Fees for Siblings
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  1. #1
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    Please help

    I've got a 2yr old starting a placement with me one 10hr day and one 6hr day, I charge £4ph. During school hols she wants her other two children to attend too they are 4 and 6, during these weeks she wants all 3 to attend for 2 x 10hr sessions and one 6hr session. This would total £312pw which is astronomical for one parent to pay. I want to give her a discount but haven't a clue what's reasonable. I don't want to sell myself short though as to be quite honest they are a real handful. My friend suggested £4ph hour for first two kids and £1ph for 3rd child which would be £9ph instaed of £12 What does everyone else do? Any help would be greatly appreciated

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    I would work out a daily fee for all 3 that would be acceptable to you. If you don't charge them your normal fee could you be missing out on other children filling the space paying the full fee? Personally I do offer sibling discount through the holidays as the business really meets my needs, but only you will know what is an acceptable discount for you and your business.

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    I don't do sibling discounts as can't afford to, as main wage earner my spaces have to pay. I'd think very seriously about only charging a £1 for child 3 what would happen if child 1or2 was off for sickness/friend play? Also parents do talk to each other would you want others knowing you only charge £1 for a child. I know it's sounds a lot of money but one your service is worth it so are you, two you have to look at the cost over the whole year, that parent of works, not just 13/15 weeks of school hols. If you want to do a discount why not do a percentage on one hols child when all 3 attend. X don't devalue yourself and the special service you provide x

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    I don't offer sibling discounts either. I don't offer reduced care to child 3 so don't charge less for child 3 !! I mind for twins and to me their monthly bill seems 'astronomical' too. But the parents have to bear the financial burden of having more than 1 child.....not me!!

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    When I paid for childcare for my children I didn't ever expect a discount. It was my decision to have lots of children, to work and to pay childcare, so it was my responsibility to pay for them. I wouldn't have expected my nursery or childminder to lose money because I'd decided to have a big family! Has your mum asked for a discount, or are you just considering it because the total bill seems a lot to you?

    If you are considering a discount, take a minute to sit & work out how much you will be losing. If you only charge £1 an hour for the third child you'll be losing nearly £80 a week. Are you happy with that? I have occasionally offered a sibling discount at 5% of the total bill if all 2 or 3 children attended (depending how many siblings there are). You're proposing a 25% discount on the total bill, or a 75% reduction on the third child's fee. That's an awful lot & I'm sure no parent would expect that.

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    I agree with the others. I don't offer any sibling discount. I'm sure mum has worked out how much she will be paying when all 3 attend so I wouldn't worry.
    When I was a parent using childminders I was never offered a discount and would never have dreamed of asking for one.

    xx

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    I don't offer discounts either!

    Also bear in mind that if the other two children are attending only in school holidays they are both under 8 and will need a place saving so you may have to turn down other before/after school work just to accommodate them in the holidays. If you also offer a discount you could find yourself well out of pocket!

    Miffy xx
    Keep smiling!

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    No sibling discounts, ever, at all from me.
    Can lead to all kinds of problems. I can't provide 'less care' or a 'lower cost' service so why should they not pay for what they get?

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    I offer 50p/hr discount for oldest child ( regardless of number of siblings ) if ALL children attend for 25hrs a week all year round! So I wouldn't be offering discount for holiday only siblings.

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    I only gave sibling discount once. It was one of those things I agreed to, even though I knew it was a dumb thing for me to do, and I regretted it. It merely added grist to the mill of the mum's attitude of undervaluing my entire service.

    If asked now, I tend to turn the question on its head.

    Prospective client: "Do you give a sibling discount?"

    Bunyip: "No. But I don't charge extra for the additional risk involved either."

    If they come back to me with: "Oh, but so-and-so down the road gives a discount" I'd respond with "well I'm sure you'll enjoy paying for all her holidays too. Do your children like a daily serving of Value spaghetti hoops that much at an additional £2.50 per 'home-cooked meal' ? "

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    I don't usually offer a discount but did for one parent never again, they cut my hours and I ended up working for next to nothing due to days they wanted and not being able to fill days they didn't need.

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    I don't do discounts. I did when I first started and gave 50p an hour discount. The siblings were the biggest pain in the @rse I should have charged double for the time!!!

    Do you intend on offering less care? Will you not be as vigilant with the 3rd child? You will find siblings will be more at ease in your home as they have their family there. I had 3 siblings from one family and felt like my home was being taken over! They argued, fell out amongst themselves, was more awkward at meal times and mum used to laugh and say "Oh, they're always like that!" It was ok for them to beat the cr@p out of one another but then she'd question why they had a bruise or mark on them. One child liked to do the opposite of the eldest sibling so it was a complete nightmare. There was always someone moaning!

    My advice would be to charge your full rate and don't feel guilty. Holidays are the times when childminders can make good money. Trust me, you'll be shattered at the end of the day but will keep going knowing how much you're earning. I certainly would not be charging £1. Mum will be getting her tax credits more than likely and she will have estimated child care costs for the holidays so don't do yourself out of pocket!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlot View Post
    I don't do discounts. I did when I first started and gave 50p an hour discount. The siblings were the biggest pain in the @rse I should have charged double for the time!!!

    Do you intend on offering less care? Will you not be as vigilant with the 3rd child? You will find siblings will be more at ease in your home as they have their family there. I had 3 siblings from one family and felt like my home was being taken over! They argued, fell out amongst themselves, was more awkward at meal times and mum used to laugh and say "Oh, they're always like that!" It was ok for them to beat the cr@p out of one another but then she'd question why they had a bruise or mark on them. One child liked to do the opposite of the eldest sibling so it was a complete nightmare. There was always someone moaning!

    My advice would be to charge your full rate and don't feel guilty. Holidays are the times when childminders can make good money. Trust me, you'll be shattered at the end of the day but will keep going knowing how much you're earning. I certainly would not be charging £1. Mum will be getting her tax credits more than likely and she will have estimated child care costs for the holidays so don't do yourself out of pocket!
    Are you me in disguise? Been there, done that, wiped the blood off the T-shirt.....

    I make no apology if this sounds harsh, Diwan, but £1ph is selling yourself short. When mum starts gobbing off about this little victory - and she will - you can expect every other client and enquirer to try to beat you down. £4ph is already far less than half the fee for walking a dog.

    Another "harsh but true" fact: the time for mum to consider the "astronomical" £312 cost of childcare was before she started making so many babies. There are things I'd have liked to do with my life that I couldn't afford. I chose not to do them; I didn't just go ahead and expect somebody else to pick up the tab. Most parents don't haggle in the shop over the astronomical cost of a holiday or a new smartphone or hairdo, they just go ahead and buy those 'essentials' so why are they so quick to treat their CM like a doormat?

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    I don't do discounts. They take up the places the same as any child. They eat the same, use the same resources, cost the same to take on outings as individual children.

    It is not for me to subsidise someone else's children. Sorry if this sounds harsh but they chose to have 3 children, I would have loved four or five but we stopped at 2 because that was what we could afford.

    Does she ask Tesco for a discount because she has to buy more food each week than me?

    Does she ask for a free uniform if she buys two from the uniform shop?

    Does she ask school for a buy two get one free for school trips, photos etc.?

    I doubt it so why should she even dream of asking a childminder for a discount?

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  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Are you me in disguise? Been there, done that, wiped the blood off the T-shirt..... I make no apology if this sounds harsh, Diwan, but £1ph is selling yourself short. When mum starts gobbing off about this little victory - and she will - you can expect every other client and enquirer to try to beat you down. £4ph is already far less than half the fee for walking a dog. Another "harsh but true" fact: the time for mum to consider the "astronomical" £312 cost of childcare was before she started making so many babies. There are things I'd have liked to do with my life that I couldn't afford. I chose not to do them; I didn't just go ahead and expect somebody else to pick up the tab. Most parents don't haggle in the shop over the astronomical cost of a holiday or a new smartphone or hairdo, they just go ahead and buy those 'essentials' so why are they so quick to treat their CM like a doormat?
    It also annoys me when mums say 'all my salary goes on child care' ..
    No it doesn't (unless they are single) there are two salaries coming into the house the Childcare cost should be coming off both off them! Both made the babies , I know in our house we add both salaries together and we take expenses off it,,, it shouldn't be like mum feels like she is paying it all and left with nothing.

    Also.. I hate 'it's like another mortgage' .. As above they chose to have the kids. They chose to go back to work , and also.. It isnt! A mortgage is for 25/30 years, Childcare is really only for a short time.. At least full time for pre school is only a few short years. Then it's gone. It's expensive for now but that's the way it is

    You are earning a wage. I don't discount for siblings either for all the reasons above .. I have three spaces to fill and would rather fill them with three unrelated children as other wise I am working at a loss!

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  20. #16
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    I agree with everything there, Smurfette.

    I recently turned down a request. Mum wanted school runs for 2 DDs schoolies; ad hoc holiday care for the same 2; and ad hoc care anytime for 1 EY DD. Wanted the schoolies picked up and dropped off at hers, in the next street, so would never be at mine apart from the EY child plus occasional holidays.

    She wanted sibling discount and further reduction, "...as you're already going up to school on the days I need you." Btw, that's another one I don't understand. Do these people stand at the Post Office counter shouting, "I'm not paying that for a stamp: I know full well the mail van comes here every day already." ???

    Even without her clear desire for a bargain basement price, the alarm bells were sounding oh so loudly. I see her everyday and 90% of the time she's shouting at 1 or more of the girls.

    To cap it all, she hasn't really much need for childcare, and still less need for a discount. She's a stay-at-home mum, living off the income of dad's construction business and property portfolio. When he isn't building houses for contract, he does them to own and rent out. They are total bread-heads, living in the smallest house they own, just so they can make more cash on letting the bigger ones. Hence the girls have to share a room. So mean and tight-fisted, even towards their own.

    In summary, the whole deal amounted to the fact that she couldn't be bothered to interrupt her day on the couch with the TV to go to and from school, and she'd dump the lo on me (and her entire brood in the holidays) anytime she felt they were just too much trouble to her. So really, I should've been considering a supplementary charge as "danger money."

    I offered her my standard fee, of course. She rankled at it, of course. So, purely out of interest, I asked her to go away and come back with a reasonable offer. Her offer was: "A pound or 2 for each school run, since you're going anyway, you're making a bit extra for doing exactly the same." She offered £3ph for ad hoc and holidays, presumably cos that's about the cheapest advertised by one of the baby farmers in the next town. Buy she then wanted a 50% discount for a 2nd child and if I took the 3rd, then no extra charge.

    I turned her away, politely, wishing I had the bottle to ask why she ever wanted to have children. Moreover, I want to know why we always feel a wee bit bad for saying "no" - I guess it's the children one feels sorry for.

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