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Old 07-15-2015, 02:34 PM
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Default Parent and Staff Issue, HELP, IDEAS

I have a large daycare with about 24 kids enrolled. 14 can attend at one time.

Every year I throw different parties and events. Usually some are pretty big events.

Well a few weeks ago we had a big event that took place where we had just about all of the kids and some of the parents attend. It was on a normal day of operation, Friday.

I was running the show that day and I didn't really have any issues. But after a staff meeting the following Monday, all of my staff agreed that they hated working the event due to the parents that came, they did not control their child's behavior. It was only the kids that had a parent in attendance that were the kids that had issues.

Now for me, I have no problem taking over for a parent if they fail to parent their child. I will also tell the parent to take care of it when they are present. My staff told me they were not comfortable parenting the child when the parent was present. I told them then don't complain if you aren't willing to jump in..Of course they said they shouldn't have to jump in, th parents should. I do agree 100% with what they are saying. BUT if the parent doesn't then someone has to is how I see it.

ALSO, my parents are told before the party that they must parent their child and are given a list of our basic rules an expectations of their child behavior so that they can enforce them when they are with us. Guess that didn't really work.

So now all of my staff says they don't want to do any more events because of this reason. I am feeling conflicted, because this is how friendships are made with the other families and I love doing events.

BUT if I don't have any staff support, what am I to do?

How would you guys handle this? I need to figure something out soon, we have our next big event coming up in a few weeks. Preschool graduation for 7 kids, and all of them have siblings, some that attend our program.

HELP
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:13 PM
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DC----you know I love ya, but I have to say what you did is against regs. If you had more than the 14 legally allowable children there, whether parents are there or not, you would be cited for being over capacity if licensing were to show up. You could possibly be shut down, depending on how over capcity you were. I say go with what your staff have said and no longer host such big events.....

Please don't take offense, like I said, you know I love ya, that's why I am giving you this advice.

ETA: I assume you had more than 14, as you said you have 24 enrolled and MOST of the children were there. If I misunderstood, my apologies.

Last edited by daycare; 07-15-2015 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:20 PM
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I did have this at a park and cleared with licensing.

I only had my 14 that I was allowed and the rest of the kids had their parents with them.

BUt yes you are right, if I didn't have those parents there with their child that are not normally on a scheduled day and I held it at my house, then I would have been in trouble for over the limits.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:21 PM
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and thank you for double checking. I know some people don't realize that even having a party could put them over limits.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:28 PM
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Could you tell the parents that if they don't, can't, or won't handle their children, they will be asked to leave? Tell them your staff is upset and doesn't want to have any further parties and if the parents want them to continue and enjoy them; they need to handle their children.

My first suggestion was to stop letting parents come but I see now that that's not an option due to ratios. Lol
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AuntTami View Post
Could you tell the parents that if they don't, can't, or won't handle their children, they will be asked to leave? Tell them your staff is upset and doesn't want to have any further parties and if the parents want them to continue and enjoy them; they need to handle their children.

My first suggestion was to stop letting parents come but I see now that that's not an option due to ratios. Lol
I guess that really is the only thing that I can do. Now that i am aware of it, I could tell the parents this.

I could also hold it on a saturday, but then all of the parents would be present.

At the event, there were a few times that I did tell one of the kids that the next time he didn't listen he was going to go home with dad. I gave dcd the eye and he caught on, but my staff didn't tell me anything the day of. BUT I was super busy, so perhaps they didn't have the opportunity to tell me.


Do you think that it would be wrong if I wrote a letter about this for the next event saying that parents that do not control their child's behavior will be asked to leave the event and those in attendance will not get a refund or credit.

I had about 9 parents that day, which most of were of kids that normally don't attend on Friday...
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:46 PM
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I guess that really is the only thing that I can do. Now that i am aware of it, I could tell the parents this.

I could also hold it on a saturday, but then all of the parents would be present.

At the event, there were a few times that I did tell one of the kids that the next time he didn't listen he was going to go home with dad. I gave dcd the eye and he caught on, but my staff didn't tell me anything the day of. BUT I was super busy, so perhaps they didn't have the opportunity to tell me.


Do you think that it would be wrong if I wrote a letter about this for the next event saying that parents that do not control their child's behavior will be asked to leave the event and those in attendance will not get a refund or credit.

I had about 9 parents that day, which most of were of kids that normally don't attend on Friday...
I think a letter is totally reasonable.

As far as your staff, I can understand that they are fed up- they have a right to be. But, they are your employees and if you want to have parties, they need to work them. Jmho.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:00 PM
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I think you should be really firm when the next event comes along. Tell the parents in writing that if they cannot keep their child in control, they will be asked to leave as soon as a staff member feels there is a problem. And then tell your staff to come to you if there is an issue.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:04 PM
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I think a letter is totally reasonable.

As far as your staff, I can understand that they are fed up- they have a right to be. But, they are your employees and if you want to have parties, they need to work them. Jmho.
I do feel for them, but at the same time, sometimes we have to do things we don't like. Like parenting a child with a present parent. I have told them this in the past.

parents know and are expected to back my rules at all times.

I can see where my staff felt intimidated to say something to the parents or the child, but just letting it go on makes it worse.

I am having another staff meeting and will tell them that i want to improve this for everyone sake, but i will continue to hold events and i will also be certain to address this issue before hand.

I will have to type something up soon because we have another one in a few weeks.

thanks for your feed back. I don't feel as stressed any more.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:05 PM
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Maybe offer some suggestions on how to approach the parent when/if the issue arise? I can understand it would be awkward so maybe some scenarios and 'prepared lines' would make it easier for them.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
I think you should be really firm when the next event comes along. Tell the parents in writing that if they cannot keep their child in control, they will be asked to leave as soon as a staff member feels there is a problem. And then tell your staff to come to you if there is an issue.
yes...this. I do need to tell my staff they need to address it with either me or the parent right away. Of course, I would be the one to have to tell the parent the child has to leave. WHICH I can only imagine what would come of that....UGH..

My dcks are very well behaved kids. Don't get me wrong, we have issues here and there every once in awhile, but for the most part, the kids are awesome.

I have some great parents and then some that well let's just leave that alone....insert big cheesy smile here.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:07 PM
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I understand you saying it is the job. But are they worried they will loose their job if they upset the parent and the parent complains to you or even worse leaves care over it? They may not be saying that but it may be the issue.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:14 PM
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I understand you saying it is the job. But are they worried they will loose their job if they upset the parent and the parent complains to you or even worse leaves care over it? They may not be saying that but it may be the issue.
they didn't really get in to detail, but that is a great thing you brought up and I should probably tell them that if they see it, next time they should report it to me right away and I will take care of it, that way they are not going to make anyone mad, me or the parent.

again great point bringing that up.

I could totally see them not wanting to for that reason.

Me on the other hand, if I make you mad because I have to parent your child, you nest be happy that is all I had to do. lol
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:23 PM
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they didn't really get in to detail, but that is a great thing you brought up and I should probably tell them that if they see it, next time they should report it to me right away and I will take care of it, that way they are not going to make anyone mad, me or the parent.

again great point bringing that up.

I could totally see them not wanting to for that reason.

Me on the other hand, if I make you mad because I have to parent your child, you nest be happy that is all I had to do. lol
Yeah, me also, but in this situation you are also "the boss lady". If it is you or me, we run the place we make the rules.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
I think you should be really firm when the next event comes along. Tell the parents in writing that if they cannot keep their child in control, they will be asked to leave as soon as a staff member feels there is a problem. And then tell your staff to come to you if there is an issue.

People have different opinions and views of what "in control" means. My set of rules is completely different than someone else or your business. If you have certain rules you expect then your staff needs to be enforcing them with everyone.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:14 PM
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they didn't really get in to detail, but that is a great thing you brought up and I should probably tell them that if they see it, next time they should report it to me right away and I will take care of it, that way they are not going to make anyone mad, me or the parent.

again great point bringing that up.

I could totally see them not wanting to for that reason.

Me on the other hand, if I make you mad because I have to parent your child, you nest be happy that is all I had to do. lol
I think it would be helpful to get to the root of the issue. Are your employees concerned that you'll be upset if they upset a parent? If so, some reassurance may help

Or do they need training on how to handle tough conversations with parents? It is uncomfortable to be in those situations but I would tell all of them that, in this field, they are going to have to get used to uncomfortable conversations and situations with parents. It's better to learn in a small setting, where you have an experienced mentor to help.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:37 AM
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Your employees may be picking up the vibe from the parents that they are regarded as "just the help" and therefore it is harder for them to enforce rules than it is for you. Parents may see YOU as an accepted authority figure...but not your employees. Too many parents have the "my kid/my rules (ie:no rules) attitude and are not open to other people disciplining their child.

Also, if you decide to hold these events on Saturdays...how do your employees feel about that? Was having to work on a Saturday discussed when they were hired?
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:25 AM
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Is there any thing you were doing that you could delegate to your employees? Things that didn't evolve watching kids? That way you are the person watching the kids, talking to the parents etc. and your employees are in the back ground doing everything else.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:12 AM
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Your employees may be picking up the vibe from the parents that they are regarded as "just the help" and therefore it is harder for them to enforce rules than it is for you. Parents may see YOU as an accepted authority figure...but not your employees. Too many parents have the "my kid/my rules (ie:no rules) attitude and are not open to other people disciplining their child.

Also, if you decide to hold these events on Saturdays...how do your employees feel about that? Was having to work on a Saturday discussed when they were hired?
yes they were told that they would need to work possible weekend events and clean up crew at least 5-7 times a year.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:28 AM
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Is there any thing you were doing that you could delegate to your employees? Things that didn't evolve watching kids? That way you are the person watching the kids, talking to the parents etc. and your employees are in the back ground doing everything else.
they did all have designated jobs, but there was 23 kids in attendance for this party at the park. No way could i watch all of those kids on my own.

What was happening was that the kids that had parents with them kept taking off to the park to play while I had the rest of the group. Then when the parent was bringing them back to the group because we were doig an activity, the kid would kick dirt or push other kids and etc. Because i was helping other kids, I didn't see it. Also, ALL OF MY PARENTS KNOW THEY BEST MAKE THEIR CHILD BEHAVE. Guess that all went out the window, even with me there.

I did think about this a lot yesterday and my employees normally don't have communication with the parents much. I am the one who normally talks with the parents, so I can see where they may have felt out of line to say something.

it is sad to me that the parents let their children behave like this. Now that I know, I am going to be proactive and tell the parents right now before the next event that if their child's behavior is not acceptable and they do not require their child to behave that they will be sent home for the day and that the parents will not be allowed to attend any further functions with their child. If they leave over it, well then so be it.

I would rather loose a family for not following the rules than an employee for trying to enforce them.

I love my staff, I love my parents and kids, but I am not going to allow my parents to do this anymore and my staff shouldn't be put in this awkward position.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:23 AM
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Maybe next time you have an even like this you alert the parents that if they choose to attend then they have to stay with the group. If the behavior issue starts with the parents taking the children to play at another area and then the child having trouble transitioning back into the group appropriately then maybe you don't give the parents that option. Make it clear that the parents and all children attending the event must stay together in the same area with the activities that you provide, if they walk away from the group with their child (other than to use the restroom) then they have left the event and there is no "re-admittance".

Also because you are just one person and can't possibly see everything at once maybe you have have a code phrase or word that the staff could use to let you know that there is an issue that they need help with and need you to take care of. For example, a child with a parent present starts to misbehave during a craft activity and starts taking other kids materials and the parent doesn't do anything. The staff member can call for you "Ms. Daycare! Can you help me please!" and when you hear that specific phrase wording that specific way then you come by and the staff member can identify what the problem with a simple "Little Stevie here is having a hard time keeping his hands on his own materials. Can you help him please?" and then at that point you can take over and talk to the parent to remind the parent to help their child follow rules and appropriate behavior.

I like the idea of letting parents know that if their child misbehaves and they don't step in to handle it that they will be asked to remove their child (leave).

And I definitely think a general notice to all of your clients should be sent out discussing the issues that your staff brought up. You could maybe put in the notice that if this continues then parents may no longer be invited to the events and only the children that regularly attend on the day that the event is planned will be allowed to attend. I think everyone should get the letter because the parents that attended the event this time may not be the same parents that attend the next one, this way all parents are aware.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kathiemarie View Post
Is there any thing you were doing that you could delegate to your employees? Things that didn't evolve watching kids? That way you are the person watching the kids, talking to the parents etc. and your employees are in the back ground doing everything else.
I was thinking about this and maybe a similar solution but more practical one would be for you to be the only one that didn't have a specific job to do on days of events KWIM? As in you plan the event and delegate tasks to the staff but don't give yourself any responsibilities on these days.

You would be the "floater". Have the staff oversee the activities and maybe even designate particular kids to each staff member. Your responsibility would be to walk around and check on everyone, answer questions, assist a little bit while you are at an activity, talk and joke with the kids etc ... and most importantly handle situations with children not behaving and parents lack of involvement.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:08 PM
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sorry, I was running the show and my staff was given certain tasks to complete.

We had a face painting table and tattoo parlor that my staff ran
we had a photo booth that my staff ran
and so on

I was in charge of all of the kids and what events they were at so that we could break down into small groups.

When we had large group activities I was in charge.

I do like the idea that we need to come up with a plan of action for me to correct behavior and send home when and if needed.

If any of you have ran big events (this is actually smaller than I am used to) you know how crazy it can get. Lots going on and some time fires to put out.

thanks ladies for all of your feed back.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:40 PM
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I have not ran big events, but hope to one day. For several years, I have dreamed of running a "day camp" of sorts at our local park. This makes me scared to though.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:25 AM
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Definitely send a letter home, with written expectations, maybe even have them sign it and return to make sure they understand. And if they do not keep better watch of their own children then they're sent home and not allowed to attend the next function. This whole situation needs better communication between everyone. And parents need to be, not just there, but There and Actively supervising their own child.
Bless your heart for going above and beyond, yikes. I could NOT do that.
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