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Old 02-01-2009, 06:07 AM
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Texasjeepgirl Texasjeepgirl is offline
Director Licensed Care
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 304

Originally Posted by NEDaycare View Post
When I had my children in daycare, I had absolutely no problem paying my provider for holidays. However, I did choose not to take my child to a provider that wanted pay for holidays as well as two weeks of paid vacation. It was my choice. I have never had my children with a daycare provider that did not charge just a flat weekly rate, anyhow. And that is fair to me. They have to budget for daycare expenses related to their business and personal expenses. They are not "on call". They have a certain number of slots alloted to them by the state if they are licensed, and each slot is worth a certain amount of money each week. They have to determine how to manage their business appropriately, and successfully.

Now, as a licensed child care provider, I created my business contract with what I felt was fair. I am not paid for my vacations or my sick days. I am paid for major holidays, but if I take a day off before or after a major holiday, I do not charge for it. It's not a matter of ethics. It is a matter of creating a business contract, and offering the terms and conditions of my business available to all parents that inquire, and having them choose whether or not they agree with those terms. If not, they find alternative arrangements. However, at $90 per week for full time care, my rates are extremely, extremely reasonable for this area. Plus, giving parents several free days off per year so that they dont have to pay for some of their child's sick days and possibly a vacation that they would like to take is my way of compromising payment for emergencies and for life plans, while not putting myself out of business. Like Liddabitapopcorn said, there's no single answer to the question. But those of us that do charge for holidays are not unethical. It's a matter of choice by the parent whether they enroll their child or not. And I would hope they'd think enough of us (who spend more waking hours with their child per day than they, themselves do) to want to keep our businesses successful.
Very well stated.

I do believe that each situation is different, for all of those who are posting.
In 1992, when my daughter was 11 months old, I enrolled her in a small REGISTERED Home Child Care.
I was provided with a 1 page CONTRACT that stated I would pay a FLAT WEEKLY FEE regardless of whether my child attended or not.
I signed it. However, I didn't actually READ AND COMPREHEND.
After only a few weeks of using this provider, I only took my child in 3 days one week. I deducted the days that I did not use from the check I made out for her.
She did not correct me.
A week or two later, again, I only needed care 3 days, and again I PRORATED her paycheck. Again she did not correct me.
The third time was a charm.
I only used her 2 days in a week, prorated her paycheck, and she stopped me in my tracks.
She said that I had signed a contract with her stating that I would pay the same amount each week, regardless of whether my child attended all 5 days or not. I was SPEACHLESS. I could NOT comprehend that this woman expected me to pay for days my child was NOT IN HER CARE.
But, I decided it was my mistake. I should have read the contract before I signed.

One year later, I began my own REGISTERED daycare. Then I began to understand the concept of paying full time fees for a full time position in my child care business.

After 17 years, and switching from being a REGISTERED provider to a LICENSED provider, the PARENT HANDBOOK I provide to a parent is very clear.
Full time fee is required whether your child attends all 5 days or not.
I list the NATIONAL HOLIDAYS that I will be closed for the year, with full pay.
I do state that if a holiday falls on Thursday, such as Thanksgiving, I will also be closed Friday.
If a holiday falls on Tuesday, I will also be closed on Monday.
(to all providers, it is very important to think ahead, and have this clearly stated in your handbook from the beginning, you can't decide it as an afterthought and expect a parent to agree to this)

I also state that although I will not charge a parent if I close down for a full, Monday-Friday week, I do reserve 10 days per year for PERSONAL USE, ie illness, family emergency, weather related closing or other.
In the event of an emergency closure, I will notify the parents as soon as possible, but, if I am going to take a PERSONAL DAY, I will notify them several weeks, if not several MONTHS in advance.

With all of that said....
because I DO NOT charge parents for a full week if I close down, in 2007 I had a hysterectomy.
Because I could not afford to close my daycare down and loose income, my sister came and ran my daycare for the 3 days I was in the hospital.
I worked Monday, she worked Tuesday-Thursday, while I had surgery, and returned home.
On Friday, with the help of my husband and 4 teenage daughters, I was back to work, following MAJOR SURGERY...not smart...but I did it...CAREFULLY.
The daycare was never closed, and the parents were NEVER inconvenienced.
Fortunately, I had no complications. After 2 weeks I was back to working with no assistance from my daughters.

I think the main thing I'm trying to relate to all readers of this thread is this:
A quality provider, regardless of the size of her business, should provide a parent with written operational policies in the beginning.
For all TEXAS childcare providers that are LICENSED OR REGISTERED, this is a requirement of MINIMUM STANDARD OF CHILD CARE LICENSING, and your child care licensing representative will check you on this standard.

Any time I interview a prosepctive new client, I give them a tour of my daycare, I answer all questions they ask of me, then I provide them with my PARENT HANDBOOK. I very clearly tell them that they must read it in full before making the decision of whether to enroll their child in my daycare. I further explain that although they may like what they see, and like my personality/qualifications as a child care provider, I do have certain operational policies that they must understand and agree to before we can begin our partnership as PARENT/CHILD CARE PROVIDER.
If, once they read my handbook, they do not feel that they can live by my PARENT HANDBOOK, then they are free to move on and seek child care from another provider.

My daycare is open 6:30-5:30. 11 hours per day.
Fortunately I am rarely sick. Although I list in my handbook that I allow myself 10 personal days per year, I think I used 3 last year.
I pride myself on being reliable. My clients depend on me.
However, I am ONLY HUMAN...and I am a 1 woman if I am sick, or have an parents must be understanding of that.
They understand from the beginning that I work alone. If they choose me as their provider, they are choosing an individual, not a facility. I don't have employees that can take care of things if I am ill.

For all parents, if you are searching for child care, be sure you discuss all of these issues from DAY 1 with your child care provider.
These are important issues.
~ t ~
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