View Full Version : Considering working term time only because there are not enough hours in the day!

15-03-2009, 08:32 AM

At present I look after school age children only, from Reception through to Year 6. All of the ones who come term time pay full fee during term time, even if absent, and then can 'book' odd days or full wekks in scholl holidays if need be, and just pay on the day. I don't charge a retainer fee for holidays.

In the holidays I have 1 full time child, and 2 part time, that do not come at all in term time.

For the last year, none of my term time ones have come in the holidays, and I am now thinking of giving notice to my holiday only ones for a number of reasons.

Firstly, at the moment I haven't got time to take my own 4 kids anywhere, or have friends over etc as I am always working.

Secondly, I don't have enough hours in the day to complete all the new paperwork, complete on line courses, and generally do other jobs such as decluttering house etc.

When the term time only children children came for odd days in holidays it helped bump up the money to make it worth while, but at the moment I earn £220 a week in hols for a 50 hour week, supplying about 5 meals a day!!and paying out for trips etc.

There are 13 weeks of school holidays but I don't charge for bank holidays so 5 days of that 13 weeks are unpaid anyway. I then take 2 weeks in summer and a week at Xmas as unpaid holiday, which brings it down to 9 weeks a year, or £1900 a year minus expenses.

Just thinking if I could earn an extra £40 a week during term time, I could stop working holidays. What do you think, or can anyone forsee problems.

I would give the holiday only children plenty of notice, as I would work the coming Easter hols, and advise the term time only ones that as from May Whitsun hols there will be no holiday childcare available.

Looking back I have been far too flexible with the term time only contracts, should have charged a retainer fee, but can't change it now.

Thanks x

15-03-2009, 08:37 AM
If you are going to work term-time only you might have problems in the future getting mindees but you will know how much that is likely to affect your business better than me.

Good luck whatever you decide

Miffy xx

15-03-2009, 08:43 AM
I thought about this too but have flexi parents using holdiay time so sticking to what I do right now only I'm not working on weds as from sept 2009 this allows me to have weds during school hols for just my family too and still earning the other 4 days a wk.

I take 2 wks unpaid in the summer which normally stretches to the bank holiday wk where parents book off to works out 3 wks unpaid as they give plenty of notice and only 3 wks of working.

I seem to get october off as parents grab late flights

xmas i work until the last day of school then I have the full xmas break off unpaid.

Feb and easter I tend to work

what you need to consider is even though you want to drop the school hols can you then afford to take your children out? I carry on working to ensure i have cash to treat my kiddies to a day out without having to limit to cheaper trips.

maybe you could work it so you work half of the summer and take the rest off, or alternate wks but whatever you do make sure it is cost effective as well as devoting time to your own kiddies.

15-03-2009, 09:33 AM
You don't have to stick to your current terms for new mindees. Why not test the water by asking for a holiday retainer for your next term time only enquiry?

15-03-2009, 11:05 AM
If you can get ht extra work in term time it sounds like it will work. I know other minders do it but its completely up to you. Thats the beauty of being self employed.

15-03-2009, 12:48 PM
Mine are all term time only. Teachers children mainly. Retainer paid for hols( except for 1 long standing child who I had before deciding to charge - he will be at school in Sept :( )

In hols I have old school age mindees back for 2 days a week if I want it. Mum can be flexible and no retainer so I pick and choose when from dates she gives. Ask my 2 kids first. It helps having a bit of extra for days out on our own. I can earn £140 for the 2 days with 2 mindees so worth it. They are over 8 so if my younger ones need their retained days ( only ever been an odd day) my numbers are fine.

Am quite busy term time but I like the breaks. :)

Works for me for now.

15-03-2009, 01:17 PM
It sounds as if you need to revise your method of charging. Even bearing in mind that different areas command different levels of fees with a full timer for fifty hours you I would have thought been charging at least £150-£175 per week plus the part time fees you should be earning more than £220 I would have thought. Anyhow this is what I do.

Term time only before and after schoolies:

Full fee during the term only don't pay if I'm off sick.
They pay full fee for ALL Bank Holidays if they fall on a contracted day including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and NewYears Day.
If they don't come in the holidays they pay Half Fee retainer and top up to full fee if they use me.

They have to tell the week before any holidays if they want to come and when so I can plan. I include most trips in the fees but for example as its the hols I might take them to Lego Land in which case I would ask the parents for the entrance fees and to provide a packed lunch for that day and any pocket money they may allow.

Now the contraversial one! I have 25 days paid holiday a year so a term time only child that does not come to me in any of the holidays has 8 weeks a year at half fee the rest - 44 weeks I am paid full fee.

15-03-2009, 01:17 PM
It also works for me having only 2 mindees (6&9) in the holidays and the others(2,2,6,10) term time only. I do not charge for any of the sch holidays if they are term time only. I would rather have a lighter workload which is almost a rest.:thumbsup:

15-03-2009, 01:34 PM
I'm working term time only now as two of my mindees are term time only contracts so I have decided that is the way I am going. Ideally I would have liked to work 3 days a week all the time as I do tend to do more with my children when I have mindees and it does mean that term time is difficult due to after school clubs and having friends over but as its worked out the mindees are term time so that is how I'm going to get time off. In the future if my term time mindees leave I might try and do the 3 days but its literally who comes that dictates it.

15-03-2009, 01:34 PM
I like the idea of being term-time only too :thumbsup:

15-03-2009, 03:18 PM
i started off with children all year round then ended up with term time only which only lasted one holiday as i then took on another little one who was hols aswell, now the term time onlys want me in the hols too! it works out that , as long as mum don't get over time in the hols, i should work mon,tue.wed, then have the rest off with my two which will be nice. the only thing is that when i have all the children there will be 7 of us and i only have an estate car!:eek: they are all used to walking though accept one and i am slowly building him up:D so shouldnt be to bad. just hope it don't rain too much

15-03-2009, 04:33 PM
I have one full time mindee who is almost 3. I have his 8 yr old brother in holidays only.

It does mean that I dont get a break and my own two children (8 and 11) dont get much rest which I feel guilty for. But we did plenty in the half term to keep everyone amused. I had the little one looked after by my back up childminder so the older ones got a trip to the cinema.

I was also due to have 2 other girls holidays only but that fell through. They would have given me earnings of £764 a week with the 2 boys as well. So I literally couldnt afford not to work holidays.

In an ideal world, I would prefer to do term time only or to do less than th e5 days a week all year so at least I could take my children out with no mindees as well.

I am going to take 2 weeks in the middle of the summer holidays off to break it up for them and me!!!

15-03-2009, 05:48 PM
Hi again, thanks for all your replies!

Am very confused now, so have just rung a CM friend to ask her advice, she basically just backed up what you all said that I should do what is right for me and my family but basically spelt out a few options.

She suggested I put up the fees of my 3 holiday mindees by 50p per child per hour, which will either increase my holiday earnings so I don't feel it as worthless, or they won't like it and will leave, which would make my decision for me IFSWIM!!

She said that if they accept the increase and stay I should then write to all existing mindees and ask them to confirm whether they will ever need me in hols.

If not, advertise and try and fill my other 2 holiday places. If yes, explain that from now on they will need to pay a 50% retainer fee for holidays, if they don't attend.

If they don't accept the increase, and leave then I should concentrate on my term time business and maybe set up a minimum hours policy of 2 hours in morning and 2 hours after school as she thinks I am far too 'nice' to parents when working out fees.

Now next question!! when it comes to advising the holiday parents of the price increase, I know that I need to give 4 weeks notice so am too late for Easter hols. But how should I tell them? I normally correspond by email as I don't see them from holiday to holiday so would it be considered ok to email a letter, or should I wait til easter hols and actually give them a letter?

Thanks so much for all your help x

15-03-2009, 07:13 PM
I have 5 children (before and after schoolers) who are term time only. I am available during school holidays if needed.
I charge 50% retainer fee but when I have my own 5 weeks holiday, charge nothing.
I have just given notice to one mindee though who needed care during holidays. Basically, I didn't think it fair to leave him with just me for company and not have any other children to play with - a long story but for the time being, term time certainly works for me.
Good luck.

18-03-2009, 07:20 PM
Hi again!
Right, I've had a lovely long lunch with an friend today, who has helped me make a decision. I'm definitely going to work term time only. Have mentioned it to all my term time only ones on picking up tonight, just to say that I would no longer be available in the hols IF they needed me, and they were all fine. Now got to tell the parents of my 3 holiday only mindees. Should I email, or write, as I want to give them as much notice as poss, not leave it until the Easter hols when I next see them ( that will be the last school holiday that I work) ?
Thanks x