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(29 Posts)
HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 07:34:10

Hi guys

I'm a newly registered childminder and need some help.

I have my first parent coming round to sign contracts this morning but there's one thing I'm not sure about. Do childminders normally ask for a months/weeks money up front before they start minding?

I've been told by some local childminders that you ask up front as you have costs to cover but recently, a couple of people (friends) have questioned me on this so now I'm unsure what to do??

These parents have already had 2 childminders and so are used to how this all works. I just don't want to seem rude asking for money up front.

What do you do???


jessicasmummy Thu 23-Jun-05 08:02:33

As a parent, if up-front fees hadnt been discussed prior to signing contracts, then i wouldnt expect to pay anything... what if the parent turns up with no money?

I would have thought payment on a weekly basis should suffice.

KatyMac Thu 23-Jun-05 08:05:27

With a new parent I ask for a month up front - no discussions or arguments, also a fee for late payment

Payment in advance is required by NCMA and their contracts support this along with an adjudication service if it all goes wrong

Lots of luck

HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 08:09:20

Thanks for your comments Jessicasmummy.

Reason for the not discussing it was because they were only with me for a very short time and wanted to rush through it as they were on their way to get a plane (holiday). I wanted to discuss all this but they just didn't have the time. Today is the day we discuss everything in detail and then sign contracts if everyone is happy. Usually this would be discussed up front.

The mindee won't be starting for a couple of weeks and I meant the money up front from the day they start (if I ask for it up front).

I think I'll see what their previous childminder requested and take it from there this time.

Anyone else able to let me know what they do ( for future contracts?)

HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 08:12:12

Thanks KatyMac, just wanted to be justified in asking for it up front. I'd heard some stories where parents used a month's service and then disappeared with the childminder out of pocket. These parents were lovely and I very much doubt they'd do anything like this but I need to have consistancy in what I do!

Thanks again!

goosey Thu 23-Jun-05 09:11:19

I always request either cash or cheque on a Friday for weekly mindees, or after any ocasional one-day minding. I have never yet had any problems but wouldn't hesitate to ask for payment up front if ever I did. I get my invoice book out on a Friday pick-up and have my receipt all ready for them. So far so good - and the most I could lose is a week's money, but I prefer to show some trust, after all they are trusting me with their children. If you are expecting payment monthly however, a month's money is a bit more of a risk to lose I suppose.

vickiyumyum Thu 23-Jun-05 09:24:54

i would always ask for cash up front, as have had experience when childminding of people owing me considerable amounts for a month fees looking after 2 kids full time and not paying up!
once bitten, twice shy, so probably am a bit biased. my childminder i use now asks for fees up front, but weekly, even though i get paid monthly. which is fine, just means i have to budget carefully!

lunavix Thu 23-Jun-05 09:26:43

The way I do it is they pay on the first day of the week that I mind their kids, `for the wole of that week.

I have my mindees mon, tues and thurs, so the mum pays me for those three days first thing on the monday.

badgerhead Thu 23-Jun-05 09:40:15

Most of my childminding fees are paid to me at the beginning of the week. I have 2 who pay me monthly (1 monthly in advance and 1 on mums pay day) I would definitely ask for fees at the beginning of each week or month depending on when they pay you. As otherwise they might do a riunner & leave you out of pocket & also you can justify it by saying I need it to cover food and activity costs for their child.Sometimes minders will say that the up front money is a deposit against any notice fees should they go.

kcemum Thu 23-Jun-05 10:12:31

All my mindees parents pay a month up front, this helps me to budget for the month ahead and any money owed either by myself or the parents are added/ deducted the following month. I also charge a "late payment" fine and have found this threat works wonders!!

Good luck

HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 10:18:43

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. I really need to ask for something up front to be able to afford the extra food and activities. I will try for the month up front because I think that makes things easier for everyone but am happy to take a week at a time.

Kcmum - do you mind be asking what your fine is?


kcemum Thu 23-Jun-05 10:26:21

Sure Hellybelly, I charge £10.00 per week that it's late. I am a fair soft touch though with things like parent illness and such like. I have only used the threat of late payment fine once on a family who were refusing to pay their notice period, it was also conbined with the threat of legal action.

kcemum Thu 23-Jun-05 10:28:18

Also I ask for payment around parents paydays, I find this gives me a steady flow of income through the month.

HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 10:30:54

Brilliant, thanks for that! Let's see what they say when they get here!

Thanks again everyone!

ssd Thu 23-Jun-05 10:43:59

I get paid a month in advance, that way is easier as you know where you are. This is advised on my SCMA contracts.

HTH ssd xxx

bigdonna Thu 23-Jun-05 12:29:37

i only look after 1 child by choice i get paid weekly on a friday.

crunchie Thu 23-Jun-05 12:33:25

I pay ours monthly in advance usually. Our CM does the invoices on or around the 1st of teh month, but she does it for whole weeks IYKWIM - so some months are 5 week months!! However we usually get teh invoice on the monday to be paid by the friday

KatyMac Thu 23-Jun-05 12:46:18

And for the school holiday only children I ask for 25% (of all 6 weeks) up front - when they book

feelingold Thu 23-Jun-05 12:52:09

I do not charge up front purely because 2 of my 3 mums work shifts and often do extra hours (and sometimes require me to supply main meals) so it would be so complicated.
1 pays weekly every friday and I too have the invoice ready when she drops off in a morning and the receipt ready for when she pays me when she picks up.
The other 2 pay monthly and I invoice them on a friday and they pay me on monday.
In their contracts I state that they will be charged £5 per day they are late paying and I always state the date payment is due on my invoice. Haven't had any probs yet, but I do get on really well with my 3 mums.

Good luck.

HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 15:09:45

Thanks guys. All sorted, she's used to paying for a month in advance so that what we've agreed!

Will keep all your comments in mind for all future contracts.



KatyMac Thu 23-Jun-05 18:45:34

Signing a parent makes you feel good - doesn't it?

HellyBelly Thu 23-Jun-05 18:53:30

Sorry, got carried away - YEP, feeling good!!

Could just do with one more - ANYONE???? check out my website !!

SoftFroggie Thu 23-Jun-05 21:54:30

You're too far away or you could have my two, but it would be a 5 hour round trip, so doesn't really fit in with my working day

HellyBelly Fri 24-Jun-05 07:01:51

Thanks SoftFroggie!

alibubbles Fri 24-Jun-05 07:39:58

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