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Overnight childcare

(8 Posts)
kelli22 Fri 15-Apr-05 19:15:30

i'm interested in hearing about anyone that is either a childminder that looks after children at night or parents who use this service.

I'm planning on becoming a childminder at the end of the year and i'm doing as much research as i can.

i have a hospital quite near to me and i know that there would be a demand for shiftcare and overnight care but i'm just wondering what peoples experiences are .........
I'm not looking to fill my numbers so im not bothered that i wont always be full, i was thinking of charging a minimum fee per week though. Any ideas on what the minimum should be -

7-8am £3.50 - more because this is when i would be getting my children ready and having a bath myself.
8-7pm £2.75 - standard rate
7-11pm £4.00 - cutting in my evening of what will already be a long day
11-7am £3.00 - broken sleep

Does anyone think these prices are unreasonable?
or can you think of anything else i could do?

Many Thanks

badgerhead Fri 15-Apr-05 19:32:05

I don't know whereabouts you are but around wherre I am £2.75 ph during the day is well underpriced, the average being £3.50ph, A minimum fee per week is ok if you say for certain hours, a fixed fee per day is also a way round it, I would speak to other childminders in your area to see what their fees are like. But yes I would say with a hospital nearby there could be a demand for overnight/unsocial hours minding.

kelli22 Fri 15-Apr-05 19:46:37

Thanks Badgerhead
where i live the average is £2.50 per hour but i think this is low for what childminder's do all day plus the outings and the healthy food and fruitjuice in intend to provide. Also to earn a decent wage you would have to look after 3 or 4 children as well as your own (if you have 2 like me) and i would rather give better care and provide good food, outings and activites than just have a house full of children that i can't control. This is just my personal view, i'm used to working full time and i currently only have my dd (5) AND AM PREGNANT WITH MY 2ND - SO I'M NOT USED TO LOOKING AFTER LOTS OF CHILDREN AT ONCE WHICH IS WHY SHFTS WOULD BE GOOD SO I DONT HAVE TO HAVE THEM ALL AT ONCE I SPOSE - OOPS didnt mean to type that in capitals - sorry.

Maybe after a while when im used to it all i could take on more but to start with i need to think about the care im giving more than the money im making. At the same time i need to be able to live so thats why im charging abit more than the others, to be honest i think they charge too little and if im offering something they don't i can afford to charge abit extra, this is the wya i look at it - i could be wrong and it could all go pear shaped but i'm not about to under sell myself and the childrens care has got to come 1st which means not taking on more than i can handle.

uwila Sat 16-Apr-05 13:18:25

I think this is a great idea. Does the hospital have a maternity ward? I wonder if you could advertise at ante-natal classes for those having second and subsequent babies.

As for the rates, I think they are reasonable, however, as a parent I might wonder why night time costs more than daytime. So, if I were a regular costomer and say going away on a weeks holiday and wanted to leave my kid(s) with you I might expect the night time rate to be a bit less. However, if you are providing emergency short notice care (say to someone going into hospital unexpectedly) then I think you could charge more. This night time rate difference migh also be justified because a mindee whom yo see all the time is likely to be quite comfortable in your house and therefore more likely to sleep through the night. Whereas an emergency care child (who might not have ever met you before) is more likely to be up in the night and not so content. So, I would probably raise the 11-7am rate, but give a deduction for regular mindees (say £2.oo an hour)

And, I agree that 2.75 seems quite low. But, if that the market in your area, I guess you need to be competitive.

Good luck! Again, I tink the overnight care marketed to the hospital patients w/ kids is a great idea. I must give you credit for being innovative.

MaryP0p1 Sat 16-Apr-05 13:29:16

How will you handle parents collectiing in the middle of the might or will you ask them to collect in the morning. I ask because if their shift finishes at 4am you will have had to get up in the middle of the night and this will be very hard if you pregnant have a young baby, as you are likely to have broken sleep already.

If I were you I would charge a flat rate for the whole night i.e 11 - 7 at £3 ph is £21 flat rate and anytime after 7 at a different rate. That way you either avoid getting woken up in the middle of the night thing or get paid for an early finish making up for the middle of the night thing?

Another point, will your neighbours be okay with cars arriving late/early? People, children and cars can be very disruptive and if they v.late or early you might use up all your goodwill with them especially if you have a very inconsiderate parent/child.

jothorpe Sat 16-Apr-05 13:42:40

The issue of how much to charge for Overnight care comes up occasionally on the Childminder specific boards (if you want contact details of those, CAT me).

From past discussions many minders seem to set a fee for the night, such as between 6pm and 7am. Fees in the range of £25-£50 per night dependent on location and day of the week! (Friday & Saturday seem to be more expensive). For additional hours, fee charged as per usual for daycare.

Remeber that you will need to register specifically to provide Overnight care. If you are regulated by Ofsted, you will find further information about Overnight care in The National Standards and Guidance (download from Ofsted & SureStart, or obtain from your local EYDCP).

I like the idea of your varied fees but I wonder how problematic it may be to administer.
Something else to think about, a baby is far more work during the night (usually) than a 6 year old, so do you charge more for say under 1's?

With regard to Hospitals, NHS Hospitals have specific staff member(s) who deal with Childcare enquiries from staff. So get in touch with your local NHS Childcare Co-Ordinator - contact your local NHS Trust/PCT for details.

kelli22 Sat 16-Apr-05 14:01:55

Thanks for your messages. Any ideas are much appriciated especially if it makes me think of things i havent thought about so far

Im just gathering ideas at the moment - with every new idea comes aload of questions and issues, i think i would have to consider every case as and when it were to arrise - ideally i would like it if the children were regular mindees as they would be more settled, some children though no matter how well they know you just don't settle well at night, i'm very lucky my dd goes to bed at 7pm without any bother and never wakes us in the night unless she is ill. i don't know how lucky i will be with the new baby but time will tell.
i'm not even going to consider having children overnight until my newborn is sleeping through the night - who knows exactly how long this will be. I need to be in a good routine with both of my own children content before i start adding to it.

I think nighttime should cost a little more than daytime as if the child wakes it will more than likely wake my other two who may be hard to settle - more the baby than my dd but i will have a broken nights sleep at the cost of somebody elses child and still need to be alert for the next day to cope with my day time children. however if it were one my regular children - say the mother was a nurse and we often had their child overnight and didnt cause me any bother ie wetting the bed or crying constantly through the night then i would probably charge a cheaper rate or a standard rate no matter what time the child came but i guess until i start doing it theres no way of telling.

kelli22 Sat 16-Apr-05 14:07:13

Thanks Jo, i used to work at the hospital im thinking of so i already know the child co-ordinator's name which is a start!

Would i be better to get registered for overnight care from the start even though i intend to childmind for probably 4-6 months before i take anyone on stay overnight?

I haven't got lots of space so i could really only have a child to sleep if i could put them in either a travel cot or a bed (i have bunk beds and my dd's sleeps at the top) i could get one of those guards to keep them from falling out of bed.

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