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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Enforcing Rules
TwinMama 09:07 PM 08-04-2017
I have a new family starting when school starts. I need to start enforcing my contract rules with my old families though. I hate that I try to be nice and get "bit" for it.

Things I need to enforce:

- no bringing in your own food or toys
- pick up times

My families are annoying me with the fact that they don't listen.

I politely told a Mom the other day "I'm happy to feed dcg something from here since she hasn't had breakfast. No need to leave that." She gave dcg her breakfast bar anyhow and said thanks then left.

I then had to get bars for all the kids to make it fair.

I already have new mom asking if she can let dcg bring her oatmeal in the mornings if she doesn't have time to eat it.

My families pick up at all different times even though they have on their contract when pick up time is that they agreed to.

Do I send a letter or a text? What wording should I use?

Thank you so much. I'm so frustrated. It's my own fault though.
284878 09:59 PM 08-04-2017
Why did you get bars out for the other kids? Why not take the bar from dcg and give it back to mom or throw it away?

I have never had this issue, food just toys. I had a sibling set that brought small unsafe toys in their pockets, it was hours after they arrived before they got them out. They were not happy when I took them away, but I did it.

Are they picking up late? Or early just randomly? Do you use a sign in sheet?

I use my sign in sheet to see patterns in pickup times. Then prepare myself (and the child) for those pick up times. What I do depends on the age of child. But for an infant, diaper checks and last bottle are done. For older kids, clean up and low mess activities (or out side time) are done.

If it is that they are late then, have a your late notice written out when they arrive with the their late fee on it.
finsup 03:39 AM 08-05-2017
The food and toys, I would just hand right back to the parent and say "please remember, no toys or food brought in from outside. It makes the other kiddos jealous. Thanks for understanding!" *Big smile* Being direct helps, you would think parents would get it if you said "I'm happy to feed dcg something" and think, oh, that's right, I'm not supposed to bring food. BUT they don't

Late pick ups...ugh. So, if everyone is doing it, I would send a letter out to everyone addressing it, and what the fee will be. Don't apologize, explain why you need them to do it etc. Just straight to the point "your pick up time is...and the fee is this if you are late..." I generally end it with "thank you for respecting my time!" If it's only a few families then you could address it in person. If you are willing to let them stay later and change their pick up time you could say "I've noticed you've been coming however many minutes late lately. Would you like to change your pick up time to *new time*, the rate for that is..." And if they say no, you can say "great, no problem, however late fees will be strictly enforced so please plan accordingly to get here on time." Make the late fee high. Mine is 10$ for anything between 5 and 5:10, and 1$ a minute after that. I'm still not sure it's high enough lol. It's higher then my old one, but a few providers I know have gone up to 2$/min. That may be my next step if families can't get it together

And believe me, once you start enforcing these not only will you get better at it for future families, you will feel so much better!
Pestle 05:54 AM 08-05-2017
You do not have to give all the other kids the same things their parents provide them. That doesn't make it "fair." It shows the kids that you are not in control.

Seeing other families operate differently is GOOD for children. I explain to my own kid, "You know how Jenny's mom brings her a Happy Meal and fruit punch when she picks her up? Jenny's mom is not me and she has a different way of doing things."

I am strict about no outside food; there are three kids with food allergies in my program! It's in my contract: No outside food except for formula and breast milk. I got strict on the day a kid brought his water bottle into the house. . . with a peanut butter handprint smeared across it.

Tell them, "Jimmy is welcome to finish his breakfast in the car."

A couple of weeks ago, I told a mom, "Waking up and getting ready for the day need to happen at home, not here. I provide a morning snack, but not breakfast, and the kids need to arrive ready for the day and able to participate in the schedule." I lost them over that and it was a huge relief.

If you're facilitating the bleeding-over of breakfast into your schedule, you're letting the parents turn YOU into the ROUND-THE-CLOCK care provider--they are shifting parental duties onto day care time! Don't let them do this.

I gave each parent a verbal heads-up recently that they'd be getting an email reiterating the payment schedule and providing some policy updates. It went over very well! No further payment issues in the couple of months since then. Try the same thing with your issues.
Tags:enforcing policies, rules
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