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Am I being taken for a ride here...?! What do CMs charge for and what do they not...?

(51 Posts)
misspollysdolly Fri 29-Aug-08 00:54:14

About to have my DSs (age 3 and 7 months) start with a new CM. This is her first job and she does not have her own children. TBH I have had a few misgivings on top of the usual anxiety about handing them over to somebody else, but have generally been trying to be positive about the set-up.

Have signed contracts now so not much I can do about the things I'm worrying about but tonight I'm just wonderin if I'm being taken for a bit of a ride.

I am paying her £5 per hour per child (DS1 at playgroup in the mornings) so a cost of £60 per day for two boys (only two days per week). Included in this is basically nothing apart from her containing them in her house for the day.

If I want food, it's an extra cost of £1.25 per ?meal. If she takes them out to any group/club/museum etc it will be added to the next bill. I am providing her with towels, muslins, flannels which I will need to send clean each day (i.e laundering them here myself). I am providing all wipes and nappies. She is refusing to do my DSs playgroup pick up as she doesn't want to have to get all the children in and out of the car, so DH is having to re-work his day to collect DS1 and drop him at the CM for the afternoon. She was even not overly happy being asked to provide a daily record of activites/food/toiletting etc - I have bought the notebooks for these myself and labelled them accordingly as I want to know what my children have been doing in her care.

Am I being unreasonable to question some of these things with her now, even after the contract has been signed...? We are her first family, but she is our third CM (we have 3 DCs) and so far is charging us the most for the least amount of service.

What do I do...??!!

The boys have a settling in morning with her tomorrow (at a cost of £25) and I really feel I need to address some of these things with her. After some thought and a chat with DH tonight, I would like: a daily written (brief) record, the towels I provide her with to be laundered and kept at her house, any outings to Toddler groups to be included in the £120 per week I am paying her, and possibly a basic (cold, sandwich-y) lunch to be provided for DS1 when he gets to her from playgroup. A pick-up from playgroup would help out immensely but I may be pushing my luck there.

Is it pointless trying to negotiate these things now...?

giraffescantdancethetango Fri 29-Aug-08 00:58:13

IMO shes taking the p a bit. Definetly talk to her again.

BradfordMum Fri 29-Aug-08 07:12:31

Are you sure she's actually registered?
She sounds like she's just in it for the money, but not actually wanting to work for it.
I'd look elswhere if I were you.
Where abouts are you?


BradfordMum Fri 29-Aug-08 07:15:35

By the way - For what it's worth - I charge £3.50 per hour and ask the parents to provide Nappies, wipes and baby milk for those on bottles, together with spare clothes.
I make no extra charge for food, and if I choose to take them out to places that cost, then I pay.
Childminders do vary in what they charge, but he not wanting to provide a written record of your little boys daily activities would worry me.

Shoshe Fri 29-Aug-08 07:25:54

Bloody Hell, look for someone else.

I charge 3.50ph and supply everything but nappies.

The towels and facecloths are ridiculous, she should be supplying all these things, not you.

Some CM's charge for meals, some don't.

And if she wasn't prepared to collect your child from when she has no other Mindees, why did she take your child on!

As for the daily diaries, we are all suppose to keep these now under EYFS.

And I have NEVER EVER heard of anybody charging for a settling in session!!!!!!shock

twofalls Fri 29-Aug-08 07:33:42

I would discuss these things with her - she sounds pretty unreasonable to me. I don't think it is too late to discuss these things with her, even though you have signed a contract. I thought cm had to provide a written record as shoshe said - perhaps refer her to EYFS!

GordonTheGopher Fri 29-Aug-08 07:35:42

If you've already signed the contract you should have a get out clause - a trial period - during which you do not have to give notice.

I would get out now while you can she sounds rubbish.

AbbaFan Fri 29-Aug-08 07:51:02

I agree with the others.

Also I am wondering if she has even heard of EYFS!!!! As this is going to be alot of work for us CM's and involves the type of thing she seems unwilling to do.

I charge £4, and food and all activities is included. I would never make parents wash face-towels and bring them back shock.

I am also shocked about her not being willing to do the nursery run - that is all part of childminding.

I wouldn't provide nappies though.

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 29-Aug-08 07:59:16

Get out now!

My CM charges £4.50 per hour, but includes (biodegradable) nappies for those that need them, food, drinks, and activities if they do them (though mostly play in house/garden/go for walks). She's never had to pick my dd up, but does do this for other children at no extra cost.

AbbeyA Fri 29-Aug-08 08:02:34

I should get out now. How soon do they get checked by Ofsted? It sounds as if she has little idea. I would ask her about EYFS. (She is in for a bit of a shock if she hasn't heard of it!)

chelsygirl Fri 29-Aug-08 08:03:34

she sounds crap

I wouldn't think she;s got much interest in your kids, sounds like she doesn#t want kids, just money

LoveMyGirls Fri 29-Aug-08 08:13:52

If you can't discuss things with her then I would look for someone else anyway, its vital you can have good lines of communication and she should make herself approachable imo.

I charge £3 per hour, I pay for groups, i provide car seats, bibs, flannels, juice cups, a daily diary and a varied day with time for naps. The parents provide nappies, wipes and pay for meals (£2 per day) and trips.

pinkdelight Fri 29-Aug-08 08:35:40

The cost per day doesn't sound extortionate compared to my (excellent) cm - she charges £45 per child per day and I have to provide nappies and food. However, charging for settling in is outrageous and, as Shoshe says, unheardof!

Not wanting to give you a record of your child's day is also very bad and makes me question her authenticity. I know it's late in the day to have a rethink, but it'll only get harder when it's underway so talk to her and if you still have doubts, find a Plan B fast!

malovitt Fri 29-Aug-08 08:36:47

I live in central London and charge £7 per hour as it is the going rate around here.
I include everything in that except nappies and baby milk, providing all food which is home cooked daily.
I keep a daily diary including a photo of the child each day, noting down exactly what they have eaten and what time they napped, where we went and what we did. It doesn't have to be overly long and detailed and parents really appreciate it.

I can't believe anyone would ask you to take towels and facecloths home to wash! Ridiculous!

How many other children does she care for besides yours, misspolly?

misspollysdolly Fri 29-Aug-08 08:47:53

OK, now I'm feeling even more anxious about it - you have confirmed to me that she is being really unreasonable! Am taking DH with me after the boys' session today so we can have a frank discussion with her.

At the moment, mine are the only children signed up to her. FInding a CM in my area of Bristol has proved v hard, for two days per week with a baby space so I've felt I have to go with I don;t know what to do.

I voiced with her prior to singing contracts that her rates were extremely high IMO. She said she had researched them and that was fairly standard but I know that's not the case having already worked with two CMs before.

Really quite stressed now....sad

AbbaFan Fri 29-Aug-08 08:52:24

Good idea to take DH with you.

Just go through your worries with her and you can hopefully come to a good compromise.

Ask her about EYFS, and what she has put in place for this starting in a few days.

Lizzylou Fri 29-Aug-08 08:55:20

Have just got a CM, never used one before. We chose one that was a bit more expensive but who offered the most (she is an ex-Nursery Nurse). She charges £32 per day, but with that all meals/nappies/snacks and outings are included (ie. soft play/museums/farms). She will also pick up from DS2's preschool when he goes.
I went through her "pack" last night (she is making me one up) and saw that she provides a daily diary and follows "Birth to 3 matters".
There is no charge for a few settling in sessions (she said about 3x couple of hours).

Really think she is unregistered and taking you for a ride. Ring round as many CM's as you can and try and get an alternative. When I was trying I was amazed how they all knew each other, recommended people and phoned me even if they didn't have spaces just to let me know of someone who did. Every CM I spoke to was really nice and helpful.

AbbeyA Fri 29-Aug-08 09:04:55

I would ask her about EYFS and ask her if she has received her pack. If she isn't aware of this then I would have thought that the lack of it would be enough to get you out of a contract.

malovitt Fri 29-Aug-08 09:13:15

If she has no other children, I don't see how it is a problem using the car to collect your toddler. Maybe she hasn't upgraded her car insurance to business use? Ask to see her policy.

SammyK Fri 29-Aug-08 09:15:15


- never heard of a cm charging for settling in

- flannels towels should be provided and washed by her

- all cm's should be happy to provide records of your child's day in some form or another

- most cm's absorb outings costs except possibly high cost one off trips (ie a day out in summer hols)

- nursery and school runs are part of childminding your dh should not be rearranging his day to do this for her! Are you paying her for full day?????

- what previous experience does she have with children? If I was leaving my 7m old with someone without dcs I would be reassured by some extensive baby experience (maybe in a baby room or as a nanny?)

You can back out of your contract and I recommend you do.

PinkChick Fri 29-Aug-08 09:17:02

charging (that MUCH!) anything for settling in sessions - NO

NOT providing any food for THAT MUCH money - NO

NOT washing/changing hand towels for your children each day - NO

NOT wanting to mess about putting 'all' the children in and out of car so WONT do nursey pick up! - No..AFAICS she ONLY has your 2 children?, that WOULDNT be a lot of hassle!

you will have a settling in period with her, look on your contract and read it thoroughly!, i would run screaming away frmo this woman, she has no idea what she is talking about and shows NO interest at all in your children, purely the money!!..hate cm's like this, gives us a bad bad nameangry

PinkChick Fri 29-Aug-08 09:19:34

BTW i have a baby starting end of sept, she has had 3 2 hour settling in session already and will be having them once a week until she starts..all free of charge!

and today, its one of mindee's mum's birthday (tomorrow) so we're off to florist to buy a little bouquet and because i have one other mindee with me, i am letting him choose a small one too for his mum so he's not leftout!..will probably cost me about £10..shall i bill mum's for this!..i think your cm would!shocksmile

AbbaFan Fri 29-Aug-08 09:21:06

32 hour sessions - wow you really are good PC wink

PinkChick Fri 29-Aug-08 09:21:48

three - 2hour sessionssmile

alibubbles Fri 29-Aug-08 09:29:01

Is she using NCMA contracts as the first four weeks are settling in and the contract states " t 2-4 weeks settling in period is recommended at the start of the arrangement.

During this time no notice period or notice payment will be required if either party wishes to end the agreement"

Why did you choose her?

Did you see her registration certificate, first aid, and basic training cert that they have to have before they can start minding?

Give her notice, she is taking the mickey!

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