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Old 12-16-2020, 10:59 AM
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Sunshine69 Sunshine69 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2020
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Default Payment for School-Aged Care

I have a recurring dilemma with the same family that doesn't seen to grasp my payment policy for school-aged children. I thought it was explained thoroughly in my contract, but they question it every time payment for a non-school day arises.

School-aged care has it's own challenges and is even more complicated this year with some doing a mix of in-person and remote learning. I have had to rearrange my daycare and also allow older kids into parts of my home that I would not normally allow, just to give them a quiet space away from the younger, noisier kids. They bring the extra responsibility of their school-issued Chromebooks which they forget to charge and tempt the younger kids with. They consume more food and supplies than the younger kids and it's so challenging trying to make sure they get meals because they're scheduled for meets during my normal meal serving times.

I added a line into my contract payment schedule that I would be paid a regular daily amount for any additional remote-learning days the school district sets. It's the same rate I would get paid if it were a normally scheduled school break. Having taken on additional school-aged kids this year, due to need from my previous daycare families, has eaten up my available full-time daycare spots, so, as you all know, we operate at a loss when we fill a full-time spot with part-time care. The only way I can manage the income loss is to be able to count on payment for the days the children aren't in school.

One particular family seems to think that if they don't send their child on those days, they don't have to pay for the day. I've given this family a discount as they have two full-time kids in care. I offer them care, at no charge, for before and after school care only for their oldest child. This discount means I lose the hourly pay that my other parents of school-aged kids pay. It costs me an average of $50-60/week or about $200/month.

Still I get the question, at least once a month "If dcc doesn't come to daycare, is tuition still due?"

I've used the "payment in based on enrollment, not attendance" explanation but still the questions continue. I've explained my ratio allowances and that I just can't add another child to make up the lost income and that if I did add another child, their child will not have a guaranteed spot when there is no school. I think the confusion might be from the fact that they get free before and after school care. Of course, it's possible that they are just trying to wear me down with questions so I'll give in and give them free care for their oldest. There's always the possibility that they could pull all the kids from care, which would leave me scrambling to fill the full-time vacancies. However, based on the calls I'm getting lately, people are telling me that the prices they've been quoted are so much more than mine and no local providers have any openings.

Do you usually charge for a full day of care for school-aged kids when school is out? Or do you have a different set weekly fee for school-aged care and just plan on the kids being in care when school is not in session/in-person? The second option seemed like too costly a risk to consider this year.
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