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  #1  
Old 10-29-2014, 05:12 AM
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blueskiesbutterflies blueskiesbutterflies is offline
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Default Parents controlling daycare...advise

I use to have a licensed family daycare 5 years ago. It was very successful and I ran it very professional. After my divorce, we had to sell the house so I lost my daycare. I have recently reopened my daycare (July 2014) and I am full up with an assistant. I have found that I made a mistake by letting the parents have control of my daycare. I knew better, but I think I did it so i could get clients.

Anyways, I made the mistake of allowing the parents to come and go without extra charge. On the contract they have the hours they need care but I have not been charging for late pick ups.

Here is my situation, I have a client who keeps changing their schedule. They use to drop off 8:00am and asked if they could come at 7:30. I advised them that they could without a charge. Then a week later they asked if they could drop off at 6:30. My first child does come at 7:30 so that is opening a whole hour early. I did allow it without a charge. I know, big mistake.... they showed up yesterdday at 6:30 but today it is after 7:00 and still they have not showed. NO CALL, NO TEXT...So I text the mom and she said running late as usual be there soon. OK this really burns me because I am up and waiting for them when I could be sleeping...lol I am old I need my sleep! I was doing them a favor and they are being rude by not showing up without a call or text.

I am renewing my contracts in Jan 2015 and will be charging for outside contracted times.

What would you advise for late arrivals like this? I know you cannot charge for being late, but what would you do in this situation?

Another issue:

I have two children who are not from America. There children are wonderful even though one took a whole month to finally stop crying and eat while here. They do not like that we have celebrations for birthdays and holidays and will not allow their children to have a cupcake. Keep in mind these are the mini cupcakes, not the really big ones. And the child I mentioned above the mom claims he is border line diabetic, but he comes to daycare with chocolate all over his face after eating candy bars and cupcakes on the way here. She asked that his be sugar free. Well, he eats chips and junk on the way to daycare, so why cant he have a cupcakes like everyone else.

Advise on this situation....

Thanks for your help in advance...

Last edited by blueskiesbutterflies; 10-29-2014 at 08:29 AM. Reason: posted personal information by mistake
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2014, 05:41 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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Once you give special it rarely works out to take it back.

My advice would be to advertise and replace each family, one at a time.

Yes, You can give them a choice to follow your new policies or be replaced, but that has it's own issues as well. It typically reverts to them demanding special and using your income as an ultimatum once you turn prospective clients away.

This leads to stress, stress leads to resentment, resentment leads to burnout, burnout leads to closing of daycare (sometimes involuntarily). Same cycle, never ending.

Once you have new clients, do not give exceptions. Period.

Do not make policies you will not enforce.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:47 AM
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Now that you have allowed them to get away with it, you really only have 2 choices - deal with it until they leave or give them notice of the changes, enforce the changes, and be ready to replace them if they leave.

As far as the not participating in celebrations, I tell parents up front that we celebrate. I they wish to enroll and wish that their children not participate in the celebrations then I will give them advance notice of those days and they are welcome to keep their kids home that day. I will not exclude the kids from participating. But that is my own personal policy.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:01 AM
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Agree with both responses. I had to do a similar thing in the beginning- gave out new contracts, explained that with everyone coming and going as they please, that I was working excessively long days. I put a cap on my hours, and told them any additional time either wasn't going to happen, or would happen for an additional fee, depending on what they were asking for. It took me getting mad to enforce it, but everyone has their breaking point. If they don't like it, then they can try somewhere else, and it's unlikely anyone will do that for free. As far as the celebrations, why don't you just let them know when it's going to be, and they can bring in a special fruit or veggie (since they are so healthy ), and that's what they can have when the other kids have a cupcake. Tell the kids they got their fill if goodies on the way to daycare
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:19 AM
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First, why does the 6:30 family need 6:30 am all the sudden? Is it to convenience them or for a real need? If it's just so dad doesn't have to get the kids up, for instance, I would say "after thinking about it for a while and trying it out, this just doesn't work for me. I can't really work such long days, so the opening time is going back to 7:30 effective November 15".

If someone is making you work at least 5 extra hours per week, that should gross you at least $50 per week. Do they work for free?

I don't allow any kids here more than 9.5 hours per day, btw. That's and 8 hour work day, and an hour and a half for lunch and commuting. If someone convinced me that they just can't do that (like a single parent), there'd be an additional fee.

For the cupcakes, he can either have one, or they can pick him up before the party (I always do those at the end of the day, like 3:30 or so). I would not make one child sit there and watch 6 others eat cupcakes. If there is a legitimate medical reason, that's one thing, but otherwise it's just mean. It's not happening every week, I'm guessing.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:31 AM
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I agree. Start enforcing now. Don't wait until January. That's a long time off and resentment will build.

Been there with opening early and they don't show. Not fun! You should be paid for your time!
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:51 AM
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I also allowed the parents to control my daycare a little while ago. I posted a lot of threads about it on this forum. I allowed the parents to take control of my daycare for the same reason you did - just to get some kids! In my area, there are way too many people providing child care. Within a 5 minute drive, there are 7 daycare centers! In my neighborhood alone, if we moved the licensed providers around to even them out, we could probably put 1 licensed provider on every street! Then there are God knows how many illegal babysitters here. We could probably put 2 illegal babysitters on every street in my neighborhood. So, with so many people offering child care in my area, it's hard for us licensed providers to get enough kids. Most of us are licensed for 8 (the max here) kids, and a few years ago, most of us would have our full 8 kids with no problem. But now, most of us average 4 kids!

So, for the reasons above, I started allowing the parents to tell me what they wanted me to do, make their own hours, basically, I was trying to please everyone that was willing to come to an interview. My schedule was crazy, my daycare had absolutely no routine or schedule, so my day was crazy. Some parents wanted their child to sleep for 3 hours, some didn't want their child to sleep at all, so I allowed them to stay up, which of course made it harder for the others to sleep. Some wanted their child to do preschool papers and activities, others didn't want their kids to do them and just wanted their children to 'be children' and play. My day drove me crazy! I started being angry 24/7, scatter-brained from the stress and confusion of the day, and hateful. I lost respect for myself and lost pride in my daycare.

So, I decided one day, after many posts and requests for advice from this forum, to make it all stop! I did not wait until my yearly contracts were up, when I decided that I had enough, I made immediate changes. One random day, I simply told the parents at pick up time, that this arrangement wasn't working for me or the daycare children. I told each parent that whatever special requests they made were causing confusion and disturbing the other children as well as disrupting the flow of the daycare day. I told them that I was going to have to go back to operating my daycare as I always had for the past 25 years and go back to my typical routine and activities. Some of the parents stayed and some left. I became even more broke than I was. But I had peace of mind back. I wasn't angry and hateful. I stopped having nightmares about the craziness of my days and I stopped waking up every morning dreading my day before it even started. I had regained my self-respect and pride in my company.

So, my suggestion would be not to wait months to regain control over your daycare. I would suggest that you take back your daycare immediately! However, keep in mind that doing so might make you lose every client you have. You do need to take care of yourself financially. If you can't take a chance on losing your current clients, maybe you can advertise for new kids and tell those parents you will run your daycare the way you really want to run it and after a couple of weeks, stop watching the ones who want your daycare to be operated their way.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:53 AM
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Her is the email I send the parent who was 1 hour and 30 late! Is this too harsh? Really, I am at the point to where I really do not care if I lose him over this. I can easily replace all the children I have in my daycare.

The concern I have is do you all charge for a situation like this? To answer someones question, this is dads 2nd new job in two weeks so that is the reason for schedule change.

The mom walks in with no cares in the world this morning, like it did not matter that she was 1 hour and 1/2 late. No I am sorry...just we had a busy day and behind schedule like always...

I know I made a big mistake and I knew better, but I was trying to fill up. I guess now I am paying the price....So I am making new policies and if they want to leave I can show them where the door is My husband has just obtained a really great paying job and that means, I do not have to work. I would like to keep my daycare open, but I want to run it the way I want to without working for free and without being controlled. Time to take the control back...

Dear ######,

I realize that situations does happen that causes a schedule change, and I do understand that. Please call me when you are arriving late due to me getting up and preparing for ##### arrival, so that I am not wasting my time. I have agreed to open up a hour earlier then normal for ###### without charging an extra fee. Due to the situation this morning, I will have to charge an extra fee for the days that I am open and preparing for his early arrival and there is a no call no show for that time.

This new policy will take affect immediately (for everyone enrolled in the daycare).

I am sure you understand the reason for the change. If not, please reverse the situation as to me not opening for you and you took the time to come to daycare and I was not here due to a busy morning and I did not let you know.

Sometimes, daycare situations do cause burn out with the provider and with me working 11 1/2 hour days with the children and another hour after they leave disinfecting and cleaning the daycare area it does add up. My day does not end when the last child leaves. So, anytime that I can get an extra hour it is greatly appreciated so that I can also do things for my family.

I realize that the daycare parents do not fully understand the predicament that it puts on me and my family with an in home business. Sometimes, I do have point it out and explain it so that it can be seen as to the cause and effect of such situations. I do not mean to sound harsh or mean with this situation, so please do not take it as such.

Thank you for understanding the situation...
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2014, 10:35 AM
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KiddieCahoots KiddieCahoots is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Once you give special it rarely works out to take it back.

My advice would be to advertise and replace each family, one at a time.

Yes, You can give them a choice to follow your new policies or be replaced, but that has it's own issues as well. It typically reverts to them demanding special and using your income as an ultimatum once you turn prospective clients away.

This leads to stress, stress leads to resentment, resentment leads to burnout, burnout leads to closing of daycare (sometimes involuntarily). Same cycle, never ending.

Once you have new clients, do not give exceptions. Period.

Do not make policies you will not enforce.

...........Love this! I printed this out to post in a visible spot to remind myself on a regular basis. Thanks Cat Herder!

For the cupcake dcb, shouldn't you have been supplied a doctor's note from the dcm for his diabetic condition? If not, then no restrictions necessary.
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