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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Charge by the Day?
Lux 04:40 PM 02-10-2019
Do any of you who make decent money do this?

Just wondering. My daycare is young and I do this because I feel like it may help me get clients, plus, if I had my kids in daycare I feel like it would be a draw for me.

I know I've probably made a rookie mistake by charging this way but just wanted to see if any long time providers have done it with any success?

Last week one child was out all week due to sickness, the other only came one day due to mom or the chil
being sick and/or heavy snow, and this week is already looking like more of the same- so this is a sad two weeks for us financially.
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Blackcat31 04:47 PM 02-10-2019
Originally Posted by Lux:
Do any of you who make decent money do this?

Just wondering. My daycare is young and I do this because I feel like it may help me get clients, plus, if I had my kids in daycare I feel like it would be a draw for me.

I know I've probably made a rookie mistake by charging this way but just wanted to see if any long time providers have done it with any success?

Last week one child was out all week due to sickness, the other only came one day due to mom or the chil
being sick and/or heavy snow, and this week is already looking like more of the same- so this is a sad two weeks for us financially.
Nope. I charge weekly
Daily is too much work to track and it is only a benefit to parents... not the provider

If you do decide to charge daily you need some guidelines such as not being able to swap days during the week or charging more for less than 4 and/or 3 days per week and I think you should have a minimum number of sick days that parents use that you don’t charge for.

Where are you located? IMHO, Weather shouldn’t really play a role in any of it. Business is business and everyone living in your are endures/enjoys the same weather you shouldn’t have to take a loss or credit parents because of it.
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BumbleBee 05:01 PM 02-10-2019
I charge hourly as do both of the other providers in our small town. It works for me.
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Ac114 05:31 PM 02-10-2019
I charge dialy but they have to pay if they attend or not. If youíre contracted 4 days and only come 3, you still pay for the 4 days. I donít take anyone who needs less than 3 days and I only have a small number of part timers, most are full time.
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CalCare 05:41 PM 02-10-2019
I think we need more clarification. Everyone is answering a different question. Are you saying you charge, for example, $20/day and then they only pay for the days that they attend? Like they could just come Monday one week and pay $20, or come 4 days the next week and pay $80?... Some people may be thinking it's just your pricing structure and you still charge because of contract, whether they come or not. I mean any rate can be divided by the day or hour and be called prices by day or hour. But I think the real question here is do you make them pay for their slot whether they attend or not. I am only open four days a week. My families pay a rate each week permanently whether they are out of town or sick or what. But it is explained as a 2 day a week rate, 3 day or 4 day. My one day person pays way more for their one day each week than my four day people pay for their days if you were divide the amount by days. It's just aanother way if making a part time schedule. They still have to pay for the spot...
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finsup 06:19 PM 02-10-2019
When I first started, I charged per day, only if in attendance. So, 25$/day m-f would be 125$. But if a child was sick two days and only came w-f, they'd only owe 75$ and I got paid AFTER services. All rookie mistakes, all HUGE learning experiences. I changed to payment before service, and charge based on enrollment not attendance after that first year

Plus side, it did get me clients. Most of the time not the kind I wanted but I had a few good ones. It helped make a name for myself and get some good references. But if I had to do it again, I would stick with paid before service based on enrollment not attendance and maybe go with a slightly lower rate then others if you need to get people in the door.
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Lux 06:29 PM 02-10-2019
They dont pay for their slot - I charge per day currently. Almost like drop in care (though I don't do drop in care).
They do have regular days , I have a child who comes Mon-Thurs, full days. I think his mom likes how i charge because every Friday she has care through grandparents. So she pays 160 per week (40 per day). But last week she paid nothing as her child was home all week sick.
The other child comes three half days per week.
I live in the Pacific NW and we've had a lot of snow. Normally this is only an issue two weeks of the year though. Tops.
I feel like my rate is a bit high as a new provider but I only charge 40 because I charge daily.




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Meeko 07:55 PM 02-10-2019
The problem with charging daily and only for what the parents use.....is that you will never know how much money you are going to make in any given week. That makes budgeting very hard.

Let's say you have some auto repairs you need done and you think "Well, I'll get $xxx from Family A, so that will be great". But Family A decide to take 4 days off. You get one day's pay. So not enough for repairs and yet you are still holding a place open for Family A!! They are the only one benefiting. You are the only one losing income.

Now if your daycare is purely play money and you have other income, I can see it being fine. But it is my only income and I need to know how much I am going to get and when.
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storybookending 08:02 PM 02-10-2019
Technically 4 of my 6 kids pay this way currently. I donít get paid if they are sick of take vacation. I also donít take lid vacations for them whether it be a holiday or days I close for personal reasons. Two of the kids come Tu-Fri pretty religiously but are also sick A LOT. I lose income on two kids for a day a week. The other two are full time but one (niece) has a parent that is a teacher and has about 4 weeks off in July/August as well as all school breaks.

Letís just say I am counting down the days until the families on this current schedule age out. I am still making a profit but I could be making a ton more when you sit down and add it all up.

ETA: while it is annoying and I know I could change their contacts now I want to honor their rate until they age out as these are the 4 that I started with as I established my business and opened my doors. I didnít even have proper adult sized furniture the first few months and I am grateful for them having faith in me as I was starting out.
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Lux 08:57 AM 02-11-2019
Storybook I totally hear you- And with me my two clients already have different rates because I gave a low price so I could get my first client. One pays 30 for full day the other pays 40 - that said - the one I charge only 30 usually only does half days anyway. (20)

It's kinda funny to me though that the one with the lowest rate is my hardest kid by far 😝

Like you I'm grateful to both clients as they've "made" my daycare, I mean, now I can actually say I have one and we so needed a second income.
But after reading all this I think I'll be tweaking my system. Not in these clients - my four year old will age out soon anyway.
Thanks everyone! Very helpful to get others' rationales and experience.
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Jiminycrickets 10:31 AM 02-11-2019
I charge per day, but they have minimum amount of days they get charged no matter what. I have 2 kids of my own and a third on the way so right now I would prefer to have more time off with them than more money, and pay by day seems to encourage families to keep their kiddos home when possible instead of sending them "because they paid for it." If I ever need to make more than "part-time" money, I will switch to full-time, pay by the week instead.
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storybookending 11:17 AM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Lux:
Storybook I totally hear you- And with me my two clients already have different rates because I gave a low price so I could get my first client. One pays 30 for full day the other pays 40 - that said - the one I charge only 30 usually only does half days anyway. (20)

It's kinda funny to me though that the one with the lowest rate is my hardest kid by far 😝

Like you I'm grateful to both clients as they've "made" my daycare, I mean, now I can actually say I have one and we so needed a second income.
But after reading all this I think I'll be tweaking my system. Not in these clients - my four year old will age out soon anyway.
Thanks everyone! Very helpful to get others' rationales and experience.
My (original families) are also at a cheaper rate but only $2 less a day. I honestly like easing into my work week having the two gone on Mondays so I am okay with what I have going currently. If I was hurting for money or had a family to support I would have changed when I have them renew contracts every January but for now it is fine. My personal expenses are not that high. 2 of my 4 original kiddos age out this September.

My SIL (teacher mom) is pregnant again so the baby will be taking one of the open spots and I am charging her the new rate for the little one. I will not be making her pay holidays or vacations but when you put it in place of the one sheís replacing (off every Monday and also doesnít pay holidays and vacations/sick days at $2 less a day) Iíll still be coming out ahead.

My other spot will be filled with another pregnant mom of an already enrolled child that is already on my newer contract with higher rate so Iíll come out a bit ahead on that one as well.
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Cat Herder 11:51 AM 02-11-2019
Having inconsistent income makes getting a loan very difficult. If you plan to purchase a home, car, apply for a lease or ever need an extraordinary medical emergency payment plan it will make the process very difficult if you cannot show a consistent income over two years.

Charging by the slot and keeping good records makes life so much easier.
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Mom2Two 12:30 PM 02-11-2019
I do charge daily/attendance but I have a minimum of two days/week. They do pay for those two days whether they are here or not. I started out charging hourly, so switching to daily was an upgrade for me.

But really, it depends on what you want and how your life works and what your competition is like and all that.

Everyone above has excellent points.
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nannyde 01:23 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Lux:
They dont pay for their slot - I charge per day currently. Almost like drop in care (though I don't do drop in care).
They do have regular days , I have a child who comes Mon-Thurs, full days. I think his mom likes how i charge because every Friday she has care through grandparents. So she pays 160 per week (40 per day). But last week she paid nothing as her child was home all week sick.
The other child comes three half days per week.
I live in the Pacific NW and we've had a lot of snow. Normally this is only an issue two weeks of the year though. Tops.
I feel like my rate is a bit high as a new provider but I only charge 40 because I charge daily.

You really are doing drop in care. The only difference is that in traditional drop off care the parent isn't guaranteed the slot. They have to pay up front and use it or loose it. Your situation is worst. You are guaranteeing the slot without upfront payment that is use it or loose it. You also aren't charging the normal drop in rate of about 150 percent of the normal daily rate.

I've never known a provider with your pay structure make it over time if her whole business plan is this model.

Once you switch to flat rate regardless of attendance while enforcing sick policies you will most likely loose the clients you have now. They actively seek newbies with your model and as soon as the gig is up and they have to pay a flat rate they just move on to the next newbie.

Be prepared to loose clients. Best plan is to put flat rate on the lowestpaying clients one at a time while you fill their slit with flat rate pay regardless of attendance. Work your way up till you replace one by one to the highest paid so far clients. Always offer the flat weekly rate and they can take it or leave it. Most will leave it because your model is what they want. They don't care if they switch daycares 3 4 times a year. They want to pay as they go with a guaranteed slot.
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lovemykidstoo 01:40 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Lux:
They dont pay for their slot - I charge per day currently. Almost like drop in care (though I don't do drop in care).
They do have regular days , I have a child who comes Mon-Thurs, full days. I think his mom likes how i charge because every Friday she has care through grandparents. So she pays 160 per week (40 per day). But last week she paid nothing as her child was home all week sick.
The other child comes three half days per week.
I live in the Pacific NW and we've had a lot of snow. Normally this is only an issue two weeks of the year though. Tops.
I feel like my rate is a bit high as a new provider but I only charge 40 because I charge daily.


I charge per day. They are obligated for whatever days they're contracted for. Monday through Friday, 3 days, 4 days etc. Whether they come or not, whether they use 2 hours out of a day, they all pay the same amount per day. So if you person didn't come at all last week, they would still pay.
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lovemykidstoo 01:42 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by Lux:
Storybook I totally hear you- And with me my two clients already have different rates because I gave a low price so I could get my first client. One pays 30 for full day the other pays 40 - that said - the one I charge only 30 usually only does half days anyway. (20)

It's kinda funny to me though that the one with the lowest rate is my hardest kid by far 😝

Like you I'm grateful to both clients as they've "made" my daycare, I mean, now I can actually say I have one and we so needed a second income.
But after reading all this I think I'll be tweaking my system. Not in these clients - my four year old will age out soon anyway.
Thanks everyone! Very helpful to get others' rationales and experience.
I also don't do half days. No way for you to fill the other half of the day, so why should you get half rate?
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CountryRoads 02:16 PM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo:
I charge per day. They are obligated for whatever days they're contracted for. Monday through Friday, 3 days, 4 days etc. Whether they come or not, whether they use 2 hours out of a day, they all pay the same amount per day. So if you person didn't come at all last week, they would still pay.
I do it this way as well. I also do not do half day rates.
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Lovisa 04:07 PM 02-11-2019
I charge a flat rate for either part time or full time per week. They pay whether their child is here or not. The only time I charge per day is for my drop in rate and that is higher than my normal rate(s).
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Mtucker95 02:22 AM 02-21-2019
Originally Posted by storybookending:
My (original families) are also at a cheaper rate but only $2 less a day. I honestly like easing into my work week having the two gone on Mondays so I am okay with what I have going currently. If I was hurting for money or had a family to support I would have changed when I have them renew contracts every January but for now it is fine. My personal expenses are not that high. 2 of my 4 original kiddos age out this September.

My SIL (teacher mom) is pregnant again so the baby will be taking one of the open spots and I am charging her the new rate for the little one. I will not be making her pay holidays or vacations but when you put it in place of the one sheís replacing (off every Monday and also doesnít pay holidays and vacations/sick days at $2 less a day) Iíll still be coming out ahead.

My other spot will be filled with another pregnant mom of an already enrolled child that is already on my newer contract with higher rate so Iíll come out a bit ahead on that one as well.
How do you go about the way you charge? Is it by age?
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knoxmomof2 01:32 PM 02-21-2019
I've done this for 6 years. I started with no experience, except for having my own children and volunteering in the church nursery for a couple of years. I charged $25/day or $120/wk if they used all 5 days which is pretty typical for my area. I thought it was unfair to charge for work I didn't do AND I thought that people actually went to work every day like I did... Haha.... Silly, inexperienced me!! 😁😂 Once kids were off this day to be with Grandma (ie: free child care) and that day because it's a random Tuesday and Mom decided to stay home (and has paid personal days, unlike me..), I realized how unfair it was to ME that I was here and open 50 hours a week, but only making $50 this day and $25 that day. This board was also instrumental in opening my eyes.

I honored my rate with my first 4 families because they gave me a chance when I had no experience, but with any new children (including siblings), I went to full time rate and I don't feel bad! I even added in 5 paid holidays with this year's new clients. (The down side is they WILL send the kids more often than they would have, but it is what it is.)
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Tags:charge per day, consistency, income - lost, income - profit
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