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!
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.)
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
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.
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