Whether you charge for taking a vacation is up to you. Since you are running your own business, you can decide for yourself. If you do charge for a vacation, spell it out clearly in your contract. For example:
“Provider will take up to a one week (5 weekdays) paid vacation each calendar year. Vacation days may be taken consecutively or separately. Provider will try to give at least a one month notice of when she will take her vacation days, but this may not always be possible. Parents will pay their regular weekly fee for this vacation week. Parents are responsible for finding child care for these vacation days.”
Sometimes parents complain that they have to pay for a child care provider’s vacation while at the same time having to pay someone else to care for their child. Here’s an easy way to address this concern:
Give parents the option of paying you an extra amount each week you are not on vacation. This will cover your fee when you do take your vacation.
For example, if you charge $180 a week and take a one week paid vacation, tell parents they can pay you an extra $3.53 per week ($180 divided by 51 weeks) throughout the year.
If you adopt this policy, add to your contract: “Parents may choose to pay extra for weeks that the provider is not on vacation. If parents choose this option, they will not owe any money for days that the provider takes as vacation. Parents will not be entitled to a refund of these extra amounts if the parent or provider terminates the contract before the vacation dates.”
This language will help ease the financial pain of a parent who ends your contract shortly before your vacation.
You can make the option available to everyone or offer it to some parents. If a parent does take this option, don’t let this affect your decision later to raise your rates. In other words, a parent who is paying $3.53 a week more should be subject to the same rate increase as parents who don’t pay for vacations in advance.
For a lively and extended discussion about paid vacations and holidays by both parents and family child care providers, see this discussion thread on daycare.com.
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: wkdq.com
For more information about charging for vacations and holidays, see my book Family Child Care Contracts and Policies.
This is my 200th post on my blog that I started on September 9, 2010! Thanks to everyone who is reading!
Categories: Contracts & Policies