I've been pretty rubbish when it comes to knowing how much I spend on things and have recently been costing up meals, snacks etc. and quite surprised by how much I spend!!
According to my calcs, I spend over £200 a month on feeding the mindees. I used to charge £1.50 for an evening meal and then at the beginning of the year, when I increased my hourly rate, I said I'd no longer charge for any food, thought I'd just put as expenses on my tax return. But, having worked out that I spend this much a month, I'm beginning to think that I should maybe charge something after all?
Not sure what to do - how many of you charge? And if you do, how much?
I charge a higher hourly rate - all parents are fine with this. That way I can still put on tax return as not charging separately for it. Did you put your rate up when you stopped charging separately...if not, might be worth having chat with parents and give them a months notice of a fee increase.
Underpaid - I'd never only give a month's notice, when I did my increase last time I......wrote to them during my maternity leave (in August) letting them know the new fees. The increase took place in February (and this is when the food charges stopped), so they actually had 6 months notice. Usually I review in Sept/Oct, notify by end of Oct and the increase starts in Feb. I'd LOVE to not have to cook the evening meal but I really can't see parents being happy about supplying food when I've ALWAYS provided it. Having said that, IF I do decide to start charging again, I will give that option
It never used to be this bad but food is just SOOOO expensive now
I had been working within the same fee structure since I started almost five years ago then in January decided that I needed to increase my fees by 50p an hour. My fees have always included breakfast, lunch & dinner + all snacks - I too found that food was costing me alot more than I had originally thought. I knew that 50p was quite a high increase so gave the parents option to provide all their own food, I really didn't think that they would agree but to my amazement they agreed to give it a go. The parents pay the same fees but all I provide now is breakfast and thats because it suits me better for one reason or another! Two of my mindees come on the same days and their parents take it in turns to cook for each other so one cooks for both one week and the other cooks the next week. It really works well.
i love summer hols because as were out and about all the time all children bring their own lunch its so much easier
why dont you leave your parents as normal for now (as in no charge for food etc) but charge new parents for food and add it into your policys that way eventuly all children will pay for food
my friend went to a new cm meeting when she first started 18mths ago and they said not to charge parents for food but to put all food in your books breakfast, snacks and a snack dinner should go in your books @ £1.50 per child full meal should go into your books @ £3
Thanks for your thoughts, think I'll leave it as it is for now and MAYBE charge new parents. I would LOVE parents to provide food but I know how stressed they got when they used to do this when they were younger and how relieved they were when I started providing the food after a certain age. Think I'll just look at cheaper ways of making healthy meals for them. Hopefully when our allotment is in full swing, that will help with some of the costs
Ironlady - that sounds great!!
dmo - I love summer hols too and all the picnics, just hate rushing in the morning to make it for them all!! We're out and about a lot in the hols and it would make life so much easier if they all came with their own packed lunch!!
I found when I charged separately for food that some parents chose not to pay it and send a packed lunch. These were often full of junk, or caused an argument at the table, so I just went for the all inclusive rate. I do however shudder when I see the food bill.
You know what, you have a VERY good point there!! That in itself is a reason to stay as I am!! Just food is SOOOOOO expensive now, I knew I spent a lot on the mindees but didn't realise it was over £200 a month. I better stop buying all the different fruits I buy as some of these are very expensive per serving!! I'll still have a variety but stick with the not crazy priced stuff