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  1. #1
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    Default Playgroup /Holidays

    Please can I have your views on this:-

    Child comes to me at 8am, I drop off at playgroup at 9.15, I pick up from playgroup at 12.15 (2.15 on another day) child stays with me until 6pm.

    Now if parents want me to have their child during the school holidays when playgroup is shut, I feel that the parents should pay me in full from 0800 until 1800 to guarantee their space in the holidays.


    One set of parents haven't queried this at all and understand why I am charging in full whilst their child is at playgroup
    Other set of parents don't feel they should be charged whilst child is at playgroup even though I drop off and pick up, but want to ensure their holiday place is available.

    Please let me know your thoughts

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger79 View Post
    Please can I have your views on this:-

    Child comes to me at 8am, I drop off at playgroup at 9.15, I pick up from playgroup at 12.15 (2.15 on another day) child stays with me until 6pm.

    Now if parents want me to have their child during the school holidays when playgroup is shut, I feel that the parents should pay me in full from 0800 until 1800 to guarantee their space in the holidays.


    One set of parents haven't queried this at all and understand why I am charging in full whilst their child is at playgroup
    Other set of parents don't feel they should be charged whilst child is at playgroup even though I drop off and pick up, but want to ensure their holiday place is available.

    Please let me know your thoughts
    I charge while they are at playgroup/pre-school sessions- I am the contact for emergencies like playgroup closure/gas leak/flood etc, I am the one there if child is upset and best not going to playgroup that day. I explain I can not fill that 3hr slot (less than 3hr once I get back home and set off again). I explain it is actually an inconvenience as it ties me to being there those times rather than being able to have a full day out; I explain that playgroup is not compulsory and I can offer the same EY education here anyway... and in the end that is my way of charging take it or leave it!

  3. #3
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    This is a tricky one and I think you should just do what you feel is right. Before any funding came into being I would charge for the whole morning if I dropped off and picked up but if I only did one or the other I would charge for those hours I had the child and the place could be used for someone else. Now parents have funded hours I don't feel comfortable charging as they are then not getting free childcare. I know many will disagree with this so that's why I think you have to do what works for you as I can see both sides of the argument. I manage to fill the spaces with others who need funded hours and as that is only term time (usually) I still have the spaces in the holidays for the mindees who are at pre school term time but need me in the holidays. It works for me.

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  5. #4
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    I too charge whilst they are at preschool / nursery , i know many others who do and a few who dont for a wide variety of reasons.

    However I feel that this isnt exactly the point. It doesnt matter what terms of service you choose to offer - we all differ in what we do and dont provide / charge for. The point is that parents are made aware of our ' package' and they choose whether to accept it or to look elsewhere. As long as we are clear from the start and contracts are equally clear then a parent has accepted that when they sign up. If they dont want to accept our contractual terms then thats fine too , they are always free to look around and not every setting matches every parents needs.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris goodyear View Post
    This is a tricky one and I think you should just do what you feel is right. Before any funding came into being I would charge for the whole morning if I dropped off and picked up but if I only did one or the other I would charge for those hours I had the child and the place could be used for someone else. Now parents have funded hours I don't feel comfortable charging as they are then not getting free childcare. I know many will disagree with this so that's why I think you have to do what works for you as I can see both sides of the argument. I manage to fill the spaces with others who need funded hours and as that is only term time (usually) I still have the spaces in the holidays for the mindees who are at pre school term time but need me in the holidays. It works for me.
    I agree with Chris, and I do something similar. Btw, I take Chris's point about free hours being free, but since CMs can also offer the funded hours I understand why some might be miffed about parents taking them at another setting. In fact, I only do this sort of job if I'm convinced the other setting is benefiting the child, and not just saving mum a few quid for her next hairdo.

    I don't charge for hours they're at preschool, and I do try to fill those hours with another child (which I can't always do, but I've had a reasonable amount of success.

    If your client came to me, I'd charge her my flat rate to take lo to preschool, as if it were a school run (because it is a school run) plus my hourly rate for the afternoon's care.

    However, I don't see any problem with CMs charging for the non-attended hours if that's what they do. I think CMs often use the wrong reason to explain this policy though. "I can't fill the space" is an empty argument if they haven't seriously tried to fill it." A far more straightforward argument is that if you can't secure enough income from the work, then you just have to put your prices up or jack it in, leaving them with no childcare.

    I do however think you have a strong case if they want you for holidays and emergencies. The other alternative is to say, "ok, I won't charge, but you're out on your own if there's an emergency closure, and I'll have to give notice if another mum comes along and wants the place for the whole time." Trouble is, she might call the bluff, and this sort of thing (i.e. giving notice so someone else can make better use of the space) is frowned on as "unprofessional".

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    I don't do lunchtime pick up or drop offs, and I only do school nursery. If parents want their children to go to local preschool, then that happens on a day they don't come to me.
    I explain that as I offer funding, I do everything and more that preschool do (with the exception of vast numbers of children ;-) ).
    If children do whole day at school nursery, then I only charge before and afterschool hours, as I often have children just for school hours.

    I did , for one summer term, pick up mindee from her school nursery one day a week at lunchtime as that day was their 'about to start reception' session and they only had the older children in that session. I charged mum half fees so I was available for closures etc. Mum was happy with that.

  9. #7
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    Half fee sounds like a good compromise and I have no problem taking children to pre school especially if they are 3 or 4 as I think this gets them used to more of a school environment rather than a home one which I provide. I know we have the same resources and do the same paperwork as pre schools and yes I do have a lot of children as I have my assistant, but I don't have 30 which is what they will experience when they start school! So I think it's a good thing they go to a bigger setting and often when we have them as babies we are like their second home so need to show them a different environment.

  10. #8
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    I also charge half, I took into consideration its only school holidays when I have him for those hours. By the time ive had 2 weeks off at christmas and 1 in the school holidays I felt uncomfortable charging full fee for the rest of the year.

  11. #9
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    It depends on the individual contract for me. I have filled the spaces before so dropped children off at 9:15 and picked up some at 9:30 then dropped them home at 12 and picked up from preschool at 12:15. The preschool children had first say over full days in holidays and the children who came for short hours were offered what was left over. I have done this for those wanting funded hours or those whose parents don't work and they just want a little break and happy to fit in with what I have available.

    However right now I don't have any preschool runs. If any were to start I would consider charging half fee whilst at preschool and say if someone else comes along who wants the space then I wouldn't charge and take them on instead.

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