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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Enrollment/Supply Fees vs. 2 Weeks Deposit
Southern Mama 10:14 AM 10-27-2012
Hi there! I'm trying to get my home daycare up and running in the next couple of weeks and have been working on rates/fees/handbook and all that fun stuff. I initially thought to require a supply/registration fee, as that is what a home daycare mentor does with her program ($100). (she also directed me to you guys!) She then requires this fee be paid again annually for supplies. She doesn't seem to have any problems implementing this fee.

After browsing around here I've noticed several of you require a 2 week deposit to be applied at the end of your contract. Does this seem to work better? Have any of you tried both and decided one worked better than the other? Do you still require a smaller "enrollment or application" fee? I was thinking if I used this scenario, I still might ask for a month notice for withdrawal, so that I'm not left scrambling without that income I may be depending on. Also, in those situations, do people actually go through the official withdrawal? Or do they just quit coming one day?

My next question is about rates. I have been doing a lot of research in my area about childcare. I live in a suburb to a very large city (with very high rates). In my specific area large full scale centers charge between $250-$350 a week. In home care seems to range from $175 all the way down to $65-75 a week! Within several days of posting my CL ad I received a lot of emails, but as soon as I told them my rate for full time care ($125 a week) I haven't heard back from them. Does that seem high? I am offering care from 6am-6pm monday through friday. Breakfast and snacks. Asking that parents pack a lunch. Offering a full age appropriate curriculum. I have a medical degree (which I would consider a plus if I were placing my daughter), 2 children (20 months and 10), experience working in a daycare before college and of course plenty of babysitting in my 31 years.

Any advice related to these things would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks y'all! (yes, I'm in the South!!)
LK5kids 10:28 AM 10-27-2012
If centers are charging $250-$350 a week $125.00 seems low. I'm not sure how those $65.00 a week homes are affecting your enrollment but if you are near a large city I would think you get certainly charge $125.00.

I'll be in a small town far in a VERY area and I'll be charging $100.00 to $125.00 a week. I'm leaning towards the $125.00. Large centers in my area charge about $200.00 a week for infants and about $145.00 for 2's and up.
Southern Mama 10:30 AM 10-29-2012
Anybody else have any advice with this topic? The enrollment fees vs 2 weeks deposit is really giving me a hard time!
SquirrellyMama 11:13 AM 10-29-2012
Originally Posted by elizabethkc:
Anybody else have any advice with this topic? The enrollment fees vs 2 weeks deposit is really giving me a hard time!
The 2 week deposit is often used at the end of the contract or given back at the end of the contract. A supply fee or enrollment fee is not. I see it as this:

1. Deposit cannot be used by the daycare. It should be kept as either last 2 weeks payment or refunded to the parents. You can have a non refundable deposit if you choose. Most of the contracts I've seen have not been non refundable.

2. Enrollment fee/supply fee can be used at anytime for anything by the daycare. Not used as last 2 weeks payment or refunded.

I'm sure others have different ideas than mine. This is what I've seen by providers around me and what I've done.

daycarediva 11:20 AM 10-29-2012
I do an enrollment fee and then an annual supply fee. Mine is low for my area ($50). All payments are due two weeks in advance, on the Fiday prior to care being given. That $50x8 kids fee at the new year always allows me to buy something new for the daycare.
MarinaVanessa 12:10 PM 10-29-2012
I personally don't do an enrollment fee and choose to eat the cost of materials and such since at least a portion of it is tax deductible but I do have a 2 week deposit requirement. To me the two serve a completely different purpose.

Many childcare providers require an enrollment fee which is used for supplies to help offset the cost of materials. I've heard of this fee being anywhere from $25 to $100 per child/family.

A two week deposit is different. A two week deposit is the equivalent to two weeks' worth of childcare that is paid in advance (or sometimes in payments). This deposit is held as payment for the final two weeks of childcare if the family or the provider ever terminated. So in essence instead of requiring a 2 week notice of termination and hoping that the family will pay it if they terminate, you have already charged them for the final 2 weeks and have already been paid.

I have heard of some providers that require both the enrollment fee and two week deposit although (depending on the amount) some families balk at having so many fees to pay up front. So in essence you can have either fee or both fees, that's up to you. Either way make them non-refundable. Hope it helps.
EntropyControlSpecialist 12:30 PM 10-29-2012
I charge the same as what the daycare center charges ($145) and I am open less hours.

I had clients skip out without paying me what was owed so I began implementing a security deposit of the last two weeks of care. People happily pay it and then pay their tuition costs prior to beginning. Mine is nonrefundable and is necessary to secure their spot here. It works out very well.

I don't charge a registration fee or a supply fee.
Tags:application, enrollment, fees, rates, registration
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