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Childminders - excited! And terrified!

(30 Posts)
lunavix Mon 07-Mar-05 13:49:31

I've been a registered childminder for a little while now but haven't done much in the way of advertising and the local CIS have ONLY just put my details up. But I've just had a call from a prospective parent!!!!!!! Yay!

But it's been nearly a year since my ICP - yes Ofsted took that long - and I swear I have forgotten everything... what do I need to mention in my initial interview this week?

Plus what does everyone do about holidays, bank holidays, food etc? I'm still undecided about all this!

Also she wants the place in a few months time - what do you all do for this? Take 50% per month or are you more easy going?? Please help!!!!!!!!!

KatieMac Mon 07-Mar-05 14:33:53

Lots of luck, I would take a deposit or a retainer if I were you

A deposit would count towards childminding costs (ie first month) or a retainer to keep the place open

Food RTKM & I take opposite stands on this with Xena in the middle, you can also charge extra for food

I charge for 50 weeks of the year and split the cost into monthly amounts - so they pay for B/H - but that is a bit mean of me.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you

blodwen Mon 07-Mar-05 14:35:18

Lunavix, Congratulations on your first interview! I am sure it will be fine. FWIW, this is what I do about things you listed...

I include food in my fees once children eat 'normal' food, ie. not when they are first weaning, having really pureed stuff etc. Once they eat 'mashed up' stuff with the others, that's included.

I only mind for teachers, so they pay me a retainer in the school holidays, and half fee if a bank holiday falls on one of their contracted days. I charge full fees for child absence due to illness etc., but no fee if I am off.

Obviously, all CM's do things a bit differently, and I'm sure you'll get more ideas on here very soon! Good luck with the interview; any more questions, feel free!

lunavix Mon 07-Mar-05 14:37:41

KatieMac - you take two weeks holiday a year unpaid then?

My CM tutor (on ICP) told me they must pay for 4 weeks holiday a year, all bank holidays, and also half the rate for any months the place is held for!

I felt that was a bit much though....

blodwen Mon 07-Mar-05 14:38:04

Sorry, forgot the retainer bit! I would agree with KMac. Either a retainer or a deposit. This is quite ofter half fee. You don't want to lose other business by turning down other enquiries if this one doesn't materialise.

blodwen Mon 07-Mar-05 14:45:04

I think everyone is entitled to some paid holiday, and IIWY I would ask for it! I am sure the parents get their holiday pay! 4 weeks is not compulsory, it's up to you. Some CMs have 2, 3, 4 etc.

amynnixmum Mon 07-Mar-05 14:45:37

I am a bit crap in interviews and always forget 1/2 of what i want to say so I have a pamphlet that i give to parents to read that covers all my policies etc. I don't charge for my time off but charge full price for their time off. I also only provide drinks and snacks - parents provide meals. I have chosen not to work bank holidays as dh is always off then and its nice to have a family day out but if i worked them I would charge at least time and 1/2 maybe double.
Good Luck.

KatieMac Mon 07-Mar-05 15:03:01

I take the week between christmas and new year and a week in Aug off. They are none negociable, therefore I don't charge. I may have other odd days off - but they are paid. I'm hoping my assistants will help me have some more time off.....who knows

Also are you using the NCMA contracts? or someone elses?

I have a contract addendum which I can email you(if you CAT me) which covers some bits not on the NMCA contract (which I use)

KatieMac Mon 07-Mar-05 15:04:47

And remember I have paid time off each week, when my DH works with an assistant. for Reflexology

ayla99 Mon 07-Mar-05 19:00:12

This is what I charge for holidays:
Christmas, half fees from Xmas Eve to New Years Day inclusive
Easter, half fees for Good Friday & Easter Monday plus 4 additional days.
Bank Holidays, half fees.
Any other holiday booked by me, ie I am closed - £no charge
Any other time off booked by parent or child sick/doesn't turn up, ie I am open - £full fees.

Meals - I give parents the choice - they can provide packed meals or book meals - breakfast £1.25, lunch £1.25 and evening dinner £1.55.

Late Payment Fee - £5.00 per child per day PLUS any additional expenses I incur as a result of late payment

Late Collection Fee - £5.00 per half hour between 8 & 6pm, £5.00 per 15 minutes between 6pm and 9pm. £40.00 fee after 9pm.

Deposit - one months fees, to be retained by the Childminder until termination with notice is satisfactorily completed. (I've had more than one family lose their job and been "unable" to pay notice period)

Retainer - if you have space available now and parent wants you to hold place until they are ready to start on a specified later date. 1/2 fees (I am prepared to negotiate on this if I like the family concerned)

HTH, regards

KatieMac Mon 07-Mar-05 19:12:51

Wow Ayla99 - you're mean...I want to be just like you

Love deposit & late collection fee......I really want to be like you

ayla99 Mon 07-Mar-05 19:17:58

Good luck with your interview lunavix!

Be sure to show them your registration certificate & Ofsted report, insurance certificate, red cross certificate & ICP/any other qualifications/training certificates.

I give out a list of parents telephone numbers so they can ring up & quiz current/previous customers and I have letters from other parents to show. Childminders who are just starting out could use open letters from previous employers or character references from people in the community.

At the end ask them if they would feel happy leaving their child with you. If they have any concerns, you can address them there and then rather than them choose someone else because they forgot to ask you or misunderstood something.

I always ask people to phone me within the week to let me know if they want the place or not. If they don't want to book with me I say "Would you mind telling me who you've chosen?" and then "What was it you particularly liked about him/her?" So far, everyone's been very complimentary about me, so I ask them to keep my number in case I've got space to cover when their chosen childminder is on holiday/sick.

Xena Mon 07-Mar-05 19:19:26

I charge mostly what you charge Ayla99. But I am going to include that late collection fee when they renew contracts this year

ayla99 Mon 07-Mar-05 19:30:32

Thanks katiemac,

Don't tell anyone, but I'm really a bit of a softie. I let someone off the late collection fee this week cos their car broke down. She got a friend to pick up in less than 20 minutes.

My families are usually very prompt

ayla99 Mon 07-Mar-05 19:34:03

BTW, a parent told me their previous nursery charged them £5.00 per FIVE MINUTES if they were late!

So my fees are quite reasonable IMO!

lunavix Mon 07-Mar-05 20:13:55

My tutor on the ICP said she charged £5 per half hour!

Ayla - I didn't get an Ofsted report! Only a certificate! Should I chase that up?

lunavix Mon 07-Mar-05 20:24:58

Message withdrawn

ayla99 Mon 07-Mar-05 21:35:49

Lunavix - Just been reading Ofsted's Guide to Registration - it doesn't actually mention an inspection report in respect of new childminders - it does say they send you a letter listing conditions of registration and then the registration certificate when all their checks are satisfactory.

It doesn't mention the inspection report until the section on "Continuing Childminding". I guess this is because part of the report is about the quality of care - if you're not yet minding they can't assess this.

I had thought you get a report every time they visit your home, but apparently you don't. You might want to phone Ofsted and double check though. Then you'll be sure of your facts if a parent asks to see your report.

KatieMac Mon 07-Mar-05 22:10:49

Lunavix - I've sent it ....but are you sure you want your email showing here?? If you want you can ask Mumsnet to delete it....

lunavix Tue 08-Mar-05 14:06:20

OH my email address is everywhere.. I give up with trying to hide it as CATs take too long. Hopefully it won't give anyone the opportunity to do anything nasty except from spam which I can cope with...

Haven't recieved the email but thanks in advance

Bozza Tue 08-Mar-05 14:17:59

Can I just interupt for a minute and ask whether you would charge a retainer for a school age child due to start at teh start of the school year. From what I can gather some of the local childminders will have places available when DS goes to school in September as their older ones will be moving up to being over 8 or going to middle school and no longer being minded. So the place will not be available until September and I do not want it until September but according to the rules could still be paying a retainer IYSWIM.

lunavix Tue 08-Mar-05 14:27:50

If the place your child is filling is currently filled by someone who will not need it, you should be paying a deposit, which will be deducted for your fees when your child starts.

Retainers cover the childminder when she holds a place open (as she is losing earnings) a deposit holds a place currently taken.

blodwen Tue 08-Mar-05 14:28:28

Bozza, I see what you mean. If the place is not available til Sept, then you should not be charged a retainer IMO. However, a deposit would probably be a good idea so the childminder would keep the place for your ds. This could then be deducted from your fees when he starts in Sept.

blodwen Tue 08-Mar-05 14:30:01

Lunavix - sorry! Crossed threads! Snap anyway.

Bozza Tue 08-Mar-05 14:31:17

Thanks. That makes perfect sense. Also when do people start coming to you looking for places? How much in advance is it normally?

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