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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Local DC Center Closing....OMG Advice Please!!!!
Christina72684 06:22 AM 03-10-2014
We just found out that the only DC Center in the area is closing soon, or at least that's the rumor from one of their teachers that I know. The place isn't huge, but there's 6 rooms (one per age), and they were almost always full so I'm not sure why they are closing. It's at a college and is one of the nicest centers I've ever seen. They charge $185/week compared to around $100 for most DC homes around here. People who can afford to take their kid there do because it is a nice facility and having the ages separated is a benefit.

However, there are not many other options in a 15-20 minute radius of the center, so we think we will be getting several phone calls from parents and employees. (The teacher that I know already asked if we were hiring, and we said YES because she is awesome!) I have 2 buildings, one for kids under 3yrs old and one for 3yrs and older. Our baby building is full unfortunately, but I only have 6 preschoolers during the day and I get 5 after schoolers. I can have 12 full time kids with 3 additional after schoolers (15 total in the afternoon), or can apply for Class II and have 16 kids total all day long (doesn't matter what age). We've never been full before (we've only been opened at the preschool a year and a half).

So here's my questions: How would you handle all the potential families? (Assuming that we would get a lot of phone calls) Would you just set up a bunch of interviews? Would you ask the teacher friend what families she suggests and what ones she thinks we should turn away? Since they are used to paying $185 and we are only $110, would you raise tuition some? Because if I have more than 12 kids then I have to have an employee with me, which means more costs. We've never had to really interview any families before because we took everyone that called since we weren't full, so any tips on interviews would be great!

I wish we had more experience and had a better curriculum set up because these families are used to structure, but we're a home and I can pretty much do whatever I want so I kind of go with the flow of the kids, which when they're this young I think that's the best way to do it.

Thank you in advance for ANY and ALL advice!
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Play Care 06:38 AM 03-10-2014
I think the best thing you can do is market your strengths. The center is closing leaving families in the lurch - what is your long term dc plan?

"I've been a licensed provider for x years and really enjoy my career!" (ie: I'm not planning to quit anytime soon)
"We offer a child led curriculum" (as opposed to "go with the flow")
"Smaller numbers means more indivudualized care"

I would interview and chose families based on the best fit - I don't know that I'd let the new teacher have tons of input because it might create issues down the line...

Good luck!
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Leigh 08:22 AM 03-10-2014
Originally Posted by Christina72684:

So here's my questions: How would you handle all the potential families? I would set up a bunch of interviews, and pick the families that you WANT. (Assuming that we would get a lot of phone calls) Would you just set up a bunch of interviews? Would you ask the teacher friend what families she suggests and what ones she thinks we should turn away? Absolutely! Since they are used to paying $185 and we are only $110, would you raise tuition some? Demand has went up in your area, prices should reflect that! Because if I have more than 12 kids then I have to have an employee with me, which means more costs. Prices should reflect this, as well! We've never had to really interview any families before because we took everyone that called since we weren't full, so any tips on interviews would be great!

I wish we had more experience and had a better curriculum set up because these families are used to structure, but we're a home and I can pretty much do whatever I want so I kind of go with the flow of the kids, which when they're this young I think that's the best way to do it. I agree with you, I'm sure you'll find parents who feel the same!

Thank you in advance for ANY and ALL advice!
Good luck!
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melilley 10:27 AM 03-10-2014
I agree that you should set up interviews and choose who you want. I would also raise tuition. I started off in the middle with my rates and after I researched other home dc's around me, I raised rates by $10 for new families. Plus adding an employee costs you money.
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butterfly 10:33 AM 03-10-2014
I agree with others.

Interview.
Raise rates for new families.


I wouldn't let the new employee have much say in who you select. That may cause issues down the road.
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