Daycare.com Forum

Go Back   Daycare.com Forum > Main Category > Daycare Center and Family Home Forum

Daycare Center and Family Home Forum Daycare Center and Family Home owners, Directors, Operators and Assistants should post and ask questions here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-11-2016, 11:00 AM
nothingwithoutjoy's Avatar
nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,027
Default thinking about "holding fee" with a quick start

I have always charged a 2-week "holding fee" which I apply to a child's last two weeks, to protect against getting ripped off with a family leaving without notice. But lately I've had a few parents who want to start asap--like next week. And I jump into hyper-prep mode, pulling together paperwork and doing a home visit and preparing the environment for the child, and it occurs to me that that 2-week fee should apply two weeks before enrollment, so I don't do all that and then have a family back out. How do other people handle this? Don't worry about it? Charge the fee and have the child start in two weeks? I can't quite see asking for hundreds of dollars the minute they say they want to enroll, but it's starting to make more sense to me that way. Thoughts? Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-11-2016, 11:57 AM
AmyKidsCo's Avatar
AmyKidsCo AmyKidsCo is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,346
Default

I charge the same no matter when families want to start, unless they want to start more than a week after enrolling. In that case I'll charge a holding fee beginning when the opening is available.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-12-2016, 07:05 AM
Blackcat31's Avatar
Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,851
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
I have always charged a 2-week "holding fee" which I apply to a child's last two weeks, to protect against getting ripped off with a family leaving without notice. But lately I've had a few parents who want to start asap--like next week. And I jump into hyper-prep mode, pulling together paperwork and doing a home visit and preparing the environment for the child, and it occurs to me that that 2-week fee should apply two weeks before enrollment, so I don't do all that and then have a family back out. How do other people handle this? Don't worry about it? Charge the fee and have the child start in two weeks? I can't quite see asking for hundreds of dollars the minute they say they want to enroll, but it's starting to make more sense to me that way. Thoughts? Thanks.
Curious what you mean by that?

When I enroll a family, I e-mail a file with all the enrollment papers in the file. Parents must print and fill out and return to me. I keep the file handy on my desktop so it's easily attached to an e-mail. Takes me about 2 minutes total to do that.

As for preparing the environment, I am not understanding what you mean...I dont really do anything different other than remove labels or name tags from cubby spaces, and bathroom bins and add the new child's name.

I don't have to change anything in my environment just for a new child since the child needs to fit into my environment not the other way around.

I could interview a family Thursday and have them ready to start Monday. (I do NOT prep my environment for interviews either. I want parents to see what they are going to see every day at drop off/pick up...not the cleaned up version, they will more than likely never see again.. )

I know you run a unique program so just curious as to what your methods are and why needing to start quickly throws a loop into things.....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-12-2016, 06:20 PM
nothingwithoutjoy's Avatar
nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,027
Default

Starting quickly doesn't throw me off, but I do do a lot to prep and once had someone change their plans after I'd done it all--but before they'd paid me anything--which was annoying and got me wondering.

I have quite a few things that are personalized for the child--not major work, but several things: name/photo on cubby, name/photo on child's mailbox (where they send each other messages), portfolio, journal, mail folder, file, toothbrush, field bag (which we carry on nature walks; I embroider names on their bags), nature journal, recorder, book of words, name rock (which we use as placecards at the table). Some years there are other things, depending on what we're doing at the moment--once we had little wooden dolls of each child in the block area with the kids' photos for the faces, for example. This year, my homeschoolers are doing baking lessons with me; I just sewed them each an apron as a gift for their first day and got recipe binders started for them.

I'm a paper person, so I do use hard copies of state paperwork, my permissions, contract, handbook. Some of those require me to write in specifics. I give parents a packet of those, with a page which introduces the current children and families; that needs to be re-done to reflect the current group (whole-group community is important to me). (When it was toddlers, I made them each a "_____,______, who do you see?" book with photos of each child and gave it to them when I did their home visit. That's another piece...I visit them at home before they start.)

I do also adapt the environment, slightly, to welcome a new child. So if, for example, I just had a home visit with my new girl this evening and found out that she's really interested in identifying wild edibles. I might have plants and nature journals and identification guides waiting on the coffee table that first morning she's here, as a way of inviting her into our space through her interests. When I had a child who was super into trucks, I had a tray of pebbles and construction vehicles out their first few days.

I send families emails through a yahoo group and keep a private blog for them, and both of those things require me to add them and them to accept the invitation (and me to make sure they did so).

And while I wish I had your self-confidence, I do clean and organize before that first visit and first day...part of my brain knows it's ridiculous, and the other part really wants it to look its best right then! That part wins, because it makes me more relaxed when I get things looking like I wish they did all the time.

I invest a lot at the beginning because I expect families to invest a lot, too. I want them engaged and I want them here for a long time. It's not the prep work that throws me for a loop, it's fickleness! :-)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-12-2016, 08:11 PM
Blackcat31's Avatar
Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 15,851
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
Starting quickly doesn't throw me off, but I do do a lot to prep and once had someone change their plans after I'd done it all--but before they'd paid me anything--which was annoying and got me wondering.

I have quite a few things that are personalized for the child--not major work, but several things: name/photo on cubby, name/photo on child's mailbox (where they send each other messages), portfolio, journal, mail folder, file, toothbrush, field bag (which we carry on nature walks; I embroider names on their bags), nature journal, recorder, book of words, name rock (which we use as placecards at the table). Some years there are other things, depending on what we're doing at the moment--once we had little wooden dolls of each child in the block area with the kids' photos for the faces, for example. This year, my homeschoolers are doing baking lessons with me; I just sewed them each an apron as a gift for their first day and got recipe binders started for them.

I'm a paper person, so I do use hard copies of state paperwork, my permissions, contract, handbook. Some of those require me to write in specifics. I give parents a packet of those, with a page which introduces the current children and families; that needs to be re-done to reflect the current group (whole-group community is important to me). (When it was toddlers, I made them each a "_____,______, who do you see?" book with photos of each child and gave it to them when I did their home visit. That's another piece...I visit them at home before they start.)

I do also adapt the environment, slightly, to welcome a new child. So if, for example, I just had a home visit with my new girl this evening and found out that she's really interested in identifying wild edibles. I might have plants and nature journals and identification guides waiting on the coffee table that first morning she's here, as a way of inviting her into our space through her interests. When I had a child who was super into trucks, I had a tray of pebbles and construction vehicles out their first few days.

I send families emails through a yahoo group and keep a private blog for them, and both of those things require me to add them and them to accept the invitation (and me to make sure they did so).

And while I wish I had your self-confidence, I do clean and organize before that first visit and first day...part of my brain knows it's ridiculous, and the other part really wants it to look its best right then! That part wins, because it makes me more relaxed when I get things looking like I wish they did all the time.

I invest a lot at the beginning because I expect families to invest a lot, too. I want them engaged and I want them here for a long time. It's not the prep work that throws me for a loop, it's fickleness! :-)

I love how you really make the new children (and family) feel welcome and part of your group in so many ways!

I would never have thought about so many places/things a child's name is on/attached to in the environment.

I love hearing about your program and I think your approach is inspirational in so many ways!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-13-2016, 04:54 AM
nothingwithoutjoy's Avatar
nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,027
Default

Thanks! :-)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-13-2016, 06:37 AM
childcaremom's Avatar
childcaremom childcaremom is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2,969
Default

One of the things I do is charge a holding fee that is non-refundable for any reason. You could apply the fee to the last 2 weeks. I apply it to the first two weeks.

It helps to make sure that families are invested when they accept the spot.

Then, if you go through all the work, and they change their mind, you are not out the money or the time you have invested.

Is that sort of what you were aiming for?

eta: I also get supplies for a new child and reassess the environment so I don't want to do that unless the family is 100% committed.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-13-2016, 06:40 AM
284878's Avatar
284878 284878 is online now
Day Care Owner
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
Starting quickly doesn't throw me off, but I do do a lot to prep and once had someone change their plans after I'd done it all--but before they'd paid me anything--which was annoying and got me wondering.

I have quite a few things that are personalized for the child--not major work, but several things: name/photo on cubby, name/photo on child's mailbox (where they send each other messages), portfolio, journal, mail folder, file, toothbrush, field bag (which we carry on nature walks; I embroider names on their bags), nature journal, recorder, book of words, name rock (which we use as placecards at the table). Some years there are other things, depending on what we're doing at the moment--once we had little wooden dolls of each child in the block area with the kids' photos for the faces, for example. This year, my homeschoolers are doing baking lessons with me; I just sewed them each an apron as a gift for their first day and got recipe binders started for them.

I'm a paper person, so I do use hard copies of state paperwork, my permissions, contract, handbook. Some of those require me to write in specifics. I give parents a packet of those, with a page which introduces the current children and families; that needs to be re-done to reflect the current group (whole-group community is important to me). (When it was toddlers, I made them each a "_____,______, who do you see?" book with photos of each child and gave it to them when I did their home visit. That's another piece...I visit them at home before they start.)

I do also adapt the environment, slightly, to welcome a new child. So if, for example, I just had a home visit with my new girl this evening and found out that she's really interested in identifying wild edibles. I might have plants and nature journals and identification guides waiting on the coffee table that first morning she's here, as a way of inviting her into our space through her interests. When I had a child who was super into trucks, I had a tray of pebbles and construction vehicles out their first few days.

I send families emails through a yahoo group and keep a private blog for them, and both of those things require me to add them and them to accept the invitation (and me to make sure they did so).

And while I wish I had your self-confidence, I do clean and organize before that first visit and first day...part of my brain knows it's ridiculous, and the other part really wants it to look its best right then! That part wins, because it makes me more relaxed when I get things looking like I wish they did all the time.

I invest a lot at the beginning because I expect families to invest a lot, too. I want them engaged and I want them here for a long time. It's not the prep work that throws me for a loop, it's fickleness! :-)
Wow you really go out to make the child feel welcome and at home. Do you send all though things with the child when they leave?
Have you considered charging a one time supply / start up fee? or a application fee?

I would do somethings that you mention when I would bring a foster child into my home. I would find out their favorite meal, color, toy ..... and have it all ready for them when they arrived. It was hard enough to move in to a new home, I even tried to get the younger kids things to my home and unpacked before we got them, so they would see familiar things when they walked in. I would keep them on their schedule as much as possible, what every I could to keep some sort of normal for them.

Now sadly, I do not prepare as much for day care kids as I did for foster kids. Maybe because this is just were they "visit" vs where they will live.

Again, what an awesome job you do to help the kids feel welcome.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-13-2016, 09:23 AM
nothingwithoutjoy's Avatar
nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,027
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by childcaremom View Post
One of the things I do is charge a holding fee that is non-refundable for any reason. You could apply the fee to the last 2 weeks. I apply it to the first two weeks.

It helps to make sure that families are invested when they accept the spot.

Then, if you go through all the work, and they change their mind, you are not out the money or the time you have invested.

Is that sort of what you were aiming for?

eta: I also get supplies for a new child and reassess the environment so I don't want to do that unless the family is 100% committed.
Yes...this is what I do. The problem in my head is that if a child is starting quickly, unless I ask for the deposit the day I meet them, it doesn't cover me if they back out three days later after I've done everything, but before I've received the check. I guess I just need to work up the guts to say hand over the cash now! :-)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-13-2016, 09:29 AM
nothingwithoutjoy's Avatar
nothingwithoutjoy nothingwithoutjoy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 1,027
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 284878 View Post
Wow you really go out to make the child feel welcome and at home. Do you send all though things with the child when they leave?
Have you considered charging a one time supply / start up fee? or a application fee?...
Now sadly, I do not prepare as much for day care kids as I did for foster kids. Maybe because this is just were they "visit" vs where they will live.

Again, what an awesome job you do to help the kids feel welcome.
Thank you.

Some goes home; some stays here to be re-used. Sometimes it depends how long they've been here. A child who's been using a field bag for 5 years is going to take it with them when they go. Someone who was only here 2 days a week for a year? I stitch-rip that name off and replace it! :-) Journals, nature journals, portfolios, sketch books....all the stuff they've worked on over time goes home. This year we're learning recorder for the first time. I bought enough for the group, and labeled them. But I'll sanitize and re-label those. Some things (like name rocks for the table, for example) I've learned to keep and not send home, because most of my kids return for snow days or school vacations at some point, and they like to feel like they still belong here and love seeing their old stuff.

I do charge a minimal application fee ($10, to cover printing of handbook, etc.) But maybe that should be bigger to get me started. I also charge a $50/year supply fee, though they don't pay that until when they start.

I guess to me it sort of feels like they do live here; they're here such a large part of their day and of their earliest years. So I try to make it their home, too, in a way.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-13-2016, 10:16 AM
childcaremom's Avatar
childcaremom childcaremom is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2,969
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
Yes...this is what I do. The problem in my head is that if a child is starting quickly, unless I ask for the deposit the day I meet them, it doesn't cover me if they back out three days later after I've done everything, but before I've received the check. I guess I just need to work up the guts to say hand over the cash now! :-)
Yes, I've had that happen a few times, as well. Learned the hard way to wait until cash is in hand before doing any prep work.

For a quick start, I would just tell them that you need the deposit in hand before moving forward.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-13-2016, 10:17 AM
thrivingchildcarecom's Avatar
thrivingchildcarecom thrivingchildcarecom is offline
thrivingchildcare.com
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: California
Posts: 393
Default

I charge an enrollment fee which is equal to two weeks tuition that is applied to the last two weeks of care. Just recently I got confirmation that I should continue with that practice.

I enrolled a family who said they were having financial issues at the time of enrollment. So I gave them grace and allowed them to submit the enrollment fee over a months time. Well, wouldn't you know it?! They pulled out within a month stating the dad's schedule was temporarily changing. They were able to pull out without any financial obligation.

I'm more mad at myself for breaking the rules. I will always get the deposit at enrollment and if not the total amount at least a partial deposit.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
holding fee

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I am thinking of starting or buying a daycare. I have no idea where to start. I kno TGPII Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 7 08-27-2014 09:53 AM
I Am Thinking Of Buying Or Starting A Daycare. However I Have No Idea Where To Start TGPII Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 9 07-10-2014 04:34 AM
I Am Thinking Of Buying Or Starting A Daycare. However I Have No Idea Where To Start TGPII New Members - Welcome to the Daycare.com Forum! 1 07-06-2014 12:16 PM
Quick, before I start to cry... themoorethemerrier Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 1 04-29-2012 08:34 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:26 PM.



Daycare.com         Find A Daycare         List Your Daycare         Toys & Products                 About Us

Daycare.com
Please read our Disclaimer before continuing.

Topics pertain mainly to the following States:

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming