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#361 of 733 Old 02-24-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Thank you! Well I know that the regular daycares near here charge starting at $190 per week, so I know I have to charge less than they do (isn't that the idea? more affordable child care & a more personal setting?).
You shouldn't charge less than the daycare centers. They have more kids, and, I assume, you will have less. The more personal the service, the more money you charge. I think it is better to compare your prices to regular babysitting rates (find out how much people pay the babysitter who comes into the home to watch one child) and then take a little bit off that hourly rate - for two reasons: 1) the parents do the coming and going, so it is more work and less convenience for them; and 2) you will be watching one or more kids in addition to their child, so it won't be compeltely individualized one-on-one service.

So, you should charge a little bit less than a babysitter but more than the daycare center (I am talking about hourly rates, or course).
Good luck!
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#362 of 733 Old 02-24-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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Here is the market rate for Tennessee. The state does survey periodically to come up with this. This survey is from the begining of this school year.

Family Child Care Homes FULL TIME CARE

Under 2 Years Old $89.12 per week
2 Years Old and Over $83.46 per week
School-Age Out $70.44
School-Age In $56.97

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#363 of 733 Old 02-25-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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You shouldn't charge less than the daycare centers. They have more kids, and, I assume, you will have less. The more personal the service, the more money you charge. I think it is better to compare your prices to regular babysitting rates (find out how much people pay the babysitter who comes into the home to watch one child) and then take a little bit off that hourly rate - for two reasons: 1) the parents do the coming and going, so it is more work and less convenience for them; and 2) you will be watching one or more kids in addition to their child, so it won't be compeltely individualized one-on-one service.

So, you should charge a little bit less than a babysitter but more than the daycare center (I am talking about hourly rates, or course).
Good luck!
I agree.

The other thing you have to consider here is that most of us on this board who also provide care are "different" in one respect or another from other daycare providers.

We provide a specialty service. Some of us offer AP, organic, natural daycare environments that are very hard to find.

There is always a premium to be paid for specialty services.

If the daycare down the street is charging $x a day and you are offering the same program but organic foods and AP methods then you deserve to be paid more as your costs are more (in the case of organics). KWIM?

I charge the same as the daycare centre at the end of my street but more than many area home daycare providers.

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#364 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Thought this might be found funny here....

This morning one of my daycare kids (2.5 yo boy) poked me in the eye with a card. Ouch. I said "OW! That really hurts...please don't poke!" Or something like that. The other daycare kid (4 yo boy) tells the younger one, "Yeah that isn't nice. Babysitters are like real people!"
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#365 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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I need help!!!

I've decided that the 4 year old I have in my care is just not going to work out. He's very abusive to my daughter and the other two children I watch. He isn't causing physical injury but he does hit, shake, poke, pinch, and he even attempted strangulation on the 2 year old today. I simply cannot keep him here. I feel horrible for the kid. I was hoping I could give him some security here and help him through some stuff BUT it's not going to happen. I spend most of the day separating him from the other kids. He only sees his mom about 2 hours a day and I think that has something to do with his severe attachment issues. He cannot be left alone. He considers you standing next to him but not speaking to him "alone".

How much hitting/roughness do you allow before you call it quits?? I know some kids are the rough and tumble type but I really don't think it's okay.

Anyway, I need some advice on how to break it to his mom that it isn't going to work out. What do I say? How do I bring it up? Do I give her two weeks to find care somewhere else? I can keep G (the four year old) from touching the other kids but it's not very much fun for everyone else because I have to spend all of my time focused on him. I've never had to do this before! I'm very worried about what her reaction may be. I do have someone I can refer her to but I know for a fact that the other provider will charge much more than I do...probably 60+ a week more. I'm not even sure if I should mention her.

Sigh. Please help me out here! Thanks! :
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#366 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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I've been there, too! I assume the mother knows about all this? I mean that he's hurting the other children?

I have had to let 2 families go in the past, neither were comfortable activities for me to do, kind of like breaking up with a boyfriend or something! But, the second one was easier to do, adn that was because I was good friends with the family (which would have seemed that that situation would have been worse!). The first family I let go was just too much for me to deal with (mom & dad included) - they were very high stress level and I'm just way too laid back to have that in my life.

The second family's son was having major problems of being scared of everything, including the other kids, crying most of the day, me havnig to comfort him because he would hear a dog bark down the street or break up fights because the little boy would hit another child out of fear. It was really strange and they definately had some issues going on there. Anyhow, I had been telling the family about this. Of course, they didn't want to have to find another care provider, so they didn't consider pulling him out. I finally just waited till they picked him up one day to say, "you know guys, I just don't think this situation is going to work out... P is having such a hard time adjusting here. It's really turning out that noone is happy - P is miserable most of the day, and the other kids are too. I really think he'd be happier somewhere else. I don't want put you guys out, of course, so I'm fine watching him for another 2 weeks while you can find someone else... I'm SO sorry this didn't work out!!!"

I did not offer to find someone else to watch their child, because frankly, that's not my responsibility. I did say everything with THE MOST SYMPATHETIC and SORRY voice I could. Lots of apologies, etc.

I will tell you that both families didn't take me up on the 2 weeks notice. The first family I had to drop them with a formal letter, because it was VERY hard for me to talk to the parents. Make sure you do it at a time that they will not be owing you any money, or else chances are you won't get paid.

Good luck! I know it's hard to do, but MAN does it feel better once it's done!!

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#367 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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Thanks for the support! I've made her aware that he hits, is rough, pushy, and constantly complains about being alone even when he isn't. The first time I mentioned it she said, "Oh have you noticed how he loses it every 5 minutes?" Um, yes, lady. I noticed. Thanks so much for mentioning that BEFORE I agreed to care for him....sarcasm.

I'm not great with confrontations...and I feel badly about this for some reason. I just can't keep it up. If I have to lose a child I'd prefer it be him because the other two kids are actually fun to be around. I really hate the fact that his anger and behavior has started to rub off on the 2 year old. Sigh.

Hopefully this will go okay. She should be here at 6:30. I wish my husband was home! I'm nervous lol.
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#368 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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We're all with ya, even if we're not there I hate confrontations, too! Just say it as friendly as you can, and think of how GOOD it's going to feel when he's no longer there!!!!

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#369 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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That absolutely sucked! She didn't say anything horrible but she was obviously upset. She was kind of crying.

She took the reference but walked out while I was still talking..sooo...yeah.
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#370 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 09:13 PM
 
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It's over and that's good.

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#371 of 733 Old 02-27-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Ooooooooooh, I may be in your shoes soon.....you have all my empathy. Yuck.
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#372 of 733 Old 02-28-2008, 09:46 AM
 
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That absolutely sucked! She didn't say anything horrible but she was obviously upset. She was kind of crying.

She took the reference but walked out while I was still talking..sooo...yeah.
I have been providing daycare for a few years now and I have also terminated a few families for various resaons.


The first is always the hardest. Honestly. I don't mean to make light of the situation but once you have experienced the actual confrontation it makes it easier the next time.

Just wait. You will feel so much better about your decision on the first day that you DON'T have that child anymore. You will be so surprised at how peaceful your day is.

It is really amazing how one child's negative behaviour can affect the entire dynamic of your daycare.

On your first day without him you will wonder why you didn't terminate sooner.

Termination is never easy but it sounds like you are making the right decision.

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#373 of 733 Old 02-28-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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The first is always the hardest. Honestly. I don't mean to make light of the situation but once you have experienced the actual confrontation it makes it easier the next time.
This is SO true! Melissa talked me through my first termination, and I'm so thankful for it! This board has been a blessing in very unexpected ways

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#374 of 733 Old 02-28-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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Well, there are about to be some "lifestyle changes" within our family that are going to affect my daycare.

I currently care for kids 5 days a week. But, starting end of June I am only going to have kids Mon, Wed, Thurs. The families don't know it yet.

Why the change? A few reasons.

First, my own two kids (7 and 4) are currently in Public School. I plan to not have them return in September and I am going to Homeschool them.

So, I currently have the opportunity to change some of my part-timers and have them all come on Mon, Tues, Wed. The only exception is my fave family who has been with me since the beginning. They are on a flexible schedule so the come whenever dad is working the day shift. I know a year in advance what their schedule is.

As it turns out I would only work on a Thur or Fri if they were coming.

Sadly, I will have to let go 2 full-timers to make this happen. Don't think me mean spirited but the 2 I let go are also the two kids who fit in the least here at my daycare. The one child (dcgirl, 4 yrs) constantly argues with my son. And, she is a manipulator. I hear her say things to other children in low tones so I don't hear her.

nAnd, the other child is the child of a teacher who doesn't need summer care anyway so notice in June will give her the summer to find care.

There was a time in August - October of 2007 that I was only working 3 days a week on average. I was in between the end and start date of kids who had left and kids who had yet to start. I have to say I was soooo much more relaxed when I only worked part time. I was much kinder and patient with my own kids too.

So, when the school year ends I will be living a "new" life. No more loading all the kids in my van to get them to my own children's school . Too far to walk to it in the winter. The rest of my school-aged kids are Catholic and that is literally at the end of my street. MUCH easier to walk down 8 houses and not have to load in and out of car seats 3 times a day.

I am excited about the upcoming changes. I am happy to know that I will get to be with my own kids all day. I am excited that there will be a few days every month during the week that we can just chill as a family with no dckids here.

Hubby also only works 3.5 days a week so it allows for lots of family time.

I am sure I will feel bad terminating the 2 kids when the time comes but you know, you gotta do what is best for your family.

I don't mean to be flippant here but......In all the years I have been doing daycare I have only ever had ONE family in care who ever considered MY needs. They are my fave flexible family I talked about above. All the other families did what was best for THEM without any consideration for me or how my own kids might lose a friends or how I would lose the income OR that I might actually be attached to their child. KWIM?

So, I am going to do it.

I just know it will bring my family so much more peace and happiness.

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#375 of 733 Old 02-28-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Good for you Melissa! I do part-time care, also and I love it SO much more than full time! I switched to part time about 2-1/2 years ago. We do cherish our days of "just us" (we get 1, sometimes 2 a week).

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#376 of 733 Old 02-28-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Hmmmmmm, that sounds wonderful Melissa. For those of you who do part time care...what kind of jobs do the parents have? I have never considered
part-time care before, and it sounds very appealing to me...
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#377 of 733 Old 02-28-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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I do part-time. One family, the mom is going back to school. Her husband has worked his schedule to be with the kids while she's in class, but that's it. So they come here one day a week, so she can study.
Another family, the mom works Starbucks at nights. Her kids are pretty intensive energies, and she just needs a day off ! She often goes home and sleeps (working till midnight, and waking up at 6:30 with kids really brings on the need for a good nap!)
The other family, the mom is a yoga teacher and masseuse (sp?).

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#378 of 733 Old 02-29-2008, 01:00 AM
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Hmmmmmm, that sounds wonderful Melissa. For those of you who do part time care...what kind of jobs do the parents have? I have never considered
part-time care before, and it sounds very appealing to me...
I do part time and the mom does pt medical transcription.


I've got a question for you all: how do you handle vacation time? I just found out some family is coming into town to visit in a few months and I really want to get time off. What is a reasonable amount to expect? I don't want to be paid or anything. I feel like I'm screwing this mom if I just tell her I can't provide care for these days.

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#379 of 733 Old 02-29-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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Hmmmmmm, that sounds wonderful Melissa. For those of you who do part time care...what kind of jobs do the parents have? I have never considered
part-time care before, and it sounds very appealing to me...

Well, I have a set of twins that I care for on Mon, Tue, Wed. As you can imagine care for 2 kids at the same time is expensive. So, they go to the grandparents house the other two days.

Same story for another child I have in care.

This seems to happen alot. I have interviewed many families only looking for PT care because the grandparents pick up a few days a week.

I actually prefer to take on families like these. This way they always have back up care should I take vacation etc.

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#380 of 733 Old 02-29-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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Yaelita-

Thank you, good points that I didn’t consider before! I always thought I should charge less than a daycare to remain competitive with them. My only problem with an hourly rate is if a parent takes a vacation day & keeps their kid with them (or if a child is home sick), then I am out of a day’s worth of income. I can’t really live off of an income that isn’t semi-steady. I understand sometimes I won’t be at full capacity with kids to watch, but if I’m charging weekly at least people can’t say “well I brought him/her in late this morning, so I’m giving you less money for today”.

Moondiapers-

Thank you so much for that! Wow, that’s really low. I wonder why regular daycares charge so dang much, then, like the one where I used to work which charges $190/week for infants (not sure of the rates for older kids). At an average rate of $85 a week, (if I have a mix of toddlers & infants), I’d have to watch 5 kids to make what I do now, and that wouldn’t include money for feeding them and other daycare supplies. *eek*

Melissabb-

That’s true, very good point. I don’t know how much of a demand there is for that kind of care around here, so I’m not sure if it would help or hinder me to market it as such. I would definitely be AP, and if parents don’t agree with that type of childcare then I wouldn’t be the caregiver for them. I am also not sure if all the parents would care about/agree to organic food (formula feeding and jarred baby food seems to be the norm around here). What if a parent insists their child eats a pre-made lunch? I guess I could take some $ off of their tuition?

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#381 of 733 Old 02-29-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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- but if I’m charging weekly at least people can’t say “well I brought him/her in late this morning, so I’m giving you less money for today”.

- What if a parent insists their child eats a pre-made lunch? I guess I could take some $ off of their tuition?
These are both questions that should not affect your pay. Even if the person is paying by the hour. For dropping their kid off late, they are paying for YOUR time. If they say they will drop off at 8am, that means you are ready, dressed, clean house, waiting at home at 8am. If they decide to sleep in, and don't bring their kid until 8:30 or 9, you must insist they pay you the regular amount, because again - it's YOUR time that's being paid for. I only make exceptions if i have sufficient notice (like more than 12 hours) - and I'm nice, most providers won't do even this.

As for the bringing their own lunch, again you should not lower their payment. It would just get too confusing. You charge what you charge, and you offer food - they are agreeing to that rate by sending their kids to you. If they bring their own food, that's fine, but it's their choice (and it's very rare for a family to want to do this unless there's a special diet or allerigies going on), and they don't get a discount for it.

Basically, just keep it plain and simple.

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#382 of 733 Old 02-29-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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These are both questions that should not affect your pay. Even if the person is paying by the hour. For dropping their kid off late, they are paying for YOUR time. If they say they will drop off at 8am, that means you are ready, dressed, clean house, waiting at home at 8am. If they decide to sleep in, and don't bring their kid until 8:30 or 9, you must insist they pay you the regular amount, because again - it's YOUR time that's being paid for. I only make exceptions if i have sufficient notice (like more than 12 hours) - and I'm nice, most providers won't do even this.

As for the bringing their own lunch, again you should not lower their payment. It would just get too confusing. You charge what you charge, and you offer food - they are agreeing to that rate by sending their kids to you. If they bring their own food, that's fine, but it's their choice (and it's very rare for a family to want to do this unless there's a special diet or allerigies going on), and they don't get a discount for it.



Basically, just keep it plain and simple.
That makes a lot more sense, thank you!

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#383 of 733 Old 03-01-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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I have a question about in my home care vs in the parent's home care. I currently watch a 12 month old in my home four days a week, and we just barely squeak by on that income. This summer, he will be going down to 2 days a week, with the occasional third day. I can't live on such a reduced income, so will be taking on another child.

A good friend asked me to watch her daughter two days a week in her home for the summer. It sounds great, as I can bring my son, they have lots of room to run and play outside, two dogs, which are very sweet, plus mom works from home, so she will be there in the event of an emergency, or even just to help if a meltdown happens with her DD, who will be turning 4 this August.

My question is, if I charge $5 per hour for care in my home, how much do I charge for care in their home? I know it should be more, as I can't care for more than her child and mine at the same time, where as in my home, I have the option to take on another child and double my income relatively easily. I also know that having childcare just come to your house is a huge convenience compared to dropping off at a care center. She is also a good friend, but this is a business arrangement, so it is hard for me to come up with a fair amount to charge. I want to say $10 an hour, but would that be too much? I just am not sure what to do. I do have a few months before summer is here, but she would like an answer relatively soon. (within a week or so, I am guessing)

Thanks in advance!

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#384 of 733 Old 03-01-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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It's pretty much whatever the going rate for a good quality babysitter is. Here it's $8-$12/hr - so if someone was bringing their own child, I'd probably pay somewhere in the middle ~ $9 or $10/hr.

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#385 of 733 Old 03-02-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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Yaelita-

Thank you, good points that I didn’t consider before! I always thought I should charge less than a daycare to remain competitive with them. My only problem with an hourly rate is if a parent takes a vacation day & keeps their kid with them (or if a child is home sick), then I am out of a day’s worth of income. I can’t really live off of an income that isn’t semi-steady. I understand sometimes I won’t be at full capacity with kids to watch, but if I’m charging weekly at least people can’t say “well I brought him/her in late this morning, I’m giving you less money for today”.
I actually started charging by the week precisely becasue of the need for a constant income. (Thanks to Melissa and her suggestions). I still base my care on an hourly rate, but once we determine how many hrs a week the family needs, that amount is multiplied by the hourly rate and becomes a FIXED weekly fee, to be paid on Monday before the care is provided. Of course, this is the minimum, mot the maximum amount (in other words, if they want you to watch their child 1 hr past the usual pick-up time, they pay for that hour in addition to the weekly fee). It definitely makes it more predictable, and o many occasions that they were late dropping off the child, I felt good that I have instituted this rule.

The resons all these weekly fees sound confusing tome is that one family needs care from 9 to 2, and another from 8 to 6 - how can you compare these schedules? In my experience it is just more practical to establish an hourly rate for yourself (I have a different rate for part-time and full-time, part-time being more); and then every individual family will pay their own fixed weekly fee once they have established a schedule with you.
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#386 of 733 Old 03-02-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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The 10 mo and 2 yo that I watch did not come last Monday. Their mom called and said the baby had a fever on Sunday and she thought he was teething. She was keeping them home because I have a no fever for 24 hour policy before the kids can come back. Wellllll....they were here on Tuesday and the baby had a VERY runny nose and was irritable most of the day. It just got worse. On thursday I thought my sinus infection from 2 weeks ago was coming back and called my doctor for some refills because I wanted to catch it quick. I told the mom on Wednesday that the baby wasn't really eating, wasn't sleeping, didnt' want to be held or put down. She said she'd make an appt. for him on Friday. I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday shaking and freezing. Friday morning I felt a bit better. By 9 am I had called the kids' grandmother to come get them because I felt so horrible. I was coughing so hard I was gagging myself and I really wasn't able to care for the kids the way I wanted to; especially with the baby being so sick. When their grandmother was here she mentioned that all of her kids have had the flu for the last two weeks. I was kind of annoyed with that because I know she and her family are around this children a lot and no one ever mentioned it to me. But what can you do? I'm still running a fever even with medication. I called their mom and left a message asking how they were doing and saying that I still had a fever and I hoped it would be gone in time for them to come on Tuesday. I apologized for the inconvenience but I kind of think I shouldn't have because the reason I'm sick and cannot care for her children is because her kids got me sick! LOL So, my question is, do I charge her for Monday even though they won't be here? At this point I don't think I will. I have back up care but she charges much more than these parents pay me and I wouldn't be able to afford to pay her. The grandmother seemed a bit annoyed about having to come get the kids on Friday...I feel bad but at the same time I don't because if she'd followed my rules I wouldn't have gotten sick. Maybe she really thought it was just teething....I don't know. This business is complicated!
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#387 of 733 Old 03-02-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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That's your call. My policy is the families do not have to pay me if I or they are sick, and I am not providing care. This is not normal though, most providers charge a weekly rate, so it doesn't matter what days are skipped. The flu is going around the whole country pretty severly right now, so it'd be easy to catch it anywhere, grocery store, library,e tc.

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#388 of 733 Old 03-03-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
I have a question about in my home care vs in the parent's home care. I currently watch a 12 month old in my home four days a week, and we just barely squeak by on that income. This summer, he will be going down to 2 days a week, with the occasional third day. I can't live on such a reduced income, so will be taking on another child.

A good friend asked me to watch her daughter two days a week in her home for the summer. It sounds great, as I can bring my son, they have lots of room to run and play outside, two dogs, which are very sweet, plus mom works from home, so she will be there in the event of an emergency, or even just to help if a meltdown happens with her DD, who will be turning 4 this August.

My question is, if I charge $5 per hour for care in my home, how much do I charge for care in their home? I know it should be more, as I can't care for more than her child and mine at the same time, where as in my home, I have the option to take on another child and double my income relatively easily. I also know that having childcare just come to your house is a huge convenience compared to dropping off at a care center. She is also a good friend, but this is a business arrangement, so it is hard for me to come up with a fair amount to charge. I want to say $10 an hour, but would that be too much? I just am not sure what to do. I do have a few months before summer is here, but she would like an answer relatively soon. (within a week or so, I am guessing)

Thanks in advance!

I think $10 is a reasonable rate, and it is the going rate where I live. On the other hand, I would think twice before babystting in her house with the mother at home (especially if she is your friend, and especically if you bring your own child). Babysitting with the mother present is the hardest job I have ever had. You feel like someone is always looking over your shoulder. Besides, her child will be on her worst behavior knowing that the mom is around; on the other hand, both you and your child will have to be on your best behavior, which will be a very hard call - remember it's not a playdate, it's a long-term arrangement.
Why don't you offer her to bring her daughter to your house? This way you can keep your old client (even if he will continue coming only 2 days
a week - BTW, you can raise the price to at least $7/hr, this being a part-time job; I charge $6/hr for full-time and $8 for PT); and have this girl and your son all at home, happy. You will feel much better doing it on your own turf, according to your schedule, rules etc. And the kid without her mom around will behave like normal kids do with their caretakers (my neighbor who occasionally watches my kids if I am sick tells me they are model children with her. Not with me )

Good luck with whatever decision you make!
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#389 of 733 Old 03-03-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Yaelita View Post
I actually started charging by the week precisely becasue of the need for a constant income. (Thanks to Melissa and her suggestions). I still base my care on an hourly rate, but once we determine how many hrs a week the family needs, that amount is multiplied by the hourly rate and becomes a FIXED weekly fee, to be paid on Monday before the care is provided. Of course, this is the minimum, mot the maximum amount (in other words, if they want you to watch their child 1 hr past the usual pick-up time, they pay for that hour in addition to the weekly fee). It definitely makes it more predictable, and o many occasions that they were late dropping off the child, I felt good that I have instituted this rule.

The resons all these weekly fees sound confusing tome is that one family needs care from 9 to 2, and another from 8 to 6 - how can you compare these schedules? In my experience it is just more practical to establish an hourly rate for yourself (I have a different rate for part-time and full-time, part-time being more); and then every individual family will pay their own fixed weekly fee once they have established a schedule with you.
The bolding was on my part but is the section I want to respond to.

You do not necessarily have to work out a seperate fee schedule for every family. I don't. I basically have one daily rate. If your child attends on any day regardless of the number of hours in attendance than they pay the daily rate.

So, my fee is $35 a day. If your child attends on any part of the day then you pay $35 for that day. Because we all have only a max number of kids we can care for in a day if a child comes for only 4 hours etc then we can not fill that spot for the rest of the day. Therefore the parents pay for the whole day.

Daycare is NOT about the actual time used. Daycare is about SPOTS. Parents pay for a SPOT in a daycare. All of my families sign a contract with specific days that they will require care. These days are committed by both parties. I commit to have a spot open for them and they commit to paying for the spot regardless of attendance (or hours in care).

Make sense?

I have some kids who are here the entire 9 hours I am open. Others are only here 6 hours but they all pay the daily rate for care.

Oh, and one more thing. Just have "hours". Choose your opening and closing time and stick with it. Find parents who will work within your hours. Trust me, there ARE parents out there who can work within your hours.

I am only open from 730am-430pm and never have a problem staying full. Most parents don't work the same hours anyway. WHile one parent might work 7am-3pm the other parent might work 9am-5pm. So, between the two of them they are able to have the child in care between the hours I am open and closed. On parent drops off and the other picks up.

I sometimes think that as providers we offer too much. Hours that are too long (10 hours a day!!!!) and rates that are too low. We bend over backwards for everyone and at the end of the day we are tired and overworked with little income to show.

Being in this business for a while I have figured out that you CAN work smarter. Fewer hours and higher fees can be had if you have a great program and excellent references.

So, don't sell yourself short.

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#390 of 733 Old 03-03-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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The 10 mo and 2 yo that I watch did not come last Monday. Their mom called and said the baby had a fever on Sunday and she thought he was teething. She was keeping them home because I have a no fever for 24 hour policy before the kids can come back. Wellllll....they were here on Tuesday and the baby had a VERY runny nose and was irritable most of the day. It just got worse. On thursday I thought my sinus infection from 2 weeks ago was coming back and called my doctor for some refills because I wanted to catch it quick. I told the mom on Wednesday that the baby wasn't really eating, wasn't sleeping, didnt' want to be held or put down. She said she'd make an appt. for him on Friday. I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday shaking and freezing. Friday morning I felt a bit better. By 9 am I had called the kids' grandmother to come get them because I felt so horrible. I was coughing so hard I was gagging myself and I really wasn't able to care for the kids the way I wanted to; especially with the baby being so sick. When their grandmother was here she mentioned that all of her kids have had the flu for the last two weeks. I was kind of annoyed with that because I know she and her family are around this children a lot and no one ever mentioned it to me. But what can you do? I'm still running a fever even with medication. I called their mom and left a message asking how they were doing and saying that I still had a fever and I hoped it would be gone in time for them to come on Tuesday. I apologized for the inconvenience but I kind of think I shouldn't have because the reason I'm sick and cannot care for her children is because her kids got me sick! LOL So, my question is, do I charge her for Monday even though they won't be here? At this point I don't think I will. I have back up care but she charges much more than these parents pay me and I wouldn't be able to afford to pay her. The grandmother seemed a bit annoyed about having to come get the kids on Friday...I feel bad but at the same time I don't because if she'd followed my rules I wouldn't have gotten sick. Maybe she really thought it was just teething....I don't know. This business is complicated!
First of all, I wish you a quick and complete recovery. I started feeling sick on Wednesday (dry hacking cough) and by Friday I was in bed completely incapacitated. Luckily, one of my clients doesn't come on Fridays, and the other one cancelled due to their own family events. Today (Monday) I had to cancel both of them (I called then Sunday morning to give more notice), and my neighbor offered to watch my 2 yr old son for a few hrs while my daughters are in school). I am feeling better, but I am sure it will take me quite a few day to feel normal again.

Just wanted to let you know that yes, the virus is bad and it is going around, and it doesn't really matter who you caught it from. The question whether to charge or not - it depends on your initial arrangement with the family. I have two clients - and "old" one (I started watching her almost 2 yrs ago) and a "new" one (since November 2007). With the old one I didn't have a contract or any kind of oral agreement regarding such things. So, they pay me only for the hrs the girl is here. In other words, all cancellations due to their sickness, their family schedule, their vacations etc - I don't get paid for those. Obviously, when I cancel, I don't get paid either.

With the "new" family I already signed a contract which spelled out all kinds of scenarios. (Again, thanks, Melissa!) According to my contract, they pay a fixed weekly fee (based on my hrly rate and the normal amount of hrs a week that they need) regardless of THEIR cancellations or tardiness. However, if I cancel due to my own circumstances, then they don't pay. It doesn't happen often (this is the first time I called in sick this year), but when it does, they don't pay, and they have to find their own back-up care.

Feel better, and make sure you have the "sick adult" policy in place for your next clients!
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