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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Letter To Variable Hrs Mom-Help Me Write It!
legomom922 08:05 AM 12-30-2010
This is what I have so far, can you help me tweak it?


I finally had a chance to sit down and study your new schedule that you had given me, and it’s quite hard to follow. I have found myself in a situation here and I only have come up with one answer after doing some research and contacting other daycare providers.

When I had to let Jack go, it opened up a slot in my daycare that now I have been trying to fill. I had it filled with a baby girl, however she needed Wednesdays as one of her days. That was fine with me before I received your new schedule, where you also now needed Wednesdays. According to NYS law, I cannot have over 2 children here at the same time, and with another client here on Wednesdays, that would have put me over my legal limit, so I had to decline the new client. This is when I realized I have a situation. Your schedule changes often and you need a lot of flexibility, however this creates a problem at my end because I cannot fill my slots that I have available because that would take available days away from you if you needed them, so in essence, I am holding days open for you for your changing schedule with no compensation, and that creates loss of income for me, and since I have chosen to work in the home instead of outside the home, this is how we meet our financial obligations, pay our mortgage and put food on the table etc.

In order to avoid scheduling conflicts with other clients in the future and to guarantee you that there will always be a slot held for you, I am offering you contracted hours of monday-friday 630am-230pm for $175/wk, which means you may use any hours in that time frame on any of those days as needed, and any hour needed beyond this would need to be pre-approved based on my availability, with at least 48 hrs notice and at the rate of $5/hr. This would allow me to add other clients to my other open slots, including my afterschool children.

Take a few days and talk about this together and let me me know what you decide to do. I'm sorry I have to put you in this situation, I really think alot of you and your family, and I'm so blessed that I have clients like you.

Thank you for considering this offer and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
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Blackcat31 08:14 AM 12-30-2010
IMO, I think you should just say something along the lines of;

working with such a variable schedule such as yours is difficult. In order to maintain any sense of order within my business I am unfortunately not able to accommodate your needs unless a full-time space is reserved AND paid for accordingly. If this is not financially possible for you, please accept this letter as written two weeks notice.

Something to that effect.....I wouldn't bother explaining all the details because honestly after the first few sentences I was a bit confused. It is too much info. I dunno, I like keeping things short and simple. The details about why I can or can't do things for parents isn't really any of their business. We as providers, are used to sorting out times and slots but as a parent she is only going to understand and recognized HER needs.....so I think explaining things to her isn't necessary... Sorry I wasn't too much help but this was my initial thoughts....Good Luck!
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legomom922 08:36 AM 12-30-2010
Ok how about this:

I finally had a chance to sit down and review your schedule, and your schedule changes often and you need a lot of flexibility which puts me in a difficult situation because I cannot fill my open slots because that would take available days away from you for the future when your schedule changes again, so in essence I am holding days open for you with no compensation and thatís means loss of income for me.

In order to avoid scheduling conflicts with other clients in the future and to guarantee you that there will always be a slot held for you, I am offering you contracted hours of monday-friday 630am-230pm for $175/wk, which means you may use any hours in that time frame on any of those days as needed, and any hour needed beyond this would need to be pre-approved based on my availability, with at least 48 hrs notice and at the rate of $5/hr. This would allow me to add other clients to my other open slots, including my afterschool children.
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marniewon 08:37 AM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
IMO, I think you should just say something along the lines of;

working with such a variable schedule such as yours is difficult. In order to maintain any sense of order within my business I am unfortunately not able to accommodate your needs unless a full-time space is reserved AND paid for accordingly. If this is not financially possible for you, please accept this letter as written two weeks notice.

Something to that effect.....I wouldn't bother explaining all the details because honestly after the first few sentences I was a bit confused. It is too much info. I dunno, I like keeping things short and simple. The details about why I can or can't do things for parents isn't really any of their business. We as providers, are used to sorting out times and slots but as a parent she is only going to understand and recognized HER needs.....so I think explaining things to her isn't necessary... Sorry I wasn't too much help but this was my initial thoughts....Good Luck!
I agree with this. Completely.
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legomom922 08:41 AM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by marniewon:
I agree with this. Completely.
I shortened it, is this better? remember I really do like the people!
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SilverSabre25 08:47 AM 12-30-2010
I honestly thought the first letter sounded great--I think explaining things to her makes it sound more compassionate. You're making sure that she really understands that there is a REASON for this, that you're not just wantonly deciding to change things on her. The only change I would make would be to state the last paragraph as:

Take a few days and talk about this together and let me me know what you decide to do. I really think a lot of you and your family, and I really hope we can come to an agreement that works for everyone.

There are some other um, style things I might fix as well, if it were my letter. I'm picky about things like that though. I would be well-suited as a proofreader.
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MarinaVanessa 08:48 AM 12-30-2010
I agree wi th BlackCat. I think you should just state the simple facts and leave the rest out. Talk to her about the issue as you hand her the letter so that she can ask questions and not feel put off my you just giving her a "note". It's more personable and if you feel like explaining the part about not being compensated properly then do it verbally. Anything written should be brief and to the point.

Also I personally wouldn't add in the part about it being a 2-weeks notice, not yet anyway. She may feel insulted after reading it. For whatever reason parents always feel attacked when issues are brought up and I know I would like to sound as if I were offering a solution not an ultimatum (pay full time or leave). Once you talk to her and give her the written notice about the rate change you can then directly tell her that if this new solution does not work for her then she will need to look for care elsewhere, but I would do tis after the fact and see what her reaction is first. Who knows, maybe she'll be willing to pay for the ft spot..

Keep in mind that you may still want to keep the part about letting the parents discuss it but give them a set date to get back to you like a week (this should be in the written notice). If you give them the notice tomorrow give them until the next Friday to get back to you with an answer. Next Friday have a 2-week notice letter ready just in case they still don't have an answer or if she waits until then to decline your offer. That gives her time to find another DC and you to fill the spot should it come to that. She may just decide to give you a 2 weeks notice herself so be prepared for that but make sure that it's in writing. If she verbally tells you she's quitting then I would still write up a 2 week notice and give it to her asap so there is no confusion as to when her last day will be. Good luck. Keep us posted as to what you decide to do and what she says.
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Daycare_Mama 08:51 AM 12-30-2010
Honestly, I followed along in your first letter perfectly fine and I like that one a little better. Maybe because I like to explain things in more detail than just being short and to the point, but seriously if you really like the family, I see nothing wrong with the first one. It wasn't hard to follow and it showed that this was hard for you to do, but you have to do it. I feel like the second letter would be more appropriate for a family that you didn't really care if they stayed or left. JMO
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legomom922 09:01 AM 12-30-2010
I have no problem with this family at all, and I did want to sound compassionate because I know how difficult it will probably be for them to pay me the FT rate, and so I wanted them to know that yes this is hard for me to do, but I have to do it. I am on vaca this week, so I was going to mail it to them so they would have until Mon to think about it and then they can let me know.

If they decide to go, It wasnt me who made the decision, and I dont have to feel bad about quitting on them, and if they stay, I get more money and no more hassles.
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MarinaVanessa 09:05 AM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25:
I honestly thought the first letter sounded great--I think explaining things to her makes it sound more compassionate.
The best thing to do IMO is to have a brief notice with a brief explanation "due to scheduling concerns" and leave it at that and TALK to her before giving her the notice. Be compassionate when verbally telling her the issue and solution and then giving her the notice after. I think it's always better to be vague in letters so there is no room for confusion.

A good notice can be simple: a) state the issue briefly "due to scheduling issues changes in our current child care arrangement need to be made" b) and state a possible solution (paying FT to ensure a free spot or pay daily and risk not having an available spot (drop-in) etc. and c) a deadline for an answer with the specific date.

Everyone is different but I find that this has worked better for me. When i talk to my clients first about my issues and give them a vague letter that succinctly summarizes what we discussed they take it better than if i just give them a notice. A longer notice with detailed explanaitions can leave room for loopholes, let's not forget how creative clients can be. I know you say that you like these clients but let's not forget how even the nicest clients can turn nasty on us when they are being challenged, not saying it will happen ... just that it could.

I once had a long issue with a client that I once gave a letter to and she argued every part of it with me. In the end I termed her anyway but it was a headache that I didn't need so now I just give brief letters and save the feelings and compasion for our face to face contact.
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legomom922 09:12 AM 12-30-2010
I changed the last paragraph:

Take a few days and talk about this together and let me me know what you decide to do. I have included a new contract if you decide to stay and this would go into effect as of January 7, so if you could please let me know by January 6, it would be appreciated. I'm sorry I have to put you in this situation, I really think alot of you and your family, and I thank you for considering this offer and I wish you a very Happy New Year!
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legomom922 09:14 AM 12-30-2010
I just thought of something...if she doesnt go for it, what do I charge after Jan 7? If she gives me notice, do i operate under the old terms for 2 wks?
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Lilbutterflie 09:19 AM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
The best thing to do IMO is to have a brief notice with a brief explanation "due to scheduling concerns" and leave it at that and TALK to her before giving her the notice. Be compassionate when verbally telling her the issue and solution and then giving her the notice after. I think it's always better to be vague in letters so there is no room for confusion.

A good notice can be simple: a) state the issue briefly "due to scheduling issues changes in our current child care arrangement need to be made" b) and state a possible solution (paying FT to ensure a free spot or pay daily and risk not having an available spot (drop-in) etc. and c) a deadline for an answer with the specific date.
I agree with this completely! You do need to be compassionate, but remember one-one-one communication is ALWAYS better than written communication, so the compassion needs to be verbal instead of written. I also especially like the part of offering the alternate solution, which is to pay daily (at a drop in rate) and risk not having the available spot on Wednesdays. If you offer the alternate solution, make sure you include a deadline for the parents to give you an answer.
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Daycare_Mama 09:19 AM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by legomom922:
I just thought of something...if she doesnt go for it, what do I charge after Jan 7? If she gives me notice, do i operate under the old terms for 2 wks?
Yep, I would say either your new contract starts Jan 7th or her 2 week notice with the old contract starts Jan 7th.
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momofsix 09:21 AM 12-30-2010
Ok how about this:

I finally had a chance to sit down and review your schedule, and your schedule changes often and you need a lot of flexibility which puts me in a difficult situation because I cannot fill my open slots because that would take available days away from you for the future when your schedule changes again, so in essence I am holding days open for you with no compensation and thatís means loss of income for me.
This is one long sentence...how about something like:
I had a chance to sit down and review your schedule. Your changing schedule and the flexibility it requires puts me in a difficult situation because I cannot fill my open slots, as you will need them when your schedule changes again. In essence, I am holding slots open for you with no compensation and that means a loss of income for me.
In order to avoid scheduling conflicts with other clients in the future and to guarantee you that there will always be a slot held for you, I am offering you contracted hours of monday-friday 630am-230pm for $175/wk, which means you may use any hours in that time frame on any of those days as needed, and any hour needed beyond this would need to be pre-approved based on my availability, with at least 48 hrs notice and at the rate of $5/hr. This would allow me to add other clients to my other open slots, including my afterschool children.
Another long one... I just changed it up a bit, I hope you don't mind!In order to avoid scheduling conflicts with other clients in the future and to guarantee you that there will always be a slot held for you, I am offering you contracted hours of monday-friday 630am-230pm for $175/wk. This means you may use any hours in that time frame on any of those days as needed. Any hours needed beyond this would need to be pre-approved based on my availability, with at least 48 hrs notice at the rate of $5/hr. This would allow me to add other clients to my other open slots, including my afterschool children.
I really hope my making changes didn't offend you...I love proofing/editing My husband used to hate to look at his college papers after I proofed them with my red pen...his profs used to laugh about it!
I really think you did a great job on this, and I'm hopeful that she can see your side of this situation and understand the struggle you've been going through!
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momofsix 09:25 AM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by legomom922:
I changed the last paragraph:

Take a few days and talk about this together and let me me know what you decide to do. I have included a new contract if you decide to stay and this would go into effect as of January 7, so if you could please let me know by January 6, it would be appreciated. I'm sorry I have to put you in this situation, I really think alot of you and your family, and I thank you for considering this offer and I wish you a very Happy New Year!
Yes, I really like this too
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Blackcat31 09:26 AM 12-30-2010
While in some situations, I agree with other poster's about talking with her face to face. When I commented about keeping it short and simple I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't offer an explanation if you want to...I just like letters and notes to be simple and short. I try to always take the time to talk with someone so they do understand where you are coming from and such but I try not to give long drawn out explanantions because in my past experience, it seems to open doors for parents to try to negotiate with you about stuff. If I've made up my mind about it then I feel as though I shouldn't have to explain every detail so they can go "Yeah, but how about if I do this ...." or "Why can't you...." I always seem to get parents who try to fix it when really I just don't want to deal with confusing schedules and such.....
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marniewon 09:34 AM 12-30-2010
If there is no way to talk to her face to face (or even phone) then you would probably want to go with the shortened letter (but I do like momofsix's revision of it). I still agree that it needs to be short and to the point, and the compassion comes out in the verbal though.
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legomom922 10:03 AM 12-30-2010
I have to mail it as I wont be seeing her until next week and I want her to have some time for it to sink in before she sees me, and then hopefully I will have an answer from her upon her return.

Ok I redid it again:

I finally had a chance to review your schedule. Your changing schedule and the flexability it requires puts me in a difficult situation because I cannot fill my open slots, as you will need them when your schedule changes again. In essence, I am holding slots open for you with no compensation.

In order to avoid scheduling conflicts with other clients in the future and to guarantee you that there will always be a slot held for you, I am offering you contracted hours of monday-friday 630am-230pm for $175/wk. This means you may use any hours in that time frame on any of those days as needed. Any hours needed beyond this would need to be pre-approved based on my availability, with at least 48 hrs notice at the rate of $5/hr. This would allow me to add other clients to my other open slots, including afterschool children.

Take a few days and talk about this together and let me me know what you decide to do by January 6, 2010. Currently I am providing services to you without a contract. I have included a new contract if you decide to stay and this would go into effect as of January 7, 2010. If you are not able to contract to the new terms, I still need a temporary contract until you make other suitable arrangements. I'm sorry I have to put you in this situation, I really think alot of you and your family, and I thank you for considering this offer and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
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momma2girls 10:15 AM 12-30-2010
Definately let us all know what happens!
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legomom922 12:56 PM 12-30-2010
I just mailed it, so she should get it tomorrow, so I will let you know when i hear something. I hope I am doing the right thing...I just dont want her to think I am at her beck and call...........For 175/wk I will deal with the weird schedule, but for 100, its just not worth it to me.
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legomom922 12:58 PM 12-30-2010
Another thought...For those days that she only needed me 1-4pm, would that mean that because her contracted hrs are 630am-230pm, that she would owe me the $5/hr fee for anything over 230?? I'm sure she will ask...so even though its only a 3 hr day, that would mean I would charge her a total of $42.50? Yikes!!
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momofsix 01:57 PM 12-30-2010
Originally Posted by legomom922:
Another thought...For those days that she only needed me 1-4pm, would that mean that because her contracted hrs are 630am-230pm, that she would owe me the $5/hr fee for anything over 230?? I'm sure she will ask...so even though its only a 3 hr day, that would mean I would charge her a total of $42.50? Yikes!!
i doubt she would go for that! but that would be great $ for you! I would probaably make an exception for those days IF she gives you the advance notice you require, or else change the 6:30-2:30 to "up to 8 hours of care" or something like that.
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legomom922 02:42 PM 12-30-2010
Had another thought..she may come back with I cant pay ft rate but can I keep you on 3 days?

So I was thinking, they would have to be the SAME 3 days all the time for that to work, and she would have to have a 2nd DCP for other days, but then she would be paying almost the same thing anyway..and I dont know if she can change her work schedule just to keep me on 3 days..so should I consider that offer or just let her go if she cant do the FT and just say I have a FT person waiting, so its that or nothing...
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Daycare_Mama 03:35 PM 12-30-2010
To answer your first question about what happens if she wants care from 1-4... I would say no, her hours are until 2:30 only...doesn't matter if she didn't come in the beginning of the day, that's not your problem.

IF you don't have another spot filled that afternoon, she gives you notice, and you are okay with it, I would do the extra hours from 2:30-4, but I would charge $10 an hour for the overtime, so an extra $15 for that day. It doesn't matter if it's only 3 hours total, it's OVER the time you are scheduled to watch the baby. (And I say $10 an hour, because let's face it.. if you offer something cheap like $5 an hour overtime and my child is already there, I would probably pay it. If you charge something like $10, they aren't going to just keep him there for the hell of it.. they're going to really need you that extra 1.5 hours, kwim?)

2nd ?... If she comes back and says she wants 3 days only, yes offer the 3 days (if you want), but it has to be the exact same 3 days each week..no budging on your part. That way you can look for and fill the other 2 days. However, I would tell her that you are going to try to fill the other 2 days, but if you are unable to, you will terminate her spot if a full-time family comes along. Of course, giving her the option to pay full-time before terminating her, if she wishes to keep you.

With that said, if she's willing to commit to 3 specific days, you did mention that your husband just got a raise and wanted you around more. Maybe that would be a good compromise in your situation. You'd still get the $100 you are used to, but you'd have 2 FOR SURE days per week that would be all yours. Just a thought if she doesn't want to pay full-time or you don't want to do full-time. Again, you'd have to be strict about only taking him during those contracted 8 hours on those specific 3 days you choose.
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legomom922 01:10 PM 12-31-2010
Well she should have gotten her letter in the mail today, so we will see what happens...Nothing yet...

My reg OT rate is $10, but for her and the little hrs she does use, I decided $5 was enough.
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legomom922 07:53 PM 01-02-2011
She wrote back so I posted her mail on a new thread
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