View Full Version : Mom Asking Too Much??? . . . For Too Little $$
04-28-2011, 03:45 PM
I have questions about how to professionally handle this mom. I am a new provider and trying to get established. I am charging $125 week per child with siblings being $200 per week. That includes all meals and snacks as well as activities.
The mom in question has 2 children 4 and 7 yrs who she needs care for. Since she is a nurse she wanted to only pay for the days they would be there which is an average of 3 days a week @ $50 per day. I know this is way low but I was hoping that by getting established I could get good references. In her ad she said nothing about needing me to take them to and from school (20 miles total each day) or that the hours she listed (6:30 AM - 7:30 PM) were not the hours of care but her shift hours. So actually she wants care from 5:45 AM to 8:15 PM or 14.5 hours.
I can take her daughter to school but not pick her up since I will have too many kids by that time. Despite the bus literally stopping right by my house she is paranoid about them riding it. Oh, and did I mention she also wants to chat for a couple hours this weekend while I am moving into my new house. Or that she actually had the gaul to ask me if I was buying a bigger car (yeah lady cause the reason I would get a bigger car was so I could take your daughter to school).
I want to tell her she needs to face reality . . . she is a single mom who is paying insanely low amounts for childcare and she has no other option but the bus. Instead she is trying to find other care. Personally, I dont think there is anyway she would find someone willing to work that many hours and do that much for so little -- who happens to live nearby (we live in a rural area). Did I mention her Ex is a pedophile (in jail)?
I want to drop her but I need the cash . . . for now. What would ya'll more experienced providers do? Should I confront her?
04-28-2011, 03:46 PM
Welcome to the Daycare.com Forum sweetpeamommy!
04-28-2011, 04:24 PM
Wow...almost too many issues to touch in one post. :ouch:
First off, IMHO, she knew you were a new provider so she tried to walk on you. It worked, you caved. No shame, we have ALL done it. :p
I am surrounded with nurses, friends, family, co-workers, and they all know they pay the full time rate. They know they WILL take up a full time slot because they often get called in on their off days for training, etc. ;)
Second, if she is already looking for other care because you cannot take her kids back and forth, which is not a part of your program, then confronting her will do nothing but cause drama. Bad JUJU especially if you are trying to develop a reputation.
Third, you need a black and white, hard copy, contract to keep this stuff from happening to you in the future. Stick to it and don't be afraid to say NO.
I know the folks here will pipe in more that I missed... :lol::lol::lol:
Welcome to the forum...stick around!!
04-28-2011, 05:06 PM
That's a rediculously low rate no matter where you live.
I did day and evening shift for many years. What she's asking is that you do three full day shifts for the four year old. Three full evening shifts for the four year old and three full evening shifts for the seven year old. That's a total of nine shifts.
The reason the evening shift is a full shift is that she is asking you to do ALL of the awake hours on the evening shift. The direct care hours (meaning the hours the child is awake) are the same as it would be if you had a three to eleven shift child.
So nine total shifts of service for 150 dollars. That is about $16.66 per shift per kid not including the transporting or having the school ager before school for a couple of hours a day.
This Mom has been on the daycare ride before. She's asking you to do what is equivallent to two shifts per day of awake hours on the four year old and a full evening three days a week on the school ager for what she would pay for just six day shifts at your regular rate of 25 per day. That's a very very very low amount of money. You are basically doing the school aged kid for free.
You will hate it very quickly. You will have the four year awake all but two/three hours of a 14.5 hour day and the seven year old awake about seven hours a day. It's WAY too much for that small amount of money.
04-28-2011, 06:10 PM
Yes confront her if you are willing to work those hours & yes that is too low. That is a super-long day & you need to be compensated much better than that. First off I would tell mom you didn't realize how long of a day it really was & you based your prices on her work hours not the actual care hours. Because of the 14.5 hr days (YIKES!) that is close to 2 regular care days IMO or at least worth 1.5 days of pay for each day of care. I would tell her you underestimated the rate since you were unaware of the care hours. I would say the rate needs to be at least $70.00/day (if not more) for that long of a day-truly that is a full-time work week even though it is compressed into 3 days. I would also say you are not willing to drive that far to pick up from school, it's the bus or not at all. You will really get tired of treking to school everyday, especailly with that distance & the gas costs not to mention lugging other kids up everyday & disrupting them from napping. Not worth it. I live 2 miles from our elementary school & I don't do it.
04-28-2011, 06:12 PM
Don't do it! They will take up spots, be a big pain in every way and I promise you, this mom will ask for more and more and more because you gave one time. Decide what sort of families you want and do NOT start out your program adjusting to each family. You will end up hating your job and being on the clock almost 24/7.
04-28-2011, 06:35 PM
How many spots do you have to fill? Have you done many interviews? What is your work history in general? Most importantly, do you have a contract?
Start out with the contract and speak to this mom again. I'm confused whether you actually started care or are just considering it. She knows you are "new" and will test your limits. Keep your rates higher.....you're probably sitting around $2.78/hour or so if you're at $125/week so take $2.78 per hour per child and just say "I've come to the conclusion with the hours, number/age of children, this will be your weekly rate $ X X regardless if all your children are present."
I would suggest you tell this mom you cannot provide driving, but will help setup the bus to pick up and drop off at your house since it comes to your neighborhood. If your car insurance company finds out you regularly provide transportation for your daycare child your rates will triple and it's a lot of liability......not worth it if you ask me.
Keep advertising and ask us for opinions or any other questions. This site has many great helpers!
04-28-2011, 06:52 PM
I have 3 spots to fill if I don't take them (2 if they stay since the 7 yr old is after school care). I was a lifeguard, swim instructor, tutor, after school counselor, childcare provider in centers and have a masters in library science and have been a librarian. Honestly I don't think she is going to find anyone else. She was spoiled by the care center she had them in since they were open till 8 pm and had a $25 daily rate .. . but they had 66 violations. I do have a contract and yes she has it. I looked at all the other repudible care places around and there are none that would do waht she wants for the hours she needs. Not for two counties. So I am kinda like should I call her bluff and say I need more money (I know she won't find what she wants) or at least lay down the law?
04-28-2011, 06:54 PM
I say you call her bluff. If you do it for too low you will learn to regreit it quickly.... lay down the law and let her know that you dictate price not her.... its not burger king....
04-28-2011, 07:32 PM
I understand this is a single mother etc. etc. etc. BUT, she is working her 'full week' in those 3 days, and should be paying for it accordingly. Just mho...
04-28-2011, 08:36 PM
I agree to charge the full weekly rate and enforce late fees because the 14+ hours is so long away from her children. She could always choose to be a sahm and open a daycare if she wanted. What is the point of having children if you can't spend time with them and raise them? I understand being a single mom--my sister is a single mom of 4 and she works 3 12-hour shifts, but wakes up at the crack of dawn to be with her children all day on her days off and she hired a nanny to help with her hours. You do what you can as a single mom and that doesn't mean you act like you change someone's daycare business.
Did you set rates and have her sign a contract? I know you said she had it, but you obviously need to have the contract and she needs a copy of your handbook and contract herself. If it costs too much, you should recommend she apply for state assistance, but until then full time rate or the rate you're okay with. I'm not sure when you're going to raise rates, but September is when a lot of provider's do it and you can always raise hers a little then if things are difficult. She realy shouldn't get a discount. I'm sure if you offered hours until 5 pm, etc, she would find a friend or neighbor to handle the next few hours. I wish you the best of keeping a backbone from the beginning of your business days! :Sunny:
Live and Learn
04-28-2011, 08:54 PM
1) Here over 20 hours is full time. She is asking for part time price for a full-time spot. Charge her your normal full time rate if you are willing to take on those long hours at all. I would not.
2) Also, the kid needs to ride the bus for heaven's sake.:)
06-13-2011, 10:48 PM
Don't let anyone take advantage of your kindness. You may be new in the
business but in doesn't mean you have follow everything that they
demand. You don't need to please other people in order to get a good
reputation. And don't worry about the people in your neighborhood. As
long as your intentions are good, I don't see any problem with that.
There are so many potential moms out there that are willing to pay you
06-14-2011, 07:24 AM
I have 3 spots to fill if I don't take them (2 if they stay since the 7 yr old is after school care). I was a lifeguard, swim instructor, tutor, after school counselor, childcare provider in centers and have a masters in library science and have been a librarian. Honestly I don't think she is going to find anyone else. She was spoiled by the care center she had them in since they were open till 8 pm and had a $25 daily rate .. . but they had 66 violations. I do have a contract and yes she has it. I looked at all the other repudible care places around and there are none that would do what she wants for the hours she needs. Not for two counties. So I am kinda like should I call her bluff and say I need more money (I know she won't find what she wants) or at least lay down the law?
In this situation you have two choices:
Take her (and all the red flags/issues she comes with) because you need the money. The results being you will be at her beck and call because you will be held financially hostage....OR
Do NOT take her because she is not willing to agree to YOUR policies/payment rules etc. The results being you will still be in charge and can hold out until a family who is willing to work with and respect you comes along.
This is the biggest 'No-No' IMHO for newbies...you take whoever comes along because you need the money and then hate the job because you have a family that is not a good fit....
My advice, don't even go there at all. If you do, you are just setting yourself up for trouble. I know it is hard when you first open and are trying (especially in this economy) to make ends meet, but seriously, if you take people for the money and not for the match, then you kind of can't complain about the bad treatment you get in return...after all, the parent is only there too because of the money (cheap rates). I would rather have clients who shop for quality NOT cost.
Starting a small business takes time and effort. I don't think I made a profit the first two years I was open. It is hard and it requires a bit of perserverance and willingness to stick up for yourself in regards to goals and what it is you want from running a small business. Providers are all in this business for their own reasons and no two are alike, however if you search and read on this forum a bit you will see the biggest complaint is providers putting up with bad behavior because of the need of money. I know we all need it and we all have to feed our families. But for the life of me, I will never understand why people are so willing to sacrifice their own sanity, self-respect, morals, or values etc just because a family is writing a check out at the end of the week.
Call her bluff but be ready to have her walk away. If she doesn't then be ready to have a strong backbone or she will have the upperhand.
06-14-2011, 07:45 AM
Blackcat nailed it on the head, although i'm sure many posts before her did as well. I just didn't read them.
dont' accept it. she will either
a) walk away
b) realize her request is ridiculous and will accept your counter offer
06-14-2011, 10:24 AM
super old post guys
06-14-2011, 07:36 PM
super old post guys
oh, haha - wonder what ever happened :confused:
I'm still bothered that the lady wants her to drive 20 miles each way!:lol:
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