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:o I do think its time you put your fees up. You must all be earning peanuts!!!!!! (like we all do in childcare!)


We say:


"unfortunately due to ever increasing costs we have found it necessary to increase our fees to £..... per session, which we still feel offers value for money. This increase will be effective from ............"


Hope this helps. xD

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Guest Wolfie

Everyone in childcare ALWAYS feels guilty about putting their fees up, don't they? But you DO have increasing costs and overheads - which should include what YOU earn - every year and your fees should reflect that so don't feel bad about it. I was advised to put fees up as a matter of course at the same time every year so that parents expect it and it's not a nasty shock - I ddi that and never had any complaints.

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we too put fees up every year as a regular increase..sometimes it has been only by 10p but these days our fees are more in line with the NEG to ensure we cannot be accused of using grant to suppliment other fees and to show we need to recieve at least the amount paid by the grant.



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Hi Jolly

Never apologise for increasing fees-we were told that by a financial advisor. So never start you letter with "Unfortunately". It makes you sound weak and may make parents question why you are doing so. State the facts simply and clearly-why you HAVE to increase fees in order to maintain the standards you have.

We have terms and conditions for parents and one of those is that we will review fees annually.


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ditto Linda we state fees are reviewed annually, my letter gives reasons such as due to increases in minimum wage, rent , utlities (etc). I did once state a few years ago that our charge of £7.50 for 3 hrs childcare and education compared favourably to the charges people will pay for a 3 min car wash !!! , just to point out the value for money!!! :o


Our charges are now in line with NEG.

What do other settings in your area charge for comparable services?



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our fees were the lowest in our area, we currently charge £4.00 a session and we are still the cheapest. I would come under a lot of stick such as cheap fees means cheap child care etc. We try to keep the fees low so as all families can afford to send their children. I posted something on here ages ago and one reply quite rightly pointed out that a packet of fags was more expensive than one session of good child care. This really made me think!! go for it! your families will understand, think of all the hard work that goes in to every session. I was worried at first but a gradual increase will ease the blow! Phase it in and clearly state that from next term the fees will be....., and from spring term they will be....

If the parents like what you do then they will not mind. Have confidence!!!

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Hi Jolly


Do you belong to a Network, or is there one in your area?

Our Network has a yearly meeting when the childminders get together to discuss pay and conditions, we then all get the same drafted letter and can use it to give the parents a general overview of prices in the area.


It help's you broach the subject if you can add the draft to your letter of why your charges are being raised, and shows that childminders work together and not in compertion with each other.


I agree with Peggy, dog walkers get £5 ph and cleaners £7ph. so don't get worried about selling your services!

Edited by Guest
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Hi Again Jolly


Here is my latest payment guide from the Network I belong to, that I gave out to my parents.


I usually give these out in June/July to allow them time to get used to the fact that they will be charged a higher amount in September, when I review all my contracts.


I am currently charging £3.25 and have been for the last 2 years, some people in my area charge more than that and some less.

I know a lot of minders that have started to only offer the hourly rate regardless of the length the child is with them; working on the principle that the parents are paid an hour rate too.


Hope this gives you some ideas anyway :)





Childminders are self-employed people and may choose what they wish to charge for the services they provide. These rates are only guidelines- they need not be adhered to unless you wish to do so. The following recommendations were agreed at a meeting held on Tuesday 23rd January 2007.

It is recommended that payment be made in advance.


Weekly rate (up to 45 hours) £145

[Additional hours charged at hourly rate]

Daily rate (up to 9 hours) £30

[Additional hours charged at hourly rate]

Hourly rate £3.50 per hour

Bank Holidays and weekends Double time

Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day Triple time

Overtime i.e. hours additional to those

agreed on contract £1.25 per 15 minutes or part thereof, authorised

£2.50 per 15 minutes or part thereof, unauthorised

Occasional/Sponsored minding Double time



School holidays and Teachers Training Days £3.75 per hour

Before and after school (including travelling time) £3.90 per hour

(Minimum charge £5 per session)




Childminders should negotiate amounts of paid/unpaid time off with parents before contracts are signed

1.Childminder sick No fee

2. Parent sick/ child sick; occasional days off Full fee

3. Parents annual holidays Full fee

4.Retainers for teachers and others with extended holidays Full Fee

5.Childminder Annual Holiday where parents are not using other registered childcare 1/2 Fee

Childminder Annual Holiday where parents are using other registered childcare No Fee

6.Statutory Bank Holidays i.e. New Years Day, Good Friday,

Easter Monday, Bank Holidays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day

(when child would normally attend) Full fee



*Pre booked baby/ child places- a non-refundable deposit/ retainer may be charged whilst a place is held for a specific child for longer than two weeks.

*Playgroup and nursery fees to be paid for by parents.

*An extra charge may be made for food, travelling expenses and outings.

*Returned Cheques will incur a £25 administration fee.

* Late payment of fees will incur a payment of £5 per day or part thereof.

*There may be an additional charge if the needs of a child would reduce the childminder’s registered numbers.

* More than one child from the same family - full fee for each child.

*If child is collected earlier or dropped off later than arranged, no reduction or refund can be made on contracted hours.

*It is usual for a childminder to charge for a whole session if a child attends pre-school and the childminder would be responsible for the child during that time (wrap around care).

*Where childminder provides overnight minding, fees to be negotiated on an individual basis according to the needs of the child(ren).

Review Date: January 29th 2008

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Never apologise for increasing fees-we were told that by a financial advisor. So never start you letter with "Unfortunately". It makes you sound weak and may make parents question why you are doing so. State the facts simply and clearly-why you HAVE to increase fees in order to maintain the standards you have.



Thanks for your comments above Linda - However I would like to point out that we ARE NOT WEAK and parents never question why we put up our fees.


I have found your comment offensive.

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I would like to apologise to any member who was offended by my post-this was not my intention.

In actual fact it was the financial advisor who told me that I sounded weak when he asked me, at a training session, how I would word a letter to parents explaining that we were increasing fees. I said "Unfortunately due to ......". As he pointed out big businesses do not apologise for increases in their products so why should we. He felt we didn't need to justify at all why we were increasing fees-just tell parents that we were.

So please accept my apology.


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I agree completely with Wolfie, you may need to give your parents as much advanced warning as possible. We always made our fee increase letters as factual as possible, such as "We have now received notification of the rate of the Nursery Education Grant, therefore, inline with this, from Sept the fees will increase to xxx."

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The word 'unfortunately' could be percieved in ( or maybe even more than) three ways.


1. Unfortunately = matters out of my control / unexpected changes ( unprofessional) = can be seen as a weakness....or....

2. Unfortunately = because we care / apology that changes are out of parents control. ( possibly how BrendaS parents percieve the word)

3. Unfortunately - recipient percieves it as not actually unfortunate, they think that this term is condescending and that in fact the bearer of the message has made a decision and that's that, but the messenger is trying to soften the blow to avoid any disagreement to the decision.


I agree with the advisors that Linda mentions as 1/ could be the understanding of BrendaS's parents but could also be percieved as 2 or 3, therefore it is best to use words that are factual rather than subjective, then there is less likleyhood of misinterpretation.



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I charge £4.00 an hour and I make it clear to parents I review this every April. I charge just under what the local nurseries charge here. I never apologise for putting fees up - they expect it, the same as they would if they were in a nursery. Good luck with it - sounds like you're definately due a pay rise! :)

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  • 1 year later...

hi wow well then ...

after reading all that i dont feel quite soooooo bad.


i didn't put up my fees for years but for this september i have put my fees up to £3 hr or £30 day 8-6pm

£5 morning and to take child to school,,, £10 collect from school and provide full evening meal

i was worried parents would look elsewhere but hay i have a living to make and an eva growing mortgage

and as mentioned some where on ere a huge shopping bill!!!


(also my builder charges me £100 day!!!)


one friend told me she has left childminding for dog walking as she gets £7 an hr or £10 a walk OMG OMG OMG

SO.... 3 dogs l8r she is £30 a walk (say 1 1/2 hrs) what if she walked every 2hrs with 3 dogs at a time!?mmmmm£££££££

i get £30 a day!!!!


do parents think their pets are worth more than their children? and why is it if parents get child care costs - should they moan at all?


one parent told me he was changing job as he "Wouldnt get out of bed for less than £200 a day for the work he does" OMG




Many thanks 4 reading my RANT sorry xxxxx

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Well we are a nation of dog lovers, Andrea! :o


I think we began to consider what other people are paid to do their jobs we'd all be so depressed we'd be unable to carry on! But seriously.


I have no idea what childminders charge in our area: but whatever they charge I could probably guarantee that it still wouldn't cost parents as much as it does to get their house cleaned or their shirts ironed! When you consider what you do to support families, and the implications of inappropriate childcare then your fees are not so much reasonable as cheap! Comments such as "I wouldn't get out of bed for less than £200" are not the best way to raise a childminder's self esteem are they? I wonder if anyone working in childcare earns £200 a day? The MD of a big nursery chain, perhaps? How much does the Minister get paid? Or the head of National Strategies?


There has been much debate on whether/when to raise fees over the years on the Forum, I think - and someone (was it Linda?) said something very wise about the need for childcare providers to feel confident in our worth, set realistic fees and not feel that we need to apologise for doing so. That said, its a nervous time when you decide to put your fees up - but it must be done even to stand still, let alone make profit.


I'm lucky enough to be able to qualify for Graduate Leader Fund money to supplement my wages, and that of my staff. However that does mean that I'll have to build into my business plan a way of sustaining this once the funding ends - £7,000 a year in a couple of years' time. So although the Government's aim was to enable all parents to access higher quality childcare without needing to pay extra, this just won't be possible. Unless of course they continue the funding beyond the current period. :(


Peggy: the pig should be flying over your house round about now - look out for it and give it a nice wave, won't you? xD



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I gave the parents 2 months notice of an increase in fees, just a very basic explanation "due to rising costs..."

No-one quibbled, they all paid the increased fees and no-one mentioned looking elsewhere.

I think, sometimes, we under-value ourselves and the service we provide!?

One family I childmind for have paid me an "annual bonus" of 1 weeks fees at the start of the summer holidays for the last 3 years, with instructions to "treat yourself".

It reduced me to tears the first time and tears of laughter this year when it appeared on my bank statement as "pimms fund" - bless them!


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I think that parents attitudes towards fees has changed (although there are always exceptions to the rule, as in nona case xD )

The reasons for the change, I think are that;

1/ Childcare used to be a luxury service, now it's a necessity- (ie: 2 parent household, both now have to work for a living).

2/ Nursery's/preschools are now 'education' establishments, yet 'school' is free for 6 hrs a day.

3/ Part of fees are paid by government, either through childcare tax credits and/or the NEG, when part is free and another 'part' which is exactly the same is charged, the charged part is less appreciated purely on the basis that the 'other' part is free. (if you see what I mean)


Parents have less 'disposable' income, and because lifes necssities such as childcare, water, heating, electric costs are all rising and there is no option to say, well I won't have that then, it's too expensive, the consumer feels powerless to 'drive' the economy, and has to accept the higher costs.


Last, not least, service providers do tend to under valu their services, because it is their vocation. I'm not sure I'd like to see childcare as a purely economic driven service but do feel the income should increase to better value the workforce.


I must admit I recently read an article where it was stated that 'private' nursery's were of a lower quality and childrens outcomes were lower, purely due to the fact that they made a profit. This made me really angry :o

EVERY (private or otherwise) setting should have a profit margin, this is for the childrens security, as without a profit margin, as we have often seen (and experienced) settings will close.


Hasn't answered your question, Yes, raise fee's, and I am sure your parents will understand that you have given this decision fair consideration of the impact it will have on them.



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