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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Help with additional policy wording for 2013 contract

    Okay folks, I've read many threads now about what people do for sick days, paid or unpaid vacation days etc etc. I am updating my contract this week as I do annually and then the parents review it, sign it and bring it back. Here is my dilemma...

    I stipulate in my contract that each year on Jan 1st there will be a rate increase. I already charge at the top end for my area although this has never been an issue and I do believe I can justify this rate based on my facility, program and the meal plan I serve. However, I am a little nervous about raising my rates and not staying competitive with other providers. I may offer a lot more than some providers, but there is still always a ceiling price and I genuinely believe I am there. This being said, I am entitled to a pay rise, like every other parent is for cost of living increases. Especially as where I am, time of use hydro is in effect so as I'm in the home through peak time, my bill is shockingly higher since this started in the summer. This is obviously a direct expense of my business.

    Instead of putting my rate up, I want to include a number of paid days off in my contract. I can explain to the parents that this is in lieu of a daily rate increase. They would be personal days taken for any reason. I definitley need some advice on how I introduce this to the parents, and how I word it in my contract. I don't think paid personal days are the norm in my area, and when I did daycare in Burlington where there are over 80 providers, it was rare that people had this in there policies.

    How do I introduce this into my business practice and also how many days do you think is fair? I was thinking 5 per year, but maybe I would think more like 2 per quarter? I don't know ladies, so please share your wisdom on this Thanks

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I am thinking I may do the exact same thing as I am also at the very top for my rate...however, I already have 10 paid vacation days and 7 paid personal days plus paid stats. Last year I had only 5 paid personal days and I upped it when I moved and took on mostly new clients. I don't know what the norm is on your area (you stated that it isn't the norm to have paid days off), but my guess is that if the clients are happy with your daycare, they are not going to suddenly leave because you have decided to take some paid days instead of a fee hike. In fact, if you explain it like that, they may appreciate it! I would start with at least 5 per year (do you have any paid vacation days?). Good luck!

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I have three weeks holiday and 5 personally day paid in my contract .....

  4. #4
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
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    This is what I have for sick/personal days:
    Caregivers Sick/Personal days:
    10 paid Sick days, each calendar year. I will give as much notice as possible. It is the parents responsibility to find back up care. Please note that illness of myself or my children can come on suddenly, leaving very little notice, if any. If I or my children have a simple cold the daycare will remain open, but you have the right not to bring your child for that day(s).
    10 paid Personal days, each calender year. I will give as much notice as possible.
    For both sick and personal days, if any are left over at the end of each calender year, they will not be transferred to the next year.
    yes you are aloud to get a raise. We work hard and like everyone else should get one. But we also have to make sure that we can compete with these around us. I personal wouldn't raise more then a $1/day/year, and see how it goes.

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnydays View Post
    I would start with at least 5 per year (do you have any paid vacation days?). Good luck!
    I don't take any paid time off. My policy is if I am off for any reason, you don't pay and if you are off for any reason, you always pay. I have been asked in the past, if they get a free week off for vacation and I've said no. How is that beneficial to me. I'm still here working. It kind of works the other way in my mind. They have to pay me when I'm not available, and have to pay additional for either someone else to provide care or take time off work and potentially lose income if they have crappy working benefits. I think 1 week is a fair amount in lieu of a rate increase, but any more than that I am wairy.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    You may also find that your parents would rather pay an extra dollar a day which is only $5 a week for the privilege of knowing you are always going to be there and not suddenly taking a personal day just because you can leaving them scrambling for care. $5 a week won't seem like a lot to them I wouldn't think. The fact you are saying the paid time off isn't the norm for your area and your parents are expecting a raise in rates then I would probably just go with the raise in rates even if it was a total of $1 a week which is still $52 a year per child more.

    What you may find is that while you are at the highest level now, other caregivers will be looking at the rates in the area and probably start putting their rates up to match for incoming clients so over the course of the year you will become equal to or lower than the norm but be left trying to argue with parents about the paid time off when it might have just been better to add the extra $ in fees.

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  8. #7
    Euphoric !
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    A few years back I didn't raise my rates but added Easter Monday and Christmas Eve day and 3 paid personal days into my contract instead. I always send out a letter to the parents 30-60 days before our contract renewal date outlining what I'm changing in the next contract and encouraging them to talk to me if they have any questions or concerns.

    I felt that I was getting a raise this way with the two sort of stat/closed paid days off but I have actually only used one of the paid personal days in the last three years since I implemented them. But if I ever get really sick I'm going to be happy that I have them. I raised my rates this year because I haven't raised them in over 3 years and I explained to parents that the reason is to keep up with rising food costs. Everyone understands that!

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