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  #1  
Old 03-14-2013, 01:09 PM
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Default Does Anyone Else?

I see a lot of people who have their parents pay regardless of attendance or not.

I'm a military family, we live in a military community, and all of my families are military families. I purposely advertise my daycare as a 24/7 daycare because military schedules are not steady. They change, they work weird hours, they deploy or TDY frequently and sometimes with no notice. One of my families is a dual military family (meaning both mom and dad are enlisted), so their schedule is VERY random. Another family only needs care when dad is deployed because mom is an RN and they work opposite shifts, so when he is deployed she goes from VERY sporadic care, to full time. Like this month he is only here for 3 days (the days dad flies and can't stay home with him). Another family is in a similar situation. Mom is a CNA, dad is military and works in the ambulatory services. They sometimes work the same schedule, and sometimes they work opposite schedules. So one week I may have them only 2 days, and another week it may be 5, and the next week would be 3 days, ect. None of my families have a steady schedule that will most likely not change. They always change.

So I charge a daily rate, with a reserve for me to charge an additional hourly rate past a certain amount of hours (I haven't yet but I probably will start soonish). I give discounts to my sibling families on weeks they are here a certain amount of days, and no discounts on weeks where they are only here a few days. Every week is different. Every week is a different amount of money, but I make at least "x" amount a month because I know that I'll have the kids at least a certain amount of hours.

It's not really possible for me to charge a salary rate at the moment, and knowing what military makes I don't feel comfortable with it either. Does anyone else here work in a similar situation?
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2013, 01:26 PM
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I am also a military provider. I guess I'm lucky that I have only parents that have a set schedule. The base we are at doesn't have a high deployment rate except for a couple squadrons.
Honestly, I think I would still charge for the slot regardless of attendance though. My family depends on my income as much as my husband's. I need to know how much I'm going to be making each week. I do give my families a bonus/extra day each month that they can use (for illness or just an extra day off) and not have to pay for and I don't charge for family/base down days.
They would be paying for the slot at the CDC regardless of whether they use it or not. I don't feel that my daycare should be any different.
Also, if your base has subsidy (mine does not), the parents are responsible for paying their portion for you to be able to claim it at all.
On the other hand, it's great that you are able to be so lienent with your payments and schedule. I'm sure your families really appreciate it!
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:28 PM
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I'm curious as to how you know what military families earn? Not being trying to be disrespectful, but my daughter and her husband are both in the army and their combined TAKE HOME pay is about 5,000.00 per month as they live off base. They are both E4's.

They were paying 135.00 per week for one at a daycare, 52 weeks per year whether the child was in care or not. I know there are many home childcare providers in that area who only charge about 50.00 per week because there is so much competition they undercut the licensed centers drastically.

If I were you, I would most definitely charge a flat fee that you feel is competitive in your area. It just gets too complicated charging different families so many different fees and trying to keep track of hours and days. I'm sure it would all equal out.

Go back and figure out what each family has used over the past 6 months and then average it out to come up with a fair rate for that family that is due each week regardless.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:37 PM
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When I first started, I had NO idea that people pay for "slots." I now have 6 kids on different days and they all pay per-day. They take random days off for fun, have sick days, etc etc and don't pay.

They are all first-time parents and don't know any other way. (Nor did I until I started coming here.) If I changed things now, I'm pretty sure they'd flip, maybe even rightfully so. It's been like this for 2 years!

So I feel your pain... and I don't have an answer.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:48 PM
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I don't do military but I have done alternating schedules. What I did was have them pay part time. If they show or not. Then when they needed to add days to make it full time, I needed to know the schedule by the Sunday prior. Once paid on Monday, however, they could not retract the schedule. So if they said full time for this week and paid me Monday for full time, Tue they could not come in and say "Oh well, I have off the rest of the week". To use my term....You pay for the slot and I am not an ATM once paid. I haven't had too much of an issue in the past. I never do per day. I wouldn't be able to pay my bills otherwise. If they start out part time and do full time for the week....well hey....extra money in my pocket Otherwise I can budget in at least the part time and know my weekly income.

I think in the end you have to what is right for you, your family and the environment demand. In other words, if it works and your happy....perfect. There is no right or wrong really.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmc20021 View Post
I'm curious as to how you know what military families earn? Not being trying to be disrespectful, but my daughter and her husband are both in the army and their combined TAKE HOME pay is about 5,000.00 per month as they live off base. They are both E4's.

They were paying 135.00 per week for one at a daycare, 52 weeks per year whether the child was in care or not. I know there are many home childcare providers in that area who only charge about 50.00 per week because there is so much competition they undercut the licensed centers drastically.

If I were you, I would most definitely charge a flat fee that you feel is competitive in your area. It just gets too complicated charging different families so many different fees and trying to keep track of hours and days. I'm sure it would all equal out.

Go back and figure out what each family has used over the past 6 months and then average it out to come up with a fair rate for that family that is due each week regardless.
They are a military family also.

I was puzzled though with the income statement because every military family I know makes great money.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
They are a military family also.

I was puzzled though with the income statement because every military family I know makes great money.
It really depends on the pay grade/time in service as to how "great" that money is.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2013, 04:55 PM
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I actually charge an hourly rate for my families. For me it's easier because of the hours my families work and I don't get as stressed out about late pick ups. So I just do an hourly rate per child - no sibling discounts.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:18 PM
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I am a military brat, and now a military spouse. I've grown up in the military community, and have spent my entire adult life married to it.

People think the military makes great pay, but they really don't. The benefits are what makes it worth it, but the benefits are not take home pay. My husband is testing for E6, but is still an E5 and he does support a family of 7 with two dogs. But many people don't know how we do it, and sometimes I don't either. It's not a secret what we make. You can look it up online. Its not really a lot of money. Military families aren't rich. It's why nearly all bases have a WIC office on base, and most military families fall into the "poverty" lines. At tax time nearly all military families that are single income will get a hefty tax return back because we get all the credits. I have never understood people who think that military members are well off.

Last year Chris had to volunteer for a 6 month deployment to the desert just so we could get ahead on bills.

I know what military families make because I am one, as is all my friends. Plus, this is a low cost of area living place. No center around here charges more than about $150/week which nearly all my families pay for their care anyway with me. None of my families are high ranking either. All are E-5 and below.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:19 PM
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And that 5k take home pay "because they live off base" includes their BAH and BAS which are both benefits, not a part of a their actual paycheck. If you live in base housing you forfeit your BAH.
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2013, 09:24 PM
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http://www.navycs.com/2013-military-pay-chart.html

In case anyone is interested. The numbers on the top denote how long each person has been in. This is before taxes. My families are all E5s and E4's with 8 or less years experience. They don't make a lot.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2013, 06:20 AM
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I do hourly/part time as well, not for military (though I have done that in the past when I lived in Leavenworth) but just because that is how I operate. There is generally a need for flexibility in most areas and the kids just don't bother me. Some parents, however...lol
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_peachy View Post
When I first started, I had NO idea that people pay for "slots." I now have 6 kids on different days and they all pay per-day. They take random days off for fun, have sick days, etc etc and don't pay.

They are all first-time parents and don't know any other way. (Nor did I until I started coming here.) If I changed things now, I'm pretty sure they'd flip, maybe even rightfully so. It's been like this for 2 years!

So I feel your pain... and I don't have an answer.
I say that as new clients come in, they pay for a slot.


I am not military, and there is no longer a base within 1+ hours of me, so I don't deal with this issue. If someone with a varying schedule wants to enroll, they pay for the slot like everyone else. That may seem harsh, but I can't have sporadic income as I have a family to support and couldn't get by on it!
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
I say that as new clients come in, they pay for a slot.


I am not military, and there is no longer a base within 1+ hours of me, so I don't deal with this issue. If someone with a varying schedule wants to enroll, they pay for the slot like everyone else. That may seem harsh, but I can't have sporadic income as I have a family to support and couldn't get by on it!


Especially since you are going out of your way to cater to their needs by being open 24/7-sounds like you are basically on call and are extremely flexible for them, parents should appreciate that and have no problem paying per slot for that kind of service I can't imagine there are a ton of providers to choose from that do this...I know I couldn't because I really value my alone time with my family.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:21 PM
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Hi I am new here and have been a military child care provider for over 10 yrs now..we have always lived on base, but now that we live off base..(just moved to Nebraska a few weeks ago) I was told by the state that if I have less than 4 daycare kids I do not have to be liscenced..I only want like 2 dc kids since I have 3 of my own and that is plenty for me..LOL..I see that you are also in Nebraska, and I assume since you are military, prob not too far from me Anyways..wondering if u are liscenced or not? Trying to figure out how to get clients without being liscenced...I know all the rules and regs since I have done it for so long, but with only 2 kids in my care, just doesn't seem worth the trouble..any info you can give would be greatly appreciated! I am anxious to start back up Thanx for your time
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  #16  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
I say that as new clients come in, they pay for a slot.


I am not military, and there is no longer a base within 1+ hours of me, so I don't deal with this issue. If someone with a varying schedule wants to enroll, they pay for the slot like everyone else. That may seem harsh, but I can't have sporadic income as I have a family to support and couldn't get by on it!
I think that's certainly fair!
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  #17  
Old 03-15-2013, 02:16 PM
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I charge for the spot. I am an excellent provider and my families know it.

This may be a little harsh but if you cannot afford childcare, dont have children, or choose to stay home with them. I do not have a problem replacing children and recently termed a mom with 6 children (i watched her 1yo twins) bc she wanted to take off spring break and not pay and was going to let her other children watch them. Well, too bad, i had them replaced the next day.

My bills do not depend on the parents income it depends on mine.

I have a parent that has been with me almost a year and for the past month has been paying for full time care and only bringing her child two days a week because she cannot afford the gas to bring him every day.

Im not trying to be ugly but i cannot afford to live off of evey parents whims to bring their child to care or not. It is stated in my policies and thats that.
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2013, 04:35 PM
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Please don't take offense, but that pay is significantly more than what me make and on par or more (in some cases much more) than what most of what my families make (and even with the benefits and taxes removed). In other words, I definitely think they can afford a weekly salary . Just my humble opinion .

I try to not concern myself with what people make. As long as I charge what I need to for our expenses and bills and the parents pay on time, that's all I care about.

Good luck!
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