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  #1  
Old 01-29-2019, 07:39 AM
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maelb05 maelb05 is offline
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Unhappy Snow/Cold Days

I have a combination of teacher families and non teacher families. We are in the Midwest, so schools were closed yesterday for snow and today and Wednesday for cold. Possibly will be closed Thursday for cold as well.
So far, all my teacher family kids have been in my care yesterday and today. I don't know why, but I was naÔve enough to think that these families would keep their children home with them on the extreme cold days. I get that some parents are not the type that do well with having their children with them on a full time basis. I even understand taking days to themselves once in awhile. However, it does make me really have to wonder about their priorities and if they even think about the overall safety of their children, when parents are willing to bring their infants/young children out in dangerously low temps and windchills, just so they can have these days to themselves.

Maybe I need to switch to only taking teacher families so that I can follow the school year schedule and snow/cold days off. Because I do have other families that still need to go to work on snow/cold days, I don't feel like I can justify telling the teacher families they can't bring their kids, even though they don't NEED their children to be in care. I guess I just needed to vent!
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by maelb05 View Post
I have a combination of teacher families and non teacher families. We are in the Midwest, so schools were closed yesterday for snow and today and Wednesday for cold. Possibly will be closed Thursday for cold as well.
So far, all my teacher family kids have been in my care yesterday and today. I don't know why, but I was naÔve enough to think that these families would keep their children home with them on the extreme cold days. I get that some parents are not the type that do well with having their children with them on a full time basis. I even understand taking days to themselves once in awhile. However, it does make me really have to wonder about their priorities and if they even think about the overall safety of their children, when parents are willing to bring their infants/young children out in dangerously low temps and windchills, just so they can have these days to themselves.

Maybe I need to switch to only taking teacher families so that I can follow the school year schedule and snow/cold days off. Because I do have other families that still need to go to work on snow/cold days, I don't feel like I can justify telling the teacher families they can't bring their kids, even though they don't NEED their children to be in care. I guess I just needed to vent!
Best way to deal with this is to change your mindset or your policies... depending.

99% of parents WILL bring their child(ren) if you are open and available and if they pay based on enrollment not attendance.

If that isn't acceptable or isn't something you can deal with, change your policies to say that if they are not at work, they may not bring their kids to care.

Each of those options comes with issues too so which option you go with is totally up to you but in my honest opinion simply accepting that parents that paid for your services WILL use your services if you are open helps alot.

Trying to accept or come to terms with what you thought parents would do/not do (keep them home) or whether or not they value time with their kid or not will just drive you insane.

If you're open; they WILL come.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:04 AM
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Iím with BC on this. My one teacher mom never brings her child on no school days though. Tomorrow is supposed to be record setting cold here. I informed all families today that if school is cancelled tomorrow I will NOT be open. One mom was not happy. Not my problem. The rest understood and/or were not planning on bringing their kids out in the cold anyways. Thereís always that one. The irony in this case is my ďoneĒ today is usually my first one to keep her kids home at any type of illness, weather related issues etc. I think the dad might be out of town on business but I did not ask. Just reiterated that I would not be open if school is closed. Sorry lady.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:39 AM
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I also agree. You can only change your viewpoint.

If you are open, they will be there.

"Gonna get my moneys' worth" is here to stay. It will be rationalized in many ways.

Some will cite "wants to play with friends", "afraid to get off schedule", and "eats/sleeps/behaves better for you" to "I need me time", "my house needs TLC desperately", "I need to run errands" and "I have not been alone with my spouse for weeks, now".

All are valid since you are open and tuition is paid. It is best to stop keeping score, it only robs your peace.

All my clients are off work, today. All but one DCK is here, they went out of town on vacation last week and have not returned due to weather . Every other parent has something else planned for today knowing I am open. It is the norm, now. My hope is they are using this time so they can devote more time to their kid during the weekend.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:45 AM
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I know not everyone agrees with this or can afford it, but I give my teacher families a slight discount on their tuition with the understanding that they stay home on snow days and school vacations. This is because when school is closed, I also have to take care of my own school aged kids so I need them to stay home to stay within ratio. So they still pay a weekly rate throughout the year, but it's slightly lower than other full time families because they use quite a bit less care. Also, I'm in the same storm as you and after yesterday when I had someone drop off who I thought was working but they were not, I put a notice out saying that I prefer when school is out that care is on an as needed basis for the safety of the kids and parents and that it's best to stay home with your kids in these situations unless you absolutely must work. Obviously I can't enforce it if they lie to me, but at least they know how I feel about it now.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
I need them to stay home to stay within ratio.
I agree. That is the perfect reason to offer a discount for them to stay out. Brilliant, really.

I used to ask my DH to stay home to keep ours when this happened. Your policy could have saved him some vacation days.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maelb05 View Post
I have a combination of teacher families and non teacher families. We are in the Midwest, so schools were closed yesterday for snow and today and Wednesday for cold. Possibly will be closed Thursday for cold as well.
So far, all my teacher family kids have been in my care yesterday and today. I don't know why, but I was naÔve enough to think that these families would keep their children home with them on the extreme cold days. I get that some parents are not the type that do well with having their children with them on a full time basis. I even understand taking days to themselves once in awhile. However, it does make me really have to wonder about their priorities and if they even think about the overall safety of their children, when parents are willing to bring their infants/young children out in dangerously low temps and windchills, just so they can have these days to themselves.

Maybe I need to switch to only taking teacher families so that I can follow the school year schedule and snow/cold days off. Because I do have other families that still need to go to work on snow/cold days, I don't feel like I can justify telling the teacher families they can't bring their kids, even though they don't NEED their children to be in care. I guess I just needed to vent!
It is hard to see how most parents rather get their money's worth than stay and enjoy a day with their children. With that said you either have to deal with it, change your policies or change how you operate. I ended up going to only before and after care this year. I do not take kids when schools are closed except for one family(mom works at the hospital) Rest are teachers kids and do not need to be here. In the end it was what was best for me and my family. I know not everyone can operate like this. Like today school is letting out 2 hours early for snow. I am closing two hours early.
They are also only paying a before/after rate so they arent paying for something they aren't getting.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:41 AM
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I do realize I need to change the way I think about these situations, it just tough! And yes, I have been given all sorts of reasons already this week. One today: "I have been scrambling all morning to make several appointments for myself today."
A question I do have though is, what happens when these families bring their children and then can't get back to pick them up because the weather has gotten so awful or their car breaks down in the cold weather? (One DCM is on her own this week because is out of town for work)
Also, I have noticed that these families tend to pick up as late as possible on days they are off. Their contracted hours are until my close time, but when they are working, they come up to a half hour before I close. Does anyone have a policy in place about if a family is late picking up on days that they are off or at home for the day? Or do you just treat it the same as you would if they were working in terms of a late fee. I have always felt that you don't have an excuse to be late if you are coming from home(have the day off), but maybe I need to change my way of thinking on this too?
I do allow my families vacation days (pro rated depending on their schedule) each year as well, but nobody ever takes advantage of them.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:09 AM
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Iím also in Michigan and we are on the 3rd day off of school. For teachers I give them Christmas break and spring break off without paying for it but they have to keep their kids home on snow days and mid winter break. I did have one who thought they were going to bring their kids and I offered to change their contract to paying for the other breaks and they could bring their kids on snow days. They turned that down really fast. My other teacher kept her kids home and didnít even ask.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maelb05 View Post
I do realize I need to change the way I think about these situations, it just tough! And yes, I have been given all sorts of reasons already this week. One today: "I have been scrambling all morning to make several appointments for myself today."
A question I do have though is, what happens when these families bring their children and then can't get back to pick them up because the weather has gotten so awful or their car breaks down in the cold weather? (One DCM is on her own this week because is out of town for work)
Not MY problem. They best have reliable transportation in order to pick up on time. HOW is not my problem.

If they don't....they lose the right to attend on bad weather days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maelb05 View Post
Also, I have noticed that these families tend to pick up as late as possible on days they are off. Their contracted hours are until my close time, but when they are working, they come up to a half hour before I close. Does anyone have a policy in place about if a family is late picking up on days that they are off or at home for the day? Or do you just treat it the same as you would if they were working in terms of a late fee. I have always felt that you don't have an excuse to be late if you are coming from home(have the day off), but maybe I need to change my way of thinking on this too?
I do allow my families vacation days (pro rated depending on their schedule) each year as well, but nobody ever takes advantage of them.
Working or off, a parent MUST arrive no later than their contracted time. I am paid well for the 'close to closing time' pick ups so whether a parent is off or at work, I don't care.

My late fees are $1 per minute per child FIRST time
Double the second late pick up and immediate termination the third time.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:15 AM
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What happens when these families bring their children and then can't get back to pick them up because the weather has gotten so awful or their car breaks down in the cold weather?

Charge a penalty rate or you chose to close early. They won't come on their own, you must make the decision.

Their contracted hours are until my close time

Change your contract to sliding hours if you don't want to work until close. Many here do it successfully.

I do allow my families vacation days (pro rated depending on their schedule) each year as well, but nobody ever takes advantage of them.

I offered it free for my first 20 years. They stopped taking them about 8 years ago. I took it out of my contract 4 years ago. Nobody noticed.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:25 AM
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Teachers in my district get the first "snow" day per school year off with pay then are required to either use PTO or make up their time for anything beyond the first snow day. So, I do understand that most of the teachers here do actually have to work.

Typically, I close for weather related emergencies if it inhibits the ability for emergency vehicles to reach us or if our environment is compromised (no water, heat, electricity).
I made the call to close tomorrow due to the cold weather because our furnace cannot adequately keep up with keeping the lower level (daycare) comfortable. With only two kids out of 10 scheduled to be here, it made more sense to close.

What really gets me though, with all activities, schools and even some businesses closing due to wind chill dangers, I see all the facebook mom's groups talking about where to go to keep the kids "busy". Some are going to the zoo, some to the indoor dome, some to play parks, malls, etc.
Defeats the purpose of staying warm, cozy and safe... ya know? Is it that hard to stay home and actually spend one-on-one time with the kids instead of "entertaining" them? Some of the best memories are made on these no school days.

To answer your question about what to do when they can't pick up in time due to weather emergencies.... I always charge my normal late fee which is $1 per minute. I tell families every season: I rarely close for weather but I 100% expect all families to plan accordingly if they chose to bring their children and PICK UP ON TIME. No exceptions.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:39 AM
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I think we all start out in this business with this naive idea that other parents are as invested with their kids as we are in ours. Unfortunately I have yet to meet any parents that are this way! You spend the first few years angry about it and then at some point you have to let it go and have ZERO expectation that any parent wants to be with their kids.

Of course you can still vent about it (my spouse or here) but for me it is more in a way than an way nowadays.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:04 PM
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My teacher contract was they kept their child home 3 weeks vacation and any nonworking school days off Iwas paid Sept -through June .They paid two week nonrefundable deposit to come back in Sept. I explained it as they paid for summervacations during the school year then they had Juy and Aug off. Iheld their spot. Most parents are using what they pay for can't let it get to you.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:23 PM
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I have two thoughts....

1. On school closures...

From a safety standpoint I follow the school district schedule and standards for closures. I am walking distance to the local public elementary school and IF they close, I close. My thought process was if the school district is willing to go thru the headache of closure and potential loss of funding for the day then that closure was likely for good cause in terms of safety. Even if you do not follow the school district calendar for breaks/holidays I think you can follow the school district standards for weather/emergency/unexpected closures.

2. On parents getting their money worth or dropping off when they are off work...

All of my families enrolled have one stay at home or work at home parent. I do not care what they do in the time their child is with me. I am well compensated for the time I care for their child. I charge and plan based on enrollment not attendance and personally do not feel it is my place to judge or care about what parents do with their time that they have contracted childcare with me as long as they honor their contract.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by maelb05 View Post
I do realize I need to change the way I think about these situations, it just tough! And yes, I have been given all sorts of reasons already this week. One today: "I have been scrambling all morning to make several appointments for myself today."
A question I do have though is, what happens when these families bring their children and then can't get back to pick them up because the weather has gotten so awful or their car breaks down in the cold weather? (One DCM is on her own this week because is out of town for work)
Also, I have noticed that these families tend to pick up as late as possible on days they are off. Their contracted hours are until my close time, but when they are working, they come up to a half hour before I close. Does anyone have a policy in place about if a family is late picking up on days that they are off or at home for the day? Or do you just treat it the same as you would if they were working in terms of a late fee. I have always felt that you don't have an excuse to be late if you are coming from home(have the day off), but maybe I need to change my way of thinking on this too?
I do allow my families vacation days (pro rated depending on their schedule) each year as well, but nobody ever takes advantage of them.
When we had our first snow storm of the year, I reminded my parents that I am open, but if their child gets stuck with me overnight, that I charge $200 for overnight care. After I started telling parents this, I have much less trouble getting kids picked up when the weather turns bad. They usually leave several hours early if they show up at all.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
When we had our first snow storm of the year, I reminded my parents that I am open, but if their child gets stuck with me overnight, that I charge $200 for overnight care. After I started telling parents this, I have much less trouble getting kids picked up when the weather turns bad. They usually leave several hours early if they show up at all.
That is a good idea
They hear it will cost them that much money they will make sure they come get their kids.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
When we had our first snow storm of the year, I reminded my parents that I am open, but if their child gets stuck with me overnight, that I charge $200 for overnight care. After I started telling parents this, I have much less trouble getting kids picked up when the weather turns bad. They usually leave several hours early if they show up at all.
This is a brilliant idea! I was supposed to have 8 kids. Now I will only have 2, one of which his parent is off work today. She seems to show up right at 5:30 when I close or 5 minutes late. Iím fully prepared to term today if sheís late due to ďbad weatherĒ. Itís not my problem to figure this out for you.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:45 AM
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There was a bunch of drama yesterday because our school district had said they were not going to close today (-40 temps). Everyone was complaining on FB, so last night they sent out the alerts that school would be closed. I think they got so tired of parents complaining, that they decided to close. Personally, I was born and raised here, so these temps don't really phase me. It's definitely cold and not safe to be outside for long periods, but in my opinion, the kids could have still gone to school. We were a farm family, so chores still had to be done regardless of how cold.

I'm fine with them being closed, as my kids enjoy a day off, but I just think the same people who were whining about not being closed, will be heading out to eat and go shopping today. My good friend is a manager at Walmart, and she posted on Facebook about school closing, so we should stay home, safe and warm, but she'll prob see you all tomorrow at Walmart. I work in a restaurant, and I guarantee you it's going to be busy. No one wants to go to work or school, but they definitely wont be staying home with their kids all day!
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:16 AM
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There was a bunch of drama yesterday because our school district had said they were not going to close today (-40 temps). Everyone was complaining on FB, so last night they sent out the alerts that school would be closed. I think they got so tired of parents complaining, that they decided to close. Personally, I was born and raised here, so these temps don't really phase me. It's definitely cold and not safe to be outside for long periods, but in my opinion, the kids could have still gone to school. We were a farm family, so chores still had to be done regardless of how cold.

I'm fine with them being closed, as my kids enjoy a day off, but I just think the same people who were whining about not being closed, will be heading out to eat and go shopping today. My good friend is a manager at Walmart, and she posted on Facebook about school closing, so we should stay home, safe and warm, but she'll prob see you all tomorrow at Walmart. I work in a restaurant, and I guarantee you it's going to be busy. No one wants to go to work or school, but they definitely wont be staying home with their kids all day!
Our school district website is clear to say the choice to keep your child home ultimately falls on the parent whether school is closed or not and no matter what decision a parent make the school is supportive of it.

Parents don’t seem to realize they don’t gave to be “told” and can stand up and be a parent. Why “force” (via whining online) the school to close when they can just decide on their own.

They closed school here today too... all my parents (except one) had already said they were staying home before school was called off. My one parent was planning to work from home (they closed the county court house where she works as well) and was pissy when I said I was staying home too since everyone except her had already called off.
I won’t come in/open for just one family.

I told her she can still work from home but apparently her kids are impossible for her so... they’re 4.5 and 2.5 yrs old.... not MY problem. They’re good for me.

So she’ll just have to be a mom today verses getting any work done.
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