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  #1  
Old 05-28-2010, 04:27 PM
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Default DSHS vs. Private Pay Question

Ok out of all my years doing DC ive only had 2 clients that were on dshs and they were employed. I currently signed up a new gal with 2 kids and shes a student in college. My question is in my private pay clients I allow a 2 week vaca unpaid per year, but you need to be here a year to get it.
My new client just sent me a email with this info below:

I was just looking at the academic calander for my school and wanted to notify you of the dates that I am going to be on break. Tyler and Kadence are not going to be in daycare while I am on break, because DSHS won't cover it.

September 1, 2010-September 23, 2010
December 20, 2010-December 30, 2010
March 24, 2011- March 29, 2011
June 20, 2011- June 27, 2011

My question is...how do I handle this? This is an all together new one for me.
Any advice???
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by happykidschildcare View Post
Ok out of all my years doing DC ive only had 2 clients that were on dshs and they were employed. I currently signed up a new gal with 2 kids and shes a student in college. My question is in my private pay clients I allow a 2 week vaca unpaid per year, but you need to be here a year to get it.
My new client just sent me a email with this info below:

I was just looking at the academic calander for my school and wanted to notify you of the dates that I am going to be on break. Tyler and Kadence are not going to be in daycare while I am on break, because DSHS won't cover it.

September 1, 2010-September 23, 2010
December 20, 2010-December 30, 2010
March 24, 2011- March 29, 2011
June 20, 2011- June 27, 2011

My question is...how do I handle this? This is an all together new one for me.
Any advice???
Did she discuss that she would not need care for several weeks during your initial interview? I'm not sure what I would do but could you allow her to pay out of her pocket 1/2 rate or give her a break equivalent to a 2 week vacation, then make her pay for the additional days? I'm not sure what I would do if in the same situation.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:47 PM
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[quote=janarae;30454]Did she discuss that she would not need care for several weeks during your initial interview? I'm not sure what I would do but could you allow her to pay out of her pocket 1/2 rate or give her a break equivalent to a 2 week vacation, then make her pay for the additional days? I'm not sure what I would do if in the same situation.[/
HOLY COW!! THis is more than a vac. have her pay 1/2 the rate for all these dates out of pocket!!!!! Otherwise you will not take her on!! This is definately not fair to you to be without money for all of these weeks, there are alot of them as well!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry I meant to connect with the other one, sorry janarae!!!
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:54 PM
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I was in this situation. I was going full time to school and was on dshs because I was not going to be away from my daughter all day everyday so I could work on top of going to school. I can tell you, if she gets what I was getting financially, she will not have the money to pay you out of pocket. This is a situation where, unfortunately, you are going to either have to accept what dshs is going to give you or give her notice that she needs to find other care. I understand that this is not going to seem fair to you, but that's just the nature of this situation.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:08 PM
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Default dshs vs private pay

No she didnt mention this during the interview, but I dont believe she knew at that time, this is her first time on dshs. Taking dshs in the first place is a huge undercut in pay for me, then on top to lose all these days would be a huge blow to my income. I understand both sides, I was once in her place years ago. I'm just wandering if anyone had dealt with this and if this is the case when it comes to dshs? I know in the past they give an allowance of a few days a month pay for days a child is absent. But other then that Im not sure what they allow for large breaks like that?
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:20 PM
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I don't remember how many absent days were still payed but I remember wishing there were more of them. There were months where I couldn't pay my utilities because I had to pay the center out of pocket for time off school until I found someplace else that worked with me on the time off. In my opinion, it's an unfair system for both the parent and the daycare provider.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by happykidschildcare View Post
Ok out of all my years doing DC ive only had 2 clients that were on dshs and they were employed. I currently signed up a new gal with 2 kids and shes a student in college. My question is in my private pay clients I allow a 2 week vaca unpaid per year, but you need to be here a year to get it.
My new client just sent me a email with this info below:

I was just looking at the academic calander for my school and wanted to notify you of the dates that I am going to be on break. Tyler and Kadence are not going to be in daycare while I am on break, because DSHS won't cover it.

September 1, 2010-September 23, 2010
December 20, 2010-December 30, 2010
March 24, 2011- March 29, 2011
June 20, 2011- June 27, 2011

My question is...how do I handle this? This is an all together new one for me.
Any advice???
You stated that you "signed up a new gal". Does that mean that you have a written contract that she signed? Do you have a vacation policy in that contract? Has she signed or agreed to the vacation policy? This will be the best answer to your question. If she signed a contract with a written vacation/holiday/absence policy, then she agreed to those terms.

My contract & vacation/absence policy is that IF at least 2 weeks notice is given (in this case it is, because she is giving you notice now), then they only pay 50%. I do not have a limit on it. Some providers have 1 or 2 weeks off where they do not pay and anything beyond that is full pay.

Here in MI, DHS pays for holidays, like Labor Day and Christmas, so if she were my client, she wouldn't need to pay for those days out of pocket, but the rest she would pay 50%. I think it's fair because 1) she is getting a break but 2) you are not taking a total loss. Plus, it appears that she has months to adjust her budget to set some money aside for this. Maybe she can pay an extra $10 copay each week, so she would have a credit that can be used for those weeks off.

I feel for her situation, but times are very tight for everyone and I know I would not be able to continue in home daycare if I didn't charge for "breaks" like this.

Maybe a frank discussion with her would be best. Explain that you can't afford to just hold a spot for free during these "breaks" but you are open to compromise and are willing to listen to her thoughts and solutions.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by professionalmom View Post
You stated that you "signed up a new gal". Does that mean that you have a written contract that she signed? Do you have a vacation policy in that contract? Has she signed or agreed to the vacation policy? This will be the best answer to your question. If she signed a contract with a written vacation/holiday/absence policy, then she agreed to those terms.

My contract & vacation/absence policy is that IF at least 2 weeks notice is given (in this case it is, because she is giving you notice now), then they only pay 50%. I do not have a limit on it. Some providers have 1 or 2 weeks off where they do not pay and anything beyond that is full pay.

Here in MI, DHS pays for holidays, like Labor Day and Christmas, so if she were my client, she wouldn't need to pay for those days out of pocket, but the rest she would pay 50%. I think it's fair because 1) she is getting a break but 2) you are not taking a total loss. Plus, it appears that she has months to adjust her budget to set some money aside for this. Maybe she can pay an extra $10 copay each week, so she would have a credit that can be used for those weeks off.

I feel for her situation, but times are very tight for everyone and I know I would not be able to continue in home daycare if I didn't charge for "breaks" like this.

Maybe a frank discussion with her would be best. Explain that you can't afford to just hold a spot for free during these "breaks" but you are open to compromise and are willing to listen to her thoughts and solutions.
Great advice especially the extra $10 a week in advance!
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fctjc1979 View Post
I was in this situation. I was going full time to school and was on dshs because I was not going to be away from my daughter all day everyday so I could work on top of going to school. I can tell you, if she gets what I was getting financially, she will not have the money to pay you out of pocket. This is a situation where, unfortunately, you are going to either have to accept what dshs is going to give you or give her notice that she needs to find other care. I understand that this is not going to seem fair to you, but that's just the nature of this situation.
you're right - if she's getting assistance, she won't be able to pay out of pocket. if she could, she wouldn't be getting it in the first place.

are you operating at maximum capacity? i mean, if she weren't there, would you have someone else taking that spot that would be paying during those times?

if not, i say give her a break. do you need any help with caring for kids? maybe she'd be willing to come in and help you out during her breaks to make up for it?
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:12 PM
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Gosh! I really don't know what I would do in this situation, but 50% sounds fair to me.
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2010, 12:13 AM
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Default dshs vs private pay

I am not at capacity, I will be losing 1 dck here in mid june (her moms a teacher) then Im losing another 3 dck's to school in late august and am currently advertising those spaces. I also have an assistant that I pay 4-5 hrs per day at least 4 days a week. It would be really hard to fill the gaps when they arent suppose to be here, maybe the christmas break one's a possibilty. But thats usually a time a few of my families take a vaca so thats really gonna hurt...Since shes on dshs am I even able to ask for pmt out of pocket? and it would be for her 2 children, if I charged her out of pocket it would be the rate that dshs pays, not my regular rate right? I dont think it would be fair for her to pay full rate and like you said I dont even think she would be able too, I know she had to borrow the enrollment fee from her parents. She is a very nice person, referred from previous clients, and she has very sweet kids. So Im sure we will be able to work something out, I just want to be fair to her and I both. Theres been so many times I've shorted myself and regretted it. Im always reminding myself this is my business...
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:43 AM
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I would call your county dss. Here they allow 12 paid days off for each client in a 3 month period. I have it written in my contracts that DSS clients have the same rules as paying clients. They are to pay the same rate. If DSS pays less, the parent pays the difference so they pay what everyone else pays. If they get more vacations because of school I use the 12 days DSS allows and the parent pays the rest.

I understand she is going to school to better herself, but is there a reason she is unable to work part time to help pay her own way? I understand many of us have been in this situation, including me. But honestly, depending on the government and using that as an excuse to not pay what a contract or what everyone else is expected to pay is not admirable.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gbcc View Post
I would call your county dss. Here they allow 12 paid days off for each client in a 3 month period. I have it written in my contracts that DSS clients have the same rules as paying clients. They are to pay the same rate. If DSS pays less, the parent pays the difference so they pay what everyone else pays. If they get more vacations because of school I use the 12 days DSS allows and the parent pays the rest.

I understand she is going to school to better herself, but is there a reason she is unable to work part time to help pay her own way? I understand many of us have been in this situation, including me. But honestly, depending on the government and using that as an excuse to not pay what a contract or what everyone else is expected to pay is not admirable.
I agree with checking with DSHS, DSS, DHS, or whatever it is in your state. Here in MI, we can only charge DHS for a day the child has off IF the child is sick or it's an approved holiday. We cannot charge it to DHS if it's just a break or the child and his/her family are on vacation. That would be fraud here. At least that is my understanding. Although they do have a set number of days off that DHS will pay for, that is only for holidays and child sick days.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gbcc View Post
I would call your county dss. Here they allow 12 paid days off for each client in a 3 month period. I have it written in my contracts that DSS clients have the same rules as paying clients. They are to pay the same rate. If DSS pays less, the parent pays the difference so they pay what everyone else pays. If they get more vacations because of school I use the 12 days DSS allows and the parent pays the rest.

I understand she is going to school to better herself, but is there a reason she is unable to work part time to help pay her own way? I understand many of us have been in this situation, including me. But honestly, depending on the government and using that as an excuse to not pay what a contract or what everyone else is expected to pay is not admirable.
I can't say if there is a reason this mother can't work to help pay her own way, but I suspect that it's the same reason I had. When a mother goes to school full time, most of the time spent is not in class, but after class at home doing homework. On average, a person going to school full time can spend a total of 9-12 hours a day doing school work - unless they are just trying to float through school. Of course, this is hard for children to understand. They just know that they want to spend time with mom/dad. And when you're the only parent there, you're trying to be mom and dad in the little time you have everyday to REALLY interact with your child. Most daycare centers won't watch a child for longer than nine to ten hours a day for a reason - that's really all the time a child should be away from their parent(s) on a daily basis in order for that child to grow and mature in a healthy way. So, yes, I chose to accept government help so I could be there for my child as much as I could. Working part time on top of this would have made me an irresponsible parent - or not a parent at all depending on how you look at it. I suspect that it is much the same for this mother. I guess if that makes me someone people can call not admirable - so be it.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:37 PM
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I'm sorry if I offended you by that statement. I'm not saying it is easy by any means and most people would rather not receive assistance. I was there once myself. I decided to return to college and found myself pregnant. I was determined to finish out my degree so my last year of college I went to school full time, did an internship part time and worked part time. I divorced during this period as well so I had no other income, not even child support. I am not saying I am perfect of noble. Just letting you know I was there. No, it certaintly wasn't easy but it had to be done. I worked overnights while my son slept and I slepted when he napped. I wish that on no one. I don't find that irresponsible parenting nor was I a less attentive mother.

Either way as a mother we make choices that we feel are right for our family. I don't believe anyone on here is a bad parent. I think we have very different backgrounds, opinions, and cultures. They make our decisions different obviously. My point was simply that DSS should not be a reason for us as providers to suffer financially. It's also technically not fair to the other clients who have to follow the handbooks. I don't have the financial means to cut people slack because they are DSS clients. I think that is wonderful if you can, but if you can not you need to do what your business and family needs dictate. At first when I started I was a soft heart that wanted to help everyone. Then I looked and found that as the reason I was struggling.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:38 PM
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I'm not actually offended by what you said, although I know it's hard to tell that because tone gets lost a lot in written form. I too was not planning on taking government assistance but family members were adament that I needed to swollow my pride and do what was necessary for my daughter. I didn't mean for it to look like I think that anyone who is away from their child for long periods of time is an irresponsible parent - it would have made ME an irresponsible parent because of other things happening in my daughter's life at that time. I was just trying to keep my personal story to a minimum in an attempt to not hijack the op's thread - I'm not sure I succeeded

happykidschildcare, I think that the best thing that you can do for this mother is to assess if you can handle only accepting what dhs is going to pay you. If you can - you will be giving this mother an immeasurable gift. If you can't, tell her that you can't and be honest with her about your concerns about whether she can financially make it if she is paying you out of pocket. Tell her that you think this might not be the best fit. If you want to help her, tell her that you would be willing to watch her children until she can find other care. Being a single mother and having financial hardships because of it doesn't make her a bad person. Being financially unable to help her doesn't make you a bad person. It just makes the situation what it is.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:17 PM
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Default Update..heres the email I sent her this morning

Dear ***x
Yikes! I appreciated the heads up on your schedule and that may change things, My contract clearly states that I give 2 unpaid weeks per year (usually you need to be here for 12 mos before actualy using those 2 wks) so to use your vacation time you could possibly take the March/June time, anything more then that is a $100 per week, per child holding fee. I will call my dshs person tuesday morning and try and find out more info about what they can and can't pay for as far as your schedule issue.
Unfortunatly, you will have this issue with any licensed daycare provider, this is my business and a huge part of our income and we have to stay full and get paid on time or we can't pay our own bills. Which Im sure you understand.

I hope we can work this out, I would hate to lose you before you even started. Thanks Mrs. Char

Does that sound ok??
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:50 PM
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I would treat her as any other client with the same rules. She is getting a free education. If she can't at least pay 1/2 for a few weeks each year, maybe she should consider going to school part time and working full time like many of us do. You still get the grant money for college weather you go fulltime or part time. I went to school part time and worked 55 hours per week, and I had 2 kids in school. It is doable. Of coarse it took longer to get my degree, but I was paying my own way thru loans, it wasn't handed to me.

The extra $10 per week is a good idea too.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:51 PM
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You must check with your state DSHS! Depending on your state's rules, it may be illegal for you to charge the parent the difference. Your caseworker can tell you the rules, sometimes they are online. If your state doesn't allow you to charge the parent, it really doesn't matter what your policy says, or what she signed for a contract. That the rule in WA, my state.

Ugh, if you are loosing kids, it may be better to have some money from her than no money...?
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:24 PM
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I would treat her as any other client with the same rules. She is getting a free education. If she can't at least pay 1/2 for a few weeks each year, maybe she should consider going to school part time and working full time like many of us do. You still get the grant money for college weather you go fulltime or part time. I went to school part time and worked 55 hours per week, and I had 2 kids in school. It is doable. Of coarse it took longer to get my degree, but I was paying my own way thru loans, it wasn't handed to me.

The extra $10 per week is a good idea too.
Hmmm. I guess I missed the part where she's getting a free education? I didn't see that anywhere in this discussion.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:45 PM
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Hmmm. I guess I missed the part where she's getting a free education? I didn't see that anywhere in this discussion.
Thank you for this reply to the quote you used. It's not like this mom is rich or she wouldn't be getting DSHD help in the first place but it is indeed very presumptous to assume she's "getting her education handed to her" and so what if she is. Which is worse?; the parent who works at a low paying job her whole life who needs daycare paid by DSHS until her children are grown, without a doubt also using the system for food benefits and medical or that same mom who has a grant "given" to her by the state for maybe 4 years if she's going for a Masters, which after those 4years (maybe sooner), she is completly off state assistance and able to support her child fully on her own? I say good for her, choosing to further her education thus having the opportunity to not be on the welfare logs all her life. Please people, realize not every one is fortunate enough to have the ability to pay for their own education, it's wonderful to live in a country that is so helpful to it's citizens.

Last edited by Michael; 09-10-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:12 PM
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I think it's great that you want to help this young woman out! I had several dcp's when my children were younger who only charged what DHS would pay, and I was very grateful to them. However - since I've gotten into doing daycare and I understand how it works a little better, I really wish my providers would have let me know their rules (if they charged for vacation - not that I ever took any - or needed more $). I could have paid more, but I assumed whatever the state was paying was enough for them since they never asked for more.

When my daughter was a baby, I worked 3 jobs AND went to school part time. I was a single mom, and I made it work. Yeah, a lot of sleepless nights, or at least not very much sleep. I pulled A's & B's in school, and kept up with all 3 jobs, and even got to spend time with my baby! I am in no way super-mom, so if I could do and do it right, anyone can! I would definitely let her know of your policy on vacation time and see what she has to say.

I realize this thread is a little older - so....what happened? Did you keep her? Are you going to charge her for the time that she's off?
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:36 PM
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Default dshs pay during breaks

Yes we worked things out, she was willing to pay ( with her parents help) to hold the space during her school breaks. But ended up taking some classes during those times so she didnt have to, and the kids still came to care like usual. Im glad they are still here, great family

And to answer some other posts to this, yes when a single mom is having dshs pay for her childcare, she's usually either working fulltime or going to school. And yes the state does help pay for her education. And Im sure she appreciates it very much.
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