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  #1  
Old 06-12-2012, 09:06 PM
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Default Headed For Trouble? (Sorry Long)

I've been in operation for about 6 months now and I have had very good luck with my families. They are all very good parents, no problems with payment, considerate, always on time, etc.

My newest family is a single mom sharing custody, going to school and working a weird schedule (i.e., weekends and different days each week). When they first came to interview she wanted Tue/Thurs/Fri until May when it would become Tue thru Fri. No problem. When he actually started it was just two days per week, sometimes the three we had agreed on. She asked if that was ok just until May I said sure. May came and went and no mention of going to four days. I finally asked and said that I had stopped advertising because I thought he would be four days and I would be full. I told her that if it was only going to be 2 days I'd have to take on another p/t child. She said that now it wouldn't be until September because her work delayed her fulltime schedule but that she would pay for four days to hold his spot because she didn't want to take him somewhere else.

Then she emails asking if she could start at the four day rate next week as she's short on cash (mentions that she's doing it on her own, no help from dad). Sigh. Okay, next week is fine. She gave me a check for the four days today. After kids go home I ran to the atm and deposited the check. Just checked my email and she's asking me to hold the check until Friday because that's when she gets paid. I replied that I had already deposited the check, she responds no problem I'll transfer money over. Really? You have the money in another account and you're asking me to hold your check?

I feel like I'm headed for trouble with this family, like she's taking advantage of me. Here I am feeling bad that I'm charging a single mom for days that DCB isn't even coming. Then my husband points out that she shows up dressed in expensive clothes typing on her smart phone and her son wears a new pair of Nikes every other day while we're barely scraping by. I guess I've been spoiled by my other families. I guess I need one of those backbones you all keep talking about
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:15 AM
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Sounds to me like you are not in a position financially to help her out. I would try making it clear to her that, in the future, please do not ask you to hold checks or wait for payment. This is a business and you need to be paid. If you don't have a policy, make one now and put it in your contract and/or parent handbook about when you expect payment. To me, if you ar requiring payment on a certain day, that means you have access to that money when you get paid. I do not have the greatest backbone but my two pet peeve areas where I allowed little to no slack is payment and picking up on time. I insisted on being paid on time and that I did not have kids past my end time (I would do a favor once in a while but I was rarely asked since I was so clear that my family time started at 4 pm and it was a big deal if I had to give it up....ever ).
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:33 AM
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Hun, you need to stop letting her even tell you her story. Just tell her you understand and you feel bad but that you cannot allow one person's personal situation effect yours. She neeeds to figure out what she needs to do and you are not the person that needs to carry her burden or even take on any of the issue at all...this situation is HER problem. She will find a way to either pay you or will not have the space.

Your DH is right, she may be a young, single and "struggling" but I really believe that most people in that situation are struggling financially due to poor choices not necessarily lack of income.....(new clothes, cell phone, etc) Know what I mean? I have a similar situation where a DCM constantly tells me how she is broke and has a hard time buying groceries but then I see her Facebook posts and she is posting pictures of her kids with the GIANT 60" flat screen in the back ground and her kids are playing with the newest Leap Pad and etc etc.....so I sympathize with her when she complains but that is the most I am willing to do.

I was young once too and probably made some bad financial choices and piddled away my money on stupid stuff but you learn and the way you learn is to have some one tell you "No. Your problem is not my problem" just like the landlord or the electric company would do.

She is telling you her story in hopes that you will work with her and feel badly but I don't think she is doing the same thing to her cell phone provider or her landlord so it is almost insulting that she would think you are negotiable.

Hang in there and like I said, listen to her, sympathize and remember who the problem really belongs to. You can say no and not be a bad person.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 06-13-2012 at 07:59 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saved4always View Post
Sounds to me like you are not in a position financially to help her out. I would try making it clear to her that, in the future, please do not ask you to hold checks or wait for payment. This is a business and you need to be paid. If you don't have a policy, make one now and put it in your contract and/or parent handbook about when you expect payment. To me, if you ar requiring payment on a certain day, that means you have access to that money when you get paid. I do not have the greatest backbone but my two pet peeve areas where I allowed little to no slack is payment and picking up on time. I insisted on being paid on time and that I did not have kids past my end time (I would do a favor once in a while but I was rarely asked since I was so clear that my family time started at 4 pm and it was a big deal if I had to give it up....ever ).

I'm broke as all heck and have a hard time making ends meet while running a daycare. Hopefully the people I meet on a daily basis don't judge me for having an iPhone (Christmas/birthday preset), my "fancy" hardly worn clothes (hand me downs from my corporate working sister), my kids leap pads (gifts from wealthy grandparents), the nice furniture and big tv (inherited from grandfather), and my childrens brand name clothes (more presents).

Unless a DCP is buying those things *instead* of paying you then it really is none of your buisness why they have those nice things.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2012, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I'm broke as all heck and have a hard time making ends meet while running a daycare. Hopefully the people I meet on a daily basis don't judge me for having an iPhone (Christmas/birthday preset), my "fancy" hardly worn clothes (hand me downs from my corporate working sister), my kids leap pads (gifts from wealthy grandparents), the nice furniture and big tv (inherited from grandfather), and my childrens brand name clothes (more presents).

Unless a DCP is buying those things *instead* of paying you then it really is none of your buisness why they have those nice things.
FWIW~ my statement about the single working mom and her expensive toys was very judgmental and I honestly did not mean for it to sound rude or nasty. I apologize if it came across offensive and should not have even made the statement in the first place. I have been there myself, as I said and made poor choices in which things I choose to buy versus what things I needed to buy with what little income I had....heck, I probably am still not as financially suave as I would like to be or should be.

In the case I mentioned however, the single mom I had did not get these expensive things as gifts or hand-me-downs. She purchased them herself.

She is clearly not struggling to make ends meet because of her limited income, but more so due to her priority list including too many "wants" and not enough "needs". This mom tells me alot of info I don't really need or want to know about her situation and my comments were strictly in reference to her as I was trying to support the OP by letting her know she didn't have to be the one to take the financial hit.

I also get the sad story about her poor financial situation every time it is billing time. She will continually try and negotiate with me about not having to pay her small co-pay or even ask me to waive it all together so in part, I do feel some of her bad spending habits are my business as it does effect my business....and I am by no means raking in the dough by doing child care so struggling financially is not foreign to me.

Again, I do apologize though if I was offensive or sounded judgmental.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2012, 08:40 AM
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In my humble opinion....

We need to stop all of this "Single Parent" "Hard Luck" pricing. Charge what it costs you to provide the BEST care that you can. Don't go up or down to meet ANYONE unless you're just starting out or you're in desperate need of your first good family. Once you're established, you can't try to save the world or do favors. IT....RARELY....WORKS....OUT....IN....YOUR....FAVOR. Research area pricing....be strict & fair and charge what childcare costs.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkinboutstarting View Post
I've been in operation for about 6 months now and I have had very good luck with my families. They are all very good parents, no problems with payment, considerate, always on time, etc.

My newest family is a single mom sharing custody, going to school and working a weird schedule (i.e., weekends and different days each week). When they first came to interview she wanted Tue/Thurs/Fri until May when it would become Tue thru Fri. No problem. When he actually started it was just two days per week, sometimes the three we had agreed on. She asked if that was ok just until May I said sure. May came and went and no mention of going to four days. I finally asked and said that I had stopped advertising because I thought he would be four days and I would be full. I told her that if it was only going to be 2 days I'd have to take on another p/t child. She said that now it wouldn't be until September because her work delayed her fulltime schedule but that she would pay for four days to hold his spot because she didn't want to take him somewhere else.

Then she emails asking if she could start at the four day rate next week as she's short on cash (mentions that she's doing it on her own, no help from dad). Sigh. Okay, next week is fine. She gave me a check for the four days today. After kids go home I ran to the atm and deposited the check. Just checked my email and she's asking me to hold the check until Friday because that's when she gets paid. I replied that I had already deposited the check, she responds no problem I'll transfer money over. Really? You have the money in another account and you're asking me to hold your check?

I feel like I'm headed for trouble with this family, like she's taking advantage of me. Here I am feeling bad that I'm charging a single mom for days that DCB isn't even coming. Then my husband points out that she shows up dressed in expensive clothes typing on her smart phone and her son wears a new pair of Nikes every other day while we're barely scraping by. I guess I've been spoiled by my other families. I guess I need one of those backbones you all keep talking about
I have found it to be best to not compare what clients have to what I have and vise versa. What I do concern myself with is that I am paid, and paid on time. When she asked you if you could hold off on her check, I would have replied with this. I could have but it would have cost you late fees and I already cashed it. Your a business. Have a backbone and don't compare. We all have different views on where are money should be spent what is important to us. Comparing is a set up to fail. Even for the worst clients. It just leaves bad feelings all around. Don't take on other peoples issues. Your not a therapist, or money coach. You offer a service and they need to pay, and on time. You need to be able to count on your money. Give her a chance she might just be a bit flakey till she finds out that your rules are your rules. Later down the line and she needs help and you WANT to do that, have at it. Let her show you she is trustworthy and committed. If this continues require her to pay you in cash and then tag on late fees. Have that in your contract-

Single moms have so many services they can tap into, don't let her pull the wool over your eyes. I am all for helping people that help themselves- You already see tons of red flags and just be ready to do what is best for you. Any fees that apply because she bounced a check would be paid by her, plus your own fees- BEST-
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
FWIW~ my statement about the single working mom and her expensive toys was very judgmental and I honestly did not mean for it to sound rude or nasty. I apologize if it came across offensive and should not have even made the statement in the first place. I have been there myself, as I said and made poor choices in which things I choose to buy versus what things I needed to buy with what little income I had....heck, I probably am still not as financially suave as I would like to be or should be.

In the case I mentioned however, the single mom I had did not get these expensive things as gifts or hand-me-downs. She purchased them herself.

She is clearly not struggling to make ends meet because of her limited income, but more so due to her priority list including too many "wants" and not enough "needs". This mom tells me alot of info I don't really need or want to know about her situation and my comments were strictly in reference to her as I was trying to support the OP by letting her know she didn't have to be the one to take the financial hit.

I also get the sad story about her poor financial situation every time it is billing time. She will continually try and negotiate with me about not having to pay her small co-pay or even ask me to waive it all together so in part, I do feel some of her bad spending habits are my business as it does effect my business....and I am by no means raking in the dough by doing child care so struggling financially is not foreign to me.

Again, I do apologize though if I was offensive or sounded judgmental.
have not read the rest of the comments/post but I did read yours and I thought to myself. Why did I bother to post. Your post was wonderful and I could have wrote it. I thought you gave good advice- Don't apologize for what you believe. Been here long enough to know that your a good person and you came from a good place of heart. Many of us have been doing this for a very long time and we know what works and we know what doesn't. AND.... we still grow and learn in our craft- As always take what you can use and leave the rest
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBird View Post
In my humble opinion....

We need to stop all of this "Single Parent" "Hard Luck" pricing. Charge what it costs you to provide the BEST care that you can. Don't go up or down to meet ANYONE unless you're just starting out or you're in desperate need of your first good family. Once you're established, you can't try to save the world or do favors. IT....RARELY....WORKS....OUT....IN....YOUR....FAVOR. Research area pricing....be strict & fair and charge what childcare costs.
as I went on to read.......

completely agree with you..... but start off charging what your worth don't wait to get going. You will resent it after. Set your prices and either they want you or they don't. Know it will be hard to get started but start off right, not lowering yourself. Be fair and be strict---- love it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saved4always View Post
Sounds to me like you are not in a position financially to help her out. I would try making it clear to her that, in the future, please do not ask you to hold checks or wait for payment. This is a business and you need to be paid. If you don't have a policy, make one now and put it in your contract and/or parent handbook about when you expect payment. To me, if you ar requiring payment on a certain day, that means you have access to that money when you get paid. I do not have the greatest backbone but my two pet peeve areas where I allowed little to no slack is payment and picking up on time. I insisted on being paid on time and that I did not have kids past my end time (I would do a favor once in a while but I was rarely asked since I was so clear that my family time started at 4 pm and it was a big deal if I had to give it up....ever ).
I just quoted what you wrote to my husband. You are another version of ME.
Those are two areas that I start getting frustrated in if a client tries to dilly dally.

As far as this Mom goes, two words. Dave Ramsey.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by My3cents View Post

have not read the rest of the comments/post but I did read yours and I thought to myself. Why did I bother to post. Your post was wonderful and I could have wrote it. I thought you gave good advice- Don't apologize for what you believe. Been here long enough to know that your a good person and you came from a good place of heart. Many of us have been doing this for a very long time and we know what works and we know what doesn't. AND.... we still grow and learn in our craft- As always take what you can use and leave the rest
Thanks for that.

I just feel like I am always on others about being judgemental and not trying to see others' perspectives and realized that I obviously came across exactly as that and was a bit embarrassed but thank you for the supportive words. I appreciate it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I'm broke as all heck and have a hard time making ends meet while running a daycare. Hopefully the people I meet on a daily basis don't judge me for having an iPhone (Christmas/birthday preset), my "fancy" hardly worn clothes (hand me downs from my corporate working sister), my kids leap pads (gifts from wealthy grandparents), the nice furniture and big tv (inherited from grandfather), and my childrens brand name clothes (more presents).

Unless a DCP is buying those things *instead* of paying you then it really is none of your buisness why they have those nice things.
I don't know why you quoted my post when you wrote this? My post said absolutely nothing about anyone's spending habits.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:58 PM
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I dont offer any discounts whatsoever, including sibling discounts. I understand that other people, like single moms, have hard times. I was raised by a single mom.

My concern is for my family first and foremost. There are no other home businesses that I can think of at the moment that offer any discounts based on your personal life or past choices. The government offers assistance to single moms, but that doesnt mean that they walk into Target and expect free what-have-you because they are single mom. I run a business, not a charity. I care about my families and have gone the extra mile in many cases. But I do not jeoperdize my finances by providing free or dirt cheap care. I dont think I should be looked down upon because I am not working for free. Who else in this world is expected to work for free??!!??
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