If you own a family daycare or a daycare center, while rewarding, you know that this involved long hours every day. Are you thinking about changing or reducing your daycare hours and if so are you afraid of how this might affect your business. Do you think this puts you at risk of losing the families you care for? We asked the daycare owners on the Own A Daycare Facebook page, how they felt about cutting back hours, if they have ever done so, and if so what were the consequences. Here are some of the responses:
I did years ago. I use to be open 6:30 – 6:00 but cut my hours from 7-5:30. It didn’t lose any of my clients; I knew they were all off by 5 anyway. They were taking advantage of me and leaving their kids with me until 6 so that’s why I did it. The kids were tired, I was tired, and I felt it was in the best interest all around.
Most of my families are gone by 4:30 but I am open until 5. I get my first child at 7 am…..I used to be 5:30 it was too long of a day especially in the summer. I like the days when everyone just happens to leave early. Those are few and far between. I did not lose any children when I changed my hours just my contract…
I changed from 7-5 to 7:30-4:30…works better for my family. I will consider extending hours for additional fee. I only lost one family to a center.
Contracted hours – max of 9 unless you want to contract for extra money for the extra 45 minutes. So I have kids from 7:15 to 4:45 right now. I LOVE it but should be done at 4:30 per one family’s contract.
I was open 730-530. Last September I had a couple of children leave (their mother worked seasonal work) and I had one new one come in. No one’s mothers were working past 430 so I changed my hours. One Mom didn’t like it too well (she always comes at the last minute to get her child) but she adapted.
I changed my hours from opened until 6pm to 5:30pm, but before I did, I asked my families to ensure it wouldn’t create any issues for them. I am open at 7am, if I have families that need me that early, but normally my earliest arrives at 7:30a, so I am up and ready with my door open for 7:30a arrivals.
I was open 7-5:30 but no one needed care till 5:30, but some people would take advantage just because they could. No parents needed it so I changed my hours from 7:15-5:15 and DIDN’T lose any kids. I usually only work 7:30-4:30/5:00 though. It works out better for me and at the end of the day my sanity is worth more than losing a kid or two. My health and family life comes first.
I didn’t lose anyone. When that time isn’t needed by my current families I will adjust again. I’m a little jealous of the ones that are off by 430.
I have “parent hours” which is what a parent contracts with me up to a max of 10 hours. I am open 24/6. It is important to implement vacation, sick, professional development days and holidays to avoid burn out. In this economy most parents don’t have the luxury of dictating their hours.
I changed my hours due to a parent being late at pick-up. Never lost a child, and I do make exceptions if the parents are going to be late. BUT they have to let me know in the morning. Not at 4pm.
When I first opened my hours were 7:15 am to 5:30 pm M-F (couldn’t pay me enough to do evening/weekend hours), but a couple of years ago I changed to 7:45 to 5:15 and parents did not have a problem with that…I also shorten my own hours by having an assistant in the afternoons. He closes 3-4 days a week and I get done around 3 or 4 on the days he is here.
I think I was originally opened from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm. I’m now open 8-5:30. The biggest changes were done when I moved or changed groups of kids. But some changes were made with the same group. Like when I was open from 7:45 am to 6:00, I realized it was rare for anyone to actually arrive before 8 (though they all said they needed to) so I changed it to 8 am the next time I did new daycare contracts (each Jan). I also contract with parents based on their work hours so I started not accepting new kids who needed until 6:00 and eventually didn’t have anyone scheduled that late.
I am open 7-5 M-F. But want to go to change to closing at 4:30 due to parents taking advantage of me. They like to go grocery shopping, go to the gym and take showers after work. Just because I am open until 5 I feel their kids shouldn’t be here until 5 when the parents get out of work hours earlier. Hard decision but I think I just have to do it.
When I first started I had no hours and I can remember having a child as long as 9:00 pm once. I now open from 5:30 – 5:00 and most of my parents are pretty good about picking up on time and even calling if they are going to be the least little bit late.
When I first opened my hours were from 6 to 6 M – F. I lost most of my day kids because they were all the same age and started going to daycare at the same time, so I had to open up my hours to get more kids. My hours went to M – Sunday from 5:45 am to midnight. I also do overnights ALOT! I got burned out so I have recently changed my hours back to 6 – 6, M – F. I will still keep some overnight and on the weekends but only when I WANT to. It makes for a hard family life and yes I have lost some clients for it but I had to do it for my family!
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