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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Lower My Rates?
Danielle 04:22 PM 08-17-2011
I have 1 full timer and have been trying to fill a few spots for a couple months now. But I'm having a really hard time doing that. I think there are 2 things that may be reasons. 1- I'm pregnant w/no back up provider for my maternity leave(which is 3 weeks unpaid) and 2- my rates are on the higher end in my area. I really need to fill 1-2 spots so I was thinking maybe I should lower my rates. I currently charge $125/week for full time. Every once and a while I'll see an ad with that rate but I see $100/week much more ....and of course there's always the dirt cheap providers but I try to ignore those. So, am I crazy for considering lowering my rates?
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KEG123 04:38 PM 08-17-2011
How far along are you? I honestly bet that's the biggest reason. I had two families sign up when I was 10-12 weeks, and at least 2-3 interviews closer to 20 weeks who did not sign up.
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Danielle 04:50 PM 08-17-2011
Originally Posted by KEG123:
How far along are you? I honestly bet that's the biggest reason. I had two families sign up when I was 10-12 weeks, and at least 2-3 interviews closer to 20 weeks who did not sign up.
I'm 20 weeks. That's what I'm afraid of. I can change my rates but..um this baby's here to stay. lol And I agree with you. My website gets a ton of hits from my ads but then I never hear from the parents. I have received emails from people that know that I'm pregnant so those are the ones I think it's my rates.
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cheerfuldom 05:43 PM 08-17-2011
Why not try it and see what happens? You could always raise rates down the road.
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Abigail 05:50 PM 08-17-2011
Can you try to get a backup for your 3 weeks too? If not, you should look into other daycares in your area that would take a kid for 3 weeks as your alternative to offer to parents and make it their responsiblity to book their spot with your suggested providers including drop in centers if they're affordable to do 3 weeks.
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Danielle 11:08 AM 08-21-2011
I decided to do a test. I have 2 ads on craigslist. They are very similar but one does not have my name or website on it so they don't know I'm pregnant ...not that I'm keeping that from them. I tell them in the first email. I've gotten 6 emails from that vs 2 from my other ad. I know a provider that's not far from me; she's a friend's mom so I trust her. I was going to ask her but it just so happens, her daughter is pregnant too and due right about the same time as me. How would I go about finding a backup?
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Abigail 01:33 PM 08-21-2011
Do you have any friends or family in your town? Are you a member of church where you could post a notice to call you for an interview for temporary help? You could place an ad online on free sites like Care or CL or in your local newspaper. I would do so this week and see if you can get more than one potential helper. They probably need to be CPR/First Aid certified so if you're licensed I would check with their guidelines on a helper's requirements.

If you're taking off three weeks, how about closing daycare for the first week so you'll be back home with a 4-5 day old before anyone walks back into your home and then you have your helper/substitute for 2 weeks before you go back to full time working hours? It is good that you got more responses from your regular rate if I read that right.
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CheekyChick 01:53 PM 08-21-2011
Can you try to find a sub for the three weeks you will be out? I feel confident if you do that, you will start enrolling more children. I wouldn't lower your rates. $125.00 per week is CHEAP and I'm certain your care is worth every penny.
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Danielle 02:53 PM 08-21-2011
I already plan for DH to be home the first week, then my mom the second week. So if I did a sub, I'd only need one for a week. I'm a bit hesitant on doing that though. I had PPD with my second and my midwife thinks it may partly be b/c I did too much too soon. I do know a couple friends that might be willing to help with that. I'll talk to my midwife and see what she says.

There is still a chance my rates are a problem. I didn't advertise my rates in either ad. When I got emails, I gave them a slightly lower rate and my website and haven't heard back for any of them.
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CheekyChick 08:43 PM 08-21-2011
Okay... Maybe you should lower your rates. It's unfortunate people can't pay more for quality care. Lower your rates (for now) and once you have the baby, you can raise them even $10.00 per week (for new enrollees) - which will help.
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cheerfuldom 09:23 PM 08-21-2011
It also depends on how much you need the income. I waited for several months to find a family that was willing to pay me what I wanted. I did lose out on some income but I could afford to do that and would rather wait for a situation I was happy with. If you lower too much, it is going to cause a lot of resentment toward your job. If the whole market is lowering in your area, it might be time to go with the flow because you have to be able to meet a demand.
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wdmmom 07:18 AM 08-22-2011
Put an ad on craigslist for both a back-up provider and a helper.

If you got a helper, you could start training her a few weeks before your due date so she could get accustomed to your routine/schedule.

If your DH and mom will be there to help, it makes more sense just to have someone come in and help you where you need help. If they need to load the dishwasher, have them load the dishwasher, toss in a load of laundry, etc.

Good luck!
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Danielle 12:12 PM 08-22-2011
I just got a pleasant surprise. On fb I have a few friends that I don't really know; we went to school together and have mutual friends. I never saw any reason not to add them. It paid off! One just found out that she's expecting (so due in April) and is looking for childcare for baby-to-be and her 2 year old. She knows I'm pregnant b/c it's all over fb and she congratulated me in the email. She pretty much sang me praises in the email on what she's seen about my daycare...fb and blog. She's also mutual friends with current dck's parents. If she signs up, I'd be at my limit once her baby joins. Just adding 1 dck would help us a ton financially. That would also put me at only having 2 dcks when my baby is born and I think I could def swing just having an assistant for the first few weeks. Until my baby is born, I could advertise for drop-ins and maybe add a could parent night outs a month to bring in a little extra. I really don't want to get my hopes up but it sounds so promising and perfect. I really really could use all the prayers and positive thoughts yall can give!!!
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littlemommy 12:45 PM 08-22-2011
I hope you figure something out! I'm 19 weeks pregnant and just enrolled a new family a month ago. I'm only planning on a 2 week maternity leave-assuming I heal and am ready to go right away like I was with my first child.

I have one child leaving in December. I've had calls to fill that spot already, but don't want to fill it quite yet. I think having one less kid coming back after my leave may be a blessing in disguise. The income cut will hurt, but I don't want the hassle of getting a new kid use to being here when I'm trying to take care of the ones I have plus my newborn!
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CheekyChick 02:22 PM 08-22-2011
Originally Posted by Danielle:
I just got a pleasant surprise. On fb I have a few friends that I don't really know; we went to school together and have mutual friends. I never saw any reason not to add them. It paid off! One just found out that she's expecting (so due in April) and is looking for childcare for baby-to-be and her 2 year old. She knows I'm pregnant b/c it's all over fb and she congratulated me in the email. She pretty much sang me praises in the email on what she's seen about my daycare...fb and blog. She's also mutual friends with current dck's parents. If she signs up, I'd be at my limit once her baby joins. Just adding 1 dck would help us a ton financially. That would also put me at only having 2 dcks when my baby is born and I think I could def swing just having an assistant for the first few weeks. Until my baby is born, I could advertise for drop-ins and maybe add a could parent night outs a month to bring in a little extra. I really don't want to get my hopes up but it sounds so promising and perfect. I really really could use all the prayers and positive thoughts yall can give!!!
That is wonderful!!! I said a little prayer for you as well.
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