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  #1  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:53 PM
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Default Why Oh Why Did I Do This To Myself??

Ack! I'm really kicking myself for not being a "well child only" daycare from the beginning!!!

Most of my dcp's seemed appreciative that I was willing to take their kids "mildly sick" and a few even told me they felt other dc's were too strict about illnesses. Once upon a time, I agreed with that philosophy and felt it was asking too much for parents to stay home from work or find alternative care every time their little ones had the sniffles or sneezes.

The problem is, we have been sick NONSTOP since October now, despite my best efforts to stop the spread of germs here. It is horrible for myself, my family and my dcks.

So I want to change my policy but not sure how to approach it with my dcfs or if I should even bother. To be honest, knowing how they feel, many of them would probably just medicate and send their kids to me anyway, which would cause it's own set of problems.

I know I brought this on myself, just not sure how to remedy it.

Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2012, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post
Ack! I'm really kicking myself for not being a "well child only" daycare from the beginning!!!

Most of my dcp's seemed appreciative that I was willing to take their kids "mildly sick" and a few even told me they felt other dc's were too strict about illnesses. Once upon a time, I agreed with that philosophy and felt it was asking too much for parents to stay home from work or find alternative care every time their little ones had the sniffles or sneezes.

The problem is, we have been sick NONSTOP since October now, despite my best efforts to stop the spread of germs here. It is horrible for myself, my family and my dcks.

So I want to change my policy but not sure how to approach it with my dcfs or if I should even bother. To be honest, knowing how they feel, many of them would probably just medicate and send their kids to me anyway, which would cause it's own set of problems.

I know I brought this on myself, just not sure how to remedy it.

Any advice?
Well I take sniffles and sneezes to an extent. Constant runny noses being wiped everywhere go home. Just depends on each child and how they can manage their cold symptoms. Cold and flu season is almost over so if you really are concerned about causing a problem and think they will just medicate and send anyway then I would wait a bit. Get all my ducks in a row a good contract amendment that cover EXACTLY what you want so they can't find loopholes then make an amendment and have everyone sign off that they received it. Make sure to say things to point out the positive aspcet of your decision like,

When caring for an ill child, the ability to provide high quality care to all of the other children is jeopardized.

and to cover your fear of medication before daycare call them on it before they try it...

Please do not give your child Tylenol or Advil to mask a fever so they appear able to attend daycare. Please keep other children well by keeping an ill child at home.

This may help cover your current fears.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2012, 02:59 PM
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Remind them that keeping a sick child home is a two way street. If Little Joey is sent to dc medicated to mask fever, he is going to expose their precious little Susie to something new.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:41 PM
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Type up a new illness policy which includes that masking illness can be grounds for immediate termination. Have each of the parents sign and return by the end of the week and then start enforcing the rules. You can't send home kids for every runny nose but you can tighten your policies and get these sick kids home where they belong.
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2012, 07:25 PM
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Thanks everyone. I am working on a new illness policy and sent out a newsletter letting everyone know I may be changing to a strictly "well daycare only" soon, just to soften the blow.

Up until now, I've taken children who are running low grade fevers and medicated. WTH was I thinking??

Have I mentioned sometimes I think I am too nice for this job? I seem to create 99.9% of my own problems.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mary Poppins View Post
Thanks everyone. I am working on a new illness policy and sent out a newsletter letting everyone know I may be changing to a strictly "well daycare only" soon, just to soften the blow.

Up until now, I've taken children who are running low grade fevers and medicated. WTH was I thinking??

Have I mentioned sometimes I think I am too nice for this job? I seem to create 99.9% of my own problems.
Look, I'm not trying to be mean - but you just said you create most of your own problems by being too nice... and here you are being "nice" again to "soften the blow".

Telling parents that you will not take children with masked fevers isn't NOT being nice - it's being REALISTIC. Letting parents know that you will not take children who can't control their cold symptoms (coughing on others, wiping boogies everywhere, etc) isn't NOT being nice - it's being REALISTIC.
MOST daycares will not take sick kids, NO daycare center would ever keep a medicated child with a low-grade fever - why would you? And why would you set up that expectation for parents? You will not correct this situation by letting them know you MAY be changing to a well-only daycare - you will only correct it by letting them know you ARE changing to a well-only daycare. If they don't understand why, too bad, find new clients who will.

Wishy washy doesn't work.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2012, 05:10 PM
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I am VERY strict about illness and because of my sickness policy I am never sick and neither is my daughter. I don't mind a mild cold with a clear runny nose and slight cough but I don't accept green runny noses and excessive coughing. It has served me and the kids in my care well. I think you are doing the right thing.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2012, 05:27 PM
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Another thing to think about, because it WILL happen, is ensuring you follow through with your new rules around sickness. Be strong enough to turn a child away OR call the parents for pick-up if they become ill or symptoms get worse through the day. I've struggled with when to call in the past, but lately have called pretty quickly and I feel good about it! We make the rules for a reason, so we need to be the ones to enforce them too!
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:18 PM
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Thanks you guys! I am trying so hard not to feel guilty over this because I felt one of my selling points was that I have (soon to be HAD) a relaxed illness policy. That's why I felt I needed to "soften the blow" so to speak.

Tomorrow I will let each family know in person I have decided to change my illness policy and will be giving them a copy to sign. No maybes.

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  #10  
Old 02-26-2012, 09:08 PM
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Just keep your own family in mind. If you can't have a backbone for yourself, do it for them. Last winter was so awful for my two kids. This year, I haven't messed around at all with my illness policy. My older two have been in good health, a few minor things but nothing like last year. My 9 month old has never had a fever since she was born, never been sick. Its a whole new world once you get that illness policy in line! Hope that motivates you. Think of all the time and money you will save by not getting sick and all the things you won't have to miss to stay home with a sick child. Plus all the sick daycare kids that you wont be taking care of!
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:21 AM
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Tomorrow I will let each family know in person I have decided to change my illness policy and will be giving them a copy to sign. No maybes.


Good job, girl!!!
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:49 AM
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I agree with you guys! And I feel like I am too nice for this job too! I'm starting to understand why other providers are so strict with their policies and see that I need to be the same way. These parents try to get away with whatever they can. It's frustrating because once the sickness is in everyone gets it and it takes forever to go away!

Do you guys ever open the door to an obviously sick little one that the parents are trying to drop off and tell them they can't stay and to take them away? Have you ever had to call shortly after drop off because it's so obvious they're not well??
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:00 AM
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I haven't had the guts to turn away at the door yet, but I did send one home 10 minutes after she got here. Next time I will send away at the door, although having the backbone to do it is hard.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:07 AM
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yes I do and I know others on here do as well.

In fact this morning I sent one home back out the door with mom. He was here on friday, with a massive runny nose and eyes but was the only one here so I let him stay. Today it looked even worse and was accompanied with a cough. Normally this child drops off super easy no matter what day it is, but not this morning. So I told mom, sorry, it sounds and looks like he needs to be kept home. She looked a little surprised.

I told her please understand this is the only way that I can control if from spreading to everyone else. I will also give you that same protection for your child by sending others home when they are ill too. She said ok and thanked me....

Her boy is only 20 months and cant blow his nose. Friday he left SNOT on everything. I will have a full house in about 15 minutes and can't afford to have him snot on everything again....
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:16 AM
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yes I do and I know others on here do as well.

In fact this morning I sent one home back out the door with mom. He was here on friday, with a massive runny nose and eyes but was the only one here so I let him stay. Today it looked even worse and was accompanied with a cough. Normally this child drops off super easy no matter what day it is, but not this morning. So I told mom, sorry, it sounds and looks like he needs to be kept home. She looked a little surprised.

I told her please understand this is the only way that I can control if from spreading to everyone else. I will also give you that same protection for your child by sending others home when they are ill too. She said ok and thanked me....

Her boy is only 20 months and cant blow his nose. Friday he left SNOT on everything. I will have a full house in about 15 minutes and can't afford to have him snot on everything again....
I admire you! Sometimes they drop and run and I don't realize just how bad it is until they are long gone!
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  #16  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:31 AM
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I'm pretty fortunate to have parents who respect my policies for the most part. They know I'm not kidding around!! I had one parent push the issue by dropping off a sick kid but when they got the call at work to come pick up they realized I take my illness policy VERY seriously. Now whenever she gets sick they phone me to check to see if she's ok to come. I often don't realize a kid is sick until the parent leaves. I'm usually chatting with the parent and the kids come right in to play. I've never turned a kid away but I most certainly would if it was obvious.

I'd also like to say that it's very comforting to hear there are other providers with strict illness policies
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:34 AM
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I would suggest letting the parents know what you consider mild illness (sneezing, slight runny nose, mild cough...) and then telling them that it is unfair to the other children to have to care for an ill child. It takes up a lot of your time and also puts the health and welfare of the other children in your care into jeopardy. I would just let them know that you didn't consider those things when you initially told them it was okay to send their sick children to you. If a parent does choose to medicate a child and send them to you anyway I would call them at work and ask them to pick their child up as soon as the meds wear off and the fever or symptoms comes back. If a child is too ill to participate in your regular daily activities they should be at home with their parents which is where most children would rather be when they are sick anyway.
My take on parents and sick kids is - Didn't momma tell you there would be days like this before you had kids and decided to continue working?
Don't let them guilt you into caring for their sick kids. I have learned in my 9 years of childcare experience that when it comes to working parents...give them an inch and they will take a mile. If you tell them you'll take a mildly sick child they will send you an extremely ill child and tell you that they didn't seem that bad this morning...ya right!
Be firm and let them know that you have changed your policy. Be very specific as to what you will and will not tolerate.
Good luck. I know how hard it is to try and make changes but sometimes you try things and it just doesn't work out like you anticipated.
PS - Even if they do follow your new guidelines remember that childcare is messy business and most childcare providers will end up being ill a good part of the time. I don't take any sick children at all here and I make sure everyone washes their hands as soon as they arrive from school but so far we've still had the stomach bug, 2 colds, a throat infection and I am currently battling pink eye (Gross!). Most of the time kids are contagious even before they begin to show symptoms so often they've managed to contaminate everyone before mom and dad even realize they are sick.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:36 AM
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PS - Even if they do follow your new guidelines remember that childcare is messy business and most childcare providers will end up being ill a good part of the time. I don't take any sick children at all here and I make sure everyone washes their hands as soon as they arrive from school but so far we've still had the stomach bug, 2 colds, a throat infection and I am currently battling pink eye (Gross!). Most of the time kids are contagious even before they begin to show symptoms so often they've managed to contaminate everyone before mom and dad even realize they are sick.
I don't agree with your assertion that most child care providers are ill most of the time. If that's the case for you, you might want to consider boosting your immune system because it sounds like it needs it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:18 PM
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I don't agree with your assertion that most child care providers are ill most of the time. If that's the case for you, you might want to consider boosting your immune system because it sounds like it needs it.
Actually my family and I haven't been sick for almost 4 years when I went to doing parttime childcare (preschool only). Then within the last year of being fulltime, I have been sick (going to the hospital once)3 times, my hubby has missed two weeks of work, one of my children has been sick twice (we missed vacation because of him being sick) and then another child missed a day of school because of being sick (first one this year).

So even though we aren't sick constantly, we are sick enough that its getting to be noticable. None of my dck's are here when they are sick-my parents always text to let me know they are staying home with them. The thing though is we have already been exposed to whatever they had! Also, are eating is much better than before, hands always washed, everything wiped down and discenfected, toys washed, etc. It seems the more/better I do the more we get sick!
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:02 PM
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So I did it, and everyone seemed to take it really well.

It felt really, really good to put my foot down and say enough is enough. When I told them my own family has spent over $100 on medicine this month alone and that just wasn't going to work for us, I think they really got it.

Now just hoping they actually respect my new and improved policy.
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