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CM-Increases fees by 22% and adds 3 extra days bank holidays

(36 Posts)
westendmum Sat 15-Aug-09 21:47:08

Our Chilminder , whom we really like and rate, has inc fees by 22% and has said she has added 3 days extra BH which are not actually BH in this area but in an adjoining area. I thinbk 22% is too much and this means she is asking for 14 days BH when most parents get 9 or 10 and neither my OH or I get any paid BH.

I don't want to fall out but she has said that she is doing the rate inc in conjunction with the other childminders in the area so that is it ie no room for any comment or negotiation.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 22:00:02

Can you assess whether any other CMs in the area are doing the same, either by contacting them directly or asking other mums?

It seems a bit steep. I'd like to know where you live to get 14 days BH - I only get 8.

westendmum Sat 15-Aug-09 22:08:21

I would like to say to her it is just too steep a rise! In credit crunch times my work is only giving 2.5% rises and things are not going well so we might be looking at redundnciesn soon.

It seems wrong to push people into paying this kind of rise in these times.

I might of swallowed the rise it was the BH thing that pushed me into annoyed.

Technically if my work continues we are not badly off but we still have to watch money.
I always pay her months in advance so she gets the benefit of the money upfront.

CarGirl Sat 15-Aug-09 22:14:01

how many holidays do you pay her for in total, because 14 days holiday per year - assuming your dc is full time, could be in line with what the NCMA says, they think CMs should have paid holidays as if they were employed rather than self employed.

It's a tricky one, depends if she is really charging the going rate or not.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 22:16:52

Can you ask her to justify the rise? Interest rates are down, fuel prices have dropped from last year's high, inflation is sitting at 1.8%.

What are the 14 days BH she is proposing?

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 22:19:23

Cargirl, have you a link to that advice? It seems incongruous that CM can be self employed (with all the attendant deductions from tax etc), but claim employee benefits.

CarGirl Sat 15-Aug-09 22:25:35

"Alternatively, one way for you to keep your bank holidays to yourself would be to book them as holidays. These would come out of your annual entitlement, but you would be entitled to receive payment for these days as normal holiday."

the implication being that as a CM you should get paid holidays!

thirtypence Sat 15-Aug-09 22:28:34

I think if she has done this rate increase in conjunction with other minders then this could be collusion or non competitive behaviour - that would be illegal in NZ - not sure about the UK.

I am a music teacher and do some work through a music school - we all have to set our own rates and the manager doesn't (can't)tell us what to charge. I also work self employed in a school and again same thing.

TheYearOfTheCat Sat 15-Aug-09 22:39:32

Cargirl - I am not convinced by the information contained on the website. I wonder if there is a more explicit stance anywhere? I will have a look . . .

MrAnchovy Sat 15-Aug-09 22:41:20

Yep, illegal in the UK too - the Office of Fair Trading supervise this - here is a quote from their site:

Cartels are prohibited by law. If you are found to be a member of a cartel, you could be fined up to 10 per cent of your turnover for up to three years. In some cases, you could receive an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to five years.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) views cartels as the most serious form of anti-competitive agreement and is keen to uncover them. As part of its leniency programme, the OFT actively encourages businesses who are involved in anti-competitive behaviour to report such activities. Businesses that do this could be offered a reduced fine or immunity from prosecution.

The OFT is also prepared to offer financial rewards of up to £100,000 (in exceptional circumstances) for information about cartel activity.

There was a prominent case involving public schools who always used to get together to set their fee increases for the subsequent year. They don't any more.

CarGirl Sat 15-Aug-09 22:44:00

I have associates who are CMs they have told me that they are professionals and that the NCMA actively supports/suggests that they get PAID holidays. You probably have to be a NCMA member to look at their standard contracts.

The CM I used didn't have paid holidays as she has all part timers and preferred the flexiblity of unpaid holidays.

westendmum Sat 15-Aug-09 23:15:44

Thanks for your comments. The bank holidays are the normal ones =9 plus 2 local holidays in city next door and 3 that are not actually holidays as such but the local libraries etc shut on them.

I only use the service in term time but pay 1/2 fees for the other weeks of the year for a 31 week need I pay 46.5 weeks full fees .

navyeyelasH Sat 15-Aug-09 23:18:11

I have just finished training to be a childminder and they suggested you either have paid holidays or build it into your daily rate.

Seems weird but I suppose if enough parents refused it then CMs couldn't do it. 22% is a lot, was she charging you a lot less than the going rate in the first instance?

westendmum Sat 15-Aug-09 23:25:05

I had a look at the NCMA contract page and that is very interesting as we both work on BH but the childminder is definately not available so we work it through relatives and work from home if necessary.

I guess the real problem is I feel I am being taking advantage of so I will have to asl her to justify the rise.

Heated Sat 15-Aug-09 23:29:52

How much is she going to be charging? Surely it must be in line with everyone else, or she'll price herself out of the market?

westendmum Sat 15-Aug-09 23:31:08

No she was charging what all the childminders in the area were charging -there are only maybe 6 childminders in the area.

The other parents who go to her don't seem a if they could afford such a rise either so I am tempted to call them and arrange for us all to object but that seems a bit underhand.

Thee is a new chilminder very near us so I will call her in the morning and ask what she would charge and then I guess have some discussion-not that I really want to in case it all goes wrong.

llareggub Sat 15-Aug-09 23:36:35

My childminder increased her rate significantly and in the end I decided it was because she no longer wished to look after my DS, so I gave notice. I can understand small increases but 22% is outrageous.

navyeyelasH Sat 15-Aug-09 23:42:09

can I ask what she has raised the pirce to? I mean if she charged £1 before and is now charging £1.22 for eg. Also is she proposing to offer you more things in return for more money? Outings, better food <clutches at straws>

MrAnchovy Sun 16-Aug-09 00:21:01

'I have just finished training to be a childminder and they suggested you either have paid holidays or build it into your daily rate.'

Well that might work if you use the childminder 5 days a week 52 weeks a year, but they really haven't thought that through have they.

What if you only use the childminder on Fridays, and the childminder likes long weekends so takes Friday off 10 times a year? What if you only use the childminder for three months and she takes two weeks of that off?

The only way that it works fairly is for the childminder to only charge for days she actually has your children: this might require the CM to do some sums to work out how many days a year she is not going to be paid for and adjust her rates accordingly, and it might require the NCMA to stop gazeing at their navels and consider how it should best help their members to provide a professional service.

Perhaps if they thought things through and presented reasoned, professional arguments they might not have been completely ignored by the Government over EYFS. Childminders, you need a better organisation than NCMA.

danthe4th Sun 16-Aug-09 00:32:00

How much was her rate and what has it risen to. The information on its own is meaningless it may be she was very cheap and has only just realised.How much warning did she give you as effectively she is in breach of her contract if she has not done this at an agreed contract review. and where do you live as I haven't heard of any extra bank holidays? You do not have to agree you can negotiate if she is not prepared too you have to decide if she is worth paying extra for, it depends how much you value her. Have you gone on the childcare local website and checked rates of the other minders, you could ask her who the other minders are that have these rates and all these extra bh

westendmum Sun 16-Aug-09 00:33:08

Ooh! I never thought of that -maybe she does not want to mind mine anymore? MrAnchovy hit the nail on the head-they are p/t but we have every mon and fri so we get evey bh. so i worked out that I pay an extra 30% to have a Monday?

I'm not sure the powers that be thought that out!

thirtypence Sun 16-Aug-09 00:44:22

Ds's nursery wondered why they were finding the Mondays and Fridays hard to fill when they opened. I pointed out that it was maybe because they charged for days they were shut and these were much more likely to be a Monday or a Friday, and they opened just as all the bank holidays were likely to happen. Many of the mums worked in retail and so were unlikely to actually have the bank holiday off anyway and would have to pay twice for child care.

Ds was there when Christmas and New Year fell on his days both years - just unlucky!

I have put my teaching fees up when I wanted to reduce my evening teaching - and not lost anyone (though I have never gone above 6%!) so now if I want to reduce I just give them a term or two terms notice that I will not be teaching on a certain night.

atworknotworking Sun 16-Aug-09 09:16:10

I don't work bank hoidays but I take them as holiday's out of the 3wks a year I have off, I only do before and after school anyway on Mondays during term time, but work mondays during holiday club to cover the older childrens needs, so its not been much of an issue with us. I dont charge parents when I am on holidays though anyway.

The way I work out fees is as follows, I plan a year in advance when I am off, I work out how many days a year I would have a particular child (not including bank / hols / my holidays or parents hols) add it together then ./. by 52 wks. This way parents pay for the care they actually recieve and its spread over the year so I still get something when I'm not working even though they don't pay me for holidays, which helps me budget and the cost is spread out more for parents so during holiday clubs the bill doesnt shoot up for them.

A 22% rise is pretty hefty and its a bit strange if all of the minders in the area are doing the same thing, I havn't put my prices up for 4yrs, I should but I know some of my parents are struggling as it is and have had shifts / wage cuts so I can't see the point of increasing atm, I'd rather get 100% of fees on time than 60% of fees late and have to chase around for payments. I do wonder though how my parents will feel when I do have to increase as it will probably be quite a change for some.

Can you ask the cm if she can provide childcare for an alternative day when it's bank hol's as you have paid anyway?

AtheneNoctua Sun 16-Aug-09 12:20:01

22% rise is outrageous. I would definitely start talking to other parents and see if they were informed of the same hike.

What the CMA advises on the matter is neither here not there. You as a parent are not bound by the childminders professional/trade organisation. Id they want to advise childminders to take parents for a ride they can. But, that in no way obligates you to be taken for a ride. I think I'll start an organisation for parents who use childminders and encourage them all to ask for a 30% reduction in fees and refust pay any bank holidays, sick pay, CM holiday's etc. as these are perks reseverd for employees. And if the CM wants to be an employee then she should show at my house at 7:00 am and be prepared to organise her day as precribed by me. Oh, and I will tell her when she can or can't have holiday.

Seriously, industry standard and fair practise are somewhere in the middle. But a 22% hike is outrageous and I certainly would not pay it.

welshdeb Sun 16-Aug-09 12:35:41

I do think that this is excessive, when most of us who are luck to be in job are facing zero or even negtive pay rises.
There may be other expanations if possibly she was newly set up and had been charging a low rate as an introductary rate, however she should have been upfront about it if this was the case. How do her rates compare to others in the area? If they are now in comparison with other then its only fair that she brings her rates up to a market rate.

With regards to bank holidays it does irk me that child minders expect to be paid for BH, and other holidays or absences when they are not employeees in any other regards. I have no problem with childminders charging a fair rate btw in order to earn a decent income.

In my view they should do what other self employed people do and charge a hourly rate high enough to cover these instances. Its then transparent to parents what they pay and when, so that if they need to find alternative childcare they have the money to do so.

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