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Old 08-25-2010, 05:35 AM
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legomom922 legomom922 is offline
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Default Do You Change Your Hours Depending on $$

I normally am open 730-530, but things have been slow lately and I have an interview for a new baby but care would be needed 630-4, so I am thinking of changing my operating hrs(630-430 with a late fee if they come later than 430) for this couple only because I an in need of the $$. Of course now I also have to change my handbook. Have you done this before?
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:56 AM
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I guess my normal hours are 6:30am-5:30pm, I have talked with a mom about her kid starting at 5:50am And I would do that for her, because its a 6yo, But I wont change my handbook for it, I will just make it, a special case for that family......So you don't have to change your hours in your handbook, Unless your wanting to close at 4:30 if you start earlier, But 4:30 would make it harder to get more families. Don't know if this answer helps.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:01 AM
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I too agree, I wouldn't change my hours, I would make and exception for this family.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:36 AM
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I am not changing my hrs for anyone, but I thought if i give them a handbook with those hrs for them, then if they decide they will be late one day, I can get the late fee, but if I leave the handbook as is & she decides to go shopping after work because she thinks she has until 530, then I have the kid for 11 hrs vs 10 and no extra fee. does that make sense? I dont want them to think that I am going to change ALL the rules for them.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:40 AM
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I also wouldn't change my hours, I would do it for the one family but not make it "known" to the others. I've stayed open 15 min past my closing time for a family and I didn't tell the others.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:51 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I have my "business hours" which are 6am-6pm which are the hours that I'm available but make sure that the families know that each family can only have their child here no more than 10 hours a day and that we have an agreement as to their individual "scheduled hours" a.k.a. the hours they are allowed to bring their kids.

For example, I may be open from 6am-6pm but family A's scheduled hours are from 7am-5pm Monday through Friday. Family B's scheduled hours are from 8am-6pm Monday through Friday. Family C's scheduled hours (part-time) are from 9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. Full-time families pay the full-time rate, part-time families pay the part-time rate. They can drop-off later if they are running late etc. but they still have to pick up at their scheduled pick-up time. My families get a 15 minutes free grace period if they are late in picking up and if they pick up after that grace period I charge $5 for every 15 minutes (or part of) that they are late UNLESS they pick up at 6pm. 6pm is my closing time and I am CLOSED at that time, there is no grace period after 6pm and I immediate start adding fee's.

A lot of providers find it difficult to do it this way but it works for me because I give them the hours that I am willing to work and they tell me the hours that they need within that time frame. There is no asking me to open earlier or close later etc. They have to follow their scheduled time. I may even decide to watch a child on a weekend or before hours or even after hours but that's at my discretion and a much higher rate. For example when you break it down for full-timers (the cheaper rate) it comes out to be about $3.10 an hour. If I agree to watch a child after 6pm or before 6am or if they go over their 10 hours a day then I charge $5 an hour. Same with weekend care except that I have a $20 minimum whether or not they stay for 4 hours or not and I have the opportunity to do errands etc. and take the child with me. Just a thought.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:00 AM
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Yep, I do it very similiar to MarinaVanessa. I have "Contracted Hours". I tell them, these are my hours, and ask "what is the earliest you will drop off and the latest you will pick up". I remind them of extra travel time required in the winter too. It has been working pretty well, one family didn't get it though and was coming way late, even after closing time without calling until late too. I just told her that their pick-up time was this time and I needed her to call before that time. If it happened again I would have to charge a late fee and if she picked up after close there would be a late fee.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:02 AM
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I do the same thing as MarinaVanessa but as far as outside those hours, My advertised hours are 6:30 am - 5:00 pm they put down their contracted hours same as them, but if I have someone who needs care until 5:15 I will stay open for them but I wont "advertise" that I'm open until 5:15.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:17 AM
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I don't tell people my hours. I do contracted hour. I explain to the parents that I do not have set hours and it is contracted on and varies by family. I ask them what hours they are looking for and if I am not willing I will let them know before we finish the conversation.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:22 PM
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Let me clarify...I do not want to change my operating hrs, and I dont want other parents to know what I did for this family, because I have a early drop policy where if they want to bring their child before 730, its a $5 fee and if its before 7, its considered overtime and its a $10 fee.

So with this new family I gave them a handbook with their hrs in it and said if they want early drop off before 630 its $5 and before 6 it is $10.

Then i made the late pick up fee for after 430 vs 530 for the other family.

My concern was I didnt want the new family thinking they had until 530 to get their child, when their contract was only till 4, and if they showed up at 445 because they stopped to get groceries, I wanted them to know they are late and there would be a fee, so I didnt want them to get 11 hrs of care for the same price the other family gets for 9.5.

I also didnt want them to know I was making an exception, but I want to be firm in other areas of my contract, and I also didnt want them to know I was desperate for another slot to be filled.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:47 PM
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Legomom...

The handbook for your hours should be general and has specific fees written in it. You need a contract per family stating what their hours and fees are specifically. You shouldn't have to change your handbook for each family, so keep it general by stating your "business hours" if you are absolutely unwilling to work certain hours or just have it referred to the "contracted hours" to keep it open and only mention specifically in every families contract what their contracted hours are and what they pay, and late fees if they pick up late, etc. You can state in your handbook you will have late fees if drop off and/or pickup is earlier/later than their contracted hours. Then, just simply state if it occurs so-many times that you both need to sit down and make sure the contracted hours are working, but if it continues (3 times) then it's grounds for termination. What do you think?

You can also keep your hours how they are in your handbook as general business hours, just add they are flexible to meet contracted hours of no-more than 9 or 10 hours of care provided each day. If more than 9 or 10 hours of care are needed on any given day, a $10 fee will need to be paid per hour per child and must be paid in full prior to returned to care. (Ex. picked up at 5:30 instead of 4:30 one day, they must pay you $10 for that extra hour late they were before they drop off the next morning).

Last edited by Abigail; 08-25-2010 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:00 PM
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I see what you are saying. I have a very simple contract that states the start date, hrs, days, and rate. I also have a clause in there that states that they have read the handbook and agree to ALL of its contents, and therefore the handbook is actually a part of my contract. So it sounds like what you are telling me is that I should not say at all what my hrs are, and just go by they are paying 35 day for up to 9 or 10 hrs. Is that right?

ETA: Also someone else told me that late fees shouldnt kick in until after closing time, not contacted time...so now I'm confused..If someone is supposed to pick up their child at 2, and cant make it until 4, they would get hit with $20 of OT fees and I dont know how long I would be in business then. Competition is tough!

Last edited by legomom922; 08-25-2010 at 03:04 PM. Reason: forgot to add more
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2010, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legomom922 View Post

ETA: Also someone else told me that late fees shouldnt kick in until after closing time, not contacted time...so now I'm confused..If someone is supposed to pick up their child at 2, and cant make it until 4, they would get hit with $20 of OT fees and I dont know how long I would be in business then. Competition is tough!
This is why all of the policies should be the same for all families but each family's contracted hours could be different. Each families contracted hours should be specified in the contract as well as their fee. I don't specify what I charge in my contract until we sign the contract itself so that way when a new family comes in I can charge them the next year's rate instead of signing them up at this years rate and hiking up their rate a few months later. This works also if you decide to take a family at a cheaper or special rate if you are hurting. I make it clear that I do not discuss rates with other families and that neither should they. You should be able to charge what you want for whatever hours you want ... it's your business.

If another family finds out somehow that you keep another child after your "business hours" there is no reason for you to have to specify your reasons or fee's. A simple "That was a choice that I chose to make , we'll see how it goes." should be enough and if they still press or ask about extending the same courtesy to them a "This is a trial run to see how I feel about it. At this point I am not interested in extending my daycare hours to any more families" is all you need to say. Good luck with this. Who knows, if your other kiddos get picked up before then maybe they won't find out.
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