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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>How Do You Explain A "Spot"??
Mary Poppins 06:02 PM 01-07-2012


I need some help on how to re-word my handbook so that clients fully understand what a "spot" is. I recently had it out with a dcm who didn't understand why I told her since she changed our original agreement from needing me every week to random weeks or days that I'd drop her down to drop-in care. She didn't think it fair that I wanted her to pay for weeks she wasn't using and argued that she pays a weekly tuition so she should be able to pick the weeks she needs. Oy.

I told her I do allow clients to pay weekly, biweekly or monthly but couldn't explain to her satisfaction why I need a commitment of a full month or I would "demote" her.

Has anyone ever dealt with this before? It kinda threw me for a loop and I ended up terming her because she just didn't get that (or the fact that when she said she'd be here at 6am I need her to show up then and not at 9 or 10 or... consistently... )

Anyway, I want to spell it out in my handbook what a "spot" means and why I have to be so, as she put it, "inflexible". Can anyone can give me a good, concise explanation?

ETA: Also, am I the only one who feels like people should just use common sense and I shouldn't have to spell EVERYTHING out for them? It's sooo annoying. Luckily she's the only client I've had who did this but I want to make sure I'm covering all my bases in the future to save me from the frustration. Sigh.

Thank you.
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godiva83 08:05 PM 01-07-2012
I guess I would define a 'spot' as the clients contracted hours and days. By. The client paying for that 'spot' no other person shall fill it and they are guaranteed a
Place in your facility during times specified. Because they are entitled to use those times/ days specified more or less how they wish you are unable to fill it with another client. They pay they 'own' not good wording but you count on them as your income
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Mary Poppins 08:54 PM 01-07-2012
Originally Posted by godiva83:
I guess I would define a 'spot' as the clients contracted hours and days. By. The client paying for that 'spot' no other person shall fill it and they are guaranteed a
Place in your facility during times specified. Because they are entitled to use those times/ days specified more or less how they wish you are unable to fill it with another client. They pay they 'own' not good wording but you count on them as your income
Thank you. It seems ridiculous that I feel I have to "define" this in my phb to begin with since I already have this under my Attendance section:

"Full and part time care means you are reserving a "spot" in our daycare. Your tuition rate applies regardless if your child is in attendance or not. The only exception to this is if the daycare is closed. Your tuition will be prorated accordingly."

But based on the insane conversation I had with ex-dcm it doesn't explain it the way she seemed to need it explained!

I guess I feel I need to add that if they do not plan on attending x amount of days/weeks a month, then I reserve the right to revoke their "spot" and put them on a drop-in contract.

Am I the only one who has had to spell things out to this degree to avoid issues?
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bice99 10:19 PM 01-07-2012
When I gave notice to a DCM last year (in May, that I could watch DCB through the end of the school year, but not again in the fall, teacher's kid) that I might not have space for DCB in the fall, she had the gaul to tell me I couldn't just quit. I had been "hired" by her husband and her and how could I say I wouldn't take him back? Um...yeah...don't ever tell a DCP provider that she has been "hired and works for you." That turned into a notice that I wouldn't have room in the fall.
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Mary Poppins 11:02 PM 01-07-2012
Originally Posted by bice99:
When I gave notice to a DCM last year (in May, that I could watch DCB through the end of the school year, but not again in the fall, teacher's kid) that I might not have space for DCB in the fall, she had the gaul to tell me I couldn't just quit. I had been "hired" by her husband and her and how could I say I wouldn't take him back? Um...yeah...don't ever tell a DCP provider that she has been "hired and works for you." That turned into a notice that I wouldn't have room in the fall.


People can be so.. ugh.

This dcm kept referring to my dc home as "your facility" with a condescending tone and it really grated on my nerves. I finally told her that this is my HOME, it is NOT a facility and I don't know of anyone in dc that would allow her to pick and choose which weeks she came without paying inbetween. She was so rude on so many levels, really.

Funny thing is, her mom owns a dc and she said she grew up in dc. She should know better! Maybe she has deep, hidden animosity for dc's because she had to share her mommy and her toys? lol
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Blackcat31 08:12 AM 01-08-2012
I try to take an alternate approach. Parents do not necessarily pay for a spot but more or less pay for the amount of availability they want from me.

"If you want me available to provide care for Timmy 5 days a week, your rate is $*** (full time)

If you want me available to provide care on 2 set days each week, your arate is $***. (part time)

If you want me to be available only on the first Tues of each month then your rate is $*** (drop in)."

That isn't how I actually have it printed out but that is how I verbally explain to parents what they are being charged for.

It is all about "availability" and not about actual useage or space. I will be at your beck and call (during open hours only, of course) then you will pay a premium for that service.

For whatever reason, they seem to understand that line of thinking better.
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Mary Poppins 10:13 AM 01-08-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I try to take an alternate approach. Parents do not necessarily pay for a spot but more or less pay for the amount of availability they want from me.

"If you want me available to provide care for Timmy 5 days a week, your rate is $*** (full time)

If you want me available to provide care on 2 set days each week, your arate is $***. (part time)

If you want me to be available only on the first Tues of each month then your rate is $*** (drop in)."

That isn't how I actually have it printed out but that is how I verbally explain to parents what they are being charged for.

It is all about "availability" and not about actual useage or space. I will be at your beck and call (during open hours only, of course) then you will pay a premium for that service.

For whatever reason, they seem to understand that line of thinking better.
I like that. I was going to explain it using the hotel room thing but this is better I think.

I guess my issue with this is that she wanted full weeks - one here, skip a week or two, another full week (maybe two in a row) etc. and wanted to only pay for the weeks she needed. Since it wasn't an hour or two here or a day or two a week, she felt the drop-in care arrangement was unfair of me.
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Blackcat31 01:55 PM 01-08-2012
Originally Posted by Mary Poppins:
I like that. I was going to explain it using the hotel room thing but this is better I think.

I guess my issue with this is that she wanted full weeks - one here, skip a week or two, another full week (maybe two in a row) etc. and wanted to only pay for the weeks she needed. Since it wasn't an hour or two here or a day or two a week, she felt the drop-in care arrangement was unfair of me.
Tell her your availability is per year. If you update your handbooks/policies/contracts yearly then I would tell her that if she wants you available for a week at a time here and there throughout the year, (no matter how many weeks she uses) then your rate will be $*** EACH WEEK OF THE YEAR, no matter how much or how little she actually uses it.

Another approach is to tell her that you will allow her to only pay for the weeks she uses but ONLY IF there is space available. Then when she calls to use a week, you tell her that someone else already paid for you to "be available to them" so there is no space for her.

I have found that once you deny someone that availability, they suddenly understand what you meant by "being available" to them and paying for that availability.
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Tags:contract - clear, spot, spot - explained
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