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  #1  
Old 05-13-2017, 11:48 AM
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Default Getting Pushback On Policies When You Need The $

I've had clients complain lately of my days off in a year for my personal days as well as my paid holidays and also now lately for late payments and that kind of thing.

I don't understand how this is even an issue because these policies are in my handbook and in my Application Documents and Contract.

I don't understand how this is a surprise. Should I say that if they're going to push back on policies they will be termed?

Do any of you allow leeway on payments if client says they didn't get paid on time or something like that? Or is it all rules apply to everybody regardless of circumstances? Did you do things differently in the beginning then you do now? And if so what would you start out with if you were starting now knowing what you know now?
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:33 PM
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ALL rules apply regardless of circumstances at our center. Unless your on childcare payment assistance then those are different
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Old 05-13-2017, 01:20 PM
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I wouldn't give any leeway since it seems like if you did this same issue will continue and they'll use the fact you allowed it in the past. Also yes if they can't follow the handbook and contract they signed and agreed to I would term. I do not need to deal with these types of parents and cause myself unnecessary stress.
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:21 PM
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She's only been with us 3 weeks or so and has paid late twice. Only reason I'm keeping her is because I need the money, though she lays late fees.

BlackCat, why did you raise your late payment fee to $25? And did you do that after you were established or new?
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Old 05-13-2017, 05:30 PM
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I find it pretty hard to believe that a parent would be paid late. That's a pretty bad excuse. It has been my experience that once you start doing favors for your clients that they will expect it to keep up. It is very important that you are firm on your policies especially with a new client. I would advertise for a family to replace them and when you fin done let them go. You don't need that kind of grief. I have also found that even if you read through the contract with them there not really listening. These parents need to understand that when we are paid late it messes up our life.
If I was I was starting off now with what I know I would be a lot more firm about pay.
Deb
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:28 PM
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I find it pretty hard to believe that a parent would be paid late. That's a pretty bad excuse.
I work for a global company, with just our location having 5-7 thousand employees and payroll has messed up my pay multiple times, resulting in my paycheck being delayed 1-2 weeks. Not saying the parent OP mentioned is worth keeping enrolled, but being paid late can happen even at huge companies
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:26 PM
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I guess I shouldn't judge. Its just hard to know if there really telling the truth after being fed some many stories.
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:17 AM
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It is hard because I know life and setbacks happen for everyone. And I try to by understanding and if I can afford it give a couple days. That was until the family started to abuse it and it became an every week issue. The parents are both teachers so I had a talk with them that I can longer offer extensions. They get paid once a month, I worked with them to get them back on track until their next payday and we came to an agreement that they would pay me for the entire month on the day they get paid. Since then we have had no issues at all.

I know we have budgets and need paid, and sometimes we need to remind parents that our services are a priority. I think since they see us on a day to day and face to face basis that maybe we are more empathetic than the electric or cable company that has no issues stopping services.

I work it case by case. If they have never or rarely ask for help, I am more lenient to help if I am able. Once it starts to feel they are taking advantage of my kindness, weather they mean to or not that's when it's time to put a stop to it or it will never end. My suggestion is to talk to the parents, let them know how this affects you and how you will enforce your policies including late fees moving forward. If they want to keep you, they will make the effort.

Sometimes when reading these posts it makes me very sad at how eager some caregivers are to just term a family.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:19 AM
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If you truly need them and feel you can work with them, then by all means do it. Maybe you can write a newsletter home to all, so as not to single anyone out; try to appeal to their sensitive side, telling what you provide for their children every day and that it costs money to do that. Some people think this is still a job that involves just babysitting. They don't know all the equipment we have to purchase, all the materials, groceries, extra household expenses, cost of trainings, everything else that goes into it. Tell them you expect to be paid in a timely fashion just like they do. Even though she's paying late fees, it's frustrating to always go chasing your income and you shouldn't have to. Maybe give them a 3 strikes and you're out, starting right this moment. Communicate with them using a strong business leader mentality and you should come across as 'I expect this from you'. Send a note home detailing what a provider expects from the parents and what the parents can expect from a provider.
Paying late twice in the 3 weeks they've been coming is NOT a good way to start a working relationship but maybe it can still all work out. Good luck!
As for families complaining about the days you take off....didn't they read all that before they signed up? A reminder to that effect may be helpful also. I don't believe in terming everybody but when they're constantly trying to buck your rules, it gets pretty maddening and time-consuming energy-draining trying to enforce them all the time. And the last thing you want to do is give an inch because we all know with some families it's downhill from there.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:27 AM
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I want to add that it makes a big difference if you've got somewhat of a history with these dcfs, such as they've been coming for a few months, etc. I do let things slide a little bit because I know they will pay me. I expect payment Monday a.m.s but realize Mondays are Mondays, people are people. Sometimes they pay a couple days later. But I've had all the dcfs for awhile. The op's dcm who's been coming 3 weeks and has paid late 2x already...well, that's not a great pattern dcm's establishing being so new.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:02 AM
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That's partially why I'm not being lenient about it. My hubby is freaking out that I may lose a client but I can't be giving exceptions for 1 client and not others. My Handbook states my policies and she agreed to them. I am increasing my daily late fee from $10 to $25 in 2 weeks time (sent out a notice to all parents).
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
I've had clients complain lately of my days off in a year for my personal days as well as my paid holidays and also now lately for late payments and that kind of thing.

I don't understand how this is even an issue because these policies are in my handbook and in my Application Documents and Contract.

I don't understand how this is a surprise. Should I say that if they're going to push back on policies they will be termed?

Do any of you allow leeway on payments if client says they didn't get paid on time or something like that? Or is it all rules apply to everybody regardless of circumstances? Did you do things differently in the beginning then you do now? And if so what would you start out with if you were starting now knowing what you know now?
I think we all Did things different in the beginning. That's how you learn!
If i knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have signed up the families that showed crazy red flags in the beginning.
For the parent not getting paid on time - it would depend. Was this the first time? Could they prove it (work memo)? And would mostly depend if I could afford it or not.
Dcfs tend to complain about things when they feel they are not getting any 'extra'. Just be consistent and weed out any families that are not following policies.
And to answer your question - yes, I'm consistent with all the policies with everyone. I think it was BC that said, if we don't follow our policies, Then why should the parents?
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
That's partially why I'm not being lenient about it. My hubby is freaking out that I may lose a client but I can't be giving exceptions for 1 client and not others. My Handbook states my policies and she agreed to them. I am increasing my daily late fee from $10 to $25 in 2 weeks time (sent out a notice to all parents).
Sounds like my DH. Just remind him that losing a non paying or non following policies Dcf is better than losing a good family because they notice you're giving special to the others.

And until you are established- Always be interviewing!
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:54 AM
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My hubby is freaking out that I may lose a client
How would your hubby feel if his employer kept saying "Sorry; can't pay you on time this month"? Your client never went to the trouble of re-budgeting to allow for day care; they're putting you last. And if your client doesn't have the money to pay you, they don't have the money for day care. They aren't actually your client; they're a freeloader.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
I've had clients complain lately of my days off in a year for my personal days as well as my paid holidays and also now lately for late payments and that kind of thing.

I don't understand how this is even an issue because these policies are in my handbook and in my Application Documents and Contract.

I don't understand how this is a surprise. Should I say that if they're going to push back on policies they will be termed?

Do any of you allow leeway on payments if client says they didn't get paid on time or something like that? Or is it all rules apply to everybody regardless of circumstances? Did you do things differently in the beginning then you do now? And if so what would you start out with if you were starting now knowing what you know now?
Generally, I stick to my policies all the time. However, if I was in need of having the space filled and having the money, I could be a bit more lenient in some areas.

However, payment would not be one of those areas. I expect to be paid on time and in full. I have late fees to discourage late payments and def. would not want to keep a client who repeatedly pays late. Especially this early in the relationship.

One suggestion would be to keep charging the late fees. I would be advertising to replace asap. This client does not value you or the care her child is receiving or else she would have the money for you.

I've had a few clients who signed and agreed to the terms and then broke and questioned lots of policies. I had the same reaction as you: You just signed the documents and agreed to follow them.... what gives? I eventually just told them, as per my policies.... x y and z. And that was the end of the discussion.

Then I replaced. Parents who are that much work are not my ideal clients.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
BlackCat, why did you raise your late payment fee to $25? And did you do that after you were established or new?
I had a few parents that didn't mind paying it so that told me it wasn't high enough.

I really don't want the money (I want timely payments) so the fee has to be high enough that it motivates (inconveniences) parents to pay on time.

If they are just paying the late fee and not really caring about having to do so, that is a huge indicator of how they manage money and/or how much or little they truly value your services.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:13 AM
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That's partially why I'm not being lenient about it. My hubby is freaking out that I may lose a client but I can't be giving exceptions for 1 client and not others. My Handbook states my policies and she agreed to them. I am increasing my daily late fee from $10 to $25 in 2 weeks time (sent out a notice to all parents).
Ask your husband why he wants you to keep clients that struggle to pay you? That's not income at all...that's being taken advantage of....


I stand firm on my policies and charge late fees, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME a parent pays me late. Even if they have circumstances beyond their control.

I understand that payroll can get messed up and that things in life DO happen but I can't allow someone else's situation to effect mine.

I stand pretty firm on these concepts because child care providers are the first businesses asked to wait for payment over car expenses, insurance, cell phones, internet, mortgage/rent, cigarettes, etc......

If a parent has TRULY and HONESTLY asked ALL the other entities they owe money to, if they'll wait on payment BEFORE asking me, I might consider it. But more than likely I won't.....because parents won't ask them.

They ask you instead because you are caring and loving and "how can you say no to little Billy?"

Thinking like that is rude, disrespectful and something about this business that I have a hard time digesting.

No Pay = No Stay + Late Fees.

I was clear about it upon enrollment.
I meant it when I said it and their signature on the dotted line gives me the right to enforce it.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:52 AM
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I'm flexible in my pay policies in that each parent's payment is due on their pay day, through the next pay day. For county and state employees it has to be flexible, because rather than being paid on the 1st, they are paid of the 1st business day of the month. Sometimes this is as late as the 4th if the 1st was a sunday and monday is a holiday etc. However, it still works out to me being paid in advance of care so I'm fine with it.

When state employees aren't getting paid I do work with them, but it's usually on the news when that happens (budget stand-off etc).
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:33 AM
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Ask your husband why he wants you to keep clients that struggle to pay you? That's not income at all...that's being taken advantage of....


I stand firm on my policies and charge late fees, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME a parent pays me late. Even if they have circumstances beyond their control.

I understand that payroll can get messed up and that things in life DO happen but I can't allow someone else's situation to effect mine.

I stand pretty firm on these concepts because child care providers are the first businesses asked to wait for payment over car expenses, insurance, cell phones, internet, mortgage/rent, cigarettes, etc......

If a parent has TRULY and HONESTLY asked ALL the other entities they owe money to, if they'll wait on payment BEFORE asking me, I might consider it. But more than likely I won't.....because parents won't ask them.

They ask you instead because you are caring and loving and "how can you say no to little Billy?"

Thinking like that is rude, disrespectful and something about this business that I have a hard time digesting.

No Pay = No Stay + Late Fees.

I was clear about it upon enrollment.
I meant it when I said it and their signature on the dotted line gives me the right to enforce it.
Seriously, this. Trust me, I wasn't on this site when I first started and I had to learn the hard way. It's not too much to expect that you're paid on time. And a client that leaves because you require them to pay on time (so mean... ) isn't a client you want anyways.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Ask your husband why he wants you to keep clients that struggle to pay you? That's not income at all...that's being taken advantage of....


I stand firm on my policies and charge late fees, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME a parent pays me late. Even if they have circumstances beyond their control.

I understand that payroll can get messed up and that things in life DO happen but I can't allow someone else's situation to effect mine.

I stand pretty firm on these concepts because child care providers are the first businesses asked to wait for payment over car expenses, insurance, cell phones, internet, mortgage/rent, cigarettes, etc......

If a parent has TRULY and HONESTLY asked ALL the other entities they owe money to, if they'll wait on payment BEFORE asking me, I might consider it. But more than likely I won't.....because parents won't ask them.

They ask you instead because you are caring and loving and "how can you say no to little Billy?"

Thinking like that is rude, disrespectful and something about this business that I have a hard time digesting.

No Pay = No Stay + Late Fees.

I was clear about it upon enrollment.
I meant it when I said it and their signature on the dotted line gives me the right to enforce it.
That's how I feel about it, too.

My parents pay $20.00 per day for a late fee and they cannot attend if there is ANY balance owed. It is due prior to 7:00 am on Monday morning. Their drop off time is 8:00. This gives them from Thursday until Monday morning at 7:00 am to get this paid...because I don't know what their paycheck schedules are like. I figure it is VERY forgiving and they know it's coming up every 2 weeks. I won't accept it one minute past then online. There is already a $20 late fee attached.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:38 AM
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If they get paid late then they have the option of paying on time or paying late and paying a hefty late fee. It is not my problem. Pay late 3x and you are termed.

If you work for a company who is paying you late then you can make arrangements to still pay your provider. Save the money from the last paycheck. Pay another bill with your credit card so you have the money for the providef etc. We are all adults here who can solve our own provlems. It is not my responsibility to solve someone elses adult problems.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
I've had clients complain lately of my days off in a year for my personal days as well as my paid holidays and also now lately for late payments and that kind of thing.

I don't understand how this is even an issue because these policies are in my handbook and in my Application Documents and Contract.

I don't understand how this is a surprise. Should I say that if they're going to push back on policies they will be termed?
Tom Copeland says you can have a "Complaining Fee" if parents complain about your policies, so you could have push back or complaining about policies be a reason for termination.

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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
Do any of you allow leeway on payments if client says they didn't get paid on time or something like that? Or is it all rules apply to everybody regardless of circumstances?
I would allow leeway once or twice, but I've got some safeguards already set up: Payment is due Thursdays but not overdue until 5pm Friday, so that gives time for parents who forget the check. Also I require the last 2 weeks' payment within the first month of enrollment, so I've already got 2 weeks worth of the parent's money in my bank.

If you allow leeway I'd make it clear that you're bending your rules this once, but if it happens again they'll need to pay you an extra week's worth ahead of time. So basically you're getting paid 2 weeks ahead of time, then if they're late you'll still have that week's payment in the bank.

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Originally Posted by trix23 View Post
Did you do things differently in the beginning then you do now? And if so what would you start out with if you were starting now knowing what you know now?
YES! I'd charge by enrollment instead of attendance, require the last two weeks' payment, and charge full amount to hold a space longer than two weeks.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:35 PM
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I like the idea of a complaining fee. I'm going to look into that
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:19 AM
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She's only been with us 3 weeks or so and has paid late twice. Only reason I'm keeping her is because I need the money, though she lays late fees.

BlackCat, why did you raise your late payment fee to $25? And did you do that after you were established or new?
How you react the first few months will set the stage for your entire relationship with them. It's very hard to get control back when you've given it away.

This is how they are treating your business the first month they are with you... tell them no and mean it by following through.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:39 AM
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I have definitely been there! The thing is parents don't read our documents. Or if they did, they don't remember them. Back in the day I had so many people violating my rules that it forced me to make a change.

Regarding holidays, one thing I do now is to post the specific annual dates on my website. I will also send out reminders of an upcoming policy 2 or more weeks in advance.

About policies; periodically throughout the year (especially if I see a policy being violated) I will send out helpful reminders about our policy. In some of those messages, I will indicate that many of our policies are in place to meet and comply with regulations.

Now regarding payments. Just about every other week I will send out this reminder "JUST A REMINDER: Next week’s tuition is due Friday MORNING. Late fees in the amount of $10.00 per child will be charged for each business day that payment is made past the day it was due."

Finally, yes I did do things differently when I first started. But that was out of ignorance. The problem with allowing leeway is people get comfortable breaking the rules and will continue to abuse them. It can be hard enforcing your rules, but if you don't no one will. I learned that the hard way.

I hope that helps and DM me if you would like more advice on enforcing your childcare policies.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:50 PM
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Sometimes I think about putting together a handout of frugal-living tips and recipes--and I mean really, really frugal tips like how to live on potatoes, dry beans, egg and and how to make a fryer chicken stretch for a week of dinners--because what most people mean when they say they are having money problems is that they didn't prepare well for reality or that they have allowed other, unnecessary, expenses and commitments to eat up their income. Most people aren't really that short on money as they think. They just don't have as much money as they WISH they had, or they aren't working hard enough at being smart and frugal.

I would say don't be the weak link. If a family is truly short on money, they will probably qualify for state assistance. If they don't qualify for that, then don't own it. It's not your problem. Let them learn their lessons. Don't be the weak link.

I remember the mom who used to hint that she was short on money and that she wouldn't mind inheriting DS's toddler clothing (which I wanted to keep for daycare emergencies). But she is one of the last dcp's who I allowed to facebook friend, and she would often post pics of her out with her girl friends buying mixed drinks etc. She could easily have bought clothing with what she was spending at bars. Blah!
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:49 PM
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Yeah, I don't mix business and personal. My DCPs can be on my business Facebook but not my personal one.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:31 PM
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I'm going to look into the "complaint fee" article also! It sounds kinda funny at first, but it's really not!!! I've had so many people complain and make excuses about all kinds of things over the years. If you give in, they will take advantage of you every chance they can. It truly makes me angry that parents treat us like that, but expect us to love and cherish their child. I would NEVER take anything out on a child, but inside it would make you very bitter.

Stand firm and NEVER give in EVER!!!!
Have your hubby read this thread and maybe he'd understand how it would effect everything in the long run!!!
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:09 AM
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Mom2two, you are so right!!!!
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:13 AM
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I have been in daycare for over 20 years, I think that's a great track record at one job. I have earned time off and paid vacations. Unfortunately some parents don't see that. Even though most of us have written policies and contracts and give well in advance notice for time off, you just can't please everyone. Just as they may be having hardships, we do as well. This is our jobs our career and how we pay our bills. I get push back from some parents time to time, but I just pull out my contract and told them you signed it and agreed to abide by it. At the end of the day remember, you can't please everyone. We work hard, our jobs are stressful, we need them days off to recharge. Don't feel guilty about standing your ground cause when you do, that's when you get taken advantage of.
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