View Full Version : Another enquiry I dont know how to deal with!

11-01-2008, 07:35 PM
Hi all,

Sorry for asking for advice yet again!

I have been emailed by a Mum who got my details from Netmums.

Her childminder is going on maternity leave in June so she requires a cover minder for 12 weeks, maybe permanent if the other minder doesnt return. The hours are 4 full days, just what I am after. M who I mind 2 days a week is due to move to America in July so with a bit of tweeking here and there it could tie in nicely.

But in the meantime I cant afford to hold the other 2 days for her really, June is a long way off yet!

She is waiting for me to email her back, I have explained about M moving etc and she wants to come and meet me. What should I say to her? I am more than happy for her to come and meet us, if nothing else it is good practice for me and even if she doesnt end up using me, she might know someone who will! But I dont want her to come expecting to sign contracts etc when I cant really commit properly until nearer the time.

Any advice? What would everyone else do?




11-01-2008, 07:52 PM
if it were me i'd charge a retainer fee of half price or whatever you feel happy with.

you might not be able to fill the place before this and it would be a shame to miss out.

explain all this to the mum when you see her, she should understand!

any other childminder will probably say the same to her, she will struggle to find anyone willing to hold the place for nothing for that length of time...

hope you can sort this out

11-01-2008, 08:31 PM
I agree with Cathy. I would be prepared to hold a place for her providing she paid a retainer fee. As you said June is a long way off!

Emler x

11-01-2008, 08:35 PM
i agree in theory but she may argue that she is already paying a childminder full fee.
i wouldn't hold the place without a retainer but it's up to you and it could be nice over the summer to have the money

jo f
11-01-2008, 08:36 PM
As I understand it a retainer fee is a weekly/monthly fee which is charged to keep the place open- but you have to have the place available to do this.

You need a deposit to secure the place when it comes up. If they don't take the place up then you get to keep it.

Hope it all goes well for you!

11-01-2008, 08:39 PM
Personally i would imagine that as she is alreay paying a childminder, she would be reluctant to pay another.

You could try for a retainer, but if she is not willing, then just suggest she rings you again nearer the time.x

11-01-2008, 08:40 PM
Sorry posted at the same time as Jo, she is right, if the lady pays a retainer fee, then that place has to be available.

You have to weigh up how much you want this, and if you really do then just ask for a deposit to secure the place x

11-01-2008, 08:42 PM
Hi Debbie

Just catching up whatever you decide good luck

Angel xx

11-01-2008, 08:50 PM
Oh I dont know what to do!

Why do I always get the difficult ones?!!

The hours are perfect but I might pass up a permanent full timer for the sake of a 12 week contract.




11-01-2008, 08:52 PM
It is difficut I agree - but say if you say no to her and you get no calls ?

Not sure what I would do either I will have a think

Angel xx

11-01-2008, 09:14 PM
What i have done in the past is said if they don't want to pay a retainer than contact me about 6 weeks before then if i have spaces i would then hold a place with a deposit (which is taken of first weeks money)

June is a long time off and it might only be 12 weeks work

Let us know what you decide


11-01-2008, 09:16 PM
Yeah I do that also sometimes Angela it is a good idea

At least then you know where you stand with other children

Angel xx

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
11-01-2008, 09:17 PM
This is a hard one as I am going on mat leave in June and I am trying to find someone for one of my parents one childminder said she can do it but will not hold the space but would let me know nearer the time just incase she doesn't get anything else.

Saying that I would not hold the space open as it is a long way off just explain to her and say you could let her know nearer the time and see what she says.

Good luck

Lorraine xx

11-01-2008, 09:29 PM
I can understand why she wouldnt want to pay a retainer as she will still be paying out for her regular childminder.

I think I will take Angela advice and ask her to get in touch again nearer the time but should I meet with her now still do you think? I guess I dont have anything to loose! Should I tell her now in email about how I want to proceed or wait till she comes round? I dont want to put her off but dont want to mislead her either!



11-01-2008, 09:34 PM
I would meet her now and explain your situation.

If she is using a minder already, she should understand ratios etc.

If yo get along and you boht want to go ahead then suggest either she contacts you, or you will ring her 6 weeks before and confirm arrngments and complete paperwork then.

If in the meantime you find someone more permanant, give her a ring out of courtesy and then she can find someone else.

Good luck and keep us posted x

11-01-2008, 09:35 PM
Sorry about my bad spelling/typing x

11-01-2008, 09:38 PM
Debbie, how many spaces available do you have?

11-01-2008, 09:40 PM
i agree with lou

11-01-2008, 09:42 PM
Thank you Lou, that is great advice. I hope we do hit it off, she seems very nice going by her emails! And from some stuff she has said she understands how it all works.

I have DD who is 16 months so taking up one space.

I have M on Tues and Thurs but she is only with me until July.

I have J on a Thursday.

So I currently have 2 mon, 1 tues, 2 weds, 0 thurs and 2 fri.

The Mum wants mon, weds, thur and fri.

I know I am full on Thurs but J could swap to a Tues for a few weeks till M leaves.

Im confused! Now I have typed that out I have realised she wouldnt actually be that much of a problem providing M does acually leave!

Does that change anyones view?



11-01-2008, 09:44 PM
Im a bit tired and not with it, but looking at that, looks like you could do it and still have vacancies???

Why dont you meet her and see how you get along etc...........

It might be worth doing it if you still have space for another?

11-01-2008, 09:55 PM
It does look better now I have written it down. Should have done that to start with instead of bothering you all!

I can only do the Thurs on the basis M actually does leave, which I think she will.

Thanks for all your help, will let you know if I hear back. I bet she wont reply now after all this haha



11-01-2008, 10:02 PM
it's not a bother to anyone, we are all here to help each other!

i have to write things down i can't visualise anything unless i do
all the best whatever happens

11-01-2008, 10:04 PM
it's not a bother to anyone, we are all here to help each other!

i have to write things down i can't visualise anything unless i do
all the best whatever happens

Well said xx

12-01-2008, 04:59 PM
Only just catching up with this one....but by the looks of it you already had loads of good advice from everyone.

Let us know if she gets back to you and what the plan is.

16-01-2008, 03:20 PM
Ohhh how exciting!

Mum is coming to see me next Wednesday!

I know its not until June but I am excited none the less.

Just trying to work out if / how to hold the place open for her.



16-01-2008, 03:57 PM
That is good news

It is a pain when the start date is such a long way

I usually take a weeks full pay if it is about £100 or more - or the monthly fee in advance as the deposit
It is none refundable and comes off their first week / month childminding

Seems fair I always think and they are less likely to want to mess you about once they have paid it with it being none refundable

I know others do it different though so see what everyone says to give you ideas

Good luck

Angel xx