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  #1  
Old 01-02-2012, 03:11 PM
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Question Parents Are Questioning Me

I recently gave out my new contract for 2012...I have been doing this for 3 years and have learned that when a child does not come on a scheduled day it hurts my family income....therefore in my new contract I have stated that they are required to pay when their child does not come on a scheduled day...Parents are questioning me about it and not liking it...What am I suppose to do???? For vacations, I will only be charging them 50% for that week for their scheduled days because their is a notice...

Then today for the parent that doesnt pick up until AFTER my closing time, I have stated that I now will be charging when their child is picked up after 5:30, I wasnt charging her before...well today she picked up at 5:50, did she not read my contract? Should I give her a break for the first week or charge her? She didn't say anything like "I know I am late", nothing like that so I don't know what to do here either.....

I asked that the contracts be returned by the end of this week with every page intialed by both parents and the last page signed by both
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2012, 03:23 PM
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Hi there,
When I handed out my contracts to parents I had a cover letter that both parents were required to sign to show they had read and agreed to the contract. Is this new your charging for lateness or have you been charging all along. If this is new I would give mom a gentle reminder that it is in your contract, and charge her next time.
does that help
Rachel
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2012, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JeepGirl6 View Post
I recently gave out my new contract for 2012...I have been doing this for 3 years and have learned that when a child does not come on a scheduled day it hurts my family income....therefore in my new contract I have stated that they are required to pay when their child does not come on a scheduled day...Parents are questioning me about it and not liking it...What am I suppose to do????
Let them know, they are paying for their spot. You took them as clients because they needed 5 days a a week, therefore they are paying for that spot.
Do you offer any free vacation time? or free sick days? Do they have to pay if you take a day for vacation or if you are sick?
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:05 PM
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give gentle reminders this week being a little more agrisive each day examole.

Day one, you know as per the new contract I close at 5:30 and their is a late fee of ***XX, I will have to start enforcing that.

Day two, oh you are X min late the late fee I will have to start enforcing soon would be.

Day three, Oh you are X min late, next time I will start calling people on your contact list because I know you do not whant to have to pay a late fee ever.


Next week. First time late at 5:35 call her and say I was worried, that you might not be ok, because I know you did not whant to pay the late fee's (leave a message if she does not answer) when comes to pick up say that next time nobody answers when you call after hours that you will move onto the next person on the contact list

Next time at 5:35 start by calling the mom and then call everyone on the contact list untill you get a hold of someone in person.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2012, 06:21 PM
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OP, did you discuss with parents face to face the new changes you were putting in your contract before sending it home with them or did you just make the changes, send it home without mentioning any of the changes and now are crossing your fingers that they all read it, understand the new rules and have no questions?

If so, I have one word for you. Communication.

You cannot make changes without actually addressing the need for them or at least telling parents to read the contract to see that there are new changes.

If you did mention it or address it with them, then I apologize for the comment about learning communication. If you did indeed talk with the parents about the changes then no way in he77 would I be subtle with my reminders about her lateness. I would enforce, IMMEDIATELY any late fees and disregard for policies. If you do not allow late pick up for free, then start charging the FIRST TIME this mom is late. Let her know if you have it in your policy to term for repeated lateness if necessary. Stand by your changes.

If this mom is aware of all the new changes and is simply disregarding them then that is outright disrespectful and rude.

IMO, how you handle this should be based on how you made and communicated your new changes to the parents. This DCM may not be aware of your changes, which would make her actions not her fault and yet she may be fully aware and simply testing to see if you mean business.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2012, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familyschoolcare View Post
give gentle reminders this week being a little more agrisive each day examole.

Day one, you know as per the new contract I close at 5:30 and their is a late fee of ***XX, I will have to start enforcing that.

Day two, oh you are X min late the late fee I will have to start enforcing soon would be.

Day three, Oh you are X min late, next time I will start calling people on your contact list because I know you do not whant to have to pay a late fee ever.


Next week. First time late at 5:35 call her and say I was worried, that you might not be ok, because I know you did not whant to pay the late fee's (leave a message if she does not answer) when comes to pick up say that next time nobody answers when you call after hours that you will move onto the next person on the contact list

Next time at 5:35 start by calling the mom and then call everyone on the contact list untill you get a hold of someone in person.
Are you kidding me? NO WAY! I would charge the late fee immediately and say "next time it will be termination papers"... and it would never happen again. These people are ADULTS, they don't need to be babied!
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2012, 08:27 PM
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agree with BlackCat 100%!!! Now, if you did all that, great. But you did give them until the end of this week to agree to the terms so I'd technically say you can't start enforcing them until next week. Well, you can, but I think its pretty unfair to hand out a paper and expect them to start following it right away - I state right in my contract that they will have 30 days to agree to any changes made to our contract.

I do think you need to be firm in your consequences - if they do not agree to and sign the contract this week then they need to be terminated. You can't be wishy washy on your contract but I can also see parents feeling blindsided by all these new rules. Are they fair rules, absolutely but when they've had it one way for a while you can't blame them for being upset when things suddenly change. I think you will see a big difference when new people sign up already knowing these rules.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2012, 08:54 PM
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I agree with Blackcat and LittleDiamonds. You can't enforce anything this week because you don't require them to have it back to you until later this week. If you have effective as of now, but don't require the papers to be signed until Friday you can't put it into effect until next week to be fair.

I wouldn't give any room for bending the new rules. You can decide whether they're late because of bad weather or traffic or something and let it go, but be serious the first time so you don't feel like you always have to give way to whatever excuses. Do what you think it fair and stick to it.

For the one who always picks up after 5:30 closing time, you need to charge more for expanded hours in her contract or do the $1/minute or whatever your late fee is right away. That is unacceptable to just add twenty minutes each day. We had a parent at a daycare who was always late and never said sorry. I was always late getting to my things then too.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:25 PM
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I agree with blackcat too...

my PHB is a nice explanation of my reasoning for the rules that I have. Then I have a form that I created that is my contract/agreement.

It is short sweet and simple. When new parents start, I require both parents to be present. Mind you they have already read the PHB by this point, or was supposed to. I don't go over the entire PHB it takes way too long..

Here is a sample of what I go over with the parents....This is just a small portion I cut out. Parents are also required to initial next to each and everyone of the rules/policies.


2. I agree that there will be no deductions for absence or holidays. I agree that if my child is absent due to illness for more than one week for the days and hours contracted to attend, that my tuition will be discounted at a pro-rated amount. Please discuss this rate wit h the provider.____________

3. I understand that if my child misses a day of school that it cannot be made up on another day and no credit or day trades will be given. _________

4. I agree to pay a late fee as stated below if tuition is not paid on time._______

5. I agree to pay an early drop off or late pick-up fee as stated below if my child is not picked up at contracted time. _________

6. I agree to pay a late pick up fee of my ill child if my child is not picked up after 45 minutes of notification.

7. I agree to pay a returned check fee and any other fees associated bank fees as stated below if my check is returned by my bank.______________

8. I understand that I will be given written notification thirty (30) days prior to any rate change._________________

there are about 15 items listeed..

then stated below, I have:



Fee Schedule

Weekly Tuition $250.00 per week to be paid on the last day of the week that my child attends care.

Late Payment $40.00 fee plus $10.00 per day, including weekends

Early Drop/Late Pick Up Fee $1.00 per minute, less 5 minute grace period

Ill Child Late Pick Up Fee $1.00 per minute

Returned Check Fee $50.00 per check

Stop payment $35.00 per check


Payments will be paid in: Cash

I certify that I have received, read and understand the information contained in this Agreement. I agree to the Financial Terms and Conditions as well as the Fee schedule listed above.


This one I call financial terms agreement
Then I have a second one called admissions agreement. Also short sweet and to the point.

If I change any polices, I will send out a one page document stating what is chaining, when and sometimes even why. I then just add it to thier file with the other agreement forms. Oh and when I do this, I will always give 14 days for the parents to return the document. When they give it to me, I will ask them if they have any questions to the new rule/policy.

I can email them to you if you are interested in seeing them ....

This works well for me, maybe you can try them out...
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:03 AM
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Yes, when I gave the contract to parents I said "Here is my revised contract for the new year, there are some changes" Some of them asked me to point out the changes so I did and some just said okay. I communicate very well with my day care parents

Should I start this new contract Monday of next week once I have all of their signatures and the contracts back???
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepGirl6 View Post
Yes, when I gave the contract to parents I said "Here is my revised contract for the new year, there are some changes" Some of them asked me to point out the changes so I did and some just said okay. I communicate very well with my day care parents

Should I start this new contract Monday of next week once I have all of their signatures and the contracts back???
I apologize then for my comment.. I was trying to sort out all the facts/details as to why your DCP is behaving in such a disrespectful manner by being late and not paying you the late fees.

Did you specify a date in which the new rules/changes will take effect? If so, then absolutely you should immediately enforce.

If you ask for the signed contracts back by ***, 2012 and that is when the rules will start taking effect, then I would tell the DCM you are having trouble with that she WILL be given a late fee starting on whatever date you set and then enforce it.

If she hasn't returned the contract yet because it isn't due back yet, then she is only doing what you have always allowed her to do and you kind of can't be mad about that....kwim?
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2012, 09:11 AM
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Should I start this new contract Monday of next week once I have all of their signatures and the contracts back???
IMHO, The new contract is not valid until signed.

If they don't sign and return it by the due date it will be considered a mutual termination.

At least that is how it works at my house.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:17 AM
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hey you welcome back!!

I agree with this... It is also in my PHB that if documents to be signed must be returned within 14 days, if not, then all daycare services are terminated.

At that point I then send them a termination notice, reason non compliance of new rules/policies.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2012, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
IMHO, The new contract is not valid until signed.

If they don't sign and return it by the due date it will be considered a mutual termination.


At least that is how it works at my house.
This sounds about right to me too
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:26 AM
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hey you welcome back!!

.
Thanks!! I had a wonderful vacation with my family.

Today is my first full day back.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:05 AM
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I have noted at the bottom of the contract to please sign and date and return back to me the week of January 2nd.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:32 AM
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Thanks!! I had a wonderful vacation with my family.

Today is my first full day back.
sorry to high-jack the thread..... hope you had a wonderful time.

I am back to full capacity and it has been CRAZY lol gotta love it
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JeepGirl6 View Post
I have noted at the bottom of the contract to please sign and date and return back to me the week of January 2nd.
I would enforce the contract immediately then and I would also tell mom that if it isn't returned signed by the end of the week of Jan 2nd, you will take that as her notice of withdrawl.

The late fees would take effect, however, the first day of this year if it were me. I would remind dcm that NO SERVICES will be provided after this week without late fees being paid up and from now on late fees are due in full at the time of late pick up.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:19 PM
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So yea now the other family that comes late, 545 is now telling me she may need to look for other child care since Im starting to charge her when she comes past my closing time... I explained to her I am working 12 hour days....should I back down???
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JeepGirl6 View Post
So yea now the other family that comes late, 545 is now telling me she may need to look for other child care since Im starting to charge her when she comes past my closing time... I explained to her I am working 12 hour days....should I back down???
NOooooo.... if they leave, let them. YOu need to do what is best for you and your family

Let them go and Advertise now.

Agree to continue care at your normal rate for the next two weeks, (or how ever long your term notice is) don't charge late fees and find a new family that will fit into this schedule.

I know it is tempting to change, but if you give an inch, they will take a mile. As soon as you give in, they will want more...Backing down will just be the start to all of the new issues that will arise.....
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2012, 02:24 PM
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So yea now the other family that comes late, 545 is now telling me she may need to look for other child care since Im starting to charge her when she comes past my closing time... I explained to her I am working 12 hour days....should I back down???
Me? I wouldn't.

But you have two choices.....say no and stand your ground. Hoping you have a wait list or can easily fill the spaces.

OR

you can allow it but charge more for the time...like over time rates or something.

Why do they need care for so late? Do they use the whole 12 hour day or just work later than most? Are there other options, as far as a lot of other providers who work so late in your area?

If working 12 hour days is stressing you out then you should really say no. NO amount of money is worth your sanity and mental health. If you do more than you can mentally and physically handle you will get burnt out very quickly in this line of work.

Saying no is perfectly ok. (They may be bluffing too.)
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  #22  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:10 PM
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IME, This is the testing/defiant phase, it comes right after they get a NO.

Bargaining most likely will follow.

If you back down now, you will be backing down from now on for her.
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