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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>"Just A Sitter" With Questions
Snowflakes 09:29 PM 09-25-2011
I'm not a DCP, but I hoping you ladies won't mind giving me some advice. I'm thinking I may end up regretting comitting this. Here's the background: Last year, I was asked by another mom at my daughters' preschool to transport her daughter (P) to & from the sitter's for preschool this year.

They had left their favorite DCP (#1) P had been at since she was a baby because the she wouldn't transport. They were now unhappy with DCP #2 because they said their daughter spent too much time in the car - morning dropoff for the DCP's school-aged kids, dropping off lunch for her one child everyday at school, then taking her to & parent pickup from preschool. I thought it was a little odd because I saw the dad dropping her off at school, not DCP #2, and, wouldn't they have asked about the daily schedule before hiring DCP#2 ? .... anyway, they really wanted her back at DCP #1 and they are having a baby in October & they said they wouldn't trust a baby with DCP #2, DCP #1 was the ONLY person they could see themselves leaving a baby with. (I personally wouldn't leave a 3 yr old with someone I wouldn't leave a baby with, but... ) So...because DCP #1 is very close to my house & P is both my daughters' favorite playmate at school, I said yes.

Fast forward to the week before school starts. I get a text asking if I would take care of P all day on preschool days (2 days a week & every other Friday) because P is now unhappy at DCP #1 (&3), "there have been lots of tears." She offered to pay me the full day rate although she only was paying DCP #1 the half day rate - sounding desperate. She doesn't really know me. She never asked about my driving record, background check, our daily routine, discipline...anything. I am a SAHM and wasn't looking for a job but because I am a sucker for a sob story, and I knew my daughters would love having her with us, and preschool x 2 is A LOT, I said yes.

Is it odd to switch providers so much? I'm thinking maybe they just won't be happy with anyone. I'm wondering if DCP #1 is really going to want to keep her pt and the new baby. She has taken on two other babies since the parents first decided to go back to her. Also, we're in the car just as much as she was with DCP #2 - morning dropoff at the elem & preschool, then preschool pickup, then elem pick up, then her parents pickup. It's the same. Her mom knew I would be picking up my oldest while P was with us.

Also, I just realized I now need to get insurance for this for my home and van. Any idea of what that might run? I'm not sure it's worth it for one part time kid. She is an extremely picky eater. I ran through about 20 things for snack before I found a few things P would eat. No sandwich, fruits, yogurt, cheese, veggies, graham crackers, pretzels...she only would eat pudding, popcorn & strawberry milk. I don't want my own children limited to eating just what P will eat. Should I keep it to one serving of each, set a snack menu and let her eat or go hungry?

Very long, I know! Thanks for your input!
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sharlan 10:51 PM 09-25-2011
IMHO, this child is being shuffled around WAY too much. 1 provider M, W, F and 2 providers (school and you) on T, Th, and alternating F. That's 3 seperate facilities and sets of rules for a 3 yo. I see a lot of issues ahead for this child due to the lack of stability, just MHO.

Offer her the same snacks that your children eat. She will either eat it, or she won't. Do not play the game where you offer her 20 things unless you are ready to do it with your own children. If she refuses to eat what you offer, have her parents send her snacks. She will not starve.

Chances are that these parents aren't going to be happy with anyone and their child is going to pay the price for it.
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e.j. 05:30 AM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by Snowflakes:
Also, I just realized I now need to get insurance for this for my home and van. Any idea of what that might run? I'm not sure it's worth it for one part time kid.
In addition to insurance for home and van, if you haven't looked at your state regulations, you may want to make sure you don't need to get a child care license. In some states, if you provide paid, ongoing care for even one child, you have to be licensed. The costs and work involved with that may make you think twice about agreeing to watch this little girl.

Personally, I don't think it's all that unusual for the family to have had a few child care providers. From what you wrote, it seems they were with the first provider for some time before they needed a service she wouldn't/couldn't provide. The second provider hasn't worked out; that happens sometimes. Now they're trying to figure out something that will work. I can see how that can happen. If you decide you still want to watch this girl, I would sit down with the parents and make sure they understand what your typical day is like, including the amount of time their dd will be in the car. It's probably best for all of you to agree to certain terms and to discuss what will and won't work for both families.

As far as meals/snacks are concerned, offer her what you give your kids. She gets to choose whether she eats it or not.
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Snowflakes 12:00 PM 09-26-2011
Oops! The OP was running long and I forgot to add two of my most important questions. Do you think I need a contract? I'm okay with her not bringing P with little notice and not paying for it (when she is on maternity leave she wasn't sure if she would still want her to come or not). I don't think there will be an issue with lateness. What about signing a transportation form? She gave me a list of other people that can pick her up - Grammy, aunt & friend - but it wasn't signed.

Thanks for the backbone. I made oatmeal raisin cookies & plain oatmeal cookies and she wouldn't eat them. I surely could have found her another goodie but I just told her she didn't have to eat them if she didn't want to.
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e.j. 01:29 PM 09-26-2011
If I were in your position, I would have her sign a contract that outlines any agreements you make with her. I would also have her sign permission forms for things like transportation, additional people who are allowed to pick up, first aid/CPR administration, etc. I wouldn't want to take anything for granted when it comes to someone else's child.
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kendallina 04:31 PM 09-26-2011
I agree with PP that suggests you have her sign a contract. I would also tell her about your day, what your routine, etc looks like, even if she doesn't ask. She seems to jump around from provider to provider and some of it seems to be because of a lack of communication.

I would also let her know about snacks. That you will be providing what your child normally eats and that's all (unless you want to give her the option of bringing her own snack). It's not fair to you to have to provide anything other than what you are comfortable giving your child. Again, I would make sure that you're upfront with her about things like this because it sounds like she'd easily get upset and pull her out if there's a miscommunication about it.

Lastly, if you don't want to do it, then it's okay to tell her no. I got the feeling from your post that you really aren't sure this is something you want to take on. If you are regretting saying yes to her, then just explain that you rethought it and with the extra cost of insurance, etc, it's just not something that you're interested in doing.

Good luck!
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Mom_of_two 06:59 PM 09-26-2011
I agree with signing a contract, and treating it like a daycare biz even if one child. I create a menu each week- I don't give options for meals and snacks. No one ever complains because they know there are no other options!!
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