View Full Version : 'Term-time only' vs 'all year'

14-04-2011, 06:34 PM

My childminding business is term-time only, which amongst other reasons, was due to the reaction my girls (6 and 3) had to sharing their mum with other children - I've only been registered since January.

There are lots of childminders in our area and all seem to have children hanging off them all the time. I'm struggling to drum up any business despite having plenty of childcare experience attending groups etc. I have one girl before and after school.

I've had names passed on to me but the fact that I'm term-time only is clearly an issue for many.

I'm fast getting to the point where I'm tempted to take on children all year but my instinct is saying 'hang on'. I was reassured when registering that there are many term-time only minders, who have parents from all walks of life, not just teachers!

Can anyone offer any feedback on experince of doing both please? Or what works for you?

I'm feeling really flat about it all at the mo :(

14-04-2011, 06:57 PM
I have 4 children that are term time only due to being teachers children and also collage students children,,, I then have two school children that at the moment are all year round but this holidays mum of one child is trying out the holiday clubs (mainly due to cost) to see if the child likes them so she may go term time only too,, then I also have a school holiday only child so there are alsorts out there.
with the school children could you suggest they come to you term time then to help keep the cost down for the parent they go to a local holiday club,, putting it as a good thing for the parents may help sway them,
as for the littlies 2 out of the 4 term time onlys are under 5's.
Of course you could start of with one child all year round and sort of break your children in to having others there with them,, see how it goes and if itworks well then add more children .

The Juggler
14-04-2011, 07:09 PM
i had to compromise when I wanted to go t-time only. I had a few completely t-time only and the others were part time so I worked 2 or 3 days in the hols.

I have managed to attract school staff/teachers by offering a retainer free holidays (where most local minders charge at least 50%). I'm not shy when I advertise I use BIG capital letters on my ads and posters on netmums or anywhere saying


Now only 2 of my children come in the holidays and only 2 days per week.:thumbsup:

14-04-2011, 07:47 PM
I don't work the 2 week Christmas Holiday, 2 week Easter holiday and 3 out of the 6 week summer hoiday. I only offer holiday care for my pre-school children as there are enough clubs around here to take the school children and I feel they are old enough to cope with that situation. It is hard but I would't be able to get out and about if I took school kids too and I feel my children need break from lots of children in the house. If I was you I would consider offering certain weeks or certain days within the holidays.

14-04-2011, 07:55 PM
I would only work for teachers/school staff when my own children were young. It worked well for me but probably took longer for the business to get off the ground than it would otherwise have done.

14-04-2011, 08:24 PM
It took me a couple of years to get properly going but now I get teachers recommending me to their colleagues from one year to the next. Send a leaflet to all schools within a 10 miles radius emphasizing your "no retainer during the holidays" policy, with any luck, some of your pamphlets might make their way to the staff room (unfortunately not all do). It only takes one set of parents to get the ball rolling.
If having the holidays off is important to your family life, stick to your gut feelings, you will only regret it later if you don't. (I absolutely love what I do, but I know there is no way I could do this job without having a break every 6 or 8 weeks... And my entire family-that's husband and 3 kids aged 7 to 14- couldn't do with the constant intrusion, no matter how much they enjoy "the babies")
Good luck. Laurence

14-04-2011, 11:26 PM
I'm starting term-term only childminding from June. I've been minding for over 9 years full-time and just feel now is the right time (a parent losing her job) and me just feeling that my own 3 are getting fed up.

This past week has been the confirmation that giving my parents notice has been worth it in the end (hopefully)!

My own are 18, 15 and 12 and I feel that I've not been able to do anything with them because I have 4 mindees over the week.

Granted the oldest is 18 but it's very hard having to stay on top of 18 and 15 year olds and all their friends, studying, expecting this and that and my 12 year old turning her nose up because she has to help me with the children at toddler group!

That's not including breakfasts, washing up, lunches, constant telling my own to be quiet when babes are sleeping.

I feel that hopefully I've made the right decision and have already signed up one teacher from my local school and hopefully will encourage more in September.

15-04-2011, 06:42 AM
All my regular children are term time only. I have 15 on my books and only two of them are teachers.

All the others either cover the holidays with family or use the holiday clubs. I can't compete with the "active" clubs for price or number of activities so it makes sense for them.

They all still pay me a retainer though :D

I also look after two older boys for one day a week in the holidays only.

15-04-2011, 07:03 AM
All the children on my books (8) are term-time. Aged 4-8. I love doing term-time only as it does give me time with my own children.

However, a change in my husbands work means that I'm now going to get rid of all but two of my before/after schoolers and have just a couple of full-timers i think...i hope.

Two of my term-timers/part-timers go to the local nursery so I drop off and collect -- are there any near you that you can contact? Perhaps find the nearest shop to your schools/nursery and put an advert in the window.

Good luckxx

15-04-2011, 10:14 PM
Thanks so much for your replies - I shall be sticking to my guns and I love the idea of emphasising the no retainer bit!

Feeling much better about it all now. Crikey it's been a wobbly few months!


16-04-2011, 07:40 AM
Like others have said I would really push the 'no retainer' thing. You may well find people come flocking after a while.

Don't forget a lot of children you get as a CM come from word of mouth so get yourself out there and sell yourself. When i started I had jackets made with 'Registered Childminder' embroidered on the back and made a point of walking past the local schools at kick out time, there's usually a puppy or little dog you can stop and pet and then start talking to the owners and the children and before you know it you're talking to their friends etc. You just drop into conversation that your a CM and away you go...