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  1. #1
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    How many inquiries do you receive?

    I wanted to ask you all out of curiosity how many inquiries and/or interviews per week/month you receive?? I seem to be going through a dry spell! I haven't had an inquiry or interview in about a month and even though my spots are all full I will have 4 open spots for the summer-time but I filled 2 in January, and in February nothing. Do you think summer will be a bit easier? considering new kids are starting school in September.
    Hoping for the best!!!

  2. #2
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    I get maybe 2 or 3 cold calls a week asking about care availability. I get maybe same number of e-mail inquiries. I pass on to other carers in area.

    If I had opening, rare I need to advertise due to waiting list. If no one on list good fit for starting date, then ask my client if they know anyone needing care. Usually filled that way.

    Sometimes if many places at once due to September school, I put ad on Kijiji. In October I place ad for one leaver for September 2015. Pregnant Mom come out day before Thanksgiving. She sign for place but not need until October 2015 but knows must pay once place empty from school leaver.

    I rare have place open as people stay until school and not leave for second mat leave but keep first child in care hoping for place for new baby.

    I last had vacancy in Sept 2014. I have one school leaver Sept 2015 which have contract and deposit filled. I have no more until Sept 2017 unless someone move away.

    January and February normally busy, busy time. Lots of people looking for care once Christmas finish and usual need quick start. Delayed looking because of holidays and now in panic. Next busy time is May and June, people getting in before school breaks and school age children take all spare places for summer time. Local know to get carer before students Moms start looking for summer. July & August busy but for people looking for September - teacher who mat leave end June/July/August all look for start in September and all new people look for start then too.

    Slow time of year is April and December.

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    How long is a piece of string? lol Honestly it varies for many different reasons. Saturation of providers in your area, birth rates, the going rate, centres and daycare providers opening and closing. The last 1-2 years seems to have been a particularly slow time for a lot of us in the GTA, but it's not exclusive. I remember at one point there was nearly always a thread in the top ten about the frustrations of not being able to fill spots. It was hard for a long time for those of us relying on the income. I thing it is hard to say on a grand scale as every provider brings something different with their services. I just found that during this time I wasn't even getting enquiries so it wasn't so much me, my program or my rates because every enquiry I did get always resulted in a signed contract and great feedback. For me I think it was because there was a sudden onset of mums staying at home and offering home daycare for a good $10-$15 less per day. There were close to 20 who did this. 2 years ago I was getting anywhere from 3-12 enquiries a month and currently I'm lucky if I get 2 a month but sometimes there is a peak. In the new year I got about 12 in 1 week but it was totally random. I don't particularly find any time of the year to be busier with enquiries than the other. Maybe May/June but that is specifically for school aged kids looking for summer care which I don't offer.

  4. #4
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    I know this is probably wrong....but once in a while I will advertise...(even if I am not looking to fill a spot) just to test the market ....I will then put them on a waiting list...they seem to be ok with this as they are usually looking for 6 months down the road and there might be a good chance I will have something open.

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I always advertise. You never know what can happen. On any given day someone could give you notice and I want to have people lined up. Also lots of people enquire way to far in advance unless by chance you know a child is going to school or a parent on mat leave who will be pulling their child. I do not wait for a spot to open up to advertise. I keep my advertisements active to enquiries for my availability because while there are families requiring care within a week or two, there are still by far more, in my experience, who plan ahead and are looking for the future which we have no way of predicting. I don't think it's wrong what you are doing sandylynn.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bright sparks View Post
    How long is a piece of string? lol Honestly it varies for many different reasons. Saturation of providers in your area, birth rates, the going rate, centres and daycare providers opening and closing. The last 1-2 years seems to have been a particularly slow time for a lot of us in the GTA, but it's not exclusive. I remember at one point there was nearly always a thread in the top ten about the frustrations of not being able to fill spots. It was hard for a long time for those of us relying on the income. I thing it is hard to say on a grand scale as every provider brings something different with their services. I just found that during this time I wasn't even getting enquiries so it wasn't so much me, my program or my rates because every enquiry I did get always resulted in a signed contract and great feedback. For me I think it was because there was a sudden onset of mums staying at home and offering home daycare for a good $10-$15 less per day. There were close to 20 who did this. 2 years ago I was getting anywhere from 3-12 enquiries a month and currently I'm lucky if I get 2 a month but sometimes there is a peak. In the new year I got about 12 in 1 week but it was totally random. I don't particularly find any time of the year to be busier with enquiries than the other. Maybe May/June but that is specifically for school aged kids looking for summer care which I don't offer.
    This true.

    Not huge amount of carer in PEI but not huge amount of population either. Some local carer charging just $22 for full day with meals and snacks but they soon go out of business.

    Once have a good name and rep and experience, it big help with word of mouth which is always better.

    Three year ago was slow on island. Lots of parent lose job with local firm closing and lots of moms try to open day care and earn when at home but inexperience mean under charging trying to be competitive and not understanding that they working for free is not charging enough.

    All the new carers did affect everyone for a while. Of course, young family like to save on day care fee but experienced carer make mistakes as they learning. Mistake on too flexible hours, too low fees. Also parent realize over time that cheaper care not always good care which challenges children. Sometime experienced carer worth fees if problem phase or toilet train or child need extra help with some development.

    It all settle after about 8 months parent look for carer basing on skill not cost and cheap carer realize lot of work for little money and either close day care or learn lesson and charge fair fee.

    I am super lucky. Family grown up so for me this is extra money job for our vacations or luxury expense. I just work 4 days a week. Close Friday always and like today, children often leave early if parent on fishing boats as they finish work around noon.

  7. #7
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    This true.

    Not huge amount of carer in PEI but not huge amount of population either. Some local carer charging just $22 for full day with meals and snacks but they soon go out of business.

    Once have a good name and rep and experience, it big help with word of mouth which is always better.

    Three year ago was slow on island. Lots of parent lose job with local firm closing and lots of moms try to open day care and earn when at home but inexperience mean under charging trying to be competitive and not understanding that they working for free is not charging enough.

    All the new carers did affect everyone for a while. Of course, young family like to save on day care fee but experienced carer make mistakes as they learning. Mistake on too flexible hours, too low fees. Also parent realize over time that cheaper care not always good care which challenges children. Sometime experienced carer worth fees if problem phase or toilet train or child need extra help with some development.

    It all settle after about 8 months parent look for carer basing on skill not cost and cheap carer realize lot of work for little money and either close day care or learn lesson and charge fair fee.

    I am super lucky. Family grown up so for me this is extra money job for our vacations or luxury expense. I just work 4 days a week. Close Friday always and like today, children often leave early if parent on fishing boats as they finish work around noon.
    I'm glad your dry spell didn't last too long. In the 9 years I've been doing this, this is the slowest it has ever been. I don't find too many stay at home moms opening daycare struggling to fill their spots at their prices, and I think that it isn't necessarily indicative of their ability to provide good care so that means that they will get a good reputation and their naivety at being able to charge competitively from day one effects the industry greatly as a result. I think as well that they manage even if they know they can charge extra because so many plan to close after 3 years or so when their child enters kindergarten which is full time here so then they can go back into the employed workforce. Word of mouth and reputation are amazing things, but a rate that is $10-$15 less per day is something that a considerable amount of people will see as a game changer when they are faced to choose between two daycare providers they like equally. I charge $45 per day and I am open M-Th, only accepting 4 day spots. Some of the others who really don't care to much about making a viable full time income out of this as a necessity, charge $30 a day and are more flexible on their policies. Yes it will bite them in the ass eventually and they will regret it, but that won't stop them from opening their doors with cheaper rates and making it slower for us old schoolers.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bright sparks View Post
    I'm glad your dry spell didn't last too long. In the 9 years I've been doing this, this is the slowest it has ever been. I don't find too many stay at home moms opening daycare struggling to fill their spots at their prices, and I think that it isn't necessarily indicative of their ability to provide good care so that means that they will get a good reputation and their naivety at being able to charge competitively from day one effects the industry greatly as a result. I think as well that they manage even if they know they can charge extra because so many plan to close after 3 years or so when their child enters kindergarten which is full time here so then they can go back into the employed workforce. Word of mouth and reputation are amazing things, but a rate that is $10-$15 less per day is something that a considerable amount of people will see as a game changer when they are faced to choose between two daycare providers they like equally. I charge $45 per day and I am open M-Th, only accepting 4 day spots. Some of the others who really don't care to much about making a viable full time income out of this as a necessity, charge $30 a day and are more flexible on their policies. Yes it will bite them in the ass eventually and they will regret it, but that won't stop them from opening their doors with cheaper rates and making it slower for us old schoolers.
    Undercut prices hurt everyone at least for little while. Sometimes it good to educate new providers and plant little seeds of thought.

    Do you have FB? It used a lot in little communities like this one. Try setting up a providers support page. Like this forum but local provider and be quick to remove nasty poster and trolls. Then begin to slowly plant seeds.

    Sometime when carer ask about rates, they don't see that they working for free. They don't know what can be claimed. So they providing food out of pocket and cheap care. When you break down these cost and let me figure out they working for peanut, then they start to increase fee. This is good. When not competing on price, means competing on service. This where experience counts.

    Encourage fee increases. Encourage paid leave. Encourage fair rates. Encourage common practices. All help to be profession and grow contact and support but also held stabilize market place. Take time though. Over time too, natural progression of inexperience showing too. Tricky to manage large group of 7 children if not used to it. Tricky to know ways to help sleep train, toilet train, if not used to it. Many parents learn to value knowledge of experienced carer once they encounter lack of knowledge and unsure themselves.

    I tried not to consider the $22 a day people as competition. These were not client I want anyway. But it can be hard to think that way. Try and remember that every place has not so good client who don't value carer. Try and think of cheap carers as people who suck up poor client and leave way clear for you to get good client. Understand? Hard to explain.

    When people work for $22 a day or super cheap rates, in time they feel under valued because they are under valued. This effects motivation for works. In time, these carer can struggle to be motivated early morning get up and long day with grumpy children. They start to slip. They also must cut costs so little added value services. Cheapy crafts if any. Cheapy food. IT challenging job to be motivated for lots of year unless really love doing it. Many $22 a day carer not doing it for love but because they think easy money. Soon understand it not easy money and not big money so they move along. You just have to hold on until they do.

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  10. #9
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    Undercut prices hurt everyone at least for little while. Sometimes it good to educate new providers and plant little seeds of thought.

    Do you have FB? It used a lot in little communities like this one. Try setting up a providers support page. Like this forum but local provider and be quick to remove nasty poster and trolls. Then begin to slowly plant seeds.

    Sometime when carer ask about rates, they don't see that they working for free. They don't know what can be claimed. So they providing food out of pocket and cheap care. When you break down these cost and let me figure out they working for peanut, then they start to increase fee. This is good. When not competing on price, means competing on service. This where experience counts.

    Encourage fee increases. Encourage paid leave. Encourage fair rates. Encourage common practices. All help to be profession and grow contact and support but also held stabilize market place. Take time though. Over time too, natural progression of inexperience showing too. Tricky to manage large group of 7 children if not used to it. Tricky to know ways to help sleep train, toilet train, if not used to it. Many parents learn to value knowledge of experienced carer once they encounter lack of knowledge and unsure themselves.

    I tried not to consider the $22 a day people as competition. These were not client I want anyway. But it can be hard to think that way. Try and remember that every place has not so good client who don't value carer. Try and think of cheap carers as people who suck up poor client and leave way clear for you to get good client. Understand? Hard to explain.

    When people work for $22 a day or super cheap rates, in time they feel under valued because they are under valued. This effects motivation for works. In time, these carer can struggle to be motivated early morning get up and long day with grumpy children. They start to slip. They also must cut costs so little added value services. Cheapy crafts if any. Cheapy food. IT challenging job to be motivated for lots of year unless really love doing it. Many $22 a day carer not doing it for love but because they think easy money. Soon understand it not easy money and not big money so they move along. You just have to hold on until they do.
    It makes complete sense. I was part of a providers association with over 100 members at one time when I was in the city. I tried to get in on something here but boy is it ever an aggressive click. I tried to set one up for the exact same reasons you outlined but this region has a bad reputation within the home daycare community for being none compliant when it comes to working together. Just ask those organizers of Bill 10 day of action. The providers want no part of it and honestly my thoughts based on what I know of a lot of providers is that it's because they aren't playing by the books so want to stay invisible. New providers who are stay at home mums seem to be open to it, but I'm closing in a few months so really don't have the incentive to invest the time anymore although if I wasn't, then I probably would work at getting something together even if it meant not including the old schoolers who seem to be threatened by the idea of collaborating with their competition to provide better care and working standards all around. It really is a funny region.

  11. #10
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    Thanks to all for replying. So far I received 1 client from word of mouth but 99% of mine are straight from kijiji. The FB comment was good but I don't think it would help my case as I don't have "mommy" friends or anyone that would be interested in care and I already linked up my website to my kijiji ad with all of my information. Do you find any other sites that seem to be a big hit? I will be waiting for the warmer months and hoping!
    In another thread I read a little bit about Bill 10 with some saying government centres will have a higher ratio now to accommodate more families and others saying there will be more under qualified moms undercharging and affecting others like us so I am unsure of what to think!
    Someone will eventually be interested right??? lol guess I can't help but worry sometimes

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