Costs for outings etc
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  1. #1
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    Default Costs for outings etc

    Hi.
    I've been childminding for a few years now and had the same children for ages but in September will be starting afresh with new children, want to make sure I am up to date on what other childminders do regarding who pays for toddler groups, soft play places etc. Do you cover that cost or ask parents for contributions? In past I've covered these costs unless it's a bigger trip like zoo or somewhere special then parents would pay. Tia x

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    We add outings to invoices as a 'voluntary donation' agreed in advance with parents

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    Mine are all included In my fees, it's part of the service I sell. I think others have basic rates and add on the extras, it certainly makes your headline rate appear lower. There's no right or wrong, just be clear when interviewing families.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama2three View Post
    Mine are all included In my fees, it's part of the service I sell. I think others have basic rates and add on the extras, it certainly makes your headline rate appear lower. There's no right or wrong, just be clear when interviewing families.
    I include all outings, snacks and meals in my fees. I ask parents to provide their own child's nappies and wipes.

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    I do the same as loocyloo and mama2three.

    I understand why some CMs ask for a voluntary donation, but I personally don't like the idea. The term 'voluntary contribution' has been so widely abused by schools that it is now largely understood as an oxymoron.

    My main objection is that I want to be taken seriously as a business: its a common theme on the forum. If we want to be treated like a business, we should first act like a business, and I can't think of many other genuine businesses that ask for voluntary donations. If I felt the need to charge, then I'd make it a straightforward charge, but consider waiving it if I had individual clients whom I felt couldn't afford it.

    But, at the end of the cliche, it's entirely up to the individual CM.

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    I include all outings, snacks, meals and clothing needed to participate as I want all the LO's to take part in my activities, I like us all eating similar together, I do find that the fussiest of eaters try new food if their friends are happily eating it.
    But my parents often donate wellies and out grown play suits which has helped when I have had a child through the 2 year old funding as these families haven't naturally had warm/ waterproof clothes and shoes and would never have been able to fund extras without jiggling commitments.
    Parents provide nappies, but I do keep some spare too. Wipes, nappy bags are provided by me, but again, my current parents often pop a pack in the nappy package, so they voluntarily provide occasionally, I do not ask, but do thank them.

    My outings are all forest schoolesque, local playground, field etc.. and usually just parking to pay. When I join the local wildlife groups if there is a charge, there usually isn't, then I pay it, as it is my choice to spend the day when I am providing care doing these activities. It often makes life easier for me, I am led by the wild life leader, I don't need to plan the activities or provide resources, so I benefit too.
    A parent once asked me to take their child to Tumble tots as she was working when the local class was on, she paid in advance for this, it isn't something that I would usually offer but it was a time when I only had this child and it was round the corner, so I did it, I didn't have to discuss payment as she assumed she requested so she paid. It hasn't happened again, but I think if a parent requests a group and you can accommodate then perhaps they should pay.
    I agree Bunyip about the word 'voluntary', if parents,off their own back 'volunteer' something that is welcomed but billing a 'voluntary' payment doesn't sit comfortably with me.
    Last edited by FloraDora; 16-04-2017 at 09:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    I do the same as loocyloo and mama2three.

    I understand why some CMs ask for a voluntary donation, but I personally don't like the idea. The term 'voluntary contribution' has been so widely abused by schools that it is now largely understood as an oxymoron.

    My main objection is that I want to be taken seriously as a business: its a common theme on the forum. If we want to be treated like a business, we should first act like a business, and I can't think of many other genuine businesses that ask for voluntary donations. If I felt the need to charge, then I'd make it a straightforward charge, but consider waiving it if I had individual clients whom I felt couldn't afford it.

    But, at the end of the cliche, it's entirely up to the individual CM.
    Confession (oops!)

    I forgot about those "discretionary" service charges added to the bill in low restaurants. Since they drive me nuts and put me off visiting such establishments, I'll stand by my earlier comment and call this the exception that proves the rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dendals View Post
    Hi.
    I've been childminding for a few years now and had the same children for ages but in September will be starting afresh with new children, want to make sure I am up to date on what other childminders do regarding who pays for toddler groups, soft play places etc. Do you cover that cost or ask parents for contributions? In past I've covered these costs unless it's a bigger trip like zoo or somewhere special then parents would pay. Tia x
    I do the same as all previous replies (apart from Sarah oops) and all I ask the parents to provide is nappies,wipes,change of clothes and if their child has a special diet. I do however have mine own supply of all this as even the most organised of parents can sometimes forget to replenish things. As for outings,snacks etc this is all included in my fee and I couldn't bring myself to ask for a donation!

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    I charge for meals or parents provide food which is the norm in my area even for nursery care, all outings, snacks, music session, car parks, baby wipes, train journies etc are currently included in the fee. Unfortunately the extended 30 hour government funded hours are making me re think my policies and will have to introduce an outings/snack fee if parents want to benefit from the government funding whilst their children are with me.

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    Parents provide packed lunches and nappies. No charge for extras here. At the moment. If I choose to go to paying toddler groups then I pay as it's my choice. I have taken children to their swimming lessons in the past but parents have arranged payments in advance. But in September I will have to rethink to make up the shortfall for funding. Fortunately no children qualify yet. Am still on the fence as to what I'm going to do when the time comes. Will wait to see how the other cm's locally get on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BallyH View Post
    Parents provide packed lunches and nappies. No charge for extras here. At the moment. If I choose to go to paying toddler groups then I pay as it's my choice. I have taken children to their swimming lessons in the past but parents have arranged payments in advance. But in September I will have to rethink to make up the shortfall for funding. Fortunately no children qualify yet. Am still on the fence as to what I'm going to do when the time comes. Will wait to see how the other cm's locally get on.
    All of my funded children do more hours than they take funding for. From September I shall be charging a 'session fee' or a 'daily fee' or a 'weekly fee' that is equal to the extra hours plus the difference between the funding and my hourly rate. I have already discussed this with all my current parents and will discuss it with future families as funding becomes relevant. If they are not happy with my proposal, then I will not be offering them funded sessions.

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    I don't charge extra for outings of any kind, mainly because it's my choice that we go out and about a lot. I put all the costs through my business, whether it's toddler groups, soft play or bigger expenses like an annual zoo pass. I balance 'paid' trips with a lot of 'free' outings to the woods, beach, walks etc.
    Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable asking for 'contributions' because I don't feel it's fair that some parents may be paying (however voluntarily this may be) and some may not, therefore I prefer to absorb the costs myself and use that as a USP. Also my hourly rate is only 2p more than what we get in funding so no real shortfall for me to make up.
    Parents provide nappies and packed lunches, I provide breakfast and snacks, wipes and nappy bags.
    I do know that some other local cm's charge £5 a week towards outings.

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  19. #13
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    I pay for all trips to toddler groups, soft play, local petting farm, my Longleat annual pass, swimming throughout the year as other than Longleat and toddler groups we don't go on many trips but during the Summer I do tend to put a donation box on the inside of my front door marked "Summer Trips Donations" and find some parents and grandparents are so generous that we have to go on extra trips to the ones I had originally planned to use up all the money.
    Although one child once asked her daddy to put some money in the box and he said "I'm not paying for Sarah's holiday" !

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    I include toddler group fees and snacks in my hourly rate. I do cover costs of cheaper days out eg farms, nature places, some indoor play areas etc. If I plan on a "proper" day out, ie, something that will cost around £10 per child, I will ask if parents would be prepared to pay for this. If they say no, then we don't go. I always explain that I accept they're paying an hourly fee so if they didn't feel comfortable paying extra on top that's fine. I find somewhere cheaper or free to go!

 

 

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