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Unregistered 06:37 PM 06-18-2013
Every policy that has come up, parent has questioned it. They question it in a way that I'm not sure if they just don't know the policy (as they claim) or if they're questioning it hoping I won't enforce it. In the last 2 days I've had this parent try to get out of following 4 different policies. Now parent is uncomfortable about outings they signed permissions for. How do you handle a parent that questions everything?
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Willow 06:39 PM 06-18-2013
Give or send them a copy of your policies, answer any questions but ultimately remain firm and proceed as usual.
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daycare 06:43 PM 06-18-2013
as willow said stand firm and remain your grounds.

I had a parent do this and it was shortly after they had started. I made her come early for drop off one day and said..

sally its seems like you are confused about some of our policies and I just want to make sure that we are both on the same page and that we both have the same understanding...
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Leigh 07:19 PM 06-18-2013
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Every policy that has come up, parent has questioned it. They question it in a way that I'm not sure if they just don't know the policy (as they claim) or if they're questioning it hoping I won't enforce it. In the last 2 days I've had this parent try to get out of following 4 different policies. Now parent is uncomfortable about outings they signed permissions for. How do you handle a parent that questions everything?
I've seen it too. They sign the contract and figure that you'll bend on your policies to avoid losing them.
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littlemissmuffet 09:07 PM 06-18-2013
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Every policy that has come up, parent has questioned it. They question it in a way that I'm not sure if they just don't know the policy (as they claim) or if they're questioning it hoping I won't enforce it. In the last 2 days I've had this parent try to get out of following 4 different policies. Now parent is uncomfortable about outings they signed permissions for. How do you handle a parent that questions everything?
I generally don't have this issue because I go over every single policy in my handbook extremely thoroughly during the interview - and I clarify any questions during this time. Of course, I get the odd parent who plays dumb and tries to get out of following policies by either pretending they didn't know the policy to begin with or that they were confused. I will whip out their signed contract and remind them they did indeed know - and I simply clarfiy again any questions a parent may have. If it becomes a constant game with a parent (and it's happened to me once) I terminate. I guide children in life, not adults.

Ain't nobody got time for that!
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TheGoodLife 09:37 PM 06-18-2013
Originally Posted by littlemissmuffet:
Ain't nobody got time for that!

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Lyss 10:26 PM 06-18-2013
Originally Posted by Willow:
Give or send them a copy of your policies, answer any questions but ultimately remain firm and proceed as usual.
Originally Posted by littlemissmuffet:
I generally don't have this issue because I go over every single policy in my handbook extremely thoroughly during the interview - and I clarify any questions during this time. Of course, I get the odd parent who plays dumb and tries to get out of following policies by either pretending they didn't know the policy to begin with or that they were confused. I will whip out their signed contract and remind them they did indeed know - and I simply clarfiy again any questions a parent may have. If it becomes a constant game with a parent (and it's happened to me once) I terminate. I guide children in life, not adults.
Ain't nobody got time for that!

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MarinaVanessa 01:01 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by Leigh:
I've seen it too. They sign the contract and figure that you'll bend on your policies to avoid losing them.
Or they don't really bother to read it at all and just sign it figuring that everything will turn out ok not thinking that they should probably read the paper with tiny letters with all of the rules they must follow .

THIS IS WHY I sit down and go over every part of my contract and handbook with them BEFORE I let them sign the contract. I've heard many a "Oh yes, I read it at home" only to see blank stares of confusion or when I go over it before signing the contract. "WHAT?!? I didn't read that!"
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Heidi 01:08 PM 06-19-2013
you want to know something terrible?

I have my handbook online, and I don't even know for sure if all my parents have read it.

My contract is brief, addressing payment and holidays, etc., with a space for the parent to initial that they have read to policy manual.

The really odd thing is I rarely have an issue with policies! I am fairly flexible, partly because I have a small group, though.

Dang, now that I've said this you know someone will test me!
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Cat Herder 01:10 PM 06-19-2013
I generally hand them another copy of their contract, the first time they challenge it, assuming they lost theirs.

From that point on, at each and every attempt to get over, I ask them if they are turning in their notice. If they say No, then we continue to follow the contract.

DCP "I am really not ok with the late payment policy. I was only late once this month and...."

Me "Oh, I am sorry to hear that. So will this week be the beginning of your notice? I sure hate to see you go, but I fully understand."
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MarinaVanessa 01:20 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
DCP "I am really not ok with the late payment policy. I was only late once this month and...."

Me "Oh, I am sorry to hear that. So will this week be the beginning of your notice? I sure hate to see you go, but I fully understand."


I had one tell me once that she couldn't abide by so-and-so policy because blah blah blah and that she didn't agree with so-and-so policy because blah blah blah and that so-and-so policy didn't work for her blah blah blah. I'm usually very reasonable and will explain why I do things the way that I do them but then she said those magical words that parents say to try to have you by the short-and-curly's ... "You know with all of these policies I'm not sure that I can stay any longer. I have to look out for what's in the best interest of me and my family and I might just have to go somewhere else" she all but crossed her arms and stomped her foot.


My response was much like yours:
"I understand completely to what you are saying (DCM nodding her head)
and just like you have to look out and do what is in the best interest of you and your family I have to do what is in the best interest of me, my family and my business. (DCM ) I completely understand if you have to go somewhere else. As a reminder I require a written 2 week notice. And don't worry, no hard feelings. I understand" (DCM ).

PS She DID NOT put in her 2 weeks notice and was on her best behavior after that.
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Blackcat31 01:20 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
I generally hand them another copy of their contract, the first time they challenge it, assuming they lost theirs.

From that point on, at each and every attempt to get over, I ask them if they are turning in their notice. If they say No, then we continue to follow the contract.

DCP "I am really not ok with the late payment policy. I was only late once this month and...."

Me "Oh, I am sorry to hear that. So will this week be the beginning of your notice? I sure hate to see you go, but I fully understand."


Some things are simply non-negotiable.

Funny how we can manage toddler behavior on a daily basis and parents still seem to think they can slip one by us now and then....
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Cat Herder 01:31 PM 06-19-2013
Honestly, nobody has ever taken the bait. Even when I really hoped they would...

I am not "mean", per se, but I put a lot of time and energy into explaining everything to them during the interview process and first 30 days.

I really don't have that many hot buttons or rules. I am a admitted stickler on payment, pick-up times and illness policy. Those are the things that effect my kids the most, so it should make sense to another parent, IMHO.

* Not one of my clients has been here less than 3 years at this point.. waiting THAT long to find an issue worth fighting over is just a tad bit silly.
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Leigh 01:51 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
Or they don't really bother to read it at all and just sign it figuring that everything will turn out ok not thinking that they should probably read the paper with tiny letters with all of the rules they must follow .

THIS IS WHY I sit down and go over every part of my contract and handbook with them BEFORE I let them sign the contract. I've heard many a "Oh yes, I read it at home" only to see blank stares of confusion or when I go over it before signing the contract. "WHAT?!? I didn't read that!"
I go through mine page by page, as well. I require a signature after every section that even COULD be argued. They'll sign an "I" statement: I understand____and agree to_____. I will not_____.

It really helps. It doesn't prevent parents (especially at the start) from TRYING to bend the rules that they don't agree with (like the mom that doesn't want her kid outdoors, and refused to bring a jacket. She signed an agreement that said her kid would participate in outdoor activities (that were also outlined for her). I asked every day for a week for that jacket-they kept bringing her wrapped up in a blanket. I told mom that she is getting cold outside with no jacket, and I had one the next day. I DID put a coat on the kid, but letting mom think she didn't have one on is what got mom to bring it.
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AmyKidsCo 02:29 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by Heidi:
you want to know something terrible?

I have my handbook online, and I don't even know for sure if all my parents have read it.

My contract is brief, addressing payment and holidays, etc., with a space for the parent to initial that they have read to policy manual.

The really odd thing is I rarely have an issue with policies! I am fairly flexible, partly because I have a small group, though.
Me too. Mine is 50+ pages long so I don't want to take time to read through each policy and discuss it at interviews.

I email the parents a copy upon enrollment and every fall when I update it. I'm going to start emailing a copy before interviews also.
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Cat Herder 03:21 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
Me too. Mine is 50+ pages long
Wow... What all do you have in there???

Mine is 3 pages, bullet format, triple spaced with enough room for them to initial/date each paragraph. My FAQ in only one page.
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MarinaVanessa 05:46 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Wow... What all do you have in there???

Mine is 3 pages, bullet format, triple spaced with enough room for them to initial/date each paragraph. My FAQ in only one page.
Yep, that's right ... she's got me beat. Mine is only 36 pages long .
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Starburst 06:56 PM 06-19-2013
I am thinking of having a sheet with a list of every section in my policy handbook stating that I have gone over it with them, made sure they understand it, and that they agree to the policies listed below. And during interviews, after I go over each section, have them initial next to it and keep the copy in their file. And then if they ever say later "Oh you didn't tell me that" or "Oh I wasn't aware of that rule" show it to them and say "That's funny, because your initials say otherwise".

I am always working on mine- its currently at 12 pgs
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blandino 07:49 PM 06-19-2013
Mine is 10 pages, and I feel like I am handing out a novel.

On the same note, I posted a slightly updated handbook on our FB yesterday, and had two parents come to me and apologize for breaking some policies without realizing it. Neither family was really breaking policies, just little things. But they were super apologetic.
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MyAngels 09:46 PM 06-19-2013
Originally Posted by AmyKidsCo:
Me too. Mine is 50+ pages long so I don't want to take time to read through each policy and discuss it at interviews.

I email the parents a copy upon enrollment and every fall when I update it. I'm going to start emailing a copy before interviews also.
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa:
Yep, that's right ... she's got me beat. Mine is only 36 pages long .
Yikes, what do you guys have in there? If I made the font really, really big I might get 6 or 7 pages . Maybe I'm missing some important stuff...
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Tags:parent - unrealistic expectations, parents - over concerned, policy
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