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Term time only retainer?

(36 Posts)
JoeyBettany Wed 28-Oct-09 18:36:26

I've just visited a childminder to see what she was like for my 9 month old dd and she mentioned that she charges a holiday retainer fee (half normal hourly rate) for those who only need her for term times only, which applies to me as I only work in term time.

She says this is normal practice for childminders. Is it?

Very grateful for any replies.

pointyhat Wed 28-Oct-09 18:44:44

Most childmionders round here don't charge at all for holidays as it suits them to have fewer kids then too.

I think you should shop around - if possible - and try to find a cm who doesn't charge. Part-timers aren't charged the full time rate so why should people who aren't at work in the holidays be charged for them?

JoeyBettany Wed 28-Oct-09 19:00:41

Thanks, I thought it seemed a bit greedy as I'm not being paid in the holidays!

pointyhat Wed 28-Oct-09 19:05:13

Are there other cms you can ask?

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 19:05:46

It's standard practice around where I live. I think it depends on whether the childminder has lots of extras in the school holidays, not all do so they would rather have a year around child than a term time only one IYSWIM

If you don't pay them a retainer they are not earning at all for 6 weeks in the summer but you expect them to keep the place for you?

pointyhat Wed 28-Oct-09 19:08:33

It's supply and demand, I suppose.

Quite a few people don't earn in the holidays but it's possible to spread pay over the whole year and pay in eqaul monthly sums.

Is it fair to take money for nothing? I don't think so but I suppose if people can get away with it they will.

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 19:12:35

But it is the parents choice not to use them in the holidays, they are still available for work?

TBH I would consider still using the CM during the holidays even if you reduce it to fewer days. Especially in the summer otherwise this carer will effectively be disappearing in and out of your dds life.

Your other option is to end your contract with the CM at the begining of the holidays and find a new CM after the hols IYSWIM.

Would you expect a nursery to hold a space for you if you didn't pay for it?

A good childminder can be very difficult to find, if you find one then it can be worth paying more for them IMO as a parent.

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 19:17:08

I think term time only retainers will be recommended by the NCMA, they also recommend that CM have x amount of paid holidays per year. It is worth looking at whether the CM charge for their holidays, bank holidays or whether they have a slightly higher hourly rate and take unpaid holidays & unpaid bank holidays btw.

Katymac Wed 28-Oct-09 19:22:40

I don't charge a retainer in the holidays I charge full, & I often have TTO children.

pointyhat Wed 28-Oct-09 19:26:55

I'm sure the NCMA would recommend it. Doesn't stop many people finding it a little unfair.

henryhuggins Wed 28-Oct-09 19:28:52

i'm a teacher and i don't pay my childminder a retainer during school holidays.

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 19:29:45

pointyhat would you turn up for work every day in the summer holidays, not actually do anything, not get paid, not be able to go and work anywhere else because they need you in September?

Being a childminder isn't exactly well paid if all you have is pre-schoolers?

Katymac Wed 28-Oct-09 19:36:13

My service is available 50 weeks of the year if you choose not to send your child that is your decision

In my case I pay staff - they would be quite annoyed if I said 13 weeks of the year they can be paid less as I had less children

pointyhat Wed 28-Oct-09 19:37:29

That's not what happens though, is it, cargirl.

In practice, the cm has a few children who are there for most of the holidays and are probably happy enough to have a couple fewer. If they were really unhappy with it, they don't have to take on any children of parents who don't work in the holidays. They make the decision about who they will mind and who they won't.

pointyhat Wed 28-Oct-09 19:38:35

You have staff. That's a differnet situation katymac. That's m ore like a nursery situation. I assumed we were talking about individual self-employed cms.

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 19:44:37

The reality of that is though that they don't get an income from that child for 15 weeks of the year - that is a lot.

Yes they can choose which child to take on but unless there is a huge oversurplus on childminders in your area I can't see anyone being contracted to have a child and then only be paid for 35 weeks of the year?

Childminders still have overheads to pay and other expenses regardless of how many paying children they have, it's just not cost affective to only have 2 children a day rather than 3. I know more cm who don't have their own children under the age of 15 and therefore only have pre-school children all year around than those who have extra older children in the holidays.

I think it can really vary according to where you live.

Katymac Wed 28-Oct-09 19:44:42

Well as an individual if I can earn for 48 weeks of the year why would I chose to earn for 39 of them?

JoeyBettany Wed 28-Oct-09 19:50:37

Well I can see both points of view but I still think this particular one is being greedy as I know she has 2 school age children and would probably be over ratio anyway ( with 9 month old baby), if all her usual mindees were still to attend in the holidays.

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 19:53:00

school children don't count in ratios in the same way as pre-schoolers.

It's usually 3 under full time school and a further 3 (possibly more!) full time school upwards.

JoeyBettany Wed 28-Oct-09 20:09:12

I thought if there's a baby under one , one other under three or over is allowed. Not sure how that would work with a house full of school children.

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 20:12:57

Nope usual ratio is 3 children under school age of which only one can be under 12 months old.

The total number of chidren allowed is 8 I think.

However if you feel she is being greedy then it isn't going to work as you're going to resent her T&C from day one.

Katymac Wed 28-Oct-09 20:17:55

It is normally 6 under 8 of which 3 maybe be in the Early Years age range (ie under 5) of which 1 maybe under 1

They can also have 2 or 3 (ish) over 8's

CarGirl Wed 28-Oct-09 20:19:28

The thought of having 8 dc to look after on my own scares me witless even though I have 4 of my own and had the younget 3 in 3 years. It was hard hard work!

neenz Wed 28-Oct-09 20:30:17

I pay my CM when I am on holiday - only half the normal rate though. But as I see it, I get paid when I am on holiday so she should too.

dobby2001 Wed 28-Oct-09 21:31:25

Standard practice here (South london) and what i charge. As others have said,you should be able to make use of your CM during summer hols (on payment of other 50% of days fees) which considering your childs age would be a good idea to prevent them forgetting her!

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