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-   -   Why Do Daycares Use Waitlists Instead of Raising Prices to Meet The Demand? (https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=92280)

Myst_Seattle 08-23-2019 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by tandow:
Basically what you're saying is that we need to raise our prices so that only the wealthy are entitled to quality childcare.

I'm sorry I gave you that impression. I'm just asking why daycare providers don't raise their prices more. If part of the answer is "I don't want to price out everyone but the wealthiest parents", I'd take it. I actually mentioned this as my hypothesis back in the very first post.

Originally Posted by tandow:
Nevermind that we have years of experience, and actually know what we're talking about.

I could not agree more! Nobody knows better than an actual daycare provider.

Originally Posted by tandow:
If someone offered me $5000 to get off my waitlist I'd laugh in their face. I don't want parents that think they can "buy" me. My policies are mine, and they're set for a reason. Entitled parents in the beginning typically end up being problem parents while using your services. They want it when they want it, no matter how you or the other parents of children in your care are affected.

I see. So having a long waitlist is convenient as you can always kick out a parent from your business for obnoxious behavior? As opposed to charging a lot of money and having to deal with adult tantrums.

Originally Posted by tandow:
But you be stubborn and stick to your guns.... your OPINION on this is obviously worth more to you than our experience.

I'm only sticking to my guns about the claim that increased pricing could not eliminate waitlists :) I do not have any "guns" about the practicalities of daycare operations.

Blackcat31 08-23-2019 01:11 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
An alternative option is to have a fee to skip the waiting list. So for say $5000 you'd get to be the first family to get offered a spot.

Isn't that kind of how all those parents got in trouble with getting their kids into college?

So basically parents can buy their way to the front of the line? That's really sad. :(

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
Got it. So essentially daycares are trying to avoid being accused of unethical behaviour and thus losing clients in the long term. Otherwise everyone would maximize their prices or charge fees to skip the waitlist. This pretty much answers my original question.

Daycares (in general) aren't trying to avoid being accused of unethical behavior....they simply aren't unethical. period. The provider that is all business and nothing but business is few and far between. 99% of providers care MORE about their clients than they do about the income.

Haven't you read the venting thread here?

If not, I suggest you do. Almost every single post involves a provider trying to help a child/family and not wanting to term them for fear of failing them. If it was all about the money and only the money kids would be termed every time some one else came along and offered a $1 more a day for the spot.



Lastly you never answered my question about how waitlists actually work..... Waitlists are not first on the list gets the spot like most places. Wait lists that operate that way might benefit from your theory but in reality it's BEST fit gets the open spot. So the Smith family might only spend 3 days on a wait list before getting a spot even though the Jones family has been on the list for 3 years.

No matter how much money the Jones family pays if they aren't a good fit, they aren't going to be first pick.

Blackcat31 08-23-2019 01:19 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
I see. So having a long waitlist is convenient as you can always kick out a parent from your business for obnoxious behavior? As opposed to charging a lot of money and having to deal with adult tantrums.

It isn't about convenience. It's about keeping my own family fed and keeping my finances in check too... Like previously posted....it's about job security. Not all areas in the country are the same so not all daycares have waitlists.

But yes, some of the adult tantrums we've witnessed or endured are not worth any amount of money.

I am more business geared than most providers but even I have my limits and I've termed families that have certain behaviors and attitudes simply because I value myself and my self worth MORE than I value my bank account.

There will be no U-Haul trucks following my funeral procession. I'd rather make a difference in someone's life than earn an extra $ or two. ;) In the child care business it isn't black and white like it might be in other businesses.

Myst_Seattle 08-23-2019 01:49 PM

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Isn't that kind of how all those parents got in trouble with getting their kids into college?

So basically parents can buy their way to the front of the line? That's really sad. :(

It's only illegal if you pay a bribe to secure a spot. If you have an official pricelist for skipping the line its perfectly legal, just like you can skip the line at most airports for a fee. I've read that some places let you pay a "donation" to skip the line to their daycare, but that's rare.

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Lastly you never answered my question about how waitlists actually work..... Waitlists are not first on the list gets the spot like most places. Wait lists that operate that way might benefit from your theory but in reality it's BEST fit gets the open spot. So the Smith family might only spend 3 days on a wait list before getting a spot even though the Jones family has been on the list for 3 years.

No matter how much money the Jones family pays if they aren't a good fit, they aren't going to be first pick.

You could always vary your pricing based on fit. E.g. if the Smiths are for some reason the best clients for your particular daycare you could offer them a better rate to incentivize them to join. For example car rental companies sometimes let you borrow a car for free if you drive it from city A to city B for them, when they need to shuffle cars around.

Blackcat31 08-23-2019 02:07 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
It's only illegal if you pay a bribe to secure a spot. If you have an official pricelist for skipping the line its perfectly legal, just like you can skip the line at most airports for a fee. I've read that some places let you pay a "donation" to skip the line to their daycare, but that's rare.

It's illegal for daycare providers to even discuss rates with each other so I'd be surprised if the above is legal.

Call it a donation or a bribe it is what it is and it's unethical.



Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
You could always vary your pricing based on fit. E.g. if the Smiths are for some reason the best clients for your particular daycare you could offer them a better rate to incentivize them to join. For example car rental companies sometimes let you borrow a car for free if you drive it from city A to city B for them, when they need to shuffle cars around.

If the Smith's are already on my waitlist to enroll I don't need to incentivize them to enroll. I don't understand what you mean by that.

Myst_Seattle 08-23-2019 02:20 PM

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
It's illegal for daycare providers to even discuss rates with each other so I'd be surprised if the above is legal.

Call it a donation or a bribe it is what it is and it's unethical.

It's only unethical if its a backroom kind-of a deal. If you have an official pricelist on your website with everything clearly explained its not unethical at all, in my opinion. Otherwise we should ban business class on airlines :) But I do agree parents might be furious over this kind of pricing strategy.

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
If the Smith's are already on my waitlist to enroll I don't need to incentivize them to enroll. I don't understand what you mean by that.

To rephrase my original explanation: charging some people more to skip the waitlist doesn't mean you can't offer others an immediate vacancy for free. To give another example - airlines often give nice perks to military personnel in active service, even if everyone else has to pay for the privilege.

Ariana 08-23-2019 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by Snowmom:
I have to say, that comment really rubbed me the wrong way. That statement couldn't be further from the truth. Maybe where you live, that's what you're seeing. In my area, we take pride in our field. Many of us have had years of early childhood education and training. I don't know too many fields that require the ongoing training we do here.

In regards to short term: The providers I know have 10 years or more under their belt. Myself included.

Here it is a completely different story and I said MOST not ALL providers. We all know great educated providers and we all know dolts.

Cat Herder 08-23-2019 02:28 PM

Originally Posted by Ariana:
Here it is a completely different story and I said MOST not ALL providers. We all know great educated providers and we all know dolts.

I understood what you meant because we discuss it frequently. The vast majority of providers wash out within two years. We also discuss the sheer number of providers who think they are the special exception to laws governing our field. Yes, those groups equate to the majority of providers at any given time.

Ariana 08-23-2019 02:31 PM

Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
I understood what you meant because we discuss it frequently. The vast majority of providers wash out within two years. We also discuss the sheer number of providers who think they are the special exception to laws governing our field. Yes, those groups equate to the majority of providers at any given time.

Yes! I also did not in any way say my assumption was correct. Just throwing out an idea as to why providers do not charge more and that was my best guess.

We are THE most essential service. There is no other service more essential than ours. Yet we are some of the lowest paid workers. Do the math it just does not add up and I think it is good to have a conversation about it :)

FWIW I think Myst Seattle has some good points to ponder if only we could stop taking things so personally and listen.

Blackcat31 08-23-2019 02:38 PM

I am curious so I PM'ed Tom Copeland and asked for his legal advice/interpretation as to the legality of this "idea".

Hopefully he will put his two cents in.

Myst_Seattle 08-23-2019 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by Ariana:
We are THE most essential service. There is no other service more essential than ours. Yet we are some of the lowest paid workers. Do the math it just does not add up and I think it is good to have a conversation about it :)

That is absolutely true! Which is another reason why I find it strange that there's such a large shortage of daycare services, but for some reason daycare worker salaries are on the lower side of the spectrum.

LysesKids 08-23-2019 06:09 PM

Originally Posted by Unregistered:
What was your job? I know people in the "legal field" who are secretaries and have only graduated high school. Law firms even need custodians.

Darlin' I was a Paralegal & a Private Process server.. I also ran the courts, & met numerous Judges in Person... Not a secretary & I have a AAS degree in Criminal Law, so go jump in a lake. TN won't hire a TEACHER SUB unless they have a degree ALSO. WHY DON'T YOU COME OUT OF HIDING AND SPEAK WITH AN ACTUAL NAME LIKE THE REST OF US

Unregistered 08-26-2019 08:34 AM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
The need would still be there, but you won't have to wait for it. Just like you can always buy a plane ticket for Christmas, even if it costs a lot more than on other days. Likewise it is easy to buy a house in Seattle, although you need a lot of money to afford one.



Having a long waiting list means parents who both want to work full-time are unable to do so, even if they have the funds to pay for childcare. I personally know people who are struggling with this issue. Increasing the price would increase the profitability of daycares and make access to their services easier to plan for.



It is easy to demonstrate why this is true with an exaggerated example. Let's say you increase your daycare price to $100,000 per week. At those rates only someone like Bill Gates would be able to afford it and the waitlist would be gone. Obviously you can't charge $100k per week, but there is always a price point at which the waiting list would become minimal without hurting your profitability. In economic theory this is referred to as the "supply and demand" curve.



I completely agree that overregulation is the root cause of the daycare deficit! However that doesn't explain the business practices of daycares in the existing legal environment :)

So the waitlist goes away because they canít AFFORD your daycare... so you make max then people quit or go to school and now your prices are too high

Indoorvoice 08-26-2019 10:27 AM

I think I'm totally missing this argument. The only reason I had a wait list was because I had more people interested in spots than I had spots available. I don't see how pricing people out of my wait list would have helped me at all. Then when someone leaves, I have no one to choose from. Everyone already complains about paying for daycare and expects you to watch their kids for next to nothing. I would have no clients if I had charged higher than what I already charged...

Myst_Seattle 08-26-2019 11:20 AM

Originally Posted by Indoorvoice:
I think I'm totally missing this argument. The only reason I had a wait list was because I had more people interested in spots than I had spots available. I don't see how pricing people out of my wait list would have helped me at all. Then when someone leaves, I have no one to choose from. Everyone already complains about paying for daycare and expects you to watch their kids for next to nothing. I would have no clients if I had charged higher than what I already charged...

Others have already explained why my idea might not necessarily work out in practice for everyone, see the comments above. But here's how it works in theory:

1. Let's say your daycare is based in a major city, charges $100/week and has a waitlist of 2 years
2. You increase the price to $120/week and wait for a year. Now your waitlist has decreased to 1.5 years
3. You further increase the price to $150/week and wait for another year. Now your waitlist is at 6 months.

For you as a business having a 6 month waitlist should be as good as having a 2 year waitlist, as you still have enough potential clients at your door whenever you have a vacancy. And at the same time your profit margins go up as you now charge more than you did before, for the exact same amount of work. As a bonus parents can now plan for daycare much more easily, as wait times will become short and predictable.

LysesKids 08-26-2019 12:21 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
Others have already explained why my idea might not necessarily work out in practice for everyone, see the comments above. But here's how it works in theory:

1. Let's say your daycare is based in a major city, charges $100/week and has a waitlist of 2 years
2. You increase the price to $120/week and wait for a year. Now your waitlist has decreased to 1.5 years
3. You further increase the price to $150/week and wait for another year. Now your waitlist is at 6 months.

For you as a business having a 6 month waitlist should be as good as having a 2 year waitlist, as you still have enough potential clients at your door whenever you have a vacancy. And at the same time your profit margins go up as you now charge more than you did before, for the exact same amount of work. As a bonus parents can now plan for daycare much more easily, as wait times will become short and predictable.

What you didn't take into consideration is... of the people on the waitlist @ least 50% all find other care before your spot opens, as was said, you also have priced out potentials... then there is the 3 people quit, no notice, but nobody on the wait list needs you this month because they weren't expecting the spot to open sooner.

Too many factors for upping fees just to shorten the waitlist. Unless you have lived real world waitlist for home daycares don't think it will work; theory vs Real life - 2 totally different things... even the area can contribute as a factor. Blue collar neighborhoods can't afford even half of what most city folks pay

Myst_Seattle 08-26-2019 02:58 PM

Originally Posted by LysesKids:
What you didn't take into consideration is... of the people on the waitlist @ least 50% all find other care before your spot opens, as was said, you also have priced out potentials... then there is the 3 people quit, no notice, but nobody on the wait list needs you this month because they weren't expecting the spot to open sooner.

Too many factors for upping fees just to shorten the waitlist. Unless you have lived real world waitlist for home daycares don't think it will work; theory vs Real life - 2 totally different things... even the area can contribute as a factor. Blue collar neighborhoods can't afford even half of what most city folks pay

As I've mentioned in a different post, an alternative strategy could involve allowing people to pay a fee (say, $5000) to skip the waitlist and be the first to get a spot whenever one is free. There are certainly parents desperate to find daycare amongst my friends who would gladly pay a reasonable amount to skip the lines.

Blackcat31 08-26-2019 03:11 PM

How does any of what you suggested benefit the provider?

Myst_Seattle 08-26-2019 03:29 PM

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
How does any of what you suggested benefit the provider?

Daycare providers could certainly use more money, won't they? :)

You've mentioned in an older post that you've PM'ed Tom Copeland. Did you get a response by any chance?

sahm1225 08-26-2019 03:58 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
As I've mentioned in a different post, an alternative strategy could involve allowing people to pay a fee (say, $5000) to skip the waitlist and be the first to get a spot whenever one is free. There are certainly parents desperate to find daycare amongst my friends who would gladly pay a reasonable amount to skip the lines.

But why would a provider want a family who is showing them up front that they feel the rules donít apply to them? I think you are misunderstanding that a waitlist as a guarantee that the family will get a spot. They still have to interview for it and make sure theyíre a right fit.

Myst_Seattle 08-26-2019 04:27 PM

Originally Posted by sahm1225:
But why would a provider want a family who is showing them up front that they feel the rules donít apply to them? I think you are misunderstanding that a waitlist as a guarantee that the family will get a spot. They still have to interview for it and make sure theyíre a right fit.

People in business class skip the lines to security and are the first to board the plane. Does this mean "the rules don't apply to them"? :) Of course not, they're paying for it fair and square. Same concept could apply to daycares.

As for the interview - don't you have to do one in the current system to get on the waitlist in the first place? It could still be a part of the process.

Josiegirl 08-26-2019 04:45 PM

So say you charged a 'skip the line fee' to prospective clients you've interviewed that you feel may possibly be a good fit, they agree to pay the fee but then after the 2 week trial period you realize you made a terrible mistake and their little Johnny has turned into a terrible monster? Return their fee, boot Johnny and keep on going down the line?
Some of what you say makes sense but I cannot imagine any parents around my area agreeing to paying an extra fee. And I cannot picture a dcf skipping the waiting line and remain easy to work with. Wouldn't they end up feeling very entitled because they paid that extra?
People around my state are lucky to have extra money to begin with, let alone an extra 5K to dish out.
What would be the difference between paying a huge waiting list fee and charging higher than normal weekly rates? Wouldn't that also narrow down your list?

Blackcat31 08-26-2019 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
Daycare providers could certainly use more money, won't they? :)

You've mentioned in an older post that you've PM'ed Tom Copeland. Did you get a response by any chance?

No response from Tom yet but I assume heís busy and will reply

As for needing more money... sure Iím sure most providers can use more money but my area canít afford to pay any more than the going rate right now so other than price gouging, whatís in it for the provider?

Blackcat31 08-26-2019 05:12 PM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
People in business class skip the lines to security and are the first to board the plane. Does this mean "the rules don't apply to them"? :) Of course not, they're paying for it fair and square. Same concept could apply to daycares.

As for the interview - don't you have to do one in the current system to get on the waitlist in the first place? It could still be a part of the process.

I had a parent that once offered to pay me so her kid could skip past his consequence. (Playing outside without me physically present/Staying inside until I took him outside)
They were termed shortly after...
that mentality isnít the type I want for clients
Not for all the marbles. :cool:

Rockgirl 08-26-2019 06:29 PM

OP, I donít get why youíre so adamant about this. :confused:

Myst_Seattle 08-27-2019 12:27 AM

Originally Posted by Rockgirl:
OP, I donít get why youíre so adamant about this. :confused:

I'm only adamant about the fact that waitlists could in theory be shortened through increased fees. The helpful people of this forum have already explained why they personally refuse to follow such pricing policies and now it makes a lot more sense.

Annalee 08-27-2019 04:33 AM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
I'm only adamant about the fact that waitlists could in theory be shortened through increased fees. The helpful people of this forum have already explained why they personally refuse to follow such pricing policies and now it makes a lot more sense.

The only thing "waitlist" have done here is helped the state to declare "desert daycare counties". Those counties now receive higher subsidy pay and even more pay if non-traditional hours are offered (6A to 6P). Not many providers have offered this, but the state did ask for each county licensor to submit waitlist numbers. So, the consensus was that the waitlist were so long and most families represented needed subsidized and low-cost care therefore, raising rates for the waitlist crew would not have benefitted anyone. Like I said earlier in this thread, I was interested but then thought "leave it alone". But I decided to add my two cents. :)

Cat Herder 08-27-2019 06:36 AM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
People in business class skip the lines to security and are the first to board the plane. Does this mean "the rules don't apply to them"? :) Of course not, they're paying for it fair and square. Same concept could apply to daycares.

As for the interview - don't you have to do one in the current system to get on the waitlist in the first place? It could still be a part of the process.

I don't interview until I have a slot available.

Charging more won't make the children grow up faster. :ouch: My wait isn't about money it is about occupancy.
  • If I enroll an infant, that slot most likely won't be available again for 4-6 years.
  • If I enroll a two-year-old, that slot won't be available again for an average of 2-4 years.
  • If I have a 5.5-year-old, that slot will be open in 6 months because the mandatory school attendance age is 6 years.

Same for all 6 slots. My next opening depends on when they move on, not who is on the waitlist and what they are willing to pay.

284878 08-27-2019 06:41 AM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:

As for the interview - don't you have to do one in the current system to get on the waitlist in the first place? It could still be a part of the process.

No I don't have time to tour every family that contacts me, if I did I would never see my family and families don't want to tour a place that doesn't currently have space for their child. The majority of us on this board are home day cares, some have employees but most don't and others are teacher in a centers.

When I get a call, I find out what days and times they need care plus child's age. If it is something that will work, we continue. If not then I offer to add them to my list (and the address of the state website for a list of DC) If they agree, I take there name and contact info, plus some other info and add it to list. If and when something comes available, I check my list for days, times and child age, then contact the families that my needs. If they still need care, then they come for a tour, if the don't then I remove them from the list. Sometimes if it has been a while, I send an email states that I am cleaning up my wait-list, if you would like to stay on my list please let me know by xx day. When I do this it eliminates 90% because none of them are waiting around for me to get an opening, they continue to look until they find care.


Basically my list is a call back list if something comes available and I don't feel like me contacting them back is unsolicited.

Blackcat31 08-27-2019 08:19 AM

You know why this is ridiculous? Because while you are concentrating on a business model and a supposed way to have more money you are forgetting about the social aspect of this concept.

Line cutting is considered unethical. It's rude and is considered unacceptable in almost all cultures.

Those people that feel it's their right (even when they paid for it) to step in front of the line where others are waiting sends a clear message.

It says "I am better and so much more important than ALL of you."

....and unfortunately that model of humanity isn't something daycare providers believe or invest in.

Child care is a business but it's also a social situation.
Academic lessons as well as social lessons are taught on a daily basis and no where in those lessons and teachable moments is there room to teach someone one that money makes you more important or a priority.

I think a big part of why you are receiving so much push back with this theory is because you are severely underestimating child care providers and their ability to be sensible, caring and ethical human beings.

Basically your theory suggests we exploit the very people we are devoting our lives to helping.

That in and of itself says a lot about what the general public doesn't understand about the child care world.


There have been many studies done in regards to paying for the "right" to step in front of others and none of them really have a very positive outcome. Most of them found that society is generally more apt to help others and to do the right thing without being paid to do so.

Social order is a requirement for a society to operate smoothly. There are social norms and rules that most people follow simply because it's the right thing to do.

Your business model of sticking it to those that can't afford to be first or front of the line demonstrates a lack of morals and the ability to understand other people's perspectives.

Failure to have empathy and understanding of members within the same social group is a dangerous position to be in.
Narcissism comes to mind. As does Lord of the Flies :lol:

Anyways, my point is that while paying more to cut in line might work for some business models it does not work in child care.

There is a cost to cut in line but the cost is not monetary. ;) I am sorry you are not able to see that.

TomCopeland 08-27-2019 09:30 AM

wait lists
 

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
Daycare providers could certainly use more money, won't they? :)

You've mentioned in an older post that you've PM'ed Tom Copeland. Did you get a response by any chance?

Is it legal to charge a fee to be on a wait list? Yes. Is it legal to move someone to the top of the wait list if they pay a fee? Yes. Is it legal to move someone up the wait list even if they don't pay a fee? Yes, as long as the reason is not because of illegal discrimination (race, sex, religion, etc.).

Unregistered 08-27-2019 09:37 AM

Iím going to assume OP loves the business model Martin Shkreli uses...

Thatís a shame

Myst_Seattle 08-27-2019 12:58 PM

Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Iím going to assume OP loves the business model Martin Shkreli uses...

Thatís a shame


Absolutely not. Shkreli created an artificial scarcity by jacking up the price, instead of manufacturing more of the drug. Daycares are cannot be manufactured on a plant.

Mom2Two 08-27-2019 12:58 PM

Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
NYB.

I actually googled NYB to see what degree that stood for. Don't worry, I did get it in the end. :lol:

Originally Posted by Mom2Two:
Yep! Exactly. I have never bothered having a wait list. The parents find other care. They aren’t all just waiting around with no daycare.

Wait...I got edited by Michael. What did I say????

Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Real-life business owners do whatever they want.


Truth


Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
It isn't about convenience. It's about keeping my own family fed and keeping my finances in check too... Like previously posted....it's about job security. Not all areas in the country are the same so not all daycares have waitlists. ****
There will be no U-Haul trucks following my funeral procession. I'd rather make a difference in someone's life than earn an extra $ or two. ;) In the child care business it isn't black and white like it might be in other businesses.

likethis

Originally Posted by Ariana:
Here it is a completely different story and I said MOST not ALL providers. We all know great educated providers and we all know dolts.

Yep!

Originally Posted by Indoorvoice:
I think I'm totally missing this argument. The only reason I had a wait list was because I had more people interested in spots than I had spots available. I don't see how pricing people out of my wait list would have helped me at all. Then when someone leaves, I have no one to choose from. Everyone already complains about paying for daycare and expects you to watch their kids for next to nothing. I would have no clients if I had charged higher than what I already charged...

Yep!

I think that things in daycare are just more fluid than you are really understanding, Myst. When news outlets report numbers, sometimes they're being a bit dramatic. Sometimes things depend on perspective.

I don't get constant calls for care. Sometimes people aren't looking for care in my town, because it's high COL and a lot of people are past the baby stage. People have family help them out. There's more demand in the towns next to mine.

And I would honestly say that prices have indeed gone up in counties around here in the past few years, since the economy got better. COL has gone way up in general here. Prices in daycare do change, but it's not instant, the way that gas prices change.

Michael 08-27-2019 03:32 PM

Originally Posted by Mom2Two:
Wait...I got edited by Michael. What did I say???

It may have been a word that needed correction. I tend to fix grammar or misspelled words for search reasons.

Unregistered 08-29-2019 07:35 AM

Spots available
 
We have wait lists for my center openings based on the numbers we can have in attendance. There have been times when it has been up to 1 year based on the ages and number of kiddos in the families on our list. Sometimes parents will find an alternative that they are satisfied with and no longer need to be on our wait list and sometimes parents are just waiting it out until they can come into our program. If I do raise tuition it is because we have decided to raise tuition. It is not based on how many are on our wait list, since the wait list is only used to supplement openings we have. I think its great to have families on a wait list - it means you have a good program that others want to be a part of!

DaddyDaycare 08-29-2019 10:00 AM

Originally Posted by Myst_Seattle:
Others have already explained why my idea might not necessarily work out in practice for everyone, see the comments above. But here's how it works in theory:

1. Let's say your daycare is based in a major city, charges $100/week and has a waitlist of 2 years
2. You increase the price to $120/week and wait for a year. Now your waitlist has decreased to 1.5 years
3. You further increase the price to $150/week and wait for another year. Now your waitlist is at 6 months.

For you as a business having a 6 month waitlist should be as good as having a 2 year waitlist, as you still have enough potential clients at your door whenever you have a vacancy. And at the same time your profit margins go up as you now charge more than you did before, for the exact same amount of work. As a bonus parents can now plan for daycare much more easily, as wait times will become short and predictable.

I love your question and I don't find it ridiculous at all, but I'm coming from a corporate business background. I briefly considered opening up my own day care, but after some research decided I didn't want to take a pay cut to deal with difficult families and daily operations. I would imagine that if maximizing profit was the main motivator, a lot of DCs wouldn't be in this field. Your point about the bigger franchises like Fullbright is a good one though.

I've been in a lot of situations where something that may appear obvious to someone can actually be very nuanced. The entitled parents because they paid extra is a really good example of that! Something I'll keep in mind as it applies to businesses outside of daycares as well :)

I also want to point out that a pure Supply & Demand model doesn't apply for daycares. I wouldn't want to send my baby to a daycare that costs $7/month, and on the other end of the spectrum, people wrongly conflate price with quality

daycarediva 08-29-2019 11:28 AM

Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
My waitlist is about 3 years, now. I charge what I need to earn to meet my financial obligations, keep an emergency fund and life insurance, take a couple of vacations per year and fund my IRA. It has nothing to do with whom is on the list. I also have no desire to earn more, more money = more problems in my experience. :lol: I love my life as it is.

My tuition rate is fixed, increases yearly (just like my clients' wages) and reflects inflation in my region. I am not sure what you mean by "vary the pricing based on the number of customers". It has nothing to do with the number of customers, that is a fixed number, too, set by my regulations. I did not choose it and feel it is low for my ability.


Maybe OP should petition the state of Washington to increase ratios based on the education of the staff. Teachers with masters degrees are capable of caring for more children than those without, based on the logic in this thread, correct?

I am licensed for 16 children, ages 6 weeks to 12 years. I enroll only children 2+, therefor the 4 under 2 does not apply to me. I hold a bachelor's in ECE and my assistant holds a CDA, pursuing an associates in ECE with an eventual ST degree.

Now, *I* feel that we can easily manage more children and my waiting list would be shortened by about 6-12 months IF the state would allow us to waive enrolling children under 2, and enroll 20 children ages 2-6 instead of 16.

THAT makes more sense to ME than charging more money (we are currently the highest priced in home in our zip code) with a waiting list that is full for September of 2020 because I refuse to do the paperwork to extend it beyond a year.

Siblings take priority. (more money)
Full time takes priority. (more money)

If we raised rates any higher (and we do, annually) we would be at local center rates, who do NOT have a waiting list and are actively seeking enrollment.

Cat Herder 08-29-2019 11:44 AM

Originally Posted by daycarediva:
Maybe OP should petition the state of Washington to increase ratios based on the education of the staff. Teachers with masters degrees are capable of caring for more children than those without, based on the logic in this thread, correct?

:lol::lol::lol::lol: I'm dying over here. I know two "providers" with masters degrees and they are both trainwrecks. Constant meltdowns, call-outs and no-shows. One can't work without her "therapy dog" (who rides in a stroller) due to the noise stress. :lol::lol::lol:

I would love it if they raised the ratios, though. I admit I was pushed some days with 12 alone (so rarely enrolled that many full-time), but 8 flows masterfully for me. :Sunny: When they cut me from 12 to 6 in one year, it nearly put me out of business.


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