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  #1  
Old 10-26-2010, 03:47 PM
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Sunshine Sunshine is offline
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Default Problem With New Clients - Need to Terminate

I have recently taken two siblings into my daycare. My contract states “Either party can cancel this agreement with two weeks notice”. Problem is after just 1.5 day, I don’t want to wait the two weeks. I do not want these two children around my other daycare kids any longer than absolutely necessary.

They are cursing and using mean words. They are being physically abusive to the other children. They will not follow direction, in fact they will get very mean, argue, yell no, and (try) to do what they want. They continue to do things when told not to. They will not come when called. They throw things even after being told not to. They will not share toys, will take and hold toys just because they know someone else wants them and will take toys from the other children. They have tried to leave the house a few times. When I correct them for misbehaviors and try to redirect them, they yell and argue with me. Their behavior is already having a negative impact on the other kids in my care...

To top it all off, I agreed to drop one of the children off at school each day. I go to take the kid to school this morning and realize that I will have to get all the kids out of the car to walk this child into the school and wait (10 minuets past school start time today) for the teacher. This is a deal breaker in itself. I can not load all my daycare kids into the car, drive to the school, unload them, go inside and wait however long in a small busy hall, then load all the kids up to come back home. Then repeat the process a couple hours later at pick up time. I feel the parents left this important information out on purpose, knowing I would not agree to it.

Yesterday a grandparent came to pick the children up, I went to take a forgotten item out to the car and saw that there were no car seats for the children. (I insisted my car seats be used)

The “lunch” provided by the parent today was popcorn and soda.

The almost 3 year old has not even started potty training and is still using a pacifier. (Maybe a mistake on my part but, I would never have even thought to ask if a 3 year old was potty trained. )

Today, as I type this the children just got picked up…a half hour late.

I interviewed with and was hired by the grandmother and would never have expected this behavior after meeting with her. I have been a daycare provider for 20 years and in that time issues such as these have never been a problem before.

Any suggestions on how I can terminate this contract early without legal ramifications? Of course I am willing to refund the unused portion of their fee.

Any other suggestions you might have on how to handle this are greatly appreciated. I am using all the usual techniques with the children redirection, explaining the rules, why behaviors are not allowed, etc. Time out is the next step...in my 20 years I have had put kids in time out maybe 4 times for physical things like hitting, etc. So this would be a big step for me to have to do this...

After what I have seen the past couple days, I dont think talking to the parents would make a change.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:28 PM
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Do you have anything in your contract about being able to terminate immediately for things such as behavioral problems, willful destruction of property, anything like that? If you do, you could use that. I would just write a letter telling parents that their children are not a good fit in your daycare and you are no longer able to care for them, effective immediately. You could state that they are jeopardizing the safety of your other dck's and need to be removed from your daycare permanently. Document everything! Everything the kids (and parents!) do/did, your reaction, what you have tried to modify the behavior, etc. (Not to give to the parents, but in case they try to pull any legal issues on you, you can show the judge the reason for immediate termination).
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:11 PM
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I have never had to terminate immediately. Two weeks was always a good workable time up till now, so I do not have anything in my contract about being able to terminate immediately. This is one of those families that is going to have me rewriting my contract…in a few ways.

I will talk to the mother tomorrow about the behavior problems. There are just so many and I already told her I would not do the school thing. I did not want to overwhelm her with so many issues on the same day.

Planning to terminate Friday with a heartfelt "its not a good fit". Both children have lovable qualities of course, but they need more than I can give without neglecting the needs of my other children.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:37 PM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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This is why the first ten days of care are a trial period for me, where either the parents or I can terminate immediately. This gives the provider a chance to get to know the kids and the parents, and the kids a chance to settle in to the new routine, rules, etc, or not. And if big problems (and these sound like pretty big problems!) crop up, there's no waiting period on the termination.

Sounds like you do need to terminate due to behavioral issues, as well as the school issue. And maybe update your contract to include a trial period. I do ten days to give my part-timers an equal chance to settle in as my full-timers--it's the first actual ten days that care is provided, so if they only come three days a week it's like three weeks and a bit.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:57 PM
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I have a 2wk trial period in my contract as well, where either party can term and just walk away like it never happened. I also do have a clause in there that if there is any threat or danger to me, my family or dck's, I can term immediately. You have to have stuff like this in there just in case stuff like this happens!!
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:13 PM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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You've been in the business a long, so go with your gut. Write them a terminate notice effective immediately and also do what another poster said about documenting everything. (Print your post and add more details, names, dates, etc. to it!)

You should have called child protective services because it's unsafe and illegal for those young children to ride without a proper carseat. You can also tell them your concerns regarding the parents poor judgement on nutrition (popcorn and SODA for lunch?!) and safety (no carseats?!) and possible verbal abuse (swearing....where are the children hearing that from?!) Yes, this is going to the extreme, but I would at least call and mention "Hey, this is what happened yesterday and I didn't know what to do about it until now...."

Good luck! Hope everything goes better for those children!
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2010, 12:34 AM
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you said you're willing to return the UNUSED portion of the fees, but if it's YOU that wants to break the contract with no worries about any legal ramifications - you may have to just cut your losses and give them ALL of their money back.

is that fair to you since you provided 1.5 days of care? no, but is it fair to them you'll be giving them what - 12 hour notice before they have to be at work that they have no caregiver when they signed a contract saying they'd have two weeks to figure it out? NO.

they probably still won't be happy if you give them a refund, but it's your only shot IMO. take it as a lesson learned and add an early termination clause to your contract.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:11 AM
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I have a one week trial period where either party can terminate at any time. I've never had to use it yet though.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:14 AM
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OK so my required 2 week deposit has not been paid yet. The parents asked for a little time to gather the money. As I always try to be flexible and do what I can to meet the families needs, I agreed.

I am thinking this might be my way out of the contract? The fact that the deposit has not been paid, and it does not look like they plan to pay it any time soon?

Either way I am going to terminate. It is too much of a risk to have these kids around the other children.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshine View Post
OK so my required 2 week deposit has not been paid yet. The parents asked for a little time to gather the money. As I always try to be flexible and do what I can to meet the families needs, I agreed.

I am thinking this might be my way out of the contract? The fact that the deposit has been paid, and it does not look like they plan to pay it any time soon?
Either way I am going to terminate. It is too much of a risk to have these kids around the other children.
I read this to say that the parents didn't have the money to use your program to begin with. Have you not been paid a DIME? You need to realize, (if I'm understanding this right) that if the grandmother signed papers and not parents, you may not ever get your money, even if the kids were well-behaved. You need to draft a term letter as the pp said, and get one of the parents to sign and date it. Good luck on this one! Let us know what happens.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:52 AM
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I was paid for two weeks care, but was asked to allow them extra time to gather the required deposite. I was going to give them untill November 1...
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:20 AM
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AAhh. I see. I suppose if you are going to term them, you may need to cut your losses (not really, as you would have given the deposit back anyway.) Still, get mom or dad to sign the term notice, and g-ma too if possible. At least send g-ma a copy . That's the part that has me concerned- who signed your contract.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:54 AM
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The mother did sign the contract.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:03 AM
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"I interviewed with and was hired by the grandmother"

I guess that's why I was mistaken, I just assumed that since she hired you, she handled the 'business end'. Sorry! I'm glad to hear that.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2010, 09:49 AM
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I would call mom right now, leave a message for her to call you when she has a minute to talk, but within the hour at least. Let her know that you are unable to do the walk to school, that you were told it was a drop off not a walk to. That you were not contracted to provide the type of care that is now expected of you. Had you been informed of the expectations, you would have informed them of it during the interview. I would let her know you are unable to do the walk to school. She will have to make other arrangements for getting him from your car to his school and back. I would mention the person transporting them yesterday had NO PLAN on using safety seats, and you insisted on borrowing your car seats to insure their safety yesterday. Informing her that should that happen again you have no choice but to notify the authorities. I would then cover the behavior and language they use, let her know that because of the children's behavior you are terminating the aggrement effective two weeks from today. That you will call her for immediate pickup should their behavior get out of hand at any time during the next two weeks, and that you have to think of ALL of the children in your care nd the impact that their behavior has on your group. Tell her that you will not allow a child to curse, hit, dictate rules, or harm another child in your care. I would also remind her that the popcorn and soda is not a lunch item and she can either send them a healthy lunch or you will provide it for them and charge her for it. remind her that a childs lunch needs protein, dairy, veg and fruit and grains. Not sugar and food coloring. Remind her that you are terminating effective two weeks from today or until she finds other care, you will refund any unused funds.



Or you can call her and tell her that her children are too violent for your group and need picked up immediately. That maybe a one on one caregiver is more what she needs becaue they seem to be acting out aggressively and your children are being hurt. Tell her that the school drop off pick up was not what you were told, that you are unable to walk him in, or go get him. You werent told that in the interview. You are refunding any unused fees and will have that ready for them at pickup.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!
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