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  1. #1
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    Default Retainers again!

    I'm sure this has been asked before, but I've done a quick search and couldn't find what I was looking for.

    A parent wants care in 6 months time. What do you do in this situation? Do you tell them to come back closer to the time? I can't afford to hold a space for them for that long, and I wouldn't expect them to pay for me to keep it open for that long.

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    It depends if I know I will have a space coming up in 6 months time. If a parent asked now for a September start, I’d be happy to sign them up as I’ll have 2 leaving for school then. I’d charge a non-refundable deposit, which comes off the first month’s fee.

    If I was looking to fill the space now I would tell them they’d have to come back nearer the time to see if I still had any availability.

    When retainers first became a thing, NCMA (as PACEY was known then) recommended that they weren’t charged for more than 6 weeks.

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    Thanks Mouse. That's really useful.

    I had a different parent who needed care from August and I told her to contact me closer to the time - she has been contacting me for quite a while now. Anyway, she let me know that she has managed to secure a place with a minder closer to her home. I did wonder how minders would afford to let someone secure a place that far in advance - I never thought that it might be a minder who doesn't actually have a space right now but knows they will have one by August. That makes a lot of sense. It had made me doubt myself and my business plan when I heard that she had managed to secure a place so far in advance.

  5. #4
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    I'm the same as Mouse ... If I have a space coming up, and someone wants to 'reserve' it, then I charge a non-refundable deposit, which is refunded in final month of care (as long as 6 months care has been used)

    If I currently have a space, and they wish to reserve it, then I will hold it for a retainer fee of 50% for a maximum of 8 weeks. If during those weeks, they wish to use any of their retained hours, they are welcome to, but they have to pay the other 50% for any hours used.

    Or i say they have to take the chance the space will have gone when they want it!


    Good luck.

    It is tricky xxx

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    If you’ve got a space now, the other option is to advertise a temporary place.

    I’ve often been able to fill in with short term contracts, especially if it’s a child who is going to go to school in September, so parents will only need care until then.

    You also have to look at how busy the childcare market is near you at the moment and how many spaces you’ve got to fill. Signing up a September starter now might seem as if you’re blocking the chance of filling that space sooner, but if you don’t get any enquiries to fill it before then, you’ve not lost anything.

    How many spaces have you got to fill? If it’s 2, I’d be tempted to sign up the one who wants to start in 6 months and take a no -refundable deposit. That way you’d be guaranteed an income from then. Then look to fill the other space ASAP and possibly a temporary contract to fit in with the September starter.

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  9. #6
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    Okay what would you charge if you have a child 3 days a week and they texted to say end of April things are changing till September and they won’t want me from May to September ( child term time only) for 2 of the 3 days? Still have for the one day term time though then back to normal September. Don’t think they are expecting to pay anything from May till summer hols!. But that’s nearly 3 months of not getting paid for two days, got to charge something ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Okay what would you charge if you have a child 3 days a week and they texted to say end of April things are changing till September and they won’t want me from May to September ( child term time only) for 2 of the 3 days? Still have for the one day term time though then back to normal September. Don’t think they are expecting to pay anything from May till summer hols!. But that’s nearly 3 months of not getting paid for two days, got to charge something ?
    The first thing I'd do in a situation like that is explain why I can't go for 3 months without being paid for those 2 days. Very often parents don't even consider the financial implications on us, so if you can explain it, it makes it easier for them to understand why we can't just go along with their plans.

    I'd then give them 2 options - pay a retainer or risk not having the space available in September. In your situation, and if I could afford it, I'd charge for 2 days a week - 1 day attending and half fee retainer for the other 2 days.

    If they don't want to pay for the 2 days, they can give 4 weeks notice for them, but you'd then advertise the days and if you took someone else on, you couldn't guarantee the days would be available for them in September.

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  13. #8
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    Thank you mouse. when they texted me the message I thought about and did text back saying I was very sorry but I couldn’t keep the space open for so long without a retainer.
    They never replied. Back from Easter holidays on Monday so we will speak then. Just wanted to check I wasn’t being unfair
    About charging a retainer. 3 months is a long time losing that money.

 

 

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