I've got a couple of mindeed starting soon term time only. This suits me as I find my ds's enough work in the hols,( though I dearly need the money.[frin])
Would or do you charge a fee to cover hols or would you let it go as it suits you too?
As a childminder I have 3 children on my books who are tt only & I don't charge for them. That is because they are all school age children & I don't particularly want to have any more in the holidays. However when I used to have an U5 tt only I used to charge a half fee retainer during the holidays & have her once a week for continuity of care.
A lot of childminders will charge a retainer fee during the holidays if they expect to have the children full time other wise it can be a big loss of income for them which they are unable to replace. Quite often you can gain holiday work for school age children but not for U5's so that would be a way of keeping your income steady & therefore might be willing not to charge a fee for tt only children.
Mosschops - it depends on the age of the child and the attitude of the minder. For under 5's I charge through the holidays (half fe to keep the place) and for over 5's I wouldn't (as I can replace them)
However NCMA advise all minders to charge for 52 weeks a year - so that is standard practise, we all have our little quirks
Hope this helps
mosschops you'd need to shop around. I'm aware I childmind differently from most c'minders in my area but I do what suits me and my family. Most c/minders view the job as all year round, guaranteeing a certain income and this is a very proffessional view. However as I said I'm a bit quirky and so far it's suiting me. So maybe you'd find someone like me who would forgo the money so I didn't need to mind during hols.
Phone around, try www.childcarelink.co.uk and click on your area! Good luck.
Mosschops - I would take on a child term-time only (like katymac says if they are school age) and not charge during holidays as I have a couple of little ones whose older brothers come to me during the holidays only so therefore it would be fine for me. Just look around cos don't pay for the holiday time if you do not have to.
When I first registered and didn't have a lot of work, I hoped that all the schoolchildren would come full-time in the holidays, and that I wouldn't have any parents needing childcare who worked in education!
However, I now have several schoolage children before/after school who do not require full-time care in the holidays, and I have also minded a student's baby and a teacher's baby!
I'm very laid back about it now. If parents want term-time only, then that's what I will do, whatever age the children are.
My schoolage childrens' contracts are very specific about days/hours during term time. The contracts state that if they want childcare during the school holidays, you basically pay for what the child does. It means that, sometimes, I have an absolute houseful of children (all within my legal numbers!) - at other times, I may have no schoolchildren at all. My situation is lucky in that I have a lot of children on my books, and it all seems to balance out well and I've never yet had to say "no" to a parent because I've already got my quota!
Parents know that I prefer them to decide before the school holidays what they would like, but I still sometimes get a frantic phone call on a Sunday afternoon asking if I can have their child the next day, and I'm really OK with that. I think that I am unusual in that respect, as most of my minding friends want to know well in advance what they will be needed for, and many would charge a retainer if not required.
I too have always been happy to provide term time only care and never charge a retainer. I know I can always fill the holiday spaces with other children who might require respite or occasional care - or enjoy few days 'off' if it suits me. I don't know of any others who work like me though - I don't even charge for holidays or sickness!
If you are happy with how you work, then that's absolutely fine. There's a lot of things I've changed over the years since I started minding regarding holidays/sickness/retainers etc. I know we have to be professional etc. etc., but I don't want to become one of those minders (and I know some!!) who are so business-like that it gives the rest of us a bad name.
If you are only available during term time, then I do not feel that you can charge a retainer for school holidays, as technically you don't have any places during that period.
If however you childmind full-time and a parent chooses not to send their children during school holidays, then their places do still exisit and to keep those places available, a retainer should be paid.
Every childminder works differently, so I disagree that a retainer should be paid to keep a place available during holidays. It is up to the individual minder. The same goes for whether we charge full fee/part fee/no fee for bank holidays, sickness, occasional days off etc.
When looking for a childminder for my sixth month old baby, I went to two childminders homes (I work in education). The first wanted a three quarters retainer during holiday period, plus two weeks full paid holiday when she when on her holiday.
While I was there she didn't even offer me a cup of tea! and told me she would soon have my wingy baby sorted out.
Thankfully the second only wanted paying during term time as during the holidays she could have older school age children. I got a brew, and she said one of her babies was just a wingy as mine! Needless to say who got the job!