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What is included in your fees?

(28 Posts)
Titchyboomboom Mon 11-Feb-13 07:47:39

As an over enthusiastic new childminder, I stupidly included everything in my fees, and feel a bit silly now as I have over committed.

I am 4 per hour, includes food and outings. I currently go to 2 outings a week, gym type, which are 3 or 4 pounds per child, so 10 pounds a week. I also do free dinners and send them home with children who leave early

How would you approach this? My idea is to issue a review letter:

Food charges per meal?
Charge for outings but risk parents saying they would rather me not go? (I don't want dd to miss out)

ZuleikaD Mon 11-Feb-13 07:58:11

Golly. Well, I would definitely stop sending food home for a start! I would review the food charges as the cost of food has gone up and you can say that to parents.

HSMMaCM Mon 11-Feb-13 08:12:05

I include nappies, wipes, lunch, snacks, milk, toddler groups, etc in my fees.

I specifically exclude regular classes. A parent wanted their child to go to a music class once and it was when my DD was little. I quite liked the idea of my DD going too, but I had to ask the 3rd parent if they wanted their child to go, because they would be paying for it. If all parents had not agreed, then none of the children would have gone. My DD had to miss out on many toddler type classes because of this (same as any working parent). If you want your DD to go and the other parents do not want to pay, then it is up to you whether you pay for them, or cancel your DD's class.

I don't do dinners at all, because some children want to eat with me and others want to eat at home. I don't want to feed some children in front of the others. I certainly wouldn't send home food for children who aren't there at mealtime.

badgerhead Mon 11-Feb-13 08:14:53

I include everything in my fees except nappies and baby food/milk. But agree don't send food home and say that you will only feed those who stay after a certain time & whose parents ask for them to be fed. I will only feed those who are with me after 5.30 as I do tea at about 5.10 to 5.20 most nights to allow time for my dh to get in from work and eat with us. I charge £5 an hour though (I'm in West Sussex).

ZuleikaD Mon 11-Feb-13 08:25:30

Yes, I'm £5/hour (£50/day) as well, but my charges are going up when I come off maternity leave to accommodate rising food costs.

Titchyboomboom Mon 11-Feb-13 08:44:53

Thanks all. I think I will definitely stop sending food home. Also, I do want dd to attend some groups so yes, I should foot the bill for these. I think I just need to make them less regular.

Stoney666 Mon 11-Feb-13 09:25:57

I include all meals etc all trips and nappies and wipes smile

Becp Mon 11-Feb-13 10:08:59

I included all food, trips, outings & any treats eg an ice cream at the park. Parents just had to provide nappies, milk, baby food if they preferred jars & wipes. I did this mainly so I could take my own children out & not make mindees feel left out, unfortunately it can get expensive in the 6wk holidays but I always viewed it as the price I paid for being around for my own children. I only do snacks after school now & we eat dinner around 6 now after I finish work.

morescribbles Mon 11-Feb-13 10:21:43

I wouldn't send food home. My parents provide nappies and wipes. I include meals, outings and groups. Don't forget that you can expense up to ten pounds without receipts as a childminder which helps enormously with outings and groups.

Becp Mon 11-Feb-13 10:35:30

Out of interest, regarding expenses, how do you show an outing in you records if you take your own children or even just pay for yourself. I had a child minder friend who said she couldn't go if she didn't take her kids therefore put the whole thing on expenses, whereas I've always just divided the costs & claimed only for mindees?

morescribbles Mon 11-Feb-13 10:50:20

I claim for myself but not my children. I claim for my food on outings as well as mindees but again not my own children. I have five so it would be pushing it ;)

MortifiedAdams Mon 11-Feb-13 10:57:43

My CM charges £4.50ph (NE), includes all food and drink. She does two toddler groups per week and takes the mindees to free activities.

Don't get (and certainly wouldnt expect) food to bring home if im early.

If my CM decided she wanted to take the mindees to a class / group and expected me to pay extra on top I would be a bit miffed as its nit something I want or need her to provide.

ReetPetit Mon 11-Feb-13 11:27:00

titchy, i'm sure your intentions are good but i do think you are being overgenerous. I only use free groups (or £1 donation) I certainly wouldn't be spending big money on groups. I don't think you should be sending food home either - why do you do that out of interest? confused

are you buying nappies/formula then?I wouldn't be buying anything i'm not buying already. so i bulk buy wipes but I don't provide nappies or formula as I could end up buying several different sizes/brands which would just get silly.

just send out a standard letter, telling your parents that in line with other childminders and becuase you've realised your enormous costs, from this date you will be providing x,y and z and the rest is their responsibility.

ZuleikaD Mon 11-Feb-13 11:54:02

I don't do paid-for groups either - we go to stay-and-play sessions at the Children's Centre.

NoHank Mon 11-Feb-13 11:57:59

Hi Titchy. I too think you are being very generous in your terms.

I provide all food, drink and costs for playgroups but parents provide there own nappies, wipes and formula if needed.

Also the groups I attend are generally free or no more than £1 per child and this is only one day a week.

I understand you not wanting your daughter to miss out however I'm sure she would gain lots from going to local playgroups that don't charge.

Are the current groups paid per term or as and when you use them? If you haven't paid up in advance you can just stop going and look for other groups nearby. I attend a number of childminder drop in days at local surestart centres where we organise our own group and include time for music, dancing arts and crafts plus lots of free play.

And yes, stop sending your food home!

Titchyboomboom Mon 11-Feb-13 13:52:23

Becp, I only put mindees on expenses and not fuel as I am taking dd and not going exclusively for cm purposes

Thanks for feedback all!

Titchyboomboom Mon 11-Feb-13 13:55:14

Reet - I'm not sure why I send it home. It all started when a planned 5 o'clock finish changed to 4:15 and we had agreed dinner. I offered it once, it then became something the parents expected

Titchyboomboom Mon 11-Feb-13 13:58:15

Groups aren't paid up front, so thankfully I can just stop. There are some great sure start groups here too.

New plan...
No food takeaways
2 gym groups alternate weeks so only between 4-6 a week instead of 10
More village hall groups and time at the park!!

Katnisscupcake Mon 11-Feb-13 14:10:14

The CM we used to use for DD (until this year) charges £3.50 p/h. We sent all food/drinks/nappies etc and on days where she wanted to use toddler groups, we would pop £1 in DD's bag. Most of the time though CM would take DD and other mindees to the park.

ReetPetit Mon 11-Feb-13 14:10:17

wow Titchy! sorry but I can't believe the parents expect that!! Do they take a cooked meal away in a tuppleware and heat it up when they get home? shock cheeky or what!! I would certainly stop that, as of tomorrow (or today even!) wink

fwiw, i do dinner at 5-5.30. if a child is collected before dinner - they don't get dinner smile i assume their parents have an oven/microwave/fridge full of food at home....

mamamaisie Mon 11-Feb-13 14:46:51

I include all meals and outings in my fees but I am quite careful about where we go. I try to use the free Sure Start groups, free story time at the library and the parks as much as possible. I do pay for a group at a local church once a week but that is only £2 per family. About once a month we go on a more expensive outing, such as soft play, a farm or other attraction but even then I limit myself to places that won't cost more than £30 for all of us. I am in Surrey and everything here is ridiculously expensive so it does mean that there are a lot of places that I simply can't go to.

MrAnchovy Mon 11-Feb-13 15:21:17


You can claim all costs for mindees, yourself and anyone that goes with you to help with the mindees. You cannot claim any costs for your own children. You can claim for mileage (45p per mile, plus 5p per mile if you are taking one or more helpers) although if you are taking your own children HMRC may dispute this.

Titchyboomboom Mon 11-Feb-13 22:54:06

Thanks all!

mindingalongtime Tue 12-Feb-13 11:59:00

I would be very concerned about the food hygiene and health and safety aspect of them taking your food home ( not a reflection on your cooking!) and reheating it correctly, what if they got food poisoning I think that the environmental health would take a very dim view.

You need to familiarise yourself with the childminder handbook issued by them and an easy option for you is to say to parents that sending meals home contravenes the regulations under which a childminder can prepare and serve food.

Akasa Tue 12-Feb-13 12:34:43

I tend to follow what is the norm round here in that nothing in included. We all charge a rate for the minding alone (although there are of course variances) and then anything else is either provided by the parents or charged whether food, nappies, outings etc. It is fair to say of course that drinks and small snacks are provided without cost. A lot of the parents seem to like this.

In the past I have included nappies for example but the chances were that if my preferred brand was Huggies then a prospective parent would want to use Mothercare, Boots, Pampers etc

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