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  #1  
Old 05-21-2014, 01:08 PM
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jamiem jamiem is offline
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Default Unhappy Parents, Are My Policies Unfair? How Would You Respond?

I recently gave my daycare family an updated handbook and contract and they are questioning some changes. I have given myself 10 days of paid vacation and 3 paid sick days, and I gave my daycare families 5 days of unpaid vacation days and no unpaid sick days. (Before this I had 10 paid vacation days, no sick days, and they had an unspecified number of unpaid vacation days but I think they assumed 10 as well) Now they are questioning why the numbers don't match. I want to say because this is my business and I make the rules! but that doesn't sound very nice...how would you respond and do you think my policies are unfair and I should change them so they match? Being around kids I want to have sick days available. I also think it is important to have vacation days to prevent burnout so I can get a break and come back refreshed. I thought it would be nice to give them a week unpaid too but this is my income and to go unpaid for 2 weeks would be a hard. What do you think?

Do you have paid vacation days and how many?

Do you have paid sick days and how many?

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?

Do you think these numbers need to match?

If not, how would you explain the discrepancy to questioning parents?
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:17 PM
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The only time my parents get unpaid days off/a credit towards next week is if I call off sick/suddenly. will credit them.I give them 2 weeks a year vacation days they don't have to pay, and I also take 2 weeks paid vacation. It evens out. Plus I hve about 6 paid holidays...next one coming on Monday-Yay!
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:24 PM
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I have 5 paid vacation days.

All sick days, within reason, are paid. I wouldn't expect them to pay full price if I have the flu for two weeks.

My families also get 5 days, but it must be taken as a vacation week. Not one day here, one day there. Too much to keep track of.

I think your numbers should match. I realize you can't afford to lose 2 weeks payment, but they probably can't afford to pay double for two weeks either.

And if you're looking for a way to explain the discrepancy, maybe that's the problem. You can't explain it because it's not truly fair. With all due respect....

My parents are fine with mine because I explain to them that it essentially equals out concerning vacations. They pay me for my week, but then they get a free week when they take theirs. They're happy with that.

As far as sick days, I explain that most employers give their employees paid sick days that accrue over time. It's the same concept. The parents likely get paid sick time and vacation annually, so why shouldn't you?

My dcfs, however, do not get free sick days. This is because, elsewhere in my policies, it states that they are paying for enrollment, not actual attendance. Sick days fall under that same category. I shouldn't lose income because their child is sick.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:35 PM
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sahm1225 sahm1225 is online now
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I don't get paid for my vacations (I take 2 weeks a year) or my sick days.
I do get paid for major holidays (8 days). Most of my families try and plan vacation around the same time as me, so it works out well.

My families contracts are different, but basically out of my 10 families - one gets one week vacation at 50% off, one gets 3 sick/vacation days unpaid, and the rest pay regardless of attendance (I have mostly part timers).

My situation is different because I have two assistants so we can usually cover for each other.

Have you thought of giving them 50% off for up to 2 weeks vacation? Basically the same as you are doing now, but sounds better to them. I don't think the numbers need to match, but you are doing quite a jump from having 10 days (or so they thought) unpaid to specifying that it's only 5.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:37 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Do you have paid vacation days and how many?
Yes, 8.

Do you have paid sick days and how many?
No, if I close because I'm sick I credit them for the day.

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?
No, I charge based on enrollment not attendance. If they are absent due to illness, vacation or otherwise they do not get credited for those days. If I am open, they pay. If I am closed, they don't pay (except for paid holidays).

Do you think these numbers need to match?
I think providers should do what they feel like doing, if clients don't like it they can find alternative child care.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:39 PM
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When you THINK you're giving a perk, they want more.

I charge full rate EVERY week. It doesn't matter if I am sick or on vacation or if the child is. They payment is the same every time. It's SO much easier, and it eliminates parents trying to negotiate my rates and policies.

Last year, I started a new family, and on day THREE, I came down with a knock-down infection. I couldn't get out of bed for 3 days, let alone care for my own child or someone else's. I credited the new family for these days, because I felt that I hadn't yet "paid my dues" with them, and because I was afraid they would pull the kids when I called out the first week (a RARE occurrence, but horrible timing). No parent will complain if you bend the rules in their favor-but charging full price every week allows me control over such situations.

If you're giving 6 kids 10 days free every year, and you charge just $25/day, that's $1500/year that you're losing. IF I were to ever do such a thing, I would build those free days into my base rate ($5+ per week more)-no way would the be truly "free".
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:42 PM
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craftymissbeth craftymissbeth is offline
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Do you have paid vacation days and how many?
No, my vacation days are unpaid, but I take up to 3 weeks each year.

Do you have paid sick days and how many?
I don't specify how many sick days I can take each year. They're also unpaid.

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?
No. The only unpaid days they get are if I am closed.

Do you think these numbers need to match?
No

If not, how would you explain the discrepancy to questioning parents?
I think if they insist on an explanation, I would just tell them that this is the way that works best for me business-wise. Like MV said, if it's a no-go for them then they should simply go where they agree and will follow all of the policies.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:44 PM
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I take 2 weeks paid vacation, 3 paid sick / personal days and all major holidays paid. My families all pay 52 weeks regardless-they do not get any free vacations.

You could just tell them after researching they have actually just been getting a great deal in the past This is a standard practice for many daycares, not at all out of the ordinary.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:55 PM
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MY vacations are unpaid, but parents pay for theirs. So, if they take it when I take it, they don't have to pay. Otherwise, they do.

I get the major holidays, plus the day after Thanksgiving. Changes a little each year because if a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, I take that extra day too (paid).

I also get 5 days per year to use as sick days, personal days (scheduled ahead), or training days (conferences or classes). I prorated that to 3 for my newest family.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:07 PM
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Do you have paid vacation days and how many?
No, none.

Do you have paid sick days and how many?
No, none. I have back-ups who will provide if I'm sick.

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?
No.

Do you think these numbers need to match?
No. However, I changed the numbers to look like they do match - instead of having 'paid holidays' of my own, I would take unpaid holidays and raise my rates. ... In someone else's example, you could charge $125/week and take 10 days of paid vacation (client pays for 52 weeks of care) or charge $130/week and take 10 days UNpaid vacation (client pays for 50 weeks of care). Either way you make the same amount ($6500) each year per child
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftymissbeth View Post
Do you have paid vacation days and how many?
No, my vacation days are unpaid, but I take up to 3 weeks each year.

Do you have paid sick days and how many?
I don't specify how many sick days I can take each year. They're also unpaid.

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?
No. The only unpaid days they get are if I am closed.

Do you think these numbers need to match?
No

If not, how would you explain the discrepancy to questioning parents?
I think if they insist on an explanation, I would just tell them that this is the way that works best for me business-wise. Like MV said, if it's a no-go for them then they should simply go where they agree and will follow all of the policies.
This I me to a T. I don't charge for days I close but I do charge for days they're absent from care and I have 6 paid holidays. New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas I'm closed 2 days, one paid one unpaid.
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2014, 02:24 PM
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I allow 10 paid vacation days but rarely take more than a few. I also have paid holidays. no paid sicks days as i just never close. If I had to close, I would take it unpaid.

Parents pay for everything regardless of attendance.

No matter what you do, someone is going to complain. I would just say " I understand that you are unhappy with some of the changes but my contract is not negotiable. If you feel you have to find alternate care, that is your choice to make but dont forget to allow two weeks notice period."
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:29 PM
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Do you have paid vacation days and how many?
No paid vacation days , I take about 2 weeks a year both unpaid. I do have 6 paid holidays per year that are paid - BUT many times those days fall during my vacations so in reality they only pay for 2-3 holidays .

Do you have paid sick days and how many?
No paid sick days .

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?
I do not give them any unpaid days off . They pay for me to hold their spot .If I have to close due to weather I do give a credit for the next week .

If not, how would you explain the discrepancy to questioning parents?
To date I have not had anyone question my policies that much . Maybe a "do I have to pay when I go on my vacation " , I answer yes .
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftymissbeth View Post
Do you have paid vacation days and how many?
No, my vacation days are unpaid, but I take up to 3 weeks each year.

Do you have paid sick days and how many?
I don't specify how many sick days I can take each year. They're also unpaid.

Do you allow your daycare families to take unpaid days off and how many?
No. The only unpaid days they get are if I am closed.

Do you think these numbers need to match?
No

If not, how would you explain the discrepancy to questioning parents?
I think if they insist on an explanation, I would just tell them that this is the way that works best for me business-wise. Like MV said, if it's a no-go for them then they should simply go where they agree and will follow all of the policies.
This is me, too.

I learned a long time ago that I can't be all things to all people. I set my policies according to what works best for me. When I make policy changes, I do try to grandfather current families in whenever possible to avoid hard feelings. If I felt strongly enough that new policies had to include current families, though, they would have to agree to them or look for someone else to care for their kids.
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:29 PM
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I think you're probably going to have some people who dislike it, but that's their choice. If they're happy with your care and value your time they will understand this. Some people don't get paid sick days (I've never worked at a job that had paid sick time) or more than 1-2 wks vacation. When someone is giving their provider more paid days off than they get at their job it creates a rift. It's important to let your families know this is non-negotiable and if they don't agree there is a 2 week notice required to end the contract.
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:07 PM
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Parents pay the same amount every single month. I take all Federal Holidays, 2 weeks vacation. If they are gone for vacation, or maternity leave, or whatever, they still pay.

But, it really depends on what is the standard in your area.

You need days off to regroup and recharge. Call other places in your area and ask them. Then do a chart to see where you fit. If it fits your plan, show the chart to your parents. If it doesn't fit your plan, rethink it. It really depends on how willing you are to loose customers. Your new customers will assume that's the way it's always been.

You could phase in the plan. My old customers' contract doesn't have as many perks for me as the new ones. Each family has a different contract.
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:17 PM
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To be honest, I would balk at the 3 paid sick days. I wouldn't expect my clients to pay for your sick days. I don't think the 10 days of vacation is unreasonable, most people get a week or two weeks a year. My clients have to pay if there child is sick. It's still there spot and all. They pay me 1/2 for there vacation and they don't pay me for mine. I take all the holidays off and school holidays.
that being said, parents usually don't like change period so of course there gonna complain.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 05-22-2014 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:19 PM
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I take 10 days paid vacation and 5 paid sick/emergency days. All holidays paid. I do take more than that for vacation, but once the 10 days have been used per family, it is unpaid.
Parents only get 5 days of unpaid vacation if they have been with me for a year and are full time clients.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:36 PM
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I take off 16 paid days per year. Sick days are unpaid but i have yet to close...
They get 5 unpaid vacation days to use per year. Only 1/4 of my clients use this.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:49 PM
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I take 8 holidays, and 8 vacation days. In 20 years, I've been sick TWO days... and they were many, many years apart - didn't affect the same families.

The parents pay me the exact same amount every week (or month) no matter what. Holiday this week... same pay. My vacation day this week... same pay. I'm sick... same pay. Their vacation day/sick day/grandma wants the kids day... same pay. It's a tuition, so to speak. A fee for the privilege of having a permanent spot at my place of business.

As far as what you can say to answer them, I'd just say "It's just a business decision", with a little bit of a shrug. They'll have to understand that you're a business owner, and this is the new business plan - take it or leave it. Or if you want a longer explanation (totally not needed, but if you do), you could say, "After X years of doing DC, I've decided to give myself this little perk!", with kind of a smile and chuckle/giggle.

Sounds like a fine plan to me! You made a good decision!
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:14 AM
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I am very surprised at the number who do not and would not charge when *they* are sick, but have parents pay for vacation.

I get 5 paid sick/personal days per year. Why? When I didn't charge for my sick time, parents would send in their sick kids so they could get work in. When I had to close because I inevitably came down with whatever plague their child had wrought, they would take the day off of work *with* pay to be home with their *healthy* child *and* not have to pay me...win, win for them, not so much for me.

I also am not comfortable having parents pay (directly) for my vacations. They are not my "boss" and I fear having paid vacations gives them the wrong ideas. I do pad my weekly tuition by $3-$5 (more for newer families), and that money is banked for vacation. I wind up making more this way that if I did charge for the three weeks of vacation I take each year. Parents think they are getting a deal and I just all the way to the bank.

I've just found that in my area that no one bats an eye for a paid sick day or personal day here and there (and I also get paid holidays). But weeks of vacation wouldn't fly. It is important to know your area and what's common.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:26 AM
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I get 8 paid holidays. I do not charge for sick days or vacation. My parents do not get any "free" days. If I'm open, they pay whether they are here or not.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:03 PM
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In my town most providers take paid vacation.I have been a provider for 30 yrs I now have 3 weeks paid vacation ,I always tell parents by Jan for the upcoming year.I have all Holidays with pay and5 personal days.I have in my contract that there may be additional sick days (not usual,have never used them) up to 5 . All parents at interview are told this.Only one questioned .I asked how many years he worked at his company --15 how many paid weeks did he have -3 ,well I said I have 30 years and have earned my time off.They still chose to enroll. Parents pay for 52 weeks and no time is given without pay. You are being kind OP.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
When you THINK you're giving a perk, they want more.

I charge full rate EVERY week. It doesn't matter if I am sick or on vacation or if the child is. They payment is the same every time. It's SO much easier, and it eliminates parents trying to negotiate my rates and policies.

Last year, I started a new family, and on day THREE, I came down with a knock-down infection. I couldn't get out of bed for 3 days, let alone care for my own child or someone else's. I credited the new family for these days, because I felt that I hadn't yet "paid my dues" with them, and because I was afraid they would pull the kids when I called out the first week (a RARE occurrence, but horrible timing). No parent will complain if you bend the rules in their favor-but charging full price every week allows me control over such situations.

If you're giving 6 kids 10 days free every year, and you charge just $25/day, that's $1500/year that you're losing. IF I were to ever do such a thing, I would build those free days into my base rate ($5+ per week more)-no way would the be truly "free".


What she said.
My PARENT HANDBOOK states
TUITION for your child is due 52 weeks per year.
Including 2 weeks vacation
and 9 holidays.
I actually do not specify for personal/vacation days...
I am ALMOST NEVER sick ... if I am.. they owe... and honestly.. no one ever questions it.

The last of her statement is my point.
If you give YOURSELF a paid vacation...but then allow all of your clients to have FREE days also.. it kind of Z's out that paid vacation doesn't it?
That policy always confused me...
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