View Full Version : Where do i stand on this?

Ava's Nana
21-05-2012, 03:07 PM
I've had a new parent start recently. when we first met we discussed the days and hours required, just after school until 6pm. she said she didn't need care in school holidays so, as i do with all my parents i told her that that's fine but i would still charge half fees to hold the place, she agreed. now yesterday she arrives to pick up little one and says, as shes paying can i still have little one in the holidays, same hours as after school 3pm-6pm :eek: now i don't mind doing this on the days that i have other children booked in but i don't really want to do this when i have no other mindee's as it will mean i wont be able to do much with my own family, as i will need to be home by 3pm for mindee, also mindee will be the only one here and his not an easy child to keep entertained on his own lol.
if i say no will i have no right to charge the half fee's? also if she'd have said she required care in holidays i would have charged full fees, whether she used me or not, again, as i do with my other parents.

any advice appriciated :laughing:

21-05-2012, 03:10 PM
I suppose this is what could happen if you charge a retainer. I do term time only and dont charge anything for the holidays. As she is paying for a place to be kept open, I suppose she is well within her right to use the place and top up the fees, perhaps someone else will come along saying different.

21-05-2012, 03:14 PM
I would say that as she is paying to hold that space then she has a right to use it, this is why my term time only conracts only pay term time but then they miss out on the right to using days in the school holidays and if I do have the space then i can pick and choose when i do have them,, I suppose you could always ask her if she woudl prefer to use those hours in the morning instead of the afternoon but then that defeats the object of her paying for those hours.

21-05-2012, 03:15 PM
hmm,, i don't know! sorry.

if she does use you, then, for those hours she needs to pay full fees.

but its a tricky one otherwise!

i would have thought it was a pain for her to have to bring mindee to you for those hours!

this is one reason why i don't charge 1/2fees for holidays ( actually i do, but parents don't realise! i work out hours fee at £4/hr X 39 weeks (termtime only) = £156. half fee, so £2/hr X 13 weeks = £26.00 total £182. divided by 39 weeks = £4.67 hr ( i round down to £4.60/hr ) and that is what i charge per hour for term time only children!

21-05-2012, 03:17 PM
Now NCMA would say that if you are charging a retainer fee then the space must be available to use.

What you perhaps should have done is factored in the holiday fee within normal fees.

If you had made it clear from the outset that you charge a retainer for holiday periods but the space is not available then I suppose it would have been ok.

21-05-2012, 03:57 PM
if you're charging her half price to hold the place, you have to make it available. Sorry.

21-05-2012, 04:04 PM

With my after schoolies I say they have to use the full day in the holidays or be charged for the full day regardless.
This is made fully clear when they sign the contracts.

If they want a term time only contract I will do this too but still charge the full after school rate.

I cannot be tied to being back from our outings by 3pm in the holidays.

I would suggest if she wants the place , she pays and sends for the full day or as you have already agreed half retainer say she is more than welcome to come and find you at 3pm wherever you may be !

21-05-2012, 04:08 PM
if you're charging her half price to hold the place, you have to make it available. Sorry.

thats not strictly accurate - as a S/E person we can charge as we like. It is NCMA (lawyers - and we all know what THEY are like:rolleyes:) who say this should happen.

A retainer fee is charge to 'retain the services' and it should be specified whether the service is to be available for that fee - or not.

A retainer fee acts as compensation for the reduction of earnings you will experience by not filling the vacancy immediatelyainers' all the time to reserve the

21-05-2012, 04:10 PM
Yes i agree with Twinkles she is welcome to use you but she must track you down to where you may happen to be.

Or you could say the deal is if she uses you on holidays its full days only or if she does not use you its half the after school rate. I think i would stick with this :D

21-05-2012, 04:14 PM
i appreciate that legally, I was talking morally, and what I as a CM and as a parent would think was fair.

nikki thomson
21-05-2012, 04:27 PM
I totally get where your coming from, what a pain 3-6, it's a real difficult one, maybe you could say why doesn't she send him one day a week using up the hours rather than just 3 hours a day.
If you don't ask you'll never know and she may prefere that. X

21-05-2012, 04:45 PM
Its your business and you make the rules. Holiday care full days or if place not used then its half the after school price.:(

21-05-2012, 04:55 PM
I had a parent who hated paying the half fee retainer in the school hols so would send their child anyway. It became easier to just to say I would only charge term-time only as the child was quite hard work and 'challenging'! Obviously if they wanted care in the holidays. then it was as and when I had space - which wasn't that often ;)

Ava's Nana
21-05-2012, 04:56 PM
Thanks everyone. i do only charge her half of the after school fees in the hols as she said she didn't want a school holiday place. she doesn't want to use the space in all the hols, just when she needs it, which seems to be 3-4 weeks during the summer hols and then pay half fees for the 2-3 weeks she doesn't come. dad starts work at 3.30 which is why she only wants those hours. if she'd have said she wanted to use the same hours in some of the school hols then i would have charged full after school fees when she not here instead of half..maybe ill just have to not charge her as i don't want it to interfere with my familys days out when i thought i wouldn't be working :(

21-05-2012, 05:13 PM
I now charge a higher hourly rate for term time only which includes the summer retainer but does not mean they can use the place in the holidays if you see what I mean.

If schoolies then want care in the holidays they have to book it four weeks before the start of the holidays and pay when they book. Then if they don't use a day they don't get a refund.

mrs robbie williams
21-05-2012, 06:18 PM
I either have a term time contract whereby I don't charge a retainer and dont expect to have the children in the school holidays (mindees parents are teachers who have these contracts) or a full time contract whereby I charge if the child attends or not. It makes it easier for me and for the parents x

21-05-2012, 06:41 PM
if she'd have said she wanted to use the same hours in some of the school hols then i would have charged full after school fees when she not here instead of half..maybe ill just have to not charge her as i don't want it to interfere with my familys days out when i thought i wouldn't be working :(

I think you need to explain this to her. If she still says she needs care and you decide not to charge her then I'd look at increasing your prices in September to make sure you are not out of pocket in the holidays.

Miffy xx

21-05-2012, 06:57 PM
I don't charge for school holidays for after schoolies as I like to have less children, they can book in if I have space or the inclination to have anyone extra. I would have thought that the half price in the holidays is to compensate for lost earnings but after school hours are not available in the holidays as there is no school so children would need to be booked in for a half day session minimum......

Chatterbox Childcare
21-05-2012, 07:02 PM
Sounds like mum thinks she is paying you so she will use you which is understandable. Does she realise that she will have to pay the other 50%? She may think that she can add the hours up and use them at once.

Have you thought about using the hours in days in the holidays as it will be better for you? If she has 3pm-6pm which is 15 hours offer her 2 days. I am sure this will be better for both parties

As a parent if I was paying a retainer and wanted to use the space and with plenty of notice I would expect to be able too.