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  #1  
Old 12-11-2018, 11:36 AM
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Question Daycare Has Not Provided Policies

My daycare provider has not provided me with her list of policies after my child has attended for 3 months. The only agreements we have seen are related to her hours and how much she charges/what we will pay. I've been asking to see policies for about a month and she says she still working on them. She has been licensed for 7 years.

Recently, she is trying to hold us to things that she says are policies that we have not seen nor agreed to. For example, she is closed for a 7 day vacation and we are still required to pay her. She just informed me of this last week after I inquired about her hours for Christmas.

Does anyone have experience with this? This seems so odd to me.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2018, 12:17 PM
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Typically you agree on policies and have a copy before enrolling.

Do you have a contract? What (if anything) did you sign?

Are you sure she's licensed?

My state requires us to have specific policies and give them to parents upon enrollment. My handbook is fairly long and the parents have to initial each section.

How happy are you with her care?

I would just email/text/ask her. Ask her when she notified you of the policies and ask for a copy (before) you pay.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2018, 04:43 PM
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That is odd to me too. If she's been licensed for 7 years, she should have policies to give to the dcfs. When I first started out, 37 years ago, I had nothing like that but times have changed. It's pretty much a given nowadays to provide handbooks, contracts, etc., especially if she's stating PTO is in her policies. I can't see how she can enforce anything if you haven't signed anything or even seen the policies to agree to.
Have you checked with your state to see her license status or if there have been complaints against her?
It's just odd.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
Typically you agree on policies and have a copy before enrolling.

Do you have a contract? What (if anything) did you sign?

Are you sure she's licensed?

My state requires us to have specific policies and give them to parents upon enrollment. My handbook is fairly long and the parents have to initial each section.

How happy are you with her care?

I would just email/text/ask her. Ask her when she notified you of the policies and ask for a copy (before) you pay.
I do not have a contract. The items we signed were those things required for her licensing. I am in California. This included a statement on parent's rights, emergency contacts, who can pick her up. Things of that nature.

I have verified her license with the state website. It also shows inspections and the reports that are filed after those inspections showing the outcomes.

Fortunately, I'm happy with her care and she seems to genuinely care for and love my daughter which is nice.

I asked her for her policies last week. She wrote somethings on a piece of paper (seriously) and then said it was still in progress and she would get it to me by next Monday the 17th.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
That is odd to me too. If she's been licensed for 7 years, she should have policies to give to the dcfs. When I first started out, 37 years ago, I had nothing like that but times have changed. It's pretty much a given nowadays to provide handbooks, contracts, etc., especially if she's stating PTO is in her policies. I can't see how she can enforce anything if you haven't signed anything or even seen the policies to agree to.
Have you checked with your state to see her license status or if there have been complaints against her?
It's just odd.
Her license is still up to date and I haven't seen any complaints.

To me, at least from a business perspective, I'm not sure how it's possible she doesn't have policies. I've asked for them and she just doesn't have them to give to me.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2018, 08:48 PM
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I find it odd that she doesnít have the policies to give. Does she just not have access to a printer or a computer maybe?
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2018, 07:57 AM
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If her policies are not written down, agreed to and signed by you she cannot enforce them, legally.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:37 PM
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I find it odd that she doesnít have the policies to give. Does she just not have access to a printer or a computer maybe?
This is actually a very reasonable explanation except when you factor in that it has been 3 months. She could easily go to a library to access a computer/printer if needed. Also, if the issue is she just doesn't have a computer/printer, I would think she would just tell me that but still be able to show me, somehow, her policies. The only other thing I could come up with is that no one has ever asked her for her policies before/questioned her actions.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2018, 04:44 PM
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If her policies are not written down, agreed to and signed by you she cannot enforce them, legally.
And this makes sense to me, but I've heard from others that, unless there is a signed agreement to the contrary, legally she can enforce whatever she wants (as long as it is not discriminatory). She could decide tomorrow to raise my price with no advanced notice. My only recourse would be to leave if I don't agree. The idea being we have no agreement so if I don't like it, I don't have to engage with the business.

This, of course, makes zero sense to me, but things that are legal don't always make sense.
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2018, 05:52 PM
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I think whether or not it makes sense is kind of moot at this point. You have a major failure of communication and to me this is a problem. Dropping a vacation bomb on you this late in the game is very unprofessional.

If this were me I would outline every single issue you have as you have done here and maybe give her an idea that this isnít fair to you (in a nice way of course since she is a great provider). Maybe ask her why she doesnít have one and what other parents do. Just let her know that not having policies makes you feel nervous because you are the sort of person that doesnít like surprises yadda yadda...make it about you, not her if that makes sense.

Anyway hopefully she gets her act together!
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2018, 06:18 PM
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I just thought of the no printer/computer thing because I myself update polices and have families resign every new year and my own printer isnít working so I havenít got them to the families yet. I am not changing anything major just read that itís wise to have them resign every year and get updated contact info and such.


Do you know any of the other parents that have their children in her care? I wouldnít ask any of them if I didnít know them as itíll probably get back to the provider and she could see that as going behind her back. I guess if the policies are not shown to you by the 17th that she promised I would have a serious talk with her and/or start looking at alternative care options.

That being said you are not obligated to pay for her vacation if you didnít sign a paper saying you would. She wouldnít have any legal recourse but she could however refuse to provide services anymore. I guess you just have to ask yourself how happy you are with the care you receive if she doesnít have policies by the date she stated.
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  #12  
Old 12-13-2018, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burningwiggum View Post
And this makes sense to me, but I've heard from others that, unless there is a signed agreement to the contrary, legally she can enforce whatever she wants (as long as it is not discriminatory). She could decide tomorrow to raise my price with no advanced notice. My only recourse would be to leave if I don't agree. The idea being we have no agreement so if I don't like it, I don't have to engage with the business.

This, of course, makes zero sense to me, but things that are legal don't always make sense.
Why did you choose this provider? Sometimes voting with your feet is the logical solution. 7 years is a long time to run by the seat of your pants. I'd be suspicious of what other corners are being cut.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:31 AM
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It isn't unheard of for a provider to not have written policies. I wouldn't let that bother me. I prefer to have them written and acknowledged to prevent situations such as yours. Of the providers in my city, more don't have written policies than do.

As far as the payment situation: it is pretty much standard practice for payment to be due regardless of attendance. My rates are set on what each spot needs to generate yearly. I don't work on hourly rates, but on yearly ones. If I were to "not charge" for vacation, I would charge a higher rate for days that I was open because I still need to hit my target for the year. The parents would pay the same yearly rate either way. By paying the same weekly payment on that yearly tuition, parents and I may budget for expenses and income.

Long story short: You'd probably pay the same whether through higher rates or "free" vacations.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2018, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Why did you choose this provider? Sometimes voting with your feet is the logical solution. 7 years is a long time to run by the seat of your pants. I'd be suspicious of what other corners are being cut.
exactly.

She also cannot legally charge you for vacation and enforce it without a signed contract and policy. What you have now is a verbal agreement, and it's essentially he said/she said as to what was agreed upon.

I find this so odd that no other parent has questioned this. Do you email with her? I would want a specific paper trail I could print and I personally would send her specific questions so that you 'are on the same page' about her policies.

Eg. Vacation time, paid or unpaid, how much notice. Holidays. Her own illnesses. Your child's illnesses.

What happens in an emergency, if she had to evacuate with your child?

Illness policy

Toilet training policy

What parents are required to supply, what provider supplies.

I could go on and on. My policies are 12 pages long and I am CONSTANTLY adding to them.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
It isn't unheard of for a provider to not have written policies. I wouldn't let that bother me. I prefer to have them written and acknowledged to prevent situations such as yours. Of the providers in my city, more don't have written policies than do.
Licensed providers? IME, part of licensing was the requirement to have written policies.

I am unaware of any state that does not require it. I am sorry I misspoke if I am incorrect.

"N. Operation Plan – A detailed written plan submitted by the applicant that includes the facility’s policies and procedures, forms, emergency plans, etc." - My state requires this before we can even open. (a long list from A-R)
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2018, 05:24 PM
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Im going to be the odd one out here. I used to have a huge handbook of policies that parents received and signed, Now I just have them online. We go over them during the interview and if an issue arises but most things can be handled at the door if they forget. For instance..the child has food and I say I donít allow food. I expect that parents wonít bring them with food again. It has worked way better then having them sign a ton of papers. I suspect how I choose my clients has also been a big factor. Rarely do they ever question these things or even try to do things which, lets face it, should be common sense.
Since I donít require a 2 week notice the only big thing in my policies were my closures and which ones are paid/unpaid. Those should also be in your contract. However, I post them in advance to remind parents and list if theyíre paid or not. A parent could always decide they donít want to pay but that would mean theyíd have to find new daycare. Thatís fine with me, if they canít reapect the few paid days I take they arent a good fit.
I did once have a client that didnít want to pay late pickup charges. I instructed her to find new daycare. Again, that information should also be in the contract.
If youíre provider doesnít have anything listed in your contract relating to paid days off you donít have to pay but expect that you might have to find new daycare. If you think what sheís asking for is extraordinary I would call around and inquire as to the norm and then have a conversation with your provider about what youíre willing to do and see if you can come to a agreement.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2018, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Licensed providers? IME, part of licensing was the requirement to have written policies.

I am unaware of any state that does not require it. I am sorry I misspoke if I am incorrect.

"N. Operation Plan – A detailed written plan submitted by the applicant that includes the facility’s policies and procedures, forms, emergency plans, etc." - My state requires this before we can even open. (a long list from A-R)
Our state's licensing requires only that if we have written contracts or policies, that ALL parents receive the same policies. We don't have to provide a contract or policies. Last year's federal changes now require us to have emergency plans, etc., but not that we provide them to parents. What I am required to have is a medical form filled out, a registration card, and proof of vaccination.

That said, I can't imagine not wanting to have a signed contract and written policy. I do this to protect ME (legally with the contract, and from headache/stress with the policies). Mine is long, but worth it, because everyone understands what is expected of each other BEFORE starting care.

For the OP: If you don't want to pay for time away from daycare, it likely couldn't be enforced in court without a contract. If you wish to keep using the childcare, pay for the time away. If you're not willing to pay, find a new childcare situation. It is perfectly legal for your provider to require you to pay in order to keep using her services.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2018, 10:08 PM
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Hoping the OP returns with an update
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