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retainer fee

(14 Posts)
Littlepurpleprincess Sat 30-May-09 08:08:40

I've just had a messege asking for a place for 2 days a week in september (i'm a childminder).

Now, do i ask for a retainer fee? Or ask her to call back nearer the time.

How much should you charge for a retainer fee?

I'm a bit lost. blush

LesbianMummy1 Sat 30-May-09 08:21:06

you can either charge her to keep the place open at approx half rate can't remember exact guidance it tells you on back of contract if you use ncma ones if the space is available and you will effectively loose that money till the child starts or ask her to call back nearer the time but know that you may not have space

Littlepurpleprincess Sat 30-May-09 08:24:10

ok thanks. I'd feel a bit bad charging her for so long but maybe I could offer her the choice.

looneytune Sat 30-May-09 08:24:29

I always say that I'm happy to put their name down to sort of pencil them in but then if someone calls wanting the space, I'll phone them and ask if they want to secure it or not. If they do, I'd deffo charge a retainer as can't afford to loose money but if they pay a retainer, you have to allow them to use the space when they want (as long as you're open of course) but then they pay full fee for that day/those hours.

looneytune Sat 30-May-09 08:26:02

Also....when it's nearer the time and I go ahead with contracts, I charge a deposit which is deducted from the first month's invoice.

Littlepurpleprincess Sat 30-May-09 09:20:52

so how much do you charge for a retainer looneytune?

i work with another CM and she thinks half rate is WAY too much, so does DP but I think it's fair.

looneytune Sat 30-May-09 10:40:50

I've never had to charge one but I WOULD if someone else would have taken the space earlier. It may sound a lot BUT it's still also HALF the amount you could have been getting if someone took the space straight away. That's why I don't charge unless someone else contacts me as then I'm not loosing money iyswim. It's business and I'm afraid I NEED the money. Would not make good business sense to charge a tiny amount I'm afraid. It's up to the person if they actually pay it or not but you imagine if they ended up not wanting it and you lost loads of money for nothing

Littlepurpleprincess Sat 30-May-09 20:31:30

That's what I thought Looneytune. I have to think of this in a business like way. I have to make money, I have a child to feed!

i also think it sounds like to much because this woman has rang me so far in advance. If it was a few weeks it would be ok but she's phoned me 4 months before she wants the place!

HSMM Sun 31-May-09 09:13:40

I would charge half rate. They can use any of the days they are paying half rate for and top it up to a full day. They can start earlier than agreed if they like, because the place is already theirs. However ... I would not want them to start later (because half rate could go on forever).

If the start date is a short time away, or I do not have space until their start date, then I would charge a months deposit, to be refunded against their first invoice.

SillyMillysMummy Sun 31-May-09 11:04:28

I took looneytunes advice, i have a lo starting end of september, i have held the place with a months deposit, on the understanding that if someone requests a place before that time then i will request a retainer from them, if they dont want to pay that retainer i will cancel their place (take on the other person) and return their deposit

Littlepurpleprincess Mon 01-Jun-09 08:13:17

Thankyou, I got it sorted out now. I just need to phone her back, bet she's found someone else, it'll be just my luck!

Littlepurpleprincess Mon 01-Jun-09 16:30:00

well I did phone her back and she wanted one hour (!). I explained that I would have to charge for the whole session as I can't fill the place otherwise. She said I was too expensive, I think she might have a hard time finding a childminder for one hour a day.

SillyMillysMummy Tue 02-Jun-09 17:29:15

1 hour shock lol

I started off doing 2 hour sessions when i first started for a partiular mindee, his mum liked me so much he will be going full time in september grin

I do minimum 4 hour sessions now

Littlepurpleprincess Wed 03-Jun-09 16:43:54

yep, she wanted school pick up til 4:30. I can understand that but I have to charge for the whole session, I would never get anyone to fill the 4:30 til 6 slot would I?!

I'm finding that people expect to pay a (very low) hourly rate, and pick and choose what hours they like.

how un-organised would that be?!

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