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  #1  
Old 03-22-2010, 04:54 AM
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Default Assistant Help Again - Sorry Long

I am really stuck here and would appreciate some advice. I have one employee working for me. I have been trying to find a sub for months now and can't seem to find one. So, my employee called in 3 times last month. All but 1 of those times were within the hour she should have been reporting for work. Last wk she scheduled her son's parent teacher conference during work hours. She gets a break from 11am to 3:30pm so theres really no reason for it.

Tonight she called in for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a full day off from school. This means that I now have to call parents and tell certain ones that they need to find backup care because I will be over my legal limit. This will make parents very upset. Also, she did mention to me today that they were at a frineds home all day. You can go to a friends home but then suddenly feel too ill to go to work? I wouldn't be so upset if it wasn't a full day. I would manage for just a few hours before school. I should also mention that she is salary so I can't dock her for all this missed time.

So my question is, am I over reacting? I think I should look to replace her. I mean 4 times in 2 months is uncalled for right? (Not to mention all the other issues I have had in the past that I have complained about). I realize it's not her fault I can't find a sub but shouldn't she be more dependable? In the 4 years I have been doing daycare I have never called in sick once. I have worked while very ill. I have postponed taking medication becuase they would make me drousy. I do what I need to do to support my family.

Does anyone have a policy I can have her sign regarding time off/expectations? That way I can begin termination legally. I don't want her living off unemployment that I paid into when it's due to work ethics and not lack of hours I need her.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:23 AM
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I have a staff assistant and have had one the majority of my day care career. I've learned a lot from the previous ones and have come to the conclusion that a few things just don't work.

I don't allow staff assistant's to bring their children. I used to allow them but they had to pay for a slot in the day care. Even with them paying it still didn't work out because of their child's behavior as they got older. It wasn't too bad when they were under two but over two just caused too many issues with them spending the day trying to keep their kid happy which costs me a bunch of money.

I do not and have NEVER paid a single day of sick pay. I don't do salary. I pay an hourly rate only. I don't get paid for sick days in my parent contracts so I don't offer them. I haven't missed a single day of work (cept vacation and holdiday) in 16 years. I have been fortunate that I don't get sick enough to miss work.

I give them 18 paid days off per year (two weeks of vacation and 8 holidays) that are only to be taken when the business is closed. I give them a dollar an hour raise ever year on their anniversary, a yearly bonus on the anniversary, and a bonus at Christmas.

Their job is to provide direct physical care to the kids and supervise play. They also do all of the cleaning in the home except the kitchen. They do laundry, shopping, errands, food program paperwork etc. also for the business. They do not have ANY contact with the day care parents or do any of the cooking and dishes. I do have them peel veggies for our stews but nothing else food related.

I hope this helps. It's very hard when you have a Staff that you have your numbers of kids based on. You are pretty hosed when they call in and have you the kids in the house that are there to pay their salary without them there to care for them. I made a decision a year and a half ago that I would only run the number of kids I could have by myself and then hire a Staff Assistant who would work split shifts (gone during nap). It took a while to find a newbie I could afford but I don't have the pressure of not being able to manage my numbers if she is gone. The trade off was the training of someone who had never taken care of kids. A year later, I'm glad I made the choice as she has worked out well. I hope she stays a while and DOESN'T have any kids.

Nan
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:35 AM
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You should have in her contract that she can only miss a set amount of hours/days/per certain work period.....ie, so many hours in a 3 months period, so many days in a 3 month period, etc. Maybe 5 sick days per calandar year, or whatever is fair, after than they are NOT paid for, salary or not.

Do you have a simple contract that states her expectations? Her hours of employment, her job duties, her allotted time off such as personal days/hours or sick time? If not, you need to sit down and write up a simple contract and have her and you sign and date it. It needs to have the consequences of abusing the contract too. If she calls in sick over 2 days, doctors excuse must be given to you.

If you like her except for her not showing up for work issues, I would present her with a contract, she can like it or lump it and leave.

Things to put in contract:

Hours of work.
Job duties.
Pay.
Time off guidelines. Number of days-number of hours alloted off per year or 6 months or 3 months, however you word it. After alloted days are taken, pay deductions are made at *** amount per hour/day.
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Last edited by mac60; 03-22-2010 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:48 AM
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I should also mention that she is salary so I can't dock her for all this missed time.
I am sorry for what you are going through. However we once had the Assistant Director before me, of all people, also be salary and she was ALWAYS calling in. At least once a week. She was sick. Husband was sick. Kid was sick. She had do this appointment or this came up. It was always one excuse after another. One time she called and said that the son was sick. It was also her husbands day off. The director said well can't the husband stay home and watch the kid? Oh no, she said, a sick boy needs his mother. She came the next day and the kid was rearing to go.

Anyway long story short. Director finally made her an hourly employee. She just explained to her that she didn't think it was fair should she (the employee) ever have to work OT that she not get paid for it, and things like that She never mentioned about her always missing days etc.

Well once she went to hourly, she never called in again unless she had a doctors note

Back to your employee, some people just don't have a work ethic. However I could be wrong but maybe she is TRYING to get fired. Maybe that's why she is causing all this trouble.

For example you mentioned that she had a break from 11:00-3:30. I know that's nap time etc and you don't need a full staff. However I remember those long breaks and I personally HATED them. You can never get anything done. So maybe she is trying to get fired just so like you said collect unemployment. However just from what you are telling me, I think you have a VERY strong case that she would be denied IMO

Just my 2 cents worth
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:53 AM
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I have been working on a contract. So, if I give 5 days per calendar year, on the 6th day I can write her up? Then 7th absence termination? I just want to be fair and legal.

How do I paste to this? I can attach a copy of what I have so far. The mistake I made is that she is a friend. I will never hire a friend or someone with kids again!
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:02 AM
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I have been working on a contract. So, if I give 5 days per calendar year, on the 6th day I can write her up? Then 7th absence termination? I just want to be fair and legal.

How do I paste to this? I can attach a copy of what I have so far. The mistake I made is that she is a friend. I will never hire a friend or someone with kids again!
I think you need to have in there something on doctors excuses. What are you going to do if she "really" gets sick and is out with pnemonia or something bad for 5 days. Like a doctors excuse = 1 occurance, not 5 days if off 5 days, does that make sense.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:03 AM
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I have been working on a contract. So, if I give 5 days per calendar year, on the 6th day I can write her up? Then 7th absence termination? I just want to be fair and legal. The reason she is salary is because thats the only way I can afford to pay her in the summer. I have her two kids all day and she wont pay for their spots. So I loose money and she works more hours and I can't afford that. Maybe if I can't terminate her I can hire someone else and reduce her hours. She always cries she can't afford rent, so maybe hourly would encourage her to come to work.

How do I paste to this? I can attach a copy of what I have so far. Maybe someone wouldn't mind taking a look for me and offering advice. The mistake I made is that she is a friend. I will never hire a friend or someone with kids again!

Last edited by gbcc; 03-22-2010 at 06:05 AM. Reason: double post. Tried to delete sorry
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:06 AM
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I think you need to have in there something on doctors excuses. What are you going to do if she "really" gets sick and is out with pnemonia or something bad for 5 days. Like a doctors excuse = 1 occurance, not 5 days if off 5 days, does that make sense.
Yes that makes sence and is a good point. Thank you. I will put in with a Dr.s note, contagious illnesses lasting longer than 1 day will count towards 1 absence.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:21 AM
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it is too bad that people choose to abuse their work priveledges. i know at my last job of 21 1/2 yrs, i rarely missed work. i used to get so mad that we were on a point system......those systems are for the abusers, not for people who are there every day and then when they truly do get sick and miss, are written up with points, etc. i totally understand why you are doing it. Maybe sit down and talk to her and start off with a clean slate. give her the opportunity to do things right, and then is sche screws up again.....boot her butt out.

is this the same person who brings her son to school? maybe have some guidelines for her son being there also in the contract.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:33 AM
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is this the same person who brings her son to school? maybe have some guidelines for her son being there also in the contract.
To daycare you mean? She is the one that brings two children for free, doesn't want to pay for them, all three eat my food, and the boy constantly has behavior problems and breaks things. We have had 3 half days. Out of those 3 days, 2 of them he has broken something. Those are all issues I have asked for advice about in the past on how to handle it. It just seems to be one thing after the other with this lady!

I feel like such a complainer but I am usually a very happy positive person! This situation makes me very stressed though.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:49 AM
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Wow, 2 children for free, and do you have to count them in your numbers and does it bring down your income. I would probably give her a discount, not free. I think I was thinking of someone else that maybe had a school kid come with her.

Yikes, you are in a tough spot. I think you need to start her out fresh, tell her you reevaluated the situation, and it is not working out as you thought, and in order to continue working for you then these things will start taking place in 2 weeks.......

Good luck
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:51 AM
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Yes, they count in my numbers. That's how I am loosing so much money.
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:55 AM
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I would definately re-evaluate the situation. Hard I know. I would give her a discount, not sure what, but definately not free. Remember business comes first.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:00 AM
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If it were me, I'd give her notice and start trying to find another assistant - and two kids to fill her kids' spots!
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:17 AM
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what exactly does your contract with her say?
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:26 AM
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I would let her know that effective May 1 you are discontinuing her salaried position. That you will be going to hourly wages for her and any future employees. I would offer her whatever per hour her salary would come out to if she worked a full week. That way she cant say you are cutting her pay. This way if she misses, you arent still paying her. You are also not offering the benefit of free childcare to employees anymore, a 20% discount on full time preschoolers and a 10% discount on schoolagers. That you took a long hard look at finances and this is the best outcome for your business. You wanted to let her know far enough in advance to find care for her kids if she didnt want to pay for them at your facility , also to give her the opportunity to find other employment if needed. Let her know you value her as an employee and hope she continues to work for you. But if she needs to leave, you understand.
I think this would put the ball in her court as to if she was going to quit or not.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:33 AM
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If I had a center this is what I would say and do as well. I think this is very well said.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:46 AM
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I would let her know that effective May 1 you are discontinuing her salaried position. That you will be going to hourly wages for her and any future employees. I would offer her whatever per hour her salary would come out to if she worked a full week. That way she cant say you are cutting her pay. This way if she misses, you arent still paying her. You are also not offering the benefit of free childcare to employees anymore, a 20% discount on full time preschoolers and a 10% discount on schoolagers. That you took a long hard look at finances and this is the best outcome for your business. You wanted to let her know far enough in advance to find care for her kids if she didnt want to pay for them at your facility , also to give her the opportunity to find other employment if needed. Let her know you value her as an employee and hope she continues to work for you. But if she needs to leave, you understand.
I think this would put the ball in her court as to if she was going to quit or not.
All very good suggestions but I like this one best!
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:48 AM
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Thank you Laundry. That is a very professional way to put it. I like your wording. As for your question. I don't have an official contract. I am a home daycare and she is a friend of mine and her son and my son are best friends so we more or less had a verbal contract. That was my fault. I am too trusting and have a hard time figuring out who my true friends are. I have since done one for her to sign or for my next assistant to sign, whichever way it works out.

I need to get more of backbone and not worry about upsetting people. I worry about others problems too much. For example, her money issues with not being able to pay mortgage. I need to let her worry about that instead of giving her a break on childcare. I'm too caring of a person that it's a fault!

Thanks again!
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:25 AM
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Im glad I answered this morning after a full dose of coffe because after the morning Ive had ,... not sure I could put that answer together again. lol
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:00 PM
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When I first started my daycare, I had the same problem with two different employees. One was my (get ready, this is a tough one to explain in a simple way) cousin's kids' mother, and the other was someone another lady had recommended who had been in child care before. The first one did not come in except when she felt like it, IF she came in. So, if it was supposed to be only her and me here, and she didn't show up, I was alone, and having to call someone to come help me. So, I finally just started texting her at the beginning of the day (that's the ONLY way she'd communicate), and telling her that we had it covered and she could do something else that day. Eventually, she admitted she had gotten a job at a bar and was sleeping all day, so she didn't need this job anyway. The SECOND lady was a replacement for the first, and as my dad says, "she woke up to a new world every day." She never, ever, ever was here on time. She was scheduled to work 3 days a week, and called in at least one day EVERY WEEK, sometimes ten minutes AFTER she was supposed to be here and I'd been trying to call her. Eventually, she really was sick, but I was so tired of her calling in that I told her she either needed to come in or I'd write her last check. That was easy enough. Now I have employees that are so dependable I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether or not they'll be on time or not. One has been here 9 years, and one worked here for 12 years, quit and took another job, and is now back for the good. It helps to not hire friends, but sometimes that's the only thing you CAN do, if you really need the help immediately. I agree with paying her hourly, because then if she does want to call in sick, you CAN take those hours off her check. I also think she either needs to pay you for her kids or take them somewhere else. This is your business, and if those two are counting as two in your care, you ARE, like you said, losing money. Good luck with this, I know it's hard, but I know you can do it!!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:22 PM
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That's the hard part that you are friends..because bringing up professional issues can turn sour real fast.

With her being so undependable can hurt your business...especially calling off the day before..you can lose clients easily that way. Parents expect a registered daycare to be dependable because they can lose pay or have to use a vacation day that they didn't want to use.

I would definitely make up a contract as fast as you can putting a cap on the number of sick days used. I work even if I'm sick because I cannot afford NOT to...that's where she has an advantage..she knows she will still get paid so why should she tough it out? That's why you need to give her some boundaries.

I know you got wrapped into already having her and she's your son's friend's mom, so now it's hard to change the rules....but if you don't, this will keep happening and you will lose business. Plus I would be so frustrated with giving her 2 free spots and free food!!! PLUS she has garuntee salery no matter what! Can I come work for you? LOL.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:24 PM
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Thank you Laundry. That is a very professional way to put it. I like your wording. As for your question. I don't have an official contract. I am a home daycare and she is a friend of mine and her son and my son are best friends so we more or less had a verbal contract. That was my fault. I am too trusting and have a hard time figuring out who my true friends are. I have since done one for her to sign or for my next assistant to sign, whichever way it works out.

I need to get more of backbone and not worry about upsetting people. I worry about others problems too much. For example, her money issues with not being able to pay mortgage. I need to let her worry about that instead of giving her a break on childcare. I'm too caring of a person that it's a fault!

Thanks again!
You are a very kind friend & your friend should be grateful for you letting her kids come for free. Does she realize that her two kids in essence restrict your ability to earn extra wages since they take up spots? I would put laundry's tips/letters to use (by the way GREAT letter!!!) & maybe if you are feeling generous give her a slightly higher discount (maybe 25-30% off both kids?). You could just deduct her tuition from her pay, would that work or does she not make enough to pay for the kids? I don't know but I can understand how it is a tricky situation. Have you ever had a heart-to-heart with her about how her being there has limited you? A true friend would understand.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:39 PM
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You are a very kind friend & your friend should be grateful for you letting her kids come for free. Does she realize that her two kids in essence restrict your ability to earn extra wages since they take up spots? I would put laundry's tips/letters to use (by the way GREAT letter!!!) & maybe if you are feeling generous give her a slightly higher discount (maybe 25-30% off both kids?). You could just deduct her tuition from her pay, would that work or does she not make enough to pay for the kids? I don't know but I can understand how it is a tricky situation. Have you ever had a heart-to-heart with her about how her being there has limited you? A true friend would understand.
Yes I tried being very honest and open with her. I told her that I didn't know what I was going to do come summer. I explained I could not afford to pay her $320 per week, loose $260 on her children's spots. Even half rate thats still $130 I am loosing from her children and not worth her working really. Her response was literally "Oh". Thats it. No trying to remedy the situation, advice nothing. Then we came to the conclusion of salary. She gets paid more during the school year but less in the summer so that it will equal out. With her calling in all the time though, I am getting screwed. I was about to tell her to find somewhere for her children to go or pay half rate and then she came to work crying that they were months behind on their mortgage and I didn't want to ad to that stress! This would still be hard even if she wasn't a friend because I like to help people way too much!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:54 PM
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Yes I tried being very honest and open with her. I told her that I didn't know what I was going to do come summer. I explained I could not afford to pay her $320 per week, loose $260 on her children's spots. Even half rate thats still $130 I am loosing from her children and not worth her working really. Her response was literally "Oh". Thats it. No trying to remedy the situation, advice nothing. Then we came to the conclusion of salary. She gets paid more during the school year but less in the summer so that it will equal out. With her calling in all the time though, I am getting screwed. I was about to tell her to find somewhere for her children to go or pay half rate and then she came to work crying that they were months behind on their mortgage and I didn't want to ad to that stress! This would still be hard even if she wasn't a friend because I like to help people way too much!
How many hours a day is she there? She gets that long 11-3:30 break...shoot I only get $305/week from my 3 families and I work 5:30a.m.-5-5:30 pm. PLUS I have to pay for food/toilet paper/activities/and all that extra stuff. I have 2 spots still unfilled but I don't want to fill them, I have my hands full with the ones I have now. They are all good, but I have 4 of my own and it's a lot to keep up with.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:08 PM
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How many hours a day is she there? She gets that long 11-3:30 break...shoot I only get $305/week from my 3 families and I work 5:30a.m.-5-5:30 pm. PLUS I have to pay for food/toilet paper/activities/and all that extra stuff. I have 2 spots still unfilled but I don't want to fill them, I have my hands full with the ones I have now. They are all good, but I have 4 of my own and it's a lot to keep up with.
She gets paid $8 per hour. Yes she gets the break. Now she works 5 hours per day and come summer she will work 8 per day. We compromised on $240 per wk. year round.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:52 PM
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She gets paid $8 per hour. Yes she gets the break. Now she works 5 hours per day and come summer she will work 8 per day. We compromised on $240 per wk. year round.
She is very highly paid. That's a LOT of money for a part time employee who gets two free slots in care. Figure her kids at 3-4 dollars an hour per kid and that takes her salary to 14-16 dollars an hour. That's VERY highly paid for the job of staff assistant.

You are better to start over. If she can make the same 240 a week for five hours a day then she will just leave for the summer when it is the same money for 8 hours a day.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:01 PM
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She is very highly paid. That's a LOT of money for a part time employee who gets two free slots in care. Figure her kids at 3-4 dollars an hour per kid and that takes her salary to 14-16 dollars an hour. That's VERY highly paid for the job of staff assistant.

You are better to start over. If she can make the same 240 a week for five hours a day then she will just leave for the summer when it is the same money for 8 hours a day.
Good point. I gotta get my head on this and figure it all out and give her the options. I have 3 interviews set up for tomorrow. She will also be out sick tomorrow. All have daycare for thier kids!! Wish me luck!
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by laundryduchess@yahoo.com View Post
I would let her know that effective May 1 you are discontinuing her salaried position. That you will be going to hourly wages for her and any future employees. I would offer her whatever per hour her salary would come out to if she worked a full week. That way she cant say you are cutting her pay. This way if she misses, you arent still paying her. You are also not offering the benefit of free childcare to employees anymore, a 20% discount on full time preschoolers and a 10% discount on schoolagers. That you took a long hard look at finances and this is the best outcome for your business. You wanted to let her know far enough in advance to find care for her kids if she didnt want to pay for them at your facility , also to give her the opportunity to find other employment if needed. Let her know you value her as an employee and hope she continues to work for you. But if she needs to leave, you understand.
I think this would put the ball in her court as to if she was going to quit or not.
Agreed!
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  #30  
Old 03-22-2010, 08:11 PM
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misol misol is offline
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I'm sure that you know that you already know this but you have to prepared to lose her friendship. Since she has been taking advantage of you, I wouldn't consider her much of a friend anyway.
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  #31  
Old 03-23-2010, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misol View Post
I'm sure that you know that you already know this but you have to prepared to lose her friendship. Since she has been taking advantage of you, I wouldn't consider her much of a friend anyway.
Yes, I think this is why I am allowing it to happen. She really does help me out a lot around the home with fixing things, steam cleaning, general cleaning, her bf fixes my car ect. A true friend would be concerned about my business though.
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  #32  
Old 03-23-2010, 10:41 AM
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I had the assistant thing going for a while and I truly hated it! The first one I had brought her 2 kids and they counted in my ratio. Also, she would call off quite a bit. She wanted special priveledges for her sons, too, and that always rubbed me the wrong way. We also had very different ideas about how to provide the best care. She was all about letting them run around, scream, yell and just do whatever they felt like as long as they were happy! I'm all about routine and consistency, which doesn't mean no fun, it just means less chaos. I was losing quite a bit of money by having her because of her kids coming for free. We're still friends, but we probably wouldn't have been if we'd kept working together. Another assistant just downright hated the job. She would go home at night and just be a nervous wreck. She had calling in issues, too. I think that this is a job that can be darn near impossible to do well if you don't have your heart in it! I really started to realize that I needed to be in a position where I wasn't forced to rely on anyone else and I went back to family care. Now I only need me and I know that I won't be calling in! I do have a friend who is a provider who covers for me if I have dr. appointments or the like. She also covers on the occasions when I have gotten sick. She covers my vacations and covers when I just want to take a day to catch up on cleaning or whatever the case may be. We work well together because we both want the same thing. We have the same basic philosophies regarding child care and I never have to worry about her flaking out on me or disregarding the policies that I have set in place or letting the kids break rules that they know are always the rules and that never change. I totally love my new assistant! She rocks! Granted, if she were here everyday then maybe things would be different, but that's why I opted to stay small.
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  #33  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:10 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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I would also change her salary position. This would be my first step. My younger sister (18) works part-time as my assistant after-school and such and I made it very clear at the beggining that I would only be paying her hourly. If she didn't come, she didn't get paid. Also if she called out (unless she's sick or has a valid excuse) I won't call her to use her. There is another friend of mine that is in the process of getting her Child Development associates and has a lot of free time. If my sister can't make it I call her. So my sister knows that if she calls out I may not call her to come back for a few days. I usually have my friend cover the rest of the week too so that it's in her best interest to help me out on such short notice. I just can't stand when people want to hang out and have fun and call outfrom work but want to put me in a bad spot at my daycare.
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  #34  
Old 03-25-2010, 08:20 AM
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Maybe you could terminate her children that you care for. Then maybe she will quit. I don't know if you have a contract with her for the children, but I'm not sure if it matters if she doesn't pay for their care.
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