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childminding costs

Discussion in 'Personal' started by asher6249, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. asher6249

    asher6249 New commenter

    Hi, i have an excellent childminder that i have used and am still using with all my children. The eldest is 20 and youngest is 6. Her rates have gradually grown( obviously) over the years and i am happy with that but recently i have had to pay double fees in the holidays. She knows that i am a teacher and always has done and used to charge half rates in the hols but this has grown to double fees as she says that even though i rarely use her in the hols, she could potentially have my son all day. I understand what she means but i am sick of being skint in the hols. Is this the norm?
  2. No it isn't! She has a point about being able to have your son all day in the school holidays (although she must've known this when you started with her) but surely just the normal price as a retainer would suffice? She's actually getting more than she would if you used her - sounds like she's diddling you, imo.
    My childminder charges 1/2 fee in the holidays but isn't actually available to look after the children even if I wanted her to - she doesn't *get* that taking a retainer means that she is <u>retaining</u> the place. Still, she's good so I stump up anyway.
    When I was a childminder, briefly about 20 years ago, we were told during the training sessions that 1/2 price retainer was the fee to charge in these cases.
  3. Then why is she charging you double? You haven't booked her for that period so all you should be paying is a retainer. I used to pay half in the holidays as a retainer to my childminder who I had for 7 years. I also signed a contract with her when I started out, if you did this it would be worth checking it.
  4. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    Whilst I know you'll want to spend time with your child, why not let her look after him when you go shopping/blitz the house/have a spa day etc? If you're paying, why not? I would definitely quibble the double fee, or look around. At 6 you still have a few years of this to go.
  5. We are incredibly lucky with our childminder as she likes to have days off during the hols so she doesn't charge us at all. However I pay her for every afternoon term time even though my son doesn't go anymore as a just in case. She also charges a flat fee for inset days. We are so lucky - I know other childminders that charge half price as a retainer, and work during the hols, but she prefers to have days off so doesn't charge. Have never heard of charging double though or a retainer and not working!
  6. asher6249

    asher6249 New commenter

    The thing is that she is really good and almost a friend of the family. I dont have any family at all nearby and my son calls herself and her husband gran and grandad. She has a large family herself and my other 2 children 20 and 18 have grown up with them, so i knd of feel obligated to send him there. I have spoken to my son about him going to school before and after club but he wants to stay where he is( he's been there since he was 4 mths old) i guess i understand her having to keep his place and wanting him to be happy but i just seem to spend all summer wanting to go back to school, which clearly is not how i want to feel lol. I suppose childs happiness comes at a price but bloodyhell what a price. Thanks for your info
    enjoy the rest of the hols
  7. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    If she's asking for double fees for the holidays, are you SURE she wants your custom?
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    If she is charging the price, send him there everyday, even if only for a few hours (or even a single hour!). Will give you chance to have some time to do non-child related things.
  9. Of course she wants her custom, she is being paid twice the daily rate for doing nothing!
    Sounds like a real rip off to me, she knows you need her to look after your son in the term time and is now taking the pi*s.
  10. Having just deregistered as a childminder to train in teaching I find it very strange. I looked after teachers children and had a term time only contract with them. This meant I was able to take on holiday time only children (which actually bought in more money). Worked for me, also meant happy parents so they used my childcare for longer and told others about me.
    I understood retainers (usually half fees) to mean that that space was avaliable for use if needed and that the childminders couldn't fill it with anyone else as that would mean she was going over her registered numbers of children.
    I would certainly question what she means by that. She may well be a 'friend' but I think you're being taken for an expensive ride!
  11. Find a new childminder.
    Know-one is that excellent. And make sure you have a proper contract next time.
    Now is a good time as some childminders have lost kids to full time education, before and after school clubs.
  12. Oh, I wish you could explain that to our childminder. She only takes on teacher's children so that she gets the school holidays free but insists on taking the retainer whilst being completely unavailable. I think she sees it as holiday pay from us. Given that she is up to her full quota of children and we're all paying her, she's onto a good thing!
    I'd question whether a 'friend' would rip off a family in the way the OP describes. I know I wouldn't extort money from any of my friends in that way.
  13. This is not about friendship.
    Childcare is a business transaction.
    As for your children being happy there, yes that's important but they will adapt and if this lady is really a friend they could still see her socially.
    If not, frankly it's her loss.
    Tell her you can't afford her.
    She is ripping you off.

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