home daycare hours of operations

5 Questions To Ask Before Setting Your Home Daycare Hours of Operations

There is so much more to consider than just  What hours do you want to work? When you are deciding on your home daycare hours of operations 

Start by asking these questions when considering your home daycare hours of operations

  1. what hours are most convenient for you.  Are you a morning person, who doesn’t mind starting their day at 6 am.  Or would you prefer 7 or 8 am instead?
  2. What hours are most convenient for the parents who will be dropping off and picking up their children? Keep in mind the average person works 9-5 Monday through Friday and must commute to and from work. 
  3. Do you plan on offering care overnight or on weekends?
  4. Would you be willing to extend hours, if needed?
  5. Does your family have any extracurricular activities?  If so, what time do they start?

It’s tempting to change your hours in order to sign a new client. But over time your work-life balance will suffer and you will end up burning yourself out.

Example:

Hours of Operations:

7:00 to 5:30 pm……………..………………………….………………………………Monday to Friday

 What days do you want to work?

Contracted Hours / Days

 You should insist on each child having contracted hours. Contracted hours are the time/days the parents will be dropping off and picking up their children. For example: If you have a part time child that comes on 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 am to 5 pm, you can schedule other part time children around those days to fill your Tuesday and Thursday time slots. If the clients need to change their contracted three days to a different three days, in your contract, specify that you can refuse such changes due to a conflict and have the right to end the contract. 

Contracted hours allow you to schedule activities. You will know approximately when each child will be coming, and you can plan around drop-offs and pickups.

While late drop off and picks happen, you want to make sure that the parents know you are serious about open communication. Be sure to ask them, if they are going to be late that they call or text you to let you know. You will soon find out that maintaining a schedule and following a routine is important.

Example:

Every child has a “contracted” child care schedule.  Please observe your contracted hours.  Example Home Daycare schedule child care around clients contracted hours.  Please give us two-week notice in writing (or as much notice as possible) when requesting a change to your contracted hours.  We reserve the right to refuse any schedule changes due to conflicting schedules or prior commitments

What holidays do you want to observe?

It’s widespread practice for clients to pay the regular fees for civic holidays. For example, your monthly rate is $800, so you would not give a discount because you’re closed for a holiday.

You can choose to either charge parents for your vacation days or not. But, you must make this completely clear to clients before they sign your contract.  

Be sure to state that if the parent decides to take a holiday or day off and pull their child out of your care for that day, they still pay your full monthly fee. They will not receive a refund or credit.  This is important because often you put out your own money for food beforehand. You don’t want to be losing money because a parent took a Friday off. Your time is valuable and there is a cost to holding a spot for them.        

Some providers also include a few paid personal days in their contracts. This is 2-3 days that they would elect to take off during the year the parents would pay for. For example, you want to take next Friday off for a funeral. You would inform your parents that you will be taking a personal day. This would be one of your paid days off. This saves you the hassle of issuing refunds or credits for having to take a day off.

Example:

Example Home Daycare will close for the following holidays: January 1st, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Monday.  

Provider Holidays:  Example Day Home will close for one week in the summer months (July/August) and for one week over Christmas each year.  Full-time parents are (not) required to pay for these closures, and exact dates will be given two weeks in advance.

Clients Holidays:  Parents pay in full for their vacation time, personal days off and holidays.  There will be no refunds or rate adjustments made to rates for the time missed due to illness, holidays, vacations or personal days when your child is not at the day home.

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