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Scout 08:10 PM 10-25-2012
I think you said you had lowered your rate to get the first few clients. How long did it take from that point to get your first bite? I am thinking of doing this. I have gotten several emails but, when i send info about my program they dont respond. Or when they do respond they are either wierdos or go with someone else.
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Nickel 09:32 PM 10-25-2012
I started advertising weeks before my actual open date. I official opened on Aug 27 but had no enrollments. I lowered my rates in September and It is now October and I am mostly full. I've had a few screamers that come and went and a few I turned away because of age (infants), and I could still take an afternoon child, but I am making more with my 1 fulltimer and 4 part timers than I would have taking 3 full timers (the limit in my state for a listed home).

It took me a few weeks, but I definitely did get more interviews after I lowered the rate. I did still encouter the "that's too high" phone calls, but I also got, "Really? great, when can we meet you?"

What I did was list my prices right in my ad. I also accepted both full time and part time. I'd list my full time rate and tell parents to contact me for part time rates. But I usually just charged them the daily rate anyway for the # of days they needed.

You may be sending them too much information and they are forming an opinion of you based on that. The only information I give over the phone or through text was my ratio, my licensing status (legally unlicensed or listed family home in my state) and my fees, hours, and openings. Any other information I had them come for an interview.

At the interview I hand them my resume (short resume!) with references on the bottom, my basic monthly curriculum (listing only themes), and my daily schedule. I then tell them about myself, my program, my policies (parent handbook), mention my handbook, discuss transporting children (I pick up my school ager every day), and ask if they have any questions.

At the end of the interview I show them the daycare area, mention the various "areas" or centers, where the children sleep, eat, play, even the bathroom. Then I tell them to think it over. I will follow up with them via email so they can review my contract, look at the admission paperwork, (I have an entire packet), and then tell them if they are still interested in my program after reviewing the enclosed information to please let me know.

If I have other people interested in the position, I tell them please let me know by x date/time so I can properly plan and prepare for dck to start. My interviews take about an hour (with 45 minutes of me doing most of the talking) and since I've been doing it this way every single one of my interviews have enrolled (or asked to enroll). AND they have almost no questions except to clarify on certain policies, etc.

Sorry this got so long, I hope that helped and answered your question. you can pm me if you'd like
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ABCDaycareMN 09:59 PM 10-25-2012
I am wondering what your rates started with and what you lowered them to. I have not started yet but was originally going to go with the average rate for the area but thinking I need to get kids fast I thought I too would lower them. But for how long is another question.
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Nickel 10:05 PM 10-25-2012
I started out at $125/week for full time care and i lowered mu rates to $100/week or $20/day part time. My very first family i did $40/week for 13 hours over 3 days. I dont plan on raising them for current families as i have some that are here 8 hrs some 6 and some only 3-4 hrs per day and they all pay :$20/day if they were here 10 hrs i would want to pay more.
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ABCDaycareMN 10:07 PM 10-25-2012
Originally Posted by Nickel:
I started out at $125/week for full time care and i lowered mu rates to $100/week or $20/day part time. My very first family i did $40/week for 13 hours over 3 days. I dont plan on raising them for current families as i have some that are here 8 hrs some 6 and some only 3-4 hrs per day and they all pay :$20/day if they were here 10 hrs i would want to pay more.
What is the average in your area?
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Nickel 10:12 PM 10-25-2012
Most of the fcc providers licensed and regulated by the military base are charging $125. Then thete are sahm who charge $75/wk for 50 hrs/week. Many people looking for nannys are looking to pay about $100/week. If i had enrolled my daughter at daycare it would have been $110/wk
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Scout 06:48 AM 10-26-2012
Wow. Thank you! Maybe i am giving out too much info. I will try it the other way & see what happens.
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Blackcat31 09:40 AM 10-26-2012
Originally Posted by ABCDaycareMN:
I am wondering what your rates started with and what you lowered them to. I have not started yet but was originally going to go with the average rate for the area but thinking I need to get kids fast I thought I too would lower them. But for how long is another question.
If you lower your rates just to get kids, IMHO, you will end up with some not-so-good clients. I know parents consider cost to be a big factor in their decision but the ones who make cost the number one priority are usually the hardest to work with in my experience.

I think setting your rates to what the CCAP pays is a smart way to go. It think it is a good starting point. If you are unsure what the CCAP pays for your area, just PM and I can help you out.
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Nickel 12:00 PM 10-26-2012
I'd like to know the ccap rate in my area? Can I pm you too????
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My3cents 12:34 PM 10-26-2012
don't lower your rates. You will resent that later down the road when you become more established. Set your rates fair. Wait it out and the right clients will come your way. It takes time. Advertise like a crazy women

Best-
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Blackcat31 01:25 PM 10-26-2012
Originally Posted by Nickel:
I'd like to know the ccap rate in my area? Can I pm you too????
The information starts on page 116
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Nickel 01:33 PM 10-26-2012
Thanks Blalckcat!!! Your the best...

According to that guideline I am overcharging!!! wow! No wonder I had such a hard time getting clients... The max rate for the TSR certified homes (the 5 star) is $20 for full day for infants and goes lower from there. One of those charts says $12 full day for toddlers. Wow.. no wonder the preschools here are so cheap

Well... funny how I talked to providers that charge $125/week. i guess military rates are different (as we do live close to a base but it doesn't have an impact on the economy of the the town here, where many miliary bases do).

Thanks again. i can't beleive you looked all the way throught that for me. Thank you
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Country Kids 01:36 PM 10-26-2012
Our state rates here are so low its ridiculous. I think for a fulltime preschooler they only pay $425 a month and then it goes down from there.

That is less then $20 a day!
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ABCDaycareMN 01:37 PM 10-26-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
The information starts on page 116
How do I find mine
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Blackcat31 01:37 PM 10-26-2012
Originally Posted by Nickel:
Thanks Blalckcat!!! Your the best...

According to that guideline I am overcharging!!! wow! No wonder I had such a hard time getting clients... The max rate for the TSR certified homes (the 5 star) is $20 for full day for infants and goes lower from there. One of those charts says $12 full day for toddlers. Wow.. no wonder the preschools here are so cheap

Well... funny how I talked to providers that charge $125/week. i guess military rates are different (as we do live close to a base but it doesn't have an impact on the economy of the the town here, where many miliary bases do).

Thanks again. i can't beleive you looked all the way throught that for me. Thank you
It was no problem! I am actually a researcher at heart! I love researching and finding information.

I know I am a child care provider but I originally went to college to be a research attorney/judicial clerk.....funny how life takes you in the opposite direction some times.
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Nickel 01:38 PM 10-26-2012
yup. here they do 2 day or 3 day preschool and it's about $150-180/mth. I can't compete with that rate (which is probably why I get so many infant calls ) It is crazy. but I know the economy here is sometimes great and sometimes awful
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Blackcat31 01:39 PM 10-26-2012
Originally Posted by ABCDaycareMN:
How do I find mine
Yours I have since I am also in MN....

You can find the average rates for your county here: https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserv.../DHS-6442A-ENG
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ABCDaycareMN 01:46 PM 10-26-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Yours I have since I am also in MN....

You can find the average rates for your county here: https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserv.../DHS-6442A-ENG
Thanks! Those were pretty standard with the average for the area.
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Scout 07:57 AM 10-28-2012
I just looked at blackcats link for rates( thanks)Now do I base my rates on being comparable to a center(cheaper than) or make them the same as a type b home, which is what I am going to be?
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Blackcat31 08:21 AM 10-28-2012
As a private business owner you can charge whatever rate you feel is adequate for you.

Personally, I keep my rates competitive with what the state pays out for the state assistance program. I am not exactly at their reimbursible rate but close to it. I am a little higher than what they pay out but I also have my reasons for doing that.

So based on that, I think in order to stay competitive, you should base your rates off whatever type care matches you. So if you are a Type B home, you should try to stay competitive with the Type B reimbursement rates.

HTH
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Scout 09:48 AM 10-28-2012
Ty. Looks like if I do that I will be lowering. sigh
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jen2651 01:35 PM 10-30-2012
Thanks Blackcat - please know those rates for counties in MN are for accredited...the non accreditation rate is lower. (Right? I certainly don't get that much from my CCAP parents!) BUT, please don't short change yourself. I charge higher than the CCAP amount...like $8-12 more a week. But, I also have never fed the kids in care a fish stick , chicken nugget, or french fry (other than homemade). Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just not what I want to feed my children so everyone eats the same healthy food here. Between that and the fact my parents love the fact I live in the country (room for kids to move, no fences etc) and my husband and I believe in a rather 'hands off' approach to parenting (maybe that isn't the right terminology but...I won't push you on the swings, please learn to pump; please don't stand on the toy, we play with toys, feet stay on the floor, oh you fell...whoops; etc....one time I had a mom of a 6 month old ask me how I was going to keep her daughter safe...she probably wouldn't have been a good fit here...) that is my niche. The provider down the road charges $25 less a week. I did loose one client to her. But it is also the same mother who fed her son a piece of bread one day for breakfast because she was busy - and told me this when she dropped him off at 10 am explaining why he was crying - he was hungry.

What my huge run on paragraph is saying is you need to know you, and your worth. It is hard in the beginning, but once you get your first client, they will start coming in...just get over the hump! Believe in you and your program. I know it is scary and I know you may (inside) feel desperate, but, they will come.
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Blackcat31 02:09 PM 10-30-2012
Originally Posted by jen2651:
Thanks Blackcat - please know those rates for counties in MN are for accredited...the non accreditation rate is lower. (Right? I certainly don't get that much from my CCAP parents!) BUT, please don't short change yourself. I charge higher than the CCAP amount...like $8-12 more a week. .
Thank you for pointing that out....I didn't realize I posted the Accredited rates. Here are the standard reimbursement rates for MN CCAP program.

Yes, the rates for non-accredited providers is lower. I also charge a bit more per week than the CCAP program pays out. My one family on CCAP pays the difference in addition to her bi-weekly co-pay. I think the difference for her is $12 per child.

https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserv.../DHS-6441A-ENG
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