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Am I being fair, a few parents seemed shocked....

(17 Posts)
navyeyelasH Mon 05-Oct-09 22:49:42

I am a new (literally 1 week ago) childminder but before hand worked as a nanny. I get about 3 enquiries a day at the moment and I'm about 60% full.

I've had some parents who want care in Jan, Feb, March etc 2010 - and I've said I can hold the space for them with no charge until another parent comes along and needs the space and then when this happens I will get back to the forst parent and tell them they have to pay a retainer (full rate) or take a chance I will have space when they need it later in the year.

Is that fair?

Being seen as a business is really important to me I really want to avoid all this late payment, early drop off stuff lots of CMers seem to go through. But it's so hard when parents look at you like a money mercenery!

moondog Mon 05-Oct-09 22:51:39

Sounds fine.It is a business and you will get more respect if you are professional. I pay my childminder a retainer over the summer that adds up to £100s and aM PERFECTLY HAPPY to do so (in fact she is so wonderful, I'd happily pay her twice what i do.)

navyeyelasH Mon 05-Oct-09 22:55:08

that's great thanks moondog - some parents seem fine with it but others are a bit hmm

KiwiKat Mon 05-Oct-09 22:58:34

I paid my childminder a retainer, and understand that she has a business to run, and isn't just doing me a favour. A good childminder is like gold dust - appreciate yourself!

TheFallenMadonna Mon 05-Oct-09 22:58:39

I think it's fine. You've been upfront and you want your spaces filled now.

I paid for my DC's after school club before they needed the places on that basis. And I pay now for sessions they don't use to keep them open for when their clubs stop and they need them again.

moondog Mon 05-Oct-09 23:06:19

Get it all on paper set out in a professional way and give it to them.No misunderstandings or pretending to have misunderstood then.

stealthsquiggle Mon 05-Oct-09 23:09:25

seems fine to me - in fact, I would say that you are being more than fair in not taking a retainer until you are in a position where you could otherwise have filled the place immediately.

It may be a bit of a surprise to those used to nurseries, though - and I would guess a reasonable proportion will choose to take the chance, but that is up to them.

Danthe4th Mon 05-Oct-09 23:53:04

Thats what I do and its fair, I had an enquiry for sept 2010 and they wanted me to hold a place, unless they are prepared to pay in full I have told them the same as you.

PinkChick Tue 06-Oct-09 09:58:45

i usually asy half normal fee as a retainer, but i think you are right to say full!

i may change my policy TBH..I ALSO SAY THAT I WONT CHARGE UNLESS I HAVE ANOTHER ENQUIRY FOR SAME SPACE..oops sorry cap..you can give them the option of using the hours /some of them now as theyre paying anyway..kind of a settling in for the child?..good luck, glad you're getting so many enquiries and keep it clear cut like you are doing now, its the only way to go ..well done smile

saadia Tue 06-Oct-09 10:07:35

I think that's fair. MY CM is great - she wanted to give me refunds for when I pick the dcs up early but I said that wouldn't be necessary. I am just glad to have the peace of mind that the dcs are safe and happy and tbH I prefer using someone who is professional and direct, particularly when talking about money.

navyeyelasH Tue 06-Oct-09 13:37:03

Phew - seems pretty unanimous then!

Lots of nice messages on here from people that use childminders - fingers crossed all my parents are as lovely grin

Thanks all feel more assertive and confident now.

Tis what I do too, what most Cms I know do

SCARYspicemonster Tue 06-Oct-09 13:46:56

It's not mercenary, you're running a business I am a CM user, not a CM and to my mind, it makes you come across as professional

looneytune Tue 06-Oct-09 14:27:31

Totally normal to do!! You're not saying pay now, you're saying once another parents wants the space. Don't worry about what they think, they'd probably be the sort to cause you money problems anyway wink

dreamteamgirl Mon 12-Oct-09 14:13:40

I think its maybe because nurserys dont do it that people are suprised.

I reserved my DS's space before he was born with a £100 deposit. I know I couldnt have paid anything before he used it, so maybe they are the same

Not that I think you are wrong for doing it, just maybe thats why they are shocked/ suprised

looneytune Mon 12-Oct-09 14:36:16

That's a point but remember to remain confident about charging as it's totally different for us childminders. We can have children til teenagers yet nurseries know that by school age, the children will be leaving and with many more children on their books, it must be a lot easier to book people in knowing they are taking over a certain space. Also, I presume they can just adjust their staff when numbers are different. I'm sure as soon as you explain how childminders work and why we have to charge, they'll understand

looneytune Mon 12-Oct-09 14:37:09

p.s. i'm surprised about the paying before your child was born. I'm sure we're not allowed to charge a penny until the baby has been born?

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