Daycare.com Forum Daycare Forum

Go Back   Daycare.com Forum > Main Category > Daycare Center and Family Home Forum

Daycare Center and Family Home Forum Daycare Center and Family Home owners, Directors, Operators and Assistants should post and ask questions here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2012, 08:24 AM
Angelwings36's Avatar
Angelwings36 Angelwings36 is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 436
Default FEES To Remain On A Waiting List...

I was going to post this as unregistered because I know I'm going out on a limb here trying to start a new pattern with daycare waiting lists and this might be met with some negative remarks but I decided to take the risk and remain logged in.

My problem with waiting lists is I feel that I put in a ton of time and energy in with families that may never even use my daycare. For that reason I have decided to attach a fee to my 'active' waiting list. I feel that this will help weed out the families who aren't serious about enrolling their children in my care and making my interviewing process almost obsolete when I have a space become available.

Posted below is an email that I sent to a family who is very interested in my daycare.

Hello *****,

Thank you for responding to my ad. The spaces I was advertising for have been filled, however, I do keep an 'active' waiting list. I'm assuming you would be looking for an August/September space? There is a good chance that I may have availability by then with children moving on to school. I work my active waiting list as listed below:

1. You would set up an interview with me. During the interview you would get a copy of my policies and procedure as well as any daycare forms that I use that would be relevant to your specific situation. I also give a copy of my quarterly newsletters so families have an idea of what to expect month to month. I would answer any questions you have at that time and give you some reference numbers to check.

2. Once you have read through all my material and have made the decision that my daycare is the right fit for your family an initial fee of $50.00 is required to place your name on an active waiting list.

3. On the first of each month or at any time that I have an available space, you will receive an email from me to notify you of such openings. Each additional month after the first month is a $25.00 fee to remain on my active waiting list. You would provide me with post-dated checks for the amount of months that you would like to remain on my active waiting list.

4. If at any time you find a different daycare that fits your families needs or no longer want to remain on my active waiting list you would email me to inform me of your decision before the 1st of the following month and any post-dated checks that you have remaining with me you would go ahead and cancel.

5. If I email you and let you know that I have a space available there is a deposit to secure the space. The deposit is $325.00 and goes towards your last two weeks of childcare upon termination. Once this deposit is paid and all signed paperwork is returned to me your space is secure.

6. Once I accept a family for an opening the family is expected to pay a holding fee for each month before the first month that they begin care with me. My monthly holding fee is $150.00 and is non-refundable. So if I inform you in July of this year that I have an opening for September 2012 and your chose to put the deposit down to start your child in September 2012, you would pay a holding fee for the months of July and August.

7. Any fees paid to be on the active waiting list over $50.00 will be deducted from your monthly holding fee if a space becomes available to your family.

I am open Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 5:15pm and Fridays 7:30am - 4:30pm.

If my hours of operation work for you and you are interested in setting up an interview with me with the possibility of signing up to my active waiting list, please get back to me asap and we can proceed further.

Thanks so much.

Please don't hold back on any comments, suggestions or opinions on fees for a waiting list.

Also I am up for suggestions on how to contract the active waiting list fee(s) as I will have to make up a form for this.

Thanks so much!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:16 AM
Meeko's Avatar
Meeko Meeko is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 4,275
Default

If you think there is a market for it, then go for it.

I do know it wouldn't fly around here. Some families may be interested in two places and will happily take a spot in whichever one becomes available first. They may not want to pay to stay on a waiting list and end up taking another spot anyway.

I do day care in an area which has a huge college population and young families. They do not have the funds to be able to pay for a place on a waiting list. As most places DON"T charge for that, they will gravitate towards those places.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:32 AM
itlw8's Avatar
itlw8 itlw8 is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,199
Default

That would not work for me here but if you are that popular and everyone wants to be place in your program go for it you will soon find out if it works for you.

I have the parents fill out a post card and I stick it in the mail when I have the opening. they are given a time limit to call if they are interested in the opening.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2012, 01:04 PM
cheerfuldom's Avatar
cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,414
Default

I don't interview at all unless I have a spot. I also have an email with specific questions and information to weed out as many time wasting interviews as possible. On average, I interview one to three times per opening. Perhaps revamping the rest of your interview process would be more realistic than attaching a fee to a waiting list? I know that this fee would never work in my area but i can absolutely understand your frustration in the process as a whole.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2012, 01:34 PM
Angelwings36's Avatar
Angelwings36 Angelwings36 is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 436
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
I don't interview at all unless I have a spot. I also have an email with specific questions and information to weed out as many time wasting interviews as possible. On average, I interview one to three times per opening. Perhaps revamping the rest of your interview process would be more realistic than attaching a fee to a waiting list? I know that this fee would never work in my area but i can absolutely understand your frustration in the process as a whole.

I also have an email with specific questions and information that I use to weed through potential families prior to interviewing and typically stay around the 1-3 interviews per space.

The reason that I thought of starting an active waiting list with a fee attached is because right now I'm getting between 3-5 emails a day for children to start anywhere between May and November 2012. I pay a monthly fee for my ad to be on kijiji.ca (Canadian) so even when I am full I still end up getting emails. With the heavy demand I thought it might be a neat idea to give the active waiting list with fees attached a try. I will see if I get any takers, if not oh well.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2012, 02:15 PM
MarinaVanessa's Avatar
MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
Family Childcare Home
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ventura County, CA
Posts: 7,200
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom View Post
I don't interview at all unless I have a spot.
Me neither, this is how I save myself a lot of time and effort. I put an add up and advertise for an opening and then set up all of my interviews during the same week or two. When people call me I keep a form that I fill out as I'm doing the phone interview, this way if I see red flags I make a note of it and keep the form so that I don't later accidentally schedule an interview (I'm really bad with names). I fill out another more detailed form during the actual interview and then staple the two forms together and file them. Once I make my decision I let all of the other candidates know and ask them if they want to stay on my waitinglist. If they say yes then their paperwork goes into my waitlist file. Easy Peazy.

If someone calls when I am full I just let them know and ask if they want to be kept on my waiting list. If they say yes then I have a seperate list of the people that I have not yet interviewed. I do not interview anyone if I don't have an opening available. If they want to ask questions and I don't have an opening I refer them to my website which has most of the information that I'm asked during phone and person-to-person interviews including my rates. If an opening pops up and I have someone in mind already (from my list of already interviewed candidates) then I'll call them and ask them if they are still interested. If no one is interested then I'll call the people on the waiting list that I have not yet interviewed and the process starts all over. During this time I also advertise for the spot so that I can interview as many clients as I can (usually about 4 or 5). I like to keep my options open.

It's really not as complicated as it sounds and I tend to weed out many callers during the first initial phone call anyway if I feel it won't be a good fit. I also don't hand out handbooks or a contracts during the initial interview, I hand those out only once they decide to sign up. It's too much work, time and money putting and printing a packet together so I email them a copy of these instead and/or refer them to my website. I suppose if they said they had no internet or printer access that I could always just hand them one (I always have at least one ready). I just don't like wasting my time or theirs and this works for me.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-14-2012, 04:03 PM
saved4always's Avatar
saved4always saved4always is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,011
Default

I don't interview unless I have a spot, either. I don't even do a waiting list either because I like to keep it small so it is unlikely that I will have an opening when the person calling still needs care.

I guess if you can get people to pay to stay on the list, go for it. As someone who used to use daycare when I worked full time, I personally would never have paid to get on or stay on a list. Once I put my kids in daycare, I was not going to move them unless there was a problem with the provider so I would would most likely not have been interested if a spot opened up after the kids were settled. Plus, back then, money was really tight so I could not have afforded another monthly bill. But that doesn't mean that there are not other parents out there who have plenty of income who would pay, especially if your childcare is sought after.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:28 PM
Crazy8's Avatar
Crazy8 Crazy8 is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 2,769
Default

If you have that much of a demand and think it will work that is great but no way, no how would that work around here - no one would pay to be on a wait list.

A wait list to me is almost a waste - generally people call when they need care in the near future - if I have an opening 6 months later unless they are really unhappy with the daycare they've found they aren't going to switch.

I tell potential clients to "like" my FB page and that I do post updates and openings on there when I have them. I do require a holding fee if someone wants to hold the spot for a few months - but I think that is pretty different from paying to be on a wait list.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:44 PM
daycare's Avatar
daycare daycare is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Mars
Posts: 16,021
Default

it would not work here for me either.. the only time I charge a fee, is to hold a spot for a one month period max. I charge half of my monthly fee and then if they decide to stay after the two week trial, I will credit back $50.00 of it.

If you think that you could do it great....but my question would be how long would someone have to pay this fee? Can you guarantee them a spot?

If no one leaves your daycare then people could be paying fees for ever....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-14-2012, 07:17 PM
sharlan's Avatar
sharlan sharlan is offline
Advanced Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino, California
Posts: 6,040
Default

As a parent, I would cross you off of my list of potential providers. There is no way I would pay a fee to be on a "potential waiting list".
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-15-2012, 05:52 AM
CheekyChick's Avatar
CheekyChick CheekyChick is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 811
Default

I can't see anyone paying a fee to be on a waitlist.

Unless it's a potential infant client, I no longer waste my time interviewing unless I have an available spot.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-16-2012, 12:44 PM
MissK's Avatar
MissK MissK is offline
New Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 180
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Me neither, this is how I save myself a lot of time and effort. I put an add up and advertise for an opening and then set up all of my interviews during the same week or two. When people call me I keep a form that I fill out as I'm doing the phone interview, this way if I see red flags I make a note of it and keep the form so that I don't later accidentally schedule an interview (I'm really bad with names). I fill out another more detailed form during the actual interview and then staple the two forms together and file them. Once I make my decision I let all of the other candidates know and ask them if they want to stay on my waitinglist. If they say yes then their paperwork goes into my waitlist file. Easy Peazy.
A little off from the original post here - but do you have copies of these forms that you use? I think this is a really neat idea and would love to see how you have it set up if you don't mind sharing?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-16-2012, 12:54 PM
wdmmom wdmmom is offline
Advanced Daycare.com
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: WDM, IA
Posts: 2,669
Default

I think it's a great idea. You can always try and see if there is a market for it.

What's wrong with interviewing prospective families that are pregnant or looking for new care after an extended period of time?

If you have a schoolager leaving in August, you have a family that is moving or if you have a DCM that is pregnant and going to stay home so you'll be losing DCK when dcm has the baby, why not?!

I think it's a great idea to get a jump start on it. You could meet some terrific people that would be exceptional candidates to your group.

Just remember, "The early bird gets the worm!"

Good luck!!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
letter samples, waiting list

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Parents Forgetting Field Trip Fees queenbee Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 23 08-23-2020 02:48 PM
Waiting List quietpoet2004 Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 4 05-11-2012 07:18 PM
Daycare Supply List Unregistered Parents and Guardians Forum 33 10-08-2010 11:23 AM
I Officially Have a Waiting List!!! sahm2three Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 7 09-11-2010 08:35 AM
Waiting List Procedure? DBug Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 4 03-04-2010 08:34 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:52 AM.



Daycare.com         Find A Daycare         List Your Daycare         Toys & Products                 About Us

Daycare.com
Please read our Disclaimer before continuing.

Topics pertain mainly to the following States:

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming