View Full Version : Retainer / settling in period???

11-07-2012, 04:54 PM
Hi all,

I have a lady who has just had a baby who wants to retain a place with me for January :) she is happy to pay a retainer but how does the settling in period work in this case? I believe its usually at the start of an arrangement but is that the case here? or do we have it in January?

11-07-2012, 05:09 PM
Firstly do you have a vacancy for her now?

If you do you can take a retainer if you are happy to keep the place free that long?

NCMA recommend taking a retainer for no more than 12 weeks.

How will you feel in January if he circumstances change and she decides she doesn't want the place anymore?

I must say if they were that keen I would sign a Contract and take a 4 weeks fees Deposit which would be non returnable if they did not start the Contract in Jan but also gave me the opportunity to return it if I decided to take on a different family earlier than Jan.

Bear in mind that if you take a retainer that if for some reason you can't offer the place in Jan you have to repay all the retainer to the parents.

11-07-2012, 05:30 PM
Thanks rickysmiths.

Good points.

Yes I do have a space available and it does seem a long time. But I really want to work with this family so would be happy to come off the market so to speak for half the money until January and even if it went bottom up then (it could quite easily, first time Mum etc) then I would just start the marketing again and think well at least I had some retainer during that time.

I do like your 4 weeks deposit idea though but feel like I want to proceed as above but i am confused about settling

11-07-2012, 06:16 PM
You would have the settling in much nearer to the start date as it's so far off.
I've had families like this and if they are starting in January, I'd do settling in before Christmas. If you did settling in now, the child would have forgotten you by January!! :laughing:

11-07-2012, 08:04 PM
I see what you mean. I've had a few parents on long-retainer-periods and it does seem odd to say that after 6+ months you'll have a 2/4-week settling in period where you or they can end the contract with no notice. What I do, is still put a 2-week settling in period in, but say 'of course as you'll be paying a retainer for x months this would only be used in very extreme circumstances. I'm sure we won't need to worry about it.'

Having said that, I once had a little one who just did not seem to settle or be happy with me and I called NCMA legal helpline as I was considering cancelling the contract. They didn't seem to be very clear on what a retainer was, but when I explained they said they thought that the parent could take me to small claims court to be reimbursed for the retainer if I did invoke the settling in period. It was a bit of a shock, as it makes it seem that settling in period/retainers aren't compatible - which it doesn't say on the contracts.

12-07-2012, 08:30 AM
Thanks guys all very useful.

Can you get away without a settling in period in this instance? On the grounds that over the course of the retaining period, I will be providing trial days, childcare cover if needed and getting to know us sessions?

I know that this isn't normal as usualy retainer is retainer but based on it being a long period, I was thinking of offering them to use me should they need me up to the value of the retainer rather than charge full price. I dont' think they will as she's making the most of her maternity leave but thought it would be a nice gesture. Or is this just madness?

12-07-2012, 07:07 PM
all done and signed, retainer until January, with the option of using my services during that time at no cost (other than retainer) and I've invited Mum and baby to join us on a few things :thumbsup:

12-07-2012, 08:25 PM
I dont offer a settling in period, my contracts only need 2 weeks notice to end anyway and I have been messed around before with somone using me as holiday cover but not telling me this and just pulling out whilst in them mean time I have turned work away so now its straight in with the contracted hours.