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Old 05-14-2010, 11:14 AM
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kdparadise kdparadise is offline
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Default Reserving Future Spots - Policy Vs Practical Question?

Okay, I'm new to the DC world and am still working on starting up, with a start date of 3rd week of June after a much needed family vacay! Yay!

I've had to pass up a few that were interested, I haven't advertised or anything, just word of mouth I suppose. My neighbor is a DC provider M-F with full timers, registered only and is maxed out one of her mom's is having another one induced last night!

So she maxed out, she gave a referral from her cousin's friend to me. I really liked her on the phone, your standard worried pregnant first time mom. She will be needing care 12weeks from now, so end of July. I had promised a baby spot to the lady that I've become friends with in the office that helps registered providers & I took the 45hr class from her, for sakes of ease will make her name Jane. Jane has connections and will be calling a lady who will help fill me up with Intel kids ---- that would be awesome! Well, Jane said it could take months and months maybe even 6 to fill my baby spot. Here I have a gal that is having a baby and will need care in 12 weeks.

1 - I am worried about burning a bridge with Jane, she has the Intel connectio and has helped me a lot.

2 - I'm torn anyway w/ accepting a baby early in starting out when I have my own 10M old baby to care for and it would be good to get a slightly older child(ren) that can take some direction.

3 - If I decide to commit to the gal needing care in 12weeks, I would want her to agree / sign something, pay me something ahead for saving the spot for her??? Suggestions on reserving future spots would be good?

4 - Many people have suggested b/c I'm starting out I would need to weigh the aspect of having a baby that means the baby may stay with me a lot longer and I want that for my own 10M old baby, that he have kids he bonds with and that are stable. Weighing this with the fact that caring for 2 babies right away can be overwhelming....

Oh wow, this is a loaded discussion. I hope you all can hear the anxiety in my writing and help.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:39 AM
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mac60 mac60 is offline
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Personally, caring for 2 babies is much easier than caring for 2 preschoolers. I would suggest a nonrefundable fee for holding the spot, 1 weeks fee, flat $250 fee, something--what ever you decide, for them to say they are serious and plan on coming.

I would thank your friend, explain to her you have someone interested in the infant spot, and not worry about it. With this business, you have to look out for you first, and not worry about what others think, easier said than done though.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:41 AM
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emosks emosks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
Personally, caring for 2 babies is much easier than caring for 2 preschoolers. I would suggest a nonrefundable fee for holding the spot, 1 weeks fee, flat $250 fee, something--what ever you decide, for them to say they are serious and plan on coming.

I would thank your friend, explain to her you have someone interested in the infant spot, and not worry about it. With this business, you have to look out for you first, and not worry about what others think, easier said than done though.
That's exactly what I would do too. We charge $100 a month over the summer to hold school children's spots. And mac is right...you have to look out for yourself in this business.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:41 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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here I can have 3 under 2 so I would take them all.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:45 AM
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When is Jane's baby due or how soon will she be needing the spot?

I would not hold a spot for that long. 12 weeks is a long time and between now and then one (or both) of these parents might change their minds and decide to stay home themselves, use another provider, etc. Honestly, if you like both of them, I would give the spot to whichever one signs the contract and pays the deposit first.

One thing to consider about Jane - the fact that she has a lot of connections could come back to haunt you should things go sour with your friendship or business relationship. Since she has the inside scoop, she could probably make it hard for you if she wanted to. That would make me slighty reluctant to take her on as a client - but that's just me.

On the other hand, since Jane comes in direct contact with so many other providers, it shouldn't be too hard for her to find someone else that she is confortable with to care for her baby.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:50 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Charge a holding fee of your choice that is non-refundable and have her sign your contract right away with the starting date on it. Have her pay a deposit of two-weeks worth of care to pay for the last two-weeks of care should she ever decide to leave. Have her pay everything and sign everything BEFORE she starts care with you.

Also a little tid-bit to think about, charge parents for care in advance. Have them pay either on Friday at pick-up or Monday at drop-off in advance for that next week. If they don't pay by Monday at drop-off the latest DON'T Take THE CHILD! This way you won't have to worry about having families get behind in payments. Doing this has made my life soooo much easier.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:11 PM
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Why do I get that feeling, well I suppose I already had a bit of a feeling in my stomach that it's nice to get referrals from friends, neighbors or other connections, but this comes with strings and can have larger ripple effects. I got a car magnets, made business cards and was going to advertise myself on Craigslist and etc but essentially try to find my own DC kids, b/c well the business is uniquely mine and it's not a small small town so it doesn't come with a whole lot more than that. My neighbor's cousin's Best friend will surely get back to my neighbor on anything that is going on at my daycare whether I told my next door neighbor or not. Jane, the lady that does referrals for registered providers has big connections with another woman that helps place Intel kids, but man if I cross Jane or the Intel lady that'll be very bad you are right.

I sorta felt like recruiting my own first kids in the beginning b/c I wanted to get more of the professional experience under my belt, but that is not how it will work. Like any business, you need to get your business any way you can.

When I read the policies you've suggested at a glance I think wow that sounds harsh or is that asking too much. I tried to lighten it up in my Contract and Handbook, but maybe I am wrong to. Particularly when it comes to holding a spot, wow 12 weeks is a long time. I'm not setting an opening date till 4 weeks from now, but 8 weeks holding that spot is still long.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:34 PM
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You don't have to charge a weekly rate until the child starts you can charge a flat fee. I know some providers that charge $50 flat fee no matter how long and others that charge $150. Some charge anywhere from $15 to $50 a week and some have a max cap (i.e. $20 a week but no more than $100). You can do what you like. These are all just suggestions from us that have that experience under our belt. Right now you are feeling nervous about how you say things but believe me after a few years you won't be so willing to tiptoe around a subject lol. The clearer and more specific your policy's are worded the less likely that you'll have misunderstandings. Afterall the last thing you want to have happen is that she says she wants the spot and you save it then she changes her mind and you lose out on the income that you could have had had you not saved the spot for her.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
You don't have to charge a weekly rate until the child starts you can charge a flat fee. I know some providers that charge $50 flat fee no matter how long and others that charge $150. Some charge anywhere from $15 to $50 a week and some have a max cap (i.e. $20 a week but no more than $100). You can do what you like. These are all just suggestions from us that have that experience under our belt. Right now you are feeling nervous about how you say things but believe me after a few years you won't be so willing to tiptoe around a subject lol. The clearer and more specific your policy's are worded the less likely that you'll have misunderstandings. Afterall the last thing you want to have happen is that she says she wants the spot and you save it then she changes her mind and you lose out on the income that you could have had had you not saved the spot for her.
I agree with the policy thing MarinaVanessa said. It will be MUCH better to word things in your contract as specifically as you can. For example, to sound nicer I used the words, "we prefer that..." in a certain part of the policy. Later I realized that certain parents take those words to mean, "when convenient for YOU.." So now this part of the policy is often overlooked and ignored, and I can't say much because I didn't specify that they couldn't do it, just that we prefer that they don't. It's not that big of an issue I guess, but it drives me nuts sometimes. So don't worry about trying to sound "nice" and all that. In this business a lot of parents will turn everything you have in the contract around and work it in their favor if it is not absolutely clear, specific, and detailed from the beginning. Also, to avoid misunderstandings it will need to be. There have been times when I mentioned to a parent a part in the policy that I didn't feel they were following. When I mentioned it, they were so agreeable and acted like they would have from the beginning had they known that is what I meant in the policy. They had honestly understood something different from what I had written in it.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:58 PM
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I added this in my contract this yr. I will hold a spot for you- 1 week pay per month to hold a spot. This is also nonrefundable and it is only to hold the spot.
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