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Old 08-30-2018, 05:07 AM
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Default Part Time Family Not Quite Getting How Daycare Works

One of my part time families pays for 3 days a week but gave me a schedule of all the days they would use care through October and sometimes they only have 2 days that they want care. However, it's been happening more frequently that they will just show up for all 3 days anyway even when it's not on the schedule they gave me. I have no problem with them using the care they pay for, but do you make them go by the schedule they give you or do you just always keep those 3 days available for them? This is the 4th time now where I thought I had no daycare kids coming today and would do something with my own kids and they come knocking on my door. I let them in because technically they paid for it and it is theirs and they are a very good family otherwise. Should I make them adhere to the schedule they give me or should I make them communicate better about what days they need or do I just plan on being open on the days they reserved whether their schedule says they're coming or not?
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
One of my part time families pays for 3 days a week but gave me a schedule of all the days they would use care through October and sometimes they only have 2 days that they want care. However, it's been happening more frequently that they will just show up for all 3 days anyway even when it's not on the schedule they gave me. I have no problem with them using the care they pay for, but do you make them go by the schedule they give you or do you just always keep those 3 days available for them? This is the 4th time now where I thought I had no daycare kids coming today and would do something with my own kids and they come knocking on my door. I let them in because technically they paid for it and it is theirs and they are a very good family otherwise. Should I make them adhere to the schedule they give me or should I make them communicate better about what days they need or do I just plan on being open on the days they reserved whether their schedule says they're coming or not?

I would absolutely make them go by the schedule they gave you. Obviously you made other plans and no amount of money is worth being trapped at my house and cancelling my day with my children. I use to be the same as you but it got old fast. Maybe they can send you a text the night before making sure itís still ok but to just show up is rude.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
One of my part time families pays for 3 days a week but gave me a schedule of all the days they would use care through October and sometimes they only have 2 days that they want care. However, it's been happening more frequently that they will just show up for all 3 days anyway even when it's not on the schedule they gave me. I have no problem with them using the care they pay for, but do you make them go by the schedule they give you or do you just always keep those 3 days available for them? This is the 4th time now where I thought I had no daycare kids coming today and would do something with my own kids and they come knocking on my door. I let them in because technically they paid for it and it is theirs and they are a very good family otherwise. Should I make them adhere to the schedule they give me or should I make them communicate better about what days they need or do I just plan on being open on the days they reserved whether their schedule says they're coming or not?
I have PT/Drop-in stick to set days, no changing weekly. You have a rotating schedule you must sign FT regardless. I have limited spaces and I plan my OFF time around schedules. I also tell clients they don't show with in 30 minutes of time they set, I they have to find other care for the day if I closed or went out because they didn't let me know they would be late
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:55 AM
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"do you make them go by the schedule they give you or do you just always keep those 3 days available for them?"

I would be available for the days they contracted and paid for. I also would not allow them to switch days during the week.

When I offered part-time slots I only had two options; M+W+F or T+TH. It was splitting up one slot. Anything else takes up a full-time slot at part-time rates.

Now they pay one rate and are welcome to attend as often or as little as they like. No schedules required.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:03 AM
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Why not have a quick conversation?

"Family, I've noticed that after you send me your schedule in advance, you have changed your plans and showed up on days you told me you didn't need care. I'm going to ask that going forward, please adhere to the schedule you've given me so that I can plan out meals and activities with enough supplies as well as plan my own schedule. Thanks so much."
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowmom View Post
Why not have a quick conversation?

"Family, I've noticed that after you send me your schedule in advance, you have changed your plans and showed up on days you told me you didn't need care. I'm going to ask that going forward, please adhere to the schedule you've given me so that I can plan out meals and activities with enough supplies as well as plan my own schedule. Thanks so much."

and since the days are paid for, I might add: "If you decide to come on days that weren't planned, I need 48 hours notice so I can be properly prepared."
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:01 AM
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They obviously want the care they have paid for and feel like they can drop the kids off whenever. I would ask them if they want 3 days of care each week because that means we will need to revisit the contract. Explain that you offer a flexible schedule but charge for 3 days for THEIR convenience. It is a convenience charge. If they want 3 days rotating days they will need to pay more. Explain how ratios work and how you need to know when kids are here so you can take on more kids in the future.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:22 AM
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They obviously want the care they have paid for and feel like they can drop the kids off whenever. I would ask them if they want 3 days of care each week because that means we will need to revisit the contract. Explain that you offer a flexible schedule but charge for 3 days for THEIR convenience. It is a convenience charge. If they want 3 days rotating days they will need to pay more. Explain how ratios work and how you need to know when kids are here so you can take on more kids in the future.
They do pay for 3 set days a week regardless and they're very good about it so that's where my problem is. I get that they want to use what they pay for and even encourage it, but she's giving me her own schedule saying that many of the weeks she only wants 2 of her days and then ends up coming on her 3rd day anyway AFTER she told me she wasn't going to use it without telling me. So I think I have a paid day off, but she decides to come without telling me if that makes sense. She always pays for 3 days whether she only comes 1 day or 3 and she knows those are set days and doesn't try to come on days she doesn't have reserved. BUT I'm trying to decide if I should keep allowing her to tell me she only wants 2 days and then show up for her 3rd without notice or if since she's paying for 3 days regardless, if I can say "sorry, you told me you weren't coming today so I took the day off." it doesn't seem right to not let her stay if she paid for it, but it keeps ruining my days off because I don't think anyone is coming and they just show up! I don't know if it's right for me to just let her decide if she wants to use 2 or 3 days on a whim. Do I need to be available for her paid days even if I think she's not coming?
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
They do pay for 3 set days a week regardless and they're very good about it so that's where my problem is. I get that they want to use what they pay for and even encourage it, but she's giving me her own schedule saying that many of the weeks she only wants 2 of her days and then ends up coming on her 3rd day anyway AFTER she told me she wasn't going to use it without telling me. So I think I have a paid day off, but she decides to come without telling me if that makes sense. She always pays for 3 days whether she only comes 1 day or 3 and she knows those are set days and doesn't try to come on days she doesn't have reserved. BUT I'm trying to decide if I should keep allowing her to tell me she only wants 2 days and then show up for her 3rd without notice or if since she's paying for 3 days regardless, if I can say "sorry, you told me you weren't coming today so I took the day off." it doesn't seem right to not let her stay if she paid for it, but it keeps ruining my days off because I don't think anyone is coming and they just show up! I don't know if it's right for me to just let her decide if she wants to use 2 or 3 days on a whim. Do I need to be available for her paid days even if I think she's not coming?
She needs to schedule it or lose it. Sorry but last minute requests will not be honored tell her that. She needs to give you the attendance days in advance.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:32 AM
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This may be too "black and white", but I see only two choices as I too have trouble with the concept of being paid for days I am not providing care (I do not charge for sick days-either on their end or mine-- and allow change in schedule up to a week in advance for which families do not have to pay for care they will not receive).

1. Plan to stay home on the days for which they have paid.

2. Have them pay in advance only for the days they will use (so on the weeks they only use two days they would only pay for two days).

Just my two cents.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:34 AM
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Here's how I do it...
If they want PT care they tell me which 2 or 3 days they need. It can be any combination just as long as they don't change the days. They pick the days and stick to them.

If their schedule will change week to week then I charge for FT because they are taking up a FT spot since I won't be able to find a family to take the random days they won't use due to their schedules changing each week. In this case, even if they pay for FT they need to give me a schedule of days that they will be using. Some providers ask for 2 weeks in advance, I only ask for 1 week in advance. After that any changes have to be brought up a minimum of 24 hours in advance and I have to approve them. They don't just show up whenever they want. If they do and the day is not on their scheduled day then they pay for the extra fee or they're turned away at the door. They can avoid paying extra simply by letting me know in advance if they need an extra day.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
They do pay for 3 set days a week regardless and they're very good about it so that's where my problem is. I get that they want to use what they pay for and even encourage it, but she's giving me her own schedule saying that many of the weeks she only wants 2 of her days and then ends up coming on her 3rd day anyway AFTER she told me she wasn't going to use it without telling me. So I think I have a paid day off, but she decides to come without telling me if that makes sense. She always pays for 3 days whether she only comes 1 day or 3 and she knows those are set days and doesn't try to come on days she doesn't have reserved. BUT I'm trying to decide if I should keep allowing her to tell me she only wants 2 days and then show up for her 3rd without notice or if since she's paying for 3 days regardless, if I can say "sorry, you told me you weren't coming today so I took the day off." it doesn't seem right to not let her stay if she paid for it, but it keeps ruining my days off because I don't think anyone is coming and they just show up! I don't know if it's right for me to just let her decide if she wants to use 2 or 3 days on a whim. Do I need to be available for her paid days even if I think she's not coming?
I would explain to her that if she tells you that she isn't coming one day, that if they were the only family scheduled, you have made other plans based on having no kids. I don't allow changes after Friday 6pm for the upcoming week... I have only 3 babes and I know for a fact 2 of 3 won't be here Tuesday already (closed Monday & 2 of 3 are paying at pick up tonight as well).
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:46 AM
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Iíd say that I only prep meals for the kids that are scheduled to come. That you need 48 hours notice of change of plans so you can prepare.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:12 PM
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I have all part-timers and offer a per day rate instead of weekly on purpose, specifically so I can have days off here and there to spend time with my own young boys. I had the same sort of problem; now families must tell me their schedule by Sunday or they don't get care.
Had to enforce it this week, actually, DCM asked me for Monday, Tuesday, Friday and on Tuesday morning wanted to change it all around and do completely different (and more) days, because she had appointments she "forgot about." After I promised my 3 year old I would take him to the zoo today. Nope, nope, nope.
Even if you are like me and don't need a schedule very far in advance, pick a time limit for schedule adjustments, like 48 hours or before the work week starts. It is just plain crazy-making to have kids randomly appear at your door whenever. If parents don't like it, they can go find a center and/or pay full-time rates somewhere else.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:59 PM
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I don't ask or receive a schedule from my PT families, I reserve their days for them. However I had one family that would tell me in advance when the child would not be coming.
If they had shown up, I would of had a shocked look on my face and reminded them that I was not expecting them and depending on what was going on, would make a difference if they stayed. I would also have a discussion on not just showing up when they said they would not be coming, the next time they needed to text to make sure I was still available. (So yes it's their day but the forfeit on demand care when they say they are not coming)
My first family I did drop in for, never sent payment or confirm the time the needed care for or that they would be coming. So I figured they changed their mind. Around noon, I left to go shopping. She calls 15 minutes later asking were I was at. I then had to explain why I left, (no payment or confirmation, no care) .
So you could do something similar, and leave half hour before you expect them, this would open up the conversation and put a physical reminder on not just showing up but confirming care.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:24 PM
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Instead of having them pay x amount for 3 days a week, I would have them pay a part time rate (which totally can be the same as your 3 day rate ). I would ask for their schedule ahead of time and then tell them they have to stick to it.
Doing it this way eliminates their need to "get their monies worth" by coming that 3rd day.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:41 AM
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Try to talk to them about this matter. You can tell them that it's okay for them to come not on the said days but they have to inform you a day ahead so you can also prepare and change some plans.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Indoorvoice View Post
They do pay for 3 set days a week regardless and they're very good about it so that's where my problem is. I get that they want to use what they pay for and even encourage it, but she's giving me her own schedule saying that many of the weeks she only wants 2 of her days and then ends up coming on her 3rd day anyway AFTER she told me she wasn't going to use it without telling me. So I think I have a paid day off, but she decides to come without telling me if that makes sense. She always pays for 3 days whether she only comes 1 day or 3 and she knows those are set days and doesn't try to come on days she doesn't have reserved. BUT I'm trying to decide if I should keep allowing her to tell me she only wants 2 days and then show up for her 3rd without notice or if since she's paying for 3 days regardless, if I can say "sorry, you told me you weren't coming today so I took the day off." it doesn't seem right to not let her stay if she paid for it, but it keeps ruining my days off because I don't think anyone is coming and they just show up! I don't know if it's right for me to just let her decide if she wants to use 2 or 3 days on a whim. Do I need to be available for her paid days even if I think she's not coming?
I would not allow her to just come willy nilly! I would let her know that its not ok to just show up without notice. Let her know you need 24 hours notice. The first time she shows without notice donít answer the door. If she complains say ďsorry I didnít know you were coming so we were sleeping/grocery shopping etcĒ. Trust me she wonít do it again.

I had a mom who wanted me for PD days if grandparents couldnít do it and I told her not a problem but I needed a weeks notice. I knew she would not give me a weeks notice because she was an asshat. So the first time she springs PD days on me I refused telling her I needed a weeks notice for preparing my day. She was miffed but it never happened again!
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:19 PM
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I think if you tell her you she has to stick to the schedule she gives you, she's just going to tell you the kids will be there all 3 days. When they don't show up, it will feel like a bonus day!
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:48 AM
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I think if you tell her you she has to stick to the schedule she gives you, she's just going to tell you the kids will be there all 3 days. When they don't show up, it will feel like a bonus day!
Right?! That's one of the reasons I was struggling with what I should say or if I should say anything haha!
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:53 AM
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Thank you for all of your help and experience. Tuesday starts the new school year so I have a newsletter ready to send out with all the little changes taking place in my program and I put a notice in there about schedule changes and how to handle them. Luckily my families have been good about reading my newsletters so far. I'm going to just leave in the morning the next time she has on her schedule that it's a day off and we can go from there. They're such a good family so I haven't wanted to rock the boat, but even good families need gentle reminders sometimes of what is appropriate and what is not.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:20 PM
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I am late to this discussion but wanted to chime in and say I love PT families. The way I have my fees broken down I make more with PT than full time per spot.

I require set days with a choice of either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday.

In terms of flexibility there are two options I offer:
  1. If space allows they can switch schedules from M/W/F to T/TH and vice versa with 30 days advice notice in writing.
  2. They can also add an occasional additional day if space allows for a daily fee. (My daily fee is significantly higher so that just adding two additional days makes it more cost effective for them to increase their contracted schedule from T/TH to M/W/F.)

Having the set days also allows me to plan and prep art activities, curriculum, snacks, etc. it also allows me to max my income potential.

Glad to hear you have a newsletter, I just did my first one and plan to do them monthly so I hope they are read!!!
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:55 PM
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I don't understand the point of the schedule if they're not going to stick to it? Except that they want to make sure that YOU are available if they need you, but they don't care about how their changes leave you in a bind. If they showed up on Saturday morning to claim their 3rd day, would you accommodate them? I assume not because that's not what they scheduled with you. You need to treat this the same way. I know it could cost you some extra days to work, but you have to decide how much your sanity is worth. It also sets a precedent for how your time is being respected. Right now, regardless of how great they are otherwise, she's being pretty inconsiderate.

I've had similar situations, and then I would grumble and complain to myself when they showed up outside of what I expected, but I would do it anyway because they were full rate and I was open anyway. Eventually, I got tired of being frustrated and I did something about it. I set things up to where I had a schedule from them and advance notice if anything would be different.

You have to decide how big of a deal this is to you. If it's a big enough deal, set up rules that go along with the schedule. I would start with the fact that she needs to give you notice of ANY schedule changes by x time on x day. Let her know that you will be open according to the schedule she gave you and that you will not be able to provide care for days outside of what she schedules with you without x amount of notice. Even if you just say "by 6 PM the night before", it still sets a precedent for her that she can't just show up like that.
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