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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Illness
Denali 08:33 PM 03-24-2017
So today has been a rough day-week.

There has been an upper respiratory illness going around town.

DCB (age 4) was sick with it over the weekend and kept home Monday. Saw the doctor Monday. Came (w/ doctors note) Tuesday-Thursday and the cough was not bad at all, he's super awesome about covering his mouth and washing his hands, so I allow it, he maybe coughs 4-5 times per day. Pretty much no cough Thursday. Was fine last week.

DCG#1 (21 month old) I get a text Monday at 11:30am before drop off from DCD telling me that DCG is a "little drippy today", she's more then a little drippy. Wet coughing and a good snotty nose. Her eyes are puffy and she looks very tired. Straight out asked DCD if she had any medicine this morning, he said no. Keep her through nap hoping for her to do better (I knew in my gut I should have...) she's not doing so good. Almost constant runny nose, wet cough that she doesn't/can't cover. Send home at 4pm. Exclude for 24 hours. Found out at pick up from DCM that DCP took her to doctor Sunday and were told she "only had a minor cold." No doctors note. Oh and they gave her cold medicine before drop off to help her feel better Monday. Got clarification that it was one of those herbal cold remedies that have no actual medicine in it. Thursday DCD text saying that he was sick and keeping DCG#1 home with him.

DCG#1 was just on vacation the week before last. Had a runny nose Thursday and Friday last week. Was manageable and snot was clear.

DCGs #2 (age 4) & DCG #3 (age 3) are sisters come Wednesday. Both non verbal. DCG#2 has a little bit of a cough but covers mouth, no snotty nose. Allow to stay.

My DD (age 2.5) woke up at 2am and wouldn't go back to sleep she coughed a few times during the night. DH took her to the spare bedroom so I could sleep.

I opened at 7:30am and DCG #4 (age 3) gets dropped off. My DS (age 4) was having a hard morning, so he missed the bus that comes at 8:00am to take him to his special education pre-school at a local elementary. So I woke DH so he could take DS to school, wake up DD and find she's hot. I check her temp and it's 101.1

So I wait 15 minutes and check again. It's now 102.3 with a wet icky cough, so I call all my DCF and let them know what's up and I have to close. DH gets DS to school. I only have the one child in care. I call the DCM to come pick up. DCM tells me that she can't leave work, but she'll see if she can find someone to come pick up. She calls back and tells me that DCG's old baby sitter is the only one who can get DCG and will be there within the hour.

Mom was not happy about the sudden closer. They had left the old sitter for being unreliable. When she called and told me who was going to be picking up DCG#4 she told me "DCG will be very excited to see her." Other sitter showed up at 9:15am and DCG was very very unhappy to see her, didn't want to leave. Then around 10am (while I was still at the doctor) DCM text me asking "was DCG happy to see her??"

I waited until I was home and got DD settled (fever at 103, upper respiratory infection) and talking with DH how to respond. Following his advice I text telling DCM "Sorry just getting done with the doctor. DCG wanted to stay and play some more, but I explained that DD was sick with a fever and I needed to take her to the doctor. She said ok and got her shoes on like a good girl. I think she was more excited once she was getting in the car."

I never got a response back.

My DS spiked a fever during nap of 101.4, though his never went higher, no cough. DD's is at 102 and hanging out. Both are cranky but will play (hanging off/laying on me or on the couch while trying to play with dolls/cars) some before taking cat naps here and there.

I was thinking of offering credit to families for the closer, but my handbook says that I do not offer any refunds/credit for sick day closers, either theirs or mine. It's been 5 months since I had to close like this as my backup (DH) is usually able to cover but he was not due to his own work schedule this week, and grandma was unable to get the kids so I could stay open.

After reading all this what do you all think? My illness policies are good, I just trusted a parent when I shouldn't have. under my illness policies I can term DCG#1, which I kind of what to do. They have been a problem with varying things since starting... but I also feel that after my exchange with DCG#4's Mom and her no response that I should be expecting a notice from them soon.

If I credit- Do I really want to open that can of worms? DCG#1 and DCG#4 are new, just started within the last few months, I don't won't them getting the wrong idea. But I feel bad. After the fairly rude behavior from DCM of DCG#4 I really don't feel like being that nice, and don't want it to seem like I'm trying to get them to stay by bending my rules.
MOM OF 4 09:50 PM 03-24-2017
I would say do not credit. Stick to your handbook or they won't take u seriously about anything. If u give in a little now, you'll be more inclined to give in later and eventually, everyone will have a story that makes u feel bad until ur giving in ALL the time.
CityGarden 10:58 PM 03-24-2017
That situation sucks all around!

Illness policies are tough because IF parents do not follow them you (and your family) are more likely to get sick as are the other children in care so then germs just spread in a circle causing everyone to miss more work! I honestly do not understand how parents do not get this.

To answer your question my understanding is that it's best to follow your contract. I have heard horror stories about providers ending up voiding their contract by compromising in one or two areas. I tried to only put in my contract what I would enforce consistently. Also people treat you the way you teach them to treat you so IF you set a president of giving them a credit it will be an expectation the next time which gives them no incentive to keep their sick child home!
childcaremom 05:24 AM 03-25-2017
I wouldn't refund. Stick to your policies.

I would buckle down on enforcing your attending when ill policy. Send home if they are meeting exclusion.

As for dcg4: "Dcm, I will need to close from time to time to attend to my own children. This is why it's important to have a back up plan."

I do not take clients that don't have back up for this very reason. I rarely close but when I do: don't complain about it.

As for the text and comments from dcg4's mom re: the past babysitter. Well..... I would not have responded to that. At all.

As far as terming.... I would be giving notice to dcg4's mom. Clients who threaten to pull (either directly or indirectly) are not clients I want to deal with. Failure to have a solid back up plan, failure to pick up in a reasonable time period, passive-aggressive behaviour = all reasons for me to term. "Dcm, I regret that I am no longer able to provide care for dcg. The last day that I am able to provide care is x date. Best of luck." So much more I would want to say but I'd leave it at that.
childcaremom 05:30 AM 03-25-2017
As another thought re: illness policy: make it tougher.

I had a similar experience 2 winters ago. I changed my exclusion policy to 24/48 hours. It cut down dramatically on illness going back and forth.

Of course, there are still the dcps that send their kids sick but if they take the chance and send them when they are meeting exclusion, and then I send them home, they are out for a minimum of 48 hours.

ANd I would use this very week as the reason for the change....

Dear dcps,

In an effort to minimize the back and forth of illness in the daycare setting, I am updating my illness policy. New policy is effective immediately. Please remember that it is the parents' responsibility to have a back up plan in place in case of your child's, or provider's, illness. Please read, review, sign and return.

Thank you,
Sick provider

I would also include a list of what you exclude for. Be very clear around coughing and runny noses. I state that MILD colds are fine. And then define what is not mild. Constant coughing. Wet coughing. Gagging when coughing. Etc. An occassional wipe of kleenex. No faucets. Etc.

And then send home when they are sick.
Tags:illness, illness policy
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