View Full Version : Settling in - charge or not to charge how long?

08-03-2009, 12:45 PM

I have two siblings, mum is very keen to use me, I am keen to have children I know them already and they are leaving current childminder (also a good friend) as she is giving up.

Mum wants 2 x 4.5 hour session, yes its good that she wants to be happy with me and also I want to make sure I'm happy with them in my setting. I don't usually charge for settling but its also not usually a total of 9 hours 2 children. I thought about one 4.5 session free and the other paid for and if either of us is not happy for any reason we walk away does this sound reasonable?

Thoughts please

08-03-2009, 12:49 PM
I've been told by lots of childminders that i've met that the first hour should be free but after that CHARGE!. Why should you work for most of the morning/afternoon for nothing.
You might get a long line of people wanting to use you just for free babysitting! :mad:

08-03-2009, 01:32 PM
I offer 2 sessions of 2 hours free as settling in. Anything over that, parents pay.

My full timer did a settling in week that we built up. I did Monday 9-1 (so that was my 2 x 2 hrs free), then Mum paid me for Tues 8-1, Weds nothing as my son had hospital appt, Thurs 8-3 and Friday 8-5 which is what our hours are.

I think your offer of one free, one paid is fair. Mum should see that. And if not, then yes, she is after a bit of free babysitting !!

08-03-2009, 01:48 PM
4.5 hours is a long time for the 1st settling in day. I do one 2 hour session (free, at a time that suits me as well as the parent) then a half day session (which I charge for) I think one free and one charged is very generous.

08-03-2009, 01:56 PM
I have always charged for settling in. I got fed up giving away free childcare and then them not using me. A while ago we got a few people worked their way around the childminders getting a good amount of free childcare!!!!!

If they think they want to use me we sign all the contracts etc and there is usually a two week built in settling in period during which time the contract can be ended by either of us.

If a parent wants more settling in thats fine but the contract and paperwork is completed with a longer settling in. I am paid for every hour though.

Chimps Childminding
08-03-2009, 02:58 PM
I also usually do a couple of sessions os 2 hours free, any more than that I charge for! 2 x 4.5 hours is quite a long time for a settling in session I would have thought one free and one paid for would be more than fair!!

08-03-2009, 03:21 PM
I too do 1 x 2 hour settling in session free, but at a time I choose, ie when not too busy with other kids etc.

If a parent was specific about times & dates required I'd charge for these sessions as if they were normal childcare times, and try and arrange a 2 hour settling in session before those dates if that makes sense!

I also stipulate a month settling in period in the contract so that if either myself or the parent isn't happy during this time, we can walk away from the contract without having to give notice.

Hope this helps x

08-03-2009, 04:15 PM
I have just had a mum spend two hours here checking me out, followed by two hours again the following week supposedly doing the contracts but actually covering a lot of the same ground again, so after all that, i'm definitely charging for every hour of the settling in period!

08-03-2009, 04:50 PM
I charge from day one and dont use the contracts settling in period any more, i had one child come to me and the parent asked for the settling in period so we agreed two weeks, she came full days from the start but half way through the 2nd week mum said she would no longer need me as she was not going to work anymore and as we were on the settling in period there was nothing i could do, personaly i think i was used for holiday cover, the annoying thing was i turned 3 people away in that time then after she went got no calls for about 3months so now its straight in to the full contract,if parents want to build up hours thats fine but if they change their minds then they still pay the ending contract period fee.

09-03-2009, 09:39 AM
I am glad this thread has come up as I think I will review my settling in situation.

I have only got two children at the mo and I know their mums so I have not charged for settling in sessions and besides its only for a few hours.

However I think I will review it now and stipulate a settling in period/time etc.

Currently I say two sessions for a few hours with/without mum depending on how the mum feels or if the little one is shy or nervous or upset! I dont charge either!

09-03-2009, 09:48 AM
At the start I didnt charge for settling in... and parents took the proverbial!! Like the one child whose parents fetched her 3.5 hours later... they were having coffee and time got away with them... :eek: They got lots of free care from me :(

But you live and learn hey?

Now, parents pay for every hour their child is in my care when they are not there... the first couple of settling in sessions are with mum... 1 hour and then 2 hours... we guage it... and then the next couple are 1 hour on their own sans mum, then 2 hours sans mum... then half a day sans mum... we work until a full day.

Obviously it differs for each child, as each child settles at their own pace... and it depends how soon they need the contracted care to start.

But always charge. It's your time.

09-03-2009, 09:52 AM
i Charge and i also charge my part time fee too which is at a higher rate as its not in my normal routine and can be distruptive to other children, as soon as the contract starts then i go down to my full time fee which is the lower rate. Thats as long as they are full time otherwise the rate would stay the same for part timers.