting)

(7 Posts)
mummykench Mon 13-Aug-07 17:18:50

I have a follow-up question from my retainer post a few days ago. I have accepted a 4-yr-old to start October b4 and after pre-school (mum is going to Uni). I wanted to start in September so have asked for retainer (£75 a week) for September. Mum is v keen but as she's a single mum and currently not working, thinks so won't be able to afford the retainer - she wasn't being difficult i.e. she understood why I was charging it. She's getting childcare paid when she starts uni but obviously not getting any money for it b4 she starts.

I have given her a couple of days to think about it. I'm starting to feel guilty for charging it - but it's my business and I could get a child who would want to start in september. So should I stick to my guns? Am I being unreasonable? If I compromise and say for example that I'll only need two weeks retainer, will she think I'm a soft touch and I'll have problems in the future?

Sorry it's a bit waffly - ds's tea is under the grill and I can smell burning so I'm typing as quickly as I can.


Jacqui xx

looneytune Mon 13-Aug-07 17:28:49

Also doing dinner so just quicky.......I think we can be soft and then they play on it at other times. Sounds hard but start as you mean to go on. Not saying she's like this but they never seem to be at the start. I wish I'd started tougher. This is your business and you are only just starting out so I really do think you should start as you mean to go on, it will be easier for you in the long run IMO.

Having said that, if you really really like the person and their child (and haven't others for example), then you MAY decide it's worth helping her out. It really is down to you though.

Look forward to meeting you Friday

BradfordMum Tue 14-Aug-07 07:19:25

What I would do is say that you'll hold the place for a nominal fee, but should someone else come along who requires the place, then either you take them on, or the first mum will have to pay your full retainer.
Hope this helps,


Shoshable Tue 14-Aug-07 07:41:47

I charge like you do, had a family wanting a full time space but not for three months, they paid me almost £1000.00 in retainer, but that is my terms, as Looney says start as you mean to go on.

But then I am really hard when it comes to the business side of thing, which has never lost me a customer, people then seem to see you as more professional.

But there again where I live therer are more children than spaces, so can afford to be hard, and (gonna blow my own trumpet) I have got a really good Rep, so people want my spaces and are prepared to pay for them.

looneytune Tue 14-Aug-07 08:08:23

Just to add, I've done sort of what BradfordMum said and told people they can think about things and left it that I'll let them know if anyone else enquires about that space. I'd also do the same about the retainer. I'd explain that I'm running a business and afraid I have to charge a retainer to justify turning other customers away but in this situation I'd probably offer to leave it but if someone calls about the space, that I'd call them and give them the chance of paying or loosing the space.

ayla99 Tue 14-Aug-07 08:23:54

Has the mum checked if she's entitled to childcare tax credits 0845 300 3900 or Parent's Learning Allowance, Childcare Grant
Another helpline for Single Parents is 0800 868 868. She may also be able to get further help from the uni, they may have loan facilities/financial aid if she asks for it.

PinkChick Tue 14-Aug-07 08:32:32

she should get help from tax credits before she starts uni, but as already said i would prob say you'd have to charge if someone else came along but tbh, if shes your only one, id go easy otherwise you may lose her?

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