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Old 08-08-2013, 02:29 PM
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Thetotspot Thetotspot is offline
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Default Scared I Might Be Closing

i opened up my daycare 13 months in hopes of providing absolutely wonderful quality care. problem is i opened in a small town of 650 people. one provider in town passed away and i did get a couple new clients from her. but things have been very difficult for this past year. i rent a place in town that costs me a total of $460/month plus about a hundred a week for food (as we do all fresh fruits and vegetables and are gluten free). but for seven months i have had no calls at all...except my neighbor saying he is bringing his kids here but he doesnt...so thats a whole nother story. i only have two children now that school has started...and will only be bringing in maybe $500/month. now this has happened on and off...the kids fluctuate. but my problem is i have been open more than a year and am paying to keep this place open. of course another daycare in the area is dirt cheap and is double their capacity in children...but nobody is doing anything about it. so today...i feel like throwing in the towel. i love the children...but im paying to care for them...and i just cant handle the financial stress any more! i dont know what to do!

i live seven miles south of town...so i cant do even unlicensed care there as the parents def arent going that far out and im afraid to offer pickup and dropoff in town as that could lead to a whole other set of problems and liabilities. what would you do in this situation? my children are both in school now...so a part time job is definitely a possibility (but id prefer to still care for children i just dont think it will happen).
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:49 PM
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Margarete Margarete is offline
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Even if you close it doesn't mean you have to stop caring for children. I am doing family child care, but after my kids go to school I may look into working somewhere else working with children that pays a little better, and where I don't have to worry about marketing/ selling myself aspect of the business.
Not sure where yet, but I'm taking lots of classes now to help me provide better care, and also to prepare me for what may lay ahead.
We may also be moving somewhere more rural in 8-10 years so that will also make it hard to continue
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:54 PM
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If you would like to PM me, I would be happy to give you some ideas on a more one-to-one level.

I also live 6 miles from town, but because I'm on the way to work for a lot of people, enrollment isn't so much an issue. I have mostly infants and toddlers though.

If I had a place in town, I'm sure I'd have more 2+ kids, and a bigger group.

Can't speak for BC, but she also has a separate space in town and lives in the country.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:08 PM
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Oh and look into getting on the food program too, as that will help a lot with costs. Even if you don't qualify for tier 1 by location or parents income, tier 2 will help out.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:21 PM
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i am on the food program. but when you only have one or two kids you cant just buy half cans of things or a half bag...so the costs dont equal out well.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:23 PM
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Are your rates competitive?
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:41 PM
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i cant match the daycare that is double their capacity. they charge 2.50/ hr for first 1.25/hr for second child and 0.75 / hr for third child. i charge 2/hr regardless. the other daycare in town struggling charges state rate of 2.50/hr or 20/day regardless. so im as competitive as i can be. and my program is awesome...i feed better food than the other daycares and we have no tv at all. so its conatant one on one and painting and learning, etc.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetotspot View Post
i cant match the daycare that is double their capacity. they charge 2.50/ hr for first 1.25/hr for second child and 0.75 / hr for third child. i charge 2/hr regardless. the other daycare in town struggling charges state rate of 2.50/hr or 20/day regardless. so im as competitive as i can be. and my program is awesome...i feed better food than the other daycares and we have no tv at all. so its conatant one on one and painting and learning, etc.
Very first thing, you need to report the other daycare. If you need to call them in once a week every week from now until doomsday, do it. Most states allow anonymous complaints.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:15 PM
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Is there anyway you could move closer to a higher populated town? Maybe even on the outskirts near a highway where families might commute to work?
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:23 PM
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Can you operate out of your home to save the cost of renting?
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:03 PM
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NeedaVaca NeedaVaca is offline
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How are you advertising? I would target all kid friendly places, grocery stores, libraries etc... maybe even do an open house?
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:24 AM
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Have you thought about offering additional services? Maybe offering (child) art or cooking classes on the weekends. I've also heard of daycares allowing birthday parties to be hosted at their facility. Offering other kid friendly services may help bring in new clientele as well. I would also look at your advertising. Try and advertise in every way possible, your car, your clothes, flyers in grocery stores, churches, libraries, etc.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksmith View Post
Have you thought about offering additional services? Maybe offering (child) art or cooking classes on the weekends. I've also heard of daycares allowing birthday parties to be hosted at their facility. Offering other kid friendly services may help bring in new clientele as well. I would also look at your advertising. Try and advertise in every way possible, your car, your clothes, flyers in grocery stores, churches, libraries, etc.
You can also look into maybe doing over night care.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:34 AM
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Cradle2crayons Cradle2crayons is offline
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I live in the middle of nowhere as well.....licensing here is optional if you have 5 or less children... And rates are zilch compared to centers... The food program isn't an option....

But despite all of that, I stay full year round with a waiting list.

I have a family of two at drives and hour one way the opposite direction to being her kids here and a family of three who goes about ten minutes out of the way to bring her kids here.

My advice??

(1) advertising

(2) cut costs where possible

(3) report the other daycare every single day if you have to

(4) have an open house for your community with a family fun day

(5)'call your local referral agency

(6) offer non traditional hours if possible. All five of my kids are afternoon only and it works out awesome. Your area may need care non traditional instead of traditional. In my area, centers close at six and the majority of parents work non regular hours.

Competitive rates here are about $80-$100 a week and state pays only $40 a week but its possible to make it work, even if you live in the woods like me!!
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:34 AM
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I wouldn't count on the parents not following you to your home, if you were to choose to operate from your home.
I have one set of parents that live AND work in a different town, eight miles away, but chose to keep their child with me despite the drive. Talk to your parents and ask. Couldn't hurt.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetotspot View Post
i am on the food program. but when you only have one or two kids you cant just buy half cans of things or a half bag...so the costs dont equal out well.
you can buy a whole can and have it twice on your menu. I give variety but we have the same thing twice in one week and that is ok. I am not going to buy a bag of apples and only serve them once and let the bag go bad.

Advertise like crazy, target jobs that are near you. It takes a while to get going. Don't give up just keep chugging and love what you do.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:22 PM
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Cradle2crayons Cradle2crayons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
you can buy a whole can and have it twice on your menu. I give variety but we have the same thing twice in one week and that is ok. I am not going to buy a bag of apples and only serve them once and let the bag go bad.

Advertise like crazy, target jobs that are near you. It takes a while to get going. Don't give up just keep chugging and love what you do.
I agree, it's easy to feed the smaller amounts, you just have to be strategic on your menu. Also, most every left over freezes.
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