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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Enrolling 2 to 3 year olds....

    I'm in Ontario and trying to fill a 2+ year old spot but I'm getting zero interest...
    In my experience the last couple of years my families have left for centre/montessori once their child is around 2. It's so frustrating as these spots are impossible to fill these days

    From now on I'll try to avoid enrolling families who express an interest in leaving for montessori later although they might not admit to it so they can get the spot.

    I do have a program and tons of gear/materials for this age group.
    So wondering is this just bad luck for me or are you having the same problem?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    While not in Ontario, my goal is always long term, full time families. At interview, I ask the questions about if they are planning to move to a center at 18 months, and if that is their goal, then I don't offer them the space. I also turn away teacher's expecting to pull their child at the end of June and full time students whose course typically ends in May.
    Further, I no longer charge a deposit on my spaces but instead charge a two week enrollment fee. If and only if someone has been in my care a full year min when they hand in notice, then they are given a credit to their final weeks that equals the enrollment fee. If they depart the day care before a year, then no credit is given. Because two week's fees is quite a substantial amount, it does help to weed out those who know they are planning to leave in a few months time. Since my notice period is 4 weeks and fees are due regardless of attendance, then with the enrollment fee I have 6 weeks of fees to financially assist while seeking a replacement.

  3. #3
    Shy
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    That's a very good policy regarding the final weeks credit! I do the 2wk deposit applied to the last 2 weeks, and it's annoying to give a family only here a short time their credit so they can take a spot at a centre

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdngirl View Post
    That's a very good policy regarding the final weeks credit! I do the 2wk deposit applied to the last 2 weeks, and it's annoying to give a family only here a short time their credit so they can take a spot at a centre
    That's what I always used to do too. And then I had a university student who I didn't know was a university student give notice for the end of May when they only started in January. Since then, I changed my policy so they don't get any credit. I do find it has helped. Those who only ever intend coming part time will typically ask for that policy to be waivered so there's a big red flag if they have been telling me they are seeking long term care.

  5. #5
    Shy
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    Good for you in coming up with a solution so quickly. I like how you call it enrollment fee as opposed to deposit which implies you will get it back later no matter what. Asking for 2 weeks upfront can be a big deal to some families but telling them they will get it back their last two weeks gives them peace of mind, and wrongly I kind of used it as a selling point. I wish I had used your idea sooner, it would have avoided some clients I had over the years.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdngirl View Post
    Good for you in coming up with a solution so quickly. I like how you call it enrollment fee as opposed to deposit which implies you will get it back later no matter what. Asking for 2 weeks upfront can be a big deal to some families but telling them they will get it back their last two weeks gives them peace of mind, and wrongly I kind of used it as a selling point. I wish I had used your idea sooner, it would have avoided some clients I had over the years.
    You can change it going forward though. It's really hard to change a contractual term like this for existing client's because that's not the agreement they came under. But if all your current client's have already been with you over a year, then you could make the change immediately, issue the revised policy and reassure them that it won't negatively affect them having already completed the required term.

    Otherwise, just change your master documents and anyone new coming in, comes under the new terms. Over time, those you have now who aren't under the new terms, will pass the one year anniversary or move on, leaving their replacement to accept the new terms.

  7. #7
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    I do have a program and tons of gear/materials for this age group.*
    So wondering is this just bad luck for me or are you having the same problem?
    Hi I'm sure it is frustrating. But, you must also try to visit those centres/montessori and see what is that attracts parents.

    During my visits I personally have found that there is a lot change. Those centres are using a lot learning documentation tools. Obviously it is more convincing for parents to see how their children engage in those learning centres.

    It doesn't matter the amount of materials you have if you're not documenting the actual use or learning through your materials then it doesn't have any value for parents because they do not see their children engaged.

    I had actually parents that came and told me that they were in waiting lists for a centre based (lower rates). After they saw my approach and how I really run my program they stayed. I had also children coming from montessori programs (unfortunately crowded classrooms they weren't what they advertise ).

    You do not need extra material, parents are able to recognize a quality program. I do not have a lot but, what I have is very well chosen and effective parents get to see their children in action.

    Try to visit and you can create same in a smaller version with the advantage that your program offers the exclusivity of a low ratio therefore more quality attention and tender care.��

  8. #8
    Expansive...
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    I’m in Ontario as well. I don’t have clients leaving unless they are headed to kindergarten. But I do find it next to impossible to find clients needing care for a child over 2 years old, unless there is a one year old sibling needing care. Most parents get settled somewhere after maternity leave, and only leave if they are unhappy with a setting, or have a move or change in job.
    I’ve had an over 2 years spot open for 6 months and can’t fill it to save my life. All the requests are for babies. My prices are much lower than centres in my area, but there really is limited demand for the “over 2’s”. I know of several providers in my area that have been over ratio for the under 2s and had an overlap for a few months of an extra 1 year old, just to keep their spots filled. I would never in a million years resort to that illegal behaviour, but that’s how desperate providers are getting around here(Halton Ontario). I really don’t have any words of wisdom, as I’ve tried it all, and still have space open for an older child. We are surrounded by many new for-profit centres, and people are willing to pay those ridiculously high fees for those services. Generally the licensed centres are so plentiful and home providers are around every corner here. I find there are 2 extremes around here: either they will pay $1700 a month for 1 spot at a centre, or they want the cheapest home daycare regardless of quality. I’m ECE and run a quality program, but many parents don’t care, they want the cheapest price at the end of the day.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busy ECE mommy View Post
    I’m in Ontario as well. I don’t have clients leaving unless they are headed to kindergarten. But I do find it next to impossible to find clients needing care for a child over 2 years old, unless there is a one year old sibling needing care. Most parents get settled somewhere after maternity leave, and only leave if they are unhappy with a setting, or have a move or change in job.
    I’ve had an over 2 years spot open for 6 months and can’t fill it to save my life. All the requests are for babies. My prices are much lower than centres in my area, but there really is limited demand for the “over 2’s”. I know of several providers in my area that have been over ratio for the under 2s and had an overlap for a few months of an extra 1 year old, just to keep their spots filled. I would never in a million years resort to that illegal behaviour, but that’s how desperate providers are getting around here(Halton Ontario). I really don’t have any words of wisdom, as I’ve tried it all, and still have space open for an older child. We are surrounded by many new for-profit centres, and people are willing to pay those ridiculously high fees for those services. Generally the licensed centres are so plentiful and home providers are around every corner here. I find there are 2 extremes around here: either they will pay $1700 a month for 1 spot at a centre, or they want the cheapest home daycare regardless of quality. I’m ECE and run a quality program, but many parents don’t care, they want the cheapest price at the end of the day.
    Yes. You're absolutely right. Centres in my area are fighting nail and tooth, but strange enough in my case I have a.high rate, my certificate backs my rate up, which is higher than a centre. I really had to work hard on quality. Just like in a centre parents can walk in anytime to see what are we doing. The food plan also resembles of a centre. I think if parents ask for a cheaper plan it is because they can fall under the false idea that "it is just a home"; more laid back, more flexible, informal.

    It all starts with how you view yourself and your business . If you see your self professional and serious about your work then they will notice that your work and services aren't just from a regular home like. Many times people asked why I'm not working in a school or centre (and my answer is, they can't pay me enough for what I do, but also those programs have many limitations which could be stressful) I can reach and do more in my own program with my little group than in a big overwelming place.

    I also think if now we can't find over two's we will in few years. The new centres are now offering the supposed "quality" but, it won't last long. I'm already hearing complaints of parents on how crowded are those places, Ece's complaints about low wage, etc. It is just a matter of time.

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