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childminders advice needed.

27 replies

blondehelen · 18/11/2005 19:04

As some of you may know from my previous thread, I have been having 'issues' with my childminder. It has come to a head tonight so I am wondering if you could answer some questions. I warn you this may be long!!

When I started with her over three years ago it was p/t and she charged 2.75 hr or £22 a day. It has gone up annually by £1 a day and 25p an hour and now charges £3.50hr or £25 day. I now work full time and so I pay £125 a week. I provide all my ds food at her request.
Her hours are 0730 til 1730 at her request.
I would like to know. Do you charge more p/hr for p/t place Do you provide food for your mindees? She had written me a letter to say she wants to now charge £30 for my ds or I pick him up at 4.30pm. Can she change her conditions at this short notice?

OP posts:

blondehelen · 18/11/2005 19:14


OP posts:

lrkids · 18/11/2005 19:22

Hi I will answer what I can.
I charge slightly more for a p/t place rather than a f/t place. I will provide food or parents can provide it, if I provide it I charge a very small extra fee(which still works out less than what you are paying). Please note that fees do vary depending on whereabouts you are though
Tbh I think she is out of order, have you got a contract? She should be sticking with the contract and what is in it. There is no way that I would suddenly demand a mindee was picked up earlier.
I'm sure a more experienced childminder will be along soon - I've not been doing it that long.
I'm sorry if this seems a bit mixed up - already been at the drinks


HappyMumof2 · 18/11/2005 19:26

Message withdrawn


ThePrisoner · 18/11/2005 20:07

I charge the same rate per hour for everyone (part-time, full-time, before/after schoolchildren, siblings). I usually put my rates up annually. I do not provide food (unless there's an emergency), but include snacks/drinks in my hourly rate. I pay for all activities, groups and days out.

Why on earth are the hours at your childminder's request? As far as I am concerned, the parents tell me what hours they want, and I do the contract accordingly.

I review contracts every six months, and renew them every year. My contracts are certainly not written in stone though - if parents want to change their hours/days before the "due date", then I will accommodate them (if I have the space). I wouldn't put my rates up before the agreed time, although I suppose I could (but it's not very professional). I suppose that if she has always put her rates up annually, you would probably assume that this would continue. However, I don't have anything mentioned in my contracts about the annual increase, it's something I talk to parents about before they start.

I think the thing that amazes me is that most childminders would love to mind your child - full days/full-time!! These jobs are like gold-dust!!


jellyjelly · 18/11/2005 20:09

i charge the same for part time but i also do sessional care. The charges sound fair but again i echo what others have said and it depends on your area. Where are you? Have you looked on childcare link to see how much others charge in your area? I do think that she should have given you a fair amount of warning not just deceide that this is what she wants to do and impliment it.

I also charge for food for some of the children the other provides their own and i feed it to the child.

How much notice has she given you?


amynnixmum · 18/11/2005 20:18

I do charge different prices depending on the number of hours - the more hours the less you pay. I put my prices up once a year and I do that on the anniversary of the month the child started with me. My prices tend to go up about 20p an hour each year. I too review the contracts every 6 months.

I do have set hours that I work e.g. I will start at 7.30 am and work until 6.00 but I am flexible in between those times - it depends on what the parents needs are.

I don't provide food as it is easier if it is provided by the parents so that there are no quiblles about value for money or nutritional content. I do however provide drinks and snacks and of course I would provide a meal in an emergency.

My contracts all state that 28 days written notice is needed for any changes - I think this would include me putting my prices up and it certainly includes time off (except sick), holidays and ending the contract etc.


blondehelen · 18/11/2005 21:44

Thanks everyone. I am in Kent and the childrens information service for the council says and average hrly rate is 2.50 and a weekly place average is £127. I was happy with £125 but to jump to £150 is huge for me as I have to find an extra £100 a month. My feeling is that she doesn't want my ds f/t so if any of you are in Kent!!! I have had childminders for 7 years and have never had these issues so I am a bit upset cos my guilt of being a working mum rears its head when my childcare isn't working. Yes it is the cm that had the op.

OP posts:

blondehelen · 18/11/2005 22:07


OP posts:

janeybops · 18/11/2005 22:41

If you aren't happy with this and other issues then perhaps it is time to look for another childminder.
As a user of childminders I used to pay £110 for a full week - which is £22 a day. I have used her for 4 years and have never had a price rise! She also provides all of the food....

Now pay £65 for 2 days - ds there all day dd dropped off and picked up from school. Have to pcik up by 5pm.

However, I have had nightmare while she was on hols recently and mum was ill. Ended up paying £4 an hour and providing food too!


ThePrisoner · 18/11/2005 22:43

I wouldn't necessarily believe that your CIS would know the average hourly rate. Many childminders won't tell ours what they charge, the few that do seem to be charging less than those of us who keep quiet! When newly-registering childminders do their registration courses, they have also been led to believe that our usual hourly rate is a lot higher than we charge too.

I think most of us will be moving to Kent very shortly! Failing that, perhaps you could move nearer to one of us??!

And I still (being nosey) want to know how come your minder dictates the hours she has your child?


blondehelen · 18/11/2005 23:03

what i mean is thatfor a full day she will have my ds from 0730 til 1730 but shie won't have him from 8 til 6. If I drop him off at 8 and ask her to have him til 6 its costs me a lot of earache and extra money so I don't bother. 8 til 6 would suit me much better but she won't do it.

OP posts:

blondehelen · 18/11/2005 23:04

She also says that other childminders moan at her because she is too cheap and therefore not competitive!!

OP posts:

katymac · 19/11/2005 17:04

Blondehelen - I think you are going to have to find a new minder - however you may not find one as cheap as the one you currently have (even with the price rise)

The only improvement might be that you get the hours you want

Get the list from CIS (it's on-line) and start ringing round - do visit several, take a few days off and book them in - it really is worth taking some time over your choice.

With regard to the price rise it is usually in the contract that 4 weeks notice is required for the change - but you'd have to look on the back of your copies to check

Lots of luck - I do hope you get sorted


blondehelen · 19/11/2005 22:06

Thanks Katymac, I am thinking about what is best for me and my ds

OP posts:

blondehelen · 20/11/2005 11:53

Sorry, one more question. Is your car insurance checked annually with your check. I am writing a letter to my cm and dh wants me to put something in about her car insurance.

OP posts:

HellyBelly · 20/11/2005 12:26

I'm fairly new so not sure about annual checks but I do know you must have car insurance stating childminding purposes if you are going to transport mindees.



Tan1959 · 20/11/2005 14:08

Hellybelly: as you know I am pretty new to all this too so when you say the Insurance Cert needs to state 'childminding purposes' do you actually mean those words or can it state for 'business use'? My Insurance states for 'business use. Is this adequate?


HellyBelly · 20/11/2005 14:20

Hiya. Mine shows business use but I'm sure you have to make sure they know that you'll be transporting children for business, just doesn't show on certificate.



Tan1959 · 20/11/2005 14:21

blondhelen; I am not sure if you are referring to the three yearly check made by Ofsted (after initial first inspection following registration inspection) (experienced childminders, please correct me if I am wrong) but I would have thought that if a childminder uses her car for business purposes then Ofsted would ask to check that these documents are up to date ie Licence, MOT and Insurance. However, I would think that you are perfectly within your rights to ask your childminder if you can see her docs. When my children were young (a distant memory now though!) and I was searching for a childminder, I would always ask to see Licence, MOT and Insurance! and wait for it.... I even asked her to take me round the block in her car so I could see that she was a competent driver, honestly that is true!


Tan1959 · 20/11/2005 14:23

Thanks Hellybelly, I wanted to make sure I had correct details on mine! thinking about it, as I renewed mine over the phone, I may put it in writing that I will be transporting children just to be on safe side....


HellyBelly · 20/11/2005 14:47

Good idea, may do the same as mine was also done on the phone - by dh!


ThePrisoner · 20/11/2005 19:01

Your insurance documents should state exactly that you need your vehicle for business use (and mine states that I work as a registered childminder, although my first document stated that I was a "zoo operative", which might be closer to the mark!). You can guarantee that if you ever needed to make a claim on it, they aren't going to back you up if the information was only over the phone and not on paper!

There are so many bits of paper that we are supposed to show parents on visits, that I think they probably get pretty fed-up with it!!


HellyBelly · 20/11/2005 19:23

So glad you said that! I will get them to show it on my certificate. Bloody insurance companies, I had to pay admin for certificate and am not paying again if it's there mistake!!

Will look into it now!


HellyBelly · 20/11/2005 19:29

Right, got the rest of the documents out and this is what mine says:

Certificate - I'm insured for business use (dh not)
Schedule - Lists dh and me as named drivers with my occupation being childminder.

Theprisoner - do you think I still need to get the actual certificate amended to state childminding?


ThePrisoner · 20/11/2005 19:55

Helly - my certificate states:

Use for Social Domestic and Pleasure Purposes
Use for Hire and Reward for the Policyholder's business
Use for the Policyholder's business
(Also lists dh as insured driver)

My schedule states that my occupation/business is "childminder".

Sounds the same as yours? Our insurance was done through an acquaintance, so he knew exactly what it had to cover.

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