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Old 11-21-2016, 03:56 PM
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Default The Line Between Warn and Term

I'm stuck on this one right now. This is the family that sent a sick child twice in one week and it seems like they were snowing me.

The first time, I found out from older dcg that younger dcb had been given meds to help him sleep the night before. When I txted mom and dad I got two differing answers from them.

A few days later, dcb was dropped off sick again. He was pale, tired, and couging like crazy. When DCD picked up, he told me the mom "didn't intend" to send him sick.

But mom is a nurse. I find it very hard to believe that I could tell so easily that he was sick, but dcm was unable to tell.

Mom was involved in some extra (completely optional) activities at the time, and I'm guessing that what happened was that she over-scheduled herself and decided to land it on me coz she was running into trouble with her work or maybe finances coz she'd missed work. Idk.

Mom only works one and a half days a week. She has promised me many times that it's no problem for her to trade shifts at the hospital. But she sent dcb very sick last winter too, and because it was just a coughing illness, I didn't pick up on it right away and DD caught it--but three times worse. Once again, she's a nurse...

Also, I would have to say that 3.5 yo dcb is not getting what he needs in the way of guidance at home. He is very naughty with rules and barely ever minds. The plans they have going involve long term rewards, whereas this kid lives in the moment.

So I'm wondering if I warn or term.

My warning would be that I never, ever want to see those kids sick again. Ever. No symptoms. Either it really is easy for mom to trade shifts at work or it isn't. If it isn't, we are not a good fit. At 1.5 days a week, I don't see how mom and dad can't work out sick care between them, even though dad does travel some.

I've never had to term anyone before. I've had two families leave in a bad way due to me telling them "no" on some stuff then they got offended. But this family will probably never do that, because they only want 1.5 days a week usually, and the .5 day is like 3:30 til 6pm. I only charge a low hourly rate for them, and I let them pick up at 6:15 if traffic is bad or whatever. I'm pretty sure that almost no one else would be willing to do what I do for them.

But I'm a bit worried about terming. Next week, it could be a different family having some kind of stress or conflict in their lives and dumping on me. Idk. Maybe the difference is that with this family it's not stress...it's self created. Mom just wanted to go off and have a good time and didn't care about dumping all her inconvenience on me and then deceiving me.

Having a bit of a hard time here...
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:12 PM
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In my experience nurses and families who work in health care are some of the worst clients when it comes to following illness policies. (I believe) someone on here put it perfectly when they said that those who work in healthcare see people in such dire condition that they don't bat in eye when their own child is sick.

With that being said, only you can decide if you want to term or not. I completely understand your line of thinking when when you said 'it could be a different family having some kind of stress or conflict in their lives and dumping on me.' Have you had a conference with the parents yet? If not, maybe that would help. Have a conference with both parents and have them sign a new illness policy with the understanding if they break it then they are immediately termed.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:56 PM
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I think in these situations it is best not to let your emotions get in the way. You need to simply stick to your policies and not worry about what mom and dad are doing or not doing on their own time. That can create a lot of internal stress because you feel taken advantage of which makes you feel angry. You are only dealing with dcb and your daycare and they are paying you so try to let the rest of it go.

What kind of policies do you have in place to curb this kind of behavior? Some people have the rule that if a kid gets picked up due to sickness they are automatically out for 48hrs with pay. Perhaps you can have a policy that dropping a child off sick more than once is grounds for immediate termination.
You basically need to come up with a policy that helps you feel good about your business and yourself and curbs this behavior so you aren't feeling taken advantage of.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:26 PM
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Have a conference with both parents and have them sign a new illness policy with the understanding if they break it then they are immediately termed.
I was thinking something along those lines. My sick policy is a big deal to me. I was thinking to just ask mom if she's really able to keep my sick policy. I just can't have families here who aren't able to keep it.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
What kind of policies do you have in place to curb this kind of behavior? Some people have the rule that if a kid gets picked up due to sickness they are automatically out for 48hrs with pay. Perhaps you can have a policy that dropping a child off sick more than once is grounds for immediate termination.
You basically need to come up with a policy that helps you feel good about your business and yourself and curbs this behavior so you aren't feeling taken advantage of.
The 24/48 rule wouldn't really work with this family due to only being here infrequently. But I do charge a fee. One thing I did already to is when I sent the invoice last weekend, I had two line items: "Fee for sending a sick child: $20." So it was pretty clear how I saw the situation.

I think I will need to tell them that if it happens again I'll have to term. He really was clearly sick.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I think in these situations it is best not to let your emotions get in the way. You need to simply stick to your policies and not worry about what mom and dad are doing or not doing on their own time. That can create a lot of internal stress because you feel taken advantage of which makes you feel angry. You are only dealing with dcb and your daycare and they are paying you so try to let the rest of it go.

What kind of policies do you have in place to curb this kind of behavior? Some people have the rule that if a kid gets picked up due to sickness they are automatically out for 48hrs with pay. Perhaps you can have a policy that dropping a child off sick more than once is grounds for immediate termination.
You basically need to come up with a policy that helps you feel good about your business and yourself and curbs this behavior so you aren't feeling taken advantage of.


I have had families like this in the past. I couldn't prove that they sent their child medicated, but I was highly suspicious. What I find it does is create a sense of me not being able to trust them. Which is damaging to the parent/provider relationship. They did not remain my clients for very long.

If a child comes sick, I have turned away at the door. I also have no problem calling for pick up. I have also termed for continuously bringing sick children (and taking forever to pick them up).

You could have a chat with them at pick up next day they are in. Go over your illness policy once more. Dcm, I just want to make sure that we are on the same page in regards to my illness policy. Explain that him coming sick is against policy and not something you can tolerate moving forward.

One thing that has helped me avoid these situations was ensuring that any family I signed has a back up plan. A solid one. Family in town. Job that enables them to work from home. Understanding employers. Etc. It hasn't eliminated this problem but it greatly reduced the number of parents that drop off sick kids.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I think in these situations it is best not to let your emotions get in the way. You need to simply stick to your policies and not worry about what mom and dad are doing or not doing on their own time. That can create a lot of internal stress because you feel taken advantage of which makes you feel angry. You are only dealing with dcb and your daycare and they are paying you so try to let the rest of it go.

That^
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Beluga View Post
In my experience nurses and families who work in health care are some of the worst clients when it comes to following illness policies. (I believe) someone on here put it perfectly when they said that those who work in healthcare see people in such dire condition that they don't bat in eye when their own child is sick.

With that being said, only you can decide if you want to term or not. I completely understand your line of thinking when when you said 'it could be a different family having some kind of stress or conflict in their lives and dumping on me.' Have you had a conference with the parents yet? If not, maybe that would help. Have a conference with both parents and have them sign a new illness policy with the understanding if they break it then they are immediately termed.
This is my experience as well. It has been so bad over the years that I just don't accept children who have Moms working in health care any longer. If their dad does? They still keep them home. If their mom does? They're here at 5-years-old with a "teething cough and boogers."

Prepare for this mom to be ANGRY when you say that you're excluding her sick child. I would send the child home with a copy of your illness policy (I always attach it to the illness sheet) and continue doing so. They'll likely leave on their own. It isn't that she can't switch around days or provide sick care for her own child. It's that she doesn't want to.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:28 AM
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In my experience nurses and families who work in health care are some of the worst clients when it comes to following illness policies.
And the congregation says Amen....

"The 24/48 rule wouldn't really work with this family due to only being here infrequently. But I do charge a fee. One thing I did already to is when I sent the invoice last weekend, I had two line items: "Fee for sending a sick child: $20." So it was pretty clear how I saw the situation."

The problem I see is that you have passive aggressively given them permission, at a lowball price, to continue sending their sick kid. You can no longer fault them for sending him sick since you have condoned it.

I don't see this relationship is salvageable as it stands. I recommend termination. Take some time deciding what policies you will actually enforce; aggressively aggressive. Practice the 1 minute head to toe health check at the door procedure. Practice the words "DCK meets exclusion policy and cannot stay. Give me a call in two days to discuss his return." It gets better.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Baby Beluga View Post
In my experience nurses and families who work in health care are some of the worst clients when it comes to following illness policies. (I believe) someone on here put it perfectly when they said that those who work in healthcare see people in such dire condition that they don't bat in eye when their own child is sick.

With that being said, only you can decide if you want to term or not. I completely understand your line of thinking when when you said 'it could be a different family having some kind of stress or conflict in their lives and dumping on me.' Have you had a conference with the parents yet? If not, maybe that would help. Have a conference with both parents and have them sign a new illness policy with the understanding if they break it then they are immediately termed.


parents in health care are the WORSE.

I have a pediatrician's son enrolled. They actually GAVE HIM ASPIRIN while he had cold symptoms. I could not believe that I had to explain to dcd the risks of Reye's syndrome. I had to REALLY batten down the hatches on my illness policy, follow it to the letter, and explain that regardless of HIS diagnosis, I needed an ACTUAL pediatrician note from HIS pediatrician.

I have the 24/48 hour rule, but I realize that won't work with these parents. Do you charge regardless of attendance? I would send them home, every single time, and tell them FLAT OUT that if the child needs meds 24 hours prior to attending, they are too sick to attend. I wouldn't hesitate to term if they broke policy again.

I would NOT charge extra for dropping off a sick child. I would charge my full daily rate, call for pickup, and exclude the next day.
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:15 PM
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The 24/48 rule wouldn't really work with this family due to only being here infrequently. But I do charge a fee. One thing I did already to is when I sent the invoice last weekend, I had two line items: "Fee for sending a sick child: $20." So it was pretty clear how I saw the situation.

I think I will need to tell them that if it happens again I'll have to term. He really was clearly sick.
Or call parents to pick him up IMMEDIATELY. They might feel that it's worth paying an extra $20 to leave him with you for the day, but if they're inconvenienced it'll be another story.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:19 PM
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The problem I see is that you have passive aggressively given them permission, at a lowball price, to continue sending their sick kid. You can no longer fault them for sending him sick since you have condoned it.
I spelled it out pretty clearly, face to face, when dad picked up on the 2nd incident--to the point that I half way chewed him out. And if they continue here, I would spell it out again, along with warning that I won't continue care if it happens again.

The fee is per my contract with them. I also have a fee for underwear accidents, but that doesn't mean that I allow ongoing underwear accidents. It's just a fee for an incident where there is some confusion (or willfull non-compliance). I wouldn't allow a child to continue in underwear who was having frequent accidents. They would have to go back to pull ups. But fees can sure make folk stand up and listen rather than just going to stay or term.

But it has crossed my mind that mom might just think, "What a good deal. I can send a sick kid for $20." Like, maybe next time she's in a bind, she might think that she'll just get a $20 fee and it will be worth it to her. But no, it would for sure be term next time (and I haven't fully made up my mind on this time).

They actually haven't been here for 1 1/2 weeks. Mom texted at the end of last week and said that dcb had been put on anti-biotics since he'd been coughing for two weeks. Mom said, "And he's been fever free for 24 hours." She wanted to send her kids. I texted back and said, "At this point I would prefer that they stay away until completely better." But it makes me wonder what in tarnation he had to have still had a fever after two weeks!!!!

Then Monday, when they were supposed to be here again, I got another text that said that older sib had the cold now and they weren't coming. They aren't due again til next week.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:25 PM
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One thing that has helped me avoid these situations was ensuring that any family I signed has a back up plan. A solid one. Family in town. Job that enables them to work from home. Understanding employers. Etc. It hasn't eliminated this problem but it greatly reduced the number of parents that drop off sick kids.
I completely agree about the back up plan. I do require that also, and I make a big deal about it at interview. I think I'm starting to realize better what is really bothering me. DCM does have a great back up plan. The problem is that she made it null and void over her hobby and it blew up and she dumped on me. Her back up plan is not enough to cover me and her hobbies and she was not honest with me about it.

Today, a different mom mentioned that their pet had a surgery today, and I figured that probably dad had taken the pet (although it could have been the 17 year old sibling). The thing is that it didn't bothered me at all to think that dad was at home. I agreed to care today for their children. I'm happy to have them.

Also, when the different mom told me that she was going away for a week for a girl's trip with her family, she asked if I could provide care later than usual since it would be dad picking up while she was gone. I just reminded her that they needed to have a good sick plan in place when she was gone. The fact that they were adding a fun factor to their lives wasn't my problem if it didn't go as planned. I also said that I would charge babysitting rates after their contracted hours since it was for a whole week (I don't always bother if it's just once in a while for a doctor's appointment or something).

In a way this is the same stuff that the other family was doing, but it turned out really different. The other mom just seems to plan on dumping on me when all her extra curricular activities don't mesh with her kids' needs. So really, maybe she doesn't have a good enough back up plan after all.
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