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Old 02-21-2013, 03:12 PM
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Danie362 Danie362 is offline
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Default Not Sure If I Can Keep This Up.....

I have been officially licensed for about 2 months now and i still only have two children keep thinking i need to get a job to pay my bills. Just not sure about what to do.

How long did it take you all to get things up and running to where you are comfortable?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:55 PM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
 
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I am sorry you are struggling.

I won't lie. It IS hard when you first start out. I thinkit took me a good 6 months to fill up and several years before I was happy with all my clients.

I was lucky enough that my DH had a great job and he covered all of our bills and expenses until I was full.

My advice is to just keep advertising and putting yourself out there.

Go to every community activity involving children you can. Hand out business cards to everyone who mentions having a child. Give your current clients a one time discount for refering a friend or co-worker.

Hang flyers and posters anywhere you haven't yet. Network with other area providers and see if they will send phone calls your way if they are full or can't take on a client due to hours or needs or whatever.

Just keep spreading the word as much as you can.

Sending good thoughts and wishes for some new enrollments for you!
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:15 PM
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Have you tried advertising at your schools, Where I live I asked the principle can I leave my flyers and they pass them out to the children. and at the Library and grocery stores.... Your business will pick up, don't give up, it just takes some of us longer then others. But you will get there.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I am sorry you are struggling.

I won't lie. It IS hard when you first start out. I thinkit took me a good 6 months to fill up and several years before I was happy with all my clients.

I was lucky enough that my DH had a great job and he covered all of our bills and expenses until I was full.

My advice is to just keep advertising and putting yourself out there.

Go to every community activity involving children you can. Hand out business cards to everyone who mentions having a child. Give your current clients a one time discount for refering a friend or co-worker.

Hang flyers and posters anywhere you haven't yet. Network with other area providers and see if they will send phone calls your way if they are full or can't take on a client due to hours or needs or whatever.

Just keep spreading the word as much as you can.

Sending good thoughts and wishes for some new enrollments for you!
I agree with all of this. It took me a good 2 months to fill up, and a good 9 months to get my feet under me and figure it all out. This job has a definite learning curve, and it is one that can be quite challenging.

I advertised by leaving pamphlets at area stores, libraries and schools. I also placed a small ad in our local newspaper. The advertising that worked best for me was actually a car magnet. I had one on my car, my husband's car, and my mom's car. I actually got 2 full time children that way, and I still have a relationship with them today. You can design them at vistaprint.com. I used vistaprint a TON when I first opened. Once you order from them, they start sending you crazy deals for super cheap of free items.

My first year, I lived in fear and panic often. It is scary to open your own business, and can be exhausting. Try to hang in there, and just keep plugging away at it. The first year is tough, but this job can prove to be great if you can hang in there~

Good Luck. Use this forum! I wish I had known about it when I first opened. The ladies and gentlemen on here are an invaluable resource. I don't know if there is an issue you can present that someone on here hasn't dealt with. You can do it!!!!
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2013, 06:07 PM
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A solid year, to get to the point where I was comfortable with my enrollment level. Hang in there! Explore some advertising threads already posted on here.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:28 PM
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I opened January 2012 and I only have 2 full time and 1 part time. I was at a point of having 3 full time and 3 part time when I lost 3 kids all in one week. One had a family member move in with them so she was going to watch their (full time) 2 yo. One was a part time school age who was in foster care and became adopted so was no longer for state assistance so they left him home with the older kids before and after school. The other part timer was another foster child who was handicapped and began OT and arrived by bus. I had to go get her off the bus and carry her into the house. I had to term her.

With all that being said, this is my second time doing daycare. I did it beginning in 1993 for several years and ran a very successful business where I was licensed for 12 kids, and at times had as many as 17 enrolled. I NEVER advertised and had no problem staying full after the initial 6 months or so.

I have not been advertising and was expecting the same results this time, but I guess with the economy and the fact my kids are grown now and I'm not out in the community with the young mom's I had a huge shock hit me in the face.

Becoming desperate after losing those 3 in one week, I got busy and started researching every possible avenue to advertise. I was advertising on Craigslist and that's where I've gotten all the kids I've had. I've listed myself on all the sites everyone else has mentioned. I just received my business cards with matching magnetic car sign TODAY. I designed a webpage (which matches my cards and signs...soooo cool) and I have started a facebook page very recently.

I've searched and like every daycare facebook page I could find all across the country and with those came all kinds of other pages I've found related to daycare, arts, crafts, science projects...things I've never thought about.

I have been so excited this week to really get busy and make my daycare business succeed because I don't have a choice. I WILL succeed...and you will too. Just don't give up too soon if it's what you really want to do. It takes time.

Even when I was licensed before it was a good year before I felt comfortable with everything. It was a lot of trial and error (such as with policies to keep the parents in line). Things were great then...another thing I did was network with all the other providers in my town. We would refer clients to each other if we were full.

If you get kids that are in school, go to their parties and meet the other parents. I don't even know how many kids I had gotten before when my girls were in preschool and kindergarden.

Times are different today than it was then, that's for sure. It's taken me a year to realize that and now I feel as though I'm just now getting started, instead of it being a year already.

Now, go get em, and in the end, you will be in a better position than what you could ever be working for someone else. There's always struggles with any job, but with childcare, YOU'RE the boss and there IS money to be made.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:28 PM
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I opened in January and did not get my first family until the end of that month. So I guess I have been open for two months also.

I currently have a 2 part time and 1 full time baby. I have openings, but the way it is panning out ok.

I have been able to continue to work the childcare at the church which is 3 hours every other Friday for more than what one DCK would pay. And I pick up evening shifts from time to time.

I am also considering working weekends at a summer camp.

It looks like a lot on paper but 3 days a week I have an infant and my 3 year old. And he leaves at 3.

So I am using this time to continue to research and put together lesson plans for the future.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:00 PM
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It took me 3 months to fill up. It al has to do with your rates, if you start very high most likely your not going to get much kids. Start off low then change your rates within a year from enrollment. I advertise on CL matter of fact all my dck are from there. Hand out flyers, etc and post them at libraries, post offices, stores, laundry mats.

Good luck
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:17 PM
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I disagree with the lower rates...mine are the lowest in the area and if you're not getting calls, nobody's going to know what your rates are to begin with. I live in a very small community and the economy has shut down most of what is here...there are no jobs and a lot of people are moving away.

The families that I have gotten are all very grateful for my lower rates, which comes out to 6.00 less per week than what the state assistance payments are...and that's with me providing 50 hours per week of care, compared to the 40 hours per week which the state allows and pays for. If I considered the amount I receive per hour compared to what state assistance pays per hour, it comes to 1.80 per hour.

What I've learned is that you have to get your name out there, you have to advertise, you have to let potential families know what you offer, who you are and how they would benefit more by using your daycare compared to some place else.

I admit I've been doing it all wrong this past year, but it's not due to my fees. If anything, what I've learned as well...I need to charge more.
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2013, 01:35 PM
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Danie362 Danie362 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I am sorry you are struggling.

I won't lie. It IS hard when you first start out. I thinkit took me a good 6 months to fill up and several years before I was happy with all my clients.

I was lucky enough that my DH had a great job and he covered all of our bills and expenses until I was full.

My advice is to just keep advertising and putting yourself out there.

Go to every community activity involving children you can. Hand out business cards to everyone who mentions having a child. Give your current clients a one time discount for refering a friend or co-worker.

Hang flyers and posters anywhere you haven't yet. Network with other area providers and see if they will send phone calls your way if they are full or can't take on a client due to hours or needs or whatever.

Just keep spreading the word as much as you can.

Sending good thoughts and wishes for some new enrollments for you!
Thanks Blackcat31 I am trying to hold on, but I might just take a night job until it picks up
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2013, 01:44 PM
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Danie362 Danie362 is offline
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I would like to thank everyone for the good advice and sharing information with me. I have taken flyers to my son pre-school and I will take some over to the elementary school tonight when I register him for Kindergarten. I have received a few calls but no clients yet. Trying to stay optimistic but I did decided if things have not picked up by mid summer that I was gone to find a part time evening job just too keep things a float.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2013, 04:14 PM
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It took me a few months and then I was completely filled (to capacity). Now, I am experiencing a sluggish season again.

Hang in there!! I have a feeling you will get plenty of calls and people in before mid summer.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:26 PM
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Lots of good advice here already, but don't forget to ask your current clients for referrals as well. You could even sweeten the pot by offering a small one time discount after any referrals have been with you for a month or so.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:36 PM
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Danie362 Danie362 is offline
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Originally Posted by MyAngels View Post
Lots of good advice here already, but don't forget to ask your current clients for referrals as well. You could even sweeten the pot by offering a small one time discount after any referrals have been with you for a month or so.
I like that ideal I will try that as I start to get clients.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:39 PM
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Danie362 Danie362 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
It took me a few months and then I was completely filled (to capacity). Now, I am experiencing a sluggish season again.

Hang in there!! I have a feeling you will get plenty of calls and people in before mid summer.
That's what I keep telling myself, things will pick up in the summer and just have a little patients. Thanks
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