View Full Version : Retainer or no Retainer???

CJ Thorn
04-11-2011, 09:38 AM
I was wondering if anyone else requests a retainer to hold a place that isn't immediately required but a parent wishes to secure?
I have just lost a potential parent (baby due early next year,so would take up my under a year old space for 3 days).
Parent came along and was very happy with myself and the setting etc,needed the place for Feb,i mentioned i would require a retainer to hold the place,ive always done this as in my early years of minding,i would hold spaces,turn other families away and then be let down by the family that had held the place.
Parent went away and spoke to one of her family members who runs an out of school club in another part of the country,and she advised parent that she had never heard of any childminder asking for a retainer and basically to stay clear of me...she has now booked baby into a nursery????
I just wanted some feedback as to whether there is a better system i can adopt.

Aghhhh..:panic: xx

04-11-2011, 09:59 AM
Well obviously her family member is the oracle about all things minding.

their loss not yours.

Yes LOTS of minders charge a retainer or take a deposit. What you are doing is NOT out of order or different so don't doubt yourself.

You are running your business as you see fit, and all business may or can charge to secure a space.

CJ Thorn
04-11-2011, 10:09 AM
Thanks Pip,
I never received any feedback after the first meeting,but knew parent was keen to have things in place before babys arrival,she also required Saturday care,which i was willing to provide due to the nature of her job(something i have never done).
At the meeting ..the family member had sent with a whole check list of things that i should conform to..,which luckily i did,parent was lovely,very pleasant and sweet,and we really connected.
But yes,their loss.xx:)

04-11-2011, 10:15 AM
I always take a reatiner fee if the start date is more than 4 weeks away, say you'd held the place till february and they changed there mind but you had turned away other potential parents who wanted the place thinking you'd filled it you would have turned away other work, so yes i always take a retainer and if they dont want to pay it and chance it that i will still have a space or go else where then so be it xxx

04-11-2011, 10:18 AM
Has the baby not been born yet? You can't take a retainer or deposit or do contracts until after they're born.

CJ Thorn
04-11-2011, 10:36 AM
No due very early into the New year,with place been required late Feb,i explained this to parent,and then explained about the retainer when contract filled in when baby arrives.
Parent was self employed and very keen to be back at work as soon as poss for financial reasons...but as we know,its not always as straight forward as having baby..back to work,i have had parents in the past who have changed days/hours or just generally decided to take another year off..or use Grandparents etc,and have turned other,sometimes bigger contracts away,in this climate at the moment...i appreciate all work greatly.,:) .xxx

04-11-2011, 10:54 AM
I wonder if in this case you could have considered a deposit to hold the space. Once the baby is born, sign the contracts and take a deposit for the baby to start at the end of Feb. If they didn't start by that date, a retainer would come into force until they did.

What a shame they have chosen a nursery for a baby though. Poor little thing. Is it toolate for you to get back in touch with them and ask if want o reconsider?

CJ Thorn
04-11-2011, 11:08 AM
I e mailed Mum last night as i hadn't heard anything,i think its the whole retainer thing,Mum is very daunted by the whole baby/childcare thing and so is obviously going on the advice of her family member as she is a qualified teacher and also runs an out of school club...she didnt want a nursery as it they wouldnt do the Saturday,so it would mean finding someone for the Sat,which she didn't really want to do as would unsettle baby.
but she informed last night baby is already booked into a Nursery as she wanted it all sorting?.
hey ho..we live and learn..xxx