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  1. #1
    Shy
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    New Daycare! What to say on phone? NEED HELP ASAP!

    Hi all,
    I run a daycare from home in Brampton, Ontario. I used to care for 2 children(siblings) at my old address, and currently I don't have any children at my new home. I just recently put up ads on Kijiji and various other free sites, and I received my first call a few days ago. I was really nervous and didn't know the right things to say, and I didn't ask good questions. The mother asked me how much my rates were. Basically she wanted care for her son on random days, some days would be 2 hours and other days 6 hours(depending on her schedule). Then she mentioned that her previous daycare provider(which she also badmouthed) charged her $4.00 per hour, which I certainly don't want to do. I told her that I can call her back with a rate after looking over the things she's mentioned, and she asked me why I can't tell her a rate right away. She also let me know that her son has been from one daycare to another. So later I called her with a rate and she basically paused, and asked me why it's so expensive, and told me "my son won't even be coming everyday" to which I replied "its a flat rate to hold your spot and not calculated based on actual attendance" (the reason she said she left last provider was because her son was sick for a whole month and her provider filled her son's spot with another child without even telling her). Then I feel I made the mistake of offering to lower the rate to match what she wanted. She said she will ask around and ended the call.

    Today I received calls from two people interested in care. I have not called them back yet. I want to prepare for the call and know what to say.

    Can you all give me an example of how your first phone conversations go? It would be helpful if you wrote it in a dialogue format. What do I say when I call them? I'm quite introverted in general but amazing with children, so this aspect of the job can be somewhat challenging for me. What information should I have from a potential client after that first phone call, and how do I ask for this information? How long should the call last? Generally how long after the initial call do you schedule for an interview at your home( same day/few days/week/?)

    When do you tell the people your rates? Do you tell on the first call or later? I would like to charge minimum wage per hour but I realize many home daycare providers charge so little (why is this?), so I've been thinking $7-$8 per hour should be more than reasonable. That would equal to approx. $300/per week. How do I answer to a parent who might ask me “why are you charging so much?” when in fact I wouldn't even be making minimum wage, but would be working more than 40 hours a week. Is it a good idea to charge very little first and then increase my rate?

    I see mentioned around here that most of you speak with your potential clients through email first. How are you able to do this? I am more comfortable through email, and would love to do that too. Where and how do you advertise? Do you not put your phone numbers up on Kijiji and other places?

    I know there are so many questions in this post, and I would appreciate any information you can give me about all of this.

  2. #2
    Expansive...
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    I usually ask the age of the child, ask why they are looking for care, are they looking for full time care or part-time care, what hours of care are they looking for, I ask if the child has any dietary requirements as rates all depend on these factors. I usually give a range for rates like $35-37 a day (varies depending on your area). I ask them if they can give references from past providers.

    I tell them the best way for them to see what I have to offer is if they come and see me, than I ask them if we can set up an interview time.

    To get an idea of what the going rates are in your area check out other providers on Kijiji.ca

    Your rates do seem high? You said you watched kids previously how did you base your rates previously? Or were you a nanny?
    Last edited by Skysue; 01-14-2013 at 06:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    You will get the best feel for rates in your area by entering your own postal code into the search feature here at daycarebear.ca I would charge the rate that is on par with your neighbourhood, especially if you're just starting out in the area.

    I don't do an hourly rate. I charge a daily rate, and it actually increases for part time, as they are taking up a full time spot. I also charge a 3 day per week minimum.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
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    first of all babysitters charge by the hour, home care providers charge by enrollment or day. A babysitter works only a few hours, home daycare providers work 40 plus hour/week.

    I am in Ottawa and from the research I have done in my area the going rates are $35 to $45 per day. I am charging $35 (I am just starting out). At $35/day for a 5 day week ($175/wk) at 50 hours a week (10 hour days) I am only making $3.50/hour/child.
    I only take kids 3 to 5 days a week, but they all pay $175/week, they pay for enrollment not by the day.

    If someone asks when they call or email me I tell them my rates. Its YOUR BUSINESS not theirs, so you state the rates not them. if they think they are too high, next....you don't want them

    When a parent asks how much break it down for them:
    Food $5.00 to $10.00 per child per day (healthy food) sometimes it can cost more
    Craft supplies $2.50/day per child
    Education materials $2.50/day per child
    field trips $0.50/day per child
    15% taxes 5.25/day per child (income tax)
    Equipment $2.50/day per child (purchase and repair)
    Daycare insurance $0.50/child/day
    toys/books $1.00/child per day
    washing $0.50/child/day (sheets, blankets etc)

    If they pay $35 per day, $25.75 goes to into the daycare, you are really only getting paid $9.25/day/child.

    This is just how I have it broken down, you can break it down to what suites you and your needs/expenses are.

    Make a website. I use weebly.com its very easy. its free but you can upgrade for a cost.
    I also have a business email (hotmail) so people don't use my personal one. All my info. rates, policies are on my website, but you don't have to put up as much info as i do.

    when i get a phone call or email i always ask these questions:
    how old is the child
    when would you need to start
    has the child been in care before
    when is the child's birthday
    if it looks like the child would work, then i ask if they want an interview

  5. #5
    Shy
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    Can you give me an example of how the phone conversation might go? After the person calls and they tell me they saw my add wherever and they are interested, what do I say to them?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRose View Post
    first of all babysitters charge by the hour, home care providers charge by enrollment or day. A babysitter works only a few hours, home daycare providers work 40 plus hour/week.

    I am in Ottawa and from the research I have done in my area the going rates are $35 to $45 per day. I am charging $35 (I am just starting out). At $35/day for a 5 day week ($175/wk) at 50 hours a week (10 hour days) I am only making $3.50/hour/child.
    I only take kids 3 to 5 days a week, but they all pay $175/week, they pay for enrollment not by the day.

    If someone asks when they call or email me I tell them my rates. Its YOUR BUSINESS not theirs, so you state the rates not them. if they think they are too high, next....you don't want them

    When a parent asks how much break it down for them:
    Food $5.00 to $10.00 per child per day (healthy food) sometimes it can cost more
    Craft supplies $2.50/day per child
    Education materials $2.50/day per child
    field trips $0.50/day per child
    15% taxes 5.25/day per child (income tax)
    Equipment $2.50/day per child (purchase and repair)
    Daycare insurance $0.50/child/day
    toys/books $1.00/child per day
    washing $0.50/child/day (sheets, blankets etc)

    If they pay $35 per day, $25.75 goes to into the daycare, you are really only getting paid $9.25/day/child.

    This is just how I have it broken down, you can break it down to what suites you and your needs/expenses are.

    Make a website. I use weebly.com its very easy. its free but you can upgrade for a cost.
    I also have a business email (hotmail) so people don't use my personal one. All my info. rates, policies are on my website, but you don't have to put up as much info as i do.

    when i get a phone call or email i always ask these questions:
    how old is the child
    when would you need to start
    has the child been in care before
    when is the child's birthday
    if it looks like the child would work, then i ask if they want an interview

  6. #6
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
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    Can you give me an example of how the phone conversation might go? After the person calls and they tell me they saw my add wherever and they are interested, what do I say to them?
    me: hello
    mom: hello, I am looking for daycare for my child
    me: ok, how old is your child?
    mom: 1yrs
    me: when is your child's birthday?
    mom: June _______
    me: are you looking for full or part time?
    mom: full time
    me: I do take full time, when would you like to start care?
    mom: in February,
    me: I do have a spot open, would you like to come in for an interview?
    mom: yes
    me: I do interviews on Friday nights at 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9:30 and 11am. I don't allow people I have never meet around the daycare children.
    mom: how about (time date)
    Me: please take the time to go to my website and look over all my policies.
    mom: what is your web address
    me: valerieshomedaycare. weebly.com, I am looking forward to seeing you, your child and your child's other parent on date at time, good -bye

    Sometimes they will tell you there sad stories about other daycare's or about their child's other parent. I just say that's to bad and go over it in more detail during the interview.

    There are so many ways the phone call can go. Just have a sheet done up with all the questions you want answered and have it were you can get to it fast. Make sure get all your questions answered. If they start to ask to many questions I simple tell them "We will go over it all in the interview, but you are more then welcome to visit my website. It also has all the information on it."

    Do you have a contract and policies in place?

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  8. #7
    Shy
    Join Date
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    Location
    Ontario
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    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! That will help me out so much. Wow, you make it sound so easy lol.
    I have a contract but I think I need to tweak things a bit more.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRose View Post
    me: hello
    mom: hello, I am looking for daycare for my child
    me: ok, how old is your child?
    mom: 1yrs
    me: when is your child's birthday?
    mom: June _______
    me: are you looking for full or part time?
    mom: full time
    me: I do take full time, when would you like to start care?
    mom: in February,
    me: I do have a spot open, would you like to come in for an interview?
    mom: yes
    me: I do interviews on Friday nights at 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9:30 and 11am. I don't allow people I have never meet around the daycare children.
    mom: how about (time date)
    Me: please take the time to go to my website and look over all my policies.
    mom: what is your web address
    me: valerieshomedaycare. weebly.com, I am looking forward to seeing you, your child and your child's other parent on date at time, good -bye

    Sometimes they will tell you there sad stories about other daycare's or about their child's other parent. I just say that's to bad and go over it in more detail during the interview.

    There are so many ways the phone call can go. Just have a sheet done up with all the questions you want answered and have it were you can get to it fast. Make sure get all your questions answered. If they start to ask to many questions I simple tell them "We will go over it all in the interview, but you are more then welcome to visit my website. It also has all the information on it."

    Do you have a contract and policies in place?

  9. #8
    Euphoric !
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    When someone calls for care .... Generally they say they are looking for care for their child and generally they give you the age! But the questions I ask are
    How old is the child?
    When do you need care to commence ?
    What hours are you requiring? (drop off and pick up)
    I let them know its a full time spot (I dont do part time)
    If they don't ask my rate I tell them and I also charge per day and not by the hour
    I ask if the child has allergies?
    I let them know I have a dog (even though its in all my ads )
    If this is an older child I ask if they have been in care before? Why they left?
    Generally they ask a few questions
    I don't lower my rates , I don't offer a sibling discount, I don't travel with my kids,
    Then if they are interested they will usually ask when they can book an appt . I do mine evenings and weekends not during daycare hours.

    Hope this helps

  10. #9
    Expansive... BlueRose's Avatar
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    I have a contract but I think I need tweak things a bit more.
    I have sample contracts on my website, you are welcome to take a look at them.

    valerieshomedaycare. weebly.com

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