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  #1  
Old 03-16-2010, 12:08 PM
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Default Field Trips - Is This Fair?

I am licensed as group daycare so I am allowed to have 12 children between my assistant and I. Plus I have 2 of my own. So, I am puchasing a 15 pass. van for field trips. Over the summer I have some children that will be going to Grandma's on most days but parents already stated they will be there on field trip days. I don't feel this is fair to me. I pay for all field trips and never ask parents for a dime and they know this. I am thinking of doing new contracts for the summer that state any family that does not pay for a full time spot will be required to pay for all field trips. I ran this by my assistant and she feels that would be unfair and parents will complain. If I was a parent, I would understand. I also wouldn't expect someone to entertain my child for no money either. I also plan on having my assistant pay since she does not pay for her child to begin with, I can't have any extra cost. I am not being cheap but wiht 14 children that will be a lot of money this year. It's either that or drop all part time families for the summer. Whats everyone's opinion on this?
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcc View Post
I am licensed as group daycare so I am allowed to have 12 children between my assistant and I. Plus I have 2 of my own. So, I am puchasing a 15 pass. van for field trips. Over the summer I have some children that will be going to Grandma's on most days but parents already stated they will be there on field trip days. I don't feel this is fair to me. I pay for all field trips and never ask parents for a dime and they know this. I am thinking of doing new contracts for the summer that state any family that does not pay for a full time spot will be required to pay for all field trips. I ran this by my assistant and she feels that would be unfair and parents will complain. If I was a parent, I would understand. I also wouldn't expect someone to entertain my child for no money either. I also plan on having my assistant pay since she does not pay for her child to begin with, I can't have any extra cost. I am not being cheap but wiht 14 children that will be a lot of money this year. It's either that or drop all part time families for the summer. Whats everyone's opinion on this?
I have every family pay for anything that isn't free!! I have never had any family complain of this ever!! I think they are very grateful for the field trips and outings all summer long!! I only go on about 1-2 a month that cost money. The rest of them are free things!!
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:23 PM
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I'd have a special "Field Trip Fee" that only gets charged during the months that you go on these trips. That way everyone pays their regular rate, plus the Field Trip Fee. Or, you could just charge the extra fee for part-timers. I agree with you that it isn't fair that these part-timers are picking and choosing their days depending on when the field trips are. As a parent, though, if I had the choice, I'd do the same thing. They may be insensitive, or they just may think they have a really amazing caregiver doing something great for their kids (and not considering how much it actually costs to do it). Either way, they won't know til you tell 'em! Good luck! Let us know what you end up doing -- as my kids get older, I'd like to take them on trips as well, and I'd like to know how to handle the costs as well ...
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gbcc View Post
I am licensed as group daycare so I am allowed to have 12 children between my assistant and I. Plus I have 2 of my own. So, I am puchasing a 15 pass. van for field trips. Over the summer I have some children that will be going to Grandma's on most days but parents already stated they will be there on field trip days. I don't feel this is fair to me. I pay for all field trips and never ask parents for a dime and they know this. I am thinking of doing new contracts for the summer that state any family that does not pay for a full time spot will be required to pay for all field trips. I ran this by my assistant and she feels that would be unfair and parents will complain. If I was a parent, I would understand. I also wouldn't expect someone to entertain my child for no money either. I also plan on having my assistant pay since she does not pay for her child to begin with, I can't have any extra cost. I am not being cheap but wiht 14 children that will be a lot of money this year. It's either that or drop all part time families for the summer. Whats everyone's opinion on this?
What isn't fair is you paying for it all & some only coming on field trip days. I think a new contract is definitely in order & your assistant's child's fees should come out of her check! Go for it! Whenever I go on a field trip my parent always give us spending $$ even though I do not ask.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:26 PM
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I agree that it's not fair to you to have to pay. I think it sounds right/fair to charge them for the outing if they are part time and not paying full amount.

And the assi. should be paying for her son!
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:34 PM
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Whenever we go on field trips the parents pay for the cost. It usually isnt more than $5.00 anyway. Some are free. I would start charging a field trip fee monthly or for the summer and call it an activity fee and charge all the parents. That would just cost me too much tpo pay out of pocket.

How much is a 15 passenger van if you dont mind me asking?
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:35 PM
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No, I don't mind you asking at all! I actually am working with a dealer. I can't afford a brand new one! lol! The dealer gets state vans from auctions. Because they are state vans they are in very good condition and comes with mileage and maintance records. I put $2000 down and I am financing the rest. They are anywhere from $12K and up. You can also find 12 passenger vans that are a bit cheaper.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:57 PM
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Rather than charging a "field trip fee" only to part-time families, and not everyone, what about simply raising your part-time rates for the summer to cover? You could explain that the increased "summertime" part-time rates are due to the extra expense for field trips?
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:57 PM
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Do you allow people unlimited free days over the summer???

I personally wouldn't allow kids just to come on field trip days, but then again, I only give 5 vacation days and they are paying for the spot whether your are there or not!
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gbcc View Post
No, I don't mind you asking at all! I actually am working with a dealer. I can't afford a brand new one! lol! The dealer gets state vans from auctions. Because they are state vans they are in very good condition and comes with mileage and maintance records. I put $2000 down and I am financing the rest. They are anywhere from $12K and up. You can also find 12 passenger vans that are a bit cheaper.
Interesting. I like that idea. I didnt know you could get one that inexpensively.
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  #11  
Old 03-16-2010, 04:05 PM
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The way I do part time is that if I have a spot available then you can come. If I don't you can't. Full time they dont get days off, they pay regardless. Most of my parents choose to pay full time and have a spot available if needed but I have 2 families that are extremely cheap and take their chances. I just know though that if I say I am full each field trip day they will have a fit and feel I am singling them out. I am hoping to get in full time families by summer and then I can terminate all part time care. With this economy though, I don't know if that will happen.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2010, 04:12 PM
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The way I do part time is that if I have a spot available then you can come. If I don't you can't. Full time they dont get days off, they pay regardless. Most of my parents choose to pay full time and have a spot available if needed but I have 2 families that are extremely cheap and take their chances. I just know though that if I say I am full each field trip day they will have a fit and feel I am singling them out. I am hoping to get in full time families by summer and then I can terminate all part time care. With this economy though, I don't know if that will happen.
I agree with you- the parttimers are hard- I had 1 child- 1 day /week, 1 child 2 days/week, and another one 3 days. I cannot do parttimers any longer, they are taking up a spot whether they are here or not- I only have fulltimers and fillins right now.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:46 PM
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Straight from my contract: (hope it looks right copied and pasted)


# of Days Per Week 1 Child 2 Children*3 Children*
5 (Monday-Friday) $140 $255 $390
4 (4 days, prearranged) $120 $225 $335
3 (3 days, prearranged) $100 $190 $280

Uncontracted Use (Drop in) RATE
$36 FLAT FEE PER DAY, PLUS ANY COST INCURRED PER STUDENT (FIELD TRIP ADMISSION, EVENT TICKET, ETC.)

SCHEDULE CHANGE
1st free, $10 each instance after the 1st (Must submit change request one week in advance)
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:30 AM
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I woudl definitely charge for field trips, and not feel guilty at all about it. Otherwise you could be losing money on field trip days
As for the van--I had a 12 passenger van just for our family (six kids and all the friends) and LOVED it. When it finally got too old to dirve anymore I looked all over for a used one in good shape and couldn't find one. Went with an 8 passenger Suburban instead, and boy do I miss my van! Getting car seats in and out of the van was so easy, and it's such a pain in the suburban--I tear up my hands tryilng to buckle 3 of them in the very back seat You will enjoy your van!
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2010, 07:37 AM
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I think changing your contract is good and state that only FULL time clients are garunteed a spot for field trips at LITTLE to no cost, state that when you can field trips will be included in their full time fee but on occasion you may request an additional fee, also add that if they will not be attending for a field trip for any reason they pay regardless, I charge a f/t fee and a p/f and drop ins are only when im available and more importantly IF I WANT TOO! I think it is unfair to NOT make non f/t clients pay, and id also state in the new contract that IF they are not f/t they are NOT garunteed a spot even on field trip days and that if you CHOOSE to take non f/t kids with you parents will pay not only admission prices but also a fee for food, the only parents that should get a break are the ones paying your f/t fee, Your assistant SHOULD pay for her child and HERSELF and i hope that you are charging her at least a partial fee for her child being there or paying her less per hour as her child is taking up a spot, thats fair. I guess for me i woudnt be willing to take a child whose parents didnt think it was worth garunting a spot for and would let them know that only f/t clients will be included in field trips, AND I'd be charging more for those clients that are just 'drop ins'.. As in for example if f/t daily rate averaged out to $25 a day then i'd charge a flat daily rate of anywhere from $30 to $40 a DAY to be paid BEFORE child care is given, that would maybe help get a parent from bein cheap and picking what days they want to come. ALL my clients have contracted times and regardless of my hours have to pick up in that time, the one drop in i have now (if i still have him) is really upset with me because even though we have a drop in contract stating that i will only agree to care with a 24 hour notice or the day of he was getting mad if i didnt agree to watch dcg all week and last thurs he didnt ask if i was available Fri(i had to tell him repeatedly that i wouldnt garuntee a spot untill he signed a f/t contract) so fri morning i had no other kids and ignored him when he came knocking, he hasnt called since then but he knew the agreement. My point is parents will use and abuse you if you give an inch, As a parent i understand wanting to have my child attend for field trips but theres now way i wouldnt offer to pay for the extra fees, to me thats just disrespectfull.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:18 AM
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Do you have school age children? Do you have to pay for their field trips as a parent? On the permission slips just put the fee that is to be turned in when it is due. That way you know how many plan on coming. I always charge parents for the child's admissions and require they provide a sack lunch for the trip, it's just like the real world. Never had one parent complain.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:30 AM
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A contract update is definately needed. You need to make clear that if a field trip has a cost it must be paid by the parent, or - if you choose make sure your contract states field trips are included in full-time rates, but part-timers and drop ins must pay the additional cost. As far as parents getting mad- If being decent and fair makes them mad, you are better off without them. Many families will be grateful for the opportunity for their child to even have access to field trips. I take part timers, but I require a set 3 day minimum they must pay regardless, and they must give me the schedule in advance. Once a field trip is announced if its not on their prev. scheduled day, they can't change their 3 days. They may pay for an additional 4th day and the field trip cost if they want to participate ( on a space/ticket/helper available basis, of course)
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:55 AM
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Oh i like Carole's Daycare answer..
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:05 AM
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That is a BIG expense, that is so great that you are doing that...that already goes above and beyond what most providers can do. I would love to purchase a vehicle that could fit more, I'm lacking 1-2 seats to fit my daycare kids and my own for trips. So the only time we can do trips is if someone is absent for the day.

I would definitely update your contract...I would explain due to the expense of purchasing a vehicle plus insurance, you will have to have parents responsible for the cost of all field trips. I would even consider this for the full timers as well due to the cost of buying the vehicle and insurance...but that's up to you.

I don't think that's fair at all for those part timers to make sure they are there on field trip days....I would make them give you set days that the children will come in the summer...then try to schedule the trips on days they DON'T come.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:27 PM
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#1: 15 passenger van. I had one, loved it so much. Then found out I had to pay the same insurance as a taxi, as if I was driving 24/7 with 15 passengers at all times. Sold it immediately. Check out insurance before you buy one....

#2: These parents who bring their kids on field trip days only, do they pay for the day or the whole month? If you allow them to drop in throughout the summer and pay for whenever they are there, they likely think they can choose to just come on f-t days. Even when I had the 15-p van, I didn't take everyone every day. If you are going to publish ahead of time what your f-t schedule is, include a fee on that schedule for whatever activity it is. Let the parents choose if they go or not.

Good luck.
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