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  #1  
Old 09-26-2016, 12:58 PM
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MunchkinWrangler MunchkinWrangler is offline
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Default Having Issues with Branding My Daycare

I have so much competition in my area and a lot of families are well to do so childcare options are infinite. Au pairs are getting popular because they are "cheap" childcare, basically families with multiple children benefit(how I have no idea). Lots of families get nannies but really try to do nanny shares to cut their costs (why, they have money?) There are a lot of centers in my area and language immersion is highly popular (again expensive but the families feel like they are getting extra care) although a lot of them have been cited for being over ratio.

Not to mention, there seems to be a lot of families who only want part time care. I am curious how to charge, as the fact that most of them want varying 1-3 days per week which means I don't have income to count on. Anyone who knows my story will know I can bet on that. Anyone looking for full time thinks I'm too expensive which is silly because I was the cheapest last year. Something has shifted in my area and those are the ideas I have.

I also don't have an ideal daycare space, and needless to say no income to add space. I'm this close to converting my whole living space into daycare and just having my bedroom be my only room. Which is sad, that's a huge sacrifice for me and my son. It seems no one is pleased with my space when they come interview, which has really made me not want to invite anyone in my home because I'm embarrassed from the last couple who made rude comments i.e. This is it?
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:21 PM
Gibson1110 Gibson1110 is offline
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I am in a very similar situation as my entire living area minus my unfinished basement is daycare. I'm taking steps to try and get another location, but right now I am in the same boat as you.

My son and I have our couch and tv in the basement, and thats where we entertain if people come over. I'd love to have a more normal space, somewhere that I am proud of to have people over and feel like daycare isn't consuming my life, but right now thats the way it is. Our bedrooms are off limits as well. I'm using the situation as motivation to take the necessary steps to make this business work in order to fund a different location or to fix up my space so I don't feel like its taking over our personal life.

This past summer I redid my contract and policy book. This allowed me to get super clear with myself about what I was willing to accept and what direction I wanted to go in. I believe there is enough business for everyone if they really wanted to get in to daycare, because what I bring to the table is so much different than other people. But until I got clear about that, parents would simply choose my program based off of having a slot open. Now I am full with a waiting list because I have a good reputation around town for being who I am as a provider. I don't want everyone in my program. I want the people who want their child to come here and will respect my policies and appreciate who I am as a care provider.

Sometimes it takes some time for your dedicated hard work to catch up to what you are doing, and it sucks. That sounds like where you are at right now with being unhappy with how things are going. But you are the owner of your business so you get to decide which direction you want your program to go. It might be that for some time that your current situation is what you have to work with, and then you can improve as you are able to. Hang in there!! It seems like you are a strong person already...it's just time to get super clear about the hard work you are willing to do to get to the point you want to be in. Best of luck!!!
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2016, 01:27 PM
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Forgive me for asking...how many bedrooms do you have? And is it just you and your son? And how old is your son? I have some thoughts depending on those answers
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  #4  
Old 09-26-2016, 01:35 PM
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Controlled Chaos Controlled Chaos is offline
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Default Most profitable and ethical way to fill this

Ok - So I have a dck leaving at the end of the month.

I am trying to figure out how to best fill it being fair to potential and current clients and make the most money.

Possibilities:
Current dck "Jane" comes 2 days a week - parents want to switch to FT in January. Family is probably moving next summer, so 8m of FT care possible.
Drop in dck "Kevin" - wants 2 days a week to start and have expressed interest in going FT eventually

Complication:
Current dcf is due any day and wants FT care, but I have told them there isn't a spot as I don't want to care for that child until Aug when its close to a year. There were fine with waiting.

If Jane's family want the FT spot in Jan -
what if I offered them the possibility of holding a spot for their current PT rate plus $100 and then had Kevin's family start PT letting them know FT takes priority and possible terming them in Dec to make room for Jane to go FT?

I don't know... Jane's family could come through August then move and new baby of current family could start... I'm getting ahead of myself.

Or should I take Kevin and try and find another PT family to fill around them?

Or should I offer Jane's family the FT spot now and if they pass, they pass. Maybe something else will open up when they need it.

Funny, how its fuzzy when its families I know and like, but if they were strangers I'm sure the choice would be obvious. lol
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2016, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
Forgive me for asking...how many bedrooms do you have? And is it just you and your son? And how old is your son? I have some thoughts depending on those answers
I have 3. One is 100% dedicated to daycare. My son is 3 his room is turned into another playroom but he doesn't spend time in there when there is no daycare. My room is unlicensed and I would definitely like to keep it that way. It is just me and my son.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2016, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I have 3. One is 100% dedicated to daycare. My son is 3 his room is turned into another playroom but he doesn't spend time in there when there is no daycare. My room is unlicensed and I would definitely like to keep it that way. It is just me and my son.
This what I would do...

Smallest bedroom for you. Next smallest bedroom for your son. (He needs more room to play) Third and largest bedroom becomes a den for you both to watch TV etc. As long as there is room for a couple chairs and a TV, you don't really need much more. Remember...your son is little. The most important thing to him is time with you. WHERE that is is not important. He may actually like a cozier place better.

Then, convert your living room into a kid room. Paint it fun colors. Paint murals on the walls (easy using an overhead projector and easy to paint outlines....it's just coloring on a larger scale) A bright rug. A cute notice board etc. Make parents say "Oh this is darling!!" as soon as they walk in. Pinterest is full of cute and cheap ideas.
Parents have choices and you want to make a good first impression.

You and your son enjoy your cozy den and keep it off limits to daycare kids.

Just my thoughts!
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2016, 02:57 PM
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Controlled Chaos Controlled Chaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlled Chaos View Post
Ok - So I have a dck leaving at the end of the month.

I am trying to figure out how to best fill it being fair to potential and current clients and make the most money.

Possibilities:
Current dck "Jane" comes 2 days a week - parents want to switch to FT in January. Family is probably moving next summer, so 8m of FT care possible.
Drop in dck "Kevin" - wants 2 days a week to start and have expressed interest in going FT eventually

Complication:
Current dcf is due any day and wants FT care, but I have told them there isn't a spot as I don't want to care for that child until Aug when its close to a year. There were fine with waiting.

If Jane's family want the FT spot in Jan -
what if I offered them the possibility of holding a spot for their current PT rate plus $100 and then had Kevin's family start PT letting them know FT takes priority and possible terming them in Dec to make room for Jane to go FT?

I don't know... Jane's family could come through August then move and new baby of current family could start... I'm getting ahead of myself.

Or should I take Kevin and try and find another PT family to fill around them?

Or should I offer Jane's family the FT spot now and if they pass, they pass. Maybe something else will open up when they need it.

Funny, how its fuzzy when its families I know and like, but if they were strangers I'm sure the choice would be obvious. lol
Welp that's embarassing - thought I was starting a whole new thread

Sorry MunchkinWrangler - totally didn't mean to do that - if someone with skills can delete it that would be great.
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2016, 04:31 PM
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MunchkinWrangler MunchkinWrangler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
This what I would do...

Smallest bedroom for you. Next smallest bedroom for your son. (He needs more room to play) Third and largest bedroom becomes a den for you both to watch TV etc. As long as there is room for a couple chairs and a TV, you don't really need much more. Remember...your son is little. The most important thing to him is time with you. WHERE that is is not important. He may actually like a cozier place better.

Then, convert your living room into a kid room. Paint it fun colors. Paint murals on the walls (easy using an overhead projector and easy to paint outlines....it's just coloring on a larger scale) A bright rug. A cute notice board etc. Make parents say "Oh this is darling!!" as soon as they walk in. Pinterest is full of cute and cheap ideas.
Parents have choices and you want to make a good first impression.

You and your son enjoy your cozy den and keep it off limits to daycare kids.

Just my thoughts!
That really sounds like an awesome idea! I already have the smallest bedroom and the room I use for daycare is the biggest so it would be an easy transition.

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2016, 04:32 PM
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MunchkinWrangler MunchkinWrangler is offline
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Originally Posted by Controlled Chaos View Post
Welp that's embarassing - thought I was starting a whole new thread

Sorry MunchkinWrangler - totally didn't mean to do that - if someone with skills can delete it that would be great.
Lol! I was laughing when I saw because I knew you weren't meaning to post a main thread in mine and I didn't have time to respond when I saw it.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2016, 04:56 PM
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CheekyChick CheekyChick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I have so much competition in my area and a lot of families are well to do so childcare options are infinite. Au pairs are getting popular because they are "cheap" childcare, basically families with multiple children benefit(how I have no idea). Lots of families get nannies but really try to do nanny shares to cut their costs (why, they have money?) There are a lot of centers in my area and language immersion is highly popular (again expensive but the families feel like they are getting extra care) although a lot of them have been cited for being over ratio.

Not to mention, there seems to be a lot of families who only want part time care. I am curious how to charge, as the fact that most of them want varying 1-3 days per week which means I don't have income to count on. Anyone who knows my story will know I can bet on that. Anyone looking for full time thinks I'm too expensive which is silly because I was the cheapest last year. Something has shifted in my area and those are the ideas I have.

I also don't have an ideal daycare space, and needless to say no income to add space. I'm this close to converting my whole living space into daycare and just having my bedroom be my only room. Which is sad, that's a huge sacrifice for me and my son. It seems no one is pleased with my space when they come interview, which has really made me not want to invite anyone in my home because I'm embarrassed from the last couple who made rude comments i.e. This is it?
I went through the same thing. First, I only used my bonus room and dining room. Then, my living room was gone. Then, my bedroom turned into the cubby room. After that, my daughters bedrooms turned into the infant rooms. We have a tiny living space between us and it has worked out great. When people come for a tour - they are SHOCKED to learn that anyone lives here - it is head-to-toe child care. I can send you photos (privately) if you'd like. My advice to you, is GO BIG or go home. Make that next step and make your business work for you. You can't do that with only one toe in.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2016, 07:16 PM
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Meeko's idea is great to give you guys your own space and still have a great daycare area.
My area is full of SAHM's who do not need childcare, so finding kids is difficult for me as well. I have at times thought of getting out of this field for that reason but I can usually find enough kids to get by. I do only part time care now and I advertise as "only paying for the childcare you need". Meaning I don't do the 6am-6pm M-F for a set fee, I contract days/hours based on what the parents need and set their rates at that - they still pay for their entire week whether they attend or not but they feel like they are getting a better deal than if they were paying full daycare center prices.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:48 PM
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This is exactly how I have my house set up except we converted our garage into a huge family room/ game room. It's really nice.
My whole house is. DC. it stinks at time but you adjust. My whole family has been living like this for almost 7 years since I moved across state. It works and I am always full for business
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:49 PM
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This is exactly how I have my house set up except we converted our garage into a huge family room/ game room. It's really nice.
My whole house is. DC. it stinks at time but you adjust. My whole family has been living like this for almost 7 years since I moved across state. It works and I am always full for business
I meant to quote Meeko. Sorry about that.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:13 PM
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I have a 2 bedroom apartment for me and my husband that is 2348 Sq ft. We have been open a little over 1.5 years and JUST bought a couch 2 months ago. Up until then our entire living room and dining room was for the daycare. It still is that way, just have some space in the corner for our sectional. We have the largest bedroom for us because that's all we had for almost 1.5 yrs. The 2nd bedroom is nap room where I have cribs for the kids. I did what I had to do to make me comfortable and not hate doing daycare.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I have 3. One is 100% dedicated to daycare. My son is 3 his room is turned into another playroom but he doesn't spend time in there when there is no daycare. My room is unlicensed and I would definitely like to keep it that way. It is just me and my son.
Rambler, split level or two story home?
I'm pretty sure you're about 20-30 minutes away from me. If you ever want to come by and see how I set mine up, I'd be happy to show you.
I'm in a "modified split". Basically enter on the main level (entry, kitchen, dining) and you can go up or down. My daycare space is downstairs: one playroom, one bedroom and one bathroom. We share the dining space on the main.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:05 AM
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Rambler, split level or two story home?
I'm pretty sure you're about 20-30 minutes away from me. If you ever want to come by and see how I set mine up, I'd be happy to show you.
I'm in a "modified split". Basically enter on the main level (entry, kitchen, dining) and you can go up or down. My daycare space is downstairs: one playroom, one bedroom and one bathroom. We share the dining space on the main.
I'm in a rambler. That would be awesome! I have enough toys and everything and even wall hangings to make it look cute but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have convert my whole home to daycare. I'm definitely leaning towards what Meeko suggested. Last year everyone liked the cozy home feeling, that was my biggest selling point, it was home away from home. This year everyone is looking for a center environment and I have to remind them that this is my home also.

I just find it funny how a year ago I had so much interest and my setup is the same as it is now, as well as everything being clean and organized. I had no problem getting new clients and I had lots of interest. This year the families have dramatically changed, I'm so confused by it! As well as only wanting part time care, late hours, etc.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:58 AM
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I use my former living room/entry for childcare.

My family/I REFUSE to use our entire space. Fortunately my home is older and there is no open concept, we just added a wall/door and enclosed it completely. It looks like a classroom. None of my childcare items are in our kitchen, dining, bathroom or bedrooms anymore.

We finished our basement (living room, office, gym, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room) and converted our garage (family room).

My area is saturated with centers and specialized preschools, UPK is gaining funding in my area, as well as nannies and child care shares.

I market myself as a traditional, play based preschool that is fairly green/organic, lots of outside and project based learning. My class size is small enough to provide individualized attention. It works VERY well in my area.

I definitely found a niche.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MunchkinWrangler View Post
I'm in a rambler. That would be awesome! I have enough toys and everything and even wall hangings to make it look cute but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have convert my whole home to daycare. I'm definitely leaning towards what Meeko suggested. Last year everyone liked the cozy home feeling, that was my biggest selling point, it was home away from home. This year everyone is looking for a center environment and I have to remind them that this is my home also.

I just find it funny how a year ago I had so much interest and my setup is the same as it is now, as well as everything being clean and organized. I had no problem getting new clients and I had lots of interest. This year the families have dramatically changed, I'm so confused by it! As well as only wanting part time care, late hours, etc.
I sent you a PM.
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