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  #1  
Old 06-19-2013, 07:18 AM
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Default What Do I Need To Do Differently?

I charge a weekly rate for up to 40 hours, hourly after that. I did this because my weekly rate was scaring people away when I based it on 50 hours.

When parents pay a weekly rate, I expect that they'll go shopping or get a haircut or whatever when they get off work early. No problem. It's the parents who get off work at like, 3 every day, and their kids are the last ones picked up every day that are getting on my nerves.

HOW do I go about contracting hours? I thought that I was clear about it when I talked with parents, but apparently not. Would any of you who contract hours be willing to share with me how you do it? Rates, wording of contract, how you explain it to parents (NONE of our local licensed providers contract hours).

I'd appreciate the help. Right now, I have ONE mom who breaks her neck to get here to pick up her kids (I swear she is here 5 minutes after she gets off work 3 miles away)...all the rest want to "get their money's worth" and leave their kids here 50 hours a week (even though they pay OT for the last 10-I don't). I'm OK with leaving things be for current clients, but my future clients WILL be contracted to specific hours.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:27 AM
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Here is my rate sheet. My weekly rate (the amount I HAVE to have to survive financially) is what a 5 day a week parent picking up at 3:30 would pay.

Let me know if you have questions, I'll gladly try and help

Last edited by Blackcat31; 10-12-2014 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:40 AM
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Love your rate sheet, BC!
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Here is my rate sheet. My weekly rate (the amount I HAVE to have to survive financially) is what a 5 day a week parent picking up at 3:30 would pay.

Let me know if you have questions, I'll gladly try and help
Thank you-that's a great place for me to start!
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:29 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
I charge a weekly rate for up to 40 hours, hourly after that. I did this because my weekly rate was scaring people away when I based it on 50 hours.

When parents pay a weekly rate, I expect that they'll go shopping or get a haircut or whatever when they get off work early. No problem. It's the parents who get off work at like, 3 every day, and their kids are the last ones picked up every day that are getting on my nerves.

HOW do I go about contracting hours? I thought that I was clear about it when I talked with parents, but apparently not. Would any of you who contract hours be willing to share with me how you do it? Rates, wording of contract, how you explain it to parents (NONE of our local licensed providers contract hours).

I'd appreciate the help. Right now, I have ONE mom who breaks her neck to get here to pick up her kids (I swear she is here 5 minutes after she gets off work 3 miles away)...all the rest want to "get their money's worth" and leave their kids here 50 hours a week (even though they pay OT for the last 10-I don't). I'm OK with leaving things be for current clients, but my future clients WILL be contracted to specific hours.
I charge weekly for FT of 50 hours (up to 10 hour days) and hourly after that if they need more time than that. My rate is $160 per week (I'm sharing this only so that how I do things will make more sense later).

As far as how you get contracted hours to work I think the main problem (from my personal experience working with other child care providers) is that they either don't explain it individually to each client or they don't follow through with their own policies. Also having contracted schedules means having a more thorough contract/policies in place.

Important points to consider:
  • Make sure that their contract has EACH childs individual contract with their schedule even if they are siblings
  • Charge your flat weekly rate and cap it. Ex: $160/week for 50 hours maximum
  • Explain in writing in the contract and handbook and on top of that verbally that they HAVE to adhere to their contracted times
  • Charge hourly if clients need additional time and they call you in advance to arrange it
  • Charge penalty fees (like late pick up fees) to clients that need more time but don't arrange it beforehand (like $1 per minute or $5 for every 15 minutes etc)
  • Have the client sign a new contract with their new schedule any time that they need it to be changed or time needs to be added or reduced
  • ENFORCE YOUR POLICIES AND FEES

Here is how I work. Maybe it will give you an idea (I only included the parts that are relevant to your question):

My Contract:
ITEM TWO: Business Hours, Hours of Care, Additional Care Available
1. Business Hours
a. [Daycare Name]'s normal hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
b. These hours are available for care of children but are not necessarily the hours that are allotted to the client for child care. The client’s allotted time is listed below.
2. Hours of Care
a. The parties have agreed that care provided for the child will be for:
(choose one option).

 Full-Time: Full-time care is defined as a minimum of four (4) days a week with a maximum of fifty (50) hours a week and a maximum of ten (10) hours per day.

 Part-Time: Part-time is defined as three (3) or less days a week, a maximum of 29 hours per week and a maximum of ten (10) hours per day.

b. The parties have agreed to the following schedule of care:
 Monday Hours __________ [AM/PM] to __________ [AM/PM]
 Tuesday Hours __________ [AM/PM] to __________ [AM/PM]
 Wednesday Hours __________ [AM/PM] to __________ [AM/PM]
 Thursday Hours __________ [AM/PM] to __________ [AM/PM]
 Friday Hours __________ [AM/PM] to __________ [AM/PM]
Note: _________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________

c. No child will be accepted earlier or later than the scheduled hours of care unless prior arrangements have been made and agreed upon by the provider. Late arrivals do not allow for late pickups and scheduled missed days cannot be switched for unscheduled days.
....
ITEM THREE: Terms of Payment and Fees
1. Fee Agreement
a. The child care rate for the child stated in this contract will be as follows: ____$XX.xx per week_____
...
10. Early Drop-Off and Late Pick-Up Fees
a. A fee of $5.00 per every 15 minutes, or fraction thereof, will be added to the clients account for any unscheduled drop-offs made before the clients scheduled drop-off time or for any pick-ups made after the client’s scheduled pick-up time. The daycare clock will be used to determine the time.
b. All early drop-off and late pick-up fees are due no later than the clients’ next scheduled drop-off. [Notice that I don't say anything about arranging additional time ... I do this on purpose so that I can decide on a case by case basis whether or not I want to accommodate additional time to a client or not. To explain I read this part and then say "If you occasionally need an extra hour or two you can always ask me in advance and if I can accommodate it then I can do that for the additional hourly rate of $X.xx].
My Contract in Whole PDF (must be signed in to Google)

My Handbook
Hours, Services & Fees
Daycare Hours
The daycare’s regular business hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. however these hours are not necessarily the hours that a client is allotted to bring their child. Unless a client is a drop-in client, hours for care will be discussed and a schedule will be set which includes a fair amount of commuting time and this will become the child’s “scheduled hours”. Care will be provided for children only during their contracted scheduled hours.

Any changes to a child’s full or part-time schedule must be discussed and reassessed and will depend on the ability for the childcare provider to meet the child’s new needs. Each time that changes to a child’s full or part-time schedule are needed a new contract must be signed.
.....
Late Pick-Up & Early Drop-Offs
Unless prior arrangements have been made with the child care provider’s approval all clients are required to adhere to their contracted schedules. Any extra time needed requires extra payment. If a child is picked up after the contracted pick-up time with no notice, they are late. If the child is dropped off before the contracted drop-off with no notice, time they are Early. No grace periods are given.

Late Pick-Up Fee
If a child is picked up later than the contracted pick-up time without advance notice the childcare provider may not be present when the client arrives to pick the child up. It will then be the responsibility of the client to either go to the childcare provider’s location to pick the child up or wait until the childcare provider returns.

A $6 fee per child will be added to the client’s account for every fifteen (15) minutes, or portion thereof, that the child is late in being picked-up past the contracted pick-up time. If however the child is picked up late passed regular business hours then a fee of $1 per minute will be added to the client’s account.

This fee is due immediately at the time of pick-up or late payment charges will apply.

Early Drop-Off Fee
There is a $6.00 fee per child for every fifteen (15) minutes, or portion thereof, that a child is dropped off earlier than the contracted drop-off time without prior approval. If however the child is dropped off before regular business hours then a fee of $1 per minute will be added to the client’s account. This fee is due immediately at the time of pick-up or late payment charges will apply. Ask in advance if a child ever needs an earlier drop-off than the contracted scheduled time to make sure that this can be accommodated, otherwise the child may be turned away and required to wait until the scheduled drop-off time.
.....
General Information

Full-Time Child Care
The rate for full-time childcare is for child care for four or five days per week and covers up to 50 hours per week and is based on enrollment, not an attendance. Full-time clients have a guaranteed spot in the daycare based on their scheduled hours whether the child attends the daycare for all of the 50 hours or not. Any additional time over 50 hours that is needed is charged at the hourly full-time rate.

Part-Time Child Care
Part-time child care is offered for either two or three days per week and is based on enrollment, not on attendance. The rate for part-time for two days a week covers up to 20 hours per week. The rate for part-time child care for three days a week covers up to 30 hours per week.
(most of my PT clients have this contract, my new PT clients are signing new contracts where they pay based on the number of days they attend and the pick-up times).

Part-time clients have a guaranteed spot in the daycare based on their scheduled hours whether the child attends the daycare for the full scheduled days and hours or not. Credit will not be given for child absences or for holidays listed on the Holiday Schedule. Any additional time over the allotted hours is charged at the hourly part-time rate.
.....
Late Arrivals
All clients must adhere to their scheduled drop-offs. The childcare provider must be notified if a child will arrive more than 15 minutes past their scheduled arrival time. If a child is more than 15 minutes late without notice it can be assumed that the child will not be present and the child’s spot may be filled and no credit will be given for the missed day.

Clients with scheduled arrival times of 7:30 a.m. or earlier are required to give notice no later than 7:00 p.m. on the previous business day if their child will arrive later than their scheduled arrival time. Many times clients with these early arrival times are the day’s first arrivals and the childcare provider wakes up according to the client’s arrival times. Advanced notice allows the childcare provider to plan a later start for the day.

Late arrivals don’t allow for late pick-ups. If a client arrives later than their scheduled arrival time they are still required to pick-up at their normal scheduled pick-up time.

My Complete Handbook PDF (must be signed in to Google account to view)

HTH you get ideas
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2013, 09:41 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Here is my rate sheet. My weekly rate (the amount I HAVE to have to survive financially) is what a 5 day a week parent picking up at 3:30 would pay.

Let me know if you have questions, I'll gladly try and help
I love your rate sheet too. I'm going to steal your format .

I charge more like Nan but I bet my Fee Schedule (rate sheet) would look prettier in your format
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 12 Rates and Fees April 2013.pdf (291.5 KB, 82 views)
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2013, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I love your rate sheet too. I'm going to steal your format .

I charge more like Nan but I bet my Fee Schedule (rate sheet) would look prettier in your format
Nan is the one who helped me make the switch to charging based on pick up times but honestly I was way too lazy to break it down into 15 minute increments like she does () and went with hour blocks instead.

If a parent chooses to pick up at say 4:00, they are still billed the 4:30 pick up rate since I don't offer anything in-between.

Buuuut are still considered late (and charged the late fee) if they don't pickup at 4:00 so they need to be smart enough to figure out that they are paying until 4:30 and if they want that extra bit of time, they should have scheduled until 4:30 vs 4:00

I used to have my rates and stuff all written out in text form, but I have learned over the years that parents read AND remember things better when they are in a "prettier" format than just black and white words....kwim?
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:37 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Nan is the one who helped me make the switch to charging based on pick up times but honestly I was way too lazy to break it down into 15 minute increments like she does () and went with hour blocks instead.

If a parent chooses to pick up at say 4:00, they are still billed the 4:30 pick up rate since I don't offer anything in-between.

Buuuut are still considered late (and charged the late fee) if they don't pickup at 4:00 so they need to be smart enough to figure out that they are paying until 4:30 and if they want that extra bit of time, they should have scheduled until 4:30 vs 4:00

I used to have my rates and stuff all written out in text form, but I have learned over the years that parents read AND remember things better when they are in a "prettier" format than just black and white words....kwim?
Yep, I finally caved not too long ago and went with Nan's style of charging as well but like you I didn't want to charge in 15 minute increments either. I did however go with 30 minute increments. Like you, if they are scheduled until 4:15 they get charged until the next block (4:30 for me) and they are still late if the go past 4:15.

And I agree about the "prettier they are the more likely they are to read and remember it" thing. You are so RIGHT! Ever since I changed my layout to my handbook and contract a few years back I don't have as much trouble with people coming in and saying they never read it or they "forgot" about that clause.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:22 AM
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I've been toying with the idea of changing my rate structure. For those who changed, do you just change it for everyone, or change it for new families?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Here is my rate sheet. My weekly rate (the amount I HAVE to have to survive financially) is what a 5 day a week parent picking up at 3:30 would pay.

Let me know if you have questions, I'll gladly try and help
I love the pick up time rates. I charge monthly though. I wonder how that would work?
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:43 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I've been toying with the idea of changing my rate structure. For those who changed, do you just change it for everyone, or change it for new families?
personally I changed mine for new clients only and kept my current clients on their old payment structure. I did however sent a notice home to notify all of my clients of the current change and let them know that as long as their contracts stayed the same they kept their current rates and structure. If they changed their contracts (like went from FT to PT, PT to FT, or their schedule changed) then they would have to sign a new contract with the new fees and new structure. Most were fine with it because my new rate structure only applied to PT clients so FT clients were unaffected. Even then my PT clients only had their rates raised by cents per day which they were all fine with. They still felt like they were getting a deal because instead of being charged per day they were being charged based on their pickup times which they though was fair.

I only had one family so far change their schedule so far and they were completely fine with it and they extended their days and so they understand that more hours mean a higher rate.
(they were here 3 days a week from 9am-3pm for a flat weekly rate of $90 and are now here 3 days per week from 8am-4pm for $102.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by originalkat View Post
I love the pick up time rates. I charge monthly though. I wonder how that would work?
I bill parents according to the schedules (and times) they give me so it wouldn't matter if I got paid daily, weekly or monthly, the rate is according to what time they tell me (or schedule) they are picking up.

I do have parents that pay weekly, bi-weekly and monthly so it works out the same for everyone.

If they go outside of the times they scheduled, the appropriate fee is added.

HTH
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I love your rate sheet too. I'm going to steal your format .

I charge more like Nan but I bet my Fee Schedule (rate sheet) would look prettier in your format
Ditto - LOVE the format! And the idea of different rates for different pick up times is intriguing.

I currently charge a weekly fee for FT care anytime between 7-5. I do have parents contract for specific hours but don't charge extra for early drop off or late pick up unless it's before 7am or after 5pm.

I really am going to think about BC's fee schedule though - I love the idea of being paid more for longer hours.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:52 PM
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When I made new rate sheets up I totally stole BC's format too... it was just so much prettier, even though I decided not to do the separate pick up times.

My rate is based on up to a 9 hour day with a pick up time by 4:30. So 9:30-4:30 pays the same as 7:30-4:30. I've never had anyone who would drop off at 7:30am but not go to work till 9am so I have never had an issue with it. My pick up time is early enough that I don't care what a parent is doing as long as they are here by that time. When I used to go till 5 or 5:30 it would really bug me that parents got out of work at 4 and would show up at 5:35. I will still go up to 5pm but they pay a decent amount for it so no one does it if they really don't need it (and honestly, I often turn them away for that reason if I have the option of picking a 4:30 family instead).
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:53 PM
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This information is so helpful for those of us just starting out (even though Blackcat warned us not to ). Thank you all for sharing!

A couple of questions:
Could someone point me to, or explain to me, Nan's approach to rates?

I was thinking of going with hourly rates for contracted times. Like, I figure my full time 5 days a week rate based on an hourly rate, but I figure my full time three days a week based on a slightly higher hourly rate (this is a simplified explanation, but hopefully it makes sense...basically, full time contracts get a break on the hourly rate compared to fewer days or part time). I would be using the contracted hours and hourly rates to figure out weekly rates. Since you all have been doing this longer than me, are there any negatives to this kind of approach?
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Yep, I finally caved not too long ago and went with Nan's style of charging as well but like you I didn't want to charge in 15 minute increments either. I did however go with 30 minute increments. Like you, if they are scheduled until 4:15 they get charged until the next block (4:30 for me) and they are still late if the go past 4:15.

And I agree about the "prettier they are the more likely they are to read and remember it" thing. You are so RIGHT! Ever since I changed my layout to my handbook and contract a few years back I don't have as much trouble with people coming in and saying they never read it or they "forgot" about that clause.
So do give a weekly rate or daily rate? for example if a parent needs Childcare M-F 7am-3:30pm will you charge $165 your FT rate or $150 based on your $30/day?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AcornMama View Post
This information is so helpful for those of us just starting out (even though Blackcat warned us not to ). Thank you all for sharing!

A couple of questions:
Could someone point me to, or explain to me, Nan's approach to rates
Nannyde has a blog here on Daycare.com

http://www.daycare.com/nannyde

The Rates Article is here: http://www.daycare.com/nannyde/how-t...care-rates.htm

For those of you starting out, Nannyde consults providers and it she is well worth it. http://daycarewhisperer.com/
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Last edited by Michael; 06-19-2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Here is my rate sheet. My weekly rate (the amount I HAVE to have to survive financially) is what a 5 day a week parent picking up at 3:30 would pay.

Let me know if you have questions, I'll gladly try and help
Do you have a minimum of 3 days per week to enroll or do you also offer 1 or 2 days? If you do, how do you charge?
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:33 AM
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Nannyde has a blog here on Daycare.com

http://www.daycare.com/nannyde

The Rates Article is here: http://www.daycare.com/nannyde/how-t...care-rates.htm

For those of you starting out, Nannyde consults providers and it she is well worth it. http://daycarewhisperer.com/
Thank you!
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:33 AM
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Do you have a minimum of 3 days per week to enroll or do you also offer 1 or 2 days? If you do, how do you charge?
Anything less than 3 days per week is considered drop in.

Drop in rates are $50 per day IF there is space available.

Drop in fees are due at drop off daily.

My 3 day a week minimum requirement has rates for both 3 set days and 3 varying days per week.

HTH
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:21 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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So do give a weekly rate or daily rate? for example if a parent needs Childcare M-F 7am-3:30pm will you charge $165 your FT rate or $150 based on your $30/day?
For me FT is 4 or 5 days per week so I charge $165 for the week whether they come 4 or 5 days a week. That comes out to be $3.30/hr. I can't fill one day a week with a regular client so 4 or 5 days means FT and they pay a flat rate of $165 every week.

Anyone on a regular schedule 3 days or less days per week is considered PT. PTers go by the other rate schedule which goes by the time that they leave (doesn't matter what time they start). A client that needs childcare 3 days a week from 8am-6pm pays (according to my schedule) $40 per day which comes out to $120/week ($4/hr). Even my client that arrives at 10am and picks up at 6pm pays this same rate even though she loses 2 hours. To me it doesn't matter what time you drop off, only what time you pick up.

To answer your question ... a client tells me what their child care needs are and we discuss a schedule with an appropriate time to commute to and from work. Based on this schedule I figure what the clients payment is each week. I charge flat weekly rate for all FT and PT clients. Only my drop-in clients get charged daily.

So client A needs PT child care on Mon 8am-6pm, Wed 10am-6pm and Fri 10am-3pm.
Which breaks down to Mon $40, Wed $40, Fri $28 = $108/week
Client A will then pay $108 every week.

Client B needs PT child care on Tues 9am-5pm and Thur 8am-4pm.
Which breaks down to Tues $36 and Thur $32 = $68/week
Client B will then pay $68 every week.

Does that help?
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:58 PM
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Anything less than 3 days per week is considered drop in.

Drop in rates are $50 per day IF there is space available.

Drop in fees are due at drop off daily.

My 3 day a week minimum requirement has rates for both 3 set days and 3 varying days per week.

HTH
So you would never contract a 2 day a week client to fill the days between a 3 day slot which would essentially give you a ft slot at a higher rate? I understand the one day being a drop in but don't you get people needing a 2 day a week schedule? Or do you just charge them the drop in rate but have it guaranteed if it fits with your other 3 day part time slot? Orrrr.... do you just charge the 3 day rate even if they only want 2 days? (I know the answer has got to be in one of those questions!)

btw, I also use a varying and set day rate for my pt. I tried modeling the rates as you did but my pt rates seemed ridiculously high for some reason. I know what I want my ft rates to be but I'm having a hard time figuring out the pt rates. I think I may have to go incognito and start making a few calls to some other dc's in my area to see what they charge for pt to see if I'm actually too high.
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