In discussing with several of our larger day care centers, I have discovered that many have stipulations as part of their contract that parents pay some or all of the daily charge for vacations, absences and holidays. How you chose to handle this is generally based on the demand for space in your center and the nature of your competition.
When parents take their child out of child care for vacation a common arrangement is to discount the tuition for each child at 50%. When offering the discount set a maximum amount of time away at say four weeks and then charge full tuition thereafter. Other child care business owners charge full tuition for a child on vacation because they are holding space available for that child and expenses continue whether the child is there or not.
Speaking of vacations, what about your own? For commercial child care centers and for larger in-home operations you may have the staff available to cover for you when you are away on vacation. However for smaller operations it may be necessary to shut down while you are taking time off. Be sure that you plan your time off well in advance and routinely remind your clients when you will be gone. Depending on your clients and the competition you may charge your clients a portion of the tuition, all of the tuition or none of the tuition while you are on vacation. Whatever you do, make certain that the tuition is spelled out clearly in agreement and policies with your clients.
The same applies for holidays. You should stipulate what holidays you will close and whether or not you expect to be paid tuition and how much.
Finally, with regard to unplanned absences, your clients contract with you to care for their children during a certain period of time. When a child is not in your child care center with the exception of planned vacations you should expect to be paid full tuition. Your expenses continue with or without the child present and you should expect to be paid for that time. Be certain that absences are spelled out clearly in your agreement and policies with your clients.
I thank you for taking this blogging adventure with us. Please call Chris Raders for all the inside information on Day Care insurance. He can be reached at 805-238-1818