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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Feb 2016
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    Facing closing my daycare due to low numbers

    Hi,
    So I've been open since Feb 2015 andi have enjoyed running a private home daycare since! My only problem is, that in a very short time, I went from 5 kids to 2 kids! I can not pay the bills with only 2 kids and I am finding it very hard to fill spots.
    So at this point, I have to make a decision soon if I will go back to being a nanny (which was ok but I prefer the daycare) or stay and hope to fill spots.
    I am advising on a few websites and I have excellent references.
    I would appreciate any feedback from you ladies as you may have alot more experience in daycare than I do.
    Thank you
    Last edited by childcare; 10-22-2018 at 08:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Outgoing
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    Hi. There is few things to think about first. What was the reason for three children leaving your care?

    Was it suddenly or you knew it (ex. Children leaving to jk) etc.
    If you knew it, did you advertise your openings and interviewing right away, and couldnot find clients?
    Or you waited?

    Are you having any response from your ads. Are you interviewing and parents haven't committed yet? Or it seems there isn't any interest (meaning that your demand market is reduced or non existent ).

    Are you in Ontario? Many of my friends got stuck by filling their 2 babies under two's and couldn't find children over two's they had to wait months until the babies turned two.

    How many months are you only with two children? How long can you go? DI'd you search and used all the possible advertising channels ex. Kijiji, fb, other potential websites etc.

    I don't advertise too often but when I do I usually fill the spot right away. Did you check the possible reasons of why parents aren't interested? (Ex. Price, hours, etc)

    There are many variables and factors to be considered. I would definitely look all the options first, and then make a decision if, homedaycare is what you like best.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 10-24-2018 at 06:27 AM.

  3. #3
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Peacefulbird makes some good points. In Ontario there is a major slump right now though. I am down to 2 children since 3 left for school, 1 moved away and I was only able to get 1 additional child.....over 2 as well which was a surprise, and I am in the exact same situation as you. I have been doing daycare for 12 years and I am no stranger to a dry spell when the phone doesn't ring and there are no email inquiries. Frightening to think how many people I was turning away this time last year. I have 2 infant spots and just zero inquiries.

    I always do my research...providers in my area;how many and locations...this can impact my target audience if suddenly there is a rise in daycare providers in my community.
    Who has availability and is there low enrollment in general for the area or is it seemingly just me? This can be rate, program, reputation etc....looking into these things is important.

    I know of 3 providers who have closed in the past 6 months within 10 minutes drive of me due to low enrollment. Anything less than 3 children makes no sense at all to cover operation costs ad make minimum wage. Local daycare centers have been expanding and taking children who are younger and in larger numbers....we all knew this would happen as the new legislation sought to drive parents away from home daycare providers into licensed settings, predominantly daycare centers.

    I do not know a daycare provider in my town who has more than 3 children. The majority only have 2. It is reassuring to know it isn't me, but that does nothing to help pay the bills. I don't have small children of my own making it a saving of childcare fees to stay doing daycare. After expenses, cpp and taxes, I am making about $7 an hour and working a 50 hour week. This is in no way a good move for me right now.

    I plan to stay open until June when my last long term child finishes for JK (her mum is a teacher so takes summers off) In order to be able to do this, I have been working a 2nd full time job since the end of May. I would love to give notice earlier to this family if an opportunity presented itself, but I am crossing my fingers I don't have to.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  4. #4
    Shy
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    Feb 2016
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    Thank you ladies. I'm sorry some of you might be in the same boat as me but it makes for a difficult decision for me to make as a childcare provider and business owner. I am currently preparing to close and work as a nanny again but I'm holding on to my daycare business by a thread and doing my best to stay afloat. I had 5 kids a short while ago, and I had a replacement baby for one that left but she decided to "stay home" with baby and the other child went to part time and the other baby went to a center (which I knew about) and had a replacement baby that bailed. So that leaves me posting ads wherever I can. I am fairly new to the daycare business and I really have enjoyed it, but at this point I am getting stressed with the whole thing. I only have 2 full time kids and it doesn't make sense to be open. I have only been with 2 a short time but absolutely no replies on my ads. I'm sorry for sounding negative but I guess I'm just needing to vent and hope to hear some words of wisdom.
    Thanks ladies!

  5. #5
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    I was thinking in closing last year. Because after always being full house and a long waiting list (six children) suddenly the changes of regulations and I knew last year I will be loosing three to jk. I starting looking right away. Whenever I had opportunity to advertise I did. I had few other ideas too that luckily I didn't need to use.

    Anyway, two baby spots were filled in no time six months before the older kiddus left (due to families in care also using fb helping me to advertise ). And the almost impossible to get (like winning a lottery ticket those days) a two over two's.

    I have worked very hard to create a good reputation but, overall what helped most was using my communication skills with families in my community, the old "face to face interaction". I go out every day even just for a walk around my community.

    I have also researched in the field and I did step up a bit further, the competition is hard especially when in my neighbourhood they created new daycares and preschools offering "rich and quality environments".

    But honestly, nothing bits up the personal connection you create within your families and community.

    Fortunately, I didn't have to lower my rates as many are doing in my neighbourhood and I started building up again my waiting list for next year when I have two children going to Jk.

    But now who knows, with the conservatives in charge they're speaking about changes again�� hopefully for the best.

    Just a question. Were you taking care of 3 infants? In Ontario we can't now. One thing I did notice is that parents are more informed and like to be involved, any little flexibility in regards of baby ages and regulations it inmediately rise red flags to them it is considered "illegal" Obviously, they won't go upfront and tell you that but, they will move on and find other places (and it doesn't matter if you're the sweetest person), in Ontario the ministry of education has been using many channels to reach and inform parents. Also insurance companies are very clear on that too.

    I have an "open door" policy and I constantly let parents know that I'm open to any reasonable suggestions and questions. But, basically I focus most of my work energy to my group of children, the happier they leave to go home the happier the parents are with my care;0) I hope it helps.

    Be positive work towards, improving your program whIle you have this time and when you get a request the results will show. Search a bit what other centres and programs are offering that attracts parents, you can also go to worshops and enrich your program, maybe that will also help. Built an "unique personalized" program.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Euphoric !
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    I think we all have experiences times when enrollment is low, when ads aren't being answered and we question if we can survive financially much longer.

    There isn't an easy answer I'm afraid. Maybe it will help a little to know everyone experiences this at some stage.

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