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  #1  
Old 04-11-2011, 04:09 AM
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Hi everyone,
My name is Rachel. I tried to register to use this forum but am having technical difficulties. If and when I do my user name will be poulou.

Today I am handing out contracts and a handbook for the first time in twenty years of doing childcare. Verbal agreements are no longer working with the set of parents I have. I will write more about that later. I am very nervous about the fallout. For the first time I will be charging late fees, enforcing policies and so forth. I need all of your help to stand firm and not cave. I am a softee and all that has gotten me are parents who bend, bend and bend the rules even more.

I sense that a couple of families will not be able to follow the rules, and I will have to terminate. But for today they all get handbooks and contracts. How long should I give them to return them signed, and what do I do if after a week they still haven't signed them?

thanks
Rachel

Last edited by Michael; 04-11-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:36 PM
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Michael Michael is online now
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Hi Rachel,

Would you email me at director@daycare.com so we can set your registration up? It may be you are blocking our cookies or your IP may be blocked by our server. Please put Daycare.com Forum in the Subject line of your email.

Michael
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:47 PM
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I give my parents 14 days to read anything and return it. I state up front that if they don't return it by the dead line that i can not and will not continue care for their child/ren. Again, state this from the start...

If they have an issue with what I am asking them to sign, then i will discuss other options or make an agreement that we can both agree to. For example one family just could not get here by the closing time one day a week, so I agreed to stay open 15 min later for her child, but also charged her an additional fee for it. Worked well for both of us, so I allowed a change for this family and stated it in her contract, not PHB..

Hope this info helped some...
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:21 PM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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Since you're not renewing your contract and handbook with your current families, I would give them 2 full weeks maybe 3 weeks. It would be easiest to say all the contracts go into effect Monday May 2 and have that written on their contracts.

Since you never had your rules outlined on paper, I would ask each family to schedule a 15-30 minute time frame depending on how many pages your handbook is and have the time with you be unpaid if you charge by the hour. Schedule the short time frames with each family to go over key parts of your handbook and go over your contract infront of you to sign it. Make sure you DON'T have an expiration date for either and that you have the right to change anything or add anything with a two week notice to the parents. If the parents don't seem to be on board with signing papers tell them the last workday of April is your last day being their care provider and see what they say!

If you don't want to be a softee anymore and think some families may leave, are you prepared to advertise and ready for a pay cut if they do leave? This is the time to decide if you're serious about your rules and your business or if you're going to bend. You will not get a second chance like this to straighten things out unless you enroll a new family.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:11 AM
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Thanks everyone,
Some of these families I have had for six years. Those families on the whole are great. Two of my families are the ones that I have explained the rules to many times, but haven't enforced them like I am now.
Yes, I am ready to advertise for new clients if need be. I love all the children in my care, and it would be sad if they were the ones to suffer for their parents actions, but I have to do what I have to do, otherwise I really feel I could be headed for burnout.
Rachel
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:11 PM
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Meeko Meeko is offline
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First off...I have to say I am AMAZED that you have gone 20 years without a contract!!

I agree with the other posts here. I would set a date that all contracts become active. Let parents know in no uncertain terms that you must have their signed paperwork by such-and-such date or they cannot bring their children. Some of the parents will not like it as it sounds like they have gotten away with lots of rule bending until now.

If it was me, I would set aside an evening and invite all the parents over for a conference. Let them know that the contract is for the good of the business and to make sure that each family is treated fairly and that nobody gets special treatment. Remind them that a contract protects THEM as well as you. (You can't insist on a months notice if your contract states two for example) It saves arguments and stress when everyone is on the same page.

Be confident, but friendly (maybe serve a snack or something to break the ice) Let them know that you want to do the best job you can as their day care provider and that having a contract is the most sensible thing you can do.

You may still get whiners....but they know darn well that they will have to sign a contract somewhere else, so I doubt you get any leaving.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:17 PM
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RachelDaycare RachelDaycare is offline
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I had to call one mom today because her daughter got a fever. She had a hard time getting ahold of the dad and called me back in tears. He did get here.
Then another mom called to say she was going to be late. She came in and handed me ten dollars. Never happened before.
The daycare is changing and all for the better. I am prepared for the aftermath even if it means losing kids.
I love this forum
thanks again
Rachel
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:14 AM
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TBird TBird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelDaycare View Post
I had to call one mom today because her daughter got a fever. She had a hard time getting ahold of the dad and called me back in tears. He did get here.
Then another mom called to say she was going to be late. She came in and handed me ten dollars. Never happened before.
The daycare is changing and all for the better. I am prepared for the aftermath even if it means losing kids.
I love this forum
thanks again
Rachel
Awwwwww!!! This is so wonderful for you Rachel!!! Even if you lose some (which it doesn't look like you will...these are all common sense changes) it is so well worth it. Good luck and keep us posted!!!
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