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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Policy And Rate Change
awestbrook713 09:34 AM 10-19-2011
I hope I am not shooting myself in the foot here but come december I am handing out my reworked policies and a rate change that will take affect in January. I am currently charging $20 for a full day with a sibling discount, each additional child is only $10 more. Well I am raising my rates to $25 for a full day and the sibling discount to $15. This will mean I am charging $40 a day for 2 kids and according to state norms for rates in my area $30 per child is the norm so I am still under that by $20 and will be bringing my facts and the rate sheet to the table if I run into confrontation. I am also adding a few policies to my old policies mainly the early dropoff/ late pickup fee which will be $5 per 15 minutes late I already give them a leeway of 15 minutes either way so this is a very avoidable fee in my eyes. Also late payment fee of $10 per day if I don't receive payment by friday at pick up. Does this all sound ok so far?

My current issue I am trying to work on is setting up a policie to guarentee I can fill my open slots during the school year, not sure if I am going to have to set an age range that I will care for or just look for certain kids that need school year care only and just do first come first serve for holidays, snowdays, etc. Also if I have any children leave during the year I can offer there position to one of the children filling a spot during the school year. What would you do or do you have a system that you use and would work better, I am open to ideas and would appreciate any advice.
pfund2233 11:16 AM 10-19-2011
Your fees are reasonable. I charge $25 a day per kid. Only I do NOT offer any sibling discounts and they pay me the $25 if they are here or not. That way I know I'm getting paid and they are paying not only for care but their spot here also. I charge $1 a min early or late so $5 for 15min is really cheap. I don't watch SA due to the fact that I can't ever guarantee when they will be here so I care for only newborn to kinder. Hope this helps!
Blackcat31 12:26 PM 10-19-2011
I agree, you should ditch the sibling discount. That rule is ONLY for the benefit of the parent and NEVER benefits the provider. When you set policies you should always balance what it does equally for bot the provider and the parent. You should always be the one to take the hit.

I don't take SA kids any more but when I did, they paid a flat weekly rate so I was being paid regardless of their attendance and I only accepted SA kids that were siblings to the kids I already had in care.
awestbrook713 01:26 PM 10-19-2011
I agree the sibling discount sucks but not sure I want to up my rates that much more, it would be nice but with the new rates and the kids I currently have enrolled I would be making more then enough to survive and have a little extra.

As far as not taking SA kids unless they have a sibling my problem is 3 of my kids have SA siblings I watch. So that is 6 of the 9 kids I have enrolled. I am afraid that if I say no school aged the parents will just decide to leave and take both children. If I had a waiting list this wouldn't be that bad of a thing but I have only been in business since August.
Blackcat31 02:50 PM 10-19-2011
You can build a wait list no matter how long you've been in business. In your case though I would explain to the parents that although you are able to accomodate them now, your availability may change in the future depending on the number of FT kids enrolled.

I would also give the parents of your SA kids the option of paying a really good fee to ensure the space or the spaces will be available on a frist come first served basis.

How does your licensing work for the number of kids and the ages you can have?

Where I am the SA were never a problem because I could have 10 kids under SA and up to 4 more if they were SA and I never filled a space for under SA with a SA kid so adding them on no school days etc was never a problem.

Are all 9 of your spaces for kids of any age?
awestbrook713 04:32 PM 10-19-2011
I can have 6 kids altogether plus two additional SA. The 6 can include no more then 2 under 2 and the rest can be between 2 and SA. I currently have my 8month old son who takes one of my infant spots a 6 wk old starting in november, three 3 year olds all in headstart and prek, a 4 year old starting november in prek, three five year olds one is my son. A 6 yr old, my 7 yr old son, and a 10 yr old who I have already told the dad that the new 4 yr old gets dibs on his spot since hes every other week and the 4 yr old is FT.
I only see 3 or 4 of these kids a week due to school unless theres a holiday or half day etc then like today I had 4 daycare kids plus my own 3 I would have had 5 but one of my girls father is in the hospital so things have been crazy.
MarinaVanessa 08:24 AM 10-20-2011
Are you in CA? (I'm guessing because of your ratio limitations). If you are I don't think that's unreasonable at all. I charge $31 a day for FT (but charge a weekly flat rate whether they come or not) but I also have PT's and drop-ins. I also don't have a sibling discount. Even if you aren't in CA I think what you are planning to charge is still reasonable, actually it's still cheap. Whether you decide to keep your sibling discount or not is up to you, you do what you feel comfortable with. If you are already planning on raising your rates and already feel like you may hit some problems with your daycare families then maybe waiting a bit to get rid of your sibling discount is probably best anyway.

Maybe next year you can raise your rates by an extra dollar or two and again the following year until your are at the same average as other DC's in your area. Once you are where you want to be rate-wise then you can think about your sibling discount. Maybe do the same as your rates but instead of increasing it, you reduce your sibling discount by $5 a week each year. Baby steps. A frog will jump out if you throw it into a pot of boiling water, but it will slowly cook itself if you raise the temperature a little at a time.
awestbrook713 08:32 AM 10-20-2011
I am in new york.
Tags:policies, rate - fair and reasonable, rate change notification
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