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  #1  
Old 01-21-2014, 05:27 PM
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Default Snow Closing Questions AGAIN

I'm sure these questions are getting old, and so are these snow days....

Per contract, I am closed tomorrow, since our county schools are, as well as the Federal Government. However, this is our 4th snow day this year, and I am feeling guilty about the closings, although it is obviously not my fault.

I'm watching the news, and they are advising that nobody drive unless absolutely necessary, we got 10inches of snow in Northern Va, which is not common, so we are not very equipped to handle the roads. They said neighborhoods will not even see plows until at least tomorrow at noon.

I have one parent who is begging me to take her daughter, she is out of vacation days and her DD had the flu last week, so she had to take 4 days off. I feel bad for her, but I also don't feel very comfortable being open tomorrow, for multiple reasons. I gave her a couple of my subs numbers today, but she is not comfortable with that.


I know I should just stick to my policy, but I feel 4 days in a month is very excessive, though each day has turned out to be a mess on the roads.

What are your honest thoughts on this? I am way stressed about these closings.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:40 PM
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You can't make her problems your problem. She will figure it out. You gave her sub #'s and SHE is not comfortable, yet, I'm sure your judgment is good enough that you wouldn't refer just anyone. Besides, it may be that her work closes if the whole town closes anyway. I cannot see how an employer could be legally allowed to penalize someone who is absent or late when roads shut down and advisories are in place and I read it's gonna be a pretty ugly storm (I'm in the West so we're not seeing anything yet and it's been unusually warm again).

I'd tell her you're closed due to extreme weather conditions, and that the subs MAY be open, but if not, safety of her and her children should be first over any job.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MCC View Post
I'm sure these questions are getting old, and so are these snow days....

Per contract, I am closed tomorrow, since our county schools are, as well as the Federal Government.

However, this is our 4th snow day this year, and I am feeling guilty about the closings, although it is obviously not my fault.

I'm watching the news, and they are advising that nobody drive unless absolutely necessary, we got 10inches of snow in Northern Va, which is not common, so we are not very equipped to handle the roads. They said neighborhoods will not even see plows until at least tomorrow at noon.

I have one parent who is begging me to take her daughter, she is out of vacation days and her DD had the flu last week, so she had to take 4 days off. I feel bad for her, but I also don't feel very comfortable being open tomorrow, for multiple reasons. I gave her a couple of my subs numbers today, but she is not comfortable with that.


I know I should just stick to my policy, but I feel 4 days in a month is very excessive, though each day has turned out to be a mess on the roads.

What are your honest thoughts on this? I am way stressed about these closings.
You have a policy.
Stick to it.
This is not YOUR choice.
You do not control the weather.
She HAS options but is CHOOSING to not use them

It's okay to feel bad.
You don't have to ACT on those feelings though.

Stop stressing. Let each family deal.

Those are the facts as I see them.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:02 PM
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Thank you both. I like how you said I can feel bad, but don't have to act on those feelings....This should apply to a lot of situations in my life...
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:05 PM
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It is January and she is already out of days? This will be a long year for you if you give in on your policies now.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:13 PM
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It is January and she is already out of days? This will be a long year for you if you give in on your policies now.
This is exactly what I was thinking! I don't know how she is going to make it through the year. They took the first week of Jan off for vacation, so she blew 5 days there. It really is not my problem that she planned poorly, or that she is uncomfortable with my subs.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:28 PM
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This is exactly what I was thinking! I don't know how she is going to make it through the year. They took the first week of Jan off for vacation, so she blew 5 days there. It really is not my problem that she planned poorly, or that she is uncomfortable with my subs.
She is making her problems your problems. "I sympathize with you dcm, but we are closed because of X, per contract."

How would your other families feel if they knew you stayed open for ONE child? EEK.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:33 PM
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This is exactly what I was thinking! I don't know how she is going to make it through the year. They took the first week of Jan off for vacation, so she blew 5 days there. It really is not my problem that she planned poorly, or that she is uncomfortable with my subs.
If you give in on this one the rest of the year she will expect you to care for her child with a fever, diarrhea, who knows what else! Her child's health should come as a priority over her vacation. She wasn't worried about all this a few weeks ago with such poor planning? Completely her problem, not yours.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:42 PM
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She is definitely trying to make this my problem. The police department is on the news right now, maybe I can find this on their website. They were explaining exactly why you should stay home. They made it very clear that the more people on the roads, the less likely an ambulance would be able to get to a household or SCHOOL. I'm off to find this clip and post it on my FB page.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:32 AM
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If your policy is to close with your local school system for weather, then stick to it. If you don't you are telling them you disagree with your own policy as well.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:47 AM
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Stick to your policy. The weather is beyond your control.

And as a pp mentioned, what would your other families think if they found out you opened just for her?
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:13 AM
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It is January and she is already out of days? This will be a long year for you if you give in on your policies now.
My husband gets his PTO based on when he was hired (June) and not in January. Maybe that's what happened to dcm? Either way sounds like poor planning on her part.

Stick with your policies! I don't close for snow days unless they say emergency personal only. Then I close.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:42 AM
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OP- It's pretty simple, like everyone said if it's your policy, then you just have to remind her of that and sympathize with her. If she agreed to it, then it shouldn't be a shock to her.

I do have a question though, do you do daycare in your home or do you need to travel? I'm just interested to see why you close due to snow. My daycare is in my home and I don't close for weather. If they choose to come and risk it, that's their choice. If they don't come, then they still pay for it. I had one person come one time when we got 18 iinches of snow. Literally the whole town was shut down. The kicker is, they live right across the street from their own business and it's a motorcycle repair shop. So they drove 15 miles to drop their child off when they own the business. They got stuck in my neighborhood lol
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
OP- It's pretty simple, like everyone said if it's your policy, then you just have to remind her of that and sympathize with her. If she agreed to it, then it shouldn't be a shock to her.

I do have a question though, do you do daycare in your home or do you need to travel? I'm just interested to see why you close due to snow. My daycare is in my home and I don't close for weather. If they choose to come and risk it, that's their choice. If they don't come, then they still pay for it. I had one person come one time when we got 18 iinches of snow. Literally the whole town was shut down. The kicker is, they live right across the street from their own business and it's a motorcycle repair shop. So they drove 15 miles to drop their child off when they own the business. They got stuck in my neighborhood lol
OP here- I do work from my home, however, I have 2 staff members I need to stay within ratios, and they have to come to me. They also both have young school agers so they have to stay home if the schools are closed. I have thought about doing a rotating system so I could open with low numbers, but stay within , I'm just not sure how to start this, and it seems like a lot of work to make sure it's fair.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:14 AM
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OP here- I do work from my home, however, I have 2 staff members I need to stay within ratios, and they have to come to me. They also both have young school agers so they have to stay home if the schools are closed. I have thought about doing a rotating system so I could open with low numbers, but stay within , I'm just not sure how to start this, and it seems like a lot of work to make sure it's fair.
I figured there had to be someone that traveled. I was just curious. I don't know how she can argue if it's in your policies. A rotating system would probably work, but you're right, it would be a lot of work and I'm sure you would have someone complaining. You're darned if you do and darned if ya don't.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:16 AM
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OP- It's pretty simple, like everyone said if it's your policy, then you just have to remind her of that and sympathize with her. If she agreed to it, then it shouldn't be a shock to her.

I do have a question though, do you do daycare in your home or do you need to travel? I'm just interested to see why you close due to snow. My daycare is in my home and I don't close for weather. If they choose to come and risk it, that's their choice. If they don't come, then they still pay for it. I had one person come one time when we got 18 iinches of snow. Literally the whole town was shut down. The kicker is, they live right across the street from their own business and it's a motorcycle repair shop. So they drove 15 miles to drop their child off when they own the business. They got stuck in my neighborhood lol
I close when travel is not advised and NOT because I travel. I can take care of myself.

I close because I do NOT want daycare parents to bring their children out on roads that are NOT safe for travel.

What happens if they can get here for drop off but then can't make it back here to pick up?

What happens if they try and risk hazardous roads and get into an accident on their way? I would feel guilty for my role in that....kwim?

Part of that may seem illogical but it's the reality of it and if roads are not safe for travel I want NO part of it.

You and I both know that if you are open, whether it is safe or not, parents WILL come....especially if they pay by the space.

So my policy to close has NOTHING to do with whether I work in my home or not.

But has everything to do with my lack of faith in other adults to do the right thing.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:16 AM
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I have 2 staff members.
That is all you have to say.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:21 AM
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I close when travel is not advised and NOT because I travel. I can take care of myself.

I close because I do NOT want daycare parents to bring their children out on roads that are NOT safe for travel.

What happens if they can get here for drop off but then can't make it back here to pick up?

What happens if they try and risk hazardous roads and get into an accident on their way? I would feel guilty for my role in that....kwim?

Part of that may seem illogical but it's the reality of it and if roads are not safe for travel I want NO part of it.

You and I both know that if you are open, whether it is safe or not, parents WILL come....especially if they pay by the space.

So my policy to close has NOTHING to do with whether I work in my home or not.

But has everything to do with my lack of faith in other adults to do the right thing.
Trust me, I know that if I'm open they will come no matter what. Hence my story above about the family that owns a motorcycle shop. That all sounds good in theory, but I do know that some parents do not have the luxury of being able to stay home if the roads are bad. I have 2 teachers right now, so they will stay home, but the other ones do not have jobs where they can stay home. So, if I close it really wouldn't matter, those kids have to go somewhere so they would be on the roads anyway. It stinks that that is how it is, but in my families cases it is. My non-teacher families don't get vacation/sick days with the jobs that they have, so they go to work no matter what. With OP though, if that's in her policy, then mom needs to deal with it.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:28 AM
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Trust me, I know that if I'm open they will come no matter what. Hence my story above about the family that owns a motorcycle shop. That all sounds good in theory, but I do know that some parents do not have the luxury of being able to stay home if the roads are bad.
Then those families either have reliable back up care or they don't sign on with a daycare that has a bad weather closing policy.

It isn't about luxury or benefits from their job. It's about doing what is required when you have children, use daycare services and live somewhere that has the possibility of bad weather that affects this kind of thing.

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Originally Posted by lovemykidstoo View Post
I have 2 teachers right now, so they will stay home, but the other ones do not have jobs where they can stay home. So, if I close it really wouldn't matter, those kids have to go somewhere so they would be on the roads anyway.
But if the parent chooses to travel anyways, they are going somewhere that has NOTHING to do with me. I play no role in that equation.

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It stinks that that is how it is, but in my families cases it is. My non-teacher families don't get vacation/sick days with the jobs that they have, so they go to work no matter what. With OP though, if that's in her policy, then mom needs to deal with it.
It DOES stick but again, ultimately the safety and care of these children on days where this kind of thing happens falls onto the parents.

That is just the way it is when you have kids. You learn to not only have a Plan B but a Plan C, Plan D and probably a few more plans too.

Like you said, for daycare providers.....we are darned if we do and darned if we don't.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:57 AM
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OP- It's pretty simple, like everyone said if it's your policy, then you just have to remind her of that and sympathize with her. If she agreed to it, then it shouldn't be a shock to her.

I do have a question though, do you do daycare in your home or do you need to travel? I'm just interested to see why you close due to snow. My daycare is in my home and I don't close for weather. If they choose to come and risk it, that's their choice. If they don't come, then they still pay for it. I had one person come one time when we got 18 iinches of snow. Literally the whole town was shut down. The kicker is, they live right across the street from their own business and it's a motorcycle repair shop. So they drove 15 miles to drop their child off when they own the business. They got stuck in my neighborhood lol
I close when the schools close due to weather. My reason is that if there were an emergency, it would be less likely that emergency personnel could get here quickly and safely.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:06 AM
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I wonder too if it varies depending on the state you live in. If I closed everytime the roads were bad or they didn't have school I would be closed a lot. I'm in Michigan.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:13 AM
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I wonder too if it varies depending on the state you live in. If I closed everytime the roads were bad or they didn't have school I would be closed a lot. I'm in Michigan.
I am sure it has EVERYTHING to do with the state you live in.

My state RARELY closes for bad weather, snow or cold temps. But when it does, that means it's bad. (Craftymissbeth brought up a great point ^^)

In the last 5 years, I can count on one hand and still have fingers left over the number of times our schools closed due to weather or bad roads.

On those years that it does happen it just seems that it happen a lot. But I am in the child care business and not the weather or travel business so it is what it is and you do what you need to do.

Like most everything else in this business...there is NO one right or wrong way to do anything.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:15 AM
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Opposite here.

5 school districts surrounding me closed because we had snow flurries... FLURRIES..... For less than 10 minutes.... No accumulation.

They do this too much...

The rumor mill says they do it to cover furlough day$ for 12 month employees? The official word is that the majority of kids do not live on state/county maintained roads.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:33 AM
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About 5 years ago I decided to close when schools were closed for the first day.This is non-negotiable .The second day if schools are still closed I may open. This all came about because parents were driving in treacherous conditions to drop children off and then going home.They figured they pay for the day so why not. Also being older now it is harder for me to shovel a safe path in case of emergency. I do feel guilty but I make sure everyone knows before choosing my childcare.When I made the call parents would call and argue with me.Now I let the schools tell us if driving is safe. It works for me.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:49 PM
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I do have a question though, do you do daycare in your home or do you need to travel? I'm just interested to see why you close due to snow. My daycare is in my home and I don't close for weather. If they choose to come and risk it, that's their choice. If they don't come, then they still pay for it. I had one person come one time when we got 18 iinches of snow. Literally the whole town was shut down. The kicker is, they live right across the street from their own business and it's a motorcycle repair shop. So they drove 15 miles to drop their child off when they own the business. They got stuck in my neighborhood lol
Every time this question comes up, I harken back to the Valentine's Day Blizzard of 2007. When I had a lone dcp drive through two feet of snow to drop her child off only to have the child start vomiting about a half hour later. And NO one could come get her. Mom tried to get to her office, a normally 30 minute trip that took two hours, only to find it closed. It then took her another two hours to get back to pick her sick child up. Oh, and she got stuck in a snow bank outside my house on her way in my neighborhood. Elderly neighbor was digging her out. Fun times.
I'm in upstate NY so I don't close for random snow days. But for big storms, I will.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:00 PM
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I'm sure these questions are getting old, and so are these snow days....

Per contract, I am closed tomorrow, since our county schools are, as well as the Federal Government. However, this is our 4th snow day this year, and I am feeling guilty about the closings, although it is obviously not my fault.

I'm watching the news, and they are advising that nobody drive unless absolutely necessary, we got 10inches of snow in Northern Va, which is not common, so we are not very equipped to handle the roads. They said neighborhoods will not even see plows until at least tomorrow at noon.

I have one parent who is begging me to take her daughter, she is out of vacation days and her DD had the flu last week, so she had to take 4 days off. I feel bad for her, but I also don't feel very comfortable being open tomorrow, for multiple reasons. I gave her a couple of my subs numbers today, but she is not comfortable with that.


I know I should just stick to my policy, but I feel 4 days in a month is very excessive, though each day has turned out to be a mess on the roads.

What are your honest thoughts on this? I am way stressed about these closings.
We’re in the same area. Yesterday I would’ve closed. Today I am open, still no children in care. And if by chance you are in Frederick area, I would have remain closed.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:09 PM
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We’re in the same area. Yesterday I would’ve closed. Today I am open, still no children in care. And if by chance you are in Frederick area, I would have remain closed.
Good to know. I'm not in Frederick, I'm in Fairfax Co. It just went out driving, and the main roads are fine, back roads are awful still, but I made it in and out of our neighborhood in my Civic. There is talk that tomorrow our county schools will close for subzero temps, I will open tomorrow, and my assistant has already confirmed she can come in. What a weird winter.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:30 PM
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Good to know. I'm not in Frederick, I'm in Fairfax Co. It just went out driving, and the main roads are fine, back roads are awful still, but I made it in and out of our neighborhood in my Civic. There is talk that tomorrow our county schools will close for subzero temps, I will open tomorrow, and my assistant has already confirmed she can come in. What a weird winter.
Yeppers, you nailed it. I’ll be open too!
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