Retainer for the 15 hours funding?
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    Default Retainer for the 15 hours funding?

    hello,

    I have a child with me who gets the 15 hours funding ( 2 year old). The mu has a baby and would like to book a space with me for the baby as well when he is 2 ( when he can get the 15 hours free) in 1 year.
    Can I ask for a retainer for keeping a space for 1 year although it will be a 15 hours free place?
    Does that make sense?

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    Yes you make sense and
    To my understanding - No - you can't charge a retainer.

    Check on your local authority contract but I think you will almost certainly be breaking your terms and conditions in charging a retainer. I would also doubt that mum could afford a retainer if she qualifies for the 2yr funding.

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    No you can't she may not be eligible for the 2yr funding when the baby is of the age she can claim.

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    The recommendation is to not charge a retainer for a period of more than about 3 months anyway. I would be reluctant to take one for a year I must say. I would be afraid that in a years time if I couldn't offer the space I would have such a lot of money to pay back.

    I think I would take a none refundable registration fee to cover basic paperwork of about £30-50. I wouldn't want to take the usual Deposit because it is for a free place. I don't think I would be comfortable doing anything until a couple of months before the space will be needed.

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    ok, this is a pain though as the mum keep asking if the place is booked for in 1 year time and I can't say much about it ( I wouldn't keep it free for a year for free anyway).
    the mum is really demanding as well and ask for a lot with this funding :
    I have the child from 12-5pm 3 days a week and she wants the child fed 3 times during this time ( big lunch, snack , cooked dinner for free), she ask if I can take child to zoo, farm, swimming.... (for free) the list is never ending

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    You need to sit her down and explain exactly what you offer...I don't know much about the funding but I do know that it's not designed to come with a list of expensive demands for activities from the parent!. Also I could be wrong, but I don't think all LA's expect you to provide food as part of the funding so might be worth checking if you can charge extra for meals, if that's something you already do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by v 1461 View Post
    ok, this is a pain though as the mum keep asking if the place is booked for in 1 year time and I can't say much about it ( I wouldn't keep it free for a year for free anyway).
    the mum is really demanding as well and ask for a lot with this funding :
    I have the child from 12-5pm 3 days a week and she wants the child fed 3 times during this time ( big lunch, snack , cooked dinner for free), she ask if I can take child to zoo, farm, swimming.... (for free) the list is never ending
    In that case, you've got the perfect opportunity to stand up for yourself and say no. Who's to say the funding will even be available in a year? Who's to say the rules won't have changed and she won't qualify any more?
    You are in the perfect position to say no, you are not allowed to pre-book spaces for the 2 year old funding as you are only allowed to allocate a space when the parent has applied and been accepted for funding for a specific child. Tell her you will be more than happy to look at it again next year if the space is stil available.

    To be honest, it's no wonder mum is so desperate to bring the younger child to you (not that I'm saying you're not a fab childminder!) - she must love it that she can dictate so much to you & get it all for free

    Start standing up for yourself now and you'll feel so much better for it

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    Emra81,

    thanks for your advice.
    it seems that people with the funding always want more... I do not charge for any meals as I think I can't ask a "person with funding" for any money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by v 1461 View Post
    Emra81,

    thanks for your advice.
    it seems that people with the funding always want more... I do not charge for any meals as I think I can't ask a "person with funding" for any money.
    In our LA you can ask parents of funded 3 & 4 year olds to pay extra for meals, but you can't for the funded 2 year olds. It still doesn't mean you have to provide all the meals they ask for - you provide what you want to offer. For those hours I would do lunch and an afternoon snack. I'd expect the child to be fed when they went home.

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    Do you give the child a lunch snack and cooked tea within that time. What us your normal cooked tea time because if they are getting a lunch and then a snack surely they would not be ready for a cooked dinner too.... do you include food in your normal fee or charge for it...
    Tess1981

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    In our LA you can ask parents of funded 3 & 4 year olds to pay extra for meals, but you can't for the funded 2 year olds. It still doesn't mean you have to provide all the meals they ask for - you provide what you want to offer. For those hours I would do lunch and an afternoon snack. I'd expect the child to be fed when they went home.
    I have looked after a child for over a year, the mum applied for 2 year old funding now criteria has changed and has got it so I have now got my first funded child, I look after child for 14 hours a week all year round so she has about 11.75 hours of funding stretched over whole year - surely I can still charge for his lunch (£1.50 as I have always charged her) as she is still having to pay for 2 1/4 hours each week, it's not like he is just coming for funded hours? I think I read that our LA says you can charge for meals but you can't make parents pay for it and you have to offer that they can bring their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post
    I have looked after a child for over a year, the mum applied for 2 year old funding now criteria has changed and has got it so I have now got my first funded child, I look after child for 14 hours a week all year round so she has about 11.75 hours of funding stretched over whole year - surely I can still charge for his lunch (£1.50 as I have always charged her) as she is still having to pay for 2 1/4 hours each week, it's not like he is just coming for funded hours? I think I read that our LA says you can charge for meals but you can't make parents pay for it and you have to offer that they can bring their own.
    With our funded 2 year olds our contract with the LA states that we won't charge any extras, including for meals within the funded hours. If parents pay for additional hours and a meal time falls within those extra hours, then you could charge.

    For 3 & 4 year olds we are allowed to charge, or give parents the option of providing their own lunch.

    Each LA seems to do their own thing though, so yours could well be different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by v 1461 View Post
    ok, this is a pain though as the mum keep asking if the place is booked for in 1 year time and I can't say much about it ( I wouldn't keep it free for a year for free anyway).
    the mum is really demanding as well and ask for a lot with this funding :
    I have the child from 12-5pm 3 days a week and she wants the child fed 3 times during this time ( big lunch, snack , cooked dinner for free), she ask if I can take child to zoo, farm, swimming.... (for free) the list is never ending
    In a year's time when the parent wants the place for the other child you may be able to do a 'variation' for siblings...worth thinking about
    Tell the parent this is the only option you are ready to consider while unable to keep the space now for such a long time...so much can change in 12 months!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    With our funded 2 year olds our contract with the LA states that we won't charge any extras, including for meals within the funded hours. If parents pay for additional hours and a meal time falls within those extra hours, then you could charge.

    For 3 & 4 year olds we are allowed to charge, or give parents the option of providing their own lunch.

    Each LA seems to do their own thing though, so yours could well be different.
    Our LA (Nottinghamshire) same as you Mouse

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    With our funded 2 year olds our contract with the LA states that we won't charge any extras, including for meals within the funded hours. If parents pay for additional hours and a meal time falls within those extra hours, then you could charge.

    For 3 & 4 year olds we are allowed to charge, or give parents the option of providing their own lunch.

    Each LA seems to do their own thing though, so yours could well be different.
    I guess I justify it then as saying that the lunch time falls into the unfunded part that the parent pays for - the parent isn't arguing as she doesn't know any different, just wanted to make sure I had an answer if I was audited.

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  20. #16
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    The OP question was whether the CM should charge a retainer to a parent who has a child at her setting claiming funding as a 2 year old and wants to book a place for next year for the other one

    I hope I got this right?
    In my view 'booking' something in any business may entail paying?

    There are a few issues arising from this post...least of all what each LA does

    The LAs 'Local conditions of grant' prescribe conditions to providers only when we 'actually' offer a space not when a space is retained
    Can a space be retained?
    I have never seen anything written about it
    Those who claim funding are from 'disadvantaged' families...could they afford a retainer?
    why would they want to pay for a retainer for a year?
    why would they want to book now ...a year ahead when that child will probably be in school?

    What retainer would be charged....the CM own rate or the LA's funded rate?

    The conditions of grant are to do with our contract with our LAs and what they want to see from us via their audit

    It is the DfE who sets the rules about charges not the LAs and it has been so for years...we cannot charge anything during the 3 hours but yes we can charge for extra outside of the entitlement...some call it top-up
    We do not have to offer lunch but they can provide a lunchbox
    We do however have to pay to take the children to Stay and Play and other entertainment venues

    The LAs do get away with being prescriptive because we are not challenging them or...our representing associations are not bringing it to the attention of the DfE enough to be sorted

    I think if we were to check all 152 LAs conditions of grant we would find there is a common denominator but not a reference to this sort of example where a parent wants to book a funded place so much in advance...this parent may not be aware of the childcare reforms and once she knows her child can go to school she may want her retainer back?
    Worth thinking about it.


    As few have said so much can change in 12 months....even a new govt could be in place
    The only solution if this is still the case with the parent is to offer 'variation' for a sibling in 12 months time

    Would be great to hear how this issue develops...let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    The OP question was whether the CM should charge a retainer to a parent who has a child at her setting claiming funding as a 2 year old and wants to book a place for next year for the other one

    I hope I got this right?
    In my view 'booking' something in any business may entail paying?

    There are a few issues arising from this post...least of all what each LA does

    The LAs 'Local conditions of grant' prescribe conditions to providers only when we 'actually' offer a space not when a space is retained
    Can a space be retained?
    I have never seen anything written about it
    Those who claim funding are from 'disadvantaged' families...could they afford a retainer?
    why would they want to pay for a retainer for a year?
    why would they want to book now ...a year ahead when that child will probably be in school?

    What retainer would be charged....the CM own rate or the LA's funded rate?

    The conditions of grant are to do with our contract with our LAs and what they want to see from us via their audit

    It is the DfE who sets the rules about charges not the LAs and it has been so for years...we cannot charge anything during the 3 hours but yes we can charge for extra outside of the entitlement...some call it top-up
    We do not have to offer lunch but they can provide a lunchbox
    We do however have to pay to take the children to Stay and Play and other entertainment venues

    The LAs do get away with being prescriptive because we are not challenging them or...our representing associations are not bringing it to the attention of the DfE enough to be sorted

    I think if we were to check all 152 LAs conditions of grant we would find there is a common denominator but not a reference to this sort of example where a parent wants to book a funded place so much in advance...this parent may not be aware of the childcare reforms and once she knows her child can go to school she may want her retainer back?
    Worth thinking about it.


    As few have said so much can change in 12 months....even a new govt could be in place
    The only solution if this is still the case with the parent is to offer 'variation' for a sibling in 12 months time

    Would be great to hear how this issue develops...let us know.
    As I read it he child in question is only 1yr old now. Mum wants to book a place for when they are 2, on the assumption she will still qualify for a funded 2 year old place.

    I agree that if we take a child to a stay & play session during their funded hours we have to pay for that, but I don't think there's anything that says we HAVE to take them on trips out, at the parent's request (as the OP's parent is doing).

  22. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    As I read it he child in question is only 1yr old now. Mum wants to book a place for when they are 2, on the assumption she will still qualify for a funded 2 year old place.

    I agree that if we take a child to a stay & play session during their funded hours we have to pay for that, but I don't think there's anything that says we HAVE to take them on trips out, at the parent's request (as the OP's parent is doing).
    Yes I thought so ...the place in question is for the sibling who is now a baby and mum wants place when he is 2

    You are right that we do not have to take children to playgroups or anywhere ...this parent needs a sit down and clarification on many matters, there is a limit to where we can take children in 3 hours while trying to cater for the others as well by dropping off, picking up etc etc
    Maybe this parent could raise this matter with her LA since the funding hardly covers anything like early education which is the prime aim of the funding?

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    I would not take a retainer and I would not enter into any conversations regarding care of this one year old until at the longest a couple of months before the mother wants care.

    About the meals for the older one I don't do breakfast if they arrive after 8am and I don't do dinner if they go by 5pm. I would offer a sandwich/fruit lunch with a light am and pm snack maybe a crumpet or toast or some fruit.

    Those are my terms and they are non negotiable. If I had a funded child I would ask for a lunch box for lunch if I was having them for a couple of hours over the funded hours.

    I am also not dictated to by parents as to where I take the children. I might consider a reasonable request if it followed a child's interests and fitted with all the others.

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    thanks
    the mum wants to book a place for the baby who is one because she would like him to be with his sister and have just one childminder. I am sure she will be entitled to funding next year as she told me she doesn't want to work ( also she is single) and is now pregnant with number 3 ( no dad again).

 

 
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