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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Lowering Price??
JeepGirl6 09:06 AM 04-22-2012
So the summer time is bad for me, I have 4 families that are in the school/college district so their children dont come May-August...they come back the last week of August...this year is worse than I was expecting because now my $140 a week family, the mother lost her job so my income is really hurting right now. I have been applying to care.com jobs, sittercity jobs and craigslist jobs for the past month, probably around 20 postings all together. I got an Email back today for a parent that is interested. I normally charge $40 a day for one child/$70 for two. If you as childcare providers come across a loss of income and dont know what else to do, will you lower your daily rate to try to get a spot filled? I told this mother $60 for two children 9.5 hours a day (both school age, only for summer) I figured, no diaper changing or bottle feeding so I didnt think it would hurt to lower the price, let alone its a 4 days a week, which would help me out tremendously until the other families come back. Please give me your opinion.

Edited: as of May I will only have one-two families a week, not making enough to pay all my bills. I charge the parents during the school year when they miss a scheduled day but I do not have them pay when they are on summer break.
This is the only parent that has been interested and has continued to Email me. The other parents only want to pay me $15-$20 a day so when they see my $40 daily rate, they stop Emailing me.
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Blackcat31 09:40 AM 04-22-2012
NEVER EVER EVER lower your rate just to get clients. You will regret it if you do. The only time I would ever lower my rate would be if my rate was a lot more than the normal rates in my area or if it was a temporary situation where I was going out of my way to help out someone who was in dire need of some help, such as a deployed parent, loss of family member or some really extreme case where lowering my rate would be super beneficial to them but not hurt me financially.

As far as your families who are gone or absent in the summer, are you charging them to hold their spaces until fall? If not, I would go that route before I ever lowered my rates.

I would also consider (although I have never done this myself) but I would consider enrolling a family and then giving them a discount rate for maybe one or two weeks after they have signed on and stayed for atleast 60-90 days. Kind of like a sign on bonus. I wouldn't do it immediately though or you will get daycare hoppers who just ocme for the low rate and then move when the rate is regular.

Otherwise, hang in there but in my experience, if you lower your rates just to get families you will regret it later. Hang in there. Daycare is a tough profession but some how things will always work out.
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CheekyChick 12:16 PM 04-22-2012
In all honesty, I think that's a bit high for school age children. I would definitely lower my rate for that age and you will feel MUCH better when you don't have to worry about your finaces.
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Christian Mother 03:23 PM 04-23-2012
I charge $25 a day up to 10 hrs. Anything past that I charge an $5 extra. If their are late picking up after their scheduled pick up times they get charged $5 right off the dot.

I also have a family that is a teacher. Since i am moving this won't apply to me now but I know if I was still here caring for this family I would be asking the family to pay a portion of their weekly rate to hold the spot open for them. I charge $125 a week so I would ask for half of that $75. That way they can ashually use any days that are paid for for the week...and if they come more that week then they would make up the diff. Sometime the parents want a day to them self or have errands to run and it's nice to know their covered on care. What i tell the parents is that there is no way I can stay open if all my parents are gone during the summer so those that don't pay to hold their spot run the risk of not having care. You tell them that your actively looking for replacements...that will have them make a fast desigion either they will put a deposit to hold their spot or they will look else where.
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DaisyMamma 07:30 AM 04-24-2012
I did that and now I'm sorry. I have one girl who is $145/week instead of $175. But in all honesty I would rather have the $145/week over $0/week and an empty spot. Your rate depends on your location though, just make sure you are comparable. The thing is that some people think it's weird when a provider is too low, like it's too good to be true, so something must be wrong, and they go somewhere else and pay more. Weird, but true.
Personally I find a SA child much more work then a toddler or infant, but most places charge less for SA.
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wdmmom 07:46 AM 04-24-2012
I think you are right...

Not only do you not have bottles to give or diapers to change but no handfeeding either.

In lowering your price, it might help you get the temporary income you need to get through the summer.

If I were in your situation, i would have done the same.
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littlemissmuffet 07:57 AM 04-24-2012
I never lower rates under any circumstance. I know that I would end up very resentful if I did!
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DaisyMamma 08:19 AM 04-24-2012
The thing is that, if this family is coming ONLY for summer, it's not a terrible idea of lowering.
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