If you have staff with kids, chances are they want to know what discount their kids get…

And that’s great!

In addition to keeping attendance high and offering staff consistent hours, a daycare staff childcare discount is another way to motivate your employees.

On top of your management, employees are the people who keep a daycare center running smoothly. You don’t want to contribute to a situation where many daycare workers can’t even afford childcare for their own kids. That’s why offering your employees’ kids a discount is a nice way to show your appreciation and understanding.

Having said that, there are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to this practice.

1. DO offer a fair daycare staff childcare discount

This all depends on your business model and your own decisions as a provider.

A fair discount could range from 30% to 40% for teaching staff and higher for higher-ranking staff like regional directors or assistant directors. It could also be balanced with paid vacation time (as in less or no tuition discount in return for more paid vacation). Another limit you may want to have is the number of kids a staff member can have enrolled, say two. Having your staff’s kids in the daycare is great, but you don’t want all of your clients to be your employees (at a discounted price).

Offering a discount will increase staff loyalty and dependability. It’s a sure thing your staff will show up for a shift when it’s not only where they work, but where their kid is enrolled, too. Staff discount can also increase as years are put in. So in addition to the base discount, it could increase by 5% for each additional year of employment up to 5 years or a maximum discount.

This may sound expensive but it’s a small price to pay for keeping quality staff in your daycare. On top of that, it’s easy to make up that money if you use Hopping In, which helps you fill your empty spots by allowing part-timers or drop in kiddos to book additional time.

2. DON’T bend the rules for individual employee’s needs

Maybe one of your staff just had to move and is really tight on money. Maybe another just ran into a financial problem and needs a hand up with finding cheaper care for their kid for a few months. As their employer, of course you sympathize.

That said, you shouldn’t bend the rules and offer huge daycare staff childcare discounts to one employee that you wouldn’t offer to others. Even if you agree to keep it between you, news like this tends to get out. Be consistent. If you offer a deal to one employee, offer it to everyone. Compassion and empathy, yes. Rule-bending that could put your business model underwater, no.

3. DO differentiate between full and part-time staff

In other words, you can offer a much smaller discount to part-time staff. It’s still a good idea to offer something, as this builds loyalty and incentivizes staff to enroll their youngster at your daycare center.

But if you run quite a large daycare center, you may employ many part-time staff. You can’t afford to give them all major discounts or enroll two kids each. You need to put the business first. So, offer moderate discounts, but keep your wits about you.

4. DON’T change your offer after it’s in progress

If your employee’s kid is now attending but you need more space, don’t tell them their child can’t attend anymore. If you offered a discount and their kid a place, honor that agreement until the agreed upon end date.

It can be a good idea to talk about what kind of a discount you’re going to offer with your accountant, investors or a business partner. This is an important business decision that’s going to impact your bottom line and your work culture. Sure, you can make up for the lost profit with software like Hopping In and fill out your daycare, but still keep the basics in mind.

A daycare staff childcare discount isn't always what's useful to an employee. Consider paid vacation time instead for those who don't need childcare.5. DO balance out any daycare staff childcare discount with a paid vacation time option

Maybe you have gone through the books and held a staff meeting and childcare discounts aren’t a priority. If some staff would rather hav extra paid vacation time and others would rather get a childcare discount, accommodate them!

You don’t want a childless employee to feel like they are getting the short end of the stick. You want each employee to feel they’re getting a fair and advantageous benefit to their employment. After all, building staff morale is very important.

Here’s what I offer in terms of daycare staff childcare discounts at my daycare centers…

My daycare center staff childcare discount system is gradated. In other words, the higher up you are, the bigger a discount you get. Directors, regional managers and above get 80% off care for their infants and toddlers and 90% off care for their two-year-olds and school agers. Assistant directors get 65% off for infants and toddlers, 75% off for twos and school-agers.

My regular teaching staff receives 50% off for infants and toddlers and 60% off for two-year-olds and school agers. I’d like to say I’m generous, but I also know that it’s good business practice to offer incentivizing, strong discounts to my loyal staff. We’re all a team at the end of the day!

Generosity pays off in the end … within reason!

Offering a daycare staff childcare discount can be a solid business practice. It encourages loyalty, job satisfaction and dependability. Having said that, be careful about going overboard here or not establishing clear limits. In spite of being willing to offer some perks, you are still a for-profit business! And the more profits you get, the more you can show appreciation for your staff.

Author: Hopping In Blog

Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.

To contact him or for media inquiries email s.strick@daycareteam.com

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