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  #1  
Old 09-06-2014, 07:29 AM
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Mister Sir Husband Mister Sir Husband is offline
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Default Its All About The Money.... (Just My Opinion)

Ok, so I'm gonna tear the lid off of Pandora's box here and duck for cover later..

If I owned a retail store and sold... oh I dunno.. let's say dog whistles. On one errant Tuesday, no one came in to buy a whistle... I don't make any money. That's the way a business works.
I have this regular customer at my whistle store who comes in every morning and buys a whistle. He has done this for months. If he doesn't come in on an errant Tuesday. I don't send him a bill for a whistle he didn't buy cause he wasn't in my store... and if I did bill him for 5 whistles a week and he only got 4 cause he couldn't make it in.. well that just doesn't make sense to me, and he'd prolly go buy his whistles somewhere else. If I'm sick and don't open my store, I didn't sell any whistles, and made no money. If I'm on vacation.. same problem.

I look at my daycare as a business. Parents bring their kids, and I care for them for money. If 3 kids are here on Tuesday, I get handed cash 3 times that day. (ok, payable at weeks end, but still). If no kids are here on Tuesday, I didn't work Tuesday, and made no money Tuesday.

My reason for this little rant is because of the number of providers I've talked to and read posts about that are upset cause parents have the day off and still send the kids. The reason for this is because they are charged for it anyways, so they are gonna use it. (already paid for the whistle.. I'm gonna go get it)

Now I agree it's sad for the kids to not have time they could have with mom and dad, and it can also be classified as bad parenting, but it is truly all about the money. A lot of parents work 50-60 hours a week and the day off they get .. well they might wanna just kick back and watch tv or something. Sending the kids to daycare doesn't cost them anything extra because they are billed for all 5 days anyway so why not?

Now as a daycare provider, I can understand that having a few less kids now and again is kinda cool.. and maybe having no kids on an errant Tuesday would be great as I could put my feet up and sip coffee with a newspaper all day and enjoy myself. It's actually happened. However with no kids here I didn't work. Because I didn't work I didn't make any money. I'm not gonna charge mom 30+ dollars to watch her child when in fact I didn't do it that day.

So I know I'm prolly going to get a ton of responses to this, some prolly rather angry.. but if you want mom and dad to keep the kids home on their days off, well it comes down to the cash. If they can save money by not bringing them, they will. If as a business owner you want to get paid for a day that you didn't watch any kids, or sell any whistles, well, I am truly sorry but more often than not it just isn't gonna happen.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:42 AM
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I charge a flat rate 52 weeks per year. I have never had a problem with it, never had a complaint and have never lost a client because of it. Over the years I have had DCK's go to preschool part time and me part time, parents didn't even ask if they would get a reduced fee, as a matter of fact one asked if my rate had gone up yet! I have great parents and they do keep their kids home when they get a day off or take a long weekend! I take 2 weeks vacation and paid holidays-again, never a problem

My families are not paying by the day, they are paying for a spot
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:53 AM
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Lol! Time to put on your suit of armor! Jk...jk...........

I used to work my business exactly as you are mentioning now.
Instead of it working out for both me and the parent, me getting a more relaxing day without a particular child, and parent not having to pay for the day the child was absent....it backfired against me in that the parents started keeping their children home for every reason they could think of because they knew they would not have to pay.
My business was not paying the bills.
Now I charge for everyday, and they are here everyday. To the point that I have to get stern on illness policies, and such, for a parent to actually keep their child home for a change.
I think what most of us complain about isn't exactly the business aspect of us providing a service, rather the aspect of the business and $$$ taking priority over the actual child when it comes to the parents.
A child should represent so much more for a parent then $$$, but a lot of parents are putting the $$$ first.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
I charge a flat rate 52 weeks per year. I have never had a problem with it, never had a complaint and have never lost a client because of it. Over the years I have had DCK's go to preschool part time and me part time, parents didn't even ask if they would get a reduced fee, as a matter of fact one asked if my rate had gone up yet! I have great parents and they do keep their kids home when they get a day off or take a long weekend! I take 2 weeks vacation and paid holidays-again, never a problem

My families are not paying by the day, they are paying for a spot


I want to also add that most providers that are complaining about parent being home and still sending kids is not about and easier day. It's more about the well being of the child. These kids are with us up to 50+ hours a week. The kiddos would love to have a chillin' day at home with parents once in a while. Most of us got into child care to be with our kiddos so it is hard to see families that don't want to spend time with their kids.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:13 AM
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I agree with kiddiecahoots. It's not usually about having one less kid as much as it's about a tiny bit of $ and "me" time taking priority over their child. I also used to not charge when clients weren't here and had the same results. I also find that these parents that always bring their child when they have the day off are the biggest complainers when I need a day off (the excuse of "I don't have any more time off" is often used) and I don't charge when I close except paid holidays and 5 extra days a year.
Grandparents, friends, uncles, aunts would come to town or have a day off so the parents wouldn't send their children as family or friends were willing to take them for the day. I started to be more of a back up provider for when they weren't able to find anyone else. When I did things that way it was a rare day that I had everyone in attendance and I couldn't pay the bills. It was worse around the holidays and in the summer because of vacations and parents trying to save money. I remember one week I was expecting full tuition for 6 children and every single one of them took the week off and I had no paycheck. Then there was another time that a parent doped and dropped and gave everyone the flu during December and the next week the only child I had was the one who had brought the flu..I couldn't afford Christmas.
If I had an unlimited amount of "whistles" to sell I might do things differently but my shop is only allowed to have 12 on hand at one time. If I didn't treat this as a business and didn't use the money to pay bills I also might do things differently. My parents gladly pay for the days I require because they know my shop would be forced to close if they didn't.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:18 AM
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I pay monthly for the Internet if I even don't use it. I pay monthly for swimming pool if I even don't come there, I pay $$ every month for medical insurance if I even don't visit the doctor many years .... Why do I do so? I do because it is my choice. I think it will seem foolish if I start blame someone because my choice.

Dear parents, don't make a contract with a daycare. Get a babysitter for any hours you need and be happy. Is it not so simple to find a person who will work for you at any moment when you need and will not if you don't need? oh... it's so sad....

PS sorry. I replied without reading the first post entirely
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Sir Husband View Post
Ok, so I'm gonna tear the lid off of Pandora's box here and duck for cover later..

If I owned a retail store and sold... oh I dunno.. let's say dog whistles. On one errant Tuesday, no one came in to buy a whistle... I don't make any money. That's the way a business works.
I have this regular customer at my whistle store who comes in every morning and buys a whistle. He has done this for months. If he doesn't come in on an errant Tuesday. I don't send him a bill for a whistle he didn't buy cause he wasn't in my store... and if I did bill him for 5 whistles a week and he only got 4 cause he couldn't make it in.. well that just doesn't make sense to me, and he'd prolly go buy his whistles somewhere else. If I'm sick and don't open my store, I didn't sell any whistles, and made no money. If I'm on vacation.. same problem.

I look at my daycare as a business. Parents bring their kids, and I care for them for money. If 3 kids are here on Tuesday, I get handed cash 3 times that day. (ok, payable at weeks end, but still). If no kids are here on Tuesday, I didn't work Tuesday, and made no money Tuesday.

My reason for this little rant is because of the number of providers I've talked to and read posts about that are upset cause parents have the day off and still send the kids. The reason for this is because they are charged for it anyways, so they are gonna use it. (already paid for the whistle.. I'm gonna go get it)

Now I agree it's sad for the kids to not have time they could have with mom and dad, and it can also be classified as bad parenting, but it is truly all about the money. A lot of parents work 50-60 hours a week and the day off they get .. well they might wanna just kick back and watch tv or something. Sending the kids to daycare doesn't cost them anything extra because they are billed for all 5 days anyway so why not?

Now as a daycare provider, I can understand that having a few less kids now and again is kinda cool.. and maybe having no kids on an errant Tuesday would be great as I could put my feet up and sip coffee with a newspaper all day and enjoy myself. It's actually happened. However with no kids here I didn't work. Because I didn't work I didn't make any money. I'm not gonna charge mom 30+ dollars to watch her child when in fact I didn't do it that day.

So I know I'm prolly going to get a ton of responses to this, some prolly rather angry.. but if you want mom and dad to keep the kids home on their days off, well it comes down to the cash. If they can save money by not bringing them, they will. If as a business owner you want to get paid for a day that you didn't watch any kids, or sell any whistles, well, I am truly sorry but more often than not it just isn't gonna happen.
How many DCK's do you watch? If memory serves I thought you just got your first enrollment recently? When you are full and expect a certain amount of $ each week and you don't get a paycheck to pay your bills you might change your mind...
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
How many DCK's do you watch? If memory serves I thought you just got your first enrollment recently? When you are full and expect a certain amount of $ each week and you don't get a paycheck to pay your bills you might change your mind...
or if you buy food for 12 children for one week and then put most of food to garbage because most of parents keep their children home for some reason....
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:35 AM
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maybe having no kids on an errant Tuesday would be great as I could put my feet up and sip coffee with a newspaper all day and enjoy myself.
where are you going to get money for that? I mean for coffee and newspaper?
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:40 AM
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Here is my take on this.

I charge for a full week. I do not do part time or drop in.

If a parent wants the spot they have to pay for a full week, no matter if they bring their child everyday or not.

However, if a parent has a day off during the week it usually means they work during the weekend when I am closed. So that means they have to make other arrangements during the weekend.

If they bring their child to daycare on their day off it does not bother me one bit. Maybe they have errands or cleaning or shopping or bill paying or whatever it is they need to do.

Also some of my younger tots do better if they keep a consistent schedule. If mom keeps them home on their day off and they sleep late, go to bed late, are allowed to do whatever all day, eat sugar all day, then the next day they behave terribly at daycare.

Every kid is different. I have one mom who comes in her pajamas at drop off and at pick up. I know she did nothing all day and could have spent the day with her kiddo, but I'm not her keeper.

I charge for a full week so I don't get upset if they come everyday I'm open. Although it is nice when I get a break.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:42 AM
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And yes it is about money, that is what keeps my doors open.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KiddieCahoots View Post
A child should represent so much more for a parent then $$$, but a lot of parents are putting the $$$ first.
Amen to that!! I was a working parent with my first child and I VALUED every extra day off with her. Seems that value is gone and replaced with getting their money's worth out of their daycare.

I also disagree with the pay when you are here aspect. I only have 5 very valuable spots in my daycare. If man #1 does not come in to buy a whistle the store owner still has the chance that 10 others will buy whistles that day. I don't have the option to replace the child who doesn't come one Tuesday. And I agree with another post that it can then backfire, xmas is coming, mom needs more money so she gets grandma to watch the kids a few days to save money. Then she has a wedding coming up and needs cash, so grandma gets them for 2 days so she doesn't have to pay for daycare. Where is that sending my business as I still continue to reserve that space for them????

Nope, I don't see running a daycare anything like running a store (and ironically I ran a store for 10 years before I had my own kids, LOL!).
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:54 AM
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And yes it is about money, that is what keeps my doors open.
wrong answer
I have my daycare because I enjoy it. I enjoy to change diapers, pretend that I'm a cat, an elephant, a dog, a dinosaur... I also love to play pirate game and make sand+water+ mulch+grass mix.... what else? O, yes! I love to feed picky eaters and clean up a dining room after 3 snacks, 1 breakfast and 1 lunch ...

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Old 09-06-2014, 08:58 AM
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There are very few home day cares in my area and out of the few most are operating under some scary circumstances. I need to pay my bills to provide a home for parents to bring their children. I need to have money to feed them once they are here. If a parent chosen to only bring their child to me one day a week I would close up shop and pursue another career because I can not operate a daycare on lesser funds.

Parents can then decide to take their children to one of the other day cares in my area that are not safe. They can take their kids to a center that is very expensive.

The problem I have with your whistle shop is that we are taking care of children. ....human beings that we need to keep alive, safe, happy. We need to nurture them. Parents view their children the same as whistles....we as daycare providers do not.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:07 AM
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There are definitely 2 sides to this coin. And obviously most of us see it from the business side because of providing child care services. My dcps pay for their spot so that spot is always open for them, except for a few meager holidays.
I have 1 dcm who went from FT to half time but is already asking if dck can come for whole days once in awhile. Not anymore because it might not be available and they're not paying for it.
They're paying for availability of their spot. Course now you're wondering then, why do any of us expect any paid holidays or vacations? Well, even state subsidy pays for 10 days per year plus some holidays. I have to admit this will be the first year where I've stated in my policies that a family pays for 52 weeks a year; not only because of reading so many providers' posts on here but also from attending a child care business workshop.
Locally, it's accepted, expected, common practice, helps my business survive, prevents burn-out(which I can feel coming in my bones due to no vacation in a very long time).
While I see what you're saying, I truly believe daycare is a business unlike any other business. It cannot really be compared to selling whistles, tomatoes, or cleaning pools or retail or anything else. I guess paying tuition to college can be similar in that they take days off, have vacations, etc, but tuition is still there(egad is it ever).
It boils down to if a parent chooses not to abide by my contract/policies, they can certainly go someplace else. I do not take much time off, a few state/federal holidays, have not had vacation in quite a few years. I have always tried to schedule any appts. so it's convenient for as many parents as possible. I am taking Oct. 2nd off though and have scheduled 3 appts. What a fun day.
And yes, I sometimes don't like it when a parent doesn't take their child with them on their day off but it's usually because I see how much their child would LOVE to be with a parent, how much they WANT to be with a parent and sometimes their cries for attention tell me how much they NEED to be with a parent. But personally, for myself, I don't usually care all that much cause hey, I'm working anyways.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:15 AM
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Just a thought.......

If I don't watch TV for a month, never switch on the cable box once, it would be nice if I had no bill that month.

If I didn't drive my car for a month, it would be great if I had no insurance bill for the month. I wasn't out driving, so I am creating no risk for the insurance company.

If I did not place or receive any calls on my land line......you get the picture.

I get your point Mr. Sir. I just wish all services were billed on a "usage" basis. Unfortunately, our economy is primarily service based. Child care is a service, not a retail store.

Sure, if I don't drive my car, I don't have to buy gas. Gas is a consumable/retail product, the insurance is not. So if I wish to own my car and have it registered, I have to pay my insurance bill.
,.
Even energy is a consumable product, based on usage. If I choose to use little or no power, my bill goes down. But if I didn't charge parents for the spot, instead charged purely on attendance, my power bill doesn't go down because two or three kids aren't there......I'm still running the AC all day. And the bill is still due. KWIM?
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:22 AM
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I understand what you are saying, Mr Sir Husband. Here's the thing: I determined how much money I needed to make per slot, per year. I explain this to parents: your child's spot is worth $XXXX per year. I you can pay a flat weekly rate to meet this yearly cost, or you can pay a higher rate for just when you use my services. They understand it. They prefer having a set rate so that they always know what their daycare bill will be. I'm not getting paid for nothing when their kids are not here, I'm letting them pay it out in a way that works well for them.

If the parents didn't pay that flat rate, they'd pay a higher rate to cover those costs of mine (that don't change much when their kids are not here) for the days that they did use. They're paying the same either way.

I don't get any complaints from parents about paying this flat rate, and it's what I did when I used daycare services for my own child. I felt that my provider deserved paid time off (just like I got at my job), and that she, like I, deserved a break every now and then. Maybe that is why it was so easy for me to implement the policies that I did.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:35 AM
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Once you have been in child care for five years. Ten years. Will you say the same thing?

And the analogy is faulty. A more viable analogy would be comparing to the lease for an apartment. The apartment is there for your use. It is there whether you are home or out shopping or at work or on vacation. You pay for it whether you are at home or out shopping or at work or on vacation.
Now let's say you do think about going on vacation. Perhaps you should not do that - because your apartment will be sitting there. You will have to pay for it. And you will not be using it. Oh no. I think you should not go on vacation
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:36 AM
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Oh, and in five years or ten years, I think you will prolly not be in child care if you follow your business model.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:48 AM
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The parents are not paying for an item. They are paying for a service/spot.

Example: you get insurance. You NEVER need to use it, but you pay a premium for it every year even though you may never need to actually file a claim. Insurance is a business too, but they insure for the “what if” and not a tangible product. You don’t get to say “Well I didn’t use my insurance for June, so I’ll cancel my policy and then if I need to use it, I’ll pay for it” That’s just not how services should work. Products and services are two different things, and that is why they are charged differently. Does that help explain why some providers book spaces?

Other examples: Phone service
You pay a monthly fee.
You get NO calls today nor do you make any. Is Verizon going to prorate you? No. You still pay your monthly fee. They don’t care if you EVER use the phone, they just make the service available to you, and that’s why you get charged.
Same with internet, cable and everything else.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:30 AM
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so here is my take on how you are running your business vs PAY per slot like I run mine.

Now correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like maybe your clients don't have consistent schedules and don't all need full time care? It sounds like they just ask for care as they need it and that works for them.

I have 19 kids enrolled in my program. 14 each day. Most are full time, some are part time. Of the 19 enrolled, only 3 of them don't need consistent care and have flexible schedules, otherwise they need the care 5 days a week. NO way in the world could they drop a schedule each week on a drop in basis, I would not be able to guarantee them a spot. They are paying for security of always having a spot.

I charge based on slot for many reasons. I buy food for the week for your child, I still am charged that money if your kid is here or not, same with curriculum, supplies and insurance. I don't get a break when your kid is not here. I have staff I have to pay too.

The only time that I do give a break is when you go on vacation for 5 consecutive days and give me a 14day advance notice, then I won't purchase those things for your child for that week and I will pass on a small discount.

Running a program like mine, I would never be able to operate successfully without being able to forecast the budget every single month.

I think it's just a difference in what type of services you offer.

Example, my husband owns a crossfit gym. YOu can pay $125 a month and go every single day or one day. You can also pay $20 a day and only for that day. It's up to the customers ability to pay and needs.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:32 AM
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Example, my husband owns a crossfit gym. YOu can pay $125 a month and go every single day or one day. You can also pay $20 a day and only for that day. It's up to the customers ability to pay and needs.
And for the $20 a day, if they only use one hour, then they pay less than $1 for that day. Right?
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:35 AM
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And for the $20 a day, if they only use one hour, then they pay less than $1 for that day. Right?
lol!!!!!
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:22 AM
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I don't sell a product that can be sold to unlimited numbers of customers. I sell a limited quantity membership. I only have 6 memberships available. It's an exclusive club to bring your child here. You can use as much or as little of the membership you've paid for, but the membership price is the same regardless.

I'm a single parent household with only one income. I do not charge for any days I'm closed, but if a parent chooses not to take advantage of the days I'm open that's their choice.

How do you propose being profitable while still allowing clients to do what you're saying? What you're suggesting might work for a two income household where the other income is more than what's needed for survival, but IMO this is my business and I'm in it for profit.

*Disclaimer: my goal of having a profitable business in no way correlates it the live I have for my dck's.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:12 PM
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I can definitely see where some of you are going with this, and I agree. Charging only when kids are here would be less profitable. My actual point was to explain why parents drop off when they have a day off, and a possible solution to prevent it.

It can be controlled though. Say you charge 125 a week. Kid isn't there Monday so now its 100. He isn't there Tuesday either so now it's 75. Cap it at 75 and that's what they owe regardless of attendance the rest of the week. This way you have a guaranteed income for all the spots and parents have incentive to keep kids on days off.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:15 PM
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I can definitely see where some of you are going with this, and I agree. Charging only when kids are here would be less profitable. My actual point was to explain why parents drop off when they have a day off, and a possible solution to prevent it.

It can be controlled though. Say you charge 125 a week. Kid isn't there Monday so now its 100. He isn't there Tuesday either so now it's 75. Cap it at 75 and that's what they owe regardless of attendance the rest of the week. This way you have a guaranteed income for all the spots and parents have incentive to keep kids on days off.
Or just turn the other cheek and have a good day no matter who's there for what reason or not!!!
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:38 PM
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I can definitely see where some of you are going with this, and I agree. Charging only when kids are here would be less profitable. My actual point was to explain why parents drop off when they have a day off, and a possible solution to prevent it.

It can be controlled though. Say you charge 125 a week. Kid isn't there Monday so now its 100. He isn't there Tuesday either so now it's 75. Cap it at 75 and that's what they owe regardless of attendance the rest of the week. This way you have a guaranteed income for all the spots and parents have incentive to keep kids on days off.
A parents incentive to keep their own child home should be that they are their children and they love them and want to spend some time with them. It also angers many of us when we hear that parents put their kids to bed at 6:30 at night. We see what these children need and it's time with their parents. A parent should want that. ..we shouldn't have to provide incentive for them to do that.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:45 PM
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I can definitely see where some of you are going with this, and I agree. Charging only when kids are here would be less profitable. My actual point was to explain why parents drop off when they have a day off, and a possible solution to prevent it.

It can be controlled though. Say you charge 125 a week. Kid isn't there Monday so now its 100. He isn't there Tuesday either so now it's 75. Cap it at 75 and that's what they owe regardless of attendance the rest of the week. This way you have a guaranteed income for all the spots and parents have incentive to keep kids on days off.
How many DCK's do you watch?
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:48 PM
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parents have incentive to keep kids on days off.
Its not MY job to give parents an incentive to spend time with their child.

If they value that $25 more then the time with their child there is nothing I can do to change that.

So instead I will pocket that $25 and let the parent suffer their regets (if they do) on their own.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 09-06-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:15 PM
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A parents incentive to keep their own child home should be that they are their children and they love them and want to spend some time with them. It also angers many of us when we hear that parents put their kids to bed at 6:30 at night. We see what these children need and it's time with their parents. A parent should want that. ..we shouldn't have to provide incentive for them to do that.
This. I have one dcb 15 months who I feel like I am basically raising. He's here from 7am until 530ish. When dad picks up, he always, ALWAYS comments about dcb looking sleepy (even when he took a second late afternoon nap) and "let's get you fed and in bed". He's in bed no later than 7pm, even if his second nap was 3 to 5pm.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:45 PM
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Lol! Time to put on your suit of armor! Jk...jk...........

I used to work my business exactly as you are mentioning now.
Instead of it working out for both me and the parent, me getting a more relaxing day without a particular child, and parent not having to pay for the day the child was absent....it backfired against me in that the parents started keeping their children home for every reason they could think of because they knew they would not have to pay.
My business was not paying the bills.
Now I charge for everyday, and they are here everyday. To the point that I have to get stern on illness policies, and such, for a parent to actually keep their child home for a change.
I think what most of us complain about isn't exactly the business aspect of us providing a service, rather the aspect of the business and $$$ taking priority over the actual child when it comes to the parents.
A child should represent so much more for a parent then $$$, but a lot of parents are putting the $$$ first.
I also used to do things as the OP feels is right. I feel it's right, too. A lot parents want to cook the books. Like one parent has a habit of picking her child up after closing. Then would justify is by saying "Well, you close at 6, but I pick her up at 5pm every day. I've already paid for four hours I didn't use". Um, no. The thing about the parents is they are 99.9999999999% of the time out for themselves. No, their family. Not their kids. Not their spouse. For themselves. Just as this threads we see about "When child is in dc, it's no this and no that, but you see the parent feeding them some type of junk outside of dc". It's all about the parent. Why did these people become parents in the first place? Let me share one more story. I'm sorry this is long, but think this really shows my point. My uncle in law was a jeweler. When he died, he left my husband and his family jewelry and gold instead of cash. My sil and mil got 90% of the jewelry. My husband got 90% of the gold with mil and sil getting the rest. I was pregnant at the time and picked one piece of statement jewelry for myself, one rolex for a boy, and one expensive tennis bracelet. I figured if I had a boy, he could have the rolex and (my husband has a rolex) his future wife the bracelet. If I had a girl, she could have tennis bracelet and her husband could have the rolex. (I have fertility problems. I knew I would be one and done.) My sil had three children already. Picked NOTHING for them. Years later, she and the mil pawned all the jewelry and gold. Recently, I went to dinner with her without her children. I said "Do you ever feel bad they're not going to have any of the jewelry your uncle made?". Her response was "He was my uncle. Not their's".
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:42 PM
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If you don't want to charge for days the parents don't use you definitely will get a lot of business. It might even be a way to get your business going if you don't need the same income every week. I'd advise you to change it at some point though because I think you'll be sorry if you really need it to meet your bills. If it is just extra spending money then you may be okay.

Do daycares in your area do the same? I only know one center that does it that way here and no daycare homes (although it is possible there are some).

I don't see it at all like a store selling whistles. I see it more like paying your electric bill or your car payment.

I know providers sometimes complain when they know mom is home and brings baby anyway. I only cared when I had a mom who NEVER spent any time with her child. One mom even asked me to watch him on New Years Day (a paid holiday for me). Luckily they weren't here very long. Mostly I had good parents. Really I agree with you on that. We shouldn't complain if they are paying anyway. I said 'shouldn't' but it is kind of hard. You are having a rough day with their child snotting all over the place and whining and you picture the parent putting their feet up and relaxing while you're wiping snot every few minutes. Just human to resent it some if you know what I mean.

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Old 09-06-2014, 03:46 PM
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How many DCK's do you watch? If memory serves I thought you just got your first enrollment recently? When you are full and expect a certain amount of $ each week and you don't get a paycheck to pay your bills you might change your mind...
Right now I have just the 1 enrollment.. and being a new business I am not expecting an actual profit for quite some time. Before I started my daycare, I was paying a mortgage, 2 car payments, electric, fuel, phones, etc.. I still have these bills, but my daycare money doesn't go for them. Any money I make prolly right through next year will be put back into the business.

How much I make doing this and my enrollment numbers are a bit off track though. My reasoning for the original post was because everyone seems to complain that parents bring their kids when they could keep them home. Honestly parents should keep their kids whenever they can if for no other reason than just to spend time with them, but quite often they won't. It's truly sad. Giving mom and dad a couple bucks incentive to keep junior home when they are able to is just my way of seeing that they do.

If you charge for all 5 days regardless of attendance, great. Good for you. If none of the parents have a problem with this.. awesome. But statistically if your charging for all 5, your gonna have the kid for all 5. Posting on here that mom went to the spa instead of work while you watched the kids is a cool vent, but it's gonna happen.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:06 PM
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I agree Sir. If they're paying, they're going to use their spot. Well, most of them will. You actually get some loving parents sometimes who love to spend that off time with their kids. I wouldn't offer an incentive though, because I'd be open and working anyways. And as someone said, it shouldn't be up to us to impress upon a parent that daily fee isn't as important as time with their child.
I think we all tend to go off on a tangent with this topic because it hits a lot of us as we watch these kids almost beg their parents to be with them. It's a major pet peeve at times.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:07 PM
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If you don't want to charge for days the parents don't use you definitely will get a lot of business. It might even be a way to get your business going if you don't need the same income every week. I'd advise you to change it at some point though because I think you'll be sorry if you really need it to meet your bills. If it is just extra spending money then you may be okay.

Do daycares in your area do the same? I only know one center that does it that way here and no daycare homes (although it is possible there are some).

I don't see it at all like a store selling whistles. I see it more like paying your electric bill or your car payment.

I know providers sometimes complain when they know mom is home and brings baby anyway. I only cared when I had a mom who NEVER spent any time with her child. One mom even asked me to watch him on New Years Day (a paid holiday for me). Luckily they weren't here very long. Mostly I had good parents. Really I agree with you on that. We shouldn't complain if they are paying anyway. I said 'shouldn't' but it is kind of hard. You are having a rough day with their child snotting all over the place and whining and you picture the parent putting their feet up and relaxing while you're wiping snot every few minutes. Just human to resent it some if you know what I mean.

Laurel
Very well put.. I prolly would resent it sometimes, and might even post on here about it, but it wouldn't change anything. My solution works for me. I get a couple less bucks, in trade for an easier day. Of course I also haven't ever had any real problem children. When kids are here (speaking before I was licenced.. I used to care for some) they behave and treat each other well or they don't participate in the fun stuff. If it continues they aren't invited back. Usually it was the kids who's parents let them get away with everything that didn't last long.

As far as I know, I'm the only one in my area that does it like this and the mom I have now loves it. She's due to have another in November, and I have the spot waiting for her. I also care for her daughter on alternate Saturdays, and 10am to 7 pm during the week which no one anywhere near here would even consider.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:08 PM
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Right now I have just the 1 enrollment.. and being a new business I am not expecting an actual profit for quite some time. Before I started my daycare, I was paying a mortgage, 2 car payments, electric, fuel, phones, etc.. I still have these bills, but my daycare money doesn't go for them. Any money I make prolly right through next year will be put back into the business.

How much I make doing this and my enrollment numbers are a bit off track though. My reasoning for the original post was because everyone seems to complain that parents bring their kids when they could keep them home. Honestly parents should keep their kids whenever they can if for no other reason than just to spend time with them, but quite often they won't. It's truly sad. Giving mom and dad a couple bucks incentive to keep junior home when they are able to is just my way of seeing that they do.

If you charge for all 5 days regardless of attendance, great. Good for you. If none of the parents have a problem with this.. awesome. But statistically if your charging for all 5, your gonna have the kid for all 5. Posting on here that mom went to the spa instead of work while you watched the kids is a cool vent, but it's gonna happen.
You can search my posts, I have never complained about this issue because I don't have it I charge by the week for 6 kids and only 2 are full time. I only take families that share my beliefs that kids need quality time with family. My families, even though they are only part time, still keep the kids home when they can.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:18 PM
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Some of us have very limited #'s and really need each spot at capacity in order to just break even $ wise ( I can only have 4 because i specialize in under 2's only). Now when I lived in AR, I could have 5 babies... that last spot was specifically set up as a "pay by the day" position because I knew I could make it off 4 FT babes...

here, I compete with a lot of SAHM moms starting up what I call "fly by night" childcare homes; here today, gone 3 months from now... they don't realize it's not a get rich job, but they charge much less than I do or offer to take sick kids (not happening here) - I offered pay by the day and no one took, I offer FT and now have bites. It just looks like a more professional childcare in many parents eyes (especially since I have done it 14 years) - I still offer the pay by the day but with the understanding it's only available AND booked if a spot is open on the day requested. BTW, I also offer Part time care, which many infant providers will not do
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:44 PM
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I see your point, but I also feel that when providers say the parents were home and should have kept the child home it's because the child so badly wants or needs the parent's attention. Or we hear the parents say how they wish they could spend more time with their child, but when they get a chance they have a me day instead.

I have dcb 2.5. Mom and dad just recently split up. Dcb is now adjusting to 2 different homes and worries all day, asking me where he is going today, mom's or dad's (sometimes grandma's). He has started telling me he wants to leave to see dad (or mom, depending on who he saw last). It's hard for him. He needs to spend extra time with his parents right now for reassurance. You'd think the parents would be thinking of dcb's needs. Nope. Dad drops off the other day and dcb is telling me "I wanna go home with dad. He's gonna go home and watch a movie. I wanna watch a movie with dad too"

As providers it hurts us to see these kids that we have come to love yearning for their parent's attention and getting swept aside because they already paid for the day so they're going to use it.

I offer 2 free days to my families per year. Not one parent has ever used a free day in my 2 years of operating. They have the option to not pay and they STILL send their child.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:51 PM
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The great thing about family child care is that each provider can run their business how they see fit. However, I doubt that anyone who provides child care (even if they look at issues from the family's perspective) and does it as a necessary income source, will use a pay-as-you-come model successfully long-term.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:27 PM
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I see your point, but I also feel that when providers say the parents were home and should have kept the child home it's because the child so badly wants or needs the parent's attention. Or we hear the parents say how they wish they could spend more time with their child, but when they get a chance they have a me day instead.

I have dcb 2.5. Mom and dad just recently split up. Dcb is now adjusting to 2 different homes and worries all day, asking me where he is going today, mom's or dad's (sometimes grandma's). He has started telling me he wants to leave to see dad (or mom, depending on who he saw last). It's hard for him. He needs to spend extra time with his parents right now for reassurance. You'd think the parents would be thinking of dcb's needs. Nope. Dad drops off the other day and dcb is telling me "I wanna go home with dad. He's gonna go home and watch a movie. I wanna watch a movie with dad too"

As providers it hurts us to see these kids that we have come to love yearning for their parent's attention and getting swept aside because they already paid for the day so they're going to use it.

I offer 2 free days to my families per year. Not one parent has ever used a free day in my 2 years of operating. They have the option to not pay and they STILL send their child.
Wow, two free days and they still send them. Just wow.

Laurel
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:31 PM
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It's more the same as renting an apartment. You are renting it for a specific period of time, and you pay even when you don't spend the night there. It's not about specific usage, it's about paying for a spot that could be otherwise filled by someone else.

Last edited by debbiedoeszip; 09-06-2014 at 05:32 PM. Reason: I quoted the wrong poster
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:18 PM
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In a way you are right. It is about the money. It has to be. It costs money to care for these kids. To keep the kids, you pay more expenses than you would otherwise. I change diapers, so I have to wash my hands more. That costs me more on water and sewer and on soap and towels since I have to wash the laundry. I have to feed them, so it costs me more at the grocery store. I have more lights on, I really don't mind just the outside daylight when I am alone, but the kids can't see so well to read and write that way. While they are reading and writing, they need books, paper, pencils crayons. My youngest is 16 she doesn't use all those things so much anymore, so I have to buy them special for the littles. And yes, I need to make a little otherwise I would be sitting around reading my books, writing the book I am writing and eating bonbons all day. What do bonbons even taste like? I can't afford them lol. So yes it is about the money. And it is for you also, or honestly you wouldn't be doing it. If I am wrong and it isn't for you, I am guessing you won't be doing it for long most of us can't afford to do charity.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:33 PM
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You can search my posts, I have never complained about this issue because I don't have it I charge by the week for 6 kids and only 2 are full time. I only take families that share my beliefs that kids need quality time with family. My families, even though they are only part time, still keep the kids home when they can.


Most of my kids are part time and I have very high parental involvement. With that said, I don't care if parents drop them off when they aren't working. Everyone needs a break once in awhile. My parents don't abuse it, so I understand when they do it.

When my ds was in daycare, I would take a few hours every 3 months and go to the bookstore, shop, or even get grocery shopping for the week done when I was out of work early. Then when I picked up I was relaxed, focused on ds, and a much better mom.

I charge for every day they are scheduled to be here, regardless of attendance.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:38 AM
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This is a topic that has been debated since my first time on an internet daycare board in 98.

I have seen thousands of these threads and they all are the same end game.

I know you intended to discuss parents bringing kids on their time off when they are paying a full slot but the concept of only charging for attendance is what I'm interested in.

I don't know of any provider who has charged by attendance and is a veteran provider.

Are there any providers here who have made a career of charging a daily rate by attendance only? Or an hourly rate by attendance only?

I have seen thousands try it and either go out of business or switch but I haven't heard of anyone who has made it to the five or ten year mark. Maybe if they have a spouse paying the family's way.. but if they need income they would have a terrible time. Also, having kids who are very part time sporadically would be a nightmare job.

A lot of providers start doing daycare as the daycare they would have liked to have had as a parent accessing daycare. That works for the loving stuff but not the money stuff. Once they start allowing unpaid days and rotating schedules, they go broke. Once they allow "mildly ill" kids they go broke.

I pray you aren't considering that unless it's just to make SOME money. Being new to daycare it will be tough to manage the occasional kids.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:31 AM
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How many DCK's do you watch? If memory serves I thought you just got your first enrollment recently? When you are full and expect a certain amount of $ each week and you don't get a paycheck to pay your bills you might change your mind...
I do appreciate both sides of this argument, however, I have been working that way for over 30 years, so it really is not a time thing. It is not always easy, but neither is having a full load of kids every day even when their parents could and should be with them.

I choose to put my money where my philosophy lies and encourage parents to spend time with their kids whenever they can by not charging unless they are actually here. I generally have as many children as I want at any given time, and parents who respect my concepts by giving me consistent (though part time) schedules. This enables me to balance a variety of schedules to fulfill my needs as well as theirs.

If you choose not to do so, that is ok too.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:35 AM
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This is a topic that has been debated since my first time on an internet daycare board in 98.

I have seen thousands of these threads and they all are the same end game.

I know you intended to discuss parents bringing kids on their time off when they are paying a full slot but the concept of only charging for attendance is what I'm interested in.

I don't know of any provider who has charged by attendance and is a veteran provider.

Are there any providers here who have made a career of charging a daily rate by attendance only? Or an hourly rate by attendance only?


I have seen thousands try it and either go out of business or switch but I haven't heard of anyone who has made it to the five or ten year mark. Maybe if they have a spouse paying the family's way.. but if they need income they would have a terrible time. Also, having kids who are very part time sporadically would be a nightmare job.

A lot of providers start doing daycare as the daycare they would have liked to have had as a parent accessing daycare. That works for the loving stuff but not the money stuff. Once they start allowing unpaid days and rotating schedules, they go broke. Once they allow "mildly ill" kids they go broke.

I pray you aren't considering that unless it's just to make SOME money. Being new to daycare it will be tough to manage the occasional kids.
Yes, Nan, there are.
And no, I am not broke, nor do I count on my husband's income. We have often counted ONLY on mine. It can be done. It is a lot of work, and it is necessary to have respectful, long term clients. But it can and is being done.
Now you know one
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:53 AM
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Yes, Nan, there are.
And no, I am not broke, nor do I count on my husband's income. We have often counted ONLY on mine. It can be done. It is a lot of work, and it is necessary to have respectful, long term clients. But it can and is being done.
Now you know one
So you have no minimum days of attendance and no paid vacation, holiday etc?

Verrrrry interesting!


What's your infant and total capacity?
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:48 AM
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I'm one of a dying breed here also.

I take TWO vacation days a year.... Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day...

I work weekends... Afternoons... And nights... Not on the same day lol.


Nobody here provides the type of care I provide. Which is disheartening because most single moms work as a waitress and non traditional shifts.

The only reason this type of care isn't offered is because most families have support from other family members who step in and help. Generally it's grandma because I'm speaking in general around here.. The dads are POOF GONE..

I offer CONTRACTED care... Scheduled only... But still require pay regardless. I do also offer drop in care and I save my fifth spot for that and generally get that a few times a month. I also do overnight for current or past clients only and I charge substantially for that availability.

What I've found over the years is that parents don't mind paying $60 for one overnight stent... But complain for having to pay $100 for five days of care. It seems to be acceptable to pay whatever is asked for party night but not for care while they work. At least that's been my experience.

The difference is... My kids are ONLY here during working hours for x amount weekly.. If they want to play... They pay... It works for me... And apparently it works for them too.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:16 PM
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So you have no minimum days of attendance and no paid vacation, holiday etc?

Verrrrry interesting!


What's your infant and total capacity?
Nope, none of those...though I will say, I have some pretty generous parents who often pay me on vacation days anyway.

I can have a total of 10 at any given time. I have 17 on my registry. Some days I am full, others I am not, but I can make a living on what I have.
I can have two under a year, but I only take one.

And another interesting tidbit? I also take those "mildly ill" children. And again, my parents are awesome. It is VERY rare that they do not keep their kids home when sick (why not, since it won't cost them) and I NEVER have a dope and drop. They will tell me in the morning exactly what is going on and I can and will give mild meds like tylenol or nebs if requested and paperwork is in order. I even have parents bring me the morning dose of antibiotic "because the child will only take it from you" lol Whatever, mom

I am incredibly selective. The kids must mesh, the parents must be reasonable, and the hours must work. They also need to understand that some of the kids in care are (quite legally) NOT immunized, and be ok with that. They understand from the beginning that me taking THEIR child who is mildly ill means I also take other children who are mildly ill, so their kid is likely to be exposed. They also understand that children spread a lot of illness before anyone knows anyone is sick, so honestly, they are exposed anyway.

I will give you that most people do not (or do not want) to operate this way, but it works and always has worked for me.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:20 AM
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:20 AM
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Yes, Nan, there are.
And no, I am not broke, nor do I count on my husband's income. We have often counted ONLY on mine. It can be done. It is a lot of work, and it is necessary to have respectful, long term clients. But it can and is being done.
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Originally Posted by Cradle2crayons View Post
I'm one of a dying breed here also.
You both serve children/families 24 hours a day though correct?

Or at the minimum much longer days/hours of availability than other providers...
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:33 AM
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Another way I started looking at it, is this:

When a daycare teacher works in a center, she gets paid the same amount whether her classroom is full or not.

When a teacher in a school shows up to her classroom and has 2 kids that are absent, she doesn't get paid any less.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:40 AM
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This is a topic that has been debated since my first time on an internet daycare board in 98.

I have seen thousands of these threads and they all are the same end game.

I know you intended to discuss parents bringing kids on their time off when they are paying a full slot but the concept of only charging for attendance is what I'm interested in.

I don't know of any provider who has charged by attendance and is a veteran provider.

Are there any providers here who have made a career of charging a daily rate by attendance only? Or an hourly rate by attendance only?

I have seen thousands try it and either go out of business or switch but I haven't heard of anyone who has made it to the five or ten year mark. Maybe if they have a spouse paying the family's way.. but if they need income they would have a terrible time. Also, having kids ywho are very part time sporadically would be a nightmare job.

A lot of providers start doing daycare as the daycare they would have liked to have had as a parent accessing daycare. That works for the loving stuff but not the money stuff. Once they start allowing unpaid days and rotating schedules, they go broke. Once they allow "mildly ill" kids they go broke.

I pray you aren't considering that unless it's just to make SOME money. Being new to daycare it will be tough to manage the occasional kids.
Yep. I spent 2 years trying to be the daycare I wanted as a parent and burnt out bad emotionally and financially. Now I am becoming g the business owner I want to be. It is an adjustment for me and the parents but when I said it was between closing down or enforcing dozen new policies the parents completely understood. I was touched by how they had thought I was worth more than I did. Don't underestimate your worth as a childcare provider or the worth of your time.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:44 AM
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Work smarter or work harder... your choice.
haha. This
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:45 AM
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I honestly think that any provider who is upset/stressed by parents bringing their children when they work probably aren't charging enough and possibly need to look at their setup and hours.

I USED to be stressed and I used to be upset by parents doing this but at this point I make a great income, work nice hours that aren't too long and I don't even know where the parents are most days. I had to tweak both my business and my mind set to make it work. I charged more, changed my payment terms, decreased my hours and upped my late fees. It was totally worth it.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:50 AM
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You both serve children/families 24 hours a day though correct?

Or at the minimum much longer days/hours of availability than other providers...
I'm AVAILABLE for any shift... but I sign up depending on what schedule they need so that I don't have kids 24/7 of course.

HOWEVER, I do work most weekends. In return for that I'm off some weekdays I get to spend at my kids school volunteering which makes me AND them very happy! And there are days here and there I have a child here at 6am that leaves at 3pm and another two that arrive at 11am and don't leave until 8pm etc if that answers the question.

but no, I'm not aware of ANY other providers that accept kids around here for non traditional shifts. I'm also the ONLY in home provider in my county that accepts state pay.

The benefit to my schedule is that when I need or want specific days off, since two of my three parents make their own schedule.... is that I get what I ask for without questions asked.

Say I want to go to the river for the weekend and my husband will be in state the first weekend of October... I simply mention that to my families... and in return... we find ourselves at the river
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:07 AM
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Speaking as a former provider and now DC parent:

I pay for a full time slot for my 4 year old DS and an SA slot for my 10 year old. We regularly do not use 1-2 days per week because either DH or I are off of work. We keep 4 yr DS at home and then meet the bus at DC for 10yr DS. We don't need an incentive to do this, we love our boys and the days are brighter when they are home with us.

Our provider (family run center) takes paid vacation and holidays off and we have no problem paying for that. I expected that when I was a provider.

The only thing I was not entirely pleased about paying was a registration fee ($50 each) and a supply fee ($100 each) for both children. 10 yr DS is only there for an hour after school on the days that he is there. So, that kind of irked me a little.

ETA:

What is all of this "me time" that parents seem to need nowadays anyway? When I chose to become a parent, all concept of "me time" kinda went out the window. I sneak in some time to read or watch tv while my kiddos are playing in their playroom or after they go to sleep. I dont need a whole "spa day" to myself all of the time. Maybe that's just me.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:29 AM
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Yep. I spent 2 years trying to be the daycare I wanted as a parent and burnt out bad emotionally and financially. Now I am becoming g the business owner I want to be. It is an adjustment for me and the parents but when I said it was between closing down or enforcing dozen new policies the parents completely understood. I was touched by how they had thought I was worth more than I did. Don't underestimate your worth as a childcare provider or the worth of your time.


The ironic thing is that I still GIVE my clients TWO WEEKS of FREE VACATION time. All they have to do is give a month's notice. TWO WEEKS that they don't have to pay for and can spend time with their child. Most often I go YEARS without anyone using that time.

They take plenty of time off for "me" time (which I don't care about so long as I can get in touch, I'm simply pointing that out in case anyone thinks the reason they don't use the time is to cover any of my time off - they take time off for themselves all.the. time. ) I'm honestly thinking of taking the time away.

So when you DO give "free" time, they don't want to use it. Might as well get paid.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:25 PM
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You both serve children/families 24 hours a day though correct?

Or at the minimum much longer days/hours of availability than other providers...
I am available for a variety of shifts, but I only have daytimers right now. I am available outside normal hours, if the child/family fits. I have no regular overnighters, but I have done that. I do not work weekends now, but I have in the past.

If the point is that extended hours are necessary to operating in this fashion, perhaps, but there is also the "on work" "off work" concept that a lot of providers have (and that is perfectly ok.) I don't have that. I am here. Kids coming and going in my house is something that has been perfectly natural since I was quite young. Getting paid to have some of them here...bonus!
If a child is here during a meal time, they eat. If one is here at bedtime, they sleep.
I understand that a lot of providers don't work this way or feel this way, and that is fine. I just take a little bit of exception to the idea that it CANNOT work or absolutely will cause burnout. How I operate is not a problem for me, and provides a niche of care that virtually no one around me will do. It keeps me full and gives me lots of little grandbabies to love on and then send home.
Not saying it is easy or that everyone should operate this way. Just that it is not impossible to do so long term.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:32 PM
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Work smarter or work harder... your choice.
I am not sure what you are saying here?
I still have my slots full enough to pay my bills. I am never empty. I have excellent parents who are incredibly loyal and do everything under the sun to get my infant spot. Most kids stay with me until they age out to K or longer. I NEVER advertise. 90% of the "problems" I see here with parents, drop offs, sick kids, dope and drop, etc, I do not have...ever.
How exactly is this not working smart?
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:46 PM
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I am available for a variety of shifts, but I only have daytimers right now. I am available outside normal hours, if the child/family fits. I have no regular overnighters, but I have done that. I do not work weekends now, but I have in the past.

If the point is that extended hours are necessary to operating in this fashion, perhaps, but there is also the "on work" "off work" concept that a lot of providers have (and that is perfectly ok.) I don't have that. I am here. Kids coming and going in my house is something that has been perfectly natural since I was quite young. Getting paid to have some of them here...bonus!
If a child is here during a meal time, they eat. If one is here at bedtime, they sleep.
I understand that a lot of providers don't work this way or feel this way, and that is fine. I just take a little bit of exception to the idea that it CANNOT work or absolutely will cause burnout. How I operate is not a problem for me, and provides a niche of care that virtually no one around me will do. It keeps me full and gives me lots of little grandbabies to love on and then send home.
Not saying it is easy or that everyone should operate this way. Just that it is not impossible to do so long term.
Yes, that was "kind of" my point...

Limiting the hours/days you are willing to provide care kind of forces you (general you) to have to have a bare minimum of income to survive.

My ability to earn the income I need to survive financially is limited to a specific 10 hours per day.

If I had "more" hours available in which to earn my required income, it would be easier for me to not require that all parents pay a minimum amount each week.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:50 PM
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Ok, so I'm gonna tear the lid off of Pandora's box here and duck for cover later..

If I owned a retail store and sold... oh I dunno.. let's say dog whistles. On one errant Tuesday, no one came in to buy a whistle... I don't make any money. That's the way a business works.
I have this regular customer at my whistle store who comes in every morning and buys a whistle. He has done this for months. If he doesn't come in on an errant Tuesday. I don't send him a bill for a whistle he didn't buy cause he wasn't in my store... and if I did bill him for 5 whistles a week and he only got 4 cause he couldn't make it in.. well that just doesn't make sense to me, and he'd prolly go buy his whistles somewhere else. If I'm sick and don't open my store, I didn't sell any whistles, and made no money. If I'm on vacation.. same problem.

I look at my daycare as a business. Parents bring their kids, and I care for them for money. If 3 kids are here on Tuesday, I get handed cash 3 times that day. (ok, payable at weeks end, but still). If no kids are here on Tuesday, I didn't work Tuesday, and made no money Tuesday.

My reason for this little rant is because of the number of providers I've talked to and read posts about that are upset cause parents have the day off and still send the kids. The reason for this is because they are charged for it anyways, so they are gonna use it. (already paid for the whistle.. I'm gonna go get it)

Now I agree it's sad for the kids to not have time they could have with mom and dad, and it can also be classified as bad parenting, but it is truly all about the money. A lot of parents work 50-60 hours a week and the day off they get .. well they might wanna just kick back and watch tv or something. Sending the kids to daycare doesn't cost them anything extra because they are billed for all 5 days anyway so why not?

Now as a daycare provider, I can understand that having a few less kids now and again is kinda cool.. and maybe having no kids on an errant Tuesday would be great as I could put my feet up and sip coffee with a newspaper all day and enjoy myself. It's actually happened. However with no kids here I didn't work. Because I didn't work I didn't make any money. I'm not gonna charge mom 30+ dollars to watch her child when in fact I didn't do it that day.

So I know I'm prolly going to get a ton of responses to this, some prolly rather angry.. but if you want mom and dad to keep the kids home on their days off, well it comes down to the cash. If they can save money by not bringing them, they will. If as a business owner you want to get paid for a day that you didn't watch any kids, or sell any whistles, well, I am truly sorry but more often than not it just isn't gonna happen.
It'll be interesting to see how you feel about this after you've been open a few years.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:53 PM
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Just a thought.......

If I don't watch TV for a month, never switch on the cable box once, it would be nice if I had no bill that month.

If I didn't drive my car for a month, it would be great if I had no insurance bill for the month. I wasn't out driving, so I am creating no risk for the insurance company.

If I did not place or receive any calls on my land line......you get the picture.

I get your point Mr. Sir. I just wish all services were billed on a "usage" basis. Unfortunately, our economy is primarily service based. Child care is a service, not a retail store.

Sure, if I don't drive my car, I don't have to buy gas. Gas is a consumable/retail product, the insurance is not. So if I wish to own my car and have it registered, I have to pay my insurance bill.
,.
Even energy is a consumable product, based on usage. If I choose to use little or no power, my bill goes down. But if I didn't charge parents for the spot, instead charged purely on attendance, my power bill doesn't go down because two or three kids aren't there......I'm still running the AC all day. And the bill is still due. KWIM?
Yep. This basically covers my thoughts. I tried to be the nice provider when I started last year and I got burned. I even offered free sick days to encourage the parents to keep their kids home when they were sick and yet they still sent them here sick... once they even sent a child here right after surgery! I don't mind them sending their kids here if they have a day off...as long as they pay. My fees are based on a minimum amount that goes up with the amount of days/hours scheduled per day. So that encourages parents to keep their kids home on days off and also puts enough money in my pocket to make a profit. If they still choose to send them here on their day off then I get more money. But I try my hardest to enroll parents that want to spend time with their kids...either way, yes it is about the money. I make more if they send them more and if they keep them home, I still make a set amount to hold the slot.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:53 PM
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Yes, that was "kind of" my point...

Limiting the hours/days you are willing to provide care kind of forces you (general you) to have to have a bare minimum of income to survive.

My ability to earn the income I need to survive financially is limited to a specific 10 hours per day.

If I had "more" hours available in which to earn my required income, it would be easier for me to not require that all parents pay a minimum amount each week.
Fair point. And I am sure you do fine, but there are a lot of problems I hear on here that are just not in my realm of issues. Maybe because I don't see them as problems, or maybe because my parents are awesome, but either way, it suits me. I might be more picky if I had to fit into a certain number of hours. Right now, though, I do pretty well and I am actually only working 7-4 most days. It is kind of nice
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:08 PM
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Fair point. And I am sure you do fine, but there are a lot of problems I hear on here that are just not in my realm of issues. Maybe because I don't see them as problems, or maybe because my parents are awesome, but either way, it suits me. I might be more picky if I had to fit into a certain number of hours. Right now, though, I do pretty well and I am actually only working 7-4 most days. It is kind of nice
Oh I hear you!

I can't say I wouldn't do it the way you do if my circumstances were different and I was in no way trying to minimize the fact that you do offer non-standard care hours.

I was just trying to make a separation of the arguments at hand....

I personally do not care if parents keep their kids if they have the day off or not. I "used" to care.

I also agree that there are many common issues posted about that I just don't experience but can only take a shot in the dark as to why I don't have those issues. kwim?

I guess it's all in the "fit" of the family + provider and sometimes, it is a match made in heaven and other times not-so-much.

Again, is it the "golden" parents I have or the "iron-clad" policies I have () or is it just luck? Who knows...

I just know the debate between charging for only when a child is present will be an on-going debate forever and one without resolution other than finding a provider (or in our case, clients) that agree to the rules and policies you have.

I've done it all ways. I've charged 52 week year regardless, I've charged only for actual days/time used and I've given and taken free/vacation days.

Currently I am in the middle. I am trying out the 'closed-no charge'/'open-charged' concept. So far it's working because the group of parents I have are nothing like the group of parents I had years ago when I tried other methods.

For me, it's about meeting the current needs of clients. Like everything, they change with the tides.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:10 PM
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This is a topic that has been debated since my first time on an internet daycare board in 98.

I have seen thousands of these threads and they all are the same end game.

I know you intended to discuss parents bringing kids on their time off when they are paying a full slot but the concept of only charging for attendance is what I'm interested in.

I don't know of any provider who has charged by attendance and is a veteran provider.

Are there any providers here who have made a career of charging a daily rate by attendance only? Or an hourly rate by attendance only?

I have seen thousands try it and either go out of business or switch but I haven't heard of anyone who has made it to the five or ten year mark. Maybe if they have a spouse paying the family's way.. but if they need income they would have a terrible time. Also, having kids who are very part time sporadically would be a nightmare job.

A lot of providers start doing daycare as the daycare they would have liked to have had as a parent accessing daycare. That works for the loving stuff but not the money stuff. Once they start allowing unpaid days and rotating schedules, they go broke. Once they allow "mildly ill" kids they go broke.

I pray you aren't considering that unless it's just to make SOME money. Being new to daycare it will be tough to manage the occasional kids.
Nan, I have been doing this 17 years (just started my 17th year) and the first 14 I was paid an hourly wage. No time off except major holidays and 5 sick days, all upaid.

Year 15, I went to charging a daily rate, still only off for major holidays and 5 sick days but did add in a week vacation but didn't take it, all time unpaid.

Year 16, I went to charging a monthly rate depending on how many days they attended-3-5 days a week. I take all major holidays off, 5 sick days and 1 week vacation unpaid. So I'm really only being paid for 48 weeks a year.

At one time I actually was making more money charging hourly then my husband who worked for our state. Charging a flat monthly rate actually caused me to lose money.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:57 PM
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Nan, I have been doing this 17 years (just started my 17th year) and the first 14 I was paid an hourly wage. No time off except major holidays and 5 sick days, all upaid.

Year 15, I went to charging a daily rate, still only off for major holidays and 5 sick days but did add in a week vacation but didn't take it, all time unpaid.

Year 16, I went to charging a monthly rate depending on how many days they attended-3-5 days a week. I take all major holidays off, 5 sick days and 1 week vacation unpaid. So I'm really only being paid for 48 weeks a year.

At one time I actually was making more money charging hourly then my husband who worked for our state. Charging a flat monthly rate actually caused me to lose money.
But do you charge the parents (or refund/credit) them for days when their child is not attending?

If they pay you monthly based on 3 days per week and then the child missed 4 scheduled days that month, do they get a refund for those days?
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:05 PM
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But do you charge the parents (or refund/credit) them for days when their child is not attending?

If they pay you monthly based on 3 days per week and then the child missed 4 scheduled days that month, do they get a refund for those days?
No, I don't give refunds but I didn't do that hourly either. Even when I charged hourly I charged whether they were here or not.

I also charge after care/not before. I charge at the end of month and need to be paid within the first week.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:44 PM
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For me, it's about meeting the current needs of clients. Like everything, they change with the tides.
I definitely agree here. For me, the parents say, "This is what I need."
I have to figure out (among many other things) if that is something I can offer or if I have a compromise that might work.
I also don't know if it is the "golden parents" or my rules (I do have rules btw ) but I do know it is working for me, as yours is for you, and that is the best we can hope for.

I also think it helps a ton to know what you really want and can do. I don't say yes to anything that is going to make me crazy. <---- that smilie says crazy to me..lol
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:03 PM
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I can see why someone else may operate this way, but I chose to operate my business in a contracted basis. I sell my time along with my service. If you purchase a time slot for my service, you pay for that regardless of whether or not you use it. It's yours to be used whenever you need it because we entered into a contract saying so. If I was a drop-in service then they pay as it's used, no more no less, but I can't promise you a spot on a regular basis. Some people need a spot M-F and some people don't. I have a family who uses 4 days on a regulars basis but sometimes only come 2-3 days. That's their choice. They would probably have paid more for the drop in slot than they've paid for their consisting 4 days and not used some. I charge a daily rate for 4-5 days and a rate for 2-3 days and one for drop-in. The drop-in rate is $15/day higher than the 4-5 day slot. So if they have missed maybe 2 days a month for 6mos on average that's still a savings. Parents just don't like paying for something they're not using but tough! You are using my time because I'm still here working and you're not here to receive the service I've been contracted to provide.
I don't have too many problems with people bringing their child and not working and if I had any issues I would deal with it then. I have had parents pay for plenty of days they didn't use so that isn't a big problem here.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:13 AM
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I am not sure what you are saying here?
I still have my slots full enough to pay my bills. I am never empty. I have excellent parents who are incredibly loyal and do everything under the sun to get my infant spot. Most kids stay with me until they age out to K or longer. I NEVER advertise. 90% of the "problems" I see here with parents, drop offs, sick kids, dope and drop, etc, I do not have...ever.
How exactly is this not working smart?
I was responding (ok, teasing him a bit since he seems to be able to take it) to OPs assertion that this was somehow a new concept with an original oppositional viewpoint. We have been debating it for years... I am on team "Work smarter not Harder". (Go blue!!)

Sorry if you thought I was referring to you. I actually had not even read your post.

Your gig, your choice.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
I was responding (ok, teasing him a bit since he seems to be able to take it) to OPs assertion that this was somehow a new concept with an original oppositional viewpoint. We have been debating it for years... I am on team "Work smarter not Harder". (Go blue!!)

Sorry if you thought I was referring to you.

Your gig, your choice.
I see what you are saying, but I still don't believe any one way is "smarter" than the other. You get what you want out of your way of doing things, and you (general you) have a set of problems that comes with that.
I get what I want out of my way and have a set of issues that come with that as well. I don't see either one as smarter or harder than the other. Just different.

to you too
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  #73  
Old 09-09-2014, 11:25 AM
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I do understand where you're coming from, OP. With that said, you may change your mind/policy when you've got a few years of experience. I did, on many things and am one of the only area providers who charge based on contract, contracted hours, higher rate for part time. I'm also full, and most struggle for enrollment.

Parents can chose to do what works for them, be it me or elsewhere.

I do get saddened when the SAHM of the child enrolled FT doesn't value time with her child. I don't think these types of parents are deterred by the fact that they have to pay for this care, even when offered free days, they would rather pay/have child attend. If the child wasn't here, they would be in care elsewhere. I can't CHANGE those parents.

My cousin is a personal trainer, and just opened her own gym. She LOVES it when you don't show up for her 5am training session, this is also a tool she uses to get her clients to show up! I get paid regardless, so be fat AND broke. Your choice. Yes, she has a saying similar to that on her contract, too.

I have a client who is FT, pays FT and doesn't attend FT(1x every few months is a full week). (4 days) They have options, they chose me. They can go elsewhere and pay FT for less. They can go elsewhere and pay PT for less.

I have a client who pays for FT every week and doesn't attend one week a month. (visitation).

THIS is what I am willing to provide THIS space for. Take it or leave it.

and...of course it's about the money. What business isn't? I'm always surprised when people say this regarding child care.
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  #74  
Old 09-09-2014, 10:22 PM
awilliams123 awilliams123 is offline
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I totally agree with what you've said here. I have a little boy who has been with me over 2 years and I kid you not, he has never missed a day since he started, unless it was a day I was closed. Whenever his mother has a day off she still brings him. I don't have a problem with her bringing him all five days because she's paid for that right, but not only has this child never missed a day, but he is the first one to arrive each morning and the last one to be picked up each evening. He's with me 11.5 hours a day, five days per week. With the hours she works you'd think every once in awhile when she has a day off she'd want to spend some time with her son. But instead she spends it with her boyfriend. Even on her days off he's still the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. She's not just paying for child care for her son when she's working, it's also a way for her to get rid of him. It hurts me because I can see how much it bother's him. Her child should mean more to her than he money she spends each week on his care. I understand sometimes parents need a break from their kids, but it would mean so much to him if every once in a while he could spend the day home with mom like all the other kids.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by awilliams123 View Post
I totally agree with what you've said here. I have a little boy who has been with me over 2 years and I kid you not, he has never missed a day since he started, unless it was a day I was closed. Whenever his mother has a day off she still brings him. I don't have a problem with her bringing him all five days because she's paid for that right, but not only has this child never missed a day, but he is the first one to arrive each morning and the last one to be picked up each evening. He's with me 11.5 hours a day, five days per week. With the hours she works you'd think every once in awhile when she has a day off she'd want to spend some time with her son. But instead she spends it with her boyfriend. Even on her days off he's still the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. She's not just paying for child care for her son when she's working, it's also a way for her to get rid of him. It hurts me because I can see how much it bother's him. Her child should mean more to her than he money she spends each week on his care. I understand sometimes parents need a break from their kids, but it would mean so much to him if every once in a while he could spend the day home with mom like all the other kids.
Are you charging a high rate for the very long hours?
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  #76  
Old 09-10-2014, 04:08 AM
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Are you charging a high rate for the very long hours?
Exactly what I was thinking. If my kids are present more than 50 hours, the rate goes up by $25 weekly.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:13 PM
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We run a small business. It just happens to be caregiving. It doesn't mean we don't want to make money. If I didn't care about the money I wouldn't work at all, lol, for real though. Just because it has to do with kids and most of us are mothers doesn't mean we do it for fun.
We are only allowed so many kids by law. It makes sense to charge for a slot instead of attendance. I can't control illness or other issues and I need to make money
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
I pay monthly for the Internet if I even don't use it. I pay monthly for swimming pool if I even don't come there, I pay $$ every month for medical insurance if I even don't visit the doctor many years .... Why do I do so? I do because it is my choice. I think it will seem foolish if I start blame someone because my choice.

Dear parents, don't make a contract with a daycare. Get a babysitter for any hours you need and be happy. Is it not so simple to find a person who will work for you at any moment when you need and will not if you don't need? oh... it's so sad....

PS sorry. I replied without reading the first post entirely

This exactly!

Plus, I need the reliable income. I can't afford to have luxury days off without pay.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:11 AM
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I would be lying if I said it didn't kind of bug me when parents take a day off, but still bring their kids. I get it that they need some time to do things without kids, but it still bugs me a little when I know there only plan is to go home and sleep. Nothing I can do about it, though, so over the years, I just try to ignore it and continue on as usual. The hardest part is when you know the child understands the situtation and are upset, because some times they are just desperate for attention from their parent and the parents seems oblivious. I can't imagine not having my kids with me, since they are with me pretty much all the time, so it is hard for me to see the perspective of daycare parents. I have only ever been on the provider side. As ffor my daycare, I run it like a business too, but it is not comparable to a whistle shop. Unless the whistle shop can only serve the same 6 people everyday and those 6 people coming or not coming into the store is how the whistle shop pays the bills to stay open. I doubt the whistle shop would be very successful if those 6 people's attendence in the store is the only way to make money.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:21 AM
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The only time it bothers me (parents bring their kids on days parents aren't working) is when they pick up their children late! But I am very pleased with all the families right now, (never stays that way, but for now!) and whenever they have a day off and bring the kids, they usually pick them up earlier than usual! As for the business comparison, I don't agree with Mr. Sir. But to each his own!
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:45 AM
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I've not read through all the responses as they started getting me .... Well. (Laundry, move on. Lol)

I start my 28th yr in May. I've got a wee bit of experience. Can I be honest?

There is no ONE WAY to provide care.

There is no magic formula. There is no one answer.

Do what you feel best serves you. Parents will agree or keep looking.

I charge a flat rate. Not all families pay the same rate. Newer families pay higher rates for the same care.

And I STILL have people who keep their kids home a couple days a month to spend time with them.
Parents are wonderfully complex beings. They are much like their children. When Jasper, or his parents, discover that Mariahs mom had the day off work and spent it cuddled with her on the couch,..... Well.... Guess who wants that same luxury?
I promise all of you, stay true to yourself and things will be okay. There is no one way to be a provider.
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  #82  
Old 03-27-2015, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
If I had an unlimited amount of "whistles" to sell I might do things differently but my shop is only allowed to have 12 on hand at one time. If I didn't treat this as a business and didn't use the money to pay bills I also might do things differently. My parents gladly pay for the days I require because they know my shop would be forced to close if they didn't.
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  #83  
Old 03-27-2015, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrymom View Post
I've not read through all the responses as they started getting me .... Well. (Laundry, move on. Lol)

I start my 28th yr in May. I've got a wee bit of experience. Can I be honest?

There is no ONE WAY to provide care.

There is no magic formula. There is no one answer.

Do what you feel best serves you. Parents will agree or keep looking.

I charge a flat rate. Not all families pay the same rate. Newer families pay higher rates for the same care.

And I STILL have people who keep their kids home a couple days a month to spend time with them.
Parents are wonderfully complex beings. They are much like their children. When Jasper, or his parents, discover that Mariahs mom had the day off work and spent it cuddled with her on the couch,..... Well.... Guess who wants that same luxury?
I promise all of you, stay true to yourself and things will be okay. There is no one way to be a provider.
Wisest words i've read in a long time
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