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 11-24-2014, 09:07 AM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default Opening New Daycare - Advice With Policy Loose Ends?

Good morning! First post here.

I am about to open my preschool/daycare (in-home, 6 child maximum legally) for kiddos ages 3-5. I have my parent handbook ready to go, but something is still nagging at me... I think I'd love some reassurance and/or suggestions regarding my policies.

First off, pricing and tuition payment schedule. There are a range of centers/in-home care options around my location. I'm priced higher than some and lower than others. I believe my full time and drop in rates are as they should be. I'm torn on my half-day rates, however.

Full time: $800/mo (Covers any hours from open to close)

Drop in: $9-10/hour, depending upon whether they buy some time upfront in blocks

Half-Day - From 9 AM - 1 PM.
2 days - $286/mo
3 days - $418/mo
4 days - $557/mo

Do those prices seem reasonable next to my full time and drop in rates? There are VERY few options around me that offer half-day/part time, so there aren't many things to compare to.

Also, for planning purposes, my thinking is that parents enrolling in half-day should commit to set days during the week so I can block out those spots for their contracted period (1 year). I am thinking that the tuition every month should be the same - I might explain that the yearly cost has been calculated to consider days during which the school is closed, etc. (Holidays) and that the annual cost is split over 12 payments. My full time folks will already pay a set $800/mo every single month. I think it might be a logistical nightmare to have half-day parents paying me weekly and selecting days as they choose. Is there a universe in which I may be able to just charge my half- day families by the month?

I am thinking that I will allow full time families to take one vacation per contract year of 5 consecutive days during which the tuition for those 5 days specifically is charged at half rate. Any days over those 5 days will be charged at the full rate.

For half day families, the vacation period to which they are entitled at the half-rate tuition will be equal to the number of days for which they are enrolled during the week (2 day/week will get 2 days per year of "vacation" eligible for the half-rate tuition; 3 day/week families will get 3 days, etc.).

What are your thoughts on these policies?

Any suggestions on a cap on the number of students to enroll for full time/half day? My community seems to lean more toward half day and drop in preference so I'd love to leave lots of room for drop-ins.

Thoughts on my half-day pricing structure? Can I charge those families monthly, the same amount every month? I can just hear it now: "I'm paying for 2 days a week, but I couldn't come during my normal days because of Christmas!" I am trying to avoid headaches... Maybe it's just a matter of phrasing it to parents?

Lastly, if you could offer ANY advice to me as a newbie, what policies do you think I should be sure to include in my handbook that I may not have already considered? It's already 21 pages long and I believe I've thought of everything, but if you could say ANYTHING to me that would help me be able to head off some problems, what would it be?

Thank you SO MUCH!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-24-2014, 11:23 AM
nannyde's Avatar
nannyde nannyde is offline
All powerful, all knowing daycare whisperer
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 7,311
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartingirl View Post
Good morning! First post here.

I am about to open my preschool/daycare (in-home, 6 child maximum legally) for kiddos ages 3-5. I have my parent handbook ready to go, but something is still nagging at me... I think I'd love some reassurance and/or suggestions regarding my policies.

First off, pricing and tuition payment schedule. There are a range of centers/in-home care options around my location. I'm priced higher than some and lower than others. I believe my full time and drop in rates are as they should be. I'm torn on my half-day rates, however.

Full time: $800/mo (Covers any hours from open to close)

Drop in: $9-10/hour, depending upon whether they buy some time upfront in blocks

Half-Day - From 9 AM - 1 PM.
2 days - $286/mo
3 days - $418/mo
4 days - $557/mo

Do those prices seem reasonable next to my full time and drop in rates? There are VERY few options around me that offer half-day/part time, so there aren't many things to compare to.

Also, for planning purposes, my thinking is that parents enrolling in half-day should commit to set days during the week so I can block out those spots for their contracted period (1 year). I am thinking that the tuition every month should be the same - I might explain that the yearly cost has been calculated to consider days during which the school is closed, etc. (Holidays) and that the annual cost is split over 12 payments. My full time folks will already pay a set $800/mo every single month. I think it might be a logistical nightmare to have half-day parents paying me weekly and selecting days as they choose. Is there a universe in which I may be able to just charge my half- day families by the month?

I am thinking that I will allow full time families to take one vacation per contract year of 5 consecutive days during which the tuition for those 5 days specifically is charged at half rate. Any days over those 5 days will be charged at the full rate.

For half day families, the vacation period to which they are entitled at the half-rate tuition will be equal to the number of days for which they are enrolled during the week (2 day/week will get 2 days per year of "vacation" eligible for the half-rate tuition; 3 day/week families will get 3 days, etc.).

What are your thoughts on these policies?

Any suggestions on a cap on the number of students to enroll for full time/half day? My community seems to lean more toward half day and drop in preference so I'd love to leave lots of room for drop-ins.

Thoughts on my half-day pricing structure? Can I charge those families monthly, the same amount every month? I can just hear it now: "I'm paying for 2 days a week, but I couldn't come during my normal days because of Christmas!" I am trying to avoid headaches... Maybe it's just a matter of phrasing it to parents?

Lastly, if you could offer ANY advice to me as a newbie, what policies do you think I should be sure to include in my handbook that I may not have already considered? It's already 21 pages long and I believe I've thought of everything, but if you could say ANYTHING to me that would help me be able to head off some problems, what would it be?

Thank you SO MUCH!
You have $8.32 per hour per kid for two days BUT you are allowing them to leave before nap where you can get paid while they sleep.
$8.10 for three days and four days.

How many hours do you offer the full time kids per day. They are at 186 per week.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-24-2014, 11:40 AM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
You have $8.32 per hour per kid for two days BUT you are allowing them to leave before nap where you can get paid while they sleep.
$8.10 for three days and four days.

How many hours do you offer the full time kids per day. They are at 186 per week.
Full Time kiddos can use up to 11 hours per day. What are your thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-24-2014, 11:56 AM
melilley's Avatar
melilley melilley is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,018
Default

I can pm you my handbook if you want. You might see something you forgot or may want to add. It took me forever to do mine and I am still tweaking it now and then. I got a lot of great ideas from the people on this forum!

Welcome by the way!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:01 PM
rosieteddy's Avatar
rosieteddy rosieteddy is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,273
Smile

You should charge everyone monthly.If a holiday falls on their day they should pay .You have paid holidays,that being said you could offer an extra day for your drop in rate. I would not give any breaks for full time weeks off.If you get paid vacation they can choose your week and take the same time pff (you get paid).I would offer full timers a part of the 11 hours only---8-5 ,7-4 whatever your hours are but only 9 or 9.5 hours per day.If they can leave them 11 hours for the same money why would they pick up early.(they typically will not)Children should not be in daycare more than 9 hrs.Do not short change yourself.This is the perfect oppurtunity to get things the way you want,I also would change the half day pick up to 12:30,that way nap time for the full day kids won/t be messed up.Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:06 PM
NoMoreJuice!'s Avatar
NoMoreJuice! NoMoreJuice! is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: KS
Posts: 715
Default

Sorry, but I think you may be setting yourself up for a huge headache accepting drop in kids or part timers. Have you considered just enrolling the six full time kids at your full time price, and dropping the rest of that? I realize you're trying to reach a large audience that would be interested in part time care, but as a business owner, you'll have the freedom to make the daycare work exactly how you want it to.

My only piece of advice: Don't ever make concessions for parents that go against your policies. Especially if they are a friend, your best client, etc. The experienced (read: jaded) providers like me have all been there and let a parent take advantage of us and have massively regretted it later. Write your policies on stone tablets if you must, just never let anyone walk on you.

I am also going to PM you my policy handbook. Hope it helps!

Best of luck to you!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:06 PM
melilley's Avatar
melilley melilley is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,018
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartingirl View Post
Full Time kiddos can use up to 11 hours per day. What are your thoughts?
I am open 11 hours a day, but only allow 10 hours in my weekly rate and charge extra if they want 11.
I also do contracted times, that way I know what days and times children will be here. Part time children are also contracted times and days, with a minimum of 2 days, they pay for a full day and can use up to 10 hours. They pay the same for 30 minutes or 10 hours.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:11 PM
Annalee's Avatar
Annalee Annalee is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,758
Default

If I were going to only be able to keep 6, I would seek out 6 full-time children and charge a flat rate for all....I am licensed for 15 but 3 have to be of school age....I keep 12 daily and they all pay 52 weeks a year regardless of holidays/vacation/professional & personal days, etc.....much easier this way....I do have children that only come 2 or 3 days but this is their spot...they have to give 48 hr notice if they are going to need any days not in their contract because I plan my dr appt, school activities for my boys around my child/ratio for the day.....the drop-in issue would drive me crazy....I just won't full-time pay for 12 children..... thus far this works for me....Good luck in your new adventure.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:13 PM
Annalee's Avatar
Annalee Annalee is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,758
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by melilley View Post
I am open 11 hours a day, but only allow 10 hours in my weekly rate and charge extra if they want 11.
I also do contracted times, that way I know what days and times children will be here. Part time children are also contracted times and days, with a minimum of 2 days, they pay for a full day and can use up to 10 hours. They pay the same for 30 minutes or 10 hours.
I give a 9 1/2 hour day to parents....my 3 day mom gets the entire 6 to 4:30 but she gets NO choice of using the other 2 days. I do contracted times as well!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:13 PM
KidGrind's Avatar
KidGrind KidGrind is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Red, White & Blue
Posts: 1,108
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartingirl View Post
Full Time kiddos can use up to 11 hours per day. What are your thoughts?

I wouldn’t go passed 10 hours per any kid.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-24-2014, 12:17 PM
melilley's Avatar
melilley melilley is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,018
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
Sorry, but I think you may be setting yourself up for a huge headache accepting drop in kids or part timers. Have you considered just enrolling the six full time kids at your full time price, and dropping the rest of that? I realize you're trying to reach a large audience that would be interested in part time care, but as a business owner, you'll have the freedom to make the daycare work exactly how you want it to.

I actually don't mind part time. I get paid more between my 2 part time kids than I do for one full time, plus I get a little break a couple of days a week.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-24-2014, 03:11 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by melilley View Post
I can pm you my handbook if you want. You might see something you forgot or may want to add. It took me forever to do mine and I am still tweaking it now and then. I got a lot of great ideas from the people on this forum!

Welcome by the way!
That would be wonderful! Thank you very much!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-24-2014, 03:22 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosieteddy View Post
You should charge everyone monthly.If a holiday falls on their day they should pay .You have paid holidays,that being said you could offer an extra day for your drop in rate. I would not give any breaks for full time weeks off.If you get paid vacation they can choose your week and take the same time pff (you get paid).I would offer full timers a part of the 11 hours only---8-5 ,7-4 whatever your hours are but only 9 or 9.5 hours per day.If they can leave them 11 hours for the same money why would they pick up early.(they typically will not)Children should not be in daycare more than 9 hrs.Do not short change yourself.This is the perfect oppurtunity to get things the way you want,I also would change the half day pick up to 12:30,that way nap time for the full day kids won/t be messed up.Good luck.
This is great advice. All of it. Thank you!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-24-2014, 03:25 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
Sorry, but I think you may be setting yourself up for a huge headache accepting drop in kids or part timers. Have you considered just enrolling the six full time kids at your full time price, and dropping the rest of that? I realize you're trying to reach a large audience that would be interested in part time care, but as a business owner, you'll have the freedom to make the daycare work exactly how you want it to.

My only piece of advice: Don't ever make concessions for parents that go against your policies. Especially if they are a friend, your best client, etc. The experienced (read: jaded) providers like me have all been there and let a parent take advantage of us and have massively regretted it later. Write your policies on stone tablets if you must, just never let anyone walk on you.

I am also going to PM you my policy handbook. Hope it helps!

Best of luck to you!
First off, the bolded/underlined part - THANK YOU. This was probably really important for me to see because I am JUST that type. But now I won't be.

Regarding the full time and dropping the rest: I actually haven't been able to find many people that wanted full time in my community. At first, that was the only thing I was offering. But because I was ONLY getting calls for a few hours here and there, or just this day and that day, or just mornings, etc. I decided to restructure everything.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-24-2014, 03:25 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by melilley View Post
I am open 11 hours a day, but only allow 10 hours in my weekly rate and charge extra if they want 11.
I also do contracted times, that way I know what days and times children will be here. Part time children are also contracted times and days, with a minimum of 2 days, they pay for a full day and can use up to 10 hours. They pay the same for 30 minutes or 10 hours.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-24-2014, 03:27 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by melilley View Post
I actually don't mind part time. I get paid more between my 2 part time kids than I do for one full time, plus I get a little break a couple of days a week.
This is my thinking as well. The half day and drop in spots are significantly more valuable than my full day spots.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-24-2014, 03:28 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

So what do you all think of my pricing structure for my half day when compared to my full time and drop in rates? Does it make sense? The pricing deal is really what I've been agonizing over.

I've decided to offer a 9 hour (ish) day for the full time spots.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-24-2014, 04:02 PM
NeedaVaca's Avatar
NeedaVaca NeedaVaca is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: The Middle
Posts: 2,248
Default

If you are definitely wanting to do part time based on your area then why not have afternoon slots as well so you are making more money? I would want every single space filled since you can only have 6 kids.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-24-2014, 05:17 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
If you are definitely wanting to do part time based on your area then why not have afternoon slots as well so you are making more money? I would want every single space filled since you can only have 6 kids.
I thought about that.. but our nap/quiet time is from 1:15 - 2:50 and I close at 5:45. I wouldn't want anyone dropping in during naptime and I'm not sure there is a wide enough window of time between 1:00 (pickup for AM half day) and 1:15 (when we're down for nap). What do you think?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-24-2014, 06:02 PM
NeedaVaca's Avatar
NeedaVaca NeedaVaca is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: The Middle
Posts: 2,248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartingirl View Post
I thought about that.. but our nap/quiet time is from 1:15 - 2:50 and I close at 5:45. I wouldn't want anyone dropping in during naptime and I'm not sure there is a wide enough window of time between 1:00 (pickup for AM half day) and 1:15 (when we're down for nap). What do you think?
If it were me I would consider changing my A.M. time to accommodate a P.M. schedule then.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-24-2014, 07:52 PM
nannyde's Avatar
nannyde nannyde is offline
All powerful, all knowing daycare whisperer
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 7,311
Default

Op I offer fee consults where I can help you break down each slot and how to charge for it through my consulting business. I have helped a number of posters here with fee... time and money schedules. If you would like a consult go to www.daycarewhisperer.com and schedule one. It would take one hour ($50) and I would need to see your policies up front.

Nan
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-24-2014, 08:00 PM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Op I offer fee consults where I can help you break down each slot and how to charge for it through my consulting business. I have helped a number of posters here with fee... time and money schedules. If you would like a consult go to www.daycarewhisperer.com and schedule one. It would take one hour ($50) and I would need to see your policies up front.

Nan
Oh... I wish. I really need to open soon and get some kiddos. It's taken us so much longer to become registered and licensed than we ever imagined. I just don't have $50 in the budget for that. But I am very appreciative of the information.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-25-2014, 04:57 AM
NeedaVaca's Avatar
NeedaVaca NeedaVaca is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: The Middle
Posts: 2,248
Default

I also wouldn't count on your nap time being those exact hours, start time yes but end time? I know all kids are different but mine sleep a solid 2 1/2 hours, sometimes longer I would leave wiggle room in your afternoon schedule.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-25-2014, 05:01 AM
Hartingirl's Avatar
Hartingirl Hartingirl is offline
Daycare.com Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedaVaca View Post
I also wouldn't count on your nap time being those exact hours, start time yes but end time? I know all kids are different but mine sleep a solid 2 1/2 hours, sometimes longer I would leave wiggle room in your afternoon schedule.
This is a really good point! Thank you!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
policy, policy changes

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
I Am Sick Of Sick Kids Coming In mickey2 Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 26 02-01-2018 01:28 PM
Hello Need Daycare advice Elle Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 10 11-19-2013 04:10 PM
Opening a Home Daycare Center Unregistered Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 6 05-17-2011 01:59 PM
Assistance on Finding Grants or Other Funding for Opening a Daycare ladymarshall Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 7 01-06-2009 06:46 PM
Any Advice on Leaving Job to Start Daycare Smoothly kiana Daycare Center and Family Home Forum 6 12-01-2008 10:14 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:53 PM.



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