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  #1  
Old 05-04-2015, 04:33 PM
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I had a Facebook contact for care for the summer and for mornings before school to put kiddos on bus.

They need care from 6 AM until the bus picks up here at 8:30. 3 School age kids. So I quoted $40 per week. I didn't think that was to crazy for three kids.

So this summer they need care from 6 AM to 2 PM for the same three SA kids. I quoted $175 a week for that (after a discount because I really need kids).

I got this response:

"Sorry to pricey for my budget thanks".

This is a day after mind you DCM of a 13 month old was scheduled from 1PM to 7 PM left over my rate of $70 a week and found someone who would do it for $30 a week. Granted she didn't always need until 7PM, but it could be that late so I contracted for those hours.

So am I really charging to much????? Should I be lowering my rates dramatically?
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:37 PM
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Oh and her PM to me said "one of them is a handful he has ADHD, but is really sweet".
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:55 PM
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175 for 3 kids for 8 hours is too much? the daycares in your area must be really cheap. In my area she would pay atlas $125 a week per child
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:01 PM
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175 for 3 kids for 8 hours is too much? the daycares in your area must be really cheap. In my area she would pay atlas $125 a week per child
See I know a lot of providers in the area are charging $20 per day (one child). So I think I have my rates set to low, but I am trying so hard to get families. But I keep having people tell me I charge to much. Oh and the 6 AM-2PM was five days a week.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:26 PM
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it sounds like it might be time to do some leg work. I would start getting some prices from your county to see what the going rate is.

I would also maybe consider a new family promo

Also, I would do an online search for care cost in your area to see what others are charging..

Stinks when you have to lower your rates...
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:38 PM
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!!!!!! That's insane!
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2015, 05:39 PM
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it sounds like it might be time to do some leg work. I would start getting some prices from your county to see what the going rate is.

I would also maybe consider a new family promo

Also, I would do an online search for care cost in your area to see what others are charging..

Stinks when you have to lower your rates...
Well like I said above many providers are charging $20 a day, so $100 a week per child here, I have asked around of some. I am trying to find again the state tier. But I don't know if I can lower them much more and still provide the quality of care and nutrition I am trying to offer. I mean my one girl, full time I am not willing to go down to $30 a week for a full time kiddo I can't afford to. And this mom with the three kids, what I offered her was less than $60 a week. I am not sure it is even possible to go any lower and still offer a quality program. I mean I can park them in front of the TV each day, and feed them ramen noodles, but that isn't really child care. I am not sure I want to do child care if I have to lower my standards that much. Off to see if I can find out what the state pays.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:00 PM
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So in my county, it looks like the state will pay $61 a week for school age summer care (I was a little below that with this offer). And would have paid $70 for the one I was charging that for. Of course that is a lower rate than private rates, as the state pays a lower rater here it seems. I dunno. I am just not sure I can do it for any less and do it right KWIM?

I guess the thing that gets me, is that these are people's kids, why don't people want quality care?
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:12 PM
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So in my county, it looks like the state will pay $61 a week for school age summer care (I was a little below that with this offer). And would have paid $70 for the one I was charging that for. Of course that is a lower rate than private rates, as the state pays a lower rater here it seems. I dunno. I am just not sure I can do it for any less and do it right KWIM?

I guess the thing that gets me, is that these are people's kids, why don't people want quality care?
Believe it or not, when my rate was $120/week per kid, I had SUCH a hard time finding kids and I kept hearing "it's too expensive".... On a hunch I upped my rate to $135 a week and now I'm beating parents away with sticks AND raising my rate as of June 1st to $140 per week and no more "credits" if their kiddos don't attend. They're paying full week price regardless.

I think once I upped my rate, I attracted the parents that DO care where their children spend their days, but I wasn't TOO overly priced. Typical for my area is $145-$160 for home care and $210-240 at a center, so I was in the right ball park, especially for being unlicensed.

I also offered "one free week" if they signed up by xxx day. That free week was staggered so I didn't lose all my income at once, and it was after AT LEAST 4 full weeks of care/payment.

I also do a $25 credit for referrals but I've never had to give one lol.

Maybe it's something to look into. Right now you might be scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as potential clients. You're attracting those that don't give a crap if you sit them in front of the TV and feed them ramen and you're priced low enough that the good families that DO care are assuming that your a TV/ramen type program and they don't want their kids in that type of program. Run an ad on Craigslist with a higher rate. What can it hurt if no one responds? But if someone does; you not only have a potential client, but you have one at a HIGHER rate than you originally were charging!
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:32 PM
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people that want quality care do not even bother contacting programs with rick bottom prices. Why because either the provider will quit with burn out or they think their child will not get the best care and environment. raise your prices and attract better clients
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:39 PM
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Wow, I didn't know there was any place cheaper than where I live! I thought we were rock bottom on prices.

I was just going to say what AuntTami said above. I was charging $85 a week for 45 hours, not charging for days off, etc. I had great kids, but the parents were a nightmare. After a year of starving, I raised rates to $100 (center care was $112.) I made a handbook and a contract and rules and expected to lose everyone. I lost one kid, but it turned out the timing was a coincidence. Her mom was having a difficult pregnancy and had to quit her job. I would have lost her anyway.

Last year, I started all new kids at $110. I haven't lost a single family and have a waiting list. I also have an absolutely amazing group of parents. For the first year, I want to make great Mother's Day presents!! I still have one family grandfathered at $100, but at least once a month, when Mom pays me, I count it later and find an extra $20 or $30. I used to try to give it back the next day, thinking it was a mistake, but she says she wants to do it, and if she could do it every week, she would.

Being the highest priced in an area is a gamble, but it paid off for me. If you can back up your price with a high quality program, it can work, in my experience.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:32 PM
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people that want quality care do not even bother contacting programs with rick bottom prices. Why because either the provider will quit with burn out or they think their child will not get the best care and environment. raise your prices and attract better clients
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:13 AM
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people that want quality care do not even bother contacting programs with rick bottom prices. Why because either the provider will quit with burn out or they think their child will not get the best care and environment. raise your prices and attract better clients
I did this, too, with similar results. It took me a while to feel confident enough to but I raised my rates to 35/40 (ft/pt) and filled within a month with awesome families. The average here was 30/32.

I have just reopened, and while my rates are on the low side initially (32/35) I am slowly raising them and am now back at 35/40. I am also considering raising them again as I noticed other providers are charging fairly close to me and don't offer near what I do. I am thinking 38/43. And one thing I have noticed, the families enrolled with a higher rate are better matches.

Another thing that helped was focussing on 3 things that I felt really passionate about and think make my program stand out. For me it was healthy food, lots of outdoor time and creative fun. Since I switched my 'marketing', I am attracting families who value and appreciate these things, and therefore are willing to pay extra for them. They are also families that really gel with me b/c these are things that I value with my own family.
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:16 AM
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Don't lower your price! There is nothing wrong with your price, there IS something wrong with anyone who thinks your rate is "pricey".

Tell her if she wants to move to the Gulf Coast of Florida, she can expect to pay $585 a week for 3 kids for 8 hours a day. Sheesh.
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:58 AM
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I am trying to figure out how to do some kind of promotion for new families.
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:59 AM
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I'm sure you're nervous about raising rates instead of lowering. But I believe they're right. I'm a little on the high side for my area, but I have an ECE degree and years of experience. And I'm full with a wait list. I think your rate reflects the kind of families you will attract. People who want quality over price will not bother calling or interviewing with "cheap" providers.

Also, I know this is unpopular, but I list my prices on my website. I state that I list them so that "you are fully informed of all the details" before they even call me. So when the call comes in, most of the time, they already know my prices and it weeds out the ones who are just looking for cheap.

One more thing. The problem could be in your delivery when you offer them a spot. How do you do it? If you are telling people you have plenty of space or that you need enrollments, that may turn them off. They may think something is wrong because you don't have enrollments. At interview, I say something like, I really like your family and your child and think he would be a good fit for my program. So I'd like to offer you the spot! And if they need to think about it, say sure! I have one other interview later this week. I'll need to have an answer by xxx, so I'll know whether to keep that interview appointment. This tells them you have other options and they could lose the spot if they don't act quickly.

Just some thoughts that might help.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:06 AM
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She can move to northern MN and pay $75 per week PER child ($225) to catch the bus and $150 per week PER child ($450) for summer care.
See that is what I am saying. I know my rates are not "pricey". I also realize our area is still depressed and lacking any really good jobs, but geesh. Apparently she has gotten some cheaper quotes, because I sent her this after her pricey comment "ok that is fine but you are going to have a hard time finding anything less, unless you qualify for state assistance" and she sends back "I already have a couple of lower quotes but thanks". I don't understand HOW people are giving lower quotes.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:07 AM
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I'm sure you're nervous about raising rates instead of lowering. But I believe they're right. I'm a little on the high side for my area, but I have an ECE degree and years of experience. And I'm full with a wait list. I think your rate reflects the kind of families you will attract. People who want quality over price will not bother calling or interviewing with "cheap" providers.

Also, I know this is unpopular, but I list my prices on my website. I state that I list them so that "you are fully informed of all the details" before they even call me. So when the call comes in, most of the time, they already know my prices and it weeds out the ones who are just looking for cheap.

One more thing. The problem could be in your delivery when you offer them a spot. How do you do it? If you are telling people you have plenty of space or that you need enrollments, that may turn them off. They may think something is wrong because you don't have enrollments. At interview, I say something like, I really like your family and your child and think he would be a good fit for my program. So I'd like to offer you the spot! And if they need to think about it, say sure! I have one other interview later this week. I'll need to have an answer by xxx, so I'll know whether to keep that interview appointment. This tells them you have other options and they could lose the spot if they don't act quickly.

Just some thoughts that might help.
Most of them are not even getting offered a spot, many of them run before we even get to an interview when they tell me they can't afford me or whatever.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:21 AM
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I saw another provider say this and I loved it so it stuck with me: I don't want to be the cheapest daycare in town, I want to be the best provider in town.

I also agree with PP about higher rates. I am definitely on the high end and I never have trouble filling my spots and I have fantastic kids and parents. I don't want people looking for cheap...
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
See that is what I am saying. I know my rates are not "pricey". I also realize our area is still depressed and lacking any really good jobs, but geesh. Apparently she has gotten some cheaper quotes, because I sent her this after her pricey comment "ok that is fine but you are going to have a hard time finding anything less, unless you qualify for state assistance" and she sends back "I already have a couple of lower quotes but thanks". I don't understand HOW people are giving lower quotes.
Sorry...I was editing my post to reflect the correct prices. It would actually cost her more than what I said because I don't open until 7 and I just realized care needed to start at 6. The hour before I open would be a premium fee because it's early.

As for the people who give her cheaper rate quotes, they probably don't do anything but flick the TV on at the beginning of the day and off again in the evening. There is SOME truth to getting what you pay for but not in all case....just those odd hours or parents that need really odd care hours/days. Providers agree to it with a cheap quote for rates because they figure it's easy money for such a short amount of time. For some it is but it gets old fast.


If I were you, I would focus on advertising those things about you that may be different, unique or special to you. Are you all organic, do you have TV free program, are you an outdoor program, an educational one, etc etc... find your niche or what makes you different from the others and focus on that.

Don't sell yourself short because others do. Don't lower your rates because you want clients. Cheap rates brings in "cheap" clients in a sense.

Value yourself and others do too.

Like Wednesday said, "how" you present yourself makes a big difference. When I inform families of my illness policy (which is super strict) it can make or break the "connection" with a potential client.

"My illness policy is strictly enforced so I am not one of those providers that will allow you to drop off your sick kid just because you can't afford to take a day off"

verses

"Because I value YOUR child's health, and well being I try really hard to adhere to my illness policies for all families because you know as well as I do, taking time off can be difficult when sickness happens and taking that one day off to rest sure beats having to miss multiple days when illnesses are passed back and forth."

HOW you say something is just as important as what you are saying. Sometimes even more.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:21 AM
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given the information, I agree with what the others are saying.

When I first started, I had rates very low and it attracted the wrong people. I gave discounts to get them in and they just really didn't value my program.

I have some information of teachstone that talks about what sets a good in-home apart, let me find it when I have some more free time and I will post it here.

Keep your chin up. When I had to move up state, I had to restart and I did it all wrong again. I actually termed all of my families but one and started all over again. I took all of the advice of the ladies on here and really took the time to build a strong foundation of what my program is about. Over the years, I changed what I offered, but after years of experience found out what works best and that is waht I stick to and sell.

Be patient, the good ones will come.


Also, do you have a website??
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:28 AM
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given the information, I agree with what the others are saying.

When I first started, I had rates very low and it attracted the wrong people. I gave discounts to get them in and they just really didn't value my program.

I have some information of teachstone that talks about what sets a good in-home apart, let me find it when I have some more free time and I will post it here.

Keep your chin up. When I had to move up state, I had to restart and I did it all wrong again. I actually termed all of my families but one and started all over again. I took all of the advice of the ladies on here and really took the time to build a strong foundation of what my program is about. Over the years, I changed what I offered, but after years of experience found out what works best and that is waht I stick to and sell.

Be patient, the good ones will come.


Also, do you have a website??
I would love to read this as well.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:37 AM
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Daycare, I do have a website, I am not sure though that I am doing a good job of promoting it and getting it seen. I post my ads on multiple facebook garage sale type groups, and my link to my site is always on those. I am not sure that is enough. I did just run and ad in the paper for five days, not one call.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:44 AM
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Daycare, I do have a website, I am not sure though that I am doing a good job of promoting it and getting it seen. I post my ads on multiple facebook garage sale type groups, and my link to my site is always on those. I am not sure that is enough. I did just run and ad in the paper for five days, not one call.
what about yelp?

also, if you list yourself on places that get lots of hits like

here, craigs list and so on, your name will come up more in searches.

do you have any community events coming up? like health fairs, church events, etc?

often my city will have functions where I can set up a table for free or very little money. This is how I have been successful at really getting my name out there.

look and see what community events you have.

years ago a friend of mine used to do a saturday morning mommy and me or daddy and me music class and it was a hit. She charged like $3.00 a family and was very successful at getting her name out there. I think she did it twice a month for about 30-45min. She is always full when I talk to her.

what about dental and medical offices? get some used books, and put a sleeve inside the book with your biz cards in them or stickers on the books saying donated by ABC daycare and include your website on it.

I have tons of ideas for you...let me find that link
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:47 AM
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We don't have Craigslist in our exact area, one for an hour away, well three different ones for that. I can try posting again. I hadn't thought of Yelp. We do have our village annual family fun night on June 27, so maybe I can make some contacts, pass out some business cards there. Not sure thought do I just walk around and hand cards to people? I will look into yelp, never used it lol.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:04 AM
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We don't have Craigslist in our exact area, one for an hour away, well three different ones for that. I can try posting again. I hadn't thought of Yelp. We do have our village annual family fun night on June 27, so maybe I can make some contacts, pass out some business cards there. Not sure thought do I just walk around and hand cards to people? I will look into yelp, never used it lol.
dont' worry if you get any hits off of craigs list or not...posting an add there will help boost you in search engines..

as for the family fun night, see how much it would be to get a booth.... then you can do something fun like face painting or make small balls of home made playdough for them to take home.... I just did this and it was a huge hit.

i got clear bags from the dollar store printed my own labels with my biz information on them and then put the dough inside for them to take home.

I had brochures made and handed them out. I had tons of pictures on science project boards set up of our program and i had my ipad with a slide show going.

I can show you a pic of my set up. the last event i did was free, only the cost of the supplies to make the playdough and bags is what I spent.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:11 AM
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3 kids for 8 hours per day for 5 days would be $450 at my place. $175 seems pretty reasonable.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:14 AM
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I will have to check into the fun night thing, I don't know much about it really they do it every year, but we have never been with DD away at the camp job I have been on the semi with hubby the last few years.

I didn't know that about Craigslist and it boosting my searches I will do that.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:29 AM
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I will have to check into the fun night thing, I don't know much about it really they do it every year, but we have never been with DD away at the camp job I have been on the semi with hubby the last few years.

I didn't know that about Craigslist and it boosting my searches I will do that.
Have you considered having an open house? A weekend BBQ?
An afternoon carnival?

Or a maybe a "Mom's Day Off" or a "Parent Night Out" just to get your name out there?
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:32 AM
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Have you considered having an open house? A weekend BBQ?
An afternoon carnival?

Or a maybe a "Mom's Day Off" or a "Parent Night Out" just to get your name out there?
I have tried parent's night outs, and never get a nibble on them. I am stuck somewhere between people just don't want to pay and I am not reaching the right people.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:44 AM
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I have tried parent's night outs, and never get a nibble on them. I am stuck somewhere between people just don't want to pay and I am not reaching the right people.
What is the daycare atmosphere like there?

Are there centers? Lots of in-home? Are they all full? Are they all advertising?

Do you know any of the other providers? How big is your community?

Just trying to get a handle on your environment and their needs
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:00 AM
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I live in a town of 3000 or so. 10 miles East AND 10 miles west are slightly bigger towns say 10,000 or so. I see others advertising somewhat on FB groups but not daily. The YMCA in the town east also has daycare. There are centers, but not a ton, and there are home providers. I don't really know any providers, I did reach out to one on FB yesterday trying to get to know some. Seems so many see another provider as competition and I don't see it that way. Many people commute between all the tiny towns around here to work. Um.... trying to think what else I could tell you.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:56 AM
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What does your program have that sets you apart from the rest? For example; we have a HUGE organic garden that we eat from all summer and the children are encouraged to participate in the whole process. In addition; I'm a low tech daycare. Extremely limited TV, limited toys with screens and batteries, etc
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:00 PM
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What does your program have that sets you apart from the rest? For example; we have a HUGE organic garden that we eat from all summer and the children are encouraged to participate in the whole process. In addition; I'm a low tech daycare. Extremely limited TV, limited toys with screens and batteries, etc
We have a small garden the kids are encouraged to be involved in, and we will eat from. They also help cooking small things, like muffins for snacks of course I do the hot parts, but they get to help measure and mix and such. I am not on the food program, but I do follow their guidelines, and I use very little processed foods. I allow very little screen time if any at all, no electronic toys. I do help SA kids with homework, and do enrichment activities during the summer.

I do have a very small space, I am not sure if that hurts me or not.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:07 PM
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Here is what I have

http://teachstone.com/blog/what-makes-fccs-different/

http://teachstone.com/blog/family-ch...ace-like-home/


http://teachstone.com/blog/fcc-chall...tent-settings/

so a lot of this has to do with class observations, but it's good reading information

I like how the others are guiding you to what makes you unique...

You should really run with your home garden idea. I wanted to do that her but being in a serious drought I am not going to be able to have my garden after all....ugh...
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:16 PM
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Here is what I have

http://teachstone.com/blog/what-makes-fccs-different/

http://teachstone.com/blog/family-ch...ace-like-home/


http://teachstone.com/blog/fcc-chall...tent-settings/

so a lot of this has to do with class observations, but it's good reading information

I like how the others are guiding you to what makes you unique...

You should really run with your home garden idea. I wanted to do that her but being in a serious drought I am not going to be able to have my garden after all....ugh...
Yeah I do the garden regardless unless I go out with DH on the truck for the summer, so it seemed a natural place for science and cooking.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:34 PM
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Yeah I do the garden regardless unless I go out with DH on the truck for the summer, so it seemed a natural place for science and cooking.
so are you closed in the summer time?
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:39 PM
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so are you closed in the summer time?
No, I haven't done daycare in several years, actually more than ten years since we moved to Ohio. I started working on opening last August when I got off the truck.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:41 PM
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No, I haven't done daycare in several years, actually more than ten years since we moved to Ohio. I started working on opening last August when I got off the truck.
oh ok, got it... i was going to say if that was the case, that may be your issue.

A lot of programs in our area close for the summer, this is where I have an upper leg.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:58 PM
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oh ok, got it... i was going to say if that was the case, that may be your issue.

A lot of programs in our area close for the summer, this is where I have an upper leg.
Yeah that wouldn't be good for me here, or when I was in Kansas. I wonder how they retain kids when they do that. The only way I could see that working is if you had all teachers. I would love to be able to do it, Hubby would love that. But I don't see it happening.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:09 PM
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Yeah that wouldn't be good for me here, or when I was in Kansas. I wonder how they retain kids when they do that. The only way I could see that working is if you had all teachers. I would love to be able to do it, Hubby would love that. But I don't see it happening.
you and me both....I dream about the day i don't have to operate year round 52 weeks out of the year...... Well 51 actually.. I take one week off.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:43 PM
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Well DCM of my two school agers just told me she is going to reapply for state assistance for the summer. Bah, not sure if she will get it or not, but if she does there go my last two.

ETA: DCD is living with her again now, they are divorced and she got assistance then. She is not reporting that he is living there they still take child support from his check and they use it for their gas money. She has no intention of telling them he is living with her again. That part burns me because DH and I have struggled our whole lives for all we have, which is fine but I hate it when people sit here and tell me how they are cheating the system.
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:11 PM
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Well DCM of my two school agers just told me she is going to reapply for state assistance for the summer. Bah, not sure if she will get it or not, but if she does there go my last two.

ETA: DCD is living with her again now, they are divorced and she got assistance then. She is not reporting that he is living there they still take child support from his check and they use it for their gas money. She has no intention of telling them he is living with her again. That part burns me because DH and I have struggled our whole lives for all we have, which is fine but I hate it when people sit here and tell me how they are cheating the system.
I am frustrated for you....
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:12 PM
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I would make sure that you are advertising the garden to table aspect, limited screen time, and enrichment activities, esp. the garden part. That would be a huge selling feature and make you stand out. Post pictures of your garden, maybe a sample menu, etc. I made a website on weebly and it is very easy to do. I like to put pics of the activities that we are doing so that potential clients can see what we do. Also of the space, etc. I point all my ads to my website so that parents can see what it's all about before they get here.

Have you tried flyers at the grocery store? Rec centre? Library? Even going in to the schools? I don't know if they can advertise for you but maybe it would be helpful if they had your name and contact info in case parents were asking.

If you got business cards made up you could leave those around... in the library, on the bus, etc.

We have a local fb page here linking parents and providers. Maybe you could start one for your area?

I honestly get most of my clients from kijiji (which is sort of like craigs list).
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:55 AM
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I have flyers up I have done everything but the schools, that just feels weird to me for some reason I dunno. I did leave some for the manager at the apartments though.

I will look into that other craigslist type thing you mentioned, hadn't heard of it. I do have business cards, I do leave them some places.
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