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  #1  
Old 11-17-2010, 06:15 AM
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DancingQueen DancingQueen is offline
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Default I Need Handbook Help

I have an existing handbook - but as my first year of daycare is coming to an end there are a lot of things I want to adjust.

But I am having one issue. My rates are slightly different for different circumstances. I was hoping for a one size fits all handbook with details to be listed on a contract.

My rates are staying the same for current families but future families will be slightly higher.

How can I make a one size fits all handbook if there are so many varying things?

is there a place where you all have shared your contracts so I can see them all? LOL I'd really like to make sure I"m not missing other major details.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2010, 06:26 AM
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What I did was to have all the info in the handbook, and the contract had no info on it other than the simple things like start date, hrs, days etc. I also have a line that says I have read the complete daycare handbook and agree to all terms and policies in the handbook and all handbook is part of this contract. Then they sign it. So they are signing that they have read the handbook and agree to all policies in the handbook. So if ever they want to argue with you, or they say they didnt know about a policy, you can tell them that they signed the contract stating they read, understood and agreed! I did it this way because otherwise, when they sign teh contract, they think they are only agreeing to the things that are written in your contract, not the handbook. I also have in my handbook that I have the right to to change any policy or rate depending on certain circumstances for clients. So that way if you say in your handbook that you charge $30/day, you still have the right to charge another client $20/day and that change you put in your contract. Nobody should ever find out anyway, but you still reserve that right, and you do not have to explain yourself to anybody.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:51 AM
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i dont have a seperate handbook/contract...mine is all together as one. every one pays the same regardless of age/time here. i have a fulltime rate and a part time/daily rate but the daily rate is really just a fulltime rate broken down into days ($125/week = $25/day) they sign one or the other. all my policies ie:handbook is the same w/everyone . i use t ocharge different rates for diff. ages , did the hourly thing ...and decided to change it to one fits all thing. makes it easier for me
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:15 AM
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Same as Legomom here. One big fat handbook, and a one pa ge contract with the agreement of understanding on it.

The contract should be where the rate and hours are specified.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:19 AM
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And to answer your question, you can make a one size fits all handbook with all of your policies (think of everything that annoyed you this year, add in what you've seen others on here going through, and top it off with your perfect vision of a program) and have it say "The rate for care is detailed on your enrollment contract. AND These policies are subject to change with notice."
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:52 AM
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Another question.
My contract states that they will be charged $5.00 for every 15 minutes they are late.

What if you have a parent that is 5-10 minutes late. Once in a blue moon I can see as OK - but what if they do it often? Is that in your contract somewhere?
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2010, 11:44 AM
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I also have a contract and handbook all in one with the last 2 pages being the contract. The contract page is where I have the rate, hours of care, expections, etc. There is also a place to sign saying that they have read the entire handbook and agree to the policies.

You can make a one size fits all handbook and under the rates/fees section say "Rates are based on the individual needs of each family. Your specific rate is detailed on your contract." Then go on to list whatever fees you have (late pick up. late payment, registration fees, bounced check,etc. ) and when they will be applied.

As for the late pickups, I would just say "Excessive late pickups may result in termination." That way you have it in your policies but you can still use your discretion on a case by case basis.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:14 PM
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I don't add my rates into my handbook. I put those on a seperate flyer/sheet so that I can change them as needed and so I don't have to re-print new handbooks each time the rate goes up. Also this leaves me with the opportunity to negotiate pricing if I wanted and to be able to start new families at a different rate than others.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingQueen View Post
Another question.
My contract states that they will be charged $5.00 for every 15 minutes they are late.

What if you have a parent that is 5-10 minutes late. Once in a blue moon I can see as OK - but what if they do it often? Is that in your contract somewhere?
In my experience, if you allow it once, it happens all the time and pretty soon you are left standing there while the dcp waits for you to decide if 2 or 20 times was once in awhile or not. Plus, if you let things slide for different reasons you'll be surprised at how many little emergencies parents can come up with about why they are late this time. I made the same rule about $5.00 for every 15 minutes and I've had a parent or two be late and paid the fee but they never did it again. I honestly believe if I had let them slide and not charged the fee, they would have done it again.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2010, 01:26 PM
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Blackcat31 - you misunderstood.
I will charge the fee for the 15 minutes
but what if they are 10 minutes late - too often.
I don't haev a fee for that. I have a fee for 15
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2010, 01:51 PM
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I have a dollar a minute, no cap, per kid.
One time forgiven.
Two times pay for both first and second time.
Three times, is $30, plus per- minute fees.
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2010, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingQueen View Post
Blackcat31 - you misunderstood.
I will charge the fee for the 15 minutes
but what if they are 10 minutes late - too often.
I don't haev a fee for that. I have a fee for 15
Sorry, I did misunderstand. What I was saying though was, my policy says first 15 minutes is $5 etc., so if they are anywhere from 1-15 minutes past closing, they get charged. (I've never had anyone be 1 minute late..it is usually by 5 minutes or more.) I would personally just set a time and anything after is considered late. I think if you give them 15 minutes it will become 16 an so on. Sorry for the confusion
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:12 PM
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Does anyone have the parents sign the bottom of every page in the handbook? Mine is going to become fairly lengthly and I wonder if anyone ever says they missed a page. I don't see a problem adding a signature line and date line at the bottom of every page because what if you later create additional changes. Those additional changes are always signed when ever they are created and put in the same file after the parents have signed and agreed to those.

I also wouldn't put the actual rates in the handbook, only in the contract. I want to have the privacy to change rates. BUT, you wouldn't have to reprint your entire handbook though because you would just need to reprint the page you updated. I will print mine front/back to save on paper and staple mine together just so they're easier to keep organized.

My question is, do you keep a copy of their signed handbook and make another copy of each page for them to keep to reference too? I guess I never thought about that!
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2010, 05:21 PM
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in the past I had them sign the contract and give it to me and I gave them the hand book.
but now I plan to email them the handbook but keep the copy that I plan to have them sign the bottom of each page.
If any parents don'thave email I will print it for them.
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  #15  
Old 11-18-2010, 05:34 AM
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Re: Late fees....

I charge $5 per 5 minutes or PORTION of 5 minutes late. That way, if they are 1-5 minutes late, they still owe. I do, however, have a 5 minute "grace period" at pickup time, so I really start charging at 6 minutes. I don't advertise that fact though.

You could do the same - charge per 15 minutes or PORTION of 15 minutes. That way if they are 10 minutes late, they still have to pay - and if they are 16 minutes late, they pay double!
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