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  #1  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:07 PM
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awestbrook713 awestbrook713 is offline
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I have been working on my policies and the one I have been having trouble with is one on school aged kids. I became registered in the summer and didn't realize until school started how quickly you can go from busy to slow. I have been writing ideas down and trying to make them work and actually say what I want them to say. I have come up with the following and everyone on here is so helpful I am looking for some constructive criticism, rewording, what ever you think I may need to work on.

First off I am raising my rates from $20 full days to $25 full days and my sibling discount from an additional $10 per child to $15 per child. I had half day rates but have decided to just go with one flat full day rate.

School age children policy:

Single Child Family
If your child is of school age and will not be needing daycare during the school year except for holidays, snowdays, or half days their spot will be considered opened for the school year. You may pay $15 per normally scheduled day to hold your childs spot until summer but if you choose not to and your childs spot is filled with a full time child you will be asked to find alternative care for the coming summer. I will still watch your child during holidays, snow days, half days if I have room, but the full time child will have priorty.

Multiple children
If you have 2 children in my care and one has not reached age 5 you will be given the option of paying the $40 a day ($25 for the one child in care, and $15 to reserve the school age childs spot). If you reserve the spot your child will have priorty over holidays, half days, or snow days and be guarenteed their spot in the summer. If you choose not to pay the additional $15 to reserve your second childs spot their spot will be considered open and filled with a new child.

I know these are wordy and confusing. I came on here thinking I knew exactly what to do but as I typed kept reworking and rethinking this policy. Please anyone help me with this mess.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awestbrook713 View Post
I have been working on my policies and the one I have been having trouble with is one on school aged kids. I became registered in the summer and didn't realize until school started how quickly you can go from busy to slow. I have been writing ideas down and trying to make them work and actually say what I want them to say. I have come up with the following and everyone on here is so helpful I am looking for some constructive criticism, rewording, what ever you think I may need to work on.

First off I am raising my rates from $20 full days to $25 full days and my sibling discount from an additional $10 per child to $15 per child. I had half day rates but have decided to just go with one flat full day rate.

School age children policy:

Single Child Family
If your child is of school age and will not be needing daycare during the school year except for holidays, snowdays, or half days their spot will be considered opened for the school year. You may pay $15 per normally scheduled day to hold your childs spot until summer but if you choose not to and your childs spot is filled with a full time child you will be asked to find alternative care for the coming summer. I will still watch your child during holidays, snow days, half days if I have room, but the full time child will have priorty.

Multiple children
If you have 2 children in my care and one has not reached age 5 you will be given the option of paying the $40 a day ($25 for the one child in care, and $15 to reserve the school age childs spot). If you reserve the spot your child will have priorty over holidays, half days, or snow days and be guarenteed their spot in the summer. If you choose not to pay the additional $15 to reserve your second childs spot their spot will be considered open and filled with a new child.

I know these are wordy and confusing. I came on here thinking I knew exactly what to do but as I typed kept reworking and rethinking this policy. Please anyone help me with this mess.
Okay Let me see if I got this...

Your charging $25 per day for children who are NOT SA and $15 per day for children who are SA. If they pay the $15 up front to hold a day that is in the future that they know they will need care for... say Christmas Break... you are guaranteeing them a spot. But if they do NOT pre pay the $15 for the day you can't guarantee them a spot. Is that correct?
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2011, 04:24 AM
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awestbrook713 awestbrook713 is offline
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They are not just paying for the holidays they are being required to pay the $15 for the days they are normally scheduled for daycare. I have each parent fill out a schedule form stating what days they need me so they would be responsible for paying for those days. Its a holders fee, if they want to be guarenteed a spot they will have to pay for it whether they use it or not. I don't want to run into the problem of having kids enrolled and never seeing them because they go to school. This way I can get paid for holding a spot or look for a new child to fill the spot depending on what the parent chooses.
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Old 10-20-2011, 05:19 AM
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Personally I think it's way complicated which leads to questions and misunderstandings.

I would do away with sibling discounts. You don't give discounted child care so you shouldn't give a discounted rate. Or if you really, really want to offer a discount make it smaller...less than 10% of the total fees per day.

As for school age....I'm a little confused? Are you offering SA care all the time or only on holidays? If it's just on holidays I think it's a bit much to expect families to pay $75/week to have "priority" but no guarentee for holiday spots. That's $3000/year++ per child in holding fees that you're asking them to pay when you aren't offering care to those children.

Or maybe I'm reading it wrong?
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Old 10-20-2011, 06:23 AM
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I agree it is way to complicated. I have been thinking about this for weeks now I thought I had the policy worked out but its just way to confusing.

Let me give you an example: I have a 6 yr old girl that is in first grade and goes to an afterschool program. Her hours during the summer is a drop off between 5:45 or 6:30am depanding on the parent dropping off that day, and a pick up between 4-4:30pm, 4 days a week. She has a 3 yr old sister. Since school has started I only see this girl wednesday and friday afternoons from 3-4 or 4:30. I am only making $20 on this girl at the moment. Her father will soon be going to workdays ending at 2:30 and I will never see her, but they still need me for holidays and days off. I am still offering care to her if she needs it and holiday/half day/ snow day care, and a guarentee for her summer spot. If this makes it any clearer.

Heres my new question maybe the policy isn't the issue maybe its the way I have set my rates maybe I don't need a policy at all. When I started I was charging hourly, way to complicated. So I went to daily, a little better but still confusing. I am thinking that a weekly rate may be the only way to go I have not been fair to myself at all with my rates.

For example using the two girls in my first example: I told you when I get the older daughter, the younger daughter is currently here M,W,Th,F 1-4 or 4:30. If I was to take each daycare childs summer schedule and charge them $25 a day and make that my weekly rate, the two girls would have a weekly rate of $200 because it would be $25x 2 kids= 50 a day x 4 days a week= $200(this would be with me getting rid of sibling discount). This would be for 40+ hours in the summer $2.50 an hour per child if I really wanted to break it down. Would it be outrageous to still charge the weekly rate of $200 with the older daughter not coming every day during the school year. She would still be coming when school isn't in session and it would be a way my business can survive my SA kids going to school and also a way for them to keep there spots.

I don't know if this information will help either but in my area where I provide daycare the weekly rates per child are as follows under 1 1/2- $140,
1 1/2-2-$139, 3-5 -$135, and 6-12- $130.

Sorry for information overload.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:41 AM
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awestbrook713 awestbrook713 is offline
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Anyone that is reading this post must think I am the most disorganized person. I usually am the most organized, I just have a real problem with putting into words what I am thinking so here goes my last try. I am charging what I feel I am due for the care I give, I am giving parents the option to reserve their spots and if they choose not to I am giving myself the chance to fill their spot with a child that needs me more often. This is what I wrote up this morning:

Rates
I reserve the right to change my rates once a year. You will be given 2 weeks’ notice prior to any changes. As of 2012 I will be charging a weekly rate according to the days your child(ren) are here in the summer. You will still be required to pay this rate during the school year whether or not your child is here as much. This is so I may reserve your child’s spot for holidays, half days, snow days, and keep their spot for the summer. If you decide you do not want to reserve your child’s spot let me know and I will fill it with another child, please understand that you may lose your spot for the following summer.
My rates are based on the areas average rates. I am willing to sit down with you and explain the break down. Your new rate will be entered onto your contract. If you feel you are unable to pay what I am charging we can look into daycare payment assistance through Delaware Opportunities.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:46 AM
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If you can get parents to pay you $15/day all year round just to secure a spot for their s/a child on school days off and summer breaks - more power to you:-)

Like PP mentioned - that's a LOT of money for a parent to pay just to "secure" a spot. I understand what you're trying to do - but in my opinion - it's a bit unreasonable.

What works for me is that I accept s/a kids on a "space available" basis. I try to keep my roster full at all times with infant thru preK age, but will occasionally have a spot open here-or-there. Parents of s/a kids are welcome to "request" daycare space when their child doesn't have school - but there's no guarantee from me that I will have space on a day that they need it. I do give priority to families that have a younger sibling in care with me - but even those families know the school schedule a whole year in advance and ask to be put on the wait-list for specific school days off. Then if I happen to have space that day - their child is welcome to be here (paying my drop-in rate which is higher than my regular daily rate).

But again - no guarantees for s/a kids.
Not trying to be snarky - like I said, if you can get parents willing to pay daily to secure a spot for their s/a kids - you're luckier than I would be
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:19 AM
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This is part of the reason I don't take SA.

But what if you tried a "drop in care" rate for SA during the school year say of $30 a day. (drop in rates are usually more) I wouldn't offer sibling discount during the school year. Then come say March if they want their school age to be guaranteed a spot for summer they have to pay a deposit of say I dunno $200 and sign a "Summer Contract" for SA and then charge them the $15 for the sibling discount. That would then guarantee they had a spot for summer and it would let you know if you had SA for summer or if you needed to find younger full time kids for summer.

This is just and idea. I'm try to help.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:26 AM
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I hear you and understand, I know it is a chance I am taking and maybe unlikely. But I want to give them the choice. If they don't pay then it gives me the right to find a child that will fill and use that spot. I am more or less trying to give them an option and open up spots in my program when they choose not to. I know I am not a daycare center but in my area they charge a weekly rate and whether you are there or not you pay that rate, they are reserving that spot. If you want a service you have to pay for it. This is the world we live in, I wish I could argue that I should only have to pay for the days I use my home phone, watch tv, go on the internet, but in reality I am paying a monthly fee whether I use it or not. Most of the children I have are still coming some of the time and there are days off of school almost every month, snow days are a big thing where I live, and half days. I honestly don't expect a parent to pay if their child is not going to be here except 2 or 3 days a month but in that case they are the ones I may want to move on to a more appropriate daycare setting for their needs. The reason I am setting it up the way I am is I don't want to just push the families I currently have away, I want to give them the choice, but also be fair to myself and stay in business. I hope this makes sense.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:31 AM
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awestbrook713 awestbrook713 is offline
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Your right Pfund. I thought about it and if I was one of my parents I wouldn't want to pay for a child thats not attending.

If I figure one day of care is $25 per child then hows this:
sister 1 and 2: summer rate $200 for 4- 10 hr days a week. School year sister 1 still attends 4 days a week so $100 a week and sister 2 will be a $30 drop in rate if she needs care.

Brother and sister combo: summer rate $100 for 2- 6hr days a week. School year brother still attends 2 days so $50 a week and sister charged drop in rate.

Brother and sister combo #2: Summer rate $65 brother(infant) normal rate, sister special arrangement I should never have made $3 an hour so brother is there 2-5 hr days sister one 5 hour day. School year brother still attends 2 days $50, and $3 an hour the sister is here.

child A- summer rate $125 for 5- 6hr days a week. School rate same 5 days just shorter hours.

child B- same as child A.

child C- Charged drop in rate year round since his schedule is always different.

If this isn't fair I give up. I make money, keep the kids that I am currently watching, don't over charge the parents.
What do you think? Fair or not?
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