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New To Childminding


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Hi guys

 

After working in different nurseries/pre-schools I have now decided to set up a childminding business. Am just waiting for my Ofsted visit to check out my premises & conduct suitable person interview.

 

I have been approached by a parent to provide care for her daughter who is only 7 months but she has just started a new job working 3 days on 3 off so her chidcare requirements will change week on week. I know she also uses a local nursery and has support of her mum so I don't want to be used as 'on standby' so to speak.

 

Can anyone offer me any advice on how to tackle this one? Was thinking of saying I would need her to commit to at least 1 day per week and I would be flexible to change that specific day if I had space. Just want to start as I mean to go on and don't want to be taken advantage of. Her monthly invoice would automatically be charged at 1 day per week care, plus any extras added on. I would only not charge if she gave me 4 weeks notice of change as stipulated in my policy document. Does this make sense????

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Welcome to the wonderful world of the RCM.

 

Everyone I know does their invoicing differently. I am truly pants at it. I started out wanting to be all tough and businesslike but have ended up with lots of business on an ad-hoc basis which works for me. I think I do get extra business because I am more flexible. I only want to work three days a week term time so I take what I can get. It sounds like you have a good grasp of how to run a business, and what you're worth, so run with what you've got. As I say, everyone does it differently, and it depends on what your needs are and those of the parents. For me, I might just charge a bit more for the time they are with me- I could always give notice if someone else comes along (but I wouldn't).

 

As an aside, one thing which changed my life for the better was, instead of charging by the week, or number of weeks in a month, I now work out how much the fee should be for the year and divide it by equal monthly payments. This stopped parents always questioning the accounts because there were five weeks in that month or holidays etc, and we all know how much is coming in and going out. I then make refunds if necessary or give care in lieu. It all seems to work out the same at the end of the year.

 

Enjoy

 

Honey

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Hi Honey

 

Thanks for the advice! Am still waiting for Ofsted to conduct home visit but have spent the last few days writing up all my policies, contract & welcome brochure. Feeling quite organised now & keen to get started!

 

Have decided to advertise Mon-Fri 8am till 6pm offering either an annual contract or term time only contract as we have a private day nursery, primary & secondary school in our village.

 

Having 3 children of my own I have also decided to state in my contract I will be taking 4 weeks holiday each year during school hols. Choosing to take 1 week at Easter, 2 weeks during the summer and 1 week at christmas (no fees). I will charge for any holiday time taken by parents at other times. Have viewed lots of threads relating to unpaid holiday but seems that there are pleanty of grumbling parents not happy with paying fees whilst childminder away on hols!

 

Allyson X

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Have viewed lots of threads relating to unpaid holiday but seems that there are pleanty of grumbling parents not happy with paying fees whilst childminder away on hols!

 

Allyson X

 

You're right about retainer fees. My understanding is that we shouldn't charge for time we are not available for - which goes for public holidays. This has been controversial in the past. I think many parents also baulk paying retainers when THEY're away on holidays but they really need to understand that if you're available, they need to pay. It's ok to charge half-fees if they give reasonable notice though. I'm glad I only work term-time - no argument. I'm available - they pay.

 

As an aside, something I do, which I think works, is not to change a family's hourly rate once they start. This promotes long-term relationships. As the children get older, their presence is money for jam. But if they leave they come back on the new rate. It's also not nice putting people's rates up - just gets them cross. I'm just wondering what to do in a few months when the fourth baby of one family will start with me. I think I'll charge the family's original rate just for sticking by me. This does get a bit complicated when nine different families are all paying different hourly rates. It pays to make a discrete list of who pays what for easy reference.

 

I'm enjoying writing this down. Should be studying though.

 

Cheers,

 

Honey

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