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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Am I Doing The Right Thing?
cheeseheadmama 08:48 PM 02-05-2012
I have a situation that I need help seeing from the outside.

The background: I began working with a family in October to care for their 5 year old twins all day on Monday and after pre-school (4K) Tuesday thru Friday until the end of the school year in June 2012. In mid-December, the DCM told me that DCD was leaving his job to focus on finishing grad-school, therefore, they were dropping down in care from 5 days to 2 half days, Thursday and Friday. I was blindsided by this but I told them that I would accommodate the change and immediately advertised to fill the Monday thru Wednesday position. In the meantime, they asked if the kids could come on Tuesday and Friday because of something vague with DCD's school, so I said yes thinking it was temporary because they had asked for Thursday and Friday. Well, as of this past Friday, I have the Monday thru Wednesday spots filled (YEAH!) and let DCM know that I would need to go back to the original Thursday/Friday time schedule beginning this week. She let me know this evening that they no longer needed Thursday and would only be sending them on Friday.

This is where I got very irritated. In less than 5 months they have dropped from 5 days to 2 days to 1 day. I have drafted an email to her to let her know that I am not willing to only watch them 1 day each week and if they truly wanted do this I would be terminating their care.

These children are allowed to be in control of their household and have a horrible time remembering the rules and routines around here when there are currently here twice each week, I can only imagine what their behavior would be like 1 day each week.

So do I send her the termination email or do I tough it out for the next 4 months? If I terminate, I think it will be next to impossible to fill a Thursday/Friday spot so I am basically foregoing that income, but I don't know if working with this family is worth the headache.
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Lucy 11:31 PM 02-05-2012
I had a family do something similar to me. I drafted a letter stating that with this drastic reduction in hours, they would go to an hourly rate of $5 per hour per child. Yeah, they left.
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Meyou 03:52 AM 02-06-2012
I would offer two days per week or none. It's not worth the money for me to have two rowdy 5 year olds one afternoon per week. It sounds like chaos actually.
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Blackcat31 08:21 AM 02-06-2012
Originally Posted by Meyou:
I would offer two days per week or none. It's not worth the money for me to have two rowdy 5 year olds one afternoon per week. It sounds like chaos actually.
Good way to do it.

I offer 3 days minimum.

If you need less than that you are drop in and charged by the hour (a MUCH higher rate) and services are only available when and IF I have space open which varies every week.

If I were you, I would NEVER agree to just Friday...waaaay too much work.....
I prefer to end my weeks on a downward slide
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Meyou 08:44 AM 02-06-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Good way to do it.

I offer 3 days minimum.

If you need less than that you are drop in and charged by the hour (a MUCH higher rate) and services are only available when and IF I have space open which varies every week.

If I were you, I would NEVER agree to just Friday...waaaay too much work.....
I prefer to end my weeks on a downward slide
She only has Thurs/Fri available since she already filled the M T W part of the spot to suit this families schedule. And I agree about Friday...no freaking way I would want to end the week that way.
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Blackcat31 08:55 AM 02-06-2012
Originally Posted by Meyou:
She only has Thurs/Fri available since she already filled the M T W part of the spot to suit this families schedule. And I agree about Friday...no freaking way I would want to end the week that way.
Oh, I didn't mean she should offer 3 days....I just meant I, personally, only do 3 days min and wouldn't have let that mom get as far as she did changing her schedule like that.

She (the mom) should consider herself lucky the OP allowed her to schedule the way she did when I think most care places wouldn't have been so accommodating.

Honestly, the 2 half days she is giving now seems like way too much work for the money as it is.
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cheeseheadmama 10:19 AM 02-06-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Oh, I didn't mean she should offer 3 days....I just meant I, personally, only do 3 days min and wouldn't have let that mom get as far as she did changing her schedule like that.

She (the mom) should consider herself lucky the OP allowed her to schedule the way she did when I think most care places wouldn't have been so accommodating.

Honestly, the 2 half days she is giving now seems like way too much work for the money as it is.
You are right. I should never have let her drop down to 2 days but since they are twins they represented 2/3 of my income at that time and that scared the crap out of me. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to fill the spots within a few weeks so am feeling much better about just letting them move on.

I sent an email this morning telling her that 2 days were the minimum I was willing to accommodate and if she insisted on 1 day then the last day of care would be 2/17. I feel like this is the best for me right now and I don't expect them to stay. They are the kind of family that believes that I work FOR instead of WITH them and I have had enough.
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Blackcat31 12:26 PM 02-06-2012
I think you made the right choice and I also agree that YOU set your rules and if she doesn't like them she can seek services elsewhere as you do NOT work for her.

I am also glad you filled your space around them so quickly! Who knows, this M-W family may just decide to go full time....
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cheeseheadmama 03:12 PM 02-06-2012
Got a call from DCM in response to my email from this morning. She wants to stop by tonight and "discuss some things". So she is going to be here @ 5:30; part of me hopes it is so she can pick up her kids things......
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familyschoolcare 06:08 PM 02-06-2012
You could always ofer one day at a high price example if two days is 50 then one day is 40 B/C ussually 1 day is hard to fill
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Crazy8 07:04 PM 02-06-2012
Originally Posted by cheeseheadmama:
Got a call from DCM in response to my email from this morning. She wants to stop by tonight and "discuss some things". So she is going to be here @ 5:30; part of me hopes it is so she can pick up her kids things......
curious to hear how it goes. I agree with you and would have done the same. I'd also be sure to let her know you filled those other 3 days around HER schedule and now you will have two days empty because finding someone that needs just the Thurs/Fri is near impossible.
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cheeseheadmama 07:08 PM 02-06-2012
Had the meeting with DCM. She was the nicest she has ever been to me. Treated me like a person and not a servant for once. She began the meeting by apologizing profusely for not considering what all these changes have been like for me and then went on to say that they will send their kids for 2 days this week and next and then she would be working from home on Fridays, thus they no longer need my care. Figured that was going to happen and I am OK with it. Proud of myself for telling her what I needed and following through with it, not just caving in to what they demanded.

I thought about charging them more for the one day, but since they lost 70% of their income when he left his job I knew that wouldn't work either.

Thanks for all your help and reassuring me that I was making the correct choice. In my heart I knew it was right but my head wasn't so sure.
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Tags:contract - clear, enforcing policies - consistency, hours - changing, part time, part time care, provider - burnout risk
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