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Need Help With Fee's And Retainers


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Hello all, :o


I've been asked by my Inspector to care for her baby after it has been born. She's not due until August 08 and by the time she's taken maternity leave it'll be April 2009 so a long, long way off yet lol.


She's an Inspector and her partner is a teacher so she will only need child care during term-time.


I don't know where to start with regards to what I should charge her as I know it'll be hard to fill the space in the school holidays.


I've recently decided not to charge retainer fee's to 'hold' a place as I don't feel comfortable taking money when I'm not doing anything......but obviously I don't want to be left out of pocket. Parents will basically have to take a risk and hope that I'll still have a place available.


If you're a teacher and use a Childminder what do you pay and do you pay a retainer fee for school holidays ?


If you're a Childminder and have children who only require term-time care how do you decide what to charge them?

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First things first we are not meant to hold a place for an unborn child until it has been born so my advice is to say you will mark her details down and ask her to call you when she has had the baby to see if you have a space available. once she calls you you are with in your rights to charge a retainer me personally i charge half fee until that space is used.

With regards to holidays i charge half fee i work this out yearly say 48 weeks full fee then 12 weeks half fee round it up the devide it into 12 and there is your monthly fee which you will get regardless if they use you or not during the holidays.If they decide they will use you then just charge the other half hourly fee on top. Hope this makes sense.

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Guest cathy m

I agree with Ray 1281, you need to wait until after the baby is born before considering charging a fee.

Have you considered charging a deposit if you are not comfortable with a retainer?


I have 2 children who are term time only and I charge £50 per week as a retainer, they don't actually come to me during that time but if they did then I would charge the usual hourly rate



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also if you manage to fill the space during the holidays then you can take half the fee off for each day you fill........


And a deposit is a good idea too!! Dont forget you are running a business with overheads to cover as well as doing something you enjoy !!

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Hi Cannonbolt, good advice already given.

The NCMA advises not taking a retainer or deposit for an unborn child. After the birth though, if the parent is very keen to use you, a retainer is appropriate and half fees is usual. Your service must then be available to the parent and she may well want you to have the baby for short periods of time while she goes to the hairdressers or needs a break! I've had babies left with me while Mum goes shopping etc! It's also a good way of Mum and baby getting used to being apart.

Most of my childminding clients over the past 10 years have been teachers and they've all paid half fee retainers for the school holidays - taking the view that I'd be out-of-pocket otherwise. They get paid and have been happy that I do too! Again the service has been available to them to cover shopping etc or (more usually!) for them to go in to school for planning and preparation!

Hope that helps?


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Hello all,


Thanks for all your wonderful advice it's been greatly received xD


Once the baby's born in August I'll wait for mum to contact me and then come to some arrangement with her. At the moment it's looking more likely that she'll have to pay a deposit as I won't have a space between August and April to charge a retainer (at least that's one thing off my mind).


During the school holidays I think I'll charge half fee retainer if I don't envisage being able to fill the place. Like you say there might be some occasions that the Dad might have to go into the school for planning etc or just want a break himself. I know they will be able to afford a retainer....in fact it was the mum that advised I put my fee's up during my last inspection :o .

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