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Parent's Are Shift Workers! How Do I Charge For This?


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I've been contacted by a lady to look after her child. Her and her partner both work shifts, which can vary alot. She would want me Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but different hours each week. Looks like it would be no earlier than 11am and no later than 4pm. But i'm really not sure how to charge her as the little boy would be taking up one of my full time under 5's spaces.


Can anyone help?





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Forgot to mention, she may want me to pick him up from pre-school once a week. The pre-school isn't in the area I collect from, it's 6-7 miles from me. So I could I charge extra for this?

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I am always torn between supporting parents and maintaining a good income.


One question is whether you are hoping/ intending to fill all your early years places pretyy much full time.


If you are, then say no to this family, wishing them well with their search. If you don't want to do this, then a part-time contract like this could work.


You could charge for a minimum number of hours per week, regardless of whether they are all used, then charge per hour for any additional hours in certain weeks. The pre-school run, if it is out of your way and unlikely that you will pick up work from there, definitely consider charging extra. Also think about your next family - will they be happy with their child in the car for a 13 mile round trip? It may be that where you likve is quite rural, so this is a normal distance for a school run. I live in London where that kind of distance would be bordering on madness.


Another thing is that an 11am drop off is going to massively inconvient for when you have other children and will be at Stay and Play etc. You would need to find out whether the family would drop off to the play centre, or would drop off earlier so that you are not tied to the house all morning. If you decided you have to charge them for more than the 5 hours they are using, then they might be happy to drop at say 9am to use the hours they are having to pay for anyway.


If you decide to say no, then keep on good terms, and if this is a contract that might suit someone else you know, then pass on numbers etc.

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I charge a flat daily rate and have always been extremely busy. This also covers children who go to pre-school as I often have them in the morning, take them to pre-school and pick them up for the parents and they stay untill after tea. I am basically in loco parentis and will pick up if a child is ill.


You need to set a minimum fee, otherwise you end up like a drop in service. I have nurses, doctors and flight crew - and can not operate without this set fee. I did but lost earnings right let and centre and some weeks could not meet my rent and support my own family. I learnt early on.


You have to weigh up why your in business. Whilst you want to support families etc, you also have your own rent and family needs and this can only be supported if a regular income is coming in.

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