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  #1  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:32 PM
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Country Kids Country Kids is offline
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Default Childcare Usages For Billing

So we all have those parents who leave their child there till the last minute because they want to get their moneys worth.

We have parents who argue about having to pay when child isn't there a full day but have to pay a full day rate.

We have parents who argue about having to pay if a child is out sick/vacation days/etc.

The classic argument is well they still have to pay their mortgage, cable, car payment whether they use it or not. Also, everyone says childcare is prepayed for usage in the following month.

I was just thinking today though about my rates and how to explain it when this hit me.......not all bills are paid ahead and not all bills are paid in a flat rate whether you use it or not.

Your water bill, phone bill, and electricity are all post paid and amounts reflect usuage.

So are we really being honest about using the "bill" arguement when explaining this to parents. Yes, some bills are prepaid and a flat rate but others are post paid and your bill is reflected on usage amount.

I guess this is just food for thought for the night.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:36 AM
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So, we have the same business plan as the cable company instead of the subsidized utilities.

Seriously, I guess that if one or two customers cheated them, they wouldn't be hurt. But if one person cheats us, it can be devastating to our finances. If anyone questioned me about it (they never have), I'd just say it was industry standard and change the subject.

I finally, after 10 months, got my last parent paid up in advance. Between her job changes and other issues, it took forever. Now, I have to feel guilty for it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:43 AM
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are we being honest???? absolutely!! there is NOTHING dishonest about it. But I've never gone with the "classic argument" about paying other bills. If its questioned its simply this is the way *I* do it, if you don't like it you are welcome to try to find a daycare who does it your way (and I am positive there isn't a daycare within 50 miles who does it differently).

Plain and simple, you are paying for a spot in my program. I don't care if you use it every day or once a week - you are taking that spot away from someone else so you pay for it.

Honestly, I think if you (general you, not OP specifically) are looking for loopholes, etc. you aren't confident enough in your policy and could be setting yourself up to fail.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:34 AM
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I don't use any arguement to explain my rates. If they want to question why they have to pay for a full day when it wasn't or isn't going to be used, it's because that's what I charge. It's spelled out very clearly in my handbook and they sign a contract stating that they understand and agree to it.
If they want to get their moneys worth by leaving their child until the last minute, well fine, but that's just petty and I know who I'm dealing with then.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmeyers View Post
I don't use any arguement to explain my rates. If they want to question why they have to pay for a full day when it wasn't or isn't going to be used, it's because that's what I charge. It's spelled out very clearly in my handbook and they sign a contract stating that they understand and agree to it.
Completely agree! Who cares what other businesses do or dont do. My contract spells out what I do and no one forces anyone to agree to it and sign it.

On a side note, MarinaVannessa explained the whole bill concept about the cable company or phone company perfectly by saying "A gym provides a service, they provide their facility which allow you to work out on their machines, to take their special classes etc. These places also close for holidays. Members are paying customers who pay for a monthly service. This monthly fee is the same flat fee paid each month regardless of whether the gym is closed for a holiday or not. They don't render services for holidays and they still get paid.

Costco is another example. Members pay the same flat monthly fee to be able to shop in their store and the fee is not prorated when they have to close for holidays."


Her post is in this thread http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3&page=4
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8 View Post
are we being honest???? absolutely!! there is NOTHING dishonest about it. But I've never gone with the "classic argument" about paying other bills. If its questioned its simply this is the way *I* do it, if you don't like it you are welcome to try to find a daycare who does it your way (and I am positive there isn't a daycare within 50 miles who does it differently).

Plain and simple, you are paying for a spot in my program. I don't care if you use it every day or once a week - you are taking that spot away from someone else so you pay for it.

Honestly, I think if you (general you, not OP specifically) are looking for loopholes, etc. you aren't confident enough in your policy and could be setting yourself up to fail.


Bingo-

and you can relate, if you chose to put it this way. If you don't pay your cable bill, no matter if you use it or not, they are going to shut it off. Your paying for a service.

I emphasis on the bold above---

If one week Donkey Kong decides to put pac man in your care for t,w,t but not m and f It is hard to find someone that is going to fill in those two other days and if Donkey changes to m,t,w,t it will be hard to find someone that can come on the off days that she choses not to use. They pay a set rate and then that covers them for the week. On top of that you can still ask for contracted hours so that you know when the child is coming and can plan- or a schedule the week before if it is a revolving schedule.

I have said this several times and its worth repeating, and took a long time to sink into my head. Best advice given to me-

You need to be able to anticipate a weekly income- There is nothing wrong with this, and no matter if the child comes or not, you were there, you were open and they are paying to hold that spot for their child. Give yourself two weeks paid vacation. Most parents get this and they have a whole year to plan for this. Paid holidays and I do 3 personal/sick days ( I may not use these but they are there if I need them) The reason we do daycare is to better our family lives financially. It is our work. Parents have choices- they can stay home with their kids or they can send them to daycare. Daycare is a job, its work. If daycare is not something they want or can afford, then they have other choices.

I don't feel it is my job to explain why they have to pay for childcare- we talked at our interview. Not being cold but being honest and not wanting to negotiate my job, my line of work and its worth. Daycare providers are underpaid as it is. When you do the break down it doesn't even meet min wage- My advice is don't negotiate- this is what I charge and end it at that. Don't open any room for loop holes and an inn

If your spots are filled and you want to take in a child a couple of hours a week, then charge a drop in fee- but make it be known that in the event that someone should want to fill that spot with a full time child- full timers come first-

crazy8 is right on-

Best-
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2012, 07:56 AM
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The gas and electricity are set up to be paid as a commodity. There's an actual amount of someTHING that is being used up. Daycare and gym are a service provided and you're paying for it to be available to you as a reservation you've committed to.

But I agree, it doesn't matter what the justification, it's your business your rules so you decide what to charge people can either agree to it or go elsewhere.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:26 AM
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My house. My rules.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:51 AM
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This is why I only take full time mon-fri parents who HAVE TO GO WORK!!!! They pay full time because they need full time the I have never had anyone try to argue the point.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
My house. My rules.
yup.

there IS a choice with any thing. If there is only one water carrier option in your town and you dont like the billing setup, then shut off your water.

anyway, I dont get into arguments trying to validate or justify what I do with parents. I did make that mistake for awhile when I was new to daycare. Now I just say, "Whether you understand it or not, I need you to choose either to abide by this policy or find childcare elsewhere. Its not negotiable"

I could charge a million dollars up front if I wanted to for daycare. That doesnt mean I will get any clients. But I do have the right as a private business owner to charge and state policies however I want....whether that results in a profitable business for me is another story.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:31 AM
Willow Willow is offline
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Country Kids - I see your point. And it's why I'm still hourly.

Most self employed people don't feel compelled or entitled to charge their clients for time off the clock. Nor would most clients put up with such a thing. And I don't blame them, I sure wouldn't.

While it's fine if some providers operate to the contrary, I personally don't feel right about it. Regardless of my personal feelings, no matter which side of the fence you're on, what's your business is your business alone and your view on it should be respected. I have no beef with other providers who do things differently, and I expect they have no beef with me.

That's not always the case unfortunately. I have had a slew of pro-daycare union people come to my front door literally since I opened. When I tell them I'm not interested they usually get pretty huffy and demand to know why. When I explain it's because I disagree with what they're trying to accomplish instead of shooting me a respectful ok and moving on they usually go off their RAILS right on my step and in front of my daycare kiddos telling me how I'm holding others back and hindering my contribution to my own family. Ummm....EXCUSE ME??? My business is my own. I don't want to pay someone to tell me how I should run it in ways I'm not even interested in enforcing. It's so sad to think of how many others are being bullied into believing what they're currently doing is wrong. That's just wrong.

I hate that the whole hourly vs. contracted hours deal has become almost like the SAHM vs. working outside of the home mom debate. The divide and hostility surrounding it is just insane. We should be SUPPORTING each other, not picking each other apart and telling each other why the other side is stupid or wrong.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
[/b]
You need to be able to anticipate a weekly income-
Just to add some perspective, please don't assume every provider needs that.

There are plenty who do daycare for primary reasons other than to make the exact same paycheck every week. For some it's a moot point completely.

I understand that some are dependent on a consistent daycare income, and that's fine, others however make do on what they do bring in whether it's consistent or not. I am one of them. I may not have a packed house every single day and my weekly income may vary but I get by just fine.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow View Post
Just to add some perspective, please don't assume every provider needs that.

There are plenty who do daycare for primary reasons other than to make the exact same paycheck every week. For some it's a moot point completely.

I understand that some are dependent on a consistent daycare income, and that's fine, others however make do on what they do bring in whether it's consistent or not. I am one of them. I may not have a packed house every single day and my weekly income may vary but I get by just fine.
You hit the nail on the head Willow! My day care is our only source of income. I DO need a steady paycheck. I couldn't imagine just HOPING I would make enough to pay my mortgage this month!!!

But I know someone in my city who also does day care hourly. She has just a handful of kids and they pay hourly just for the time they are there. This doesn't bother my friend as her day care money is simply her "allowance" money. Purely extra income. She spends it all on whatever she wants and the job gives her something to do. Her husband makes more than enough to support them. They get health insurance through his job and other benefits. She actually has no NEED to work at all.

We have totally different needs and run our day care's accordingly.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow View Post
Just to add some perspective, please don't assume every provider needs that.

There are plenty who do daycare for primary reasons other than to make the exact same paycheck every week. For some it's a moot point completely.

I understand that some are dependent on a consistent daycare income, and that's fine, others however make do on what they do bring in whether it's consistent or not. I am one of them. I may not have a packed house every single day and my weekly income may vary but I get by just fine.
I totally respect your choices for daycare billing, even if they are different from mine. However, I would think your situation is more the exception than the rule. Most people would be very stressed to not know for sure what income to expect. I am glad that you have found something that works for you but again, I think your arrangement is more the exception than the rule.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
But I know someone in my city who also does day care hourly. She has just a handful of kids and they pay hourly just for the time they are there. This doesn't bother my friend as her day care money is simply her "allowance" money. Purely extra income. She spends it all on whatever she wants and the job gives her something to do. Her husband makes more than enough to support them. They get health insurance through his job and other benefits. She actually has no NEED to work at all.
I could only WISH my daycare income was all allocated towards some kind of allowance money just for me ha!

I still contribute equally to our bills, I wouldn't feel comfortable with the above arrangement at all. We just don't live a lifestyle that requires a consistent and substantial income or face potential financial ruin. I have a baseline that I need just as any family does, but even working hourly and allowing two of my current families to be on almost complete maternity leave right now I still have enough wiggle room to make what I need and still have extra for fun stuff with my family. During busy times we save for slower times. If that stockpiled bit gets over a certain point we splurge. We live within our means and are rarely stretched to the point of feeling stressed over how much either of our next paychecks is going to be.

I do realize not everyone has been as lucky as we are to find our way to the spot we're currently in, and I don't fault anyone who's not as comfortable. I've lived "uncomfortable" before, particularly when going through my divorce, and I know full well it's far from fun. As we feel blessed to be ok now we can offer what we do and that benefits all of my families greatly. Many of whom are living quite uncomfortably themselves because the economy is crap. It makes me feel good that I can help their families work out of their tough financial situations.

Maybe that's why it's hard for me to wrap my head around charging them more, and for time I'm not even working. They can hardly make ends meet as it is and I adore the kids and families I have. I cannot imagine giving them the boot just because they can't pay for time they're not even working and the kids aren't even here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
We have totally different needs and run our day care's accordingly.
Completely agree with that!
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