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Old 10-24-2011, 08:08 AM
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Default Ugh Frustrated With DCP and Contract

Okay, so I have this family that has been with me for a while. They have 3 kids. 7 week old, 1 1/2 year old, and a 9 year old.

I keep them from 6:00-3:00, and I take the 9 year old to school every am, School is 7 miles from my house, and i drive a large SUV, so I break down the fees as 75$ 1 1/2 year old, $75 infant, and $20 gas for 9 year old. A total of $170 per week for all three. ( I don't make anything off the 9year old I actually spend more in gas, than I charge)

I know I know, everyone will think I am crazy, because around here for an infant is between $125- $185, and a 1 1/2 is between $115-$170.

First, this is my oldest client, I try to help them out as much as possible. Starting out the oldest one came to me in summer at a rate of $65 per week, and they were already paying the daycare for the 1 year old at the time $150. so right there was $115 for both, before they both came into my care.

Well I put out a contract about 3 weeks ago, and they have been holding it hostage, I text and ask every morning about it, well this am wife tells me that hubby has concerns, so I was like what are his concerns, she said she didn't know, and he would talk to me this afternoon, well i pressed the subject and she said it was the 1 week unpaid vacation i get per year, and the 10% if needed for everything pay increase, that if i wanted could do once a year with a month notice.
Out of all my parents, I thought they would be the only ones not to fight it, but no, they are and the rest of my parents didn't! I have done so much for this family.

I lose money and kids taking their daughter to school, not alot of parents are willing to let a daycare provider pop their kids in a carseat when they first start. I also, took care of the kids, and drove them to the hospital 25 miles a way for every day wife was in the hospital with new baby, I never charge them a late fee, but yet they always tell me that they appreciate what I do. I sure know no one else would do this....Ladies, I really need advise. I have actually been wanting to go to only before/after school, I know this isn't alot of money, but I would get to spend more time with my husband and daughter (Hubby works offshore and is gone alot). What would ya'll do? I love this family, the kids are simple and so sweet. Im just confused and hurt that they would have a problem with my contract. Advice please?

Last edited by Michael; 10-24-2011 at 11:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2011, 08:15 AM
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I'm confused

Not counting the gas money for the nine year old

How much are they paying for child care for the infant and the one year old?

How much are you charging for CARE for the nine year old from six a.m. to when you drop her off at school?

What is their TOTAL bill and what are you trying to increase it to?
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:20 AM
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Nanny De, I am not raising their rates, but in my contract that I passed out, there is a clause that, If needed I can raise rates 1 time per year a total of 10%. Right now I charge $75 for the 1 1/2 year old, $75 for the 7 week old, and $20 gas only for the 9 year old. A total of $170 per week for all three. I am not charging a fee for care for the 9 year old, trying to help them out, but yet she still eats 4 hot breakfasts a week and 1 cold breakfast a week.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:27 AM
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Raise rates on them now to what you actually want to be paid and they can take it or leave it. You are getting resentful for all you have done for this family but yet continue to do it. Don't expect gratitude from your daycare parents. Charge what you need to and take the payments as you only expectations from the families. You are losing too much doing all this for them. they don't see it as discounted or anything like that, all they know is that you have been doing x, y, z for a certain rate and now there is a possibility that that will change.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCrawfishCC View Post
Nanny De, I am not raising their rates, but in my contract that I passed out, there is a clause that, If needed I can raise rates 1 time per year a total of 10%. Right now I charge $75 for the 1 1/2 year old, $75 for the 7 week old, and $20 gas only for the 9 year old. A total of $170 per week for all three.
Friend you are giving them a bunch of free child care. They aren't going to be happy with even words that suggest that they will have less free.

Why aren't you charging for the nine year old? Why is that kid free? Six a.m. to school time with a drive in there is a LOT of free.

You have the babies at a REALLY low rate.

When you give free or near free for a really long time then you HAVE to accept that the good relationship you have had with them is first and foremost because of the cheap or free day care.

You can THINK it's a good relationship but when you start challenging the cheap you will find out quickly that the matrix of the relationship is what they are getting for free and cheap.

Stop taking the nine year old. They can try to find someone else who will do free time in the morning and wear and tear on the car. When they try to find someone who they JUST give gas money to they will find out quickly that no one is willing to do that.

I wouldn't tell them that you CAN raise the rates ten percent.. I would tell them you ARE going to raise the rates ten percent. It won't even get them close to market rate for the two little ones but it's a start. If they are there just for the cheap then you will know that right away. Replace them with one full market rate kid and you will be very close to what you make for the three of them.

You are performing a service for way way way under market. If you choose to do that you have to be willing to deal with the consequences of that. The biggest one is the parents reaction when the free is taken away. It's NEVER going to go over well.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:30 AM
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That is how I feel cheerfuldom, At this moment, my other kids that I keep, I charge $65 flat rate for before, after, or both for my school age, because they are holding a spot, I also have a couple part timers and I charge them 25$ a day, and when they are here all week, it is $125 a week. I have no problems. But it seems when you continue to give, they take and take and take.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:34 AM
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I know Nanny De! I made a horrible choice, and now I am suffering for it. I believe that I am going to stick it to them this afternoon, and tell them if they have a problem with it, they can go somewhere else. They have been giving me headache lately, because they are normally here at 6, but have been showing up 4 minutes before I load everyone up, so It has been alot of unnecessary chaos. But, like i said, if they decide not to take this, then they will have to find somewhere else. At this moment, I won't be raising fees, But I probably will at the beginning of the year.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:51 AM
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Stand up straight and tell this family that things are going to change. If they don't like it, they can move on at twice the price.

I do A LOT of freebies for my 3 yo and 4 yo, but they are my grandsons. When I start to feel taken advantage of, I remind the parents of the freebies and things change overnight.

You can only be taken advantage of IF you allow it.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:20 AM
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When new clients come in, I offer them the rate for 12 months. After that, I can't make any guarantee that the rate won't go up. It depends on the market.

I'd tell this family that the going rate is more than double what you are charging. An additional $20 a week isn't going to kill them. They are the ones that chose to have 3 kids. They pay. If they don't, good luck finding some other sucka to work for what little they are paying you!
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:27 AM
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Thanks Sharlan and Wdmmom....I feel like this just might be a push to the right need for my family, and that is to go completely before and after school, and no daytime. Parents just don't understand what all goes into watching their kids. Even though their kids "Don't eat very much" I am still having to feed them, and I am still having to buy for them! Plus, my bills are doubled because of my daycare.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:09 AM
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If dad is picking up this afternoon I would mention the concerns he is having with the contract and firmly tell him that the increase will be going into affect the beginning of the yr. You gave this new contract to all the parent so that IF they had concerns or didn't agree they had the ability to talk about it right away. By not addressing it for over 3 months lets you know that they do not agree. That you are fully prepared to discuss with them their concerns however; the increase will be applied as the cost of living goes up every yr and with the increase that will help you with expenses. You can state it matter of fact with no emotion so they understand that this is a no negotiation deal. It is going to happen. Give them a time frame to sign and if they don't comply then give them there 2wks notice. If they won't comply to a change in rules then they never will. It will be an on going problem you won't win. Best to get a diff. family that will and will pay.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:29 AM
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What do other providers in your area charge for infants? For toddlers?
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:33 AM
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I agree Christan Mother, They have had the contract for 3 weeks, and they never said anything till now, I also agree that I could find someone else to take their spot, I have been loosing alot of clients, because they don't want their kids packed up in the morning, for a trip, they want them to stay here. I know that I am going to hate to give a 2 weeks notice, but I am going to have to do what I have to do. Things are way to expensive here, and I am making barley nothing on them.
Sugar Magnolia:
around here for an infant is between $125- $185, and a 1 1/2 is between $115-$170,
This is based on In home and daycare facilities. The girl down the street from me charges $125 a week, doesn't matter the age.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCrawfishCC View Post
I have been loosing alot of clients, because they don't want their kids packed up in the morning, for a trip, they want them to stay here.
Sugar Magnolia:
around here for an infant is between $125- $185, and a 1 1/2 is between $115-$170,
This is based on In home and daycare facilities. The girl down the street from me charges $125 a week, doesn't matter the age.
YOU have just solved your own problem! You know you are losing other clients. You know you are way under-charging. You know what to do: CHANGE this! I see no reason you should accept a penny less than $125 a week, if that is the local minimum. You make only $1.66 an hour per child. That's not sustainable. You will go out of business. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I feel so bad for you getting paid so little. You are being exploited, badly, I'm sorry to say.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:34 PM
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Raise their rates now!! You are worth more than that, money and appreciation!!
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:44 PM
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New contract. Effective immediatly! $125 for each the infant and toddler. Then $50 for gas for school age and care in morning. Total they owe per week $300. Take it or leave it. Start advertising, do not low ball yourself, as it will attract families, but you want them to choose you over your program not your rates!!

$170 a week for 3 kids is nuts! AND you bring her child to school!?!? Wow, I dont know how you have done it for so long.
Good luck!
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:49 PM
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I know :-( I have made a big oopsie, But I guess its normal for just starting out? I have only really been in business since June. The dad will be here in less than an hour, and I have butterflies. We are going to have to come to some agreement, that works for both of us, but he uses the line "After we pay all our bills and pay you, we have $100 a week left for diapers and food" ugh. Everyone I have talked to has told me that I am absolutely coocoo.

The only problem is, that everyone around here are looking for CHEAP! The childcare market is soooo slow right now, I have advertised on CL, and put fliers out in my neighborhood, and around the stores around here, and barley anything, only 1 family before/after and a drop in.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCrawfishCC View Post
"After we pay all our bills and pay you, we have $100 a week left for diapers and food"
This statement is a red flag. Their finances are NOT your problem. Don't fall for sob stories. If other providers are getting $125 and have clients, so can you. Lowballing is a totally common mistake for new providers, but now you know. If you ditch this family, you will get others, it just takes time. Taking the older girl to school is HURTING your business. I wouldn't blame potential parents for no
t liking this. There are some GREAT threads on this forum for marketing ideas that are free or cheap. You are WORTH more than $75 a week per child.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:25 PM
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That is their problem. If they can't afford Childcare for three kids, they should start working out of their home as well. I charge 155 for infants and toddlers and that is an affordable rate. Daycares charge over 300.00 for infant and toddlers. Please increase your rates. Put your family first.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:47 PM
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Did you talk to him???
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:14 PM
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I did talk to him, and come to find out the wife was clueless. He was just needing questions, and understood that they were my first family, and that sooner or later I would have to change my rates on them, seeing that newer kids are coming in. I will probably let this go on till the first, and then change rates completely, to probably $115 a week per child, and $35 for the before schooler. He also wanted to know around what time I wanted vacation, so they could get theirs too. He was really cool about it, and he said that they didn't want to loose me, no matter the rates, or vacation. I know that their bills are not my problem, and I think I have gotten my backbone, But after christmas I will be putting my rates up! :-)
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:43 PM
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Default Financial woes

If this family really only has $100 left after bills, they either need to cut spending in other areas (cable, financed vehicles, smart phones, etc) OR if the are already living close to the bone, they qualify for assistance. Either way, not your problem.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCrawfishCC View Post
I did talk to him, and come to find out the wife was clueless. He was just needing questions, and understood that they were my first family, and that sooner or later I would have to change my rates on them, seeing that newer kids are coming in. I will probably let this go on till the first, and then change rates completely, to probably $115 a week per child, and $35 for the before schooler. He also wanted to know around what time I wanted vacation, so they could get theirs too. He was really cool about it, and he said that they didn't want to loose me, no matter the rates, or vacation. I know that their bills are not my problem, and I think I have gotten my backbone, But after christmas I will be putting my rates up! :-)
Just tread lightly.

When parents are faced with strict when they have been given permissive they will do what they have to do at that moment to keep their deal going. Saying words like they don't want to loose you may be because they don't have another gig should you decide to lower the boom now.

There is a VERY VERY high chance that they will leave when they get the raise. By giving them a heads up with your contract they will start the process of detaching from your deal. There's a great chance their attachment to you IS because of the free for the older kid and cheap for the littles.

Just have their replacement ready to go before you issue the raise.
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:49 PM
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I agree Nanny De, I am hoping at that time that I will be getting more calls! Thanks so much everyone for all of the advice..I promise I will be putting it to good use!!!
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:01 PM
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I remember not to long ago I advised one of my daycare families to just look around the area at diff. daycares and find out there rates and what they offer. I am really confident in my daycare here and I know that I offer a great rate with low ratio not to mention preschool activities...of course also a Godly atmosphere. She didn't feel she needed to do that but some times I wish they would so they now I am not taking advantage of them. Daycare is not cheap. I guarantee that most daycares in my area charge quite a bit more then me as well as charge even if the child is not in care. Which I think I plan on changing starting in Jan. if my husband has not found a job by then...I'll need you ladies to help me word that in my new phb. The parents are not going to like that change.
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