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Old 02-02-2010, 08:02 AM
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Default Changing Hours/Enforcing Pickup times

Sorry this is so long- its a big problem lol. I have been doing daycare for 8 years now. I initially started when my son was a baby to be able to be there for my children, especially since my husband was a soldier and deployed. As time has progressed my son's needs have changed, my entire family's needs have changed. Over the last few years I have taken on more part-timers, more school agers. I work longer hours, (from 6:15 til as late as 6 many days) Unfortunately, the result is that my son feels like my daycare families are more important than he is. For the last year, whenever I try to sign up my son for swim lessons, karate, wrestling... I can't get him there most of the time because I have 2 families that pick up late habitually. My contract says I close at 5:30, however each persons contract specifies work hours/days and appropriate travel time. I had a talk with one of the moms, and she totally understood. She works 20 mn away at a clinic in another town. The father ( they're separated) used to pick up on time when she was going to be late. He has gradually become less cooperative, so he ducks her phone calls etc. They have been late, and I have charged them late fees, several times a week for the last few months. She is having a friend pick up for her now a couple days a week starting today, and will try to get the dad to cooperate better. The BIG problem is my other mom. She works for my county's social services, and habitually abuses my policies. She has brought one child while the other sibling is sick, she goes home for a mental health day and leaves both kids at daycare, then complains she can't miss work if I ask for a sick day. She has LIED to me on days I know she has off and said she had to work extra to dump her kids off here. She exagerates her financial hardship to get out of paying late fees (poor single mom syndrome- she brings home 1200 every 2 weeks) This is the mom who buys cigarettes but no snow boots/pants, locked herself out of her car at a gas station buying smokes and said she had no money for a locksmith, if I didnt help her she "didn't know when/if she could pick up the kids" then took 3 months to pay back the $60 locksmith fee. She has court days for work on Tuesdays, but I know they dont stay until 6- yet she often is very late and says court ran really late. Of course she doesn't exactly hurry the 10 BLOCKS to my house. Her ex and ex's sister watch her kids a LOT when she wants a break, but she tells me she doesn't trust them and won't call them to help when she's going to be late or her kids are sick. THE BIG PROBLEM is her job..... she doesn't exactly threaten me, however she reminds me often about her job in the same department as my licensor, etc.. the BAD DAYCARES she has gotten shut down, so I'm concerned that if I get too tough too quickly or make her angry she'll retaliate. I really wish I could just replace her altogether. She's without a doubt the worst mother I've worked with in 8 years, including my teen and DHS moms. Any hints how to re-establish boundaries, enforce my contract without shooting myself in the foot?
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:25 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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I would call your licensor, ask for a visit. have them out, inspect.... verify your setup. (tell her that you are changing hours and she may get a call complaining about you and that you wanted her to know firsthand. Dont tell her who just that you have a client who has mentioned having daycares closed before.) then give mom a letter stating 515 as your new closing time. You KNOW she is going to push it to 530 and it really seems like a power struggle with her. At 515 call her, when she is whining,.. say,.. well then I all your backups,.. talk to you tomorrow,.. and hang up. call her back ups..give them 10 minutes to get the kids,.. I would BET that in 5 she will have called you back and said she is on her way. .. tell her that you have plans now starting at 530 and you HAVE to have her kids picked up by 515. Period,.. end of story. if she asks what just tell her,.. I have other obligations. She will soon tire of that routine and find someone new or start coming on time. If her back ups cant pick up or wont,...then tell her at drop off that you need backups who can be there by 515. period. or she will have to find other care. That your obligations are to your family.

I know its scary,.. I really do. But as long as you cover your hootie with lic,.. you will get through it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:33 AM
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My4SunshineGirlsNY My4SunshineGirlsNY is offline
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That's a tough place to be if she has the power to shut you down...is that what you were saying is she works for the state and has to power to shut down daycares?

I would simply put, you are now changing your hours..if you closed at 5:30 before with drive time, now make it 5, due to your sons needs, he is older and you wish to get him involved with extra activities. You feel this is important for him and if the hours doesn't work for her, you will have to downsize.

I don't understand how some parents can be so pushy, where is the respect? I would never think of being rude to someone that has MY kids.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:35 AM
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What does your contract say about late pickups? Do you have late fees, and/or do you have a policy that says that so many late pickups are grounds for termination? Send out a "reminder" letter to your families that quotes the contract, and let them know that as of "X" date, you will be STRICTLY enforcing your policy.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:38 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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Oh and Carole,.. please tell your husband thank you from me,.... for his service. =-)
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My4SunshineGirlsNY View Post
That's a tough place to be if she has the power to shut you down...is that what you were saying is she works for the state and has to power to shut down daycares?

I would simply put, you are now changing your hours..if you closed at 5:30 before with drive time, now make it 5, due to your sons needs, he is older and you wish to get him involved with extra activities. You feel this is important for him and if the hours doesn't work for her, you will have to downsize.

I don't understand how some parents can be so pushy, where is the respect? I would never think of being rude to someone that has MY kids.
I totally think the same thing, I would have never dreamed of being rude, saying things, or ripping my kids out for no reason ever!!!! I totally trusted my daycare while we were working, til I quit just to stay at home.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:58 AM
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I would guess if she is this irresponsible with her kids, she is also irresponsible at work. It may be that those who work with her feel about her as you do. It's highly unlikely that she is some model employee who can't seem to manage her own children. I'd bet money that she is exaggerating her power in order to continue to take advantage of you.

Make sure your ducks are in a row, then, to be honest, I would terminate her. She is going to push and push.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:05 AM
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I have had terrific families for the most part. Every once in a while I get a parent that drives me bonkers. This mom has been with me for over two years- and yes, she is a county child protection worker, and does have the power to shut down daycares. She was not too bad in the beginning- and she has always expressed gratitude for the good job I do curriculum -wise. She brags that she gets a lot of complements on how terrific her daughter "measures up" - Never complains about me or the quality of care. Always always has a sad tale on payday- she pays, but tries to make me feel guilty about it. Since her son was born 18 m ago she has gotten worse and worse about picking up on time, bringing sick kids, as I have seen her own home situation decline as she feels more and more overwhelmed with her work and her own lack of parenting/homemaking skills. She is the first person to criticize and find fault with every other family, but lies/hides her own when she does the exact same thing. I've seen her get mad, thankfully not at me, but she can be very manipulative, and I am concerned. It started out gradual, with the occasional late court day etc. She uses chronic complaints of her own poor health etc - She fell asleep after taking a pain pill because of this misery or that, therefore didn't show up on time, even though she was home. It's gotten to be a habitual problem, but when I express frustration, or remind her that she's causing hardship for me, she talks about the good time she had at lunch w/ my licensor, or the head of the department brought her cookies and just loves her, etc. I wonder if its even true sometimes, but, scary just the same.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carole's Daycare View Post
I have had terrific families for the most part. Every once in a while I get a parent that drives me bonkers. This mom has been with me for over two years- and yes, she is a county child protection worker, and does have the power to shut down daycares. She was not too bad in the beginning- and she has always expressed gratitude for the good job I do curriculum -wise. She brags that she gets a lot of complements on how terrific her daughter "measures up" - Never complains about me or the quality of care. Always always has a sad tale on payday- she pays, but tries to make me feel guilty about it. Since her son was born 18 m ago she has gotten worse and worse about picking up on time, bringing sick kids, as I have seen her own home situation decline as she feels more and more overwhelmed with her work and her own lack of parenting/homemaking skills. She is the first person to criticize and find fault with every other family, but lies/hides her own when she does the exact same thing. I've seen her get mad, thankfully not at me, but she can be very manipulative, and I am concerned. It started out gradual, with the occasional late court day etc. She uses chronic complaints of her own poor health etc - She fell asleep after taking a pain pill because of this misery or that, therefore didn't show up on time, even though she was home. It's gotten to be a habitual problem, but when I express frustration, or remind her that she's causing hardship for me, she talks about the good time she had at lunch w/ my licensor, or the head of the department brought her cookies and just loves her, etc. I wonder if its even true sometimes, but, scary just the same.
I have now started monthly newsletters, and at the bottom of them, I write in reminders such as late pick ups, early drop offs, etc..... this has helped a bunch!!!!! Good luck and let us all know what you did!!!
Have a great day!!
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:28 AM
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Thanks a lot to all of you- It really helps to
1) be able to vent
2) be able to get input from other terrific providers
3) have the moral support
I'm going to follow your advice, and of course- cover my hiney first- then let my families all know that due to changes in my family's needs I have to get done sooner, therefore I'm moving my closing time to 5:15 in two weeks. (She's the only one really who'll be affected) and that to ensure that my policies are adhered to I'm upping my late pick up fees, and that they will be enforced. You are right- she'll push it, and as long as I enforce the contract fairly- she'll have to comply or find somewhere else. If she flips out I have tons of other daycare parents and my husband- a deputy sheriff now that he's home, who are witnesses to more violations than I can count on her part, and if she pulls it after I change my late rates - it will look fishy on her part. And you guys are right- some of her co-workers probably do recognize what/how she is, and it may not be more than a quick surprise visit or two as required and then all in the past.
Thanks
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by laundryduchess@yahoo.com View Post
Oh and Carole,.. please tell your husband thank you from me,.... for his service. =-)
Thank You for the support! 15 ys as an army wife- 18 total this Feb, and I know he has always been honored to do his part.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:33 AM
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Wow, you must feel stuck between a rock and a hard place! What a nasty situation to be part of. But I think laundryduchess is right -- you should take the first step and contact your licensor before this woman does something serious. Then you can be the one to mention how great lunch was with your licensor ... as you hand her a notice of termination. Fill in your licensor, and then cut this woman loose. You shouldn't have to put up with this!
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:34 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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Army? cool,.. I grew up a mile from the Fort in Mo. =-)
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:39 AM
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Army? cool,.. I grew up a mile from the Fort in Mo. =-)
My Dad was army- I was born outside Ft Drum in NY- my husband was born overseas- his father was stationed in Thailand in the Air Force(end of Vietnam era). My hubby's been Air Assault ( leaving perfectly functional aircraft via rope or chute- nuts lol) until he finally got out after his last deployment. Being a soldiers wife during wartime helped prepare me to be a cop's wife lol
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:44 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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well then thank him doubly, as well as your father.... my ex was AF, Dad as well. Uncle was army and after Dads retirement we settled in MO to be close. Uncle retired years ago and now is on the beach with no water as a civi.

A cops wife,.. wow,..

bowing and sending love,.. that cant be easy,...
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:47 AM
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It sounds like you are doing the right thing by changing your closing time and upping your late fees. People who think they can manipulate you by using their "power" of position or connections REALLY upset me. I think you have to follow through and show her who's boss if for no other reason than that SHE needs to learn a lesson in life. That is sad she has to go around making threatening comments (as subtle as they may be) to try and get out of following the rules. Sad, sad, sad. But you are above that so do not fall prey to her tactics! And then always making a comment when she pays to make you feel guilty for charging...oh that is rediculous. That lady has serious issues. And to think she works for Child Protective Services.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:54 AM
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well then thank him doubly, as well as your father.... my ex was AF, Dad as well. Uncle was army and after Dads retirement we settled in MO to be close. Uncle retired years ago and now is on the beach with no water as a civi.

A cops wife,.. wow,..

bowing and sending love,.. that cant be easy,...
We've had our moments, that's for sure lol. I know when I was doing some public speaking to help get Operation Childcare and Operation Military Childcare up and running- and funded- several years ago I used to tell the stories of how my daughter- (then 9-12) and I would take turns shoveling MN snow in the dark under streetlights, with the baby monitor listening to my son in my pocket- trying to get the sidewalks ready before the daycare day started. Often while looking at the pristine snowblowed sidewalks of our neighbors with the "we support our troops " signs in the yard. The military never did agree to issue snowblowers though lol...
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:00 PM
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lol on the snowblowers,... two words,.. LIMESTONE MAINE,.. lol sledding at Easter, something I NEVER dreamed of before moving there. lol
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:26 PM
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Yep- the good ol'spring tubing trip here- ya betcha lol. I'm a terrible Minnesotan! I was , and am at heart, still a southern girl, but there's a lot to be said for the heartland, and the North! My brother's in New Hampshire and runs an organic farm as a hobby in addition to his job.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:47 PM
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Hi. I have read all of the threads and I have to agree this is a difficult situation. As a state worker this lady must realize if she is not picking up her children at close in some states it is considered abandament of the child. In our state if the parent is one hour late, the provider can bring the child or children to the police station and the parents are charged with abandanment of child. If you are sticking to your policy and law this lady has nothing on you, you should get rid of the family. If worse case happens could you just let this lady know her kids will be coming along for the ride to wherever you are bringing your son? Sometimes people forget providers have a life outside of their daycare. I have a new family with a little guy who tried pulling 15 minutes late (after I close), on the first Friday. Then 20 minutes late the next Fri,ect.. until I charged them my late fee of $1.00/min after the first 15 min and would terminate care if not paid. Boy they have only been late once since and have never gone over the 15 minute. It does not seem a big deal a few minutes here and there but when you work 60 hours plus a week, time is time.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:33 AM
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I don't even have a grace period - I close at 5:30, period. At 5:31, I start charging late fees (I do $10 per 10 minutes or portion of ten minutes) I had one family that was constantly racking up fees, but they moved, and I've not had any problems at all with my current families.
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