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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:48 AM
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Default Times Are Tough; Would You Offer A Lower Rate To A Potential Client?

I really need to find another client! I finally have been getting a few calls/e-mails. One woman e-mailed me & she had PERFECT hours, nearly identical to the family I currently care for, basically 7:15-3:35. Dreamy hours. Anwya, when I told her my rates she nicely responded that unfortunately she could not afford them. So since I REALLY need to add some $$$ to our finances I responded that I may be able to help her out with the price if she could provide snacks/lunch for her kids & I could give her a slight discount. I have not heard back from her. It seems like the only calls I get lately are for 2nd shift & I DO NOT want to disrupt family time. But will I regret giving her a large discount in the long run?

Edited to add: Not a LARGE discount but I am considering giving a 30% discount for the 2nd child provided she brings all supplies for the toddler (still in diapers), snacks for the kids & lunches.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:12 AM
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If she hasnt responded that might not be a good client match as she might be waiting for you to offer more.. I have a long time client that said they couldnt afford me. I knew that if they were a good fit, I was willing to slightly lower the rate, so I told them to come and interview with me... If we both agreed we were a good match, then we would discuss rate... They signed on and I never regretted it...

I have another one that after asking for the world before even signing the contract. I budged on the rate and have now regretted it....

good luck!
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:28 AM
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I personally wouldn't offer any discount. I understand you need the money, but what if she starts to manipulate you even more with your rates? I had a family that was my start up family and the husband lost his job and I gave them a discount... not but a few months later they were buying new 4-wheelers, going on vacations and buying a camper... I put an end to that and they have since left me.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:36 AM
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Personally, if I really needed the $$$, I would consider offering a lower rate, but only because of those hours. My daycare day is 10 hours, so if I needed it and I had a family that would only be 8.25 like you said, I would offer the lower rate for those specific hours. I wouldn't make them bring their own snacks/lunches though. Diapers, yes. But not food.

If I was a parent looking for daycare and I found one I liked but couldn't afford..and then they offered me a lower rate if I brought my kids their own snacks/lunches, I would still pass. It's hard enough getting out of the house with 2 little kids in the morning, but having to buy food for lunches/snacks and make sure I had them packed each day would honestly be more of a hassle to me and not that big of a financial savings.

For instance, if you normally charged me $160 for one kid and the younger one was $150 and you were willing to discount that 2nd kid 30% down to $100, but I had to pack lunches/snacks. I would probably just keep looking for a daycare that would charge me $150 for the first, $140 for the second, and included meals.

Plus, I just think all daycare kids should eat the same meals/snacks. It's too hard to deal with the complaining because "he/she has that and I don't" stuff.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:00 AM
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well, times are not that tough that you need to short change yourself. I would first change your hours, to me, they are not feesable. I think 7-5pm would work much better for you. Also, how about charging people by the day and not by the week. Seriously when you hear 30 dollars a day for a child rather than 150 dollars a week parents don't seem so shocked. I charge 55 dollars a day for 2 children.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:02 AM
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My rates are not that high Daycare Mom. If they were I would have no trouble including food, lol! But I can see your point. . . packing lunches would be a pain but it would save me a little $$ making it possible for me to give her a break. If I did take her on I would be strict about only giving care during working hours.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrymom View Post
well, times are not that tough that you need to short change yourself. I would first change your hours, to me, they are not feesable. I think 7-5pm would work much better for you. Also, how about charging people by the day and not by the week. Seriously when you hear 30 dollars a day for a child rather than 150 dollars a week parents don't seem so shocked. I charge 55 dollars a day for 2 children.
Those are not "my hours". They are the hours my current family needs, that is why this family is somewhat appealing b/c I would be working the same hours & be done by 3:30 or slightly after. All my adevertising says my open hours are 6:30-5:30, I would be willing to take on someone later than 3:30 it's just that no one else has called! And I do charge per day.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:06 AM
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I would, and I have, partly because I *know* my rates are higher than average for the area, and because $100 in my pocket each week is better than nothing, kwim? I don't change what I offer though--I still provide all the food, etc, because honestly, what I provide is 100x better than what some of these parents probably feed their kids at home and would send with them.

My rate used to be $140/week. I got two families who said that they couldn't do my full-time rate, but could easily manage $100/week--that was the kicker: THEY said what THEY could afford, and then *I* got to decide if I wanted to go with it. Since $100/week is A LOT better than zero, even if it's not my usual rate, I agreed.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:06 AM
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If you aren't full and need the moo-lah.....and she needs care and the hours are great then go ahead and fill the spot up with a discount. When I first started out I wasn't full and my rates were much lower. It is ESPECIALLY nice that this family's hours match your existing family's hours so perfectly. Good Luck!....I would be clear from the get go that the care is available for the hours you mentioned ONLY unless she ASKS ahead of time.....the only way this discount situation will work is if you are providing care at the sometime as the other kids.
FYI .....My dc parents provide their own lunches, formula, diapers everything and I charge $43 for 8 hours of care.....my logic on this is that the parents know best what nutritious food their kids will eat. They all want certain diapers, wipes, bottles.....go for it I say. It is not a price negotiating factor here...it is just the system that works best for me. ....plus it is less expensive for me and I already make lunches for all of my own kids...let the parents make THEIR OWN kids lunch I say!!!!!
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:20 AM
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My husband & I discussed it & decided if she wanted to meet with us we were okay with giving a good discount (30% or so off 2nd child). Some $$ is better than no $$$. I just am worried I may regret it & feel taken for granted for accepting too little. I guess we will see if she even e-mails me back. Thanks for your input ladies!
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:22 AM
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My very first kid I took at a steep discount. I figure it is security and from here on with new clients I will not give discounts to unless I lose a kid and need the money. I'd say do it if you need the money.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:26 AM
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If she starts buying new cars and taking fancy vacations you can always raise your rates!
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:32 AM
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I remember at one time, I had 2 families that I lowered my rates for, and I shouldn't have ever done it. One family you would see new things all the time, new movies, new toys, etc.... Then the other family bounced one check, and I made her a deal, and then she placed her daughter into dance and gymnastics after I lowered it- I honestly don't think I will ever lower my prices again!!!
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:57 AM
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Sorry I just threw a rate out there.. I get 175 a week for my 19 month old, so I don't know what other people get.

I totally get that if they brought their own food, it would save money. I just think a lot of parents like the fact that they don't have to worry about packing a lunch, etc. And for me it's just easier if everyone eats the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by janarae View Post
My rates are not that high Daycare Mom. If they were I would have no trouble including food, lol! But I can see your point. . . packing lunches would be a pain but it would save me a little $$ making it possible for me to give her a break. If I did take her on I would be strict about only giving care during working hours.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daycare_Mama View Post
Sorry I just threw a rate out there.. I get 175 a week for my 19 month old, so I don't know what other people get.

I totally get that if they brought their own food, it would save money. I just think a lot of parents like the fact that they don't have to worry about packing a lunch, etc. And for me it's just easier if everyone eats the same.
You are totally right though! The mom called me (yeah I think) & was super-nice & one of the first things out of her mouth was that she was not the type of parent who would run to Wal-Mart & shop while I Was watching her kids. She said pretty much she wants to be with her kids when she is not working. She did say she would prefer to not pack lunches but could compensate me in other ways (bring milk, snacks, etc). So she is coming to meet me next week. I hope it is not a waste of time, apparently she gets FREE care now from a relative but relative is getting tired of doing all the care. She was nice but sort of sounded wishy-washy.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daycare_Mama View Post
Sorry I just threw a rate out there.. I get 175 a week for my 19 month old, so I don't know what other people get.

I totally get that if they brought their own food, it would save money. I just think a lot of parents like the fact that they don't have to worry about packing a lunch, etc. And for me it's just easier if everyone eats the same.
What? $175/week for one child?! That's twice what our average area rates are! That would be for two children here. Okay, it's decided, I'm moving there and starting my own daycare Janarae, we are in the same situation, where if we could even get someone for a discounted rate we'd be tripping over ourselves to take them on anyway, especially for those hours! I think you and your husband have made the best decision for your daycare if you need extra income and aren't getting any other responses from families needing care. I hope the mom emails back. Just be sure to stick to your policies with them from the very beginning and don't allow any other favors. Some parents do say they can't afford the rate just to see if the dcp will come down, and then they'll try to negotiate all your policies with them. Pay if they attend or not? "I just can't afford to pay you the day she was home sick", or Oh, but this is going on (sad sob story) and I just can't afford to pay you next week." and then childen come in with new clothes talking about eating out and shopping with mom.
Good luck and let us know if she ever emails back
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher View Post
What? $175/week for one child?! That's twice what our average area rates are! That would be for two children here. Okay, it's decided, I'm moving there and starting my own daycare Janarae, we are in the same situation, where if we could even get someone for a discounted rate we'd be tripping over ourselves to take them on anyway, especially for those hours! I think you and your husband have made the best decision for your daycare if you need extra income and aren't getting any other responses from families needing care. I hope the mom emails back. Just be sure to stick to your policies with them from the very beginning and don't allow any other favors. Some parents do say they can't afford the rate just to see if the dcp will come down, and then they'll try to negotiate all your policies with them. Pay if they attend or not? "I just can't afford to pay you the day she was home sick", or Oh, but this is going on (sad sob story) and I just can't afford to pay you next week." and then childen come in with new clothes talking about eating out and shopping with mom.
Good luck and let us know if she ever emails back
I think I need to move to a higher-priced area too! I charge about $105/child so for this family I am considering charging about $165-175/week for the 2 kids. I am hoping it works out. I only care for one other family so although I would like more $$ than that I would be happy with it (I hope) since the hours are good. Mom is coming next Tuesday with her kids to meet my family. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works out.

I also think that since she has never paid for daycare that anything sounds high to her. So I am hoping when I meet her that I don't get the vibe that she really could afford more but just doesn't want to pay it. From the sounds of it she & her husband both have good jobs. Hmmmm we'll see!
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:17 PM
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I find it easier to charge less per child and give each child their own rate. Don't offer a percentage off a child, especially if your rates are not the same for all ages because you said the little one is in diapers so you might charge more now meaning you'll get even less when that child reaches your discounted age bracket.

OK, just realized you said you charge $105 a week per child. If you are low in the area anyways, then you know that she can't find care much cheaper. She does have perfect hours that match and if she does enroll then later wants to find a cheaper place she probably won't be able to and you'll have her hooked. LOL. I would offer her $90 per child per week and ask if she can help any other way that would be great, but don't have it in your contract that she'll bring you things because it looks bad. I'm not sure if she meant she was bringing you lunch or the kids, but you should have that she provides lunches if she is wanting to do that. If she does like you and spreads the word of mouth, you will probably get more who want the $90 a week, but you can always take others at $100 a week and if they ask tell them your rates went up and she already signed her contract. LOL

Last edited by Abigail; 12-14-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:38 PM
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Janarae:
I have a really good feeling about this. Great hours too. Be sure and stick to your guns concerning the rest of your policies. good luck!
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:52 AM
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I just lost a family that I "helped out" by giving them a lower rate, by letting them only come 2 days instead of 3 like my policy states. Someone my daughter works with needed care for 2 girls. She had called me 2 times prior asking about me caring for her girls, then backed out. She called a 3rd time, and I started caring for them 2 days per week for $55 per week, 2 girls 2 days per week. I lowered her rate by $5. They lasted 2 1/2 months. Then I got the sad story......Christmas is coming, can't afford daycare, but after the first of the year they may call back and come back. They had never paid daycare before me, Grandma watched the girls for free for 4 years. During the weeks they were here, I turned away 2 potential families because I didn't have room for them. I was livid. I gave this family a break in their days and their rate, and in the end they didn't care, they dumped me for free care again.

I learned my lesson on this one. To never give someone a discount due to a sob story. They drive a Prius (electric/gas) and I know those arn't cheap. They both have jobs, she didn't think twice about me, it is always about them.

I will never again turn away a potential interview because I "don't currently have room". In the future I will term someone that only needs me 2 or 3 days a week for a fulltimer. And I won't give discounts again. We have been struggling with unemployment in this house for over a year, and no one feels sorry for us, and I haven't raised anyones rates......I have had families buying $250,000 homes, $35,000 vehicles, take nice vacations, etc. I have learned to look out for myself at this point.

Sorry, didn't mean to stray....Soooo, if it is a potential fulltime family, I would consider lowering the rate by maybe $10 per child. That would be liveable.

My rates are FT $85 for 1 and $135 for 2. Pathetic I know. But normal for home daycare here.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:04 AM
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I would like to know why some people think our services are bargainable (if that is a word). When I go to any other service, doctor, dentist, hair stylist, mechanic, etc, I am charged "the rate". There is no bargaining. There is no conversation of "I can't afford the $80 office visit, can you lower it for me. I pay what I am told is the rate.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:11 AM
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Going from free day care or nearly free day care to pay day care is very hard for them to do. It's not uncommon for them to have a transitory day care where they find someone first and then leave because of the money.

They can also have a big problem with rule minding. If they have been in relative care they are most likely not had "group" rules to follow. Often the caregiver just gives up and quits giving free day care without much notice because they are upset about being taken advantage of.

When they start out at a "discount" in your day care they aare actually starting out paying a TON in their minds. If you go into the relationship thinking you have given them a deal and they go into it thinking it's horribly expensive then you have a really hard time meeting in the middle.

The rate you gave them is NOT a discount to them. Free would be best or very close to free. You are only in their life because free didn't work out any longer.

She's being wishy washy because the reality of 750 bucks a month of her money is hitting her hard. It doesn't matter whether they can afford it or not it's their money and they have been slick enough to figure out a way to keep it for a long time. When they run out of options to keep that money they don't want to commit because they really want to just go back to keeping the money.

Often they will make an offer to the person who was caring for the kids for free that gives that person money but no where near what they would have to pay for your discounted rate. If they are still in the same area as the person who was doing it for free they have a REALLY good chance of offering money to that person and still getting it super cheap. Super cheap is not as good as free but it's better than your discounted rate.

Often the free care giver gets burnt out because most folks don't appreciate or value free. They will tell the parent that they won't do it anymore in order for the parent to start the path of appreciation AND offer them some money. Sometimes it's a move on the Free Provider's part to shake them into reality. If that is the case you are just a pawn in the chess game and it won't end up making you any money. Be careful of putting too much time into this and be prepared for them to postpone interviewing while they are in negotiations with Free provider.

What are the ages of the kids? If the free provider has had number one from birth and now number two is mobile THIS is a common time for them to surrender. The closer the "relative" the longer the free lasts so if it's grandma or great grandma it will last a lot longer than auntie or cousin. Whoever is doing it for free feels obligation to the parent and the parent feels entitled to the free. Also, the closer the relative the more liklihood they have at throwing a hundred bucks a week at her feet and moving on. They don't necessarily HAVE to pay that 100 a week. With you they have to PAY the money no matter what. Offering SOME money knowing you don't really HAVE to do it is way better than your gig to them.

If you do take this on CONTRACT for the early out and make it clear that she must pick up by this time or additional fees will apply. As soon as she starts paying for day care she's not going to like not having time to herself because... after all she's paying SO much. She most likely mentioned that she "likes spending time with the kids" because she has found out when searching day care that providers are responding to those words. If you take her you need to make her live up to those words. NO exceptions.

If she is going to bring food be clear of what and when and enforce it. That's almost always the first thing that goes by the wayside when they have to start paying. They think the fee is so high that it SHOULD include a gourmet meal twice a day. She's not going to like putting any more money into it.

Just don't get your hopes up too high and even if you DO take them on if free provider is available they may either go back to her or start having you go down to part time so that they get SOME free days. Be prepared for them to change quickly to raoaming days part time once they lock you into your low rate.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
I just lost a family that I "helped out" by giving them a lower rate, by letting them only come 2 days instead of 3 like my policy states. Someone my daughter works with needed care for 2 girls. She had called me 2 times prior asking about me caring for her girls, then backed out. She called a 3rd time, and I started caring for them 2 days per week for $55 per week, 2 girls 2 days per week. I lowered her rate by $5. They lasted 2 1/2 months. Then I got the sad story......Christmas is coming, can't afford daycare, but after the first of the year they may call back and come back. They had never paid daycare before me, Grandma watched the girls for free for 4 years. During the weeks they were here, I turned away 2 potential families because I didn't have room for them. I was livid. I gave this family a break in their days and their rate, and in the end they didn't care, they dumped me for free care again.

I learned my lesson on this one. To never give someone a discount due to a sob story. They drive a Prius (electric/gas) and I know those arn't cheap. They both have jobs, she didn't think twice about me, it is always about them.

I will never again turn away a potential interview because I "don't currently have room". In the future I will term someone that only needs me 2 or 3 days a week for a fulltimer. And I won't give discounts again. We have been struggling with unemployment in this house for over a year, and no one feels sorry for us, and I haven't raised anyones rates......I have had families buying $250,000 homes, $35,000 vehicles, take nice vacations, etc. I have learned to look out for myself at this point.

Sorry, didn't mean to stray....Soooo, if it is a potential fulltime family, I would consider lowering the rate by maybe $10 per child. That would be liveable.

My rates are FT $85 for 1 and $135 for 2. Pathetic I know. But normal for home daycare here.
i agree and learned my lesson rrecently! so far they have paid their new rate but i am learning to NOT give discounts or rearrange my schedule to suit a family.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:12 AM
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I thank you all for your insight! I really do appreciate your points of view!

Nannyde, I believe you are right. I have my doubts about the parents' ability to pay my normal price b/c they both have decent jobs. . . of course I don't know anything about their financial situation but they both have been working for the same company for many years. If I do take them on I will be strict about my rules. The mom previously did do daycare in her home so I think she is on the up & up about what is normal. I think I will also be clear that if I get someone who calls & can pay the regular rate I will then give them the option to pay more or they may need to find new care. I won't turn down a full-price client if given the choice. I have an interview next week.

Someone had mentioned my price. . . I do price by the day & I don't give a higher or lower price based on age, I just price the same regardless of age. I charge $105/week for FT. So for this family I was going to charge about $165-175. . . normally I would charge $210.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:25 AM
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Oh wow! I didn't know that it was such a difference in other places. I am actually $15 less per week than the average for the suburb I live in (avg. is $190 a week in my actual city), but I'm right at the average for the rest of the cities around me. I have always felt like it was really low, but that's because I was coming from being a nanny for one child for $500 a week, so it felt like a BIG cut.. but nothing beats staying home with my daughter!

By the way, you don't want to move here! It's FREEZING!! We just got 17" of snow last week and are supposed to get another 4 today!! ugh! I want to move south!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preschool/daycare teacher View Post
What? $175/week for one child?! That's twice what our average area rates are! That would be for two children here. Okay, it's decided, I'm moving there and starting my own daycare Janarae, we are in the same situation, where if we could even get someone for a discounted rate we'd be tripping over ourselves to take them on anyway, especially for those hours! I think you and your husband have made the best decision for your daycare if you need extra income and aren't getting any other responses from families needing care. I hope the mom emails back. Just be sure to stick to your policies with them from the very beginning and don't allow any other favors. Some parents do say they can't afford the rate just to see if the dcp will come down, and then they'll try to negotiate all your policies with them. Pay if they attend or not? "I just can't afford to pay you the day she was home sick", or Oh, but this is going on (sad sob story) and I just can't afford to pay you next week." and then childen come in with new clothes talking about eating out and shopping with mom.
Good luck and let us know if she ever emails back
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Should I Pursue This Potential Client Or RUN FAR AWAY? Lilbutterflie Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 25 05-14-2012 02:58 PM
Potential Client, Not Sure if I am Happy or Not. . . momofboys Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 15 05-31-2010 10:30 AM


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