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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Evening Only Drop In Care?
Abigail 09:28 PM 03-22-2011
Has anyone ever offered evening only drop in care? This would be after daycare hours, but you would still accept as many children as you wanted so it's not a nanny type position and it's still in your home. Would you put a maximum hour limit or a minimum rate that breaks down to drop-in center rates in your area?

We have a few drop in centers, but most close between 6 and 9 pm. They charge about $4 an hour for an older child and $6 an hour for infants under two. I use to babysit for a family of three infants and they paid well because...the home was cleaner than a center....the home was open later than a center....and the drop in rates were expensive. $18/hour to grocery shop was not affordable, but $10/hour was better and still above minimum wage. SO, would you offer hourly evening care at the same rate as the drop in centers or should it be lower? I also want a contract to be signed for all drop-ins so I don't want it to be too overwhelming....this will help me start up my business. (I hope!)
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PeanutsGalore 01:59 PM 03-23-2011
I did evening childcare for people. I just took temporary jobs. The biggest thing I learned is that I won't do it again, unless the money is irresistible. It's strange how working even a few minutes past your normal end of day wears you down. It also cuts into family time in a huge way.....but.....

if you see an opportunity in your area to make a decent salary doing evening care, I'd offer a top notch service and charge AT LEAST the same as centers, if not more. I don't know if you have kids or not, but if you do, just remember that this is cutting into their time too, so if you have to do it, make it worth your while. And as far as contracts go, just use the same contract you would use for daytime, but cut it down to basics. You still need all info on the child, and it's important they understand what will happen if they don't drop off / pick up on time, but try to format it in a sort of bulleted list so it's a quick read, then have them sign it when they drop off.

Good luck!
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Abigail 02:08 PM 03-23-2011
I'm considering doing this to attract more clients and have the benefit of getting my name out there by word of mouth. I don't have any kids of my own for a couple more years and my husband works nights and sleeps until he goes to work so it wouldn't necessarily interfere with family time until it's his days off which are two days during the week.

Would you do a higher hourly rate and just require a day's notice or else a convenience fee if they ask you the same day? I can see charging a higher rate if you're watching one family, but would families question me if I had two or three families all the time and they're all paying a higher-like-minimum wage rate? I suppose if they didn't like the higher-than-average rate they could just not come back, lol.
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daycare 02:26 PM 03-23-2011
Originally Posted by Abigail:
I'm considering doing this to attract more clients and have the benefit of getting my name out there by word of mouth. I don't have any kids of my own for a couple more years and my husband works nights and sleeps until he goes to work so it wouldn't necessarily interfere with family time until it's his days off which are two days during the week.

Would you do a higher hourly rate and just require a day's notice or else a convenience fee if they ask you the same day? I can see charging a higher rate if you're watching one family, but would families question me if I had two or three families all the time and they're all paying a higher-like-minimum wage rate? I suppose if they didn't like the higher-than-average rate they could just not come back, lol.
when i first started I was offering it, did it for about a month and then said no more. I stopped only because I felt it was not fair to my kids. At some point they needed all of my attention and with another child around I could not give it to them. So I decided not to, but if I didn't have kids I would consider it and I would charge more for it, as night care is hard to find. Not only that my husband works night and he gets a higher pay for working at night so why shouldn't we...............lol any excuse right....
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PeanutsGalore 03:41 PM 03-23-2011
Originally Posted by Abigail:
I'm considering doing this to attract more clients and have the benefit of getting my name out there by word of mouth. I don't have any kids of my own for a couple more years and my husband works nights and sleeps until he goes to work so it wouldn't necessarily interfere with family time until it's his days off which are two days during the week.

Would you do a higher hourly rate and just require a day's notice or else a convenience fee if they ask you the same day? I can see charging a higher rate if you're watching one family, but would families question me if I had two or three families all the time and they're all paying a higher-like-minimum wage rate? I suppose if they didn't like the higher-than-average rate they could just not come back, lol.
Well that's good you don't have kids...but won't kids in the house interfere with your husband's sleeping peacefully? Kids who don't know where they are usually act up until they are settled in a bit. If not, then hustle!

I wouldn't charge premium rates until after other centers closed their doors. You said they're open until 9pm, right? If someone is there from say, 3pm until midnight, I'd just up the hourly charge after 9pm. The kids might be asleep, but that doesn't mean that you can sleep. I really don't know your market though. Around here, evening care seems to be all over the place, so I didn't even bother looking for that kind of work once I researched it. Just be creative! Try to find a niche, and charge accordingly.
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Abigail 12:27 AM 03-24-2011
The drop in centers are open anywhere between 6 and 9 pm (based off memory), but they charge pretty much minimum wage per child with no discounts and have a four hour maximum. I forgot to mention that before. They also have many children and parents I have babysat for mention how their kids always seem to get sick after being there. I'm not targeting that they're not clean because I'm sure they are, but I'm trying to think of marketing strong-points to offer this service as well. I also think they're closed on Sundays so that could be a wonderful strong point to offer some Sunday care.

My husband and I are currently looking for a house and we have daycare in mind for a setup that is noise-friendly. He is on board with me doing daycare in our home and I've warned him many times about the noise level. He actually sleeps through almost anything, so I'm not too worried. I am going to have a separate part of the house exclusively for daycare since we will not need all the living space so that is our biggest help on cutting down sound. If we need to, we'll put up a door for "quite a quick quiet" fix. (try saying that three times!)
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Tags:business start up, centers, drop in rates, evening, late, new to daycare
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