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Advice Please - retainer/deposit

9 replies

frankieb · 06/02/2006 13:17

I'm after some advice as quite new to this as I've only been registered since Sept.
I have a lady coming to see me on Weds re care of twins. She is looking for full time. She is looking for a September start but wants them to start coming from April to get them used to it. They are 2 1/2 and will be going to nursery half day in Sept too.
I have talked to minders locally and on my network so have decided that I will be charging for full day as I will be dropping and collecting and nursery is only 2 1/2 hrs anyway.
What I am concerned about is what to do about holding the space. I charge £4 per hr and will give a discount of 50p for 2nd child so all in all £7.50 per hr. This would be around £60-£75 per day depending on hrs req.
What would you do about charging to hold the space? I can't afford not to earn anything till April.

OP posts:

oldandfat · 06/02/2006 13:29

i would charge half total fee. she may barter but leave yourself short. i would also make it non-returnable. i've learnt by my mistakes over the years. don't be to soft. good luck....let me know how you get on.


Booh · 06/02/2006 16:18

I am such a meanie and I charge FULL FEES to hold a space open as I know that I can fill my spaces very easily! You will have to barter a bit I am afraid!


artyjoe · 08/02/2006 22:43

I've got a couple who want me to hold a place until November and I suggested £50 per MONTH to hold the space and they have said fine, so long as it is used to offset the first months childminding... am I being too soft, I haven't said no or yes yet! I really liked them as a couple, baby not actually born yet. This is 9 months of not being able to fill a space...

Any advice?



HellyBelly · 09/02/2006 09:45

I had a lady who came in December, a couple of weeks before she was due and she wanted possible care from around April/May. I couldn't afford to just leave a space open and charge nothing as I really need the money. The full monthly rate would have been just over £600. I came on here for advice and some said half fees but I personally was worried that they couldn't afford it on maternity pay etc. so decided to charge a retainer of £150 per month IF she wanted to keep the space open.

She was happy with this fee, it was not towards any future costs as otherwise, you're still no better off. I did say she could use me anytime (plus the fee wouldn't start until baby born) and she was fine with it all, especially as I offer a £5 per day discount for full timers so she'd be saving £100 a month anyway once starting.

Anyway, she was so sure she'd be going back to work but she's been having problems since she had the baby and trying to avoid working - can completely understand. I left it that I would contact her if I got enquiries, which I did, and in the end we agreed that I'd fill my vacancies with other mindees as she wasn't sure what she was doing about work.

Everyone does what they want but be careful you don't loose other business and end up out of pocket!

Sorry if that makes no sense - in a bit of a rush.


ayla99 · 09/02/2006 10:09

Its not usual to offset a retainer fee against childminding fees. The retainer fee is normally kept by the childminder and only refunded if the childminder later does not provide a place as agreed. This is because the point of a retainer fee is to compensate the childminder for the loss of income as they may have to turn other families away in order to keep the place available.

And the chances are, as soon as you sign a contract with one family, the phone starts ringing again!


HellyBelly · 09/02/2006 10:42



ThePrisoner · 09/02/2006 20:32

artyjoe - I was under the impression that we shouldn't be charging any money at all to anyone who has not yet had their baby?


HellyBelly · 10/02/2006 09:05

Me too!


artyjoe · 10/02/2006 09:14

I haven't charged her anything and wasn't going to start until April when the baby is due...but I would still have to hold the position open from now and then start the retainer once the baby is born until November.

I think looking at the responses here I need to change my policy, I was looking through rose tinted glasses when I came up with £50!

Thanks - Joe

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