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  #1  
Old 12-12-2009, 04:42 PM
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melissa ann melissa ann is offline
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Default Explaing Expenses to Parents

I was told yesterday that 2 of the kids will only be here 1 day next week. Mom/boyfriend going on vacation. This will be like their third week out this year. Must be nice. Now, I have in my handbook about needing a 2 week noitce for such things. I also have a 3 day min. amount. now the cousin of the other 2 will be here all week. So, since it's the holiday season, I was thinking of telling them that I will only charge for 2 days instead of 3. With the other child here all week and if I charge them for 2 days it will come to the 3 day min. rate anyway. I know boyfried (also grandfather who has custody of the one who wil be here all week) doesn't like paying for days when they are not here or only for a couple of hours. I have written a letter stating what my expenses include to maybe help them understand my viewpoint a little.
****************************************************
Now as you know, I ask for a minimum amount each week per child.
This is to cover my expenses in providing childcare. Some of the
expenses include (but not limited) to the following:
1) taxes (yes, I file this income)
2) phone
3) electric
4) food: milk, bread, butter, choc syrup, strawberry syrup, fruit,
yogurt, mac cheese, chef boyhrdee, chicken nuggets,
pizza rolls, hot dogs, , vegs, cereals, cheese, peanut
butter, granola bars, crackers, etc.
5)other supplies: dish detergent, tissues, toilet paper, paper
towels, lysol wipes, lysol disinfectant spray, hand soap,
hand sanitizer, etc.
6) crafts: construction paper, glue sticks, coloring books, crayons,
pencil crayons, rubber stamps, ink pads, ribbon, etc.
7) toys/books: replace as needed or if I see something that I
think the children will like.

My hours of operation are 6am-5pm, which is 11 hours. My day does not end
when the children leave. There are things that need to be done when they are not here.
Examples:
1) washing nap blankets/dress up clothes
2) cleaning/sanitizing toys
3) vacuming/mopping floors
4) cleaning bathroom

Now, I do enjoy watching/caring for children. I know that sometimes parents
don't understand completely what is involved in this business. I'm not trying
to "rip" you off when I ask for a min amount each week whether a child is
here or not. But without that min. amount I wouldn't be able to continue providing childcare.
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2009, 04:54 PM
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I have a 3 day minimum as well. Stick by that!!!
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:11 PM
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This was posted on another site. I agree to stick to your policy. If you deter from it once they will always expect it.

Quote:
I understand that child care is not inexpensive. In order to help families realize what is included in what you pay for child care I’ve listed below what is involved in the cost of child care.

What you pay to my child care will guarantee: high quality child care, nutritious meals and snacks and a safe, nurturing environment for your child. In Family Child Care your child will have much more individual attention and opportunities for learning, and much less illness than a center care.

Your child care fees also provide:

•my income including the taxes and the social security, which I pay in.
•special child care insurance
•my training, monthly and yearly, so that I am better able to help guide your child
•professional organization fees
•record keeping software & accountant fees
•food & juice
•paper products (toilet paper, paper towel, napkins)
•soap (hand soap, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, carpet/spot cleaner)
•cleaning supplies (bleach, vacuum cleaner bags, cleansers)
•first aid training (CPR, 1st Aid, abuse/neglect)
•licensing fees and expenses
•curriculums and subscriptions
•toys, play equipment, books, dishes/cups/plastic ware
•baby equipment (swing/bouncy seat, high chairs, booster chairs, cribs/sheets)
•art and craft supplies (paint, paper, craft foam, felt, play dough, stamps, stickers, markers, crayons, etc.)
•water (hand washing, laundry, cleaning, at least two dishwasher loads each day)
•gas/electric (heat/air/hot water/lights)
•nap mats
•lots of repairs and wear and tear (on furniture, carpets, screens, books/toys)
•entertainments expenses (field trips, extras)
•paperwork & supplies (stamps, printer paper, ink cartridges, envelopes)
•parties and special events (treats, gifts)
•all of the other things that your child will use

Like other self-employed workers, Family Child Care providers do not receive the benefits many employees take for granted. These include health/dental insurance, life insurance, retirement/pension, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance. These benefits often amount to as much as 35% and today, often more of a person's wages.

Unlike other forms of self-employment family child care is very restrictive in that there is no room for growth. The State of __________ dictates the size of my business.

To protect precious time with my family you will find late fees in my contract. I cannot take time for appointments or obligations without careful planning and covering my responsibilities. My work day hours do not end when your child leaves. Some or all of my training, preparation, paperwork, shopping or cleaning time happens after the children leave. I really do not want the extra fees, but it is imperative that you understand my responsibilities to my family, and my own child as well.

Your child is the most precious thing to you and is worth the price of quality child care. My goals are providing reliable service and peace of mind as you leave your child in my care in the busyness of your day. I hope this gives you a better understanding about all the ways in which your fees are applied.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:00 PM
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THis is great!!!!!
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2009, 12:22 AM
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Please consider when taking in your next customers... charging a monthly "tuition". You ask what days and hours they will come, you figure out an average monthly cost, and that is what they pay every month (you can split it into 2x/mo, or even 3x or 4x/mo, but it is still that set amount due every month.) They pay whether they are there every day that is contracted for, or whether they are absent however many days that month. Easy to do, no hard feelings on either side, and everyone involved knows what to expect month to month.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:36 AM
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I would tell them nothing about your business expenses and the specifics of such. It's really none of their business. Does your local auto repair shop give you a breakdown explanation of why their shop rate is what it is? Does any business? NO, because it's none of the customers business.

This is the rate I charge, don't like it, go elsewhere. You contracted for this rate up front with full knowledge of it, now is not the time to re-negotiate.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2009, 07:59 AM
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I agree with chickenhauler, no way would i make excuses to them of why they are being enforced to obligate the contract they signed when enrolling, they know what they agreed to, be careful giving any discounts even during the 'holidays' especially to a family that already thinks you are overpaid..Now if you have a family that is respectful and on time dropping off, picking up and paying all the time then id consider giving a discount otherwise no way..
And for the 'monthly' payments? I've tried hourly,weekly and monthly. Hourly no way no how never again! Monthly? Way to much paper work for me and confusion to the parents, not all months are equal in the amount of days and weeks so you'd have to give invoices out to 'remind' parents what they owe. I have found that making parents pay one week in advance of care every week has eleminated a lot of confusion on their part and a lot of stress on mine. At first i worried that the parents couldnt or wouldnt do a weekly fee in advance but then i thought 'hey, they know they have a daycare bill, they can budget it in and pay me every week regardless of what their pay schedule is'. And guess what? It has worked, no more late payments (thanks to the increased $20 late fee) and now i know i am working for $ instead of wondering if I'll get paid, now if there is a problem and someone doesnt pay me i can stop them at the door and say 'no pay no stay'. i havent had to do that yet but yes i would if i had to.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2009, 10:35 AM
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First, I don't feel like I'm making excuses. Some people are just oblvious of what it takes to operate a child care business.
Second, I will not give them the discount. This family has caused me more headaches than I can count.
And if they can afford 3 getaways they can afford to pay me.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2009, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenhauler View Post
I would tell them nothing about your business expenses and the specifics of such. It's really none of their business. Does your local auto repair shop give you a breakdown explanation of why their shop rate is what it is? Does any business? NO, because it's none of the customers business.

This is the rate I charge, don't like it, go elsewhere. You contracted for this rate up front with full knowledge of it, now is not the time to re-negotiate.
My thoughts as well!
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2009, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa ann View Post
First, I don't feel like I'm making excuses. Some people are just oblvious of what it takes to operate a child care business.
Second, I will not give them the discount. This family has caused me more headaches than I can count.
And if they can afford 3 getaways they can afford to pay me.
Well, anytime you try to explain the "why" of your rating in a business, it comes off as an excuse to those who are hearing it.

Ever ask the auto dealer why their labor rate is near $100 per hour? And the answer sounds like an excuse..........
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:25 PM
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Labor, no, but you DO get a breakdown of the materials used to fix your car ...


Just sayin'.

In my handbook I have a very brief explanation of what you're paying for, which includes "wages" without being specific about how much I actually earn. My list looks similar to yours - crafts, cleaning, courses, so on and so forth. And I agree with you. It's NOT making excuses, it's just avoiding the inevitable comments indicating you make too much...
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:21 AM
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if Ihad a parent not appreciate me and my dedication to their child,... they would no longer be welcome.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandasFCC View Post
Labor, no, but you DO get a breakdown of the materials used to fix your car ...


Just sayin'.

In my handbook I have a very brief explanation of what you're paying for, which includes "wages" without being specific about how much I actually earn. My list looks similar to yours - crafts, cleaning, courses, so on and so forth. And I agree with you. It's NOT making excuses, it's just avoiding the inevitable comments indicating you make too much...
Yes, materials that are actually installed on your car.

They don't tell you what the cost of shop rags, parts washer solvent, shop heat, the cost of a hoist, permits and disposal of hazardous waste, employee wages and bennies, or the actual cost of the parts put in the car.

Wrenching isn't where the money's at......believe it or not, shops make more money on parts markup than on the work.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:58 PM
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'Wrenching' doesn't tell specifics of what it cost and neither did that list. I think the list is a good idea. I just had a parent make a comment about the "state funding' I get that covers my utilities, supplies and food. WT*$#%? The only $ I get from the state is 2/3 of what YOU the parent owes me as a state welfare recipient AND a lot of rules and limitations on how many children/income I can have.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Childminder View Post
'Wrenching' doesn't tell specifics of what it cost and neither did that list. I think the list is a good idea. I just had a parent make a comment about the "state funding' I get that covers my utilities, supplies and food. WT*$#%? The only $ I get from the state is 2/3 of what YOU the parent owes me as a state welfare recipient AND a lot of rules and limitations on how many children/income I can have.
Exactly, parents are clueless. Where do they come up with their ideas.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:14 PM
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Default Sometimes parents are oblivious

I agree with both sides of the issue. Sometimes parents have made little comments and it irritates me that they really have no idea that tuition pays for a LOT more than just my paycheck. I dont think they realize that I use part of their tuition to pay for quality curriculum, nutritious meals, new toys and supplies etc... One dad asked me a question about how I come up with my curriculum. From the conversation I think he realized that I pay a lot of money each month to ensure quality care and education for his child and it doesnt all go into my pocket. It is good for parents to realize this. But it might go over better when things come up naturally in conversation than with a laundry list of items. If I did mention something in writing about the "cost of Childcare", I think I would mention something like:

"I strive to provide families with quality care and education for their child each day. Your weekly tuition also covers the cost of developmentally appropriate curriculum and materials, nutritious meals and snacks, and a safe and clean learning environment."

When you mention all of the little things it sounds a little petty and takes away from the professional nature of running a business.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:44 AM
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I have to agree with that blanket statement. If parents don't like my rates, they're welcome to go elsewhere. I charge a reasonable rate, and I don't think I need to justify that to the parents. I do feel I need to explain the whole concept of "paying for the spot", so I do that, once, in our interview. But to lay out all of my expenses is too much. I don't think it should be necessary. They aren't shareholders or employers, and I just don't think they need to know what I spend my money on. They can see the crafts that go home, my menus, the new toys that appear quite regularly, and the fact that their children are happy, clean and well-cared-for -- that should be enough.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Childminder View Post
'Wrenching' doesn't tell specifics of what it cost and neither did that list. I think the list is a good idea. I just had a parent make a comment about the "state funding' I get that covers my utilities, supplies and food. WT*$#%? The only $ I get from the state is 2/3 of what YOU the parent owes me as a state welfare recipient AND a lot of rules and limitations on how many children/income I can have.
Sorry if I didn't list what shop operating costs were over a decade ago (when I got out of that gig).

If you feel the need to justify your business charges, then by all means, do so.

I just tell people "If you think I'm getting "rich", you should become a millionaire, being that you seem to know everything.....why don't you give it a try?"
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:15 PM
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Well, I did not give them an explaination of expenses. I just handed them the bill slip without a discount for the 2 kids who were only here 1 day. I charged them the 3 day min.
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