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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Holiday and Vacation Time
Unregistered 12:08 PM 01-02-2018
Hey all!
I'm new to this forum, but this is my second year operating an in home center. I can't wait to read back through these threads to see if other issues I am having are addressed, but I thought I would start with this one.
I have been catering to teachers and their children, having been a former teacher myself. After my first year, I have adjusted my contract and policies, but I feel I am still a pretty good deal... every family gets three weeks off, no pay. This is for the week between Christmas and New Year's, and for mid winter and spring breaks. They also only pay three days for thanksgiving week.
The previous year, I didn't charge for any other school vacation days. Financially it really hurt and I decided that any other 4 day work weeks would still be a full week pay. They also do pay for snow days and sick days for their children.
Where I see their savings is that they don't have to pay all summer. They give a 2 week deposit to hold their spot and this can be used for the first 2 weeks of care in september.
From my experience, many centers charge or make children come in the summer and I thought this change was more than fair.
Two of my families didn't pay me for a full week this week (returning from new years). It hasn't been a problem before... and now I am questioning if my policy is fair or if I should reconsider it... or were they just not paying attention, or confused because it was coming off the unpaid week last week.
My question is really, how are national holidays handled... when you are closed... does a family pay full price all week every week regardless?
Cat Herder 12:38 PM 01-02-2018
I recommend joining the forum so you can see and click the tags at the bottom of threads. They lead to other threads similar to yours. Welcome
rosieteddy 12:46 PM 01-02-2018
When I had a teachers contract I charged for the holiday.They would add it to the previous weeks tuition.I did not charge for the week and they could not bring the children any days they were off.I did not have all teachers children so was open .
storybookending 12:48 PM 01-02-2018
Yes full price every week regardless. I think you are more than fair giving them 3 weeks off plus no summers. Iím not sure about that deposit policy but hey if t works for you.

Personally I hate working with teachers, they all act so entitled in my experience. I know it works for some people but it wouldnít for me.

I say if you contract says they pay you for New Years you tell those parents at pickup that their checks were short and tell them to bring the remaining money before you accept them for care tomorrow.
Blackcat31 01:20 PM 01-02-2018
I think one of THE biggest mistakes providers make is structuring their rates to match other providers.

My rule of thumb is to set your rates and policies in regards to what days clients pay/don't pay for according to YOUR financial needs/budget.

When I first opened, I did alot of things that I wouldn't dream of doing today.
One of them was not charging clients 52 weeks a year regardless of closures or absences.
It worked for me then but doesn't work for me now.

If you can afford financially to allow X number of days/weeks per year for each family to have without having to pay, then go ahead and do so if it works for you. If you can't afford to do that, don't. And don't apologize for it.

Child Care is like any other service.... parents need to find a program that works for them (financially and otherwise) and if your set up/program doesn't work for one family it doesn't mean it won't work for the next...kwim?

So bottom what YOU need to do to stay in the black and don't worry so much about what any other provider/program does or doesn't do and you'll do great!!
Snowmom 02:52 PM 01-02-2018
My teacher rates:

They pay approximately $35-$45 more a week than my average full year families (it varies depending on their contracted pick up time).
They can take off the entire Spring or Winter break off and have me hold their spot for 1/2 rate. They can not attend AT ALL during this break or they need to pay full rate.
Each contract has a specific end date in June. The spot is not held during the summer months unless they pay full rate throughout the summer. I am open year-round.

The initial deposit only covers their last two weeks if all policies are upheld.

In the Fall, if I have space, we can do it all over again.
HappyEverAfter 08:39 PM 01-02-2018
My teacher policy is that they can drop to part time, coming just 2 set days per week for a period of 8 consecutive weeks during the summer at half my regular weekly tuition rate. If they do this option, they are charged the full weekly tuition rate the rest of the year and not allowed any other weeks off for vacation. This allows me to have some level of income and allows them some time off with their kids over summer break. I feel itís a fair compromise.

If they opt to leave completely for the summer and do not wish to pay the weekly part time tuition then they forfeit their spot and I make zero promises about there being a spot available for them to return to at the end of summer.

They can also opt to continue paying the full regular weekly tuition rate and bring their child at their leisure anytime during normal daycare hours over the summer.

50% of my daycare kids are from teachers and I come from a teacher family (Iím the only non teacher out of 5 people) so I fully understand teachers wanting childcare that accommodates their school calendar, however, I am running a business and they need to understand that I need to make decisions in the best interest of my business.
Unregistered 07:35 AM 01-03-2018
Just the few replies were more than helpful!!! I think I am being more than reasonably fair, so I think I need to be a bit more firm!
Since I am coming from teaching, i have always worked a summer job, so not having daycare clients worked well. This summer 2018 will be my last summer working it... So next year's contract will be a bit different. Thanks again for the replies!
Tags:deposits, holiday schedule, paid vacations, vacation
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