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jgcp 11:47 AM 03-11-2014
I really need to update my contract. I'm thinking at the yr mark. I'd like parents to start paying Fridays for the next week. often dcp "forget" to pay on Monday then don't bring kids Tue so I don't get paid til wed and lose out on that one day.... soooo how should I word this and I know they will ask why... I never put in my contract for late fee or absent days... I've learned a lot in the last 6 months ha
cara041083 12:33 PM 03-11-2014
Here is what I have in my contract:

Payment for services is to be paid in CASH on Friday of each week. You may pay:
Weekly Bi-Weekly Monthly
If you choose to pay monthly, payment is due ON THE 1ST EVERY MONTH! (Please keep in mind that some months have 4 weeks, and some have 5 and the weeks will be counted for a total amount.)
$20.00 a day late fee will be charged if your payment is not received in full on time. After 3 days late (including the weekend days) your child will not be allowed to return until balance is paid in full. After 1 week of none/late payment, the child will no longer be enrolled in daycare, and will not be allowed back. Full payment will still be due, and the bill will be turned into collections. Mid-week enrollment will be pro-rated per day.
Parent understands that payment is a guaranteed rate and includes full pay for holidays, as well as days the child is absent due to illness or snow days. (This fee is a guarantee for enrollment, even if your child is absent; payment is still due in full). If a holiday falls on a Friday when daycare is closed, payment will be accepted on Monday with no late charge. If for any reason your child will not be attending daycare on Friday, parent is still responsible for payment on the scheduled day unless other arrangements have been made. Payments in advance will be accepted. Daycare observes and is closed for the following holidays with full pay:

• New Year’s Day
• Memorial Day
• Independence Day (4th Of July)
• Labor Day
• Thanksgiving (Thursday And Friday)
• Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day
Vacations: When child takes vacation, parent is required to provide a two (2) week notice prior to vacation. Payment is due prior to your vacation. Provider may take 1 week vacation per year. Provider will provide four (4) weeks’ notice to parent prior to vacation. Provider will charge a half rate of $50.00 for week closed due to vacation. Provider will also be allowed 3 personal days off with full pay per year. If daycare is closed due to illness or personal matter, then provider will not charge for those days that the daycare is closed (with the exception of vacation, or 3 personal days) and will credit the following week. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED, ONLY CREDITS.

Maybe this can give you an idea
earlystart 05:11 PM 03-11-2014
It sounds like currently they only pay for the days they use, as opposed to having them pay for a "spot" regardless of attendance. You can make an announcement that you're going to start charging for each spot, and payment will be due the Friday before care for the following week. You can explain that each family is paying to hold their spot in the daycare, and are free to use it as they'd like (according to whatever hours you'd like them to use, that is), but since you can't fill the days they are unexpectedly absent, it's only fair they pay for the full week. If you want to soften the blow, you can mention that absences in which you've been given advanced notice AND are able to fill their spot for the day, will be credited back to them.

You can also say the late fee is $10/day, including weekends, and must be paid before the child will be let in on Monday. If you want to be nice, you can give them a couple weeks to get used to the new way of doing things, and let them know you will waive the fees for x amount of time.

As far as sick days and vacation days, it's up to you to decide what policy you'd like, but I think you should spell it out in the new contract, otherwise parents will try to get away with paying the least amount possible whether it is fair or convenient to you or not. For example, I give the parents "2 weeks" of vacation days at 50% off their current rate (If they attend 5 days a week, they get 10 days, 3 days a week gets 6 days, 2 days a week gets 4 days). And they still pay for their child's sick days (if it lasts 3 days or longer, I'll give them a 50% discount per extra day that week). Make sure you have a good illness policy too

I also get 5 of my own vacation days each year, where the parents will still pay their regular fee even though I'm closed. I have to give them 30 days notice, and can use them whenever I want. I know this won't be acceptable in all areas of the country, but luckily nobody complained about it here. Good luck updating your contract, I HIGHLY recommend Tom Copeland's book about Policies and Contracts - it comes with a CD with word documents that you can edit to your liking for every different policy and contract issue under the sun. You could also use it as a way of explaining the updated contract - that you got this new book to help you run your daycare better.
Tags:contract, updating contract
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