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Old 07-11-2012, 01:25 PM
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Unhappy New Program Starting to Depress Me :(

Not sure how many of you actually saw my Mother's Day Out threads. It's a new program I've wanted to start. Parent's have three schedules to choose from: mon/wed, tues/thurs or mon-thurs from 9-3 for $20 per day...this includes meals because i'm on the food program.

I've had probably 30 responses to it from facebook advertising alone and maybe 2 from the newspaper. I really want this to work as it will free up so much of my time for my own family and give me a much needed break.

I'm starting to get depressed about it. I've enrolled 3 for Mother's Day Out and have 1 starting next week and 1 the first week in August. I have 10 spaces for Mon/Wed and 10 for Tues/Thurs and of course if they enroll for all 4 days that's even better. Currently I have 5 full time kids. I will have to let go all but 1 of those kids if I go to this schedule plus 1 is going to kindergarten. I know this is so confusing. I'm trying to advertise but it's so hard to justify placing an ad in the paper when its $60 for one months ad and only $160 for a "space" for the month. I'm going to pass some flyers around walmart and other grocery store parking lots and hope that brings in some calls.
I guess i'm getting nervous. I'm a single mom and have no child support or any other source of income coming in so everything falls on me. I'm afraid to let my full timers go but really don't have the space for the Mother's Day out unless I do start letting some of them go. I'm starting to wonder if this isn't going to work after all. From the responses I got I thought it would be a great idea. Am I not giving it enough time? I've been pushing it through facebook and word of mouth for about a month now. I guess I'm on here more to spill my guts and let someone know how I'm feeling more than anything but any helpful advice will be appreciated as well.

I know it's kinda like starting over. When I first started I had 3-4 full time kids and needed 7-8 to make this work for me. It only took a couple months to fill up but once you've been full and have been making decent money it's hard to take the pay cut to start over. However, I know in the end the benefits of the extra time with my family will outweigh the couple months of down times. Any advice? Words of encouragement maybe?

Sorry so long.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:19 PM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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I think it might be a hard thing to do and count on it as income. I personally might only need something like 1 day a week or maybe even every other week. I would probably use something like that as a day to go grocery shopping, errands or something like that. I was always the type of mom and still am where my kids went with me wherever I went.

Also, if its a Mothers Day out why would they bring them all 4 days a week. To me that would be more like childcare, not a day out program.

I would probably keep my full timers and only advertise one or two spots as mothers day out spots. It would be more like a drop in spot.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:25 PM
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Hang in there! No advice, just support. Change is tough. Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:59 PM
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I think it might be a hard thing to do and count on it as income. I personally might only need something like 1 day a week or maybe even every other week. I would probably use something like that as a day to go grocery shopping, errands or something like that. I was always the type of mom and still am where my kids went with me wherever I went.

Also, if its a Mothers Day out why would they bring them all 4 days a week. To me that would be more like childcare, not a day out program.

I would probably keep my full timers and only advertise one or two spots as mothers day out spots. It would be more like a drop in spot.
Thanks for responding. That's my biggest worry. However from the responses I had on facebook not to mention the many calls for part time care in the past couple of years I thought I should give it a try. Right now in our town there are a lot of stay at home moms and I see them on local facebook group pages always asking about child care for a couple days a week. Most of the daycares in our area only take full time so I thought maybe there's a market for this. We do have 2 churches in town that offer programs similar to this and they are always full with a waiting list so I thought maybe if I can get the word out I could get enough to make what I need to.

The Monday-Thursday option was added on after one of the moms said she would like more days for her child. She is in online classes and needs the days just to study, plus she wants him to get more time around other children and I offer a preschool curriculum and she liked that.

Anyway, that is what it's geared toward is the moms that need to run errands or grocery shop and not have the little one tagging along. I've always been one to take my kids with me as well but it would definately be easier to go to the grocery store and make several stops without a baby on your hip in my opinion.
My neighbor has her little boy enrolled more for him because he is home with her all the time and she wanted him to get used to being around other children close to his age and give herself time to do things she needs to do.

Anyway thanks for the advice. If things don't pick up by August I'm going to have to stick with my full time kids. It will be one or the other though. If I do full time I'd rather have all full time and vice versa with Mother's Day Out. I don't see the point of doing full time with a couple of mother's day out options. If I work 50-60 hours a week I might as well be bringing in as much money as I can be and fill all of my spots.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia View Post
Hang in there! No advice, just support. Change is tough. Good luck.
Thank you!! I think I'm just going to take all of this month and keep up the advertising and see how many more people seem interested. I need about 6 kids to make it for each 2 day schedule and 10 to be at about the income level I am at with my full timer's. Keeping my fingers crossed and praying this works out.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:59 PM
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I don't really have advice, but maybe some encouragement??? A local church of mine does mother's day out three days a week. It's not an all day program, but half day and they rarely have spots available. When they do advertise they usually fill up within a week or two. It's almost like a preschool program where the drop off is one time and pick up is one time, so it's not come and go and it's like a big playgroup. It could really take off but I can imagine being worried about making it until then. Do you have money set aside for a month or two until enrollment is up. And can you keep the fulltimers until you have enough mdo to cover the cost? Maybe dealing with the added stress for a month or two would be better than the stress of taking a financial loss. If you have 10 spots per day (if i'm reading that right) can you start letting your full timers go when you have say 6 spots per day filled, or more? maybe it would be less stressful???

Not sure if that will work
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:36 PM
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I'm sorry things arent working out. But if it makes you feel any better, I think most business owners, including daycare providers, try this and that and find out that it just wasnt the right fit. Its just a part of the business although I know it can be discouraging. I would love to do school agers but the demand is not quite there in order for me to drop my full time kids. I've tried it 3 times to get things going and just couldnt get quite enough interest.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
I don't really have advice, but maybe some encouragement??? A local church of mine does mother's day out three days a week. It's not an all day program, but half day and they rarely have spots available. When they do advertise they usually fill up within a week or two. It's almost like a preschool program where the drop off is one time and pick up is one time, so it's not come and go and it's like a big playgroup. It could really take off but I can imagine being worried about making it until then. Do you have money set aside for a month or two until enrollment is up. And can you keep the fulltimers until you have enough mdo to cover the cost? Maybe dealing with the added stress for a month or two would be better than the stress of taking a financial loss. If you have 10 spots per day (if i'm reading that right) can you start letting your full timers go when you have say 6 spots per day filled, or more? maybe it would be less stressful???

Not sure if that will work
Yes I think that's what I will do is keep the full timers. I will feel bad to let them go if things pick up with MDO but at least I should be able to give them a few weeks notice. Of course I would have to let the go anyway but I was hoping to let them go during the summer since at least two of them are school teachers and they could spend the rest of it looking for alternate care. Thank you for responding!
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
I'm sorry things arent working out. But if it makes you feel any better, I think most business owners, including daycare providers, try this and that and find out that it just wasnt the right fit. Its just a part of the business although I know it can be discouraging. I would love to do school agers but the demand is not quite there in order for me to drop my full time kids. I've tried it 3 times to get things going and just couldnt get quite enough interest.
Thank you for saying this. It does make me feel better and you're right, we just have to try things out sometimes and see what the need is in our area. Hopefully the need for schoolagers will increase in your area so you can have your program. I seem to have plenty of interest...lots of inquiries on this program. More calls and facebook messages than I've ever gotten for full time child care in such a short amount of time, just not many to actually enroll yet. ALso, like I said, I couldn't enroll but a few at this time anyway because of my full timers but maybe when I get all my extra spots full with MDO I will slowly let my full timers go, one set at a time. Hopefully it will work out to where I can do that. It makes me so excited to think if I could have a schedule that would allow me more time for my own kids, housework, being able to volunteer at my kids school. That would be awesome. I don't even mind taking a small pay cut as long as it's not going to hurt me that much. And plus its a major reduction of hours.

I read a quote somewhere the other day and I don't know who said it but it said something like "if you're dreams don't scare you...they aren't big enough"

This scares me! So maybe I'm dreaming big but maybe I can make it happen.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:56 PM
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You've come to the right place for support! I've changed a lot of things and policies since I've started, it's the nature of the beast.

I am a little confused though, maybe I misunderstood? 9-3 sounds like a little more than part time child care. I thought the parent day out was just a couple of hours a day?
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by thatdivalady View Post
You've come to the right place for support! I've changed a lot of things and policies since I've started, it's the nature of the beast.

I am a little confused though, maybe I misunderstood? 9-3 sounds like a little more than part time child care. I thought the parent day out was just a couple of hours a day?
yes it's 9-3 but usually will only be 2 days a week. I kind of modeled after the other mother's day out programs in our area that are 9-2:30. I've had a couple of requests for 9-12 which would be fine but I've gotten the impression that they want a lower price for 9-12 and I can't go any lower than $20 per day. That's about $5 per day lower than my full time rate but I usually charge more for part time so I think they are getting a pretty fair deal. 9-3 gives them time to get groceries, make appointments, study for classes, or run other errands. And several of them just want their child in the program just so they can be around other children. Lots of daycares in our area turn away part time because we need our full time so bad but I have so many calls for someone wanting only 1-2 days a week I thought maybe there would be a market for this here.

I just need to get out there and bust my butt advertising until I fill up. Should be passing out flyers every day, posting on craigslist and facebook everyday...etc. It's just hard to find time to do that with a daycare full of kids here 10 hours a day plus my own 3 after hours. Just going to have to make time for the extra I'm going to have to put in so I can enjoy the benefits of it later. I feel like if I want it bad enough and I try really hard that I can probably make it happen. Maybe wishful thinking but it's keeping me going right now. And the support from everyone is making a difference too. Thanks so much to all of you!
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:09 AM
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Just a thought -- you may want to also advertise for "part-time care" as well as "Mother's Day Out", simply because the MDO label might cause people to assume it's just for SAHMs, know what I mean? Parents could be looking for p/t care and skip over your ad or flyer without considering it just because it doesn't immediately speak to their specific needs.

I know that would be the case around here. LOTS of people need p/t, but they likely wouldn't consider an MDO program because they would automatically think of it as an informal or drop-in type of thing.

JMO . Good luck! It sounds like a great idea and something that would do quite well in your area once your client base is established .
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:46 AM
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Just a thought -- you may want to also advertise for "part-time care" as well as "Mother's Day Out", simply because the MDO label might cause people to assume it's just for SAHMs, know what I mean? Parents could be looking for p/t care and skip over your ad or flyer without considering it just because it doesn't immediately speak to their specific needs.

I know that would be the case around here. LOTS of people need p/t, but they likely wouldn't consider an MDO program because they would automatically think of it as an informal or drop-in type of thing.

JMO . Good luck! It sounds like a great idea and something that would do quite well in your area once your client base is established .
Thank you! Great idea!
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