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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Only Drop-In Care Rates
afmama 08:29 PM 03-18-2011
I'm getting together my contract here and wondering how to list my rates. I ONLY want to do drop-in care because of my hubby's crazy schedule I want to be able to simply be closed if he has a day off.

I know those of you usually provide a discount/incentive for parents to sign up for full time care because then you're slots are full. But that wouldn't be beneficial for me. Also I'm willing to provide day, evening, and weekend care. I think I also want my rates to discourage someone from using me for part time care....in the future if my drop-ins become to sparse I might change this though!

Around here the average pay is $8 and hour and $35 for a day. So based on those what do you guys think would be fair to charge. I was thinking an hourly rate, half day rate, full day rate. Then an "evening" full day like 5-10pm. And then a weekend day/weekend night rate. I think it would be fair to charge more for evening care and weekend care since it's hard to come by.
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Abigail 10:48 PM 03-18-2011
Are you only going to allow random times/day or will you allow a fixed schedule? I know many babysitters in my area who will babysit for the same rate week day or week night. Night time and evening babysitting rates are the same, if not less because the child is sleeping.

I would start out advertising that you will work for minimum wage $8 and see how many takers you get. That is what I did and I was working 2 days a week for different families. I stopped because it became too chaotic and too much driving around vs. a different job. If that works for you, then I would off full day rates and half day rates. Are you going to charge per child or according to age?
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JenNJ 05:06 AM 03-19-2011
I take drop ins for $6 per hour up to a maximum of $36 per day.
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Zoe 07:11 AM 03-19-2011
When I did drop in, it was $5 a day per child up until my daily rate, which was $30 a day.
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afmama 07:32 AM 03-19-2011
I don't want to have anyone that counts on me basically If a child wants to always come Monday and Tuesday or something thats fine, but parents must be aware that I won't always be open those days. I live on a base though and I know I'll be busy at all different random times. But thats fine with me cause my husband will be gone for weeks at a time, then only home for 3 or 4 days. So those 3 or 4 days I won't take as many children.

I think I'll charge $8 per child per hour, then maybe $5 per hour for their sibling. Then I'll just think of some fair daily/evening/weekend rates. I want to try and prevent parents from dropping their child off all day 7am-5pm though when they only really need 4 hours of care.
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WImom 07:34 AM 03-19-2011
My drop in rates are 1-4 hours $20, 5-6 hours $30, 7 and up $40

I also charge a fee if they don't show and they have give me a refundable payment of $30 dollars which they get back after they stop using me. I do this that if they don't pay me or don't show up I'm not out anything. THey also have to pay per day.

I have a few drop ins since I will only do contracts for 3 days or more.
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daycare 10:09 AM 03-19-2011
This is how I did drop in, I don’t do it anymore. Most of my clients were substitute teachers

I asked the parents to estimate how many hours/days they think they will need to use each week?
So let’s say they say 25 hours.
I charged $7.00 per hour.

I then would require the parent to pay into a retainer $175.00 before the child can start.

They then get to chose the days and times. So if the parent booked a job for Monday then the kid came for however many hours mom needed.

When the child arrived I wrote down the arrival time and had MOM sign it. Same at depart.
I then would subtract the amount of hours from the retainer and email the parents the new balance. With the right tools it was not a lot of work.

Since most of clients were subs, I would allow them to book a spot for their child up to one hour before DC hours open.

I did charge a NO show fee which was a total of $50.00, and since I require a retainer that was never allowed to go below $50.00, trust me I got paid for no shows...

I think that if you are going to offer drop in like this you would need to up your fees. Last minute care is hard to come by.

Also, at the time that I would talk to mom or dad about the drop in time/schedule, I would make them commit to it.
EX: let’s say parents said kid would be there Monday from 10-6, but then shows up at 2:30-5:30, they are still charged the hours that were agreed from the start. This was also an issue that I had..

I had to create a lot of forms and did most of my schedules for the parents over email..Like sending them a weekly or daily contract the night before.... EX: lil johnny is scheduled for Monday 9/17/2011 from 9am -4:30 PM I would then require them to sign it and retuern it day of care or email it back signed before care. This way if they were late picking up then I charged $1.00 per min over their contracted time.

I stopped doing it because it was too hard to get the kids to adjust. This is the only problem that I see with drop in care. If it is not consistent, the child never gets acclimated to the rules or environment and therefore never adjusts..... Well this was my experience.....
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afmama 11:26 AM 03-19-2011
I like the idea of a refundable retainer that they can get back once they stop using me! I think to elminate emailing late at night I'm going to require an "interview" mostly to meet the kids and give them the paperwork. With the military & state there is a lot of paperwork required. Kind of sucks cause I feel like I won't really know what to do tell I get started here.

I think I will charge more for evening, night, and weekend care.
Thanks for the great tips though I feel like I have a good start.
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daycare 11:29 AM 03-19-2011
Sounds Like you are doing what's best for your family. I wish I had this option.
My husband works fire/Ems as well as a nurse in the ER I never get to see him and have kids 24/7.
Wish you luck.
Btw I didn't do interviews through emails only time schedules.
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