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Discuss everything related to paid childcare here, including childminders, nannies, nurseries and au pairs.

Childcare

CM Club: Putting fees up

31 replies

looneytune · 02/08/2006 08:31

Morning everyone

I recently sent my first newsletter to all parents and in it, it mentioned that I haven't put my fees up since I started but I plan to review my fees once a year from now on. It states that I will review my fees every Sept/Oct, notify them of any changes by the end of October and the changes to take place the following January.

I'm just having a think now about what I will put them up to (I do need to put them up as we're hoping to move house, sold ours and looking for a place at the mo). I currently charge £3.50 per hour 8-6 and £4 outside these hours. Local childminders charge up to £4 here - some £3.50, some £3.80 and others £4. I was thinking of changing to £3.80 an hour. How does this sound? To much of a jump?? I still offer a discount for my full time mindee (yes, I know what most of you think of that! ) so instead of £35 for the 10 hour part of the day, I charge £30. I was thinking of increasing this discount to £32.50.

I was still planning on not charging for breakfast and lunch, snacks & drinks etc. and at the moment, have kept the evening meal fee @ £1.50 per day.

What do you think??? Let me know if you think it's too much of an increase. Tell me if you review your payment for meals when you review your fees.

TIA

OP posts:
dmo · 02/08/2006 08:36

its always hard to change things
i've been c/m for nearly 4yrs and have not put up fees once i charge £3 per hour with food included
i think 30p could be a big increase as you havent put your fees up before i would add 10p-15p a hour to test the water

Bozza · 02/08/2006 08:38

But if looneytune hasn't put her fees up in that time all the more reason for a bigger hike. I do think that £4 would be pushing it too far, mind you - £3.80 sounds reasonable to me.

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:42

just think its a big jump for the parents
not their fault she hasnt put fees up since she started

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:44

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

one more to add
if putting fees up good time would be april end of tax year and so parents can add extra childcare cost to tax credits etc

dmo · 02/08/2006 08:45

what happened then?

jellyjelly · 02/08/2006 08:55

One more to add dmo!!

jellyjelly · 02/08/2006 08:56

well done looney on getting sold. You sly thing keeping that close to your chest.

looneytune · 02/08/2006 09:11

was very surprised when saw how many responses I'd had already, dmo obviously trying to make a point

Seriously, thanks for your feedback so far. I really appreciate all comments I get (well, as long as no-one is slagging me off! ) and will take them all on board! I had no idea how much to increase by as it's my first time and when I looked at other local minders, some have increased from £3.50-£4 which I did think was too much, just thought I'd go somewhere in the middle.

Keep the comments coming!

dmo - good point about the end of tax year! It doesn't affect any of my parents at the moment and they've already been notified it will be January. What does everyone think? Send another letter saying actually putting up in April now?

Jelly - I didn't make a big fuss about the house as you've got things going on and I didn't feel it appropriate. Having said that, I'm sure I did mention. It sold without going on the market which is what we expected. Even more reason to move now that the xxxxxx has moved into my road!!!

Anyway, keep the comments/advice coming

OP posts:
Bozza · 02/08/2006 11:32

dmo I see your point (couldn't miss it ) but the parents (and I am one who uses a CM myself) have been benefitting from the lack of increase in rates so far. My CM has higher rates for after school than for full days though. It is £3/hr on school days and £2.60/hr in the hols. I am also fortunate in that the nursery vouchers I get can be changed on a monthly basis so the increase in rates doesn't matter. As it happens DS's CM has not increased her rates (but he has not been going for quite a full year) but the nursery which both my DCs have attended has increased their rates every January for the last 5 years.

looneytune · 02/08/2006 15:56

Thanks Bumping up for more views

OP posts:
looneytune · 02/08/2006 19:39

bump

OP posts:
ThePrisoner · 02/08/2006 20:14

I put my rates up every year. However, when I first registered, I didn't do this and suddenly realised one day that all the newbies were charging far more than me but offering far less.

I put my rates up substantially for all new business, but only put up my usual rate by an acceptable amount for existing customers. I increased this rate if/when children started nursery/school or whatever, and were using less hours.

I didn't like having two rates, but it worked perfectly well until I got everyone up to the same level!!

looneytune · 03/08/2006 11:11

Yep, newbies here now charging £4 an hour!! I've seen some longer running minders recently put their fees up from £3.50 - £3.80/£4 so I thought I'd increase by the lower amount.

TP, what do you think is a 'reasonable' amount for existing business? Problem I have is I'm full with under 5's and don't have over 5's and if they all stay with me, I will be stuck at a lower rate for some time. Does that make sense?

OP posts:
ThePrisoner · 03/08/2006 21:24

Will putting your rate up from £3.50 to £3.80 make a lot of difference to your families (ie. if they only do a couple of days a week, then it isn't a huge increase overall)?

To be honest, if other minders are asking for and getting £4.00, I would seriously consider making that your hourly rate too, but perhaps only for new business (even though you don't think you'll have spaces for it as yet). I would then charge all your existing families the new-but-less-than-newest-business-rate of £3.80. I didn't like having this temporary two-tier system at all, but mine only lasted about a year as many of my mindees started school at the same time (my old-mindee rate was £3.00, my new business rate was £3.50 and I think it was too big an increase to throw at parents in one go!)

You already do discounts for full-timers (yes, you are mad ), you include breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks - do the other local minders? If not, how much do they charge?

And I bet you do a discount for siblings!!!

I think that your families are already getting a good deal, and you are more experienced than all these newbies.

looneytune · 05/08/2006 15:28

TP - Sorry for delay, been mental week with 4 poorly kids and I've been busy each evening. The extra the parents would be paying is roughly £50 (for the family who get the £100 a month discount anyway), £40 (for the one that I work 6.45am - 6.30pm, nobody else does these hours around here) & £24 (for the family who think I'm god anyway and already think I way under charge - they insist on paying for as many holidays as I want so I don't think this will bother them!)

I think I will increase to this amount and increase to £4 an hour for new business - great idea of yours!!


You asked if other local minders charge for lunch, dinner etc etc. I found out yesterday that I'm probably the only one providing cooked evening meals and they think I'm mad doing the level of cooking I have been, especially for baby who I recently started cooking for myself. I must admit the spending an hour in the kitchen cooking is really bothering me and I feel I should be more with the children. I think I may go back to this parent and show her my original menu and say it's that or provide your own food. The £1.50 I charge certainly doesn't make it worthwhile for me and it just adds stress! I have no room in my freezer to bulk cook for them all and I find myself rushing home in a panic to be back by 4ish to start cooking a proper meal and I'm just too tired. I know a lot of minders do this on MN but for me it's a big drag after starting so early!

  • yes, I do charge less for siblings lol. Do you TP?

    In 2 weeks I'm finally going to be on my first holiday in 5 years (2nd holiday in 10 years), first proper break from childminding (had 1 day off but didn't exactly do much!) and when I get back, I have another week off at home with ds. I'm going to use some of this time to really think about what I want to do, change policies etc. I've decided I can't do everything anymore, it's taking the fun out of everything and I'm just worn out all the time. Now I know the local minders don't do half this stuff, I feel I can decide what I do and don't want to do! (things were very different when the new mindees started as dh was out of a job and we were DESPERATE to accept anything parents wanted)

    Further comments welcome! Sorry about the big post!
OP posts:
LoveMyGirls · 05/08/2006 15:38

i think thats a really good idea and i think ill have a look at sorting myself out when im on hols.

ThePrisoner · 06/08/2006 23:32

Looney - sorry for my delay too (been away for weekend having a life!)

And, no, of course I don't do a discount for siblings!! Many, many moons ago, I did a discount for two children who came full-time (one had been here for over a year, new baby arrived and was asked for discount). I ended up feeling rather resentful - I was still paying out for all our outings and groups, parents were having expensive foreign holidays, and my hourly rate at that time was less than other minders were charging anyway. I am, I hasten to add, still great friends with the family. The children come in the holidays, and they no longer get a discount!

As you said, if you are desperate for the income, I think you will probably offer lots of things to the parents that you later realise you probably don't have to (because they'd choose you anyway ... well, hopefully!!)

If you are finding that cooking meals is causing a problem, I think that you should start considering whether it is something you can still offer. Do you actually think parents would give you notice if they had to provide their own food? Do the children actually need to have dinner at your house?

There is no reason why we cannot change how we operate our childminding business, so long as it's being done for the right reasons.
Most of the time, I expect that many of us provide new things that will improve or enhance the service we offer from time to time, but we also need to be aware that other things may need to be "withdrawn" (not the right word there, but I can't think of a better way to word it!)

looneytune · 07/08/2006 08:15

Thanks TP. I'm really having a serious think about things now! Been seriously thinking about the whole food situation too as the evening mealtime is really starting to bother me. Going to do a new thread for this so watch out for it!

OP posts:
looneytune · 07/08/2006 08:15

p.s. nice weekend away?

OP posts:
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