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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Question About Day Care Billing for Absent Days
NotARegularMom 10:03 PM 01-13-2016
I know that when your child is in daycare, you're expected to pay for the say's that child is scheduled for whether they attend or not. However, I've recently run into something that seems unfair to me.

My child is in a home daycare. Monday to Friday schedule, but we kept him home for the holidays (2 weeks) Our provider asked a few weeks in advanced what our plans were for that time, and said he was not required to be there. Because it was arranged in advanced, my childs spot was filled by an other child for those two weeks, so that childs parents were billed for that slot, for those days. We are ALSO being billed for that same slot because it is our childs slot. But if they filled it with an other child for all of those days, should they still be billing us for that? It seems wrong to me that they can charge both families and get paid double for one spot.
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spedmommy4 11:24 PM 01-13-2016
It depends on what your contact says. If you had vacation time that you were entitled to use, then no. If you didn't have vacation time, and you just chose to keep your little one home, then it's okay. In childcare, you are typically paying for a slot. She held the slot for you and you could have used it if you had wanted to.
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Thriftylady 05:22 AM 01-14-2016
It does depend on your contract. In my contract you would have had two options. A. Pay for the slot regardless or B. use your vacation time and pay half rate to hold the spot. I had a family of three who had a parent laid off over Christmas and they didn't come. They still paid for the spot, because mom didn't want to use her vacation time.
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MissAnn 06:07 AM 01-14-2016
Having another kid attend doesn't necessarily mean that just occupied your child's spot. If it was a new child, there was a lot of paperwork involved, making sure he/she had provisions for sleep and more. New kids always mean preparation. I don't see it as another child sliding right in to your child's spot.
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Play Care 06:28 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by MissAnn:
Having another kid attend doesn't necessarily mean that just occupied your child's spot. If it was a new child, there was a lot of paperwork involved, making sure he/she had provisions for sleep and more. New kids always mean preparation. I don't see it as another child sliding right in to your child's spot.


I guess the only issue I would have as a parent is that if something had come up and I needed to send my kid to day care, would I have been able to? In my mind, if I've paid for it, and the provider is open/working, then I should be able to use it.

As a provider I would totally do what yours did but telling the parents of the "filler" child that your FT child got priority.

Our income is so limited by State regulations as it is, that if I could *legally* increase my income by filling spots of vacationing families I probably would.
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midaycare 06:34 AM 01-14-2016
I do this all the time. When a dck is out sick for the day, and another parent needs the spot who doesn't normally attend that day, the sick child parents' have to pay and the parent who attends that day.

My income varies so little. If I can make an extra $20- $30, it's nice
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Cat Herder 06:42 AM 01-14-2016
This one hits close to home for me. I will give you my side of this topic.

I had several families stay home for the two week public school holiday although I am only closed for one of those.

Only one of those families met the required 30 days notice for unpaid family vacation. All others were billed minus my one week closure.

One family heard through the grapevine that I keep two "new" kids during that time. They felt their slots were filled, they were due a "break" and demanded one.

The other two families knew immediately that my personal choices had nothing to do with them at all because they remember being told about this possibility during their welcome tour.

Truth: Those children were emergency placements through DFACS. I am not allowed to disclose their personal information. It is not always about $$, sometimes it is simply the right thing to do.

If an enrolled child would have needed to attend due to change in plans the foster children would have been picked up and moved to another placement. Easy/Peasy. No contract breach.

My former client has now learned a valuable lesson about leaping to infinity upon assumption and thinking they are the center of my world.

Now, hopefully your provider is ethical and has a justifiable reason. She is not required to disclose that to you, though.
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Blackcat31 06:49 AM 01-14-2016
Personally, I think it's unethical for a provider to be paid twice for a space (Catherder's situation is a different story) but for regular providers that simply take drop ins or school agers over the holidays, I feel it is unethical and unprofessional to accept money for a space twice.

It's just wrong in my eyes.

However, YOUR situation OP depends on your contract with your provider. Is this something you discussed during the interview or at any other time? Is this a "normal" practice for her?
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Cat Herder 07:15 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Personally, I think it's unethical for a provider to be paid twice for a space (Catherder's situation is a different story) but for regular providers that simply take drop ins or school agers over the holidays, I feel it is unethical and unprofessional to accept money for a space twice.

It's just wrong in my eyes.

However, YOUR situation OP depends on your contract with your provider. Is this something you discussed during the interview or at any other time? Is this a "normal" practice for her?
This was my thinking as well. Although I recently took Provider Training class that frowned upon stating our "morals" as "ethics". Morals cannot be translated into "business ethics" as each culture and situation is vastly different.

FTR, I felt like I needed a shower after that class.

Personally, I am not paid for those placements, well at least financially. It is a volunteer service. I have also taken an older sibling, unpaid, after the typical morning cutoff, before to help a graduate student study as well.

I should still have personal choices in my own home as long as I follow my "morals".

***The key, for me, would be the ability to accept the enrolled child immediately if they had a change of plans. That would be an "ethic" (according to the class).

Being paid twice for the same slot feels wrong to me, but benefits my business plan and my family, therefore, is a "moral".
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auntymimi 07:23 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Personally, I think it's unethical for a provider to be paid twice for a space (Catherder's situation is a different story) but for regular providers that simply take drop ins or school agers over the holidays, I feel it is unethical and unprofessional to accept money for a space twice.

It's just wrong in my eyes.

However, YOUR situation OP depends on your contract with your provider. Is this something you discussed during the interview or at any other time? Is this a "normal" practice for her?
This is me. I had a little girl that comes 3-5 days a week. Gma works for the school system so she had Christmas vacation. DCG mom is a single mom and asked if dcg could stay with gma for the holiday break to save some money for christmas. I said no problem because her spot was easily filled by a school ager needing care during the break. Had I forced the issue and she had to pay she would have brought dcg every day because she was paying for it. I wouldn't have had the spot for the school aged child, so it's not like I would be making any more money anyway. This way I was able to help 2 families out, everyone's happy. Word of mouth is also huge in my small town and if I can make parents happy I do.
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Blackcat31 07:25 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:

***The key, for me, would be the ability to accept the enrolled child immediately if they had a change of plans. That would be an "ethic" (according to the class).
Yes! This was my reasoning... ^^^

Originally Posted by auntymimi:
This is me. I had a little girl that comes 3-5 days a week. Gma works for the school system so she had Christmas vacation. DCG mom is a single mom and asked if dcg could stay with gma for the holiday break to save some money for christmas. I said no problem because her spot was easily filled by a school ager needing care during the break. Had I forced the issue and she had to pay she would have brought dcg every day because she was paying for it. I wouldn't have had the spot for the school aged child, so it's not like I would be making any more money anyway. This way I was able to help 2 families out, everyone's happy. Word of mouth is also huge in my small town and if I can make parents happy I do.
Great solution and building a good business reputation in your community!!
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KSDC 08:03 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by :
***The key, for me, would be the ability to accept the enrolled child immediately if they had a change of plans.

I agree with this, up to a point. That change of plans needs to be before the day of care. If my DCP tells me that they will not be using care, I don't allow them to just show up and drop their child without at least calling me the day before. This has nothing to do with filling the spot with another child. This has to do with my planning food and supplies and activities around the expected children.

I do sometimes fill an "empty" spot with a drop-in child. My town is so under-serviced with providers that I try to help when I can. But, my full-time families always have first dibs. They just have to let me know at least one day before if they have a change in plans.
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Thriftylady 08:06 AM 01-14-2016
In my situation, I would probably refund money for any days I filled, but would still expect it to be paid in advance as usual. I of course have never been in that situation, to have a drop in come on those days. But also in my case, I am only full when my group who was gone over Christmas comes. Every family child care situation varies so much.
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midaycare 08:12 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Personally, I think it's unethical for a provider to be paid twice for a space (Catherder's situation is a different story) but for regular providers that simply take drop ins or school agers over the holidays, I feel it is unethical and unprofessional to accept money for a space twice.

It's just wrong in my eyes.

However, YOUR situation OP depends on your contract with your provider. Is this something you discussed during the interview or at any other time? Is this a "normal" practice for her?
Meh. I will agree to disagree. I give dcf's breaks all the time. I am so much more lenient than other providers, and I don't charge late fees.

All of my dcf's know I do this, and none of them mind.
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Thriftylady 08:20 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
Meh. I will agree to disagree. I give dcf's breaks all the time. I am so much more lenient than other providers, and I don't charge late fees.

All of my dcf's know I do this, and none of them mind.
I am pretty lenient also. We had a snow day the other day and my three that paid two weeks they were not here were here all day. Normally two of them are before and after school and the youngest I pick up at PreK in the morning. On the snow day mom should have owed me more money for all day care. I told her not to worry about it, due to the fact they were gone two weeks, and to me the stable income is more important than the little bit I would charge for a non-school day.
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Blackcat31 08:21 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
Meh. I will agree to disagree. I give dcf's breaks all the time. I am so much more lenient than other providers, and I don't charge late fees.

All of my dcf's know I do this, and none of them mind.
Which is why I said "Personally, I think....."
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midaycare 08:23 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Which is why I said "Personally, I think....."
Posts started getting into morals and ethics, which made me think, "Wait a minute! I don't have either a moral or ethical issue here! I do more for my dcf's than most!"
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NotARegularMom 08:47 AM 01-14-2016
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
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MunchkinWrangler 08:56 AM 01-14-2016
What does your contract say? Just because your provider makes other arrangements for a family who needed care doesn't let you out of your contract agreement. So she can only make the money you think she should make and it's not fair for her to profit of of her business? It's honestly none of your business of she made other arrangements. Maybe your communications should have been more clear.
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Thriftylady 09:01 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
Okay just for future reference I would never choose a daycare provider without AT LEAST one interview. Nor as a daycare provider would I accept a family that way. How else are you to understand policies and make sure you can work together? If you are feeling mistreated by your provider do two things. A. Talk to her about it. B. If it still doesn't meet your needs find another provider. As far as being able to keep her kids home, that is a huge reason why many providers do daycare is to be with their own children.
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Blackcat31 09:03 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
Have you had a private conversation with the provider?

I'd be interested in what she said and how she explained or justified it.
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mommyneedsadayoff 09:04 AM 01-14-2016
I think it depends on YOUR contract. If it says you pay during vacation, then you should pay. What she does while you are gone is really up to her and as long as your spot is held and available to you if your plans change (with notice of course), then I don't see it as a problem. If she didn't specifically tell you the situation, then you never know whose spot the kid was taking or if she was just helping a friend, how much or if she was paid, ect.

As for differences between you paying and your friend not paying when absent, it's possible they signed a different contract with different terms or were grandfathered in when she changed her contract. It's sort of like when companies ask you not to discuss your pay with other employees. My families had different contracts too in some cases, but it wasn't personal. Just the way it worked out as I updated policies.
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Cat Herder 09:09 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
Your friend may be a subsidy client. If so, your provider is required to provide her a ridiculous number of loopholes in order to keep her own contract with the subsidy provider.

Otherwise, they may have a personal relationship you are not privy to.

Also, life is unfair. All. Of. It. Maybe you should start looking for a provider that better meets your needs.
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midaycare 09:36 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
I have parents who pay much less than others. Not because I like them more, I just had different rates when these families signed up.

I gave one dcf a break of $100 a month because they are an awesome family and they really need it.

Every family I care for has different situations, and I try to be cognizant of that. Some need an occasional early drop off or late pickup, some need flexibility with days.

Whatever I do though, it's only between the client and I.
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KidGrind 09:46 AM 01-14-2016
I told parents upfront, if your child is on vacation, out sick, etc. I will take in an hourly kid if there is room.

It does not alter any fees due.

That would've be extra work and less money for me. It’s not unethical on my end because there was zero dishonesty and other factors.

Child care professionals should really take the time to let their clients know their policies. Parents should equally take the time to learn the policies of where they’re dropping off their most precious children.
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Unregistered 10:24 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by midaycare:
I do this all the time. When a dck is out sick for the day, and another parent needs the spot who doesn't normally attend that day, the sick child parents' have to pay and the parent who attends that day.

My income varies so little. If I can make an extra $20- $30, it's nice
Me too.

How did you find out about the new kid? How do you know the new kid took your spot?
I wouldn't have told you about a new kid personally.
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Unregistered 10:30 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
How old is your child? I can take 4 school age after I fill my toddler/infants. I don't have any school age so I would be able to watch a school ager without replacing.
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Fiddlesticks 10:39 AM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
How old is your child? I can take 4 school age after I fill my toddler/infants. I don't have any school age so I would be able to watch a school ager without replacing.
This

I do not enroll school agers, but I have on occasion cared for a school age sibling if school is out and I am open. This would not be replacing anyone's spot, as my license capacity includes two spots for school age children which I never use.
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midaycare 01:02 PM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
How old is your child? I can take 4 school age after I fill my toddler/infants. I don't have any school age so I would be able to watch a school ager without replacing.
Good point
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sahm1225 01:16 PM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
I know that when your child is in daycare, you're expected to pay for the say's that child is scheduled for whether they attend or not. However, I've recently run into something that seems unfair to me.

My child is in a home daycare. Monday to Friday schedule, but we kept him home for the holidays (2 weeks) Our provider asked a few weeks in advanced what our plans were for that time, and said he was not required to be there. Because it was arranged in advanced, my childs spot was filled by an other child for those two weeks, so that childs parents were billed for that slot, for those days. We are ALSO being billed for that same slot because it is our childs slot. But if they filled it with an other child for all of those days, should they still be billing us for that? It seems wrong to me that they can charge both families and get paid double for one spot.
How do you know the other family was billed? When I have open spots, I sometimes watch my nephew. I don't get paid for him although he takes up a spot.
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e.j. 01:28 PM 01-14-2016
For me, it boils down to what you agreed to when you signed the contract. My clients sign an agreement that stipulates they will pay whether the child attends day care or not. This ensures a steady, expected income for me so that I can continue to remain in business and be available to them when they do need child care. Payment ensures that there will be a spot open for that child when they return - guaranteed. They don't pay for a specific spot per se so if they are not attending day care and I have an opening as a result of their absence, I will fill it and charge the other client for the care I give to that client's child. Personally, I don't see a moral or ethical problem with this.

Policies differ among providers. If you are unhappy with your provider's policy, you might want to discuss it with her to see if she'll make an exception for you or you might want to start interviewing to see if you can find another provider who has policies you can agree on.
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KSDC 01:58 PM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school.
In my state, children under 5 are in a separate category from school aged children. I can add the school age children in on top of the current pre-school set.
So, she may not be "filling your spot". She may be able to legally take the school aged child and yours at the same time.
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daycare 06:48 PM 01-14-2016
I guess the question would be how do you know they took your spots??

i had 9 kids out of 14 daily out over the christmas break.
Most of them I was not aware they would be out until right before. A few I did know about.

No matter if the child attends or not, I still have money that Is being spent. I still have to pay for insurance for their child to remain covered and I still have to keep my employees, among other things that I paid for if they are here or not.
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Thriftylady 06:51 PM 01-14-2016
Originally Posted by sahm1225:
How do you know the other family was billed? When I have open spots, I sometimes watch my nephew. I don't get paid for him although he takes up a spot.
This is a good point also. I have my grandson sometimes. His other grandmother watches him most of the time when mom works, but she doesn't do it for a living, she does it to help her daughter. Sometimes she needs a break and asks me to help out. When I have space I do. In fact, I just texted grandma earlier and asked if she wanted me to keep him a couple of days and nights this weekend.
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daycare 08:37 PM 01-14-2016
some of my response got cut off, not too sure what happened, but I was also trying to say that with 9 kids out, I would not be able to give 9 families their money back just because I let two kids come over their break and use spots that were not being used.

HOWEVER, if you told me you wanted that time off and I decided to fill it with another child, then you changed your mind, then of course I would have to tell that other child's family that they could not attend because I would not have the space.

So you are paying for the guarantee of always having your spot no matter what.

make sure you read your contract and see what it says.
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MOM OF 4 logged out 06:06 PM 01-17-2016
Personally, I never discussed these things with the parents. If a parent told me he/she wanted to take 2 weeks off, I expect the spot to be paid for. If they have not notified me in at least 24 hours that they wanted to use one of those days, I assume they're not coming, and I plan my day. Once the parent notifies me they don't want their spot, while they do have to pay for it, I am not obligated to open my doors. Often times, during holiday weeks, I could have no kids in care at all, and would get a nice break. Then there are times you could easily do a drop-in special for someone who maybe needed the spot unexpectedly. I don't find that unethical, especially when the drop-in spot is asked for last minute. Each parent is responsible for paying their own fees, so the drop-in parent would have to pay for the time they used. Meanwhile, the other parent would be paying for the time they elected to take off where normally, I would have been working.

But none of it is any of the parent's business. When you sign the contract, it's YOUR contract and has nothing to do with anyone else's. Therefore, while it may feel unfair to you, that provider is not obligated to disclose anything about any other family, including who pays what, when.
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Meeko 06:15 PM 01-17-2016
Originally Posted by MOM OF 4 logged out:
Personally, I never discussed these things with the parents. If a parent told me he/she wanted to take 2 weeks off, I expect the spot to be paid for. If they have not notified me in at least 24 hours that they wanted to use one of those days, I assume they're not coming, and I plan my day. Once the parent notifies me they don't want their spot, while they do have to pay for it, I am not obligated to open my doors. Often times, during holiday weeks, I could have no kids in care at all, and would get a nice break. Then there are times you could easily do a drop-in special for someone who maybe needed the spot unexpectedly. I don't find that unethical, especially when the drop-in spot is asked for last minute. Each parent is responsible for paying their own fees, so the drop-in parent would have to pay for the time they used. Meanwhile, the other parent would be paying for the time they elected to take off where normally, I would have been working.

But none of it is any of the parent's business. When you sign the contract, it's YOUR contract and has nothing to do with anyone else's. Therefore, while it may feel unfair to you, that provider is not obligated to disclose anything about any other family, including who pays what, when.

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Play Care 06:37 AM 01-18-2016
Originally Posted by MOM OF 4 logged out:
Personally, I never discussed these things with the parents. If a parent told me he/she wanted to take 2 weeks off, I expect the spot to be paid for. If they have not notified me in at least 24 hours that they wanted to use one of those days, I assume they're not coming, and I plan my day. Once the parent notifies me they don't want their spot, while they do have to pay for it, I am not obligated to open my doors. Often times, during holiday weeks, I could have no kids in care at all, and would get a nice break. Then there are times you could easily do a drop-in special for someone who maybe needed the spot unexpectedly. I don't find that unethical, especially when the drop-in spot is asked for last minute. Each parent is responsible for paying their own fees, so the drop-in parent would have to pay for the time they used. Meanwhile, the other parent would be paying for the time they elected to take off where normally, I would have been working.

But none of it is any of the parent's business. When you sign the contract, it's YOUR contract and has nothing to do with anyone else's. Therefore, while it may feel unfair to you, that provider is not obligated to disclose anything about any other family, including who pays what, when.


Frankly the questioning it at all leaves a bad taste. It smacks of "I'm the boss!" on the parents end, at least for me.

The only way I can see it being a parents issue is if they believe the provider is over ratio while their child is in attendance or they believe the situation is unsafe regardless of ratios. In this case the child wasn't even in attendance and the provider had a fill in - not even sure if it was their child's "spot."
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Controlled Chaos 08:17 AM 01-18-2016
Lots of interesting points.

I have an infant whose family regularly keeps him home extra days when they can. they usually tell me earlier in the week, sometimes the day before. I offer the open spot to a family on my wait list or my nephew. If my nephew comes I chafe half of normal price (mom brings him here so taking disabled twin brother to therapy is easier), if wait list family comes they pay more per day at my drop in rate. All drop ins know if regular drop in rate. It never occurred to me the regular client would take issue. They pay monthly regardless of attendance. Sometimesy kids go out with their grandparents and that gives me space for a drop in too, so parents are used to seeing a few different faces, but again I sort of assumed as long I honor them having priority for the spot it's not their business what happens to it when they're not here.
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daycarediva 11:48 AM 01-18-2016
Originally Posted by NotARegularMom:
There was no interview they just gave me papers to fill out. She filled my childs spot with a child who is usually in school. A friend of mine who referred me to this place because her child goes there. She owes daycare money as she is behind with her payments. I've been present for conversations about her keeping her child home when she has an other sitter available to save money on daycare. So why is she catching all of these breaks? Because they make it up by charging two families for the same spot? It just seems very unfair to me.
I was JUST accused of double billing for one space by a family. I am legally able to have 6 under 5 and 2 school age. If there is no school, I can have all 8. I have 2 drop ins under age 5 and 1 drop in that is school age. During christmas break I billed the teacher family for the space even though child was out all week. I also contracted to take my drop in SA child. This Mom saw the child here in photos and essentially demanded a refund. Even AFTER I explained the situation- said "well you made extra money so why do I have to pay?" omgggggg lady.

That family is no longer here.
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NoMoreJuice! 12:46 PM 01-18-2016
Originally Posted by Play Care:

Frankly the questioning it at all leaves a bad taste. It smacks of "I'm the boss!" on the parents end, at least for me.
This was definitely my first thought.

OP, I would advise you to follow your contract and pay for your spot as agreed. There are so many unknowns in this situation that it's unfair for you to jump to conclusions about your provider.
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rosieteddy 09:34 AM 01-19-2016
Once a parent gave notice of vacation they lost spot for that time.My contract said paid vacation,there was no changing their mind.Wether I used the spot or not I was not counting on that child attending.All parents were well aware of this on signing the contract. If I chose to offer the space to someone else not their business.Now a parent could just choose to call out each day and cover themselves.(none ever did).We are the boss of our business parents choose us and should read the policies.
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Tags:absent days, charging - absent days, paid days off, paid holidays, vaca sick days paid?
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