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01-04-2009 10:44 PM
MissLisa COVER YOUR A.... with papers. I was a nurse for 17 years before I opened my child care center. One thing I have learned is that you MUST learn to cover your BUTT with paperwork. You need to write out all your expectations for the parents. Make yourself a parent handbook. Also, you need to write your daily schedule. Obviously it will need to be flexible however for meals it should be about spot on. But maybe you can put something in the handbook that breakfast is OVER at 8:15am .... If you come beyond that your child will be mandated to wait for morning snack or add a $5.00 per child fee for feeding them beyond the breakfast hours. When you complete the handbook be sure to have the parent sign that they have received it. But I do understand how you feel. It is NOT the child's fault and I would not want to allow the child to go hungry but.... make it a choice... feed them at home or pay extra ... she may make the choice to feed at home or you will just make some extra money for altering your schedule a bit.

As for paying for the Holidays.... I find that hard as well... because... I am not going to pay a fee to walmart or my hair stylist for doing NOTHING for me. But I also understand child care is a different situation... So I do not like the idea of paying for it. However.... I don't know if you make a longer closing over the Holidays... if you do... you could offer care all days but the holiday.... and not make a long closure for it. OR... you could make the fee.. HALF... I would check with those in your area and see what they do.
01-02-2009 04:55 PM
TTOTS I like your forms. I also have the parents fill out a form that has them put their DL # and make and model of their car. I know in Il. if you go to small claims that info is needed.
12-31-2008 10:14 AM
tymaboy The revised policy that I gave the parents was 6 or 7 pages. Then it seemed like they started finding holes in that revised policy so I took the next 3 months to give it a complete overhaul (all due to this family) My new policy for the new year is 12 - 13 pages. I have all my (or almost all) my forms on my website if anyone is interested in using them or to use them as a point of reference.
12-30-2008 11:07 PM
Unregistered Awsome advice I too have a contract (6 pages) and in that contract I also have our daily schdule.
12-30-2008 11:13 AM
NEDaycare An easy way to nip this in the bud is to sit down and draw up a contract. You should always, always, always have a contract. If not, you are setting yourself up to be taken advantage of and ripped off. You can use a search engine to find examples of daycare contracts all over the internet. Mine is 7 pages long. It covers everything from meal times to not accepting school-aged kids whose parents have not bothered to potty train them (it happens.... I wont get into that). Let them know that you are developing your business and give them the contract. State somewhere in the contract that you reserve the right to update the contract as needs arise (i.e. when something new happens that completely floors you, and it will) that you need to add to the contract. I give my parents two weeks to sign the new contract or find alternative daycare and have never had a problem.

I do charge for holidays. I have a table in the contract that shows what holidays that I take off, which are paid and which are not.

A contract just spells out everything so that there is no question about anything. Please seriously consider doing that. My parents know that if their child has not been fed and they bring them late, the child will not be fed until snack time or the next meal time, whichever is next. And really, there's not more than an hour and a half or two hours between snacks and meals so nobody starves.

If you decide to do the contract, put a spot for the parent to initial that they have read each paragraph, next to each paragraph. For a while there, each and EVERY one of the people "forgot" or "just did not see" the part of the contract, which was the very FIRST part of the contract in bold capital letters that I require payment in advance.

Good luck!
12-29-2008 09:11 PM
tymaboy Sounds like a family I used to have. I had to revise my policy a couple times cuz of them. I stated what the times are for meals & snacks. I also put in there that if the child has not eaten when they arrive after the meal/ snack times then they will need to wait till the next meal/snack time. After I gave them the updated policy they tried the no eating thing & I told them sorry they will need to wait until it is time.

I also added fees for early & late drop off & pickups.
12-29-2008 03:03 PM
Unregistered I do suggest that you make some type of schdule. I was running into this same problem. Only i keep 5 children and they come at all different hours. I had one child that would show up at 10am and still have not had breakfast so i know exactly what you are talking about.
12-29-2008 06:45 AM
mrs.meg I know this is kind of trivial, but I am the type of person who avoids confrontation at all costs. I am learning that to do this job, I have to be more assertive, so this is a learning process for me. The children that I keep are from the same family. The mother works all different shifts, so from day to day, she tells me what time they will be coming, since they are the only ones I am keeping right now. Usually she intends to come by 8 am, but she gets here between 8:30 and 9:00, and never feeds them breakfast. I told her that we eat at 8 am, but she tends to think that my schedule is to suit their needs. So, should I print out a list of rules for the New year, or should I just tell her that if they are not here by 8:15 they need to have eaten breakfast? I thought this would be common sense for people, I would never take my kids to someone's house knowing they have already eaten and think they should just be fed.

Also, I don't know why, but I do not charge for holidays. Should I change this, too? I hate those skimpy checks, but really feel bad charging them for holidays. They tend to be the kind of parents who want to get their money's worth out of me, I'm sure you know the type! Any advice is much appreciated.

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