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Childcare providers' tribe? - Page 32

post #621 of 733
I charge 75% of my full-day fee for a child who is going to be in my care for a half day, including lunch, but I have a daily fee. For a client coming every day, I'd still charge the full time rate, because even 75% of my daily fee would be more expensive

Do you have a daily fee?

For $125 a week, I would set the daily fee highe than the weekly fee divided by 5, say $30/day for a family who only needed 2 days a week (because you might not be able to fill every day opposite that 2 days) . Then my half-day fee would be 75% of my daily fee * the number of days in care.

If you are doing a more elaborate preschool program, you will perhaps need ot spend more on supplies and equipment and use some of the afternoons for prep time. I wouldn't reduce your rate unless you need to to make yourself competative with other preschool programs. You may even need to increase it, depending on how elaborate your plans are.

But make sure you look at the hours of care and the staff-child ratio if you are price-comparing. For example, most preschool programs around here are only 2.5 hours long and have a ratio of 1 adult to 12 children, and provide no lunch or snacks. My half day would be 5 or 6 hours, and I care for 4-6 children maximum, and I feed the children, so I charge more
post #622 of 733
Thank you for the advice so far... I hadn't thought to charge 75% of a daily fee. It makes sense to set a daily fee a little higher than the weekly fee. I intend to charge the same amount for all age ranges (infant-preschool age). Around here the rate usually goes down once they're potty-trained, but I was figuring in the expense of supplies to do the preschool activities with the older kids, so it just makes sense to keep their price the same to make up for that.

I have a bad habit of over-thinking because I'm afraid of scaring people away with prices. I've compared in town and my price is slightly higher than most in-homes, but it's because of the preschool program I'm offering and the fact that I do have a degree in Child and Family Development, which I don't know of another in-home program run by anyone that holds a relevant degree. I feel like that should be worth something. I've run this by other parents I know, mostly family members, and they have all agreed that they would understand paying a little more based on that. I really need to get over the guilt for what I charge. I have to make a living and that is how I look at it.

I really need to get back in touch with this mama and figure out exactly what it is she's looking for. I know her through my friend that recommended me to her, and she is usually very precise about what she wants in any given situation so it shouldn't be too hard to get the details out of her. I just need to know for sure how long she wants her daughter to be here and how many days out of the week. In this area, it's usually considered a full day if the child is present for more than 4 hours. So, if she intends for her to be here for 5 hours then I would have no problem just going with my regular weekly rate and that would make things much simpler. If she is here for 4 hours she will be fed a snack, but not lunch. Anything more than that and I will include her in serving lunch and that would definitely bump her up to the regular weekly price. I still have this nagging feeling like I shouldn't make any exceptions. If I were to decide to allow a part-time rate, I would definitely have her put in writing what hours and days she intends to bring her child to me and hold her to that whether she is present or not... Gotta make sure I'm getting paid. I just don't want to make things too complicated. It makes sense if she's here everyday, I should get paid my normal rate. Because, as mentioned before, if she's here that is taking up a spot for a full-time child that I could be paid more for.

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud (in writing) at this point... Thanks for listening (reading).
post #623 of 733
Okay, I think I've come up with some part-time rates... I'm going to give her a call tomorrow while I have a day off and see if we can get something figured out... Tell me what you think.

Full-time Care
Care for 5 days/wk (regardless of how long) will be considered full-time care with the weekly rate of $125/wk.
Part-time Care
Care for 3 days/wk for more than 4 hours (or if served lunch while in my care) will be $90/wk. 2 days/wk for more than 4 hours (or if lunch is served) will be $60/wk.
Care for 3 days/wk, 4 hours or less (no lunch) will be $70/wk. 2 days/wk, 4 hours or less (no lunch) will be $45/wk.

Is this too complicated?? It makes sense to me when I write it down on paper, just want to make sure it translates well... Would this confuse anybody?
post #624 of 733
I would take off the last part time rate and instead include a drop in rate. I have a weekly minimum of $90 because I can only take 6 kids. It's hard to fill in around someone else's hours to fill your slots KWIM?
post #625 of 733
In BC,Canada Full time rate is $600 a month, based on child care subsidy, so $150 a week. Every day care around here charges you based on that rate, most places do $20 for a half day.
Also here, you can't call yourself a preschool unless you are a certified early child hood educator (have an ECE cirt.). A person doing home daycare cannot teach a preschool in their home.
Also the preschool that ds attends is 3 hrs in the morning....and the rate is based on how many mornings a week you attend. If its only 1, then its $16, if its 2 $14, if its 3 or more its $13.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal85 View Post
Okay, I think I've come up with some part-time rates... I'm going to give her a call tomorrow while I have a day off and see if we can get something figured out... Tell me what you think.

Full-time Care
Care for 5 days/wk (regardless of how long) will be considered full-time care with the weekly rate of $125/wk.
Part-time Care
Care for 3 days/wk for more than 4 hours (or if served lunch while in my care) will be $90/wk. 2 days/wk for more than 4 hours (or if lunch is served) will be $60/wk.
Care for 3 days/wk, 4 hours or less (no lunch) will be $70/wk. 2 days/wk, 4 hours or less (no lunch) will be $45/wk.

Is this too complicated?? It makes sense to me when I write it down on paper, just want to make sure it translates well... Would this confuse anybody?
post #626 of 733
So my visit with the licensing officer went great, she is really nice.
Things that need to change at my house
  1. new flooring in kitchen
  2. yard have section for kids fenced in
  3. toiletries need to be locked up
  4. closet needs locking door knob
  5. my bed room needs a child knob cover on it
  6. light in boys room needs cover
  7. knives in kitchen need to be secured
  8. shelf in kitchen needs to be secured to wall
  9. need space in bathroom for each kids hand towel and toothbrush
  10. need to check house plants against list online to see if they are allowed
  11. fish tank stand (its on cinder blocks) needs to be padded
and a few other little things


Nothing was a big shock to me, the only thing I didn't expect was the light cover which is $3 so no big deal. Now I need to start painting and get quotes for the big stuff and send her a floor plan with my square footage so she can determine how many children I can have in my care.
post #627 of 733
Where I live, you don't need any additional certifications to teach preschool. There is another in-home place in town that offers early learning to the kids in her care. She does not advertise as preschool and does not take on children specifically for preschool purposes, but most parents that take their kids there don't take them to an outside preschool because of the work she does with them. This is how I intend to approach it too. I explained that to the mother when I talked to her. She asked me if I was strictly childcare or if I was offering preschool. I told her I am offering childcare and the kids in my care will do daily activities much like preschool... but I do not consider myself a preschool. I intend to stress that point when I talk to her again. I want to make sure she understands what I'm offering her. Do I think her daughter will need to go to preschool if she is spending her days in my care? No, not really. She'll get what she needs from me and I can get her kindergarten ready... which is really all this mom wants... socialization and getting her prepared for kindergarten.

I'm not sure how I feel about a drop-in rate... I feel like phrasing it that way leaves the door a little too open. I have a form for all parents to fill out telling me what days and times I can expect to have their child/ren in my care. They will be charged based on whatever they put on that form... whether in attendance or not.
post #628 of 733
I actually like doing part/time, with a higher daily rate. There is a huge demand for p/t care here and daycares won't touch it.

I find I don't have any trouble finding clients if I am careful about advertising, and part-time clients usually have good backup care, so I don't worry so much about those one or two days a year where I have to "call in sick". The monthly rate is around 600 here, too, and the daily rate is $40-50 (for babies). If I fill a full-time spot with part time clients, I can either leave a day or two a week open and have an easier schedule for the same money, or make upwards of 200 a month more for the spot.

I find hospitals and shiftwork places are good for part-time clients, as they often only need care for some shifts during daylight hours. I have also had luck with self-employed moms and sahms who need a break and are willing to work their childcare days around my days of availability.

It took me about 6 months to be full, and a year or two after that for word of mouth to get me all the p/t clients I wanted.


Mal85, I do my contracts for a period of 1 year only. That way, if changes are needed to rates, hours etc. I usually do them when we redo the contracts -- and I ask parents for input, too. It is a little more work, but that way I don't feel so locked in to the arrangements. Maybe this might work for you?

Vanessa, why do you need to redo kitchen flooring? (My lino is really worn, but it never occured to me that flooring could be a hazard...)
post #629 of 733
We have these ancient stick on tiles that are coming up and you can't buy them anymore. We were planning to replace them anyways.
post #630 of 733
Yeah, I put in my policy handbook that the contract will be updated annually. I do anticipate needing to make changes, especially after the first year... there will be kinks to work out. I'm not against part-time care. With the higher daily rate, it could potentially be better for me financially.

My husband's suggestion:
Full-time care= anything more than 3 days a week. $125/wk.

Part-time care= 3 days a week or less. If served lunch, $90/wk. If not served lunch, $80/wk.

Better, worse, keep trying?

If I went by a daily rate, it would be $30/day. But should I charge less if they aren't present for the whole day?? Or should any amount of time just be a straight daily rate of $30?? Ugh, figuring these rates out is much harder than I thought it would be! I want to get something figured out asap as far as part-time rates. I need to get back with this mama, but don't want to call her back until I have something set in stone...

I really don't like the idea of drop-ins, because I need to know a schedule in order to schedule other potential clients accordingly. I'm not getting licensed off the bat, so I have to stick pretty strictly to my 4-kid maximum. I can't risk having someone want to do a drop-in when I'm already full.
post #631 of 733
Quote:
I can't risk having someone want to do a drop-in when I'm already full.
I take drop-ins and if someone wants to do a drop-in and I'm full that day, I say, "Sorry, we're full that day." I haven't had anyone get mad about it or stop coming. They know that one risk of not paying to hold a spot is that I won't always have space available.
post #632 of 733
so, once again, i'm seriously considering this process of being a in-home child care provider. my friend goes back to work in march, at least part time, and so she may require some part-time child care for her infant. of course, i also have an infant!

i have a few questions. most everything about economics and contracts is answered in this thread (awesome!), as well as legality and liability (also awesome!), but i wonder how your day looks. what is a "day in the life" for you?

with two infants to feed, nap, and play, i'm not sure how it will go. my hawk is pretty much held constantly (he spends about 30 minutes a day in play time on his mat, but other than that wants to be held to play), and i believe my friend's baby also gets a lot of time being held (usually in a pack--ergo i think), but also is comfortable in a swing or crib. if you have cared for more than one infant--what is the day like?

all i can imagine is working with older children. we're building a garden for our family that will have a small veggie and herb garden (20x20), a children's play garden (10 x 4), and a bird and butterfly garden (8 x 4). i imagine kids playing and working in these gardens, doing art, dance, music, and yoga in the house, getting reading time as well, and of course healthy snacks and meals.

i'd like to know if anything that i imagine is at all realistic! lol thanks!
post #633 of 733
By the time you take the second baby, your baby may be happy to be on the floor with your other baby....you never know. Ds1 was held all the time until he started care at 10 months and then there was so much to look at and do that he didn't mind being on the floor with the other kids.
post #634 of 733
Mal- I plan to charge a full day rate for anything over 4 hours....wether it be 5 hours or 9.
post #635 of 733
i have a question about naps. How do you get more than one kid to nap when you are alone with them. I have my son 18 months and one other kid 18.5 months and the only way I can get them to go to sleep is to walk w/ the stroller until dc kid falls asleep adn then he sleeps in the stroller in my house adn my kid nurses down.

How do you nap 2 toddlers who require intense one on one to fall asleep,and who keep each other awake if they are in the room together?????
post #636 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post

How do you nap 2 toddlers who require intense one on one to fall asleep,and who keep each other awake if they are in the room together?????


I am right now typing on my laptop in my darkened playroom with 3/4 daycare children asleep and the last one falling asleep.

THe oldest preschooler will lie down in his sleeping bag on a nap mat and go to sleep easily, so I tuck him in , turn on the white noise machine we have (a sleepmate) and close the door while I change the diapers of the almost 3, 2 and 1 yr old and give them their pre-nap cups of milk. I tuck the almost 3 into a sleeping bag on a nap mat near the sleeping 4 year old.

I put the two toddlers in separate playpens with an easel between them (so there is no chance they will see each other. I sit on a chair with my cup of coffee and computer and wait till they fall asleep -- then I go to the kitchen where my baby monitor is set up, and do cleanup, spend time with my 5 yr old, or just take a break.

It took about a week to get everyone into this routine, but it was worth it. I would do a little bit of rocking and soothing, or just sit and hold their hands, while not leaving them alone, and not picking them up. Both toddlers are really light sleepers, but they now go to sleep within 15 min and stay asleep for an average of 2 hours.

Only thing is, 3 of the 4 of them always wake up at the same time. One would sleep through a hurricane, lol!

ETA I think the fact that the 4 yr old naps/diaper change/milk/sleepytime routine is set in stone helps prepare the children for napping.
post #637 of 733
That sounds like a great routine!
post #638 of 733
Hi! I'm starting to look into home day care and I've been lurking...Has anyone done part-time only care? I've been paying about half of my take home income (I WOH 3 days a week) in childcare. I was willing to put up with it because I loved my job, but things have changed there and I'm really ready to be done. I have a BS in Child Dev. and taught preschool before taking this job. I would really like to do just part-time care, I would still like at least one day a week with just my own kids. I've known so any parents that have struggled with finding part-time care, I was one of them! My ideal would be two or three kids, two or three days a week. I pay $40 a day, per child, for this kind of care right now. I'm in SE Michigan, a commuting area in the 'burbs.

My other question is how the economy is effecting you all right now? Like I said, I'm in MI, and we are being SO hard hit by the economic down turn. I thought that maybe part-time care would be more feasible as parents are shifting into partial work weeks, etc. and might not need a full week.
post #639 of 733
Hello, IlovemyAvery!

I think there would always be a niche market for p/t care. I know several providers who are only open 3-4 days a week and it works out well for them.

I am open 5 days, but closed most of the summer. I charge medium-high fees for my area, but don't charge holding fees over the summer as daycares would, so my daycare really appeals to teachers -- that is my main niche.

The downturn is just starting to affect us here a little because of the oil price drop -- I'm getting a couple of inquiries a week off my website -- there is still a shortage of childcare. I have several years of experience am with an agency and most providers here are private, and I think many parents start looking through agencies first because they feel safer doing so. Besides my teachers, I also do respite care through my local social services agencies for families in need (say, moms who have a PPD diagnosis). I do a lot of networking that way, and I think I could get full-time referrals there, too, if necessary.

I may have to drop my fees if it gets bad, but I think that as long as parents still need childcare at all, I think I will be ok.
post #640 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
Hello, IlovemyAvery!

I am open 5 days, but closed most of the summer. I charge medium-high fees for my area, but don't charge holding fees over the summer as daycares would, so my daycare really appeals to teachers -- that is my main niche.
Thanks for your reply! This is something I have thought about as well, as my children round the corner on school-aged, it would be awfully nice to be home with them only on breaks and over the summer. How do you get into this market? My MIL and several friends teach in our school district, so obviously, that would be a good starting point.
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