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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Any Hope for This Situation?
spedmommy4 10:31 PM 03-30-2016
I've posted about this family before. Of all my families, they have had the hardest time adjusting to group care. They came to me from nanny care 6 months ago and I knew there would be an adjustment period but I feel like it's getting rediculous at this point.

We've had consistent issues with dropping off late and enforcement of policies created a lot of awkwardness. Then a few weeks ago the parents drop her off with hives. I didn't see the extent because of her long sleeves. The little girl had seen a doctor and had been cleared but she was completely miserable. Cried all day. I contacted mom for pick up and received a "be there as soon as I can thanks for your patience" response. Dcm ended up picking up fairly close to the regular time. My illness policy is clear that a child that's miserable and needs constant holding they have to go home.

The most recent problem has been leaving medicine in the child's bag. The first time dcm I thought, "rookie childcare parent mistake." I went over the fact that I couldn't administer any medication without a signed form and the fact that having medication in the cubbies is a serious safety violation. Well, I had my co-teacher and sub fill in for me yesterday and dcd dropped her off and he left a new medication in her cubby.

I assume dcm and dcd just haven't talked about the whole medication at childcare thing so I sat down and drafted them an email to both parents (they are together) letting them know that medication cannot be left in her bag in the cubbies. I explained that it's a serious violation, I could lose my license, and I would have no choice but to terminate care if it happened again. Both parents were extremely apologetic.

But . . . Then I got a text later in the afternoon requesting to add a day of care next week and the conversation alternated between nice and really rude.

I am sitting on the fence on whether to end the business relationship or stick it out hoping that they are going to get the hang of this group care thing someday . . . WWYD?
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MunchkinWrangler 10:51 PM 03-30-2016
I personally think it would be a good idea to conference with the parents. Let them know ALL the ins and outs of your licensing requirements and rules that you have to follow, which means that they have to comply. Period. We all know nanny care and licensed care are two totally different things, they surely don't know. They obviously don't know the seriousness of these happenings. I know you've said it but make it clear that you are unwilling to put your license in jeopardy because of their misunderstanding of your rules and that they are there for a reason. The safety of the other children first and foremost. I would also let them know that when a call for pickup is made, they have to be there STAT. Nanny's care for sick children, us normal licensed providers can't unless sick care is your biz. I would say that if they are not there within a reasonable amount of time an emergency contact will be called for pickup. I wish you luck with this situation
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valleygirl 10:54 PM 03-30-2016
That sounds like a tricky situation. How long have they been coming? Have you given the consent form for administering medication and have they signed it? I'd make sure the parents are aware of all daycare policies and procedures that pertain to their children, and a list of what rules you need the parents to abide by. And get them to sign it. If they get 3 warnings then they are out. Sounds harsh, but it sounds like that family may be used to the way the nanny did things and may not understand fully that daycares have to follow proper procedure in order to maintain their licensing. Good luck!
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childcaremom 01:21 AM 03-31-2016
I don't mind a few reminders initially but I expect dcps to "get with the program" within a month of being enrolled. So after 6 months..... yes, follow them. Have you addressed each issue as it's come up? Especially the sick pick up?

Serious policy violations, though, is another thing. I think you have handled that particular issue well. As for the others, perhaps a final, "There have been several issues that have come up over the past month that I would like to address. (list them) Please review the contract/handbook over the weekend. If you have any questions or need clarification, please let me know." Depending on how you feel, maybe add a line that any further contract violations may result in termination. Maybe even, I know this is a different care situation for you, but please understand I do not have time to go over policies repeatedly with each parent so I do expect you to have read/understood/comply. I don't always like to have that underlying threatening tone but maybe this is what they need.
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Blackcat31 06:19 AM 03-31-2016
I like the idea of a conference.

Maybe a "re-grouping" conference.

Just so you can kind of let the parents know; "OK you've been here a while now and seem to be struggling with the policies and when they are broken and then enforced you give attitude so we need to talk and decide if this is really the right fit for your needs and if so how we can get with the program" type discussion.

If that doesn't fix everything.....I'd find a replacement.

I definitely think the adjustment to daycare is tough for some but the transition from nanny to group care has to be even harder but not impossible so I'd give it one last effort to help them get with the program or get terminated from it.
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Thriftylady 06:23 AM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I like the idea of a conference.

Maybe a "re-grouping" conference.

Just so you can kind of let the parents know; "OK you've been here a while now and seem to be struggling with the policies and when they are broken and then enforced you give attitude so we need to talk and decide if this is really the right fit for your needs and if so how we can get with the program" type discussion.

If that doesn't fix everything.....I'd find a replacement.

I definitely think the adjustment to daycare is tough for some but the transition from nanny to group care has to be even harder but not impossible so I'd give it one last effort to help them get with the program or get terminated from it.
In this case I agree with BC. Have the conference let them know exactly what the issues are, and spell out for them exactly how group care runs. I am sure you did that to begin with, but try this last time. If it doesn't work out, start looking to replace.
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EntropyControlSpecialist 06:30 AM 03-31-2016
6 months??? I'm sorry, but they're simply wanting to be the boss of you. I've had plenty of nanny families and none of them have had an issue with following the policies. I'd expect some issues within the first few weeks but 6 months? That's insanity.

The clients I've had that couldn't "get with the program" are almost always medical professional moms (9/10) but the others tend to be the corporate Moms who are the boss of other people in their job.
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NightOwl 07:29 AM 03-31-2016
It seems to me that they're trying to see how far they can push you. Push back. I like the conference idea because who knows if they would actually read your email concerning their faux pas. Maybe offer them a copy of minimum standards and your policies, after you've gone through them with a highlighter to point out the relevant issues.
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Ariana 07:47 AM 03-31-2016
This isn't rocket science right!? I mean they have rules and regs they have to follow in every aspect of their life so why is it taking them 6 months to get with the program?

I personally would not have a conference. You are being way too nice to these people which is probably why they are acting this way. When the mom didn't come and pick up her sick child why didn't you contact her again? Contact the dad or the emergency contact? I think you are feeling like you can't stand up to them too much for fear of them not liking you. At least this is what I am reading from your post.

I have this exact same parent. It also took them 4 months to get with the program. They thought I was their employee and I had to make it super clear that I was not. I simply enforced my rules over and over with zero bending. Being firm and professional is not being mean.

The more you sit down, explain and conference, the more they are going to push back and see your rules as negotiable. Have firm boundaries instead. They will eventually get it. They do not need hand holding, they need a smack upside the head
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childcaremom 07:49 AM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by Ariana:
This isn't rocket science right!? I mean they have rules and regs they have to follow in every aspect of their life so why is it taking them 6 months to get with the program?

I personally would not have a conference. You are being way too nice to these people which is probably why they are acting this way. When the mom didn't come and pick up her sick child why didn't you contact her again? Contact the dad or the emergency contact? I think you are feeling like you can't stand up to them too much for fear of them not liking you. At least this is what I am reading from your post.

I have this exact same parent. It also took them 4 months to get with the program. They thought I was their employee and I had to make it super clear that I was not. I simply enforced my rules over and over with zero bending. Being firm and professional is not being mean.

The more you sit down, explain and conference, the more they are going to push back and see your rules as negotiable. Have firm boundaries instead. They will eventually get it. They do not need hand holding, they need a smack upside the head
I needed to hear your words whispered in my ears when I was dealing with some of my former dcps.
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Blackcat31 08:04 AM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by Ariana:
This isn't rocket science right!? I mean they have rules and regs they have to follow in every aspect of their life so why is it taking them 6 months to get with the program?

I personally would not have a conference. You are being way too nice to these people which is probably why they are acting this way. When the mom didn't come and pick up her sick child why didn't you contact her again? Contact the dad or the emergency contact? I think you are feeling like you can't stand up to them too much for fear of them not liking you. At least this is what I am reading from your post.

I have this exact same parent. It also took them 4 months to get with the program. They thought I was their employee and I had to make it super clear that I was not. I simply enforced my rules over and over with zero bending. Being firm and professional is not being mean.

The more you sit down, explain and conference, the more they are going to push back and see your rules as negotiable. Have firm boundaries instead. They will eventually get it. They do not need hand holding, they need a smack upside the head
Well obviously they haven't and it's been 6 months so....

While I am much stricter than most and have zero issues enforcing anything with my clients I think sometimes parents do need to have an opportunity to "re-group".

I think a conference over and over is silly and unnecessary but conferencing one time to reign them in after 6 months of struggling to get them on track is actually a professional courtesy before resorting to termination.

If OP truly believed that with no other actions other than consistent enforcement of policies that the family would eventually "get it" I am sure she wouldn't be posting asking for advice.

I think she is beyond that already and simply looking for that one last bit of advice that could be the key before just throwing in the towel and terminating care.
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MunchkinWrangler 09:14 AM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Well obviously they haven't and it's been 6 months so....

While I am much stricter than most and have zero issues enforcing anything with my clients I think sometimes parents do need to have an opportunity to "re-group".

I think a conference over and over is silly and unnecessary but conferencing one time to reign them in after 6 months of struggling to get them on track is actually a professional courtesy before resorting to termination.

If OP truly believed that with no other actions other than consistent enforcement of policies that the family would eventually "get it" I am sure she wouldn't be posting asking for advice.

I think she is beyond that already and simply looking for that one last bit of advice that could be the key before just throwing in the towel and terminating care.
I have interviewed many families coming from nanny care, either my hours aren't flexible enough, they don't like that I won't care for their sick child, and don't like the rules they have to follow because I have to follow them. And that's ok. I have a current family that had a nanny but they also have experience with daycare too, they are one of my best families.

I would give a conference a chance, they went from being the employer to being the customer. Yes, sometimes we need to spell out what the rules are and why they are there. What has always worked for me is, if I lose my license then they don't have childcare. I give access and a copy of the daycare licensing rule in my state. If an issue comes up, I simply bring up the rule and let it speak for itself. Most, not all, but most parents won't argue or push if it's a law and I'm just abiding by it.
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Ariana 10:38 AM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by :
Well obviously they haven't and it's been 6 months so....
I meant they would eventually get it IF she became more strict and less wishy washy . As I stated in my post, she seems to be wishy washy in her enforcement of policies. I can't say for sure with a few examples but that is my opinion. I don't recommend she throw in the towel I recommend she get strictor and stop explaining things to them.
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thrivingchildcarecom 10:50 AM 03-31-2016
Well I'm on the fence too (on your behalf). You are right on all accounts. The thing is there always seems to be a challenging family at the daycare. The provider needs to find ways to enforce without alienating the family and loosing clients.

That being said, sometimes its ok to let go. Sometimes it truly is not a good fit.

I have found that in recent years using pre-written notes, memos, emails, etc. works best. Plus it has the added benefit of calling my attention if I have to send repeated communications to a certain family.

If you would like, I can share with you my "Illness Exclusion" form that I send out whenever I excuse a family from a day of care. It is great because just in case I'm busy and forget to inform them of when and under what conditions the child can return to care, the form states it very clearly.

Send me a PM and your email and I can share the two forms I use.
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spedmommy4 02:41 PM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Well obviously they haven't and it's been 6 months so....

While I am much stricter than most and have zero issues enforcing anything with my clients I think sometimes parents do need to have an opportunity to "re-group".

I think a conference over and over is silly and unnecessary but conferencing one time to reign them in after 6 months of struggling to get them on track is actually a professional courtesy before resorting to termination.

If OP truly believed that with no other actions other than consistent enforcement of policies that the family would eventually "get it" I am sure she wouldn't be posting asking for advice.

I think she is beyond that already and simply looking for that one last bit of advice that could be the key before just throwing in the towel and terminating care.
This is it exactly!

I am actually strict as well. As a rule, I don't let any policies siide. It sets a precedent. Anyway, on the day I contacted for pick up with hives it was afternoon and it took me awhile to reach dcm. When I did, I assumed she was on her way. That particular afternoon I was also on my own with a full house and lost track of time. I didn't realize after pick up that it had taken her two hours to show up. They have come right away for other illnesses (eg: vomiting) so I believe the issue is they don't realize I consider "miserable" with something non-contagious to be immediate pick up worthy.

I also think dcm and dcd don't tell each other anything so after I addressed the medicine issue with dcm, she said nothing to dcd and I ended up dealing with it again.

After telling them both dad came prepared with the form printed and filled and handed the medicine directly to me this morning. That's progress.

I have conferences coming up so I will go over the other issues with both of them at our conference. If that doesn't resolve the issues, I will be terminating her care.
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Mom2Two 03:19 PM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by spedmommy4:
This is it exactly!

I am actually strict as well. As a rule, I don't let any policies siide. It sets a precedent. Anyway, on the day I contacted for pick up with hives it was afternoon and it took me awhile to reach dcm. When I did, I assumed she was on her way. That particular afternoon I was also on my own with a full house and lost track of time. I didn't realize after pick up that it had taken her two hours to show up. They have come right away for other illnesses (eg: vomiting) so I believe the issue is they don't realize I consider "miserable" with something non-contagious to be immediate pick up worthy.

I also think dcm and dcd don't tell each other anything so after I addressed the medicine issue with dcm, she said nothing to dcd and I ended up dealing with it again.

After telling them both dad came prepared with the form printed and filled and handed the medicine directly to me this morning. That's progress.

I have conferences coming up so I will go over the other issues with both of them at our conference. If that doesn't resolve the issues, I will be terminating her care.
Just curious what you charge for taking two hours to pick up when you call for it. Do you charge enough to (help) compensate for the pain of the experience of late pick up of sick child?
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Mom2Two 03:23 PM 03-31-2016
And it is so great to be able to read sane thoughts about the crazy situations we face sometimes!
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Mom2Two 03:41 PM 03-31-2016
And it is so great to be able to read sane thoughts about the crazy situations we face sometimes!
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spedmommy4 05:04 PM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by Mom2Two:
Just curious what you charge for taking two hours to pick up when you call for it. Do you charge enough to (help) compensate for the pain of the experience of late pick up of sick child?
Right now, nothing. My policy states that the parents or their emergency contacts need to pick up within 45 minutes or they risk immediate termination.

My late fee in general is $1 a minute. I haven't decided if I will leave my policy as it is or make changes to enforce a late fee for failure to pickup on time for illness when I update my handbook for the upcoming school year.
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daycarediva 05:10 PM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by spedmommy4:
Right now, nothing. My policy states that the parents or their emergency contacts need to pick up within 45 minutes or they risk immediate termination.

My late fee in general is $1 a minute. I haven't decided if I will leave my policy as it is or make changes to enforce a late fee for failure to pickup on time for illness when I update my handbook for the upcoming school year.
I think you need to add fees to that. When I contact a parent, they have 30 minutes to pick up from the INITIAL contact. I have a special form for this- they fill out the number where they can ALWAYS be reached, and I use that. If they are past 30 minutes, late fees begin to accrue and I DO charge them. It's horribly disrespectful to not only you, but to their sick child.

You need to have a meeting with this family. Address it with BOTH parents, and every single time it comes up, address it right there. "Sue you KNOW pick up time is at 5:30 and it's 5:42. Your late fee is ______. That's due now!"

Or I wouldn't bother keeping them as clients. After that much time, they are FULLY aware of what they are doing and don't care.
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childcaremom 06:01 PM 03-31-2016
Originally Posted by daycarediva:
I think you need to add fees to that. When I contact a parent, they have 30 minutes to pick up from the INITIAL contact. I have a special form for this- they fill out the number where they can ALWAYS be reached, and I use that. If they are past 30 minutes, late fees begin to accrue and I DO charge them. It's horribly disrespectful to not only you, but to their sick child.

You need to have a meeting with this family. Address it with BOTH parents, and every single time it comes up, address it right there. "Sue you KNOW pick up time is at 5:30 and it's 5:42. Your late fee is ______. That's due now!"

Or I wouldn't bother keeping them as clients. After that much time, they are FULLY aware of what they are doing and don't care.
I have the same policy for illness pick ups. Late fees and/or immediate term. Except I allow for one hour from initial contact. I have termed a dcp who was late (was NOT the only issue with the dcf and the little guy's temp was pushing 103! by the time she strolled in). I explain to dcps that I appreciate them coming as soon as they can as I am trying to segregate their sick child away from the group while we are waiting for pick up.
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My3cents 08:47 PM 04-01-2016
Originally Posted by Ariana:
This isn't rocket science right!? I mean they have rules and regs they have to follow in every aspect of their life so why is it taking them 6 months to get with the program?

I personally would not have a conference. You are being way too nice to these people which is probably why they are acting this way. When the mom didn't come and pick up her sick child why didn't you contact her again? Contact the dad or the emergency contact? I think you are feeling like you can't stand up to them too much for fear of them not liking you. At least this is what I am reading from your post.

I have this exact same parent. It also took them 4 months to get with the program. They thought I was their employee and I had to make it super clear that I was not. I simply enforced my rules over and over with zero bending. Being firm and professional is not being mean.

The more you sit down, explain and conference, the more they are going to push back and see your rules as negotiable. Have firm boundaries instead. They will eventually get it. They do not need hand holding, they need a smack upside the head
I have to agree here. Nicely said Ariana. After a while you get to know your clients and know if they are having a true need or just taking advantage. I do have a heart and compassion for others. I just have to be careful because of my nature to not be backed into a corner, used up and then end up with resentments. Sticking to your rules and regs is very important....it is not personal, it is just business

best-
3cents~
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My3cents 09:15 PM 04-01-2016
Originally Posted by Ariana:
I meant they would eventually get it IF she became more strict and less wishy washy . As I stated in my post, she seems to be wishy washy in her enforcement of policies. I can't say for sure with a few examples but that is my opinion. I don't recommend she throw in the towel I recommend she get strictor and stop explaining things to them.
I can see this too. Policies and rules and regs, need to be in place before care starts and clear. So clear you can see through them......ha ha ha.....CLEAR~ I do agree with Blackcat too....give one more chance to make it Clear to these parents.
Follow follow follow through. When the parent was not there after 45 minutes plan B should have been in full motion. (whatever your plan B is) Something should have been said at pick up.
I think you have to explain to these parents that you are group care and go over your policies again with them. Pull out your Rule book and just go over it again. As you go along in years you will edit your rule book as needed, send home a statement letter of these changes and ask them to put that in their copy. Some providers even have them sign something that states they have read your updated rule.

Great advice from both ladies~ 3cents
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Tags:drama - parent, medication - policy
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