View Full Version : Existing Childminders please can you help?

23-08-2012, 01:53 PM
Hi there,
Me and my husband are soon to be registered...just awaiting inspection:panic: and already people in my area are becoming aware that we are close to registering which is great!!
Im just wondering in regards to if you have a parent who works different hours each week and different days each week with no set pattern how would that work? She really wants me to childmind her son whos 6 years (so possibly school runs breakfast/tea) iv said its fine but can i know at least a fortnight ahead on the hours required but she has got back to me and said that she only gets told her hours/days weekly!!! i think she works part time. Im just unsure what to say in responce do i say thats ok and we can work round you ? but on the other hand if i after turn down children to accomadate her child?? i guess it depends on the ratio too but im just very unsure how to respond in this situation as i really want to help her and i think i am going to get a lot of clients like this as im sure many will work shifts etc So how do you existing childminders work round this ??
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this i hope your able to help im really confused on this
Regards Melissa xx

23-08-2012, 02:20 PM
Hi Melissa,
It really is up to you, there is no hard and fast rule to who you take on it is just a compromise on both parties i guess. I know some childminders who will charge a set fee for whatever days the child does, I tended to charge by the hour in advance through invoice weekly for a parent who worked on a rota, this suited me as i wasn't full at the time however if you do fill up possibly explain that the only way to guarentee the space once full is for her to pay for the space every day, see what mum says?
Hope it helps a little, it is always a learning curve for your first few mindee's, only advice i can offer is get payment upfront whatever you decide to do and remember your notice period is always there for when you need it :thumbsup: it is nice to start off not working every day though so sounds like a good part time child to begin with.


The Juggler
23-08-2012, 02:27 PM
i would go with a minimum number of hours/day per week hon. :thumbsup:

blue bear
23-08-2012, 02:47 PM
I have done where several ad hic children have just fitted in around each other, it just seems to work out (not had shifts as such)
Also had parent who wanted three after schools but days varied so we worked out a mutually agreeable figure for me keeping all five days open.

23-08-2012, 03:15 PM
Hi :),
I think you need more info: will she have weeks where she doesn't need any childcare? will she need late finishes or early starts? What is the least or most amount of hours needed over a week etc

I would work out the potential amount you would earn from a before and after school place/ school holiday place and carefully consider the least you would be prepared to earn from it before you let the parent know what you will charge.

I have a family who need me on a 3 week shift pattern basis but it is always 5 days a week. I charge a minimum amount for before and after school sessions and top up when used to the full amount. One of the children is under 5 and for 1 in 3 weeks I have him for only 10 of the the potential 47 1/2 hours so charge full for those 10 hours and 50% for the rest as a retainer. This may seem harsh, but I wont be able to fill those hours with another child and would be within my rights to charge full for the space, used or not. So rather than think of it as charging 50% for unwanted hours, I think of it as giving a 50% discount for them.

I also have an ad hoc/ enhanced rate which I charge when a parent needs fewer than the minimum no of days/hours (£5.00 as opposed to £3.75). BUT I only offer the place if I can afford to take less than the full amount; or if business were very slow and I was unlikely to fill the space anyway - something's better than nothing!

I also always take a deposit of 4 weeks fees to secure the place and am clear from the beginning that I must be paid in advance. No fees = no care.

Its alot to think about, but the more info you can get from Mum the better able you will be to deal with it. Good luck :thumbsup:

23-08-2012, 05:03 PM
Thank you all for taking the time to read and reply to my post,

I have now agreed to be flexible with her however she now knows that once my ratio pick up then i shall after come to arrangment regarding certain days or if she requires cover within any of the 5 days i work then i will want a 50% retainer (Thank you for meantioning that, i think that it is a great idea as it seems fair as i need to ensure income is met and not loss of profit due to having an open door each day for her when i may only be needed one or two of the days).
I hate dealing with the money side of this i want to do this because i love children and to work with them is an absolute pleasure !! but as my husband keeps reminding me this is not a hobby but an income (our jobs) Im just finding it incrediably hard as i have friends/family enquiring and have had a major disagreement with one person who thought i would be having a seporate rate for her as the child is my nefue!! Whom i have been looking after for a few months free since she started working but will now after be added to my ratio following inspection. She disputes payin the fees stated just for me to babysit !!! she sadly doesnt see childminding as a profession :huh: I now understand what the staff who taught the childminding course i attended meant by avoiding business with family/friends lol:)
Thank you all again
Melissa x