Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>The BIG Question
JeepGirl6 08:43 AM 01-03-2012
I have already put in my contract that starting this year I will be charging when a child does not come on their scheduled day. I have explained that when a child does not come on a scheduled day it hurts my family income....

I have some parents still questioning it...I really don't know what else to tell them besides that...

Can you all please give me your explanation reason of charging when a parent doesnt bring their child to give me more of an explanation to my parents because mine doesnt cut it I guess....
Reply
morgan24 08:49 AM 01-03-2012
I don't explain it by saying it effects my income. I explain it by saying that you are paying for a contracted spot that has to be paid for every day, unless I close. Then if they still have a hard time getting it I will explain it by comparing it to my house payment, that even if I'm on vacation and not using my house the bank still wants their money. They don't give me a break for going on vacation and you don't get a break from paying for your spot when I'm still available.

I think they are questioning you in hopes that if they put enough press on you that you won't charge them. I would stay strong and continue to stick to your new contract.
Reply
Meyou 09:02 AM 01-03-2012
Tell the parents that instead of paying for services (babysitting) they are paying for a spot in your DC. Each spot has a cost and it's their choice if they use the spot each day or not. Regardless of their choice the fee is the same. You have to be able to project your income and budget for the future. You can't do that the way you previously operated.

When I went from a daily to a weekly charge and started charging for days they don't attend my parents didn't all get it either. For one family I told them I lost $6500 of income just from their spots being pt instead of ft. I followed up that info by telling that I couldn't see a benefit for ME, MY business or MY family to work FT hours for PT pay any longer. For another family I explained how it's impossible to budget and well...live when I have no idea what's coming in week to week and month to month. Then I again went on to mention I couldn't see any benefit working the other way for my family. Different angles for different families but essentially the same message. Working by the day benefits the family, not the provider.
Reply
texascare 10:29 AM 01-03-2012
I say something along the lines of "you are paying for a specific slot, NOT per hour or per day, so no discounts are given if your child does not come to care. Full payment is still expected weather your child is absent or not.".... If asked I tell them that if I didn't charge everytime a child was not here on his given day then it would not work for me financially. It would also be hard to keep up with what people owe since they pay before the week of care. I am not Walmart or Target. I don not give refunds!
Reply
Ariana 10:33 AM 01-03-2012
My contract says "Daycare fees are charged by enrollment so even when your child is not here (other than caregiver vacation) the regular daycare fees still apply"
Reply
Cat Herder 10:56 AM 01-03-2012
"If I don't earn enough to pay my bills each month I don't stay in this business. If you don't pay your part, I don't make enough to pay my bills. If you want access to childcare here, PAY YOUR PART. "

You can make it a bit more "PC"....but the facts are still the facts.

I like the truth, simple, clear and to the point.
Reply
Heidi 11:05 AM 01-03-2012
Originally Posted by Catherder:
"If I don't earn enough to pay my bills each month I don't stay in this business. If you don't pay your part, I don't make enough to pay my bills. If you want access to childcare here, PAY YOUR PART. "

You can make it a bit more "PC"....but the facts are still the facts.

I like the truth, simple, clear and to the point.
If I don't earn enough to pay the bills each month, I can't stay in business. Nothing wrong with that!
Reply
JeepGirl6 11:10 AM 01-03-2012
Do all of you charge when the child is not there because they are on vacation??? I had some parents upset about this also but I told them for example last summer I had multiple families go on vacation the same month, wow that hurt!!! I am only charging them 50% of their payment when on vacation.
Reply
littlemissmuffet 11:18 AM 01-03-2012
Originally Posted by JeepGirl6:
Do all of you charge when the child is not there because they are on vacation??? I had some parents upset about this also but I told them for example last summer I had multiple families go on vacation the same month, wow that hurt!!! I am only charging them 50% of their payment when on vacation.
My parents pay 100% of their monthly fee no matter what!
Reply
JennyBear 11:21 AM 01-03-2012
Originally Posted by JeepGirl6:
Do all of you charge when the child is not there because they are on vacation??? I had some parents upset about this also but I told them for example last summer I had multiple families go on vacation the same month, wow that hurt!!! I am only charging them 50% of their payment when on vacation.
I charge for the spot regardless of the child's attendance. It doesn't matter if they are sick, on vacation, stay home b/c grandma's visiting, etc. They pay a set amount for that spot each week. The only time I don't expect them to pay is if I'm sick or on vacation.
The point is you need that stable income, just like they do. I started off my DC with only charging 1/2 rate for vacation time and sick time and it was totally taken advantage of and my income was never secure. I quickly changed and although I'm sure some of the parents weren't too impressed they got used to it and now I don't worry about my income. Stay firm and don't cave!
Reply
Cat Herder 12:18 PM 01-03-2012
Originally Posted by JeepGirl6:
Do all of you charge when the child is not there because they are on vacation??? I had some parents upset about this also but I told them for example last summer I had multiple families go on vacation the same month, wow that hurt!!! I am only charging them 50% of their payment when on vacation.
I give them two weeks of unpaid vacation per year, per family (not per child) WITH a minimum 30 day notice. It is a courtesy. (although, technically these two weeks unpaid are already figured into the yearly tuition that sets the weekly rates)

I plan for it during the 30 day notice time (juggle things around a bit financially ). I also put a little money ($20-$30) each week into an "emergency fund" private checking account for backup in case several decide to go at once If I don't have to dip into it (and I have not, yet) I can use it during my OWN vacation as extra funds.

You'd be surprised at how few actually use this time anymore.
Reply
Meeko 12:50 PM 01-03-2012
I have it in my handbook...and explain in detail to the parents that they are NOT paying for time in care.

They are RENTING a place in my day care. That place has a set dollar price. Just like rent on an apartment. They are free to use that rented place as much as they want. But the rent doesn't change unless I change it..

I ask them to look at it just like they pay their landlord. If they go away for two weeks vacation...they don't ask the landlord to take half the rent because they won't actually BE there!

Most understand when I explain it that way.
Reply
e.j. 01:00 PM 01-03-2012
I usually say, "As much as I'd love not to have to charge for days when *** isn't here, I can't afford to do it financially. In order for me to remain in business, I have to have a reliable income. If I don't make enough money to pay the bills, I would have to find another job that does and unfortunately, that would mean I wouldn't be available to watch your children." Usually the light bulb goes on and they say they totally understand where I'm coming from.

As far as vacations go, if parents take the same week I do, they don't pay because I don't charge any time I decide to close the day care. They do pay if they take a different vacation week, though.
Reply
harperluu 01:42 PM 01-03-2012
In my opinion it isn't anyones business how you operate your families finances. You don't want to leave the impression with your clients that they have that much control.

In my childcare, I have two options. Fulltime or drop-in care. As others have said, if you choose fulltime then you have a spot regardless of whether you're here or not. That opening is available to you and I won't fill it with another warm body. That is our agreement when you pay for a fulltime spot.

My families also have the option of paying a drop-in rate. This benefits me, because if I have an opening for a particular day then I can fill it from my drop-in roster. However, there is no guarantee that spot is available because they have not paid to reserve that opening.

I had a family that felt annoyed with my pay to reserve a spot policy, so one summer they decided to use drop-in care instead. I explained to them that if they did not pay to reserve the spot, then there was no guarantee I would have availability on any given day. Further, that did not guarantee that I would have space in the future. They signed the contract and agreed they would work it out if I happened to fill the spot.

Sure enough, two months down the road I filled their spot and no longer had consistent openings for their girls. They sporadically brought them when I had space, but six months later they signed a fulltime contract once again when I had two kids age out. I've heard no questions or complaints since.

Let them know what the alternative is. Let them participate in the alternative while you fill the opening (sooner or later) and when the day comes that you no longer have space, then you'll be happy you ran your business like a business.

Meanwhile, leave your clients on a need to know basis. And they don't need to know how their payment contributes to your expenses, because it's not relevant to how you determine your fee structure.
Reply
Tags:money - talk, part time rate, payment - contract, payment collection, slot, tuition breakdown
Reply Up