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Old 03-02-2018, 04:17 AM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is online now Member
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Default How Far Ahead Do You Commit

to taking a baby? I have 1 dcf I met with that seems wonderful and I told them if any other dcfs expressed interest in an infant I'd call them back to see if they still needed it but I don't have an infant opening until Sept. 13th. I received another call yesterday but only listened to her message, haven't called back yet. They're due in August and are seeking care in January.
Both dcfs have called because of word of mouth.
I know dcfs need to plan ahead here because of the shortage of infant care but how do we, as providers, make that work?? I mean, how do we know what our life or group will be like 6 months, 9 months down the road and if we will still want an infant?
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:44 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 10,813

I add people to the list in the order they call. When an opening comes up I choose the first, most appropriate, family from the list. Sometimes even when I'd prefer another family for various personal reasons.

If I have fewer than 2 under 12 months (ratio max) I always choose the youngest from the waitlist first; no matter where they are on the list (longterm infant trumps all). If I already have two infants I choose from the top of the list.

When I was allowed four infants things flowed better from cradle to elementary school with sibling groups growing up together. My program was more effective with educational scaffolding. But now, limited to two, it causes more interruptions and turnover. Be still my heart, the government is here to serve us.

Sometimes I have a sibling group leave and I have to decide whether to fill with another sibling group or several families. That is always a difficult decision. I adore the environment having sibling groups provides but the financial risk is much higher.

I would simply tell the family that I have placed them on the list and will call them the moment I become aware of an opening.
- Unless otherwise stated, all my posts are personal opinion and worth what you paid for them.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:59 AM
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KiwiKids KiwiKids is offline Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 263

Iíve enrolled a teacher family in March for a September start date. Mom had a good friend on extended maternity leave to cover the few weeks of the remaining school year after mom went back and then had summer off. The spot was full until June so I enrolled them and knew I could pick up a summer kid if needed. My own 4 kids are still school aged so I truly donít mind having open spots during the summer months. Baby ended up starting in late July when mom was promoted to vice principal. Theyíve been an amazing family. Baby #2 will start in September 2018. During the interview there were no red flags. Baby was here and a few weeks old at the time so I could get a better feel to their commitment and parenting style.

Mostly my infant spot has been used for younger siblings over the years. I only take one under 15 months at a time.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:05 AM
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DaveA DaveA is online now Member and Bladesmith
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,671

3 or 4 months seems to be about average. Anything over that I would take their information and get back in touch with them a couple months before they would need care and see if they were still interested. I've had one family inquire while they were trying to get pregnant, but they were a current family. I knew I would find them a spot regardless.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:15 AM
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daycarediva daycarediva is offline Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 11,293

I operate similarly to catherder.

Parents fill out an 'intent to enroll' form with a projected start date. When I have an opening around that date, I contact the best family for the space (regardless of WHEN they were placed on the 'list') FT/PT, age, gender, my own preference all play a role.

Right now, I have intent to enrolls up to 6/2019. That's when I age my kids up/out to SA care, so it works well.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:18 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 18,005

I take infants from currently or previously enrolled families only.

If the infant space is open and available, I'll take payment for it (in full) as far in advance as a parent is willing to pay for it.

If the space isn't open and available for use, I might consider a holding fee to "guarantee" the spot but as soon as it is open/available the holding fee morphs over into simply paying for the spot.

I don't all the years I've done this I've never had anyone willing to commit more than 3 months or so ahead of time. I imagine it's because committing is expensive as I don't just hold spaces for free.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:40 AM
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Snowmom Snowmom is online now Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 1,259

I am very much like Blackcat.
I only enroll infants when they are a sibling to a child already enrolled.
As soon as I know a spot will be open, I interview and require the initial two week deposit with the paperwork. When the spot is actually open/available, I require regular weekly payment.
No discounts, no reductions, no half rate.

Back when I used to enroll new infants, I created a waitlist of calls & inquiries and when I knew I'd have an opening, I'd interview. It was typically 2-4 months before the opening would be available. When I chose the family I wanted, I'd require a 4 week non refundable hold fee to secure the spot.
Reasoning: new/expecting families still interview others while pregnant/on leave and sometimes have "holds" in several different places. If I'm going to say the spot is taken, I want a larger monetary amount from them as good faith.
Then 2 weeks before the start date, I'd require the normal deposit and paperwork.
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:48 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
Family Childcare Home
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ventura County, CA
Posts: 7,200

A month in advance is the most I would do and even then I don't like to do that. The most I like to wait is 2 weeks. However infant spots are hard to come-by here so there is always a need and I'm able to do it this way. I used to hold spots beforehand as far as 6 months in advance and charge a holding fee but I had way too many mothers decide to stay home after baby was born or had a friend or family member end up taking care of their baby. So now I don't hold spots too far in advance, I won't even hold a tour until a month before they need to start care.
Daycare Ninja, CA
Helping Hands Childcare
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:07 PM
BrynleeJean BrynleeJean is offline Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 241

This is a good question like this
me personally, I charge more for infants than say a 4 year old or whatever so I may consider keeping a spot open because that infant could mean 5 years of committed care from that family, where as a 3 year old is only maybe 2 good years and where did they come from, some other childcare and may not stay in mine, if that makes sense. that baby/infant is a 'virgin' of sorts in the daycare world and so are the parents most likely so they are most likely to stay with you because they will be attached, good investment in my eyes

that being said
id have to consider a lot of things
-what does my program look like right now? can i take an infant? and what will that do to my current childcare program?
-how long can i go without that extra income of another child?
-or will a child age out by that time
and i would Definitely charge a hefty fee for holding the space, maybe just a holding fee non refundable, or maybe id charge first and last weeks tuition as well as registration all upfront even if they don't want to start for 3-4 months with the condition that if they choose another childcare its non refundable, but if heaven forbid something goes wrong with delivery the money would be refunded of course.
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commitment, infant care

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