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  #1  
Old 09-16-2012, 08:41 AM
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Default Just Curious About Rates

I am curious after reading alot of posts here. Why do people charge based on how much time the child is here. For instance, charge someone $25 if they're there until 3:00, $30 if they're there to 4:00, $35 if they're there until 5:00 etc. If you charge until 3:00, then you can't fill that spot from 3:00 until you close so you're losing money. I charge the same for the whole day no matter if they use 4 hours or 8 hours. They all pay $35.00. I was just curious because I thought maybe I'm missing something because I see alot of it. The thing is too I see that alot of times people get upset and don't know what to charge if they're over that designated time. My families know that at 5:30, I'm closed for the day and they better be here. Can someone give me some insight? Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:59 AM
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I charge one rate for the week. I have some kidlets that are here for 12 hours somedays but get picked up early another. I have one kidlet that is here 11 or 12 hours 3 to 4 days a week but is off one to two days, they pay the full time rate. For me, it all averages out. I am available 6:30 to 6:30 but I don't have kids here every day those hours. Parents give me their schedules ahead of time so I can see what my life looks like
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:21 AM
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That seems rather high. THe most people can get here is 20ish, i charge 90 a week myself. Would do more but i cant seem to budge higher
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:27 AM
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That seems rather high. THe most people can get here is 20ish, i charge 90 a week myself. Would do more but i cant seem to budge higher

You're from Oklahoma? You charge $90 for 5 days? Wow, that is alot different than here in Michigan. Crazy how it differs so much between states. At $35 a day, I'm right in the average here. I call around a few places every couple of years to make sure I'm in the ballpark.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:30 AM
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I am in Ohio and I charge $125 for a week.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:57 AM
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I charge one rate for full time and half that rate for part time. I won't accept just any part time schedule (aka..schedules right smack in the middle of the day) but currently I have one dcb that comes from 12-530 and I could take one morning part timer if someone needed. Which they haven't! I really don't like part time schedules because like you were saying, now I have to find a part timer for mornings...but I wanted the sibling set. One was full time, and his brother was just afternoons, after pre-k. I used to charge hourly trying to accommodate parents that only needed a few hours a day, but decided that it wasn't profitable because the child was taking a full time slot. So....now I have full time-anything over 25 hrs, and I decide depending on the children in care, whether or not it is worth it to take a part timer.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:07 AM
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I charge one rate for full time and half that rate for part time. I won't accept just any part time schedule (aka..schedules right smack in the middle of the day) but currently I have one dcb that comes from 12-530 and I could take one morning part timer if someone needed. Which they haven't! I really don't like part time schedules because like you were saying, now I have to find a part timer for mornings...but I wanted the sibling set. One was full time, and his brother was just afternoons, after pre-k. I used to charge hourly trying to accommodate parents that only needed a few hours a day, but decided that it wasn't profitable because the child was taking a full time slot. So....now I have full time-anything over 25 hrs, and I decide depending on the children in care, whether or not it is worth it to take a part timer.
That's why I only charge per day. When you have a 12 - 5:30, it's going to be very difficult to find a morning person to fill that spot. I explain to my parents that exact thing and then also tell them it benefits them because on days that the child does not have school they are guaranteed the whole day with me because they're paying for it and then they don't have to worry about finding a place for him/her to go. I have never had anyone object to it at all.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:29 AM
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I find I get parents who are more respectful for my time if I charge in this way. I found the parents who made every effort to have their kids at daycare shorter hours, were essentially subsidizing those who had their kids in care 9-10 hours/day. Why should those needing care from 9-4, be charged the same as those needing care 7-4:30? I set my fees so that I am comfortable if they only need care from 8-3:30. Hours beyond that provide "extra" income. I have the ability to be picky and not be full, as I have a PT job I can pick up hours anytime, and it pays well.

Even doing this, I find parents still "pad" their hours. Which is fine, I don't mind so much now when they don't arrive 7am, but instead 7:30, because they are paying for that time.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
I am curious after reading alot of posts here. Why do people charge based on how much time the child is here. For instance, charge someone $25 if they're there until 3:00, $30 if they're there to 4:00, $35 if they're there until 5:00 etc. If you charge until 3:00, then you can't fill that spot from 3:00 until you close so you're losing money. I charge the same for the whole day no matter if they use 4 hours or 8 hours. They all pay $35.00. I was just curious because I thought maybe I'm missing something because I see alot of it. The thing is too I see that alot of times people get upset and don't know what to charge if they're over that designated time. My families know that at 5:30, I'm closed for the day and they better be here. Can someone give me some insight? Thanks everyone!
To answer your question: I think the reason why providers charge according to pick-up is so that the child isn't in care ALL day for parents to take advantage

Earlier pick-up times means cheaper rates for the parents. Earlier pick-up times means one less child at the end of the day for the provider
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:35 AM
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To answer your question: I think the reason why providers charge according to pick-up is so that the child isn't in care ALL day for parents to take advantage

Earlier pick-up times means cheaper rates for the parents. Earlier pick-up times means one less child at the end of the day for the provider
This exactly!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:41 AM
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Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to offend anyone and say you were doing it wrong. I was just curious as to your point of view. In my opinion, there is no wrong way, just what works out best for you.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:55 AM
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I live in a rural area, literally a village. I am on the way to work for a lot of my parents. I have one parent that drives about 40 minutes to bring her dd to me and back into town to work. I have another set of parents that live 40 minutes away from their work. They drive out of their way to bring me their child. I have awesome parents. They have my back. One day last week I realized I could have an afternoon off if I didn't have one kidlet, mom called gma and she came and got her. When my dd had an emergency at college (a friend was killed) one of my parents offered to watch the other kids and to loan me her car because dh and ds weren't back into town yet! They all said no problem on me taking the next day off so I could be with dd. I do have, at this point, awesome parents! So, if they want to stop and pick up milk on the way home, I understand. Generally they call to see if I need anything. If one of my moms gets held up in court, I understand. I have not had any of them take advantage of hours. And yes, I do what I can to simplify their lives.
That being said, it has not always been this way. The thing is, generally the ones that take advantage are county and there is nothing you can do but term them, no charging them more. And if there are money issues it seems that there are bigger issues than that.
I guess, if I had an issue I might adjust. But, at this time, I am happy and glad to have the parents that I have. I like having one price that I deem fair and not have to charge a different rate or fine for little things.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:56 AM
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I think it all boils down to whether you are running on contracted hours or open to close hours. There are pros and cons to both - the pros of contracted hours are the most beneficial to me.

As for discounting for the earlier pick up, its often the "perk" to get parents to pick up and spend more time with their child. Too often if you are open till 5:30 you get parents who will want to "get their money's worth" and keep child there till 5:30 every day even if they are off work at 3:30, 4:00, 4:30. I'd rather lose a few dollars to have a child picked up earlier - its not about money to me in that case - its about the child spending more awake time with the parent and also the perk for me to know what time I will be done each day. If you are open till 5:30 you MAY be done at 5 some days but you never know. I have too much going on in my life after daycare hours that I need a commitment - if you get off at 4pm you are contracted till 4:30. Not some days you will pick up at 4:30 and other days you'll go grocery shopping or to the gym and pick up at 5:30.

I don't think I'm explaining it exactly as I am thinking in my head but maybe that gives you some insight.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:10 AM
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I think it all boils down to whether you are running on contracted hours or open to close hours. There are pros and cons to both - the pros of contracted hours are the most beneficial to me.

As for discounting for the earlier pick up, its often the "perk" to get parents to pick up and spend more time with their child. Too often if you are open till 5:30 you get parents who will want to "get their money's worth" and keep child there till 5:30 every day even if they are off work at 3:30, 4:00, 4:30. I'd rather lose a few dollars to have a child picked up earlier - its not about money to me in that case - its about the child spending more awake time with the parent and also the perk for me to know what time I will be done each day. If you are open till 5:30 you MAY be done at 5 some days but you never know. I have too much going on in my life after daycare hours that I need a commitment - if you get off at 4pm you are contracted till 4:30. Not some days you will pick up at 4:30 and other days you'll go grocery shopping or to the gym and pick up at 5:30.

I don't think I'm explaining it exactly as I am thinking in my head but maybe that gives you some insight.
I understand All of my parents have a pick up time, it just varies by their schedules, daily. But, they tell me at least a week ahead so I know what my week looks like. I just have a lot of parents with varying schedules.
If you can get your parents there earlier, great. But, my parents do not have any fleability in their schedules and generally they are off at 5 or 6 and 20 minutes to my house. One family, both work in the hospital system, just had their schedules switched to 12 hour days!!! eeek! poor mom, it is killing her! So one drops off and the other has to pick up. I still end up with him 12 hours but if one had to it would be 13! and I can't keep him until 7:30 on a regular basis. Now the perk is a 3 or 4 day work week.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
That's why I only charge per day. When you have a 12 - 5:30, it's going to be very difficult to find a morning person to fill that spot. I explain to my parents that exact thing and then also tell them it benefits them because on days that the child does not have school they are guaranteed the whole day with me because they're paying for it and then they don't have to worry about finding a place for him/her to go. I have never had anyone object to it at all.
This sounds really good. I like the idea of a daily rate. So do you have people that only need one or two days a week? I'm worried that I would get into that and then have to worry that if I get full time schedules, 5 days, I would be over ratio some days when I have what I would consider part timers..that only come a few days...even though they are paying the full daily rate. How does that work for you?
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
That's why I only charge per day. When you have a 12 - 5:30, it's going to be very difficult to find a morning person to fill that spot. I explain to my parents that exact thing and then also tell them it benefits them because on days that the child does not have school they are guaranteed the whole day with me because they're paying for it and then they don't have to worry about finding a place for him/her to go. I have never had anyone object to it at all.
I don't offer care on a part time basis at this time so I would never have a child who comes from 12-5:30. I USED to offer partial days but when I did it was either in an a.m. block or a p.m. block of time. A.M. care was from 7:30 until 11:00 and P.M. care was from 2:00-5:30. Neither block if time included lunch or nap/rest time. If lunch was needed, I charged a full day rate since lunch IME, is the busiest, toughest time of the day...especially for part timers.

Restricting the times in which part timers can come allows me to be able to fill the time around them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
Thanks everyone. I didn't mean to offend anyone and say you were doing it wrong. I was just curious as to your point of view. In my opinion, there is no wrong way, just what works out best for you.

I am sure you didn't offend anyone as we all do what works for us and our situations.

I charge according to contracted times because I prefer to know exactly when I need to be at work and exactly when I will be getting to go home.

I don't live in my daycare home, which is why contracted times work awesome for me. Often times I will have days where I am done by 3:30 and I love it!
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:25 PM
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OK big question here-What time do your parents go to drop kids off and go to work.

It I were to have parents get off at 3:30, they would have to be to work at 7:00 which means kiddos arriving at like 6:30.

IMHO it seems that parents that go into work later are being punished by having to pay a higher childcare rate. Most of my families are 7:30-4:30 or 8-5.

I just think if you want them to leave earlier, you have to start work earlier.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:35 PM
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OK big question here-What time do your parents go to drop kids off and go to work.

My earliest drop off is 7:00 once per week and 7:30 the rest of the week.

It I were to have parents get off at 3:30, they would have to be to work at 7:00 which means kiddos arriving at like 6:30.

Most kids have two parents. I have yet to run into the situation where BOTH parents go to work early and would need to drop off at 6:30

IMHO it seems that parents that go into work later are being punished by having to pay a higher childcare rate. Most of my families are 7:30-4:30 or 8-5.

No one is punishing anyone.....if my hours/rates don't work for a family they can simply look for a care provider who bills in the manner they want or accepts kids at all hours. I have been billing this way for a while now and have had no issues enrolling families when I have space available.

I just think if you want them to leave earlier, you have to start work earlier.

Not always the case as I said above. I have DCD who goes to work at 7:00 in the morning but the mom drops off at 8:00. Then dad picks up at 3:15 when he is done (although mom doesn't get off work until 4:30).

When I had a straight daily rate, guess who was here from 7:00 until 5:30?
I answered in bold above
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:45 PM
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I answered in bold above
OK, see my situation is totally different then most. I actually parents that work at the same offices and have the same schedule. (3 families)

Then another set one parent works 1/2 away from me and lives closer to their work. Other parent has to come through town to get to work so drops off/picks up.

Another parent goes in at 7;00 get off at 4:00 and picks up. If there is OT the other parent who goes in at 8:00 doesn't pick up till 5:15.

Another parent works odd hours so other parents does all drop off/pick ups.

So the earliest I usually have kids being picked up is 4:15.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:52 PM
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OK, see my situation is totally different then most. I actually parents that work at the same offices and have the same schedule. (3 families)

Then another set one parent works 1/2 away from me and lives closer to their work. Other parent has to come through town to get to work so drops off/picks up.

Another parent goes in at 7;00 get off at 4:00 and picks up. If there is OT the other parent who goes in at 8:00 doesn't pick up till 5:15.

Another parent works odd hours so other parents does all drop off/pick ups.

So the earliest I usually have kids being picked up is 4:15.
That would be tough then. I guess the need for quality child care in my area is great enough that I can be choosey about the families I enroll.

I used to work 12-13 hour days but as time has gone on, I have shortened the number of hours I am willing to work and the things I am will do above and beyond my normal services.

I am growing weary and could not fathom working days that long any more. I have enrolled several teacher families in the last few years and have even toyed with the idea of closing for the summers or closing by 3:30. We will have to see what the next few months/years bring my way.

I did my time in the trenches for many years doing LOOOOOONG days, dealing with horrible parents and wild kids and I will not allow myself to do it again.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by providerandmomof4 View Post
This sounds really good. I like the idea of a daily rate. So do you have people that only need one or two days a week? I'm worried that I would get into that and then have to worry that if I get full time schedules, 5 days, I would be over ratio some days when I have what I would consider part timers..that only come a few days...even though they are paying the full daily rate. How does that work for you?
It really has never been a problem. I only work Monday through Thursday and I only have 1 child that comes those 4 days. I have twiins that come 3 days a week, the rest are all boys and 1 comes 2 days a week, 3 of them come 3 days a week. Alot of times people will want 2 or 3 days and they don't care what days because the grandparents take them the other and they are flexible. so really according to my 4 day a week work schedule, only 1 is full time.

I should add that the kids range with drop off times from 7:30 to 8:45 and pick up times from 3:30 to 5:00
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:03 PM
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That would be tough then. I guess the need for quality child care in my area is great enough that I can be choosey about the families I enroll.

I used to work 12-13 hour days but as time has gone on, I have shortened the number of hours I am willing to work and the things I am will do above and beyond my normal services.

I am growing weary and could not fathom working days that long any more. I have enrolled several teacher families in the last few years and have even toyed with the idea of closing for the summers or closing by 3:30. We will have to see what the next few months/years bring my way.

I did my time in the trenches for many years doing LOOOOOONG days, dealing with horrible parents and wild kids and I will not allow myself to do it again.


Oh, I'm very choosing on who I take! All my parents work professional jobs. I have parents that work for the courts, state, teachers, city, bankers, etc. Thats the thing-most of the hours are 7-4 or 8-5. I'm open 10.5 hours and all 10.5 hours are filled with kids in one way or another.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:37 PM
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I have work and commute times only. If you say I am open from 7-5, there are some families that will take advantage of every min. you are open!! I had one just call me on a 6-6 time. I told her I am not open 12 hrs. and I really don't know anyone that is open that long. I asked her what her working hrs. are- she said 8-4:30, but she has to go home , get ready for work and workout everyday after work!!!!! I said I am sorry, I don't know of anyone that would do this for you to refer you onto. UGHH!!!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:37 PM
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Oh, I'm very choosing on who I take! All my parents work professional jobs. I have parents that work for the courts, state, teachers, city, bankers, etc. Thats the thing-most of the hours are 7-4 or 8-5. I'm open 10.5 hours and all 10.5 hours are filled with kids in one way or another.
I didn't mean the type of families you are choosy about. I meant the hours families need.

I will take a family that needs care until 3 or 4 before I would enroll a family that needed care until 5:30.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:52 PM
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OK big question here-What time do your parents go to drop kids off and go to work.

It I were to have parents get off at 3:30, they would have to be to work at 7:00 which means kiddos arriving at like 6:30.

IMHO it seems that parents that go into work later are being punished by having to pay a higher childcare rate. Most of my families are 7:30-4:30 or 8-5.

I just think if you want them to leave earlier, you have to start work earlier.
My earliest is 7am so 4:30 gives them a 9.5 hour day, 5pm gives a 10 hour day. I do charge more for those leaving at 5pm instead of 4:30pm because that extra half hour is at a premium to me. I have things to get to at 5-5:30pm most evenings so I will choose the 4:30 client over the 5pm one any day - I don't really want their money, I want the earlier pick up time. Almost all of my families have one parent drop off, the other pick up. I have had calls for care starting at 6-6:30am or ones who need 6-6:30pm - they get turned away. Its not punishment for the parents - it just does not fit my lifestyle/schedule.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:26 PM
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After loads of hesitation I went from a flat weekly fee to a rate based on their departure time.

BEST THING I EVER DID

I went from working 6-6 to 7:30-5:30

I'm actually making the same amount of money or more money if you look at it from an hourly standpoint.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:55 PM
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I am thinking about this, but because the parents here dont seem to be bothered by cost I dont think that it will work.

I have a few parents that will spend an additional $40-50 a week in need to pick up past their contracted time or needing to drop off early.

BUT it sounds amazing and I wish I could find a way to make it work.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:30 AM
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I like the idea of charging less for people that pick up early too. My concern is if you have 4 kids for example and 3 of them take advantage of picking up at 4:00 to get a reduced rate and then the 4th person says, sorry have to pick up at 5:15 because I can't get out early. So the idea that you might get done working early goes out the window and you might as well kept the other 3 and made more money. That would be my concern but if I could be guaranteed that they all picked up at 4:00 it would be worth it. Have you ever had that happen?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
I like the idea of charging less for people that pick up early too. My concern is if you have 4 kids for example and 3 of them take advantage of picking up at 4:00 to get a reduced rate and then the 4th person says, sorry have to pick up at 5:15 because I can't get out early. So the idea that you might get done working early goes out the window and you might as well kept the other 3 and made more money. That would be my concern but if I could be guaranteed that they all picked up at 4:00 it would be worth it. Have you ever had that happen?
Spending that last hour or so with only 1 child rather than all 4 makes a HUGE difference in the day and how it ends.....kwim?

If I can ease out of the day with one child rather that be running around like a crazed lunatic trying to entertain 4 kids instead works great for me.

It isn't always about getting done or off work earlier as it is about having less kids sometimes. I personally enjoy an hour or two in the evening with only a couple kids rather than having all 12 of my kids here until the minute I close.

Getting done early once in a while is just a perk to this rate system but for me not the whole point.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:26 AM
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Spending that last hour or so with only 1 child rather than all 4 makes a HUGE difference in the day and how it ends.....kwim?

If I can ease out of the day with one child rather that be running around like a crazed lunatic trying to entertain 4 kids instead works great for me.

It isn't always about getting done or off work earlier as it is about having less kids sometimes. I personally enjoy an hour or two in the evening with only a couple kids rather than having all 12 of my kids here until the minute I close.

Getting done early once in a while is just a perk to this rate system but for me not the whole point.
Oh I definately know what you mean. I would just like to figure out a way to actually be done working by 4:30 so I can get to my kids sporting functions, but I don't see that happening. Most of the time I'm down to 1 or 2 by 4:30, so that definately is nice.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:34 AM
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You have to do what works best for you but I'm with blackcat.

I have one child that stays until 5:30 the rest are gone by 430 at the latest. I make the exact same amount of money I would if I charged them all the same flat weekly rate because the weekly rate of the latest person makes up the difference that the earliest person picks up. Only difference is I'm working less hours.

I suppose I only "loose" money if every single one of my clients picked up at the lowest weekly rate. That's why when I chose the rates I made sure that if that were to happen I'd still be able to make a little money at the lowest rate. Anything over that rate is just extra!
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:15 AM
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You have to do what works best for you but I'm with blackcat.

I have one child that stays until 5:30 the rest are gone by 430 at the latest. I make the exact same amount of money I would if I charged them all the same flat weekly rate because the weekly rate of the latest person makes up the difference that the earliest person picks up. Only difference is I'm working less hours.

I suppose I only "loose" money if every single one of my clients picked up at the lowest weekly rate. That's why when I chose the rates I made sure that if that were to happen I'd still be able to make a little money at the lowest rate. Anything over that rate is just extra!
YES! My lowest rate is what I base everything else off of.

I used to charge a flat daily rate so that is what my lowest rate started out as. Anyone using more than that is just a bonus.

For example: if the going rate is $30 per day, I charge $30 for the earliest pick up and add to it for each additional pick up time.

Every family is still paying the $30 daily rate but those that leave their kids longer are paying more.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:44 AM
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YES! My lowest rate is what I base everything else off of.

I used to charge a flat daily rate so that is what my lowest rate started out as. Anyone using more than that is just a bonus.

For example: if the going rate is $30 per day, I charge $30 for the earliest pick up and add to it for each additional pick up time.

Every family is still paying the $30 daily rate but those that leave their kids longer are paying more.
That makes sense, I'll have to keep that in mind. So what is your highest paying customer of the day if you don't mind me asking.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:54 AM
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That makes sense, I'll have to keep that in mind. So what is your highest paying customer of the day if you don't mind me asking.
I have a DCM who is a nurse and works longer shifts. She pays me about $40 per day.

If you PM me your e-mail address I will send you my rate sheet so you can take a look at it if you want.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:18 PM
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BC has it ever been a deal breaker with a parent when they find out they would be paying more then someone else?
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:25 PM
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BC has it ever been a deal breaker with a parent when they find out they would be paying more then someone else?
I tell ALL my families that their rate is based on seveal things.

Rates are set on purely individual factors. Sometimes just a few, sometimes many....depends on the family.

In my handbook it says:
Rates are calculated and dependent on each family's individual needs and schedules. (This information will be discussed privately with each family).

So I guess the answer would be no, it has never been a deal breaker for a family since they all know up front that everyone DOES pay a different rate.

Kind of hard for a family who uses 10 hours of care to be mad that they pay more than a family who only uses 8 hours of care....kwim?

Just like any job, you get paid more if you work 10 hours versus working 8 hours so same concept. (Unless you are salaried...which I am not).
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:12 PM
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I have a dilemma see I discovered an ad on craigslist and the dcm wants me to come to her house from 830 630 and watch her child I just am not sure what to charge her for a 10hr day. it would be everyday. it works out better because I am still in the middle of taking test to get my licenses i do not mind doing it at her house.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:49 PM
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I'm southern CA and I charge $160 a week for 50 hours mon-fri. It's a flat weekly fee AND the parents are on contracted hours. I have one DCG in preschool that I pick up at 11:20am and gets picked up at 5pm (most times closer to 4:30pm) and they still pay $160 a week (because I pick her up everyday from school and so that days that school is out are covered. I also help with homework). I'm in the middle for my area. The lower income side of town is at around $130 per week and the higher DC homes charge $175-$200 but they have pre-school curriculum or some other specialized child care program. My price is fair for what I provide.
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