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Childminders, help with pay please.

12 replies

ess · 25/09/2005 09:45

I am returning to work in Feb 2006 and am cabin crew. I will be going back 75%, i.e 3 weeks on 1 week off. My total days off will be 17 per month and my nan will probable be having DD 4 days per month too. Some childminders seem to charge per day/part day but I cant guarantee in advance how many days I would need each month, I may need to work some weekends with days off in week and schedule can change last minute. Would it be reasonable to arrange to pay so many days per month with the understanding that if I go over I will pay extra or use these days the following month? Not sure what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

OP posts:

FeelingOld · 25/09/2005 10:17

I have 2 mindees whose mums work at the local hospital and therefore work shifts/different days each week. We have a contract for X amount of days per month, they pay me for those days regardless of whether they use me for them all and if they need me extra theys just pay me for them.
I don't have a problem with this but I know some childminders who would not do it or are quite full so would not be able to accommodate different days each week.
Just ring and ask as many as you can, I am sure you will find someone. Good luck


katymac · 25/09/2005 10:30

I would probably find this quite difficult - if I have understood you senario properly

EG - if there are 4 weeks in the month 28 days
of which 20 are mon-fri and you will not need 21 of these day....but you don't know if they will be week days of weekends

I need to fill a full-time space (i do this with F/T children, with odd days for different children or occasionally a few hrs here and a few hrs there - iyswim)

But I couldn't plan to put anyone in your dd's place because you might need care on any day. So I would loose the income for the days you weren't working.

This would mean for me - it would "cost" me to have your child, very difficult.

There are probably other childminders (like FeelingOld) who would be able to - but I probably wouldn't. And you may find a lot of C/Mers in my position.



ayla99 · 25/09/2005 10:49

The difficulty is that if you need different days then the childminder can't fill in the days you don't use with another child. So, many childminders couldn't afford to offer you a place unless you pay for each weekday you might need to use.

A few childminders might consider your suggestion of booking a number of days per month (with a specified minimum), but some might expect a certain amount of notice as to which days you need. It is possible you might have to pay either for some days you don't use or a higher hourly rate.

Another charging scheme some minders use is to charge 1/2 fees for a "core timetable", ie all the days & times you MIGHT need, with full fees being charged for the days you actually use.

You can ring 08000 96 02 96 or go to to get details of local childminders. Try ringing round to see what they say! Have you checked if you're entitled to childcare tax credits (up to 70% of your childcare costs).

Good luck


ess · 25/09/2005 13:06

Thanks for the info guys- thought this would prove difficult but the nature of my job means it was never going to be easy. I'll look into tax credits, thanks. Would a nursery be more flexible than a childminder?I would roughly know what I'd be doing a month before but occassionally may be delayed an extra day or flight cancelled etc.

OP posts:

nannynick · 25/09/2005 13:37

Have you tried asking BAA (if you are working out of a BAA airport). I would expect that they have either a workplace nursery, or have links with nurseries around the airport. Perhaps they even have a childcare co-ordinator who can sort out childcare for you.

Also, the airline for which you work may have arrangements in place with regard to childcare.


ThePrisoner · 25/09/2005 13:49

I don't think an "ordinary" nursery would be more flexible than a childminder (perish the thought!!) Would imagine that they would charge full-fee all week, even if you cancelled a day, and wouldn't be too happy if you were late. I'm sure there's a recent thread about nurseries near airports possibly offering weekend care, so I guess they might be more flexible?? Other airline/airport staff must need childcare, don't know what they do??

I know of one minder who took on this type of work for two children, and have to say that it was very difficult for her (but she desperately needed to fill her places). The parents only wanted her roughly every other month, but they were charged a set amount each month for a minimum number of hours (and had to pay more if it was more hours, obviously).

One month would therefore be quite easy with little or no minding work (but no way for minder to take on anyone else unless it was an "occasional" booking). The other month involved a combination of very early morning starts/very late night finishes/overnight/weekends and no guarantee that she would finish at the agreed time anyway (long haul flights so possibility of delays).

Whilst I don't want to be negative (but I'm going to be - sorry), it was a job that no other minder in the area wanted. It completely trashed this minder's homelife during her working month, with no end of last-minute schedule changes, and no idea when a parent might return. The amount of money paid wasn't enough to cushion the fallout with her own family (she had a toddler of her own too).

Many minders don't work weekends - would this be when your nan would help out?


nannynick · 25/09/2005 14:00

Found a nursery near Heathrow... Young Flyers which provides care 7.30am-6.30pm.
At £737 per month for a child under 3 years old, it certainly isn't a cheap option, though with only one child is cheaper than a nanny. Once there is more than one child... then a nanny would be viable.


ess · 25/09/2005 14:22

This is sounding gloomier by the second!!Maybe I should give up flying and go on the game!!only joking, can you believe I work for BA and they dont have any childcare facilites- pretty dim really. I'll just have to start phoning round and hope I find someone- wont need anyone for weekend care as DH will be here and he can work from home last minute if he really had to.

OP posts:

katymac · 25/09/2005 19:21

Is there any way to predict your days of work?


JELLYJELLY · 25/09/2005 22:32

Wasnt there a recent sex descrimination case because of parents wanting to work but have childcare sorted out. I seem to remember that they won there case for regular shifts.


lunavix · 25/09/2005 22:57

Some childminders may charge a retainer though.

For example, take a 28 day month. Say you want care for 15 days, with 13 off. Out of the 13, 8 are weekends so don't count (assuming you don't want weekend care.) So it's only 5 days.

A childminder might cost say £3.00 an hour (though this depends on area.) So again estimate 10 hour day (easily done full time.) This is £30 a day, so for the days you are working = 450. The other week, you aren't working, so it might be a retainer of half fee. which is £75 a week.

So in total, for care, you'd be paying £525 a month. However, if you needed the minder on the days you aren't using, obviously the retainer would be subtracted.

I'd do this, personally, as a CM.


ess · 26/09/2005 08:20

Unfortunately, there's no way to predict my days. I will be 'bidding' for my days off each month but this is done in seniority order with no guarantees each month. My friend has just announced she is getting registered- seemed to think it would take about 6 weeks so that may b an option- would rather leave her with someone I know. Sure it will get sorted eventually, will have to hope I get very lucky with someone. We have a group at work called ' Working Parents' who may be able to help so going to call them later. Thanks so much for all your help.

OP posts:
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