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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Barter ?
Clara 08:47 PM 07-04-2013
I'm in the middle of creating my policies and procedures.
What I am wanting advice on is Bartering...

I am planning on Bartering for services that I will need from the 1st day on.

Should I include Bartering in my polices?

Should I advertise for services needed and include that I am open to Bartering for them?
My normal tuition is set low, since it's a new business, from $25 less a wk. than other local childcares for full-time and $10 lower rate for Drop-In care which is a 5 hour day care service.

Plans are being created to offer a full weekend of care once a month- available for full or part time kids only. Maximum accepted will be 2 kids each time offered. That cost is $125. for care hours Fri 7pm to Sun 7pm for one child. O yes. late fee is going to be $5 for every 15 mins. late or any part thereof.

Another plan has been made where Up to 6 of enrolled kids will get to bring one non-enrolled friend each a set one Sat. each month for an evening of fun. "Parents Night Out" cost $20 for the enrolled kid plus $30 for the friend for the evening 7pm-11pm.

Since I'm the newbie, I am going to offer what no other care service offers near us ... I do have 3 adult Daughters who live with me. Weekend specials will be under their care. All Daughters are in process of jumping through the hoops to qualify for Teachers for just in case of .....

What I would like to do is Barter with the weekend care services. What do you think?
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cheerfuldom 08:59 PM 07-04-2013
I am curious what it is your are willing to barter for specifically?

I do think that you need to make sure that you have boundaries regarding bartering. The main guideline I would set up is that you receive your bartered service before daycare services are rendered. I am paid in advance and if I was to barter, I would insist on service in advance as well. Secondly, that you are not required to continue to barter services just because you agreed to one time....basically you are reserving the right to end the barter arrangement at any time.
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Laurel 05:50 AM 07-05-2013
Originally Posted by Clara:
I'm in the middle of creating my policies and procedures.
What I am wanting advice on is Bartering...

I am planning on Bartering for services that I will need from the 1st day on.

Should I include Bartering in my polices?

Should I advertise for services needed and include that I am open to Bartering for them?
My normal tuition is set low, since it's a new business, from $25 less a wk. than other local childcares for full-time and $10 lower rate for Drop-In care which is a 5 hour day care service.

Plans are being created to offer a full weekend of care once a month- available for full or part time kids only. Maximum accepted will be 2 kids each time offered. That cost is $125. for care hours Fri 7pm to Sun 7pm for one child. O yes. late fee is going to be $5 for every 15 mins. late or any part thereof.

Another plan has been made where Up to 6 of enrolled kids will get to bring one non-enrolled friend each a set one Sat. each month for an evening of fun. "Parents Night Out" cost $20 for the enrolled kid plus $30 for the friend for the evening 7pm-11pm.

Since I'm the newbie, I am going to offer what no other care service offers near us ... I do have 3 adult Daughters who live with me. Weekend specials will be under their care. All Daughters are in process of jumping through the hoops to qualify for Teachers for just in case of .....

What I would like to do is Barter with the weekend care services. What do you think?
What I think is that you are asking for trouble. Well you asked what I thought.

I have never bartered for daycare services but I did have a day care dad that was in grass cutting/landscaping do my lawn and he even hired my son. Did not go well. I had to practically beg him to cut my lawn as when he was slacking he'd always leave mine go. Then he ended up owning my son wages after the work was done or paying him partial payments (while buying expensive toys for himself). Thank goodness his mom paid my son from her own pocket although she didn't have to. That was wonderful and decent of her. She said that I took such good care of her grandson and she wasn't going to let my son get cheated. I was always thankful that I hadn't intermingled my business with anyone elses.

Just saying.... I hope things go well for you. Maybe mine was just a fluke. Like the other poster said though I'd get the services BEFORE I did the childcare and I'd make sure they were done right. Also I'd have insurance to cover if people got hurt on my property while performing a service.

Laurel
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Happy Hearts 08:09 AM 07-05-2013
I only barter for cash

I care for a dcb whose dad plows our driveway in the winter. I considered for a fleeting second about a barter with him. But, because cash is so absolute there is not question about who 'owes' what. He pays me x amount of dollars to watch his son, and I pay him x dollars to plow.
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Cradle2crayons 08:17 AM 07-05-2013
I would never be able to afford to barter either, at least not as far as what you are talking about.

However, I have a state pay mom who, because the state pays so little and she still has to pay for days a kid is sick etc, we worked out a small barter. She brings in snacks, and some fruit etc every week along with the receipt so I know how much exactly she spent. In return, those groceries and the amount to into a log book to accommodate for sick days etc.

It's worked out great. Each week she brings in enough food to pay for ONE absence.

I only allow them to roll over a certain amount.

The way I figure it is that I would have had to purchase that food regardless, and the food she buys is according to a list so that she guys things I know I'll use.

So each month, she's allowed one absence for each x amount of groceries. This applies to the NEXT month of care.

For instance, if in July, mom purchases $60 worth of groceries, that's equivalent to 3 paid absences in August.

I allow it to roll over for three months after the fact. For instance, if mom buys $60 in July, August, and September, then by December, she has to use or lose those 9 absences total for three kids. If she doesn't use them by in the end of December, then they are gone. But she can start using those absences in August that she "bought" in July. And she can't use more than 3 in any month because that's how many she would have purchased the month before. For instance, in July she "buys" three absences she can start using in August. In August she " buys" three more she can start using in September. However, she can't use 9 in September because by the end of August she's only paid for six absences.

I hope I'm making sense lol
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Starburst 08:54 AM 07-05-2013
If you do a semi-bartering system I would make sure that there is a maximum limit like no more than $10 less of the rate you charge per weekly bill (or monthly total), especially if you are already charging less then the other providers in your town. You have to make sure you can pay your bills first! Just make sure you have a disclaimer that says you reserve the right to discontinue this specialty (and any other special services) because after a while when you let too many things slide or try to be too accommodating, people tend to take advantage of that (talking from personal expierince).

I understand where your coming from, I know that many families don't always have the money for things they need and are looking for the best deals. But I always remember on an episode of Tabitha Takes Over they had a business owner who sent out coupons in the mail; even though she charged rates so low that her stylists couldn't make enough money to pay their bills. Tabitha and another business owner told her they would never do coupons because it undermines the quality of service they offered and made the business look cheap and desperate. Also once the coupon expires they may go back to their old stylist because they don't want to pay more money for the same service they received at the same place for cheaper prices (kinda like a boycot to pressure the business to bring that special price back).

Some other ideas:
*Maybe you could offer to let parents volunteer 3 hours a week for a slightly reduced rate, but I would save that for parents you have had for a while who are having legit money issues.
*Maybe you could collect store coupons and have a coupon exchange bin, where parents can get coupons they need and leave coupons they don't need (you could also help the kids learn how to use scissors by having them clip coupons from the ads).
* You can try having a family movie night or a family talent show night

Also look into your license type. IK here your not supposed to watch children for more than 24 hours at a time (unless you have a foster care license too). Some state licenses also limit the days or times you can offer care.
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Lyss 09:17 AM 07-05-2013
I'm also wondering what you're interested in bartering for?

I think barter sounds good option but I'd want it in writing and I'd have a full contract that includes what happens after so you don't suddenly find yourself advertising (unless its a one/few times thing like your weekend stuff). I'd probably have my normal contract with fees listed but an addendum at the bottom thats says whatever the barter is for, like "6 months of yard service in lieu of fees from xxx to xxx" plus I'd make sure I have enough kids to cover my bills first then consider barter. Knowing my luck I'd get all kinds of barter offers but no one who wants to pay! Lol!

I've seen people on our craigslist barter childcare for vehicles, house cleaning, food, gift cards, home repairs and so on.

As for all the hours I think you'll burn yourself out very quickly. If your doing a parents night out and a 24/7 weekend once a month, then your only getting 2 weekends a month for you and your family! Also definitely check your states regs on overnights and other children. Some states count all children towards ratios, even friends and neighbor kids, so extra adults or not it could out you over what your allowed by licensing (I'm sure you've thought of this but just adding my 2cents)
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Cradle2crayons 09:32 AM 07-05-2013
Originally Posted by Lyss:
I'm wondering what your interested in bartering for too?

I think barter sounds good option but I'd want it in writing and I'd have a full contract that includes what happens after so you don't suddenly find yourself advertising. I'd probably have my normal contract with fees listed but an addendum at the bottom thats says whatever the barter is for, like "6 months of yard service in lieu of fees from xxx to xxx" plus I'd make sure I have enough kids to cover my bills first then consider barter.

I've seen people on our craigslist barter childcare for vehicles, house cleaning, food, gift cards, home repairs and so on.

As for all the hours I think you'll burn yourself out very quickly. If your doing a parents night out and a 24/7 weekend once a month, then your only getting 2 weekends a month for you and your family! Also definitely check your states regs on overnights and other children. Some states count all children towards ratios, even friends and neighbor kids.
Good point. I'm allowed to have five kids NOT counting my own and not be licensed (although I am listed as an approved state provider). My kids can have friends over and they don't count against my numbers. HOWEVER, the food program has completely different rules. I'm not allowed to have more than five kids here TOTAL during a meal time, INCLUDING my own kids. Which makes no sense at all to me why the state will allow me 7 total (daycare 5 plus my 2). It's made it a pain to have to re arrange parent working schedules for my tube fed baby so that she's not here for supper. Even though she doesn't eat food at all and is exclusively tube fed via her backpack.
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MyAngels 12:52 PM 07-05-2013
Tom Copeland wrote a blog about the tax consequences of bartering:

http://www.tomcopelandblog.com/2011/...ou-barter.html
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nothingwithoutjoy 07:20 PM 07-05-2013
I have bartered twice. Once with farmer parents, a day's care in exchange for a bushel of food a week. Once with a carpenter parent, for built-in bookshelves (his fee deducted from tuition). Both were offers on my part, given only to that parent, in private, because I thought it would benefit us both. The farm one was great--food delivered to my house was a bonus for me, and they got to try out what it would be like to do "shares" (they became a CSA after trying it out on me). The bookshelf job never got finished. We made a fair trade--work for tuition--but he never finished the job, maybe because he didn't see it as a real job? Maybe because it was just his personality? My advice would be to only offer it on your terms, rather than a general suggestion. But I do think it can work.
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Clara 03:52 PM 07-08-2013
Thanks everyone for your reply’s, advice, and heads up!
This is a L-O-N-G one, I hope you have a minute.

You people are great!
One habit that got me in trouble in college was writing as if the reader had already obtained information, concerning the subject written about, beforehand. Here is some background information; hopes are it will help clear up some concerns.

I’m buying a home at the end of this month. It has a full-unfinished walkout basement. The closest I have ever lived near the house is over 40 miles and as of now I have met only a few people in the area. Side note, visited a nearby, medium size, church several Sunday evenings just to get a feel of the area’s parents.
The reason I choose the house is price, quality, and for the added bonus of location; which is within plane site, top of a hill, on a heavily traveled 4 lane divided highway. After renovations, a little money will be set aside to give support for the first year's expenses, as becomes necessary.

I do have 2 adult daughters who will be living there and are behind me all the way. Both are taking the training and submitting to the background checks, etc. as required to qualify as teachers. They are the staff that will do the after normal day hours and weekend hours care services. Neither will be working the normal day service hours with me.

My Licensure Consultant said that by having staff responsible for the extended hours are ok if they are not care givers or substituting during the normal daytime hours. Side notes here, there are 4 major and several smaller businesses near that all have all the clock swing shifts. My girls are already employed working days only.

Extended hours: TN rules/regulations for group care license allow for extended hours and overnight care. Of course, there are more rules set in place addressing just extended hours. This was not found in the summary of requirements but are in the full version of the requirements.
Personally, I expect to be exhausted with just the normal hours I will be working.

This is how we have planned to provide extended hours. One daughter that has a full time job is going to take Saturday and Sunday children. The other daughter who has a part time job working 4 days with 5 hour days is going to take the Mon-Fri extended hours children. My two daughters and I will staff the “Parents Night Out” together.

The decision to offer the extended care hours services came from a brain storming meetings. If you had been a fly on the wall during some of our brain storming meetings you would have died laughing.

O, I did not say two of the biggest manufacturing plants have a shift change at 11pm then 7am.
A Wal-Mart near has shift changes every hour except in the middle of the night. Many parents who want to work there cannot due to childcare availability. I’m guessing this will be where a lot of subdivided tuition will come from eventually. Side note, Wal-Mart has a representation for low pay rate and swing shift hours the employees must work.

After reading all the replies, I did more research and reread my notes concerning the issues in question. You were right about that 24-hour care service. What it says is ….. “for less than 24 hours per day for care outside their own homes, without transfer of legal custody.” God knows I do not want legal custody!

Thanks for questing that. Where the possibility came from reading one of the “Notice of Meeting” that was mailed out to DHS Committee members to consider changes in the rules.
Wouldn’t my Licensure Consultant have loved that one!!!!

As for Bartering service exchange goes.
More people have told me No than Yes. Services needed that could be possibly used are Lawn service, Handyman service, Cook, Web Site designer, and once a week all the extra sanitation and deeper cleaning; than the daily top job. That last one has been a dream of mine since my wedding day, sigh.

Bartering is definitely a go. Including in Policies is a NO. Praying God sends the Parents who are open to is YES.
Barter will have a set of rule including who, what, when, cost, tax due notice, beginning and ending dates AND since tuition is paid in advance so will service provided to me. Thanks for those suggestions.

Now the biggest hurdle left in paper work = ‘1st Year Budget’. I’m not looking forward to hammering that one out….

This process of having all the ducks in a row when the eggs haven’t been layed is hard work.
I think I’m suffering from ‘brain strain’!
Got to just love it.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 04:07 PM 07-08-2013
I bartered once. It was either barter or send that family to collections. They had a service I wanted (wooden floors that they offered to me for 25% of the price that THEY paid for them -- so a fantastic deal) and I had a service they wanted. This is NOT written into my handbook, however, and I created a separate contract for this exchange.

That exchange worked out really well for me.
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LaLa1923 08:35 PM 07-08-2013
Does anyone have any forms they would share regarding bartering? I'm considering it because I need a website built and my new DCD can do it!! I can try to do it myself but I would like a really nice professional one for sure.
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Clara 04:40 PM 07-13-2013
HEY,
Met with my TN DHS licensing consultant...
Long story short... in TN a Group Child Care Home CAN offer 24 hour care .....
Rule is only 1 (one) at a time. Other children can still come on their contracted time just can not go over that magic top limit number.

Could have knocked me down with a pin!

I was also told if a Group CC home provider wants to offer more 24 hour children at one time they would have to get an additional license...

TN Rules For A Group Home
Rule 1240-04-01-Appendix A; question (J) Does the same license for “day care” cover (1) nighttime care, (2) “drop-in” children, and (3)
sick children?
answer
1. Yes. An agency that provides less than 24-hour care to children during nighttime hours receives the same license as a child care agency operating during daytime hours, and one license covers both programs in the same agency. An agency cannot provide continuous 24-hour care for two or more children without a residential license. If not licensed for day care, a residential license is needed for more than one child. Ask a licensing counselor about the procedure for obtaining a residential license.
2. “Drop-in” children are counted in the ratio and group and can be cared for only if required records are on file before they are cared for.
3. The day care home license also includes care of mildly ill children. Only mildly ill
children (i.e., not “contagious”) should be cared for in a day care home and only then if staffing is adequate. Mild illnesses are generally those in a recuperative stage (e.g., getting over mumps or influenza).
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Clara
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