View Full Version : term time mindees

Nadine Beazley
17-02-2010, 01:34 PM

I know this has been discussed before, but i would like other views on the subject!

Except for 2, all of my mindees come to me in term time only. Every new one I get is the same, no-one wants holiday places! This results in my money taking a big nosedive in the school holidays and with the two weeks coming up for Easter I'm starting to worry that I won't be able to pay all my bills in April!!!:eek:

I've broached the possibilty of retainer fees, but was met with blank faces and a distinct ' I don't think so' feeling.

I don't charge for my holiday time and do for parents holidays, but where they don't come in the holidays they take them then and it makes no difference to their fees!!!!

I've tried advertising holiday spaces but had no response.

If this carries on, then I will have to cease cm, which means that I won't be around for my own children, not a happy thought :(

Any ideas?

17-02-2010, 02:02 PM
It is a difficult one especially when you haven't charged a retainer from the beginning when they started with you. I charge 1/2 fee in the holidays with termtime only children and have done this from the beginning.

Also for all my mindees and this works well for the parents is i work out the amount for the whole year so each month i get the same amount in my bank the only time i do invoices now is if i do any extra days for them which are charged seperately.

Dont really know what to suggest apart from write a letter stating the terms of the contract is changing giving 4 weeks notice of the change.

17-02-2010, 02:49 PM
I'm the same as Solly - I charge a 1/2 fee retainer for the holidays and always have done. In September all my mindees will be term time only's - 1 is one I've had before and her new baby brother.

I haven't worked it out over the year because if they decide to leave it then means working out to see who owes what etc. I don't mind the dip in the summer holidays because I worked as a supply teacher for 5 years and didn't get paid in the holidays so even getting 1/2 fees is a bonus.

I think that maybe you need to do as Solly suggested and write a letter informing your parents that if they do not wish to use you during the holidays then they need to pay a retainer to keep their term time places open and that this will take effect from the next contract renewal otherwise you may not be able to guarantee them a space if someone comes along needing full time all round the year care.

You can always say that should you be able to fill them with holiday only children then you will not charge (this is what I tell mine). Also say that whilst they pay a 1/2 fee retainer it also ensures that should they need to use you during the holidays (are they teachers? - you could always say if they needed days to do prep and planning, etc) you will be available provided you have say 2 weeks notice. Try and make paying a 1/2 fee holiday retainer sound as positive as you can.

17-02-2010, 02:59 PM
Do you charge more per hour than childminders near you who do charge a retainer.
I don't work in the holidays by choice but I do charge an extra £1 per hour to other childminders near me as I find enough teachers who are grateful that they don't have to pay fees for childcare they don't need.
You need to sell it as a plus point that you offer term time only contracts for those that need them and holiday only contracts as well to fill the spaces.
Try updating your fees giving advance warning that after easter this is what you will offer.

Nadine Beazley
17-02-2010, 03:15 PM
thanks guys.

Most of the parents are not teachers and choose not to work the school holidays ( which they get holiday pay for!!!).

90% of the contracts are due for renewal in March, so I could give them notice about holiday retainers to keep their spaces and delay renewing contracts for a month?

17-02-2010, 03:19 PM
I also do the same as solly and have done since i started.

I hope you can come up with a solution as soon as possible.