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  #1  
Old 06-11-2009, 04:28 AM
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Default Sibling Discounts

Just wondering what parents feel is a fair deal when it comes to having to pay for care for 2 or 3 children from the same family.....some providers offer a sibling discount, some don't.

Just would like to know what parents thoughts are on this.

My thoughts are....while I don't think sibling discounts are fair to the provider, I do give them, probably too much, mostly because it is the norm for my area. I mean, I am still required to give the 2nd child the same care, love, and security that I am the first child, yet many parents think we should do it for a "less amount" than the first child. I am only allowed a set amount of children to care for, and giving sibling discounts certainly does cut into our income.

I have often wondered where and how sibling discounts came to be in this business. As when my husband and I go to a restaurant, we don't get a discount because there are 2 of us, when I take my 2 kids to the doctore, we don't get a discount because there are 2, but when it comes to daycare, many parents expect us to give them a discount because there are two.

So parents, do you expect a sibling discount and what do you think is fair if you do.
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2009, 05:13 AM
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I do not give sibling discounts. I figure my rates are low enough. Right now, I'm at $17/day so for the 3 kids that I care for, comes to $51/day. I will be raising the rate by $1/day with a 3 day min. rate. The ages of the kids I watch are 3 1/2, 2, and a 2 month old. I also don't charge extra for an infant. I know some providers do charge differently for different ages. I think that just gets too complicated.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2009, 08:42 AM
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I do not charge more for infants either. As far as I am concerned, they are much easier to care for than a 2 yr old.
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2009, 10:16 AM
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I dont give discounts to siblings either. I used to, but you could always do a 5 % discount, so they would feel like they were getting it and you would be losing a minimal amount. I dont provide less care, so I dont charge less $$.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:16 AM
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Thumbs up At my former center.....

we use to have a $5.00 dollar discount. The highest child was at full price and then the discount per child after that.
I totally agree that while we provide the same amount of care per child it should be the same rate. However I also feel that in this "great economy" of ours, it sometimes is an incentive. Every dollar helps!
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2009, 01:10 PM
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While I do agree it would be an incentive. While I have never raised my rate on an existing family, unless they added another child, in the past 1 1/2 years while all my expenses have went up considerably related to daycare, I have yet to have 1 family offer me a $5 increase to help offset any of the cost to care for their child. We are always the forgotten ones. Parents never think that our expenses may go up. They just expect us to make up the difference out of our income...if that made any sense.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2009, 02:27 PM
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I keep it simple for myself. I charge $X (per hour) for a school aged child. I charge $X.25/hr for a child that has been potty trained (or 2 yrs of age, which ever comes later) through school age. And I charge $X.50/hr for infants through age 2 (or potty trained whichever is later). I figure if I have to change stinky diapers, I'll charge a little more. I do not offer a discount for more than one child. I feel my rates are on the low side of average for the area I live in.

When I used to work out of the home and had my kids in daycare I did not get a discount because I had two kids. I would have never thought to ask for a discount from my provider either. I didn't see why she should get paid less from me than if she would have only had one of my children and another child from another family there. It just seemed unfair.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2009, 06:05 AM
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I think a lot of it goes back to some parents don't think of daycare as a "business", when in fact it is, a very important one at that.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2009, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
I do not charge more for infants either. As far as I am concerned, they are much easier to care for than a 2 yr old.
I would much rather have all little ones enrolled then older children. I too find them much easier & I enjoy them much more.

When I 1st start DC I was going to offer a sibling discount but the more I talked to other providers I realized that it was not very smart on my part. Each child takes up the same space & time (I would say effort too but I think we all know the better then that)

I am very lucky with the parents I have right now. My one mother has offered to take lunch breaks at a certain time when she knows that my DS has an apt somewhere so she can come watch the kids instead of me taking them with. I have never taken her up on the offer but it is nice knowing that if an emergency came up she would help. My other parents have donated supplies & bought gift cards threw out the yr. It is a much welcome change to the past parents that I had.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2009, 12:06 PM
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Default i sneak in the backdoor with it

1 - you have to cover costs, etc

2 - to make your business competitive in the above mentioned "great economy" you have to do something. especially with the way people prioritize their spending these days. they won't bargain shop for cars, homes, clothes, restaurants ... but want child care at the bare minimum.

i have "X" spots available. i need/want "Y" per spot. so my rate is "Y+$15". discounts are built in to the rate. siblings get discounts, vacation days are available, sick days are available, and all my bills are paid. everybody's happy.
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2009, 04:50 PM
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"I have "X" spots available. i need/want "Y" per spot. so my rate is "Y+$15". discounts are built in to the rate. siblings get discounts, vacation days are available, sick days are available, and all my bills are paid. everybody's happy."

TOTALLY AGREE. Think about what YOU need to be making and build in the discount on the front end ahead of time.
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:51 AM
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The sibling discount thing always kind of stumped me. I do appreciate the $5 off/week that I get at daycare because I have two kids attending (daycare rates can seem daunting to a parent when more than one child needs care... a lot of parents can't work because it would only pay for daycare), but that $5 is realistically not going to make a difference to my family. Yes, it adds up over time for me. But it adds up much quicker for the provider. 10 kids from 5 families with each recieving a sibling discount would be $25/week (much more if 3 or 4 children came from one family), money that could be spent purchasing supplies to make the experience much more enriching for the children. To me, it would be worth 'chipping in' my $5/week.

As a parent, I seek quality over price (although my budget does not allow for extremely expensive care--I just don't have the money), but a $5-$10 difference per week is not going to sway my dc decision when my children are recieving above-par care, as they are at their current dc.
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2009, 10:14 AM
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I charge $135 for one; $245 for two. And yes, it adds up...
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2009, 05:26 AM
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Default No but . . .

I don't give a discount because my rates are already much lower that the rest of the area at $33 per day.

However, there is one family here that I do give a break to. A young single mom with 2 kids. I charge her the same price for 2 that I charge for 1. She pays $165 per week for both kids. I do it because I was in her position once and it would have made life so much better for my kids if I had that extra money each week.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2010, 01:02 PM
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It's a balance - if others in your area give the discount, you have to ask yourself if having more children (and so, more money) is worth the discount or not.
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  #16  
Old 10-28-2010, 05:37 AM
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I give a 40% discount if a family has 2 children in my care. The discount is on the oldest child and only if the family is full-time. I never should have started this. The more you give, the more they want. I don't know if anyone in my area gives discounts for siblings. I also should have started my rates out much higher than what they were but didn't know any better.

I do have one family that is getting the 40% plus more because we were friends. They still think they pay too much and now they are spending tons of money on stuff but tell me they don't know how they are going to pay me next week. Irks the c*&p out of me.l
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  #17  
Old 10-28-2010, 06:39 AM
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Siblings do not get discounted care so they do not get discounted rates. Imagine if you said here's a whole sandwhich for you Jane, but Billy only gets 3/4th of a sandwhich. Same concept. Plus siblings fill whole spots not partial ones. If we had to give a discount for a sibling, I'd only take only children. LOL! Another down fall is if one kid is sick and staying home most ppl keep both kids home so you are out 2 kids rates for the day. (Unless you still charge) So for me...no discounted care/rates
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  #18  
Old 10-28-2010, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARSTELAC View Post
I give a 40% discount if a family has 2 children in my care. The discount is on the oldest child and only if the family is full-time. I never should have started this. The more you give, the more they want. I don't know if anyone in my area gives discounts for siblings. I also should have started my rates out much higher than what they were but didn't know any better.

I do have one family that is getting the 40% plus more because we were friends. They still think they pay too much and now they are spending tons of money on stuff but tell me they don't know how they are going to pay me next week. Irks the c*&p out of me.l
You can always change it with your new contract. I put out a new contract, Jan. 1st of every yr. so anything that needs changed will go in then for the entire yr. I still give a sibling disc. for fulltimers, but not parttimers or fillins. My sibling disc. is $25.00 per day per child. My normal rate is $140.00 for infant, thru potty trained and $130.00 for the older children, totally potty trained. So it is roughly $20-$30.00 off per week.
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  #19  
Old 10-28-2010, 09:49 AM
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i give a discount, my rate is $30/day for one child, and $50 for two. I had only one family with three once, and that was for only one day and they paid $80.
I mainly give a discount because I know I could never afford $300/week for child care myself and as long as I'm filling spots with siblings i know I won't have empty spots and have to worry about filling them.
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  #20  
Old 10-28-2010, 12:12 PM
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I dont offer a discount, I do have slightly higher prices for infants, but only because I give them all organic homemade or organic store bought baby foods, and I supply formula, a generic of course according to the food program, but I will also put the same amount of money towards any other formula they would rather have. But its only $5 more a week for infant.
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  #21  
Old 10-29-2010, 07:12 AM
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So based on what I'm reading, I wonder what most of you would do in my situation?

I have 2 siblings, two days a week. I do not give a discount on these two. When the SA sibling stays on the occasional school day out and summer, woiuld you discount for that child? During summer, it will still only be 2 days a week for all 3.
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  #22  
Old 10-29-2010, 07:19 AM
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So based on what I'm reading, I wonder what most of you would do in my situation?

I have 2 siblings, two days a week. I do not give a discount on these two. When the SA sibling stays on the occasional school day out and summer, woiuld you discount for that child? During summer, it will still only be 2 days a week for all 3.
I charge $28 per day (for all regular dck not in school) during school yr b/c we have a curriculum we follow and I am busy! During no school days, I charge $20 per day to SA'ers b/c it is just one or 2 days they have off. In summer months, however, I charge everyone the same ($25 per day)which is a little less than reg daily rate b/c it is summer and we don't follow curriculum, we just play. It is summer break for all. No one gets discounts for siblings.
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  #23  
Old 10-29-2010, 11:41 AM
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Parents (including me when my kids were in a center) probably think that since discounts are typically given for purchases of multiple quantities of goods or services, childcare should be no different. Since they are "purchasing" more than one space they naturally feel they are within their rights to request a discount. Now that I am a provider, I can see things from a different point of view.

10% off is the going sibling discount at the centers in my area. I currently do not "offer" a sibling discount but if a parent were to "ask" I would give them 10% off the oldest child's rate as long as they were full-timers. To me, it's not worth losing both spots over $15 if price is the only issue keeping them from signing on. Plus, by having kids from the same family that is one less parent/schedule you have to deal with. The only issue is that when that family leaves, you have more than one slot to fill `

I like that idea of buidling discounts into the rate.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:37 PM
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ive always built my discounts into the rate.

i have two teachers children right now. right off the bat, they both asked if i would hold their spots for free for the summer. sure- you know why? cause i charge them 25% more during the school year. so they're still paying for the summer, they just dont know it. and they think theyre getting something for nothing
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:35 PM
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Siblings do not get discounted care so they do not get discounted rates. Imagine if you said here's a whole sandwhich for you Jane, but Billy only gets 3/4th of a sandwhich. Las Vegas Show Discounts Same concept. Plus siblings fill whole spots not partial ones. If we had to give a discount for a sibling, I'd only take only children. LOL! Another down fall is if one kid is sick and staying home most ppl keep both kids home so you are out 2 kids rates for the day. (Unless you still charge) So for me...no discounted care/rates

Ok, thing is, you aren't including the cost of empty spots.

If you've got all the business you can handle already, of course you don't need discounts. If you have spots that need filling, though, isn't it better to get money in hand now (even if you are discounting some) than to hold out for money from the future that may never come?

Additionally, if you are competing with others in the area that do give discounts, then you aren't going to be competitive without them.

There is a reason that many businesses give a 'bulk discount' - they make it up on volume. This is essentially the same principle.

Is it better to have one spot filled at 300/week and an empty spot, or to have 2 spots filled at an average of 275 each (one for 300, second for 250).

If you start getting so much business/interest that you think the discounted spots can be immediately filled by full-paying customers, just explain that you are discontinuing the discount.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:20 PM
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I give a $20 per week discount for the second child.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:48 AM
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I give 10% on the oldest child. In my area it's all over the board. I know of dc's that don't give discounts and charge WAY more than I do, and they are full!!! I also know of dc's who do the discount and some are full, some have many open spots. Hard to know what to do here.
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  #28  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:29 AM
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Ok, thing is, you aren't including the cost of empty spots.

If you've got all the business you can handle already, of course you don't need discounts. If you have spots that need filling, though, isn't it better to get money in hand now (even if you are discounting some) than to hold out for money from the future that may never come?

Additionally, if you are competing with others in the area that do give discounts, then you aren't going to be competitive without them.

There is a reason that many businesses give a 'bulk discount' - they make it up on volume. This is essentially the same principle.

Is it better to have one spot filled at 300/week and an empty spot, or to have 2 spots filled at an average of 275 each (one for 300, second for 250).

If you start getting so much business/interest that you think the discounted spots can be immediately filled by full-paying customers, just explain that you are discontinuing the discount.
I totally get what you mean and I do understand that 2 spots filled at a discount beats 2 empty spots but fortunately for me, I guess, I really don't know of any providers in my area (centers included) that offer discounts for siblings so there is no competition there. I've been doing this 16 years and I guess I am also lucky enough that we have never had a shortage of children needing care either so in that aspect I've never HAD to offer a discount to siblings but if I had to compete or really struggle to fill spaces, I would probably consider offering a sib discount. But for now; I do not.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:31 AM
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I totally get what you mean and I do understand that 2 spots filled at a discount beats 2 empty spots but fortunately for me, I guess, I really don't know of any providers in my area (centers included) that offer discounts for siblings so there is no competition there. I've been doing this 16 years and I guess I am also lucky enough that we have never had a shortage of children needing care either so in that aspect I've never HAD to offer a discount to siblings but if I had to compete or really struggle to fill spaces, I would probably consider offering a sib discount. But for now; I do not.

Fair enough, for sure. I mean, there is no reason for any discount if you don't need to drum up more business than you already have.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:08 PM
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I still do for fulltime children. If they are not fulltime siblings, then no discounts. I charge so much per day, per child if parttime.
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  #31  
Old 12-17-2010, 04:07 AM
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Ok, thing is, you aren't including the cost of empty spots.

If you've got all the business you can handle already, of course you don't need discounts. If you have spots that need filling, though, isn't it better to get money in hand now (even if you are discounting some) than to hold out for money from the future that may never come?

Additionally, if you are competing with others in the area that do give discounts, then you aren't going to be competitive without them.

There is a reason that many businesses give a 'bulk discount' - they make it up on volume. This is essentially the same principle.

Is it better to have one spot filled at 300/week and an empty spot, or to have 2 spots filled at an average of 275 each (one for 300, second for 250).

If you start getting so much business/interest that you think the discounted spots can be immediately filled by full-paying customers, just explain that you are discontinuing the discount.
You make some good really good points. I have to disagree on this one:

There is a reason that many businesses give a 'bulk discount' - they make it up on volume. This is essentially the same principle.

That doesn't really work in home child care. If the provider had a signed contract for a substantial amount of contracted notice time then possibly. When you have two children from one family filling slots it is a risk to the business when they leave because traditionally they take a large total percentage of the business.

It's not like "goods" sales where you have X amount of inventory of one item and you offer discounts should a buyer come along and take a chunk of it. With child care the inventory IS the weekly slot and the time it takes to fill that slot.

If you are going to give sibling discounts I reccommend requiring a very long notice period. Something along the lines of three calander months notice should two children leave the day care. I only accept notices on Fridays (payday). If the client has three it should be even longer.

If you are going to give a discount make sure it is specifically for the oldest child who has the highest liklihood to leave care as he/she ages. Then make it clear that the regular rate for the other child will go into affect.

Discounts should ALWAYS be tied into notice time. The agreement with the parents should be that you are giving the discount based on their signed agreement that should they leave care that you will receive three calander months notice when one or more of the children are to leave care. Also keep a weekly running tab that is provided to the parents of the cash value of the discount. If you are giving them a 50 dollar a week discount then it should appear on their receipt weekly what the sum TOTAL of that is on a week to week basis. By week five they should see a line that says "Total sibling dicount to date: $250.00. Next week: Total sibling dicount to date:$300.00.

They need to see IN WRITING the amount of the discount and how it adds up so significantly over time. It's good for the provider to see it in writing too so she understands the magnitude of what she is offering.

I'm not one to give discounts because I don't believe the parents really see it as a discount. Your discounted rate IS the rate for them. They don't look at it that way. If you feel you need to do it you need some way to communicate to them and remind yourself what you are doing weekly.
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  #32  
Old 12-17-2010, 07:08 AM
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I don't offer sibling discounts for the same reason I don't charge more for infants--I give the same level of care to everyone, no matter how old or who they are. My rates are reasonable, and far less than a daycare center.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:30 AM
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I, as a parent am so greatful for discounted childcare. I would not be able to pay for it otherwise. I have 3 children(4,2,6months). Our center has different rates for different ages, but if the rates were standard for each child, I pay about $37.50 per day/child, that is with a discount. I am paying $450.00 for 3 children for 4 days. Still very expensive for me, but greatful for that price.

Our centers policy: If you have 3 or more children you get 10% off the 2 lower rates, if you have 2 children you get 20% off the lower rate.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:02 AM
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Default sibling discounts

As a parent, I would never expect a discount for siblings. I would be happy to have my kids in the same daycare. All I expect from my provider is that she would take my second child before offering a space to another kid.

Of course I am in Quebec and daycare is subsidized. Although, even if I had both my kids in private daycare, I would not expect a discount. You are legally allowed to offer x number of spaces and you make your budget based on those amount of spaces. You need to keep your annual income at a livable level. It is not like you can take another kid to make up the difference.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:22 AM
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Default Sibling discounts

I don't do sibling discounts because of the potential to lose a lot of money by taking on a family with more kids. If I were to take a family with 3 kids and give a discount, then that would leave me with only 3 slots to fill and depending on the amount of a discount given, that could leave me in a bind financially. It's nothing personal, it's business.
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  #36  
Old 06-07-2012, 10:21 AM
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Default Do you guys go by weekly for payment or by monthly?

I'm in a child development class and, I am just researching a part of my assignment to "run" my own daycare. I am just wondering, what would be the standard average cost of one child per day. As well as if there's more then one sibling that is a stable client. What kind of costs could I do that parents would consider being reasonable, without discounts of any form.
Thank you for reading this.
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  #37  
Old 07-23-2012, 07:59 AM
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I charge a flat rate per child. That parent can use up to 43 hour per week during my posted hours. No discounts as I have limited space available. Even daycare assistance does not give a family different rates due to amount of children in a family one rate one child.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:03 PM
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I do give discounted rates... I feel that it is a plus when parents are looking for daycare.

I was just told by my sis in law that the going rate for 2 in this area ( which i am new to..) is 120 a week for two.. and people still think that it is high...

What! I have a interview for my first kids since opening in this area and I told her my rates and my discount rate for both of her little ones and she was happy with it... some parents can be very funny.
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  #39  
Old 07-24-2012, 01:09 PM
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I don't give sibling discounts. Hurts my bottom line. I tell parents to get a nanny that will be cheaper than daycare for 2 and they can come home to dinner and laundry done. As far as I am concerned I am putting more of my eggs/income in one basket and if stuff goes south I am out double the money. Not worth it.

The only discount I give is 10% for paying a month at a time. I raise my rates lsightly every year for new kids coming on board. 3/4 of my parents pay a month at a time now. So I can pay most of my bills at the beginning of the month. It is great for budgeting purposes. That works great when you have parents that are pregnant that are planning way out. When you tell them the rate range and then that they get a 10% discount for paying a month at a time they have time to save up for that. Plus it helps weed out the broke parents, you get more stable parents that don't jerk you around with pay and take their kids to the doc when they are sick, take off work when they are sick etc.

I consider it a test too lol
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:56 PM
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I work 4 hours shifts 5 days a week. I have two kids one 5 and 4. I drop them off and four hours later pick them up if I am not working they are not at "School". They daycare director realized it and cut my payment in half for both kids since they arent there all day. Which I dont do just for the "Discount" I would do it even if I paid full price. I do not expect a discount, I understand I havebills and so do you. Maybe do a incentive like if they are on time with payments for 3 months straight then they get 10% their next payment. But only for the consistent parents who are on time with their payments. No pay No discount.
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