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**Mini-survey** For parents who don't work F/T about occasional childcare

(48 Posts)
KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 17:53:37

This wouldn't really be relevant for parents who don't work F/T as I am only open between 7:30am & 6pm....sorry

I am proposing an occasional or ad-hoc childminding service

This is for short-term occasional & 'as and when' care for allsorts of reasons

eg Dr/dentist/hospital appointment, shopping, gym, hair appointments

I play to charge approx 3hrs childminding fee as a registration fee (to complete a long form & set up children's folders) then approx 15% over the normal childminding fee per hour for the occasional minding.

The sessions are only bookable in advance and must be paid for when they are booked (haven't quite worked this bit out any suggestions?)

Does this sound realistic?
Is it a service you would use?
Am I on the wrong track, or is there a need for minding which sometimes can't be filled by family/friends/neighbours?

Thanks for you opinions/comments

bloomingfedup Tue 09-Sep-08 18:27:41

I would consider using a service like this. The only thing that would put me off is f is a one off or occasional thing that the children might not settle. But it is no different to a creche. smile When I minded I did short tern contracts of up to 6 weeks (booked at a time) and that worked fine.

MrsMattie Tue 09-Sep-08 18:28:49

I would LOVE this.

ChippyMinton Tue 09-Sep-08 18:32:52

I would use it to cover either end of the school day, if DH or I were both unavailable for whatever reason. So it would have to include breakfast and school drop-off or after school pick-up.

Bramshott Tue 09-Sep-08 18:37:54

Yes, definitely a call for this. I am freelance and sometimes have to do extra hours here and there. Luckily so far my childminder has been flexible about extra time, but there is bound to come a time when I'm stuck. I know lots of professional musicians / actors who would love this sort of service because regular childcare is a real issue when you work at ad-hoc times.

Nettee Tue 09-Sep-08 18:43:32

I think this is a brilliant idea and would use it - the months that go by between my hair cuts waiting for some convenient visit from my mother or something!

TinkerBellesMum Tue 09-Sep-08 18:44:24

I had to take Tink to my scan, alone, last week because normal CM is on Jury Duty and no one was free - Sure Start even asked the local nursery for a one off half day slot. This would have been brilliant!

naturalblonde Tue 09-Sep-08 18:51:09

I would definitely use it - my dh works shifts and I would love to work part time, but cms/nurseries won't do occasional cover, and don't want to pay for child care when dh is at home.

overthemill Tue 09-Sep-08 20:09:35

i think this is a great idea BUT booking in advance for occasional use might be tricky - i'd want to use it when my reg care broke down, for example, but for hair cuts etc it'd be good

liath Tue 09-Sep-08 20:12:22

It's something I'd use as I sometimes do odd locum shifts and have lectures to go to - my kids often go to another MNer who is an adhoc childminder and it works well for us.

blithedance Tue 09-Sep-08 20:13:15

Yep, I'd use it, although hoping that my regular CM will be able to be flexible about extra days.

Turniphead1 Tue 09-Sep-08 20:29:43

I would use it, yes. Would you charge a higher hourly rate to make up for your lack of certainty?

Also, would your regular mindees parents feel about it? I think were it me, I might worry my own child might be unsettled by a child there on a one-off who was upset/needed more of your attention.

mazzystar Tue 09-Sep-08 20:35:44

yes, it would be an absolute godsend

pinkspottywellies Tue 09-Sep-08 20:44:42

I'm really lucky to have met a childminder at toddler group who has 1 full and 2 part-timers so only usually has one day at capacity. She looks after my dd on an ad hoc basis, for her normal rate and doesn't charge if I were to cancel at the last minute (which I haven't had to yet!).

I do sessional work which I usually choose to do in school holidays when I can use family to babysit, or evenings when DH is home. But if other hours come up like meetings or training I use her.

However, if I wasn't lucky enough to have found my fab minder, I would definitely use a service like you're proposing. Don't know about the payment in advance - would you be able to take payment by card? Otherwise I guess parents would have to make the journey to you to make the payment, or send a cheque, which would then add to the timescale.

Definitely sounds like a good idea though.

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 21:09:12

Thanks for this ladies

Bloomingfedup settling is an issue - but we are inviting parents to visit pre-using as often as they like (I envisage an hour open morning each week to which parents can visit)

Chippyminton can do school drop off/collection for 2 schools and maybe able to arrange for a third on occasions

Bramshott I want to use the term ad-hoc but my dad wonders how many locals 'speak' latin

MrsMattie/Nettie/TinkerBellesmum/naturalblonde/liath/blithedance/mazzystar Thank you - I hope it's useful

overthemill that is an issue - but there could perhaps be a 2nd tier of pricing for that - maybe 1.5 times normal rates? not sure - plus there is an issue with staffing - getting extra in at short notice & also being paid for it - I don't like cash

Turniphead1 I am charging the extra 15% (I think)

pinkspottywellies The whole payment thing is an issue - I don't think I can afford to do card payments - I hate taking cash - but how would I know they had down a bacs transfer?

pinkspottywellies Tue 09-Sep-08 21:14:04

What about paying straight into an account? You could give out the account no and parents could pay in by phone, internet or in-branch. I imagine most people would be able to accomodate this and you can put a reference on the payment like the child's name or give each parent a ref no.

Payments between banks are getting quicker now aren't they? It used to be several days but think it's 2 now. You could then see on internet banking when they have paid.

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 21:17:22

Or they could email me the receipt?

Only i they have a scanner/puter tho'

That's what my current parents do - I accept the bank receipt when they drop their child off - but that is existing customers. I'm a bit wary of taking booking for people I
a) don't know
b) could cancel before using it

fiodyl Tue 09-Sep-08 21:19:03

Yes it would be a very useful service for me, i did try looking for something like this in my local area a couple of months ago as I find it really difficult to get people to look after my 2 LOs when I need to have a Drs/dentist appt and when I've been having driving lessons recently as my mum and DP both work full time.

I can't belive something like this hasn't been done before, I just wish you were in my area.

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 21:33:50

It is hard because of ratios - but I might just pull it off.....maybe

I worry about
*payments
*making it all work timetabling
*what if parents are late (ratio issues)
*am I charging too much/too little
*advertising

SalLikesCoffee Tue 09-Sep-08 22:34:19

I'd use something like this, as no family around and dh occasionally works away, making any appointments where ds not welcome impossible.

I'm not sure if this is practical for you, but in an ideal world I would have liked to book and pay online (maybe paypal?) However, unless you've got someone who can set that up for you, the setup costs might not make it worthwhile.

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 22:45:41

Yep - I'd like that too - but as you say cost is an issue

wohmum Tue 09-Sep-08 22:55:01

whats wrong with cash ? internet/online payments would be ok for pre-booked cover but if it was me, for the odd time when I was stuck I'd want to be able to give you a quick call to see if you could pick up Ds and then pay you when I collected - or ap at the endof the week.

do you have a problem with non-payers? surely if they are registered people (wich they would need to be) there is a trust between you?

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 23:04:16

Yep - I have lost over £3000 in 5 yrs with non-payers

C/Ming is dangerous

Cash is iffy because the IR can be a bit funny about it - if I only do BACS & chq it is all tracable

Registered with me or not - they can still disappear without paying - which is why I wont paying upfront

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 23:05:22

You would have to pay when you dropped off - if I took a chq you could cancel it

KatyMac Wed 10-Sep-08 07:44:17

Oh it's all so confusing

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