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Why Oh Why ?


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Well hiya all again, in a bit of a wrangle with prospective client whom thinks that my suggest hourly rate of £4.00 is excessive. I had been charging £3.50 which he also thinks is alot . What do you ladies think ?

 

He wants flexible hours - which I provide

prone to change at last minute as they both work shift patterns

Agreed a minimum hours per week on contract which isnt as yet signed because he told me he gets 80% of his childcare fees paid !!!! (he pays then the childtax lot reimburse him. ) On the back of this information and the fact the rates around here are from 3.75 - 4.50 per hour I asked for more.

He sometimes drops off ten minutes before eight andon two days only wants me from 7.50 - 10.50am.

 

he has begrudgingly said he will do £4.00 before 09.00 on early days and 3.50 all other hours.

 

Sooo put out about how little he will actually be out of pocket. also its my one to one time and lovely home his child is in not some overcrowded noisy nursery which here in Formby is very expensive to attend and not at all flexible. Have initially said okay as I was so taken aback by his attitude (basically what help he gets isnt my concern - which I already know but....) on reflection want to say thats my rate so take it or leave it or should I just go along with the sort of compromise ? If I was more experienced in business dealing I would have told him that straight but I find these things difficult as Im not used to negotiating.

 

your thoughts ?! :o

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This is a situation where I would put a professional business head on! I would say to him that you provide high quality childcare where you are flexible to his needs and that you regret if he does not agree with the increase but is and will come into force on ??????? giving date of your increase . Then the ball is in his court - you may also feel the need to remind him of the conditions of notice should he be able to find alternative childcare elsewhere.

 

I know we always advocate for the child but this is your livlihood and your career - you are worth what you are asking for and lots more as well - sand your ground , you will be glad you did . Good Luck - Dizzzz

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Guest jenpercy

That's your price - lucky you don't ask more for flexible hours. Let him kow that you can't keepfree slot without more money.

 

I sympathise. We do full days in the holidays 8-6 for £23 because we have to compete with local authority schemes. (We are Kids Club). I get parents ringing me up to haggle because they don't need full day, or even when they do because £23 is a lot of money. Not in 2010 it isn't. I don't do half days, cos I'd have to charge £4.50 an hour which would be more than full day

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I would stick to your guns about what you charge, reiterate to him that you are providing a first class service which isnt open for negotiating or haggling, its a slippery slope as parents talk to each other, you could at sometime in the future be approached by other parents who want the same or similar deal.

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i agree with other responses - parents should not dictate to you the terms of your business and in my area that is definately a reasonable rate if slightly lower than the norm

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Just to add a bit more:

It is really difficult - I always struggle to negotiate holiday pay and always end up getting less than I'd intended or giving more.

I would be firm and go back and say you've considered it and have decided to keep your rates at £4 per hour especially as you are being so flexible (i'm not sure I'd want to have a session finish at 10.50) and he may find that other childminders say the same

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I would stick to you guns too....if that is your rate of pay then that is your rate of pay...you wouldn't go for a tennis lesson, golf lesson, music lesson etc and say "I know you charge £20 an hour but I don't want to pay that!!!"

 

Also, re minimum wage, you might want to read this thread

 

Good luck and don't let him intimidate you

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Oh Waveawand!

 

PLEASE, PLEASE STICK TO YOUR GUNS!!!!!!!!!! because as the saying goes "you're worth it!" :o

 

It is hard to negotiate fees, hours and terms, especially face to face but this parent is pushing you to provide a service that clearly makes you uncomfortable. How many activities/outings will you have to miss to be home for a 10.50am pickup? How does that impact on the other children?

 

I really sympathise but would suggest you write down your reasons for not reducing fees or agreeing to his "requests" and give him a ring - it's much easier to discuss it when you've chosen the time and terms of the conversation! If he's pushy or tries to renegotiate, stand your ground and say NO! If that's hard tell him you'll think about it and get back to him to buy yourself time. Then, again, make notes before you make the call. (Can you tell we did this on Assertiveness Training :( !?)

 

As a last word of advice - the parents who are difficult to deal with before they sign the contract are often even worse afterwards!!! xD

 

Nona

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As a last word of advice - the parents who are difficult to deal with before they sign the contract are often even worse afterwards!!! xD

I was just thinking the same thing - if you are in a difficult wrangle with the parent at this stage in your relationship, perhaps he should consider whether you are the right childminder for him. :o

 

Stick to your guns - and if he carries on haggling tell him you charge an extra 50p an hour for awkward customers!

 

Maz

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Why is it that some parents will haggle over the cost of childcare for what has to be their greatest asset in the world.......their children!

 

 

My thoughts exactly! Why ever should they consider that having such specialist one to one care for their child should be cheaper than, say, a full daycare nursery. The history of childminding cheaply or for pin money etc. has to be buried for good. Childminders are well qualified experts these days - Surely in most things in life if you are asking for a very individualised bespoke service you should expect to pay top money, not get it on the cheap - and most especially if we are looking for care for our most precious things in life.

 

Don't allow this parent to brow beat you into accepting less than you want - you have a service they want - they will have to pay for it.

Edited by Panders
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I agree with what has been said, stick to your guns- he's had a good deal and it would be his loss..

are you able to fill the hours after 10.50 - its a lot of money to miss out on!.

In my experience always sign and agree contracts before the child starts, its so much easier that way all parties then know where they stand.

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Hi

 

I live in Brighton and childminders around here have started charging £5 per hour!

 

Stick to your guns on this one. Have you told him about the late pick up charge of £10 per hour or part hour yet...................lol

 

Good luck

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I agree about sticking to your guns, but I have found its better to end an agreement early on if it doesn't look like working out. If they really want your care they'll work out where their priorities are and come back with better attitudes. Or they'll go elsewhere. The anxiety of dealing with resentful parents in your home isn't worth it.

 

Fe

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I agree about sticking to your guns, but I have found its better to end an agreement early on if it doesn't look like working out. If they really want your care they'll work out where their priorities are and come back with better attitudes. Or they'll go elsewhere. The anxiety of dealing with resentful parents in your home isn't worth it.

 

Fe

 

Hiya and thanks for the comments. the problem is that at the moment I dont have any other work during the day. Its my first in a very dry period for all childminders around here. Thinking of asking him to make up the hours on the two days he is only using me for three hours. Do you have different rates for out of term time ? I have four kids of my own and have found it difficult to take them out in holiday time as it is without another baby( my youngest is 2yrs) Husband wants me to let it go and review in 6 months. Think Im gonna get him around today to discuss further.... Its partly my fault for being so blinking nice in the first place and unsure as to the whole negotiating thing. :o

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Do you think he would expect to go to Tesco or even a nursery and start haggling over the hourly rate? You charge what you charge and he needs to pay it. If you start off this relationship letting him call the shots like this you'll end up being pushed into all sorts of agreements you don't want.

 

You are a professional, offering a professional service. He needs to see you as such. It sounds like he's treating you like a teenaged babysitter.

 

Don't forget that if he tells other parents about the deal he's got you'll have problems charging anyone the right amount.

 

I really think you should stand your ground. I know you feel like you need the work but what would you feel like if a parent who was prepared to pay the full rate wanted his space next week?

 

Like others have said -Stick to your guns.

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The anxiety of dealing with resentful parents in your home isn't worth it.

 

Fe

 

Well said, Fe!!

 

There is nothing worse than sitting in your own home dreading their arrival - yet strangely, their children are often lovely (definitely nurture over nature :o )

 

Nona

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Hi. Regarding the point 'if the parent is awkward before signing contract, they are usually worse after' - remember to make sure he pays some or all in advance otherwise by the end of the week month whatever, he may go back to his original demands and only offer you cut wages. I know the contract will stand up in court but how many cases haven't got that far as the minder doesn't want to pursue for the sake of 100. Seems insignifigant to go to court over but makes a big difference to individual monthly budgets!

Hope it goes ok.

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Hello again to you all, many thanks for all your advice - cant work out how to do a group reply so am sending this !!. After a rather sleepless night I decided to give him a call and state my deal/reasons etc for new rate.

Ive offered to take his deal if he pays me for the hours he isnt using on the two 'bitty' days and any further changes ie additional hours will cost £4.00.

Or he has the flexibility he is accustomed to with the new rate - end of.

Surprisingly he was glad I had called and was very happy with the provision I had so far given his child ( not surprised but nice to hear). He will mull it over tonight with his wife and we will get down to contract signing tomorrow.

 

I reiterated the usual stuff ie quality of provision and the fact that luckily we do live in a nice area ie Formby and that he couldnt compare that to "Sefton fees of only £2.75" I also stated ( I think it was as nona suggested) that my fees are what they are because I dont sit on my butt all day drinking coffee but actually interact and focuss solely on his child. I was prepared for him to get nasty but it didnt happen thankfully and he ended up complimenting how flexible friendly etc I have been etc

 

So I feel miles better and very glad of the "assertiveness" briefing one of you gave me cos we are now due to meet tomorrow and finalise things. Thanks for the support. It is worth remembering that unless you tell people what and why your doing something ( on both sides that is) you always tend to think the worst and assume the worst -he thought I was going to be awkward about giving him the much needed evidence re hours ive had his kid which would mean that he might not get the help he wanted. Not sure about the validaty of that one but atleast we are both smiling at least now !!! So till tomorrow

 

Will let you know how it goes - thanks again to you all :o

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i agree with other responses - parents should not dictate to you the terms of your business and in my area that is definately a reasonable rate if slightly lower than the norm

 

 

Completely agree with many of other responses - you dont go into a supermarket and negotiate - or ask them to wait for payment - you have your rate and he s obviously happy with your service - if you find it difficult saying these things face to face - out them in writing, sometimes its easier to put your point across in a letter.

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I've found this thread really interesting with loads of good tips to keep thoses pesky parents in line!!!!!!!!! I'll never forget my friend (also a childminder) calling me a couple of years ago to tell me that when some new parents came around to sign her contract etc...... they produced a contract of their own and demanded that she sign that!!!!!!!!!

 

Give me a 2 year old temper tamtrum any day over an opinionated parent! LOL

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