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  #1  
Old 11-16-2019, 04:05 PM
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Default Terminating Care - Notice Period Question

Hello!

My own son has a history of biting one of the children in my care. Back in the spring I worked with the family and I took some social-emotional trainings to help me learn how to help my son past this phase. There have been no incidents in 5 months.

Last night, the mother of this child noticed a bite mark on his arm. When she asked me about it, I had no idea he had gotten injured. So I couldn't tell the family when, or who (although my son is the likeliest suspect.) I of course sincerely apologized for the incident, and that I hadn't been present to witness it (my guess is someone bit him while the bigger kids were outside and I was tending a baby for a few minutes with diaper changes or napping, etc) and I extended the olive branch to her saying I would do better. She expressed that she thought I was being deceitful and that they couldn't trust me, and perhaps I'm not the right provider for them.

I acknowledged her feelings and said that we would make an appointment to sign the paperwork (termination) and retrieve her son's things in the next week. I haven't heard back from her.

So that's everything in a nutshell. Aside from this being a learning experience for me as far as how I supervise children and how I work with them on these issues, I am struggling with how to move forward with this termination.

In my contract, there is a two-week paid notice period. If the family doesn't want to continue care for even the two weeks...should I hold to the two weeks of pay they owe me? I feel like I should waive that since it's a safety concern coming from them, but my contract doesn't have that right for them. Even if they decided to continue care with me (unlikely), I will be terminating care because of her implying I was lying to them and hiding things from them. I was as honest and sincere as I could be in telling her that I'm so sorry this happened to her son, and I don't know how or when it happened. That's me telling her it was inadequate supervision at the time of the incident. SO for her to fire back that I was deceitful is the end of my desire to continue providing care for the family.

So, in my shoes (my imperfect shoes that will be learning a lot from this), would you waive the two weeks? Would you put the two weeks pay in the termination notice per the contract but let it go if the family refuses to pay? WWYD?
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Old 11-16-2019, 07:30 PM
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I would refund the 2 weeks and terminate ASAP
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:10 PM
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I would refund the 2 weeks and terminate ASAP
Thank you I appreciate the confirmation of my instincts. Since I haven't heard back from her yet should I just send her a term notice via email tomorrow so I don't have to deal with an awkward Monday morning?
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:23 PM
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I would refund and term asap too. My contract states that I can term immediately any time and for any reason. If there was no biting potentially involving my kid I would've termed her on a spot. However, you should go by your policy and term it accordingly. I would just hand her a term letter on Monday upon pick up and close my door promptly. If she knocks/rings a door bell after that I wouldn't open. Make sure to have someone there with you as a witness when you hand it to her.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SnowGirl View Post
Thank you I appreciate the confirmation of my instincts. Since I haven't heard back from her yet should I just send her a term notice via email tomorrow so I don't have to deal with an awkward Monday morning?
Yes, definitely email and I would also send a text asking her to please read your email ASAP. If you can, put the "read" option on both, so you can see when she opens the email/text. If she still shows up tomorrow turn her away!
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:05 AM
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It looks like you do not owe them 2 weeks. If you are deciding to term on the spot you are out the two week notice.I would send an email telling them that effective immediately you will not accept him back in care.As she does not trust you. Then I would call and speak to her.Do it today or there is a good possibility she will show up in the morning.She may try to back peddle and say she did not mean it ,be prepared with your reply.Could have just been a bad day.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:31 AM
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I would refund and end the contract immediately.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:28 AM
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How is this letter?:


11/17/2019
To DCM and DCD,
Effective 11/18/2019 childcare services for your child, DCK, will be terminated. The following is the cause for termination:
DCM wrote on Friday, 11/15/2019, “Perhaps, this is not the right group for DCK.” This message follows an accusation that the DCP was using deceit to keep information from the [omitted] family. The ultimate reason for termination is, therefore, deterioration of trust between provider and parent.
Please provide at least 12 hour notice via Brightwheel for picking up DCK’s belongings. Please collect DCK’s belongings by 11/22/2019.
The two week notice period stipulated in the signed contract is waived. The [omitted] family owes no balance.

DCP
Phone #####

Received by ___________________________________
Date ______________
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2019, 09:39 AM
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I would leave out the reason for termination, or just say something like: as per our conversation on xyz date. I would say that their belongings will be mailed to them.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:51 AM
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Okay. I can mail to them. I just hate to waste the postage
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:07 AM
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Many have them come pick up the remaining belongings, so you can certainly do that. I just like to have everything done and over with.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:08 AM
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He has some medication here including an epi pen. I think I'll just have them pick up. Even though I do like having it done.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosieteddy View Post
It looks like you do not owe them 2 weeks. If you are deciding to term on the spot you are out the two week notice.I would send an email telling them that effective immediately you will not accept him back in care.As she does not trust you. Then I would call and speak to her.Do it today or there is a good possibility she will show up in the morning.She may try to back peddle and say she did not mean it ,be prepared with your reply.Could have just been a bad day.
It's not the first time she's been less than nice to me in communication. She wanted a free day because they chose to keep their son home when my baby was sick (even though baby was with my mom that day and not in the daycare). When I told them in August about a week vacation I was taking in March (7 month notice) her response was "ouch. I didn't know you would have more than one vacation a year."

So yeah....maybe it was a bad day. Or maybe she's a jerk and I'll feel better when she's gone.

I love the kid though. That part sucks.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:15 AM
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I would be happy to just be done with her ,good luck.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:50 AM
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Ugh, my freaking husband has me doubting the waiving of the 2 week period because he thinks me waiving something from the contract is me admitting fault and that if I do that, this mom (if she's crazy enough) can sue me for inadequate care and say that I invalidated my contract.

So here's what my letter says: "The two week notice period stipulated in the signed contract is waived. The [omitted] family owes no balance."

And the full paragraph regarding termination policy in my contract:
Termination of Care
Please inform me in writing if you wish to terminate care. I require two weeks notice and you will be
required to pay for two weeks regardless of whether or not your child is attending day care.
If I terminate care for your child I will provide two weeks notice. If there are unresolved health and/or
safety concerns, I reserve the right to terminate care immediately and without notice.
If behavior issues exist that affect the safety and routine of the childcare, the following steps will be
followed:
1) I will work with the child according to my discipline policy. With persistent issues, I will inform
you during pickup and suggest you work with your child at home as well.
2) If the issue continues, I will request a conference with the parents of the child and myself so we
can discuss a behavioral plan of action and goals for improvement.
3) I will request that the child be taken to a mental health professional for assessment and a plan of
action. I will provide a resource list upon request.
4) If the plan of action does not correct the issues, the childcare arrangement will be terminated.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:27 AM
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I don’t think you are admitting fault by refunding the 2 weeks notice. Just wash your hands of her and waive the 2 weeks and end care immediately. I think if you require the 2 weeks payment SHE IS going to make things rougher for you. That’s how these parents operate.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:50 PM
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I sent the notice and she's demanding all the tax documents RIGHT NOW. Luckily that's a couple clicks of a mouse for me so I did it. She also asked me to refund this coming week (I didn't notice she had paid for it...oops!) So I venmoed it right back to her.

I'm going to have a lawyer look at my contract and I'm going to learn so much from this. What a crap show. I hate the business side of this job.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:51 PM
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I sent the notice and she's demanding all the tax documents RIGHT NOW. Luckily that's a couple clicks of a mouse for me so I did it. She also asked me to refund this coming week (I didn't notice she had paid for it...oops!) So I venmoed it right back to her.

I'm going to have a lawyer look at my contract and I'm going to learn so much from this. What a crap show. I hate the business side of this job.
She also said "pick up his belongings by 11/22?!"

I just didn't even address that.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:41 PM
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Glad you're done with her! I would worry too much about her sueing, but I would certainly call your licensing office and let them know that you just termed and she is not happy. This just covers your track is she calls to complain!
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowGirl View Post
I sent the notice and she's demanding all the tax documents RIGHT NOW. Luckily that's a couple clicks of a mouse for me so I did it. She also asked me to refund this coming week (I didn't notice she had paid for it...oops!) So I venmoed it right back to her.

I'm going to have a lawyer look at my contract and I'm going to learn so much from this. What a crap show. I hate the business side of this job.
Check out Tom Copeland's blogs and youtube conferences. He has helped me with wording for my contracts. You can email him and he will email you back the same day.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:23 AM
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IMO, The discipline policy is irrelevant here since it was your child's recurring behavioral issue, not hers. Giving the tax form W-10 and statement of account at termination is pretty standard. The bite was not witnessed or treated so she is not wrong in her feelings even if you feel you are not at fault. I would try to remain humble and not be defensive when she comes to pick-up her child's belonging. Hopefully, it will be a quick handoff.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:02 PM
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IMO, The discipline policy is irrelevant here since it was your child's recurring behavioral issue, not hers. Giving the tax form W-10 and statement of account at termination is pretty standard. The bite was not witnessed or treated so she is not wrong in her feelings even if you feel you are not at fault. I would try to remain humble and not be defensive when she comes to pick-up her child's belonging. Hopefully, it will be a quick handoff.
I have to have the discipline policy as part of my termination policy in my contract per licensing. That's why I included it.

Mom and dad came to pick up things yesterday, they seemed to be in a much calmer place and I told them I was sorry I couldn't make it work out. I love their son and I will miss their family. The dad was very sincere in that they appreciated all I tried to do with the kids and my love for their child was obvious. The mom was crying and we hugged. So, I think they were just pretty angry and lashing out earlier in the weekend?

Anyway, I said from the start that I was so sorry this happened and I acknowledged that their feelings were valid, and in their shoes I wouldn't feel like this was the right situation for my family. I didn't blame them at all, but I did force the issue of terminating the contract. And in person I told them that when they wrote that they didn't feel safe here and they didn't trust me at my word, I knew that was the end of it. I personally couldn't drop off my baby in an unsafe place for even one more day, and I didn't expect them to either. That's why I termed immediately and refunded the two week notice. The dad was nodding as if in agreement.

So, hopefully that's the end of it. I'm feeling like I was irrational and like I'm a bad provider today. So much guilt and second guessing myself.

I did email licensing and told her what happened. Hopefully it's not going to cause issues for me, since it is basically admitting a child was injured and I didn't see what happened.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:27 PM
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I have to have the discipline policy as part of my termination policy in my contract per licensing. That's why I included it.

Mom and dad came to pick up things yesterday, they seemed to be in a much calmer place and I told them I was sorry I couldn't make it work out. I love their son and I will miss their family. The dad was very sincere in that they appreciated all I tried to do with the kids and my love for their child was obvious. The mom was crying and we hugged. So, I think they were just pretty angry and lashing out earlier in the weekend?

Anyway, I said from the start that I was so sorry this happened and I acknowledged that their feelings were valid, and in their shoes I wouldn't feel like this was the right situation for my family. I didn't blame them at all, but I did force the issue of terminating the contract. And in person I told them that when they wrote that they didn't feel safe here and they didn't trust me at my word, I knew that was the end of it. I personally couldn't drop off my baby in an unsafe place for even one more day, and I didn't expect them to either. That's why I termed immediately and refunded the two week notice. The dad was nodding as if in agreement.

So, hopefully that's the end of it. I'm feeling like I was irrational and like I'm a bad provider today. So much guilt and second guessing myself.

I did email licensing and told her what happened. Hopefully it's not going to cause issues for me, since it is basically admitting a child was injured and I didn't see what happened.
If it helps, my DS got bit last week and I didn't see it happen. I was tending to another child when the bitter came over and told me "I bit" and I knew he was playing with/near my DS. Sure enough DS shirt was wet. Luckily he only got the shirt.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:24 PM
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I did email licensing and told her what happened. Hopefully it's not going to cause issues for me, since it is basically admitting a child was injured and I didn't see what happened.
This is really common in childcare, I doubt they will have any issue with it at all. It is the 22 bites to the face that gets them riled. I don't know if you remember that case?

I did not intend to make you feel bad, just trying to prevent a bad pick-up experience. Seeing things from her side makes it go smoother. I am glad it is over for you and your son.

Many times the victim of biting is the aggressor, we know it, we see it, but that does not soothe the parents' guilt and fears of bullying. Unless they have worked childcare they cannot believe it, it has to be witnessed over time in repetition. It isn't so much they think you are lying as they can't believe it is possible. Sometimes cutting rope is simply the best option.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:07 AM
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It is next to impossible to see everything all the time in group care. I only have 5 kids and there are times when my back is turned or I have to use the washroom. It is inevitable. Maybe with a biter he would have become more of a shadow but you live and you learn so don’t beat yourself up.

My guess is she lashed out and now regrets it and realizes that despite the bites you offered high quality care and truly loved their child. As a mom that would mean a lot more to me and instead of lashing out I would have tried to help you find a solution.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:20 AM
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So, hopefully that's the end of it. I'm feeling like I was irrational and like I'm a bad provider today. So much guilt and second guessing myself.
I feel like you handled this well. So many times we, as providers, get so defensive and want to make out the "parents" as the bad guys, but you didn't do that.

I've been providing care for over 25 years now, and I think one thing that has helped me maintain good relationships with families both past and present is that I'm not afraid to put myself in their shoes, and I'm not averse to bending a little from time to time. It took me awhile to learn that though .
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:23 AM
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I feel like you handled this well. So many times we, as providers, get so defensive and want to make out the "parents" as the bad guys, but you didn't do that.

I've been providing care for over 25 years now, and I think one thing that has helped me maintain good relationships with families both past and present is that I'm not afraid to put myself in their shoes, and I'm not averse to bending a little from time to time. It took me awhile to learn that though .
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:18 PM
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This is really common in childcare, I doubt they will have any issue with it at all. It is the 22 bites to the face that gets them riled. I don't know if you remember that case?

I did not intend to make you feel bad, just trying to prevent a bad pick-up experience. Seeing things from her side makes it go smoother. I am glad it is over for you and your son.

Many times the victim of biting is the aggressor, we know it, we see it, but that does not soothe the parents' guilt and fears of bullying. Unless they have worked childcare they cannot believe it, it has to be witnessed over time in repetition. It isn't so much they think you are lying as they can't believe it is possible. Sometimes cutting rope is simply the best option.
So true! My most recent "biter" is a smaller than average super smart 22 month old dck. She bit the larger than average aggressive 2.5 year old on occasion. He picked on her. Took her toys, pestered her etc. She was little and couldn't do much other than bite and yell at him with her little/not very authoritative voice. It's always harder on the provider when it's our own kid doing the "bad" thing though.

On a side note, I saw a bite mark on the 2.5 dcb a couple of weeks ago and was upset/confused because she hadn't done it in weeks and I didn't see her do it nor did he cry. After further examination, I realized it wasn't from her. Her mouth is half the size of the mark. I asked him what happened. He blamed her. My husband who had been eating lunch with him right before this heard our conversation and said. "No, he bit himself. I just watched him do it." These kids make me want to pull my hair out sometimes. We are not all seeing super heros. We are humans. Extremely busy, overworked, underpaid and highly judged humans.
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