Is charging the correct thing to do?
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  1. #1
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    Default Is charging the correct thing to do?

    Hi there,

    I am new to minding and I have a 5 year old after school on a Mon, tues, weds untill 6.pm incl dinner. On monday i sent next weeks invoice home with dad no problem. Mum collected mindee last night all ok, then at 9.30pm I got a text to say oh we dont need you to have little one next week on Wednesday after all, hope thats ok let me know and I can then send a cheque with her tomorrow for the balance. Meanibg they would just pay for the 2 days instead of the contracted 3. Why didnt she ask me face to face on collection?

    This annoyed me for a few reasons, I cared for her child for 6 after school sesions free of charge back in June (and classed it as play dates) while my children got to know her little one, and i waited for my pacey contracts in the post. I wash her little ones clothes if she changes due to getting wet/dirty. And on Wednesday due to end of term I would have had little one for an additional 1 and 1/2 hours, but I decided to invoice my standard after school fee to avoid complications.

    So, I sent a text and said no problem she doesnt have to come but as its contracted hours and not pre arranged holiday I will have to charge you, very sorry!.

    Did I do the right thing, or was that to harsh?

  2. #2
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    It can be awkward but this is your business, not just a hobby. Everyone has the right to be paid for their work, and the contracts are there for this reason. I don't think that you were too harsh at all.

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    :-) it is up to you, but I would say you did the right thing.

    My mindees are contracted to particular hours/days/sessions. These are paid for, in advance whether they are used or not. I then charge for extra hours and don't refund for unused hours.
    I may, at my discretion swap a day or not charge for an extra hour or two, but only when it suits me.

    Xx

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  6. #4
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    No not harsh at all - friendly but to the point. She is trying it on I think, and if you had just accepted it they would be messing you about all the time. I would have been tempted to remind her that she has already had several complimentary sessions and you now need to get things on a proper contractual basis - after all she would not like it if you suddenly decided not to take her child, so why should she think you will be okay with her suddenly deciding not to send her and not to pay. If her boss decided she wasn't needed tomorrow she would be pleased - not needed and not getting paid, not so pleased!

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  8. #5
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    I always charge for contractdd hours, used ot not.

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  10. #6
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    You have definately done the right thing, she's trying it on. x

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  12. #7
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    I agree with Tulip, she's trying it on - which I think most parents try to do at some point.... That's probably why nothing was said to your face as it were lol

    I recently had a parent, who has been with me now for 3 years so you'd think they'd know better, ask if they still had to pay for LO's holiday which happens to fall the week I restart in September, as they've just booked a last minute surprise trip..... 'erm.... yup, ya do!


    What I would say though is, try not to use things you've done in the past as a means to justify why you feel you should be charging for something that is contracted, and DON'T APOLOGISE! You've not done anything wrong
    Contracted times are not transferrable or refundable if unused (- unless I'm ill/closed)

    We all do things 'as a favour' or to help make parents lives easier at some point, and no doubt by doing so hope that the act will not go unnoticed or will be reciprocated in the future when we need help or a favour doing.
    If you are then going to feel 'aggrieved' that you did these things, it's probably best to a. not do them in the future, b. point out that you are in fact doing a 'good deed' (sometimes parents presume their CM should or would do X, Y, or Z as a matter of course and without consultation -I call this 'hired help syndrome'), or c. discuss a mutually beneficial method of reciprocation.

    Sticking to your contract now will save a whole heap of misunderstandings later

  13. #8
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    I would charge too. My afterschool parents pay monthly in advance. The only time I carry credit forward to the next month is if I have closed due to my illness.

    I will always consider a swap of days and if I can I accommodate it- this means that I have a few favours in the bank if I need to close/ change hrs for reasons other than illness e.g. my lo's nursery end of year presentation was right at school pick-up time. I told the my afterschool parents and they were happy to swap or make different arrangements saying that I had to go and watch. I had enough notice for that day not to be invoiced.

    If I had a parent who wanted different hours each week then I would charge them a higher hourly rate.

    I would also not wash clothes. I have mopped the front of things or put things that are wet (with water) to dry, but would not wash clothes. The most I would do is leave something to soak in water to prevent a stain setting in.

  14. #9
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    Thank you so much everybody for your replies and support, its all a huge learning curve when you start out, but I am glad I stuck to my rules, after all I am a business and I have to keep a business hat on!

    Thanks all.

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