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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Change my Rates?...
wahmof3 06:42 PM 10-03-2011
I have 2 great families which their children take 3 of my 6 child care spaces. The 1st family I have cared for almost 5yrs. When I started this family it was just a few days a week- I gave them a daily rate. Then it went to 5 days a week and then another child still a daily rate & now a discount. Then they referred a friend and I felt I had to give this family the same rate. So now Im kicking myself bc when they are not here I don't get paid. I have lost at least $500 in the past 6 weeks due to days off, sickness, etc. All of my new clients are on the weekly rate and pay if their child is here or not unless I am not available. I would like to increase my rates or at least redo my contracts to where they pay even if their child is not in attendance. I am sooooo scared bc I really don't want to lose these 2 families but Im not exactly sure how my bills are going to get paid if I continue to lose income. Anybody have some positive insight?? TIA!
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daycare 09:28 PM 10-03-2011
I think that if you were to inform all families that all contracts will become ---------- starting such a such date. Let thoes families know that you need consistency in your salary just as they do. Tell them that it's extremely difficult to run your business this way and that while you would love to offer a special rate abd scheule, you need the daycare to run as successfully as possible.
I did something similar to this before and kicked myself too.
I changed everyones rate and gave everyone 30 days notice. No one left or complained.
I think if you just explain to then why, they will understand. If they don't I hope you can replace them with families that will be given your normal rate and schedule.

Also, maybe you can tell them that you will give them 5 free days per year to use as they need it with a one week notice. Or you can call it sick days..
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cheerfuldom 07:02 AM 10-04-2011
bite the bullet and increase rates. look at all the money you are losing everytime you get scared of the increase. even if they leave, new families will come in and pay and thats important for your family.
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wdmmom 07:20 AM 10-04-2011
Sounds to me like you have 2 options:

A.) Raise rates

B.) Keep your rate the same and start charging a weekly rate regardless of attendance.

I'd go with "B".
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nannyde 07:41 AM 10-04-2011
If they have saved 500 bucks between the two families in just six weeks they are not going to be too happy about being required to pay when they haven't in the past.

You are dealing with people who have gotten a really good deal for a long time. Most likely their viewpoint is that what you are charging and how you are charging is fair.

You look at it as that you need to have secure money coming in each week regardless of attendance. They look at it as some money to you is better than no money to you.

You have to just tell them that you need secure money and that you will need a flat rate of X dollars per week for X number of SCHEDULED days. If they do not attend on those days the fee is the same. If they add additional days then it will be X dollars per day.

The SCHEDULED part is where the money is. If you tell them a minimum of three days per week and they get to choose the days then you will have the issue for them where they will want flexibility in what days AND the biggie... that if they don't use that one week that they can carry it over to the next week. That puts you back to where you are today.... not knowing what days you will provide service and loosing income on the days they don't use.
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wahmof3 05:49 PM 10-04-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
If they have saved 500 bucks between the two families in just six weeks they are not going to be too happy about being required to pay when they haven't in the past.

You are dealing with people who have gotten a really good deal for a long time. Most likely their viewpoint is that what you are charging and how you are charging is fair. You look at it as that you need to have secure money coming in each week regardless of attendance. They look at it as some money to you is better than no money to you.

You have to just tell them that you need secure money and that you will need a flat rate of X dollars per week for X number of SCHEDULED days. If they do not attend on those days the fee is the same. If they add additional days then it will be X dollars per day.

The SCHEDULED part is where the money is. If you tell them a minimum of three days per week and they get to choose the days then you will have the issue for them where they will want flexibility in what days AND the biggie... that if they don't use that one week that they can carry it over to the next week. That puts you back to where you are today.... not knowing what days you will provide service and loosing income on the days they don't use.
Very, very good point- I am SURE that is how they are thinking.
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wahmof3 05:56 PM 10-04-2011
So if I decide to give these parents the option:

Option A- daily rate increase

Option B- A weekly rate based on their scheduled needs

By this approach am I setting myself up for issues or am I being more "professional" by offering them a choice & they pick which one they want. Obviously the daily rate would increase to somewhat offset when they are not here.

Just putting that out there
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daycare 08:33 PM 10-04-2011
Originally Posted by wahmof3:
So if I decide to give these parents the option:

Option A- daily rate increase

Option B- A weekly rate based on their scheduled needs

By this approach am I setting myself up for issues or am I being more "professional" by offering them a choice & they pick which one they want. Obviously the daily rate would increase to somewhat offset when they are not here.

Just putting that out there
I say you decide and enforce.
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cheerfuldom 09:25 PM 10-04-2011
you decide, you always decide! too many choices leads to negotiating from the parents (they see choices as flexibility) or they use the "time to think about it" as a stalling method to drag out the current situation as long as possible. Please take the advice and start now to create a daycare that works for you and your household. find families that fit into that. you will burn out really quick trying to adjust everything to your current families and will end up resenting them and your job. if you make changes, always put a start date in writing and don't make that start date farther out than like a month (I always do two weeks). that way you know right off what they are going to do and don't have months of awkwardness while the situation is being discussed and such.
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Tags:daily rate, discount, rate change, rate change notification
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