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Old 12-03-2012, 11:02 AM
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Default How To Tell Parents I'm Closing?

My daycare hasn't been open for very long, only a year, but I've made the difficult decision to close in January. I've been working really hard to get another business up and running, one that will be less intrusive in my home and give me more time with my daughter.

I want to give my families as much notice as possible, I was going to tell them this week and give them about 6 weeks (it seems like a lot, but with the holidays coming up, I know that things can be crazy). Here's what I'm nervous about:

- Family #1 - the mom tends to take things very personally. I live in a very small town, I worry that she'll be mad enough to make my other business difficult. Plus our kids are the same age, I'll see her at every school event for the next 16 years, joy.

- Family #2 - I love them. I love their kid. It will break my hard if they are upset and this ruins our relationship (small town problem again).

- Family #3 - Their kid comes just one day a week, and I was thinking i could handle that and might stay open just for that day. The problem is, they are best friends with family #2 and might leave in solidarity.

How do I do this without causing hard feelings? I know WHAT I want to say, but not how to say it. Phone call? Email? (I'm thinking no.) I'd like to talk it over in person, say, at pick-up, but don't want one parent coming in in the middle of the conversation.

Maybe I'm blowing this all out of proportion and everyone will move on and be happy for me in the end, just nervous about how to say it!
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:06 AM
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EntropyControlSpecialist EntropyControlSpecialist is offline
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I don't think any family will be mad at you. I can't imagine someone getting mad over something that isn't personal. Frustrated that they have to find somewhere else? Yes. Mad at you? No.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:08 AM
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Just be honest and explain it has nothing to do with them personally and you loved working with them and watching their children, but you have found a new line of work that will be a better fit for you and your family.

I had to let 2 families go that had infants & preschool children, when I switched over to watching just s/a at one point and I've remained good friends with both of them. It never impacted our relationship in a negative way whatsoever.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:14 AM
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I require parents give me one month's notice, so that's the longest notice I would provide in return. You should do whatever feels right for you, but be prepared for families to leave as soon as you let them know! If you can financially swing giving 6 weeks notice and everyone leaving in 2, than give 6!

#1. You can't control this mother or how she behaves. All you can do is be honest and let all your families know that you are making a decision that best suits your own family at this time. If someone is going to judge you for that, so be it. You will quickly find out if she's causing trouble for your business and if she does, there are legal avenues for you to pursue.

#2. No matter WHY a provider closes or terminates, I find that parents have some level of resentment towards us... it is what it is. If they want to cut someone from their lives that cares about their family as a whole, it is more their loss than yours.

#3. Close. There is no sense in keeping one child one day a week while running another business. They would likely end up leaving simply because BFs are leaving anyways.


You should always write up a formal letter explaining that you will be closing your childcare (you never need to explain why - but you could just say you need to more available to your own family right now) and the date you will be closing. You need to mention that all policies/procedures still apply during this period of time and that all clients are required to be paid up in full before leaving. I would hand the letter out on a Friday at pick-up AND I would explain IN PERSON at the same time that I was closing and what my final date of care provided will be. Phone and email are way to impersonal and I thing it's professional to explain any notices in person as I hand them over.

Good luck! I know this is a difficult decision, but you need to put you and your own needs/family before those of others. Take care!
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
I don't think any family will be mad at you. I can't imagine someone getting mad over something that isn't personal. Frustrated that they have to find somewhere else? Yes. Mad at you? No.
Oh, it happens all the time. I knew of a provider that closed due to a terminal illness and most of her families were angry!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by littlemissmuffet View Post
Oh, it happens all the time. I knew of a provider that closed due to a terminal illness and most of her families were angry!!
Whaaaat? I think this is another one of those times that I give adults too much credit. My husband always tells me to stop doing that.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:24 AM
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Just be as honest as you are comfortable with. I too would tell them know in person along with a letter. I also would not offer the third family care one day a week. Doing so may make any hard feelings that much more so with the other families. That may make it seem personal against their family. KWIM? Good luck in your new venture! I personally would not be upset if my old provider closed. People need to do what is best for their own family, especially in this economy. Best wishes!
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:30 AM
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I like the other suggestions but will add, please do not over explain yourself or apologize profusely.....you arent doing anything wrong and you dont need to give parents every single detail. a professional letter followed by a short explanation in person is more than sufficient. i would not take family 3 for one day a week...it will be better if you just shut the whole daycare down versus parents being mad that you are supposedly closing on one hand, but keeping one family on the other. now that, I can see someone taking personally.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I talked to Mom #1 today because I knew she'd be the hardest, and she was very supportive and happy for me. Whew! I'm not as nervous about talking to the other families now, although I know it will be hard too.

Thanks for the advice on this, and all of the other support through this forum! It's made me feel like I am not the only one struggling with the day to day life of daycare!
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jessie View Post
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I talked to Mom #1 today because I knew she'd be the hardest, and she was very supportive and happy for me. Whew! I'm not as nervous about talking to the other families now, although I know it will be hard too.

Thanks for the advice on this, and all of the other support through this forum! It's made me feel like I am not the only one struggling with the day to day life of daycare!


I'm glad this was a positive experience for you! I hope that telling your other two families goes just as well and you are met with support and encouragement!

If you don't mind my asking, what is the new business you will be doing?
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