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Pre Booking Places? What To Do?


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Hi all, me again! You'll probably all get sick of me soon! :o


What do you all do about parents that want to reserve a place for their child ages in advance?


I've got a lady that wants to reserve 2 full days next September 2012 for what will be her 7 month old. The baby isn't due until February 2012. She is very very keen for her child to come here as she only works around the corner.


At the moment I'm just starting out so have vacancies those 2 days but unsure of what to say to her. I would love to have her child but confused as it's a long way off and I might have no vacancies. :(


Sorry, I'm rambling. Any advice from you all is welcome!


Thank you!



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Once the baby is born you could come to an arrangement with here whereby she pays a fee to keep the place open for her child.


You need to work out whether this will suit you financially and talk to her about whether she's prepared to pay to reserve the place.


I don't charge a reservation fee but that wouldn't suit everyone.

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My waiting list has a couple of children on who wont start until next year. This year we had one start who had been on the list since birth.

We always put the child on the list and save their place, luckily we've always been able to, but I am aware some places cant afford to, its just that its kind of traditional at ours.

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NCMA recommend that nothing is done until after the baby is born.


It's a tricky decision for you, as you're just setting up, so ask yourself...


can you afford to keep a place available without charging a retainer fee?


are the parents prepared to pay the retainer fee? (usually half fees)


if you accept this reswrvation will it stop you taking other clients on? what if you get an enquiry for 2 new clients? or a family who need childminding for 2 children?


Please don't think I'm trying to burst your bubble (I'm not, honestly :o ) but if you can it may be best to explain the situation to the parent... if you commit to this now you may have to turn other business away between now and next September.


I've had some families who have immediately offered to pay the retainer fees and others who've said they just can't afford to and will have to hope that I have a vacancy when they need it.



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Thank you for your help! It's all a bit confusing, hehe!


I'll have a think about asking for a retainer fee.


I was going to tell her we should wait until the baby is born too.


Thank you for getting back to me!



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