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Old 07-08-2011, 08:57 AM
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Default Sick Kids

I have been doing daycare now for over 12 yrs and have absolutely no backbone! We live in a very small town and there are 3 home daycare providers, all of us seeming to have similiar contracts/policies. I have a great contract and handbook but so many families don't seem to uphold the rules and I seem to have an issue confronting them on it! How do you all handle sick kids?? I seem to often have parents come in my door at 7:30 am and inform me that their child had a fever last night or threw up but they think it was just a fluke thing, etc. I get so frustrated that these adults don't seem to think there's a problem with this behavior but also frustrated at myself that I can't be more forceful! Any ideas? Suggestions???
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdcp16 View Post
I have been doing daycare now for over 12 yrs and have absolutely no backbone!

but also frustrated at myself that I can't be more forceful! Any ideas? Suggestions???
You already know the answer.

Good luck, hun.

Wish there was an easy button answer, there just is not.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
You already know the answer.

Good luck, hun.

Wish there was an easy button answer, there just is not.
Well, the answer is easy (backbone). It is the implementing that is hard.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:54 AM
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Well, the answer is easy (backbone). It is the implementing that is hard.
It does get a bit easier each and every time someone tells you their wants and more important than your family's/group's needs, though....doesn't it?
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:57 AM
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It does get a bit easier each and every time someone tells you their wants and more important than your family's/group's needs, though....doesn't it?
Most defintately!! Not enough credit is given to experience. I suppose it falls under the use it or lose it category huh? LOL!! Much like working out at the gym...the more you do it, the healthier you will be and the easier it becomes...
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:02 AM
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LOL, yes I do know the answer.....you'd think after 12 plus years,I'd be able to speak my mind and have a bit of a backbone! And I know that since they know they can get away with things, they continue to do them! Like not paying on time! Ugh!! The worst part of the sick kid thing is my 12 year old now has mono! We're going on two weeks now! Thankfully, for the most part now, my own kids don't catch the daycare kids illnesses since my kids are 12 and almost 15.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:12 AM
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Throwing up isn't a fluke, running a temp isn't a fluke.

It's quite simple. I decided a long time ago that if someone has something that could potentially get me or my children sick, they can't come. If they are whining a lot and it's apparent that they don't feel good, they can't come. If a child can't participate unassisted in any and all activities, they can't come. No puking, no temp, no contagious illness!

And, rather than having parents take their child to the doctor and get a note saying the child can resume daycare, I implemented this:

If your child visits a doctor. A note stating your child's illness is required to return to daycare. It will then be at the discretion of the provider to determine when your child may return to daycare.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:16 AM
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I hate confrontation, and have very little backbone. Luckily I've got great parents who usually respect my policies. But for me, if I notice parents are starting to take something for granted (like not paying on time), I reset everything by giving them all a letter reminding them about the policy and how I will be enforcing it. And for some reason, I find it easier to actually follow through with enforcing it. I guess it's because I want to be a woman of my word and I want people to be able to trust what I say. So if I reiterate that I'm going to be charging late fees for late pick-ups, I am more motivated to do it. Weird, but it works!
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:20 AM
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Oh, and I forgot to mention I added a motivator in my policies a while back.

If they are sick at home/enroute here the parents have to keep them out 24 hours after resolution of symptoms.

If I send them home or decline them at the door they have to stay out a minimum of 48 hours.

AKA "Doorstep Manipulation" penalty.

I RARELY ever have this issue any more.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
Oh, and I forgot to mention I added a motivator in my policies a while back.

If they are sick at home/enroute here the parents have to keep them out 24 hours after resolution of symptoms.

If I send them home or decline them at the door they have to stay out a minimum of 48 hours.

AKA "Doorstep Manipulation" penalty.

I RARELY ever have this issue any more.
Ooooo....I have to pipe in here and say that Cat's added addendum REALLY REALLY works!!! Since adding that little clause, NONE, (seriously, NOT one) of my dcp's has tried to push my sick policies. They are 110% more conscious about determining if their child is really sick or not now. They no longer leave it up to me.... Use that one little clause and it will change your life! (Haha, I sound like an infomercial! )
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:37 AM
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Ooooo....I have to pipe in here and say that Cat's added addendum REALLY REALLY works!!! Since adding that little clause, NONE, (seriously, NOT one) of my dcp's has tried to push my sick policies. They are 110% more conscious about determining if their child is really sick or not now. They no longer leave it up to me.... Use that one little clause and it will change your life! (Haha, I sound like an infomercial! )
Glad it works for you, too BlackCat!!

I think I added that one after a former client said "Yeah, I figured you'd be calling soon, haha. I'm done anyway, I just needed a few hours to catch up on charts before I had to call out. I am on my way."

Strep....with 2 newborns in our group.
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2011, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdcp16 View Post
I have been doing daycare now for over 12 yrs and have absolutely no backbone! We live in a very small town and there are 3 home daycare providers, all of us seeming to have similiar contracts/policies. I have a great contract and handbook but so many families don't seem to uphold the rules and I seem to have an issue confronting them on it! How do you all handle sick kids?? I seem to often have parents come in my door at 7:30 am and inform me that their child had a fever last night or threw up but they think it was just a fluke thing, etc. I get so frustrated that these adults don't seem to think there's a problem with this behavior but also frustrated at myself that I can't be more forceful! Any ideas? Suggestions???
I have several doctors over the years that have vouched that their kids got fevers with teething and they believe the fever/teething theory that teething doesn't bring fevers is bunk. If a child is legit sick, the fever will stay or come back within 4 hours of giving fever reducer, not just magically go away. If a child has legit diarhea, it will stay until it's ran its course. Legit diarhea is 3+ exclusive watery (not whipped) in a hour period of time according to every doctor my child has ever seen over the years and they've all agreed that they are sick and tired of daycares sending kids home for 1 loose stool in an 8 hour period of time, medically just doesn't exist. (Different docs because I've had different insurance companies through the years.) I have a question for you . . . have you ever sent a child home for a fever or diarhea only to find out from the doctor less than an hour later that the child had neither? My child has only been legitamately sick and legitamately gotten sent home 1 time in all these years. Yes, 1 time. All other times, he's gotten sick at home during the night and I have kept him home no questions asked - high fevers that wouldn't go away, puked in his bed, etc. I can always tell because he doesn't act quiet right, so I always know to keep an eye on him. He's had lots of colds over the years. I can understand your frustration, but it's very annoying for a parent to drive all the way back to daycare from work only to find their child smiling and playing just fine and being cool to the touch, not warm. Know what I did? Started going to the doctor immediately on pickup and then sending my child back to daycare same day or next day with a doctor's note. Funny, how they stopped sending my kid home shortly thereafter and how the daycare would never take his temp in front of me to prove he even had a fever. Coincidence? I don't think so. I just agree with our doctors, that daycares are way to sensitive to child illness. It's the way kids build up immunity. In home care, I can understand that if you get sick, then you have to close. I get that, no arguement there, as long as your contracts state that and parents agreed to it. I'm not saying this stuff to start an argument, just stating the facts of what actually happened to me. My only final point is that our doctors have confirmed that there are many illnesses that happen and go away overnight or within a couple of hours, etc, but that they shouldn't be excluded from daycare and it's not contagious. My child has puked up dinner that he didn't like to begin with or if he ate way too much at a party, kiddie indigestion, child reflux. Kids get sick if something didn't agree with them - feed them sugar and junk food all day, that's a guaranteed next morning butt blaster or overnight puker but not something that other kids are going to get sick from and it's certainly not contagious. I know you have your policies, but much of it is common sense. Legit sickness stays, indigestion goes away.
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:14 AM
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I guess if you don't have a "face-to-face" backbone, maybe you could communicate in writing??? Letters, newsletters, signs & posters???

Also, if you are licensed you can lean on your regulations. I am a "Well-Child Facility" so it's against regulation for me to contaminate my home or the other children in my care.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:28 AM
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Yes I am licensed. In Massachusetts, you have to be. I also have all of my rules/policies in a handbook, I discuss it all at the interview and I also do a monthly newsletter which always has a section about one of these issues! I know the only way to fix any of this is to call people out on it. It's so hard to do! I guess I expect too much from some of these parents. I would never not pick my kids up on time, never not pay my provider and I would never in a million years expect someone else to care for my sick child! My own daughter has mono and I have her up in her bedroom or mine. My daycare is in our finished basement and I run up and down two flights of stairs checking on her!! There's no way I'd want her around any of the kids!!
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:49 AM
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For me I think the parents help keep me accountable...lol!! If one parent see's a child at pick up coughing or hacking they look at me with why did you let him in here...lol!! I don't like that so I try and stop it before it gets to that point. I am still working on my illness policy but since summer I haven't had any sick kids....I have a parent who is a teacher and I think that she gets sick and passes it to son and family and then everyone here gets sick. She has told me in the past that she can't keep missing work bc her sons sick...I said sorry but I can't risk everyone else here getting sick bc of her son. If he's contagious he's not coming...plan and simple. I was like you and didn't have much of a back bone but it was things like this when I started feeling taking advantage of and no concern from the parent that I started growing one. I would hate to loss them but I could loss all my families if I allowed a child who had a contagious virus into daycare. It just wasn't worth it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:34 PM
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I have a solution

I have a big sign taped to the side window beside my front door that says:

Out of respect for myself, my family and the other children that attend my dayhome,

No child will be accepted with any type of cold or flu.

Please have back up childcare.

NO exceptions will be made.

Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter.


I have had this sign up since March.

I have had one parent pull their child out 2 weeks after the sign went up. (they were the reason the sign went up in the first place)

And every other DC family has fully understood and no one has been sick since then.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mrsp'slilpeeps View Post
I have a solution

I have a big sign taped to the side window beside my front door that says:

Out of respect for myself, my family and the other children that attend my dayhome,

No child will be accepted with any type of cold or flu.

Please have back up childcare.

NO exceptions will be made.

Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter.


I have had this sign up since March.

I have had one parent pull their child out 2 weeks after the sign went up. (they were the reason the sign went up in the first place)

And every other DC family has fully understood and no one has been sick since then.
Lucky..... I always got "It is just seasonal allergies" or "teething" when I said no cold/flu symptoms.... I caught Teething a few times this year....
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:24 PM
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Default Sick policy

I hate it when I hear "Oh, dck's just teething..." and then all of a sudden, more kids are "teething" and before long, so am I! Same goes for "allergies". I didn't realize that kids could pass "allergies" to one another.

I'm a home daycare provider and I rarely have to send kids home sick. I owe it all to having an illness policy that doesn't leave room for interpretation. I owe it to every child in my care to enforce the illness policy that's in my contract which all of the parents sign. Doctors have different opinions about what teething and allergy related symptoms are. It's not fun to exclude kids from care when their parents are chalking their symptoms up to something that is not contagious. I understand that it's hard to leave work to pick up a sick child from daycare. I know that employers get angry over things like that. That's one of the big reasons why I expect parents to have a back up provider available to them.

I'm not arguing that providers aren't capable of sending a kid home who is questionable as far as fevers go. I just think that the door swings in both directions. If a child arrives at daycare and doesn't have a temperature and then spikes one about 3 or 4 hours later, then I'm inclined to think that the parents gave the child a dose of tylenol or motrin right before drop off. I've seen temperatures of 102 and higher being called "teething" fevers. I've heard excuses for fevers, coughs, yellow & green thick snot, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. I don't think that it's fair to compromise every other child's health just because one parent doesn't think that their child is legitimately sick. It's a slippery slope. If I let my illness policy slide for a family, then how long will it be until I'm letting everything pass as an illness that's not contagious.

I have more than just one daycare family. I don't send kids home so that I can close for the day. I sanitize and circulate toys all of the time. I don't even charge for sick days because I don't want to end up with sick children sent to me because the parents feel like they've already paid for the service so they might as well use it. I don't stand to benefit from sending a child home sick. In fact, it is a financial hit for me to send a kid home sick. I am acting in the interest of all of the kids in my care, including my own.
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