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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Dropping a Family....
knoxmomof2 01:00 PM 04-04-2019
So, I'm license exempt and I keep 4 children. II keep the under 5 crowd, and I've done this for 6.5 years.

I have a family I'm going to be replacing, but the circumstances are complicated. Bear with me. DCB, we'll call him "Sam", was my first daycare kiddo ever. Sam's parents eventually split and both remarried. I ended up keeping Sam's new stepbrother from DCD's marriage until he moved on to Preschool and currently keep both of Sam's new half-brothers from DCM's marriage. When DCM remarried, she went to more natural parenting methods - cloth diapers, organic this, no dairy that, less meat, etc. I just serve a typical balanced diet. In the past, I just had them send milk and their own food substitutes. It wasn't a huge inconvenience. Since I'm small and unlicensed, I can be more flexible and I am within reason.

I currently have 2 other DCKs, plus DCM's 2 boys. She had the youngest just over a year ago and was on leave. I started keeping both boys last August and when he came back, the older boy just ate what I served, minus milk. Once the baby started solids, same thing. No restrictions except they send almond milk. It's been that way for 8 months now, but on Monday at drop off, they've suddenly decided to go 100% gluten free as well. I thought that was it.....

They started sending all meals for them on Monday, which was a bit of a pain but benefits me financially since meals are included in my rate, so that's fine. Seemed simple enough. However, I learned on Tuesday that they also don't want anything heated in the microwave. They want me to "let it come to room temperature"...I told them lunch takes me 30 minutes, so I'll put their stuff out at the beginning and that's the time I have. I assumed they'd be uncomfortable with their children having cold food, instead they agreed. So, I'm serving these poor kids cold chicken, veggies and quinoa.....On Monday, Dad told me that if they finished their food, they could have any non gluten/ non dairy food I wanted to give them. I added fruit to their plates the first day because they didn't have any, mentioned it to Dad at the end of the day and he said they would provide fruit from then on--probably because mine isn't organic.....so now we're organic again. The last straw was today when Mom also adds 2 stainless steel water bottles with water in them for them to drink from. She tells me that they want to be able to measure how much liquid they drink while here. So I asked if she wanted me to use the homemade juice they sent or the water that was in the bottles. She said whichever, to which I replied that they don't drink the juice (which I have told them already), so it's not going to tell them much. Not to mention the fact that I know how much liquid they drink because all the kids use the same type of cups that are 8 oz here, but she never asked me. Her response was something about how Dad makes the juice a little strong sometimes and that was it.... So, I said okay and went on with my day because I was just going to give them the water and be done with it. I think what she was doing was trying to make sure they were drinking from "safe" containers instead of just asking if the cups I use are BPA free (they are). Also, "safe" water because they were sticklers about providing distilled water for the younger one in his bottles when he was on formula.

So, I move on with my day, and as I went to put things away, I looked at the nipple on the youngest boy's water bottle and it had mold in the crevices, as well as the outside of the cup itself having some nasty sticky residue on it. It was just my breaking point. How is THAT safer or better for them? It's disgusting! And it just makes all of the adjustments that much more annoying!

So, after a combined 5 years of caring for her children, I've decided I'm done. There have been some time respect issues, some schedule issues and behavioral issues with the boys, but nothing big enough to get me to this point - until now. I'm going to start getting the spots filled and give them notice. She's due with a new baby in a couple of weeks. They were planning on leaving the boys here, but I'm going to give them 2 weeks notice, I think.

Here's the kicker: DCD ("Sam's" Dad) and his wife recently had a baby and they wanted me to keep her, but I was full. Now, I'm planning on dropping DCMs boys and I'll have room for DCD's baby. I texted today to see if they were still interested and we're supposed to be meeting soon to discuss schedules and such. DCD and DCM are amicable at the moment and this could be awkward for DCD and his wife if I start keeping DCD's baby and they don't know that I dropped DCM's boys instead of her just keeping them at home with her once the baby comes.

So.... I said all that to say: how do I handle this with DCD and his new wife? I'm kind of going to look like a jerk for dropping someone, especially someone they know and are amicable with at the moment. That could change at any time, but I'm sure they'll find out and I want them to know about it ahead of time if they send their baby here. They were great clients when I kept DCD's stepson, they pay on time, are respectful of my schedule, mainstream as far as diet and such so they would be a nice fit again. Do I tell them once they've committed and I give DCM notice? Tell them before they commit? Say nothing? I just don't want DCD to say something to DCM in passing, not realizing what happened and then all of this come out and reflect badly on me to DCD and his wife as my current clients.

I know this is long, I tried to condense it. Thanks for reading, as always.
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Cat Herder 01:21 PM 04-04-2019
Originally Posted by knoxmomof2:
how do I handle this with DCD and his new wife?
"Their needs changed."

You don't have to tell them she boarded the projection train. Chances are they already know. Kids talk.
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rosieteddy 02:20 PM 04-04-2019
I would give notice to the mom right away.I would just say your program does not fit with their family.The food issues have gotten out of hand and you are not comfortable with their food and food prep demands.I would remind that your program provides food and utensils for eating and drinking.I would also say that maternity leave will be a great time to get them acclimated to a program that can fit their needs.The dad with new infant probally deals with this feeding insanity every other week.Just tell him its not a good fit with his boys anymore.You are more patient than I would have been The microwave would have been it for me.I never let any one provide anything but infant food.
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littlefriends 03:00 PM 04-04-2019
Originally Posted by rosieteddy:
I would give notice to the mom right away.I would just say your program does not fit with their family.The food issues have gotten out of hand and you are not comfortable with their food and food prep demands.I would remind that your program provides food and utensils for eating and drinking.I would also say that maternity leave will be a great time to get them acclimated to a program that can fit their needs.The dad with new infant probally deals with this feeding insanity every other week.Just tell him its not a good fit with his boys anymore.You are more patient than I would have been The microwave would have been it for me.I never let any one provide anything but infant food.
This!!
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MomBoss 03:11 PM 04-04-2019
I would almost bring up the mold you saw and say that you cannot give unsafe food and drink to the kids.
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Ariana 03:16 PM 04-04-2019
Personally I would try and find an infant outside of this family dynamic.
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Blackcat31 03:26 PM 04-04-2019
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
"Their needs changed."

You don't have to tell them she boarded the projection train. Chances are they already know. Kids talk.
I'd go this route.

The less you say the better.
It's DCM's family's issue to fix.....

Not taking DCD's family wouldn't really be fair to DCD's family and I think working with a family you already know is nice as the trust has already been established.

If DCM wants to continue changing up the methods or beliefs in food consumption etc, this won't be the first time she is "termed" or told her "needs" are just too much. IMHO, families that want that much "special" need a nanny or to parent themselves.

I suspect all that hoopla might be part of the reason DCM and DCD aren't together any more....lol! I like a lot of people and am amicable with many but there are very few I could actually live with. Kudos to them for being able to co-parent but clearly they do so differently.
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Mom2Two 03:53 PM 04-04-2019
I'm thinking that if you start talking with mom about specific things that aren't working for you, it will make things a notch easier. If she knows that the excessive special requests aren't working well, she won't start imagining other false reasons for why you are switching out for dcd.

High maintenance requests often just don't work well with group care. Many of us find that to make this work for us, we need to keep our operations kinda streamlined.

And I can relate to the "special diet but other problems cropping up" thing. I tried the unnecessary, unusual diet thing one time with a family and it will be my last time. Like you, I noticed pretty quickly that overall it wasn't a better situation. They traded one perceived benefit for other problems, and the mom wouldn't hear me out about food-related problem behavior that was happening here.

Unless you are the rip-the-bandaid-off type, my first thoughts are to start the conversation with mom about how what she wants isn't working, and start listing the specifics.

If she becomes obnoxious about it and won't listen or understand, then you might have no choice but just to tell her that the relationship isn't working.
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LysesKids 04:19 PM 04-04-2019
Originally Posted by knoxmomof2:
So, I'm license exempt and I keep 4 children. II keep the under 5 crowd, and I've done this for 6.5 years.

I have a family I'm going to be replacing, but the circumstances are complicated. Bear with me. DCB, we'll call him "Sam", was my first daycare kiddo ever. Sam's parents eventually split and both remarried. I ended up keeping Sam's new stepbrother from DCD's marriage until he moved on to Preschool and currently keep both of Sam's new half-brothers from DCM's marriage. When DCM remarried, she went to more natural parenting methods - cloth diapers, organic this, no dairy that, less meat, etc. I just serve a typical balanced diet. In the past, I just had them send milk and their own food substitutes. It wasn't a huge inconvenience. Since I'm small and unlicensed, I can be more flexible and I am within reason.

I currently have 2 other DCKs, plus DCM's 2 boys. She had the youngest just over a year ago and was on leave. I started keeping both boys last August and when he came back, the older boy just ate what I served, minus milk. Once the baby started solids, same thing. No restrictions except they send almond milk. It's been that way for 8 months now, but on Monday at drop off, they've suddenly decided to go 100% gluten free as well. I thought that was it.....

They started sending all meals for them on Monday, which was a bit of a pain but benefits me financially since meals are included in my rate, so that's fine. Seemed simple enough. However, I learned on Tuesday that they also don't want anything heated in the microwave. They want me to "let it come to room temperature"...I told them lunch takes me 30 minutes, so I'll put their stuff out at the beginning and that's the time I have. I assumed they'd be uncomfortable with their children having cold food, instead they agreed. So, I'm serving these poor kids cold chicken, veggies and quinoa.....On Monday, Dad told me that if they finished their food, they could have any non gluten/ non dairy food I wanted to give them. I added fruit to their plates the first day because they didn't have any, mentioned it to Dad at the end of the day and he said they would provide fruit from then on--probably because mine isn't organic.....so now we're organic again. The last straw was today when Mom also adds 2 stainless steel water bottles with water in them for them to drink from. She tells me that they want to be able to measure how much liquid they drink while here. So I asked if she wanted me to use the homemade juice they sent or the water that was in the bottles. She said whichever, to which I replied that they don't drink the juice (which I have told them already), so it's not going to tell them much. Not to mention the fact that I know how much liquid they drink because all the kids use the same type of cups that are 8 oz here, but she never asked me. Her response was something about how Dad makes the juice a little strong sometimes and that was it.... So, I said okay and went on with my day because I was just going to give them the water and be done with it. I think what she was doing was trying to make sure they were drinking from "safe" containers instead of just asking if the cups I use are BPA free (they are). Also, "safe" water because they were sticklers about providing distilled water for the younger one in his bottles when he was on formula.

So, I move on with my day, and as I went to put things away, I looked at the nipple on the youngest boy's water bottle and it had mold in the crevices, as well as the outside of the cup itself having some nasty sticky residue on it. It was just my breaking point. How is THAT safer or better for them? It's disgusting! And it just makes all of the adjustments that much more annoying!

So, after a combined 5 years of caring for her children, I've decided I'm done. There have been some time respect issues, some schedule issues and behavioral issues with the boys, but nothing big enough to get me to this point - until now. I'm going to start getting the spots filled and give them notice. She's due with a new baby in a couple of weeks. They were planning on leaving the boys here, but I'm going to give them 2 weeks notice, I think.

Here's the kicker: DCD ("Sam's" Dad) and his wife recently had a baby and they wanted me to keep her, but I was full. Now, I'm planning on dropping DCMs boys and I'll have room for DCD's baby. I texted today to see if they were still interested and we're supposed to be meeting soon to discuss schedules and such. DCD and DCM are amicable at the moment and this could be awkward for DCD and his wife if I start keeping DCD's baby and they don't know that I dropped DCM's boys instead of her just keeping them at home with her once the baby comes.

So.... I said all that to say: how do I handle this with DCD and his new wife? I'm kind of going to look like a jerk for dropping someone, especially someone they know and are amicable with at the moment. That could change at any time, but I'm sure they'll find out and I want them to know about it ahead of time if they send their baby here. They were great clients when I kept DCD's stepson, they pay on time, are respectful of my schedule, mainstream as far as diet and such so they would be a nice fit again. Do I tell them once they've committed and I give DCM notice? Tell them before they commit? Say nothing? I just don't want DCD to say something to DCM in passing, not realizing what happened and then all of this come out and reflect badly on me to DCD and his wife as my current clients.

I know this is long, I tried to condense it. Thanks for reading, as always.
Welcome to my old world... remember I was the provider near you that did organics &cloth diapers all the time (even gluten free for special needs - Dr's notes required), however I did call out a family for the same reason... mold. Mom was doing homemade baby food , but wasn't canning properly & I finally said, let child eat my food or find a Nanny.

I ended up closing for health reasons as you know last year, but it's time to say buh buy to the one family - as for the new one, you want to take on, it's nobodies business why a family comes or goes even if they know each other; old family needs changed, over & done... just interview & sign other family on without mentioning their friends will be leaving (I had a similar issue 4 years ago, but good family came back to me with a 2nd child anyway after bad parents left - they are still friends too).
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Josiegirl 03:15 AM 04-05-2019
I know we're not suppose to give up info for professional reasons and you don't need to go into details with DCD and DW but I'd definitely mention something. I think telling them your dc was no longer a good fit due to DCM's requirements would be okay because you know it'll all spill out sooner rather than later. And tell dcm it's been becoming harder to keep to their new requirements and is no longer working for you.
I just had a dcf leave because I'm closing anyways, but it used to burn my biscuits thinking about dcm telling me my way of feeding her ds chicken and brown rice, vegs and fruits wasn't as good for their precious as them sending gluten free organic boar bars and Annie's fruit snacks, crackers and chips. They were trying to micromanage everything about their ds's day in a group care setting. NO THANKS Plus dcd was always correcting the other dcks when he was here. As someone else said, if dcps want to micromanage to that affect, they need to do it at their own home.
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knoxmomof2 09:04 AM 04-05-2019
Thank you for all the feedback. It's always appreciated! They told me this morning that they've decided to stop the juice - thank goodness! Sent the oldest boy's water bottle, forgot the youngest ones (that was the nasty one). I told them I could just tell them at the end of the day how much little one drank since my cups are 8 oz. The oldest doesn't poop like he should, so that's why they're tracking water and changing the diet. No clue how cold food helps that. I also have no clue why they're tracking the youngest too since he has no issues with his BMs....

My Husband thinks I should try to accommodate them. Work with them, try to compromise. I don't want to, they've never really been a good fit because they tend to be unpredictable and unstable at times with schedules and these diet choices. I could drop them today, but I'd like to keep adding to savings and fill the spots first.

I did tell them if they expect me to prep their special breakfast, they need to at least have the kids here 10 minutes before breakfast time to allow me time to do it or they need to feed them before they come. They used to come at 7:15, so this was never an issue. They started coming later lately, so I just have them text when they leave their house. This morning, they got here right at 9 so we had to have that conversation.

I'm going to gently allude to something with DCD when we meet up, but not go into too much detail, that way they're forewarned but I'm not being gossipy and unprofessional.
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knoxmomof2 09:12 AM 04-05-2019
Originally Posted by rosieteddy:
I would give notice to the mom right away.I would just say your program does not fit with their family.The food issues have gotten out of hand and you are not comfortable with their food and food prep demands.I would remind that your program provides food and utensils for eating and drinking.I would also say that maternity leave will be a great time to get them acclimated to a program that can fit their needs.The dad with new infant probally deals with this feeding insanity every other week.Just tell him its not a good fit with his boys anymore.You are more patient than I would have been The microwave would have been it for me.I never let any one provide anything but infant food.
Those 2 spots go straight into savings, so I'm going to keep them until I've met with DCD and his wife and I know that's a done deal at least. I used to have the families provide lunch because I only charged by the days used. Now that I'm full time rate, I provide it. These people are kind of grandfathered in from the old way of doing things, so I tried to be tolerant of that. Another plus for dropping them. Going forward, I will let families know that I don't do alternate diets.
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knoxmomof2 09:14 AM 04-05-2019
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
"Their needs changed."

You don't have to tell them she boarded the projection train. Chances are they already know. Kids talk.
Ha! Good point. I told my teenage daughter yesterday, I really feel for the older one. He goes from that craziness one week to regular, mainstream life at DCDs the next. I can't imagine.....
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knoxmomof2 09:17 AM 04-05-2019
Originally Posted by Mom2Two:
I'm thinking that if you start talking with mom about specific things that aren't working for you, it will make things a notch easier. If she knows that the excessive special requests aren't working well, she won't start imagining other false reasons for why you are switching out for dcd.

High maintenance requests often just don't work well with group care. Many of us find that to make this work for us, we need to keep our operations kinda streamlined.

And I can relate to the "special diet but other problems cropping up" thing. I tried the unnecessary, unusual diet thing one time with a family and it will be my last time. Like you, I noticed pretty quickly that overall it wasn't a better situation. They traded one perceived benefit for other problems, and the mom wouldn't hear me out about food-related problem behavior that was happening here.

Unless you are the rip-the-bandaid-off type, my first thoughts are to start the conversation with mom about how what she wants isn't working, and start listing the specifics.

If she becomes obnoxious about it and won't listen or understand, then you might have no choice but just to tell her that the relationship isn't working.
You sound just like my Husband! He works in the food business and he is super customer service oriented. He had a lot of good points, so I'm definitely going to start dealing with the issues as a means to an end.
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knoxmomof2 09:20 AM 04-05-2019
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
Welcome to my old world... remember I was the provider near you that did organics &cloth diapers all the time (even gluten free for special needs - Dr's notes required), however I did call out a family for the same reason... mold. Mom was doing homemade baby food , but wasn't canning properly & I finally said, let child eat my food or find a Nanny.

I ended up closing for health reasons as you know last year, but it's time to say buh buy to the one family - as for the new one, you want to take on, it's nobodies business why a family comes or goes even if they know each other; old family needs changed, over & done... just interview & sign other family on without mentioning their friends will be leaving (I had a similar issue 4 years ago, but good family came back to me with a 2nd child anyway after bad parents left - they are still friends too).
Of course I remember you! I thought about you with this post since I know you did alternate diets and such. I'm going to drop them, just waiting to meet up with DCD and wife and be sure we're on the same page with safe sleep and such before giving notice.
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Cat Herder 10:31 AM 04-05-2019
Originally Posted by knoxmomof2:
Ha! Good point. I told my teenage daughter yesterday, I really feel for the older one. He goes from that craziness one week to regular, mainstream life at DCDs the next. I can't imagine.....
As a mother of two 19-year-old men, I can say with confidence it will be a good education for him for when he starts dating. He will be way ahead of the game on recognition.
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hwichlaz 10:46 AM 04-05-2019
I don't own a microwave because I don't believe in them. And i have no problem with kids eating cold food....they all eat cold food at school if they don't get hot lunch right?


But they mold, OMG EEEWWW. And they seem high maintenance overall. I'd give notice.
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knoxmomof2 02:35 PM 04-05-2019
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
As a mother of two 19-year-old men, I can say with confidence it will be a good education for him for when he starts dating. He will be way ahead of the game on recognition.
Hahaha, that's good!
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