Charging when at nursery
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    Default Charging when at nursery

    I have two LO's who I've had for two years who are are starting nursery in September . I'm only charging for the hours they are attending , 11:30 till 5pm. My assistant will be collecting them from nursery. I was hoping to fill the morning spaces (fingers and legs crossed ) however I'm now thinking about holidays ... If I did fill morning spaces would I still be able to have the two nursery LO's during the holidays too ? Would it be classed as continuity of care ?? ( I know I still need to stick to the 6 under 8 ) I'm thinking it wouldn't be now and maybe I need to re think and charge for a full day space ?
    HELP ! :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by *daisychain* View Post
    I have two LO's who I've had for two years who are are starting nursery in September . I'm only charging for the hours they are attending , 11:30 till 5pm. My assistant will be collecting them from nursery. I was hoping to fill the morning spaces (fingers and legs crossed ) however I'm now thinking about holidays ... If I did fill morning spaces would I still be able to have the two nursery LO's during the holidays too ? Would it be classed as continuity of care ?? ( I know I still need to stick to the 6 under 8 ) I'm thinking it wouldn't be now and maybe I need to re think and charge for a full day space ?
    HELP ! :-)
    No, you can not have the extra children because the nursery children are not at nursery- it is not an exceptional circumstance, it is something you know about and should plan for.

    If parents want 11.30-5pm term time and am or 9am-5pm school-holiday time then you need to keep those spaces all through termtime ready for holiday use. You can charge full fee or 50% as retainer. No way would I be leaving those termtime hours unpaid for.

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    I charge for the time they are at nursery because I can't fill a space between 9am and 11.30 plus they will still need the space in hols / inset days etc. It's pretty normal to charge for it around here.

    xx

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    I too charge while they are at nursery as they need the place in the hols and teacher training days
    Cath

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    As do I- some parents may not be keen, but it's easier to arrange contracts and finances that way.

    I highly doubt you could find someone wanting a couple of hours in the morning,not for long term anyway x

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    Well that didn't go well . Parent has now gave notice as I told her it will remain the same all day fee as she pays now :-/ but has asked if I can still her during the holidays , don't think she quite understood when I explained about how many numbers of children I can have , think she thinks I'm trying to out a fast one , oh well , here's hoping I fill this space now in September .

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    I do feel sorry for parents who are constantly being told they will receive up to 15 hours free childcare when their child turns 3, but then find it's the childminder who actually benefits and not them.

    But as a childminder I know I can't afford to not charge when a child is at nursery. I have one of my mindees going to morning nursery in Sept. They will be dropped off to me after nursery, so I won't be collecting them. I have told parents that rather than charging my full day rate, I will charge my short day rate. It will only save them £5 a day, but it's better than nothing and means they have a guaranteed space during holidays.

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    This is a very tricky point for CMs and we need to reflect on our future especially from Sept 2014

    If a child goes to nursery and we charge for the 3 hrs....parents are getting free education but not 'more affordable childcare'
    If we don't charge we are unable to fill that space for the 3 hrs...so we lose out unless we can squeeze in another funded child...possible but difficult especially when we need to drop the child at nursery and then pick up taking the other child with us?
    An alternative is to charge a retainer for the 3 hours in case of emergency and for keeping the space for holidays

    The alternative for parents is to leave the child at school if that school will open 8-6pm and offer 'wrap around care'...they will then get free education and cheaper childcare after the 3 hours

    Any thoughts?...or solutions?

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    Mine all go to the school pre school and they only do the morning or afternoon session. I charge a 50% retainer for those that require holiday care, as I can't fill the space.

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    I have always and will always charge for when a child is doing their funded hours at nursery, I can't afford not to it's that simple. It's not my problem that the government keep promising the impossible. When my ds was at nursery doing his funded hours it never crossed my mind as a parent that I wouldn't have to pay his childminder. Parents need to remember they chose to have children and it is their responsibility to pay for them, it's not my responsibility to fund those hours on a FOC basis which then impacts on me and my family.

    xxx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    This is a very tricky point for CMs and we need to reflect on our future especially from Sept 2014

    If a child goes to nursery and we charge for the 3 hrs....parents are getting free education but not 'more affordable childcare'
    If we don't charge we are unable to fill that space for the 3 hrs...so we lose out unless we can squeeze in another funded child...possible but difficult especially when we need to drop the child at nursery and then pick up taking the other child with us?
    An alternative is to charge a retainer for the 3 hours in case of emergency and for keeping the space for holidays

    The alternative for parents is to leave the child at school if that school will open 8-6pm and offer 'wrap around care'...they will then get free education and cheaper childcare after the 3 hours

    Any thoughts?...or solutions?
    IME, there are some families out there looking for a few hours here and there which could potentially fill the gaps whilst other mindees are at preschool/nursery, etc. Maybe not many, but they do exist.

    The question is whether we think it's worth our while looking for the work, or doing all the admin associated with lo's who aren't here for many hours a week.

    Maybe agencies will provide the answer? If it's purely a matter of matching needs to vacancies, then agencies with a large database of childcarers and potential clients will be well-placed to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    IME, there are some families out there looking for a few hours here and there which could potentially fill the gaps whilst other mindees are at preschool/nursery, etc. Maybe not many, but they do exist.

    The question is whether we think it's worth our while looking for the work, or doing all the admin associated with lo's who aren't here for many hours a week.

    Maybe agencies will provide the answer? If it's purely a matter of matching needs to vacancies, then agencies with a large database of childcarers and potential clients will be well-placed to do so.
    Yes there are families looking at just 3 hrs to draw the funding...as we know parents can demand just the 'entitlement' and no more especially for the vulnerable 2 year olds
    so as I think it is possible but in practice there may be an overlap when the 2 children are in our care...one arriving for the 3 hrs while the other is being taken to the nursery and again when one needs picking up from nursery and the other leaving us

    The paperwork should diminish according to where the child gets the most funded hours if we work in co-operation and do what is required and not above that.

    Agencies...ah! that is another matter altogether...but it is worth looking at what St Bede's Academy will do when it rolls out its agency in September
    For the rest we know nothing about agencies...we await news as have for the last 2 years

    what I do know and see is that preschools and nurseries are taking children for funded hours and then offering wrap around care service ...that is why I feel we need to look at the future as parents are finding one setting that offers all the services more suitable and possibly more affordable

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    I have a parent who decided to take pot luck and change the contract to start after nursery three days a week, knowing that I could not guarantee them a place for the mornings in the holidays. I think she thought that either I wold not fill the space in the morning OR that I would willingly go over numbers like her old childminder (not England so no self variations). Unfortunately for her two parents have signed up for the mornings for 2 of the days. Mum will bring at lunch time as she still did not want to pay

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    Quote Originally Posted by tulip0803 View Post
    I have a parent who decided to take pot luck and change the contract to start after nursery three days a week, knowing that I could not guarantee them a place for the mornings in the holidays. I think she thought that either I wold not fill the space in the morning OR that I would willingly go over numbers like her old childminder (not England so no self variations). Unfortunately for her two parents have signed up for the mornings for 2 of the days. Mum will bring at lunch time as she still did not want to pay
    My take on this matter is 'wait and see' what happens when in Sept schools open 8-6pm
    Will parents realise they can send their children to school, get the funding with 'no strings attached' and then wraparound care without the need to pay retainers or such like

    I don't know how it will work out for CMs but it will be interesting to find out if it will provide parents with 'more affordable childcare' and what the benefits will be for children in an institution 10 hrs per day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    My take on this matter is 'wait and see' what happens when in Sept schools open 8-6pm
    Will parents realise they can send their children to school, get the funding with 'no strings attached' and then wraparound care without the need to pay retainers or such like

    I don't know how it will work out for CMs but it will be interesting to find out if it will provide parents with 'more affordable childcare' and what the benefits will be for children in an institution 10 hrs per day?
    Have any of your local schools said they are opening these hours. Ours certainly hasn't and our school nursery which is the one most of my lo's go to, certainly doesn't have the space to offer all day unless they take less children, and its over subscribed as it is.

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    I had always been in the no charge camp

    Until the past 2 years as I can offer the funding so retainer fee

    But I now think an increased rate for part tine hours may be the way to go as it stops parents saying why am I paying when not using.

    I'm moving very soon and still haven't worked out what fee structure I'm going in with!! This is one of the factors funding!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by caz3007 View Post
    Have any of your local schools said they are opening these hours. Ours certainly hasn't and our school nursery which is the one most of my lo's go to, certainly doesn't have the space to offer all day unless they take less children, and its over subscribed as it is.
    I am keeping my eyes and ears open to what develops in my area
    I know one school is considering extending the after school care to 5 days
    I assume each school will do what they can but the message is clear on what Truss is demanding of them...or rather....what she is suggesting parents should demand of their school now she has thrown childcare on the open market!
    Interesting times ahead

    Parents must ask schools to stay open later, says education minister - Telegraph

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubybubbles View Post
    I had always been in the no charge camp

    Until the past 2 years as I can offer the funding so retainer fee

    But I now think an increased rate for part tine hours may be the way to go as it stops parents saying why am I paying when not using.

    I'm moving very soon and still haven't worked out what fee structure I'm going in with!! This is one of the factors funding!!
    I have not been charging for nursery hours for the past year and won't be repeating the mistake! (In fact I'd have to think twice about doing the nursery run even if I was being paid for the full day). I was somewhat suckered in to it anyway as what I originally agreed to was the child going to a different nursery and finishing at 3;15, then parents changed their minds. I was nevertheless still optimistic about getting another child for the nursery hours slot, but it just didn't happen, partly I'm sure because parents were put off by the prospect of their little one having to do the nursery run. I've also been dismayed by the pick up itself. Unlike the nursery I picked up from before, this one has no orderly queue. They are usually out late (especially if we are standing waiting in the rain or strong sun!) and it is a bit of a scrum to grab a child, which I won't even try to join in with two babies in a buggy (and they never open both doors so I can't get in with a twin buggy), with the result that my little one usually gets out last or close to last. I am counting down the days to the holidays when I can pack this in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    I am keeping my eyes and ears open to what develops in my area
    I know one school is considering extending the after school care to 5 days
    I assume each school will do what they can but the message is clear on what Truss is demanding of them...or rather....what she is suggesting parents should demand of their school now she has thrown childcare on the open market!
    Interesting times ahead

    Parents must ask schools to stay open later, says education minister - Telegraph
    My local school is now offering before and after school care 5 days a week and holiday club at prices I would not choose to match. I feel very strongly that this is unfair competition as they have free use of all the school premises and resources, and have much lower staff numbers per child.

    I have had a number of children come to me over the years who have left because they had not enjoyed the club, generally quieter or shyer children who found it too noisy and boisterous, but others too with mild special needs. Lovely as they were/are, it would be hardly fair for the after school club to take all the "easier" children, leaving only those who are a bit harder to please and require more individual attention, but that is how I see things developing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubybubbles View Post
    I had always been in the no charge camp

    Until the past 2 years as I can offer the funding so retainer fee

    But I now think an increased rate for part tine hours may be the way to go as it stops parents saying why am I paying when not using.

    I'm moving very soon and still haven't worked out what fee structure I'm going in with!! This is one of the factors funding!!
    I think the 'higher rate' for the hours actually used is the most sensible.

    In a sense, CMs each have to find their own best way of doing this and finding what the client will find acceptable. But many parents inevitably interpret "I'm charging you for the place" as "I'm charging you to do nothing" - and I can't think of many businesses in which it's a great idea to keep on doing something that P's off your customer base.

    I think it's only a matter of time until the crunch comes and someone offers a more attractive alternative to parents. As Simona suggests, 'crunch time' may coincide with the expansion of agencies or schools/other settings offering more wrap-around hours - maybe not immediately, but how long before a setting manager spots the potential? As Gust's Zen Master said, "we'll see."

    I also think the whole 'education' bit and LAs regarding funding as for 'education' tends to muddy the waters and blind us to the rather obvious point. Tbh how many parents say their child is getting 15 hours funded education? Don't they rather say they're getting 15 hours free care? Despite making all the right noises about 'quality', the vast majority of parents will prioritize 'economy' (or "affordability" if you prefer the buzz-word) and 'convenience' over 'quality' and 'education'. I'm not suggesting parents would tolerate bad care, but would accept reasonable standards of safety, happiness, activities, stimulation for their child where offered at The Right Price.

    I'm not saying this is how things should be, but I find it makes far more sense to deal the things in the way the world is, rather than the way we'd like it to be.
    Last edited by bunyip; 05-07-2014 at 10:37 AM.

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