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  1. #1

    New Daycare provider in a small town

    Hi! I haven't posted before and I'm nervous to do so. Here goes...
    I'm an outsider in a small town and I'm having a really hard time being accepted as credible. Parents start then leave with no explanation, sometimes without paying. Has anybody been in this situation? Should I just give up/move?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I have found that when people don't treat a new day home provider professionally, it's often because they aren't setting that expectation.

    You mentioned that you've had parents leave without explaination or payment - so that's something you need to put some thought into. First of all, how are they able to do that? It seems that you are allowing people to pay for care at the end of a set period of time, vs insisting they pay upfront. It's common to charge client's monthly or bi-weekly in advance - this weeds out the people who jump around carer's leaving a trail of unpaid accounts in their wake. Secondly - get a contract - make it clear that to with draw from your care, a notice period is required and that fees are required for that period regardless of attendance. When you have a clear contract, with the terms and conditions laid out, which has been signed, then if need be, you are able to go to Small Claims Court and get the money they owe. Without a contract, it's harder to prove your agreement.

    It also sounds to be that you are just expecting client's to do the right thing. There's no clear policy given to clients or even explained to clients.

    Are you cheaper than your competition? If find that attracts a certain clientele and many new provider's fall into the trap of offering cheaper care due to their perception that inexperienced carer's should be cheaper and with that, the parents who don't care and are just looking for a babysitter show up.

    Take a step back. Think about how you actually want to be perceived. If you want to be seen as the community babysitter, who doesn't mind working whatever hours want, who doesn't expect to be paid if she doesn't work, etc - that's fine but if you want to be seen as a professional day care with a quality program and clear policies then you have to present yourself that way.

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  4. #3

    Thanks for the reply

    I do have a contract and a comprehensive info pkg for parents. I also require payment the first day of care each week. The one thing I don't have though is required notice when a parent chooses to leave. I'm going to rewrite my contract to include that. I haven't pursued small claims because it's never been more than a few days fees that a parent has not paid and it's just not worth the hassle and cost. This is a very small town where everybody knows everybody elses business, in fact most people are related in some way. I am on the high end for this area when it comes to my daily rate but I'm always upfront about what I charge. I've never had had anybody say I'm charging too much. This a blue collar town with limited resources, most families are struggling financially. The one thing I know I need to improve is my interviews with prospective clients and I've done some research to try and improve. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. #4
    Expansive...
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    I think it would be better if you ask for monthly post-dated cheques like I do and I also get 6 months of cheques from each parent to have sitting in my office all for the 1st of the month so I am not running after each parent asking for money on the 1st.
    Then is they give their notice I know there will be a spot available in a month and I can arrange to fill it faster with a month's notice.

    Also it is good to put up more ads- here at daycarebear - on the HOME page just above.
    Plus check out your area where other daycares put their ads- here in BC craigslist is popular for daycare ads but Kiki in other areas - you could try both for ads for Good Luck
    Last edited by Van; 12-07-2017 at 04:14 PM.

  6. #5
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by conductor View Post
    I do have a contract and a comprehensive info pkg for parents. I also require payment the first day of care each week. The one thing I don't have though is required notice when a parent chooses to leave. I'm going to rewrite my contract to include that. I haven't pursued small claims because it's never been more than a few days fees that a parent has not paid and it's just not worth the hassle and cost. This is a very small town where everybody knows everybody elses business, in fact most people are related in some way. I am on the high end for this area when it comes to my daily rate but I'm always upfront about what I charge. I've never had had anybody say I'm charging too much. This a blue collar town with limited resources, most families are struggling financially. The one thing I know I need to improve is my interviews with prospective clients and I've done some research to try and improve. Thanks for the feedback.
    It sounds like your well on the right track. We all tweak our paperwork in the first year or so as we encounter situations we had not considered initially.

    I would add a notice period for sure so you are not suddenly left short of income if someone loses their job and expects to pull their child immediately because they are home until securing new employment. You need that notice period time to line up a replacement.

    For me, things got better when I changed from the mindset of it being me who was being interviewed and accepting anyone who came and said they wanted the space. When I realized that interviews were two way and that I might not want everyone who came for interview, it was easier to enforce my own boundaries. I tend to have a phone interview first because that way I can see if we communicate well but it also means that I'm not wasting my time, cleaning house, and giving up personal time for an interview when a parent thinks my opening hours are flexible. The number of times I've had an ad clearly stating my hours of business and a parent who just assumes that I'll keep their child an hour longer is insane. I weed out anyone who gives me an odd vibe, anyone whose hours don't match mine, anyone who appears surprised that I close on stats with pay, anyone who doesn't seem on board with my sickness policies etc. Changing my realization to being that I pick who comes into my house both professionally and personally made a big difference to the quality of clients. I still get it wrong occasionally but that tends to be apparent quickly and when that happens, I line up a replacement and give notice to the person who isn't a good fit.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by conductor View Post
    Hi! I haven't posted before and I'm nervous to do so. Here goes...
    I'm an outsider in a small town and I'm having a really hard time being accepted as credible. Parents start then leave with no explanation, sometimes without paying. Has anybody been in this situation? Should I just give up/move?
    You mentioned credibility? Do you have an official Daycare website?

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