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  #1  
Old 06-18-2014, 12:04 PM
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Default Anyone NOT Have Vacation Time In Their Contract?

I currently have 1 dck who I watch on a part time basis. I would like to add to my group and have been advertising like crazy. However, when parents find out I close for 1 week for vacation they look at me like I have 3 heads and look for care elsewhere. The vacation is even unpaid.... here it is really hard to get parents to pay for any day that their child is not present. I can't tell you have many times I receive an email and one of the questions a parent has is "do you charge for days my kid is not there?"

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how do/did you overcome it?
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2014, 12:12 PM
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For a while, I took out any specified information about me closing. I simply put that there might be times that I need to close the daycare and I will give as much advanced notice as possible at the time. Then on the interview I tell them that I almost never close and the I haven't taken a week vacation or closed for Christmas week in at least 6 years. Which is since I was married. Then no one fussed about the fact that something might come up and I might need to close sometime, but don't quite really plan to. That worked. Then as things came up, I simply told people that I would need to close a day here and there and no one fussed. Weird huh!?! It seemed like they would rather not be prepared ahead of time.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:19 PM
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Are you brand new to daycare?

my guess is that these parents are just fishing for the dirt cheap rates and unfortunately, a lot of parents prey on new providers because they know established centers and homes already have policies in place. Centers are more expensive and homes will have providers with paid days off or other things like vacation.

you really just have to wade through all these type of parents and establish yourself so that you are attractive to the families than are willing to work with things like vacation time. one week off a year is not asking too much.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2014, 12:22 PM
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I have unpaid vacation in my contract, I took 1 week during the summer and 2 weeks off at Christmas last year. The Christmas thing only worked out because my FT family left for preschool the week before Xmas and my other DCKs mom was off anyway and the other DCK was after school and didn't come when school was out. It sucked pay wise but it was a wonderful break.
I haven't taken any time off yet this year and don't know that I will since our schedule has been crazy. I have a new family starting soon and don't know how that would work since I'm required to give families 30 days notice and don't have anything planned. I was considering taking the week of Thanksgiving off but that's still up in the air.

Anyway, I know plenty of providers who have paid vacations on here so it's not out of the norm. I would probably hope the family doesn't choose me anyway if they don't think I deserve a week off UNPAID now and then. Do they get paid vacation at their job? Most likely! Why don't you deserve it?
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
Are you brand new to daycare?

my guess is that these parents are just fishing for the dirt cheap rates and unfortunately, a lot of parents prey on new providers because they know established centers and homes already have policies in place. Centers are more expensive and homes will have providers with paid days off or other things like vacation.

you really just have to wade through all these type of parents and establish yourself so that you are attractive to the families than are willing to work with things like vacation time. one week off a year is not asking too much.
I taught in a center for 8 years and have been doing in-home care for 2 years. So not necessarily new to providing care, but I am new to advertising. All of the my other clients have been word of mouth from previous dcf, meeting though mutual friends, etc.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:42 PM
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A provider friend of mine offers ALL families two choices.

A) Pay one flat weekly rate 52 weeks a year

or

B) Pay ONLY for the days in which your child attends.

Of course, the families that choose Option B have a higher rate than families who choose Option A but when they all add up the yearly costs it's all the same.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:47 PM
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I have 2 weeks unpaid vacation, offer families 1 week of vacation where they do not have to pay, and take all federal holidays off paid. And I have 2 paid sick days. No one has ever questioned it.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
A provider friend of mine offers ALL families two choices.

A) Pay one flat weekly rate 52 weeks a year

or

B) Pay ONLY for the days in which your child attends.

Of course, the families that choose Option B have a higher rate than families who choose Option A but when they all add up the yearly costs it's all the same.
This is what I do. I tell parents that I charge $xxxx per year, and that they can pay it how they wish. I do not DISCOUNT for days off, as I have already figured them into my rates. I have had some parents grumble about (VERY infrequent) days off, but no one has complained about paying for them, just the inconvenience of having to search for alternate care (that they agreed to find before starting their children).
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:40 PM
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It might have to do with the area you live in. I have done licensed home daycare for the most of 25 years. I used to live in a higher income area. There, I had my list of scheduled PAID holidays off, 3 paid sick days, 3 paid days for I think it's called bereavement leave (a death in the family), 1 paid week off for Christmas week, and 1 paid vacation week off whenever I decided to take vacation. No one there ever questioned it or fussed about paying me when those times came up and they had to pay for my time off work.

Then I got divorced, sold the house, moved a couple of times, and landed myself in a lower income area. Here, almost every person I interview with had a cow about having to pay me for one minute that I wasn't working! How dare I expect to receive an entire week's paid vacation from them!

So then I took the 'paid' part out and just said that I will be closed on certain days and for a vacation week but any day I closed, they didn't have to pay me. The parents still had a conniption fit that they might not always have the same days off work as I would and still threw a fit!

That's when I simply put that I might need to close on occasion and will give them as much notice as possible at that time as to when I would need to close for a day or so. Then on the interview, I had to stress that I really hardly ever closed. I also told them that it was up to them if they wanted to give me a paid day off or not. They finally were happy with the arrangement!

I also have had way too many calls asking me if I charge on days their child doesn't attend and getting mad at me when I say yes, I do charge whether the child attends or not. I handled it a couple of ways. If I had a parent who needed only specific days, I would charge them a flat rate for those days and told them that even if the child didn't show up, they still had to pay for those requested days. I have allowed parents to reserve their days weekly. I would tell myself that I had the opening anyway and some money from them was better than no money at all for that space. As I filled up, I would simply tell those families that I no longer had 'as needed' spaces available and replaced them with full time kids.

Then as I realized that those kids usually never adjusted to my rules and routines, I would stand my ground and refuse to take those families and inform them that in a professional licensed daycare, you are not paying me to do my job, you are paying to reserve a space for your child for if and when you choose to bring him/her to daycare. If you want to pay someone only days they watch the child, you need to find a babysitter, not a daycare provider. I do not take those families at all now.

I'm not saying you are in a lower income area. I'm just saying that is my situation. I know a lot of things vary in what is accepted or expected from daycares in different areas. Also things accepted or expected vary from centers and home daycares. So, it might just be that overall, parents in your area aren't used to a daycare closing at all. I find it hard to believe that too many daycare providers never take vacation at all (even though I haven't in 6 years!). Most people go on at least a week vacation each year.

Have you called around to other home daycares to see what they do about taking a vacation? It might just be that the families you have interviewed with so far are trying to get over on you. They might be the type to just bop from daycare to daycare finding the cheapest, one that won't close, etc. They might just be trying to find someone who will give them everything for nothing. That happens a lot around this area too.

Now, after all I have said here, I have also noticed that in this area, where parents seem to need to make sure they always have daycare every day of the year and never pay for the daycare lady to close, even though I haven't been able to take a vacation, THEY SEEM TO BE ABLE TO! I just had a parent take off work this past Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. But God forbid that I try to do something like that!

Now, one way to look at it is that we are a company. Typically, companies; Walmart, your gas and electric company, the grocery store, etc. do not close their doors and refuse to offer service to you any time other than their normal closed hours ( a store's hours are typically 9 am - 9pm.) So, if our regular hours are Mon - Fri 6am - 6pm, the parents accept the fact that we will not be available for them from 6pm until 6am the following morning. But come 6am, we better be open, just like we feel about the grocery store - they better be open every day of the year from their posted open to close hours. However, what sets us apart from the corporations that the parents seem to believe that we should operate like, is the fact that the corporations have many employees, each of whom gets their holidays and vacation days, but the other employees are able to keep the shop open for business. We don't have that luxury. Home daycares are run typically operated by only 1 person. That 1 person still deserves time off work, but in order for them to get time off work, they have to shut the entire company down. That's what parents don't understand - and really don't seem to care about much either.

If you are actually still reading this, I have been posting on another thread about basically letting my parents change the way I operate my daycare. This has been going on for about 2 years now with different parents getting me to make different little changes over time to the point that I don't like my own company now. I used to be very much respected by parents and other providers, used to have pride in myself and my company (yes, I think of my daycare as a COMPANY, it is a business, and I am a business owner; it gives me a sense of pride to have that mind set). However, by letting my parents get me to change my daycare to suit them, I started calling myself a babysitter! WOW what a change of mind set there! So, today I started taking my daycare back! It was a simple thing. I told my parents that the kids WILL play outside in the grass and get dirty and sweaty, not just stay on the clean porch and sidewalk so they stay crystal clean all day. GOD IT FELT GOOD to be ME again! To run my daycare the way I want to run my daycare!

So, I suggest that you research your area, find out what is typical of home daycares in your area (all businesses should know the general public's expectations and the general practices of the companies that are in their field in their area- it's just to become knowledgeable of your field of business in your area) and then decide what policies YOU want for YOUR DAYCARE BUSINESS. If no one ever closes for vacation, that's fine, you can chose to be the one that does and the parents will either hire you or not. But make your daycare YOUR DAYCARE.
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2014, 02:51 PM
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I tell parents I always ask the group of parents in Feb-March if there is a good or bad time for vacation. If I can we try to all take ours at the same time . But I still take it even if we do not coordinate them.

It is like this do they want a burnt out provider that never gets a day off that finally quits with no notice. or do they want a professional provide that takes vacations and days off with plenty of notice . One that is refreshed dependable and will be there to care for their child/

Do they never get a day off from work???
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2014, 04:08 PM
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Like previously mentioned, feel it depends on your location.
I'd call your local family child care system and ask them.
Because I am with a local family child care, I am expected to have private parents pay every closure date I have.
All holidays, 3 weeks vacation, sick days, personal days, you name it.
I put in my phb, up to 3 weeks a year vacation, all holidays plus Christmas eve, and after Thanksgiving, 5 personal, and 5 sick.
But really only take the 2 weeks vacation, and maybe 5 personal, plus all the holidays.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:15 PM
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I have it in my contract that I take the week between Christmas and New Years off, paid, and that I may take up to 2 weeks unpaid during the summer. So far, nobody has complained.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:16 PM
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Thanks ladies. I have called providers in my area and they are about 50/50 as far as vacation goes. However, about 20 minutes or so south of where I am located the area is drastically different and many providers offer 24/7 care at $80 a week....I'm wondering if this is why I am having an issue. I am located very far north in my city, so chances are if you work, you are traveling south. Perhaps the families I have interviewed are more interested in dirt cheep 24/7 care and find an issue with vacation time, even if it is unpaid.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:38 AM
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I have solved it by having an assistant (my mother) come in when I need a day off. Some people aren't comfortable with others in their home, but it doesn't bother me. If I had to hire someone else, I'd be okay with it.
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