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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>I think I am Finally Getting This
awestbrook713 05:37 AM 09-15-2011
I have been flip flopping back and forth trying to work out whats best for me and my daycare business and also the children I watch. I had written a letter the other day and realized after I had written it that I needed to include more and be more business like. I have pretty much re written and added new things. If you could let me know if it sounds business like and not to friendly because I am trying to steer clear of being the friend provider and more towards the professional provider. Thanks and if you see something you think may cause future problems please feel free to leave a comment I am looking for any advice I can get.

September 15th, 2011

Dear Parents,

I want to start this letter telling you how much I enjoy watching your child(ren). Every day I learn new things and have noticed how much the children’s joy and excitement impacts my life. I am so happy to be a child care provider.

When I started my daycare I wrote up my contract and policies to the best of my ability. As time goes on I am realizing I need to make some changes and additions.

I am going to be looking for 2 full time children due to school starting and losing quite a few of the children for the school year. These additions will make it harder to do drop in care, meaning if you have a day your child doesn’t normally come here and you need me to watch them that day depending on my numbers for that day I may not be able to accommodate you. After hours of going over the schedules I believe I have made it possible for myself to take these 2 children and still keep everyone I am watching now. I have included a sheet for you to list the days and times for each child. If their schedule for the school year is different from summer please list both and label school and summer. If there are any issues with days or times that I see I will speak to you personally.

I understand some of your schedules make it hard to pin point all days you will need me. I believe the only way to fix this and be fair to myself as well as you is if you have a day like this and you want to reserve the time slot in case you do need me you may pay the full days rate ahead of time and I will hold that spot for you. The only time this may not be possible is if I have kids that are scheduled definitely for that day and I have reached my 8 child limit. As of right now Wednesdays and Fridays seem to be the busiest days for me.

In the coming months I may be making more changes as I have said in the beginning of this letter that this is a learning experience. All though the money I make is not the main reason I am here it is vital to me keeping my daycare open in order for me to pay my bills as well as buy art supplies, healthy food, and toys/activities for your children to use, that is why I will need to be taking on these 2 full time children. I promise to keep all of you informed with any changes that may take place, and with each change there will be 2 weeks’ notice before it goes into effect. I will be updating the contracts and will need them signed again if you agree with the decision I have made. I hope you will still need me after I have put these changes into effect but I will understand if this is not going to work for you and you will need to look for a new provider.

laundrymom 05:51 AM 09-15-2011
In my best zack and weezy voice ( dragon tails from PBS years ago).
awestbrook713 05:53 AM 09-15-2011
awesome thanks laundrymom I hope you don't mind me copying your idea for the first paragraph I really loved how it sounded and was much better then what I originally had.
wdmmom 06:03 AM 09-15-2011
When I did drop in care, I requested parents give me their schedule on Friday for the upcoming week. Those days were set in stone and paid up front. No changing, canceling, etc.

I would have the parents give you the schedule on Friday for the upcoming week and have them pay on Friday as well. If they opt to come Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Johnny is sick on Monday (paid regardless and can not be changed or traded) They ask to come on Tuesday, charge them 1.5 times your normal rate for the day to be paid at drop off. Example: If you normally charge $25 a day, charge $37.50 for any unscheduled day.
Country Kids 06:22 AM 09-15-2011
Originally Posted by laundrymom:
In my best zack and weezy voice ( dragon tails from PBS years ago).
I can so hear that voice!!!!
Country Kids 06:25 AM 09-15-2011
I pretty much do the same thing. When I register a child or do my back to school newsletter, I include a scheduling sheet. I also do one again in the beginning of April/May so that I know what parents are looking for in the summer. Believe me it took me years to figure out to do that one. After doing this for 15-16 years, I'm still learning so much. I love to learn though so it always benefits me to do something like that.
awestbrook713 06:45 AM 09-15-2011
I really want to get away from drop in care if possible, it is just to unpredictable and hard to schedule anything when you don't know how many kids you will be watching. I really think these two changes will improve things and give my program more structure. Oh and I can hear the voice too! Still watch that program on netflix with my children and they love it.
beachgrl 08:02 AM 09-15-2011
Looks good, I may need to do something similar if I can manage to get more regular kids in place instead of the drop in thing...I have got to get more $ coming in soon! I would just make sure in the last paragraph that you change all though to although
awestbrook713 08:45 AM 09-15-2011
thanks, you get typing and before you know it typo city and sometimes reading doesn't even catch them.
mismatchedsocks 08:53 AM 09-15-2011
I like your letter, but have one thing to add.

I take school agers, when they have off school or in summer IF i have the room. I would never hold a spot for them even if i had a sibling. That is losing money for most of the year. Chances are you might have a spot for them depending, BUT..if you get full, why save a spot for a maybe, or sometimes?
MarinaVanessa 03:19 PM 09-15-2011
I changed my drop-in policy to first-pay first-serve too and it's great. Having minute-menu kids online payment makes it soo much easier too. A parent will call me to reserve a day/days and I invoice them and wait to get paid. If they don't pay and another parent asks for some or all of those days I will invoice the 2nd family and whoever pays for the slot first gets it. I do send a courtesy text to the 1st family letting them know and I of course let the 2nd family know that the days were already requested so they need to pay for it quickly. I've only had it happen once but the first family NEVER waited to pay again.

You could probably do your own variation of this through PayPal.
awestbrook713 06:16 AM 09-16-2011
I am giving out this letter, a schedule sheet, and updated contract. I have actually given them until oct. 7th until the new policies are in effect so more then enough time in my opinion. MMK is a god send I love that program. I am using my free month subscription and will be subscribing for the year in a few days. It is a wonderful tool with everything and more that you could want. The few schedule problems I was concerned about I believe are solved I had two families telling me maybe for a friday slot but the one families schedule changed and will definately need that day every week so the other family will just have to find another option for that day when they actually need care. I also told the father of my oldest child that is 10 years old that he will have a spot during the school year but once summer comes since he is mainly a drop in it will be hit or miss depending on the schedules of the two full timers I am looking for. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my chest. Now to find two full timers and everything will be great!!
awestbrook713 06:31 AM 09-16-2011
I am sending out this letter, a schedule sheet for each child, and an updated contract today when parents pick kids up, or come to pay. I am giving them until Oct 7th until I put them into effect. Now to find the 2 ft kids. I love mmk its the best program I am using my free month subscription and then subscribing in a few days. I was able to bite the bullet and tell the one dcd of the 10 yr old I watch that I will have a spot for him for the school year but summertime may be hit or miss since he is a drop in every other week when he is with dad and not mom. I think I had him for a total of 2 weeks the whole summer. I also had two families that were both a maybe for friday so I was worried about them fighting over the spot but the family I really wanted to give it to had a schedule change and will need that friday definately. Everything is falling into place and I am so happy!! TGIF everyone
awestbrook713 10:27 AM 09-16-2011
Sorry about double post on this I thought I forgot to post my first one and wrote up another before I found out there were posting problems.
daycare 11:12 AM 09-16-2011
I think that it is very professional and friendly! Great letter and easy read!!
MommyMuffin 12:27 PM 09-16-2011
Dont take this wrong, I dont quite understand because I dont do drop in care or school agers.
I guess I dont see why you need the letter. If it were me I would just give them the schedule and tell them to pick their days. And then give them a new contrat and policies to sign. Even though you may be still learning you dont have to be so vulnerable to the dcp.
awestbrook713 02:20 PM 09-16-2011
I completely understand where you are coming from but I have a few parents who are with contracts like kids are with homework, they don't read. So I figure if I bombard them with it enough one of the papers will get through to them whether it be the letter or contract. I don't understand how they just sign something and not read it, and I know they haven't read it because I have to point out this policy or that. I guess I could have just handed them a new contract and schedule sheet but I figured keeping lines of communication open is a keep part of good daycare. Just like I want them to tell me if they are gonna be late, or not come one day, they want to know what I am doing.
Tags:business ethics, contract - clear, contract - revisions, drop in care, inconsistant routines, letter, poll
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