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  #1  
Old 03-09-2016, 01:21 PM
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Default Any of You Changed to Short Hours Care? (8:30 to 3:30pm)

Hello everyone!

After years of being a care givers I'm burning out and find myself daydreaming about going to the park or the library You guys are all so brave for doing this such a long time!
And after some research I realized that the closest preschool/nurseries to us only offer short hours (9 to 3pm and even 8 to 12 or 1 to 4pm). Plus they charge as much as we do for our 8.30 to 5.30pm schedule.

Having some kids leaving for kindergarten, I'm wondering if is a good time to change my hours too (8.30 to 3.30). I wouldn't make as much financially but then I could cut back on the cleaning lady and not pay an assistant until 5.30pm.

Any of you made such change? I'm a bit afraid to scare of potential new clients but it sounds so dreamy to finish work at 3.30!! I would love any advices!
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:13 PM
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I did when the new school year started and I love it. I am open 8am-3pm plus closed on Fridays. I'm able to take/pick up my dd from school and volunteer at her school, and do daycare errands which saves me from doing them on the weekends which means more time with my family. I don't take as many of the federal/state holidays but I do close for two weeks winter break and one week in the spring or summer depending when I take a trip with my family. Like you, I was afraid it would take me a while to fill my spots that were open due to children leaving for preschool, but I was able to fill the spots I needed and still getting calls. Preschools and fccs(at cheaper rates) around me offer longer hours. I think it all depends on the program you offer and getting your name out there with former happy clients are the key. Many of my calls were referrals from previous clients. I say go for it!
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:28 PM
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No, but I'd like to do 7:30-4:30 instead of 7-5. But I'm worried that it'll be harder to fill openings if I change my hours. I like the idea of BlackCat's tiered rate structure but have the same worry - parents won't pay extra for the hours they need and will just go somewhere else instead.
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Old 03-09-2016, 04:35 PM
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I have been doing a different version of the tiered rates for 20 years. My "business hours" are 7:30 - 5:30 but because I emphasize that parents have control over their costs, I actually only work from 8 - 4:30 right now.

If someone wants to enroll with longer hours but within my business hours, I just decide whether it is worth it to me. Sometimes I explain that I have no other children during those extended hours and they *offer to pay more.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:41 PM
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September of last year I changed my hours from 7:00-5:45 to 8:15-3:15. I was full with 12 children at the time, and lost half of the kids. I expected to lose more, but grandparents help w/pickups for most of the kids. I now am almost back to full. I make less money, but am so happy I made the change.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:21 AM
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I changed to a tiered rate structure last year and it's worked out SO well in regards to shortening the hours I work.

I'm still open at 7:30, but I'm usually done by 4:45. Before switching, I wouldn't be done until after 5:30. That 45 minutes made a world of difference in my attitude and demeanor.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:32 AM
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Dreamy for sure! I wish I could, but I can't. I am out in the boonies and most of the dcfs have quite the commute everyday to work. My hours are 7 - 5:30, and I can't see myself running a successful business if I change those. We are definitely the "working 9-5 or 8-4" crowd.
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:36 PM
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Before I changed my business days/hours I began putting my feelers out there, and even offered a discounted rate to those already enrolled IF they wanted to switch to less days/hours. A couple of months later I made the entire group switch and now I only work Monday-Thursday, 8:00-5:00 (except for 2 extended day kids until 5:30 MOST days). I did lose some clients, but I gained new ones shortly after.
I have many part-timers (5 M/W, 6 T/Th) and 5 full-timers. It is NICE to work less and be able to spend more time with my own family. If you are able to make shorter hours work, in whatever way you need to, I highly recommend it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:51 PM
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my hours change with the kids I get since I do contracted hours. I advertise 7:30-4:30, but unfortunately right now I still have someone "grandfathered" in at 5pm. I have not taken anyone else that needs 5pm in about 2-3 years. I also don't have anyone who needs the 7:30am right now. Would love to stick with an 8-4:30 schedule in the future!
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2016, 11:39 PM
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I was happy to find this thread!!

I am considering offering a home based program 8:00AM - 3:00PM.

Any one reduce their hours & regret it?

How much lower are your rates than other in home daycare programs that offer until 5PM or later?

The preschool programs in my area that run 1/2 day or short hours are the same if not more than home based daycares here.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2016, 11:50 PM
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You've all seen nanny de graduating fee scale??

Well I'm not going to post major details but I used to work from 630 to 6. After picking up her graduating fee scale with her help I now work from 730 to 5 and 99% of my kids are gone by 4:00-4:30. Yup one kid until 5, which that kid will be fine in the fall.

AND I make more money. If you really want help with it I know nanny de has a consulting business. It only cost me $50 to get her to help me transition to that fee scale which you can see is worth WAY WAY more than $50......
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
You've all seen nanny de graduating fee scale??

Well I'm not going to post major details but I used to work from 630 to 6. After picking up her graduating fee scale with her help I now work from 730 to 5 and 99% of my kids are gone by 4:00-4:30. Yup one kid until 5, which that kid will be fine in the fall.

AND I make more money. If you really want help with it I know nanny de has a consulting business. It only cost me $50 to get her to help me transition to that fee scale which you can see is worth WAY WAY more than $50......
I have considered a graduating fee scale. My mentor offers one but she offers up to 8.5 hours a day. Since I can only take 6 kids the first year I can't really afford it if they all select half day..... Maybe I will look into it. Do you think that is something one could do just starting out?
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
I have considered a graduating fee scale. My mentor offers one but she offers up to 8.5 hours a day. Since I can only take 6 kids the first year I can't really afford it if they all select half day..... Maybe I will look into it. Do you think that is something one could do just starting out?
PM me....I can tell you how I do mine. You don't have to offer half day if you don't want to.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:55 PM
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I LOVE THIS IDEA! I can't believe that after 11 years, it never even occurred to me to offer shorter hours. Which is funny because the preschools sure do. I have often wondered why it was that parents could barely be on time picking up from me at 5 pm, when the preschools they were enrolling in where going to require a much earlier pick up.

Currently, I am open 7:00 to 6:00 pm. The first kid actually doesn't arrive till 7:30, but the last one doesn't leave till 6 pm. Yep, that's an 11 hour day! And believe it or not, some parents have asked for longer hours.

I have even reminded parents over the years that our program was kind of a bootcamp because the kids would need to be picked up much earlier when they went to school.

Anyway, I think I might look into whether or not the shorter day program would work for my child care. I currently do limit it to a 9 hour day for the kids from arrival.
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:23 PM
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here is how I do mine.

The core of my program runs from 8am to 4:00pm. This is my base rate.

8am-4:30pm Flate weekly rate of $250

Earliest I will open is 7:30am, which if you come before 8:00am add $3.00 day

8am to 445 add $5.00 per day
8am to 5:00 add $5.00 per day


I do offer half day preschool only, but that is because we do run a preschool program and I like to have my afternoons slower. Also, I only offer out 3 half day spots
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2016, 01:24 AM
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Default Yes!

Is done! I told the interested parents about the change of hours (to replace the kids leaving soon) and the parents currently attending and all went SUPER WELL!

Just 1 interested parents back up but that's ok

Plus, there will be after hours care but with extra paid. To avoid having too much parents asking for after care I put higher rates/charges and it would be easy to have a kid or two here, it will give us time to play/read etc...

So we will be done by 3/3.30 (unless there is an extra kid staying).

Can't believe it so happy!
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2016, 01:37 AM
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PS: I called all the Preschools in my area and asked their weekly rate and about the extra fees (some added up to so much). I also asked about their closed days. Even the play based ones were high in cost. So I cut it the middle on the weekly tuition, not as high as some schools but not as low too.

I was so shocked of the prices near by plus lots didn't offer meals or were closed so often. Both are something to share with parents enrolled here (so they know they have it good!).
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2016, 09:53 AM
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That is great LovestheSun!! What did you set as your start and end times? What age children are you taking now?

Do you mind my asking what time you are offering after care until?

Did you offer two different time options i.e. 8AM-12PM and 8AM - 3PM or just one.... with after care options.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
That is great LovestheSun!! What did you set as your start and end times? What age children are you taking now?

Do you mind my asking what time you are offering after care until?

Did you offer two different time options i.e. 8AM-12PM and 8AM - 3PM or just one.... with after care options.
We were open from 8am to 5.30pm, the new hours are 8 to 3pm and after care until 5.30pm. Children are between 2 and 5 years old. (By the time the parents leave and we clean up is about 6.30 but now we will be able to do that at 3.30pm leaving very little clean up for the next day if there is aftercare).

I just did 1 option since it would be easier for us to have everyone under the same hours and just deal with 1 drop off/pick up a day (beside after care).

For the after care I am charging as much as a babysitter in the area would meaning $10/hour and parents must notify me ahead of time if they need after care so my assistant will do the after care (to make a little extra money) or me sometimes.

And the best part is that I am barely lowering the prices so the income will be about the same. I am expecting to have lower monthly cost since I can do the deep cleaning myself now (I have someone helping twice a month now) and my assistant doesn't mind working less as well. happy face

I can't believe I didn't realized that I am now one of the most affordable preschool in the area with the longest hours (I wasn't when I started).
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:47 PM
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So glad to hear it worked out. I am thinking of doing something similar. So this just motivated me!!! Best of luck and keep us posted.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:47 PM
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Question for those of you who have opted to do a tiered rate why did you decide to do that instead of just limiting the hours i.e. 7:30AM - 4:00PM or 8AM - 3PM, etc.?
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:26 AM
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Because when it's presented as "you have more control over your cost" parents choose shorter hours and think it's all their idea.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:50 AM
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Default Cost?

I like the idea of being open 8-3/3:30. What are your going rates for these hrs? Im from canada so canadian run daycare prices would help most. if not, what are Daycare costs like in the US what is a full day price vs the 8-3? thanks?
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:53 PM
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Where we are the prices varies from $35/day to $85/day but for a preschool is can be $40 to $60 just for 3hours (9 to 12)
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
Question for those of you who have opted to do a tiered rate why did you decide to do that instead of just limiting the hours i.e. 7:30AM - 4:00PM or 8AM - 3PM, etc.?
I offer tiered rates according to pick up time.

I don't count actual hours in care because I don't care.

I only offer 3 pick up times. 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00.

I don't care what time a family arrives (they still have to schedule it so I know) but I open at 7:00. It doesn't matter to me if I have 1 or all 12 kids here at 7:00. I am working at 7:00 so makes no difference either way.

I ONLY care what time a child is going to be picked up.....so that I know what time I will be getting off work.

I set my old weekly rate (that used to be for any kid there from open to close) as my earliest pick up time (3:00) and added fees from there. The ONLY families that got a rate increase were those that couldnt pick up by 3:00 (it's amazing how many "couldn't do that prior to the rate change but suddenly could when I implemented the rate scale )

If families need a 4:00 pick up M, T, W and Th but need a 5:00 pick up for Friday, they still pay the weekly rate for 5:00 pick up. If they are off work at 4:00 M-Th then they have an hour each day they can do whatever they want. I charge weekly so breaking it down daily was way too much accounting.

I add or subtract to the rate depending on whether or not they are 3, 4 or 5 days a week. My "old" flat weekly rate is now what I earn for a 3 day a week child that attends only 3 days a week. I now work less hours and make more money AND I know exactly what time I am "off" work each day allowing me to schedule whatever appointments I need to outside of work.

I also operate on contracted hours so if a family schedules a 3:00 pick up and they don't pick up at 3:00, I charge late fees...even if I have other kids present still.

Make sense?

ETA: Oh and like a previous poster said... I "sold" it to parents as a way for them to save money and every one of them loved the idea!

I can send you the letter I used if you are interested.
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  #26  
Old 04-16-2016, 05:41 PM
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This would be a dream come true! This would never work in my area. It's hard enough to fill. I'm open 7:00-5:30 and it's a challenge to fill with those hours even.

I'm in a very rural area that has plenty of child care options and all day every day free 4k and five half days of 3k in the school system. Area child care is struggling. So it's a no go with these kinds of hours. I'd so love this though!
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