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  #1  
Old 10-15-2010, 09:21 AM
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Default I've Got Myself Into a Difficult Situation..Please Advise

I have this one family who are WONDERFUL, truly wonderful, and I would never want to lose them. When I first took them on, they signed a contract for 3 days @ $35/day even though the baby is only here 4 hrs. Now she did tell me in the beginning that in Oct, her tuesdays would be switching over to Mondays, and said fine, we would just sign a new contract...Now she says in Dec her days will switch again....I know I know I did not THINK in the beginning the situation I would be in. I couldnt contract anyone else (other than my 1 dcb) on Mondays because I knew this DCM would be needing the Mondays in Oct. Now I realize, I cant contract out my tuesdays in case she needs them back in Dec!! What the hek am I suppose to do? I know the correct thing to do is contract her for 4 days, however I already feel bad enough that she is paying me $105/week for 3 days and only 12 hrs worth of care! How could I possibly tell her she has to pay me $140 for 4 days and 12 hrs of care? It's all my fault, I know that for not even thinking about this in teh beginning...and now I feel stuck that I cannot change it, and I dont want to upset her because she is really an awsome DCM. They have no family in the area, and I am the only one they have and they love me to pieces..Whats a girl to do??
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2010, 09:29 AM
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She may be a great parent BUT this is your buisness and your income anything over 3 days is fulltime and she should be charged as such and if she needs to go back to 3 days in december then put it back to the part time rate.
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:25 AM
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I have had that situation before. I usually just tell them that they can either pay for the extra day to hold it, or they can wait to see if its open.
You could also tell her if you get someone wanting that spot, and give her the choice then to pay for it, or give it to the new person.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:41 AM
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well, that would be $35 more for you each week. BUT if she's paying for full time care - then you obviously know that she can use your full time hours/services - and she may start doing that if she is having to pay to do that. so, if you had to start keeping her kid 8-10 hours a day, four days a week instead of just 12 hours a week - is that worth $35?
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:40 PM
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I just had this happen - I had a DCk come T-Th but some weeks they switched days or they had him come FT some weeks..well I had a call a few weeks ago for someone looking for Monday and Friday care only. I had to tell this family to make a decision either send their boy FT perm. or they had to always stick with T-Th and could never have the option of changing the days.

They understood as It was income for me that I was potentially missing out on if I didnt take this family - they decided to send their boy FT - so it was win win for me either way.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2010, 01:17 PM
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The problem is is that she is a sports coach, and here days change throughout the yr depending on what sport she is coaching. I texted her last week as a hint and asked her how long she would need m-th-f and she said dec and asked if that was ok. I broke down and said yes and she asked why I was asking and I told her someone was asking about my availability. I thought maybe she would have gotten a hint, but I didnt make it clear enough.

I guess I'm stuck....
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2010, 01:35 PM
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I guess if she needs you every single day or various days during the week, charge her fulltime only!!
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2010, 01:51 PM
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I not sure what you should do but I will tell you what I do. I offer halfday full time $27 or full day full time $43. I have one family whose chooses the half day full time option but is rarely here all five days. The lil guy comes four days usually 9-12. If $35 is your full time full day rate maybe you could come up with a somewhat lower rate for half day full time care. Then you won't have the hassle of another family..... be more direct with this family concerning another (even possibly fictional) family making inquiries....you are going to need to pin them down so you know what to plan for. I understand when some providers offer the flexibility to parents of 2 or 3 days a week when those dates are set in stone and they have two families share a slot for the week....but.....
honestly the month to month flexibility that this family is needing would come at a price here.
......just another quick comment...I used to provide full day care for a lil guy whose parents schedule fluctuated a lot ....I charged minimum wage until they realized it was less expensive to pay the full time full day rate.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:55 PM
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You should do what you committed to through Dec. Many providers review their contracts at the end of the year. You could make some adjustments to your contract towards full time half day or full time full day.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2010, 03:01 PM
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If she is a "good" client...meaning she pays on time, is respectful of you and your policies, etc. I would just let it go and accomodate her. UNLESS you really need the money from another client. But, in my experience, if you can work with a client to meet their needs, you end up with a LOYAL client who will forever appreciate you. I don't think $35 week, $140 a month, is worth losing an awesome family!
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2010, 01:21 PM
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Well it's happened...my dcg who used to be FT with me since she was 4 months(she is now 2 1/2) and has been a "drop in as needed " care only for the last 8 months, now wants to contract me for tues/wed!

Now what the hek do I do?? I see it as only having 2 options:

1.talk to dcm # 1 and offer her contract for 4 days to hold the tues spot for her

2. fill my spot with dcm #2 and dont say anything to dcm #1 until Dec and she will just have to accept the fact my slots are filled and she can then decide what she wants to do.

Why would I be under any obligation to dcm #1 and to give her the option to contract for 4 days anyway? Is that fair to dcm #2? Or should it just be first come first serve, this is my business, my income and I have slots and I can fill them.

If I dont give dcm #2 the tues spot, then I also lose the wed spot, because I'm sure she is not going to want to contact 2 different DCP's

opinions please!!
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2010, 02:40 PM
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generally, i think it should be first come, first serve - but i would feel more obligated toward someone who brings their child on a regular basis than someone who just comes by whenever they need you.

i would personally give dcm #1 the option to take the slot. if she doesn't, then do what you need to do.

i was thinking about this earlier. you know everyone says, "it's a business, it's a business decision, etc." yeah, that's true, but business decisions involve a lot more than $$ when you're dealing with people on such a personal level. for example - if i was a nurse providing care for an elderly person in their home who was just the nicest person on the planet - i probably wouldn't take another job that paid more, just because it paid more, if the new patient was an evil, hateful old lady.

if you were talking a significant amount of money each month then it'd be smart to just make a cut and dry "business decision" but for 35 bucks a week, you have to take into consideration the dynamic with the parents, the kids - and as i said before, dcm #1 may start using your daycare a lot more if she's paying for full time - out of spite if nothing else.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2010, 05:48 PM
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I have been forced to make a quick decision, since DCM #2 wants to start on
this coming Tuesday..

I really did not know what to do, but I made the decision to give DCM #2 the tues/wed slot and here is why:

1. Even though she has been using me as a as needed basis for the last 8 months, I do have a great relationship with her since I have been watching her daughter since she was 4 months old, and had her FT for almost 2 yrs.

2. I also felt I guess, that she was my very first client, so she kinda over ruled DCM #1, as I only have had her since Sept.

3. This really kinda got me out of my situation with DCM #2 as far as her changing her days every few weeks.

4. I did weigh the fact that DCM #2 is a great client, but I really can't hold a spot for her every time she switches her days, and I felt bad asking her to pay for 4 days when she only uses 3. I could not and do not ever plan on offering part time hrs. I make out so much better this way by charging my daily rate regardless of how many hrs they are here, especially because I am not registred, I cannot have more than 2 anyway, so I am limited, and she comes like from 1130-4, so it's not like I can fit someone in before or after her either.

5. If I had held tues open for DCM #1, that still would leave me with the spot on wed to fill, and what are the chances someone would need just 1 day on a wed? So I had to make a business decision and fill both these open spots.

6. What if DCM #1 changed jobs? or quit her job? Then I would have cheated myself out of 2 days pay for nothing...There is no guarentee her hrs will change in Dec, it is more of a "maybe" and a "I'm not really sure" what will happen..

It was hard, believe me, and I still don't know if I made the *right* decison. Now I just have to figure out how and when to tell DCM #1 what I did and why, and see what happens..
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2010, 05:51 AM
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Any other comments on what I should tell dcm#1? Sould I tell her now or in Dec?
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2010, 09:54 AM
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I would tell #1 what happened ASAP, because she may need to be finding a solution. Since you accomodate switching for both your families as needed, and re-contract accordingly, family #2 needed a switch sooner than she did, plain and simple. Since she mentioned it first I would have given her the opportunity to pay for 4 days as a guarantee before solidifying the 1st family personally, but she needs to know what to expect now that you won't be available on tuesdays for her.
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2010, 10:33 AM
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Even if I had given her the chance to go to 4 days though, I still would then be losing out on wednesdays..Finding someone who would just want wed would be very hard, know what I mean?

Isn't there some responsibility that should also fall on dcm#1 knowing that i run a daycare and i can sign someone up at any moment on the days I have open? By her signing a contract for m, th, f, isnt is also common sense to know that you are leaving tues/wed open for someone else? And the dcp is not just going to not take on more clients just in case you switch your hrs or need other days?

This had happened so quick, and I had to give an answer so quick, I had no time to think anything through.

So how can I word this now to dcm #1 so she understands this was mostly a business decision and not a personal one.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:40 AM
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I would tell her in person, face to face. I would say, "I know you had mentioned that you may need to switch Mon for Tues, but I needed to let you know that I can't accomodate that switch as of right now. I picked up some extra business that ties up Tuesdays for me, and it is a regular set schedule so I went ahead and accepted it. I know that you were looking for that slot as a temporary schedule, but unfortunately I am not in the position to offer flexibility on that right now. What I have available right now is Mon, Wed, Fri (or whatever).
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2010, 10:48 AM
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I would just simply tell her that you are happy to change her contract. That you are here to help their lives be easier, not more frustrating. I would just say,.. Hey Monica, I would be happy to change your contract to the new days. I do have a slot open for Tuesdays, however,.. I need to remind you that right now you are contracted for M, W and Th.... I can either switch you to t w and th and you can drop the M slot, or I can simply add the tuesday to your contract and your fees would be for 4 days per week each week instead of 3,.. you could always bring little Viola on that 4th day if you need some time to do anything since it will be one of your contracted days. Its up to you. I just wanted to be clear that if you need to switch to another day in the future I will do it based on availability. If I get someone in for m and f then I wont have room for little viola if you need to switch. Either way is fine with me but I wanted to make sure you knew that there is a possibility of the spot not being available if you need to switch back.
that puts the ball in her court,.. you didnt change your availability,.. she changed her needs. Which is fine, parents need that sometimes, but she cant honestly expect you to hold open a position for her,.. just in case.... She needs to see that there is a possibility that it will not be open if she needs to change again.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2010, 11:13 AM
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Part of my current problem is that I gave dcm#2 tues/wed as of sat, since I knew dcm#1 was coming on mondays as of oct 18, today. So I need to know how to tell dcm #1 what I already did...I screwed up...I know it...I just wanted that 2 day income for tues/wed since I had it open..Like I said too, if I had even given dcm #1 the option for 4 days, then I would still be out of income on wed... so it was gain 2 or gain 1, but gaining 2 may lose me 3 in the end...lol
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:24 PM
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I would just let her know, as soon as possible. "Mom, i'm not sure if your schedule was going to change again or not, but if it does, i will not be able to accomadate you, b/c I've filled the slots i had open before on Tues/Weds with a child that will filll them regularly. I'm hoping you're able to keep the hours we already have contracted for. "
This sounds very stiff and formal word for word, but it's the general idea of what I would say. If she hasn't already told you that her schedule will change in Dec., I wouldn't assume it is.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:41 PM
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Did she already sign the new contract saying her days were M, Th, F? If she did, you really don't have to say anything to her at all right now. She is contracted for MTF, and if her schedule changes in Dec (which you said it might not) then you can let her know then that you are not available for her except MTF. You could tell her now, but right now, she's not asking for Tuesdays. She may not ever need Tuesday.
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  #22  
Old 10-18-2010, 08:10 PM
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Yes, she handed me her new contract this am for M Th F...

When I had asked her a wk or 2 ago what was going to happen in Dec, she said she didn't know that she would have to re-evaluate it at that time, so her could change, or may not, or she may need to add different days...she didn't know..it all depends on what ever sport she is coaching at that time of yr.

Live and learn...next time. or should i say next clients, I will not allow switching of days, for this reason..Just when you think you have all your bases covered...something new pops up!
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