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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Please Help Disaster/Rudeness Advise?
PitterPatter 04:21 PM 03-11-2011
Hi I am new to your forum and have read some good advise so I wanted to ask for some advise for myself if that's ok.

I have benn running my home daycare through the state for 5 years now. I have always tried to be nice and patient with parents but I have just had my fill lately. I am trying to keep my cool. I am in a high risk zone for flooding. I have only had 2 actual floods in 9 years but I get warnings almost yearly. I have 1 client that is upset because I had to only give 1 days notice of this incomming flood. I have to clear my basement/laundry room etc so I dont lose everything. I also have to cut power when it hits because the fuse box is down there as well as the hot water tank which also gets pulled so no hot water and no electric. Well she is mad and not returning my texts now (texting is how she preferes to communicate) I also have another new client who has been calling for 2 weeks to discuss daycare. She wants the state to pay but hadnt set it up. She tells me on Wednesday she needs to have her kids start on Monday. I havent even met these people.

I told her Wednesday if she gets her paperwork in and gets her certificate she could start on Monday after we set up a meeting for the weekend to get all the paperwork started. She said she had thinsg to do and couldnt go apply right away. I said ok when u are approved have the caseworker call me and let me know and I will accept the kids before the certificate comes. Well i don't hear from her until 5:00 Friday. I come home at 7:00 to find 4 messages from her on my machine saying the same thing every 30 minutes she called leaving the same message getting shorter with me each time! She was saying she isapproved and wants for her and her husband to come tomorrow for paperwork so the kids can start Monday. I didnt even get to finish playing the last message and shes calling AGAIN!!! I answer and tell her I was just listening to all her messages. She says ok when can we come tomorrow? I explain I am in the middle of a flood and we may not be able to meet. She is upset. I told her I didnt get a call saying she was approved either. She said dont worry about it i applied today and was approved. I told her I need the OK from the office before the kids can come because I run the risk of not getting paid. She says she doesnt have a sitter for Monday they need to come. I said ok if I am able to open Monday I can take them but u will have to pay the fee upfront and if I get the OK from the office I will give u the money back. She just sat there. I explained if the flood waters dont recede until Sunday night I may not be able to get in and clean and get the power back on in time for daycare Monday morning. Again shes just sighing mad. I always try my best to please everyone but these 2 clients seem to be rude to me. I cannot control the flood!! I am losing my patience and nice voice.

I feel like the 1st client who has been here for a yr has been pushing me around and now this new 1 I havent even met yet has been very pushy because I didnt call her back right away. I have a life I'm sorry I cant return her call within 30 minutes. I just find it rude to keep calling and filling a machine every 30 minutes! She had 2 weeks to get this done and waited til the last day and is now rushing me. Is it just me or is this very rude? What would you do in this situation? Thank you for reading and helping me!
kendallina 04:58 PM 03-11-2011
With your new potential client- Don't let her emergency become your emergency. From the moment you first speak with a potential client, you are letting them know your expectations and how you handle things. You first started speaking with her two weeks ago and she is just now filling out the state paperwork?? She is the one that didn't get things done when she needed to, it is not your problem. By agreeing to meet her on the weekend, you have already set up an expectation that you are available to her 24/7- don't allow her emergency to become yours.

At this point, I would call her back and say that you were mistaken, you actually need the paperwork to come before she starts and you are unable to meet with her this weekend, you have family plans. Tell her she can call you on Monday when she has paperwork in hand and you will schedule something for Monday evening or Tuesday. And then, you will decide if she is a good fit for your program.

I think it's very commendable that you want to be flexible for this family who seems to really need this care, but it is not your issue to be stressed out about. If she had gotten things together two weeks ago when she first contacted you, then she wouldn't be in this mess.
kendallina 04:59 PM 03-11-2011
Oh, and welcome!!
DCMomOf3 05:10 PM 03-11-2011
Hello and welcome!

I think Kedallina has great advice for the new client. If you bend/break your rules before you have even met them, you are setting yourself up for being pushed and your policies pushed for here on out. If they are that stressed for care, she is responsible, not you. Just stay firm with your policies from the very start.

Same goes with your existing family. She knows your situation, you can't control when it floods and how much. You have your policies set, don't break them or bend them because she is complaining to you. you can be sorry for the inconvenience but there is nothing that can be done in this situation. Don't let her stress you out, you have a house to worry about. If you don't prepare properly, she could be out care for longer (if your space gets damaged too badly)
Abigail 05:49 PM 03-11-2011
Do you have a policy on flooding? If you don't I would add one. I would also recommend you give it to the parents prior to flood time or hang it on the parent board as a reminder for them as well.

I would always meet with a family BEFORE they begin care. If you don't have a trial period, I would add one immediately and make sure this new family pays the full day amount up front.
PitterPatter 08:12 PM 03-11-2011
Yes actually I did make an amedment to my contract just last week when another flood watch was given. This is my policy on flood.

Closings due to a flood:
Due to my home being located next to the river we sometimes suffer from a flood. In case of a flood threat it may be necessary for me to close daycare. If your children are in care when the water rises you will be asked to have them picked up. Usually only the basement takes on water however, the fuse box and other outlets are located in the basement therefor all power must be turned off. I cannot run daycare without power so until the flood waters recede and the basement is disinfected daycare will be closed. Unfortunately in situations such as this the week advance notice cannot be given, it may be a last minute decision. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause....

I always require a meeting prior to enrolling a new client. I have never taken anyone in without the meeting to go over the basics and meet the children etc. This was just all last minute with this lady. She had things to do last weekend and I dont meet with strangers/potential clients during daycare hours and I don't close until 6:30-7:00 pm so that's why I request weekends. I feel this is my fault as I told her Wednesday I would meet this weekend but now the flood is coming. It is actually 2 inches away right now.

Thank u so much for the help and advise!! I am a people pleaser and it gets me in trouble evey time and then i can't get the respect back. I only have 1 kid right now so I put up with a lot. I had 3 others but 2 the mom quit her job and the last moved to another state. I am pretty much desperate so this new client has 2 kids I was excited but already have a bad feeling with the impatient last minut repeated phone messages like I dont have a life.
momatheart 08:01 AM 03-12-2011
If you do take them before meeting them, I would say care has to be paid in cash before you leave the children in care. A bounced check would not be good.
Tags:disaster plan, emergency plan
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