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Old 11-20-2018, 07:24 AM
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Default Pre-Backbone Stories

For most of us, it has taken awhile to develop our backbones and say NO to ridiculous parent requests. Anyone want to share stories of what they used to tolerate and accommodate?

Iíll start. When I first started out (in my mid-twenties), I only had 3 DCKs. One of them was a strong-willed 3 year old boy. One morning, his mom called me, saying he was having a meltdown and wouldnít get in the car. She asked if I would come over and pick him up (just a few blocks away), and I DID IT.

Anyone else?
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:44 AM
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When I first started eons ago, I was open from 5am to 6pm every single day. I rarely every closed other than actual holidays and even then only the big ones like Christmas Day. I stayed open Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve not even closing early. I never charged for any of the time I did take off so of course, I couldn't afford to take any so I was open almost all the time.

I had several parents that would not show up at closing time and I would just wait. I didn't call them or even reach out to their emergency contacts. I just waited for them to show up. I never even said a word. Not one.

Latest one ever was almost 2.5 hours after closing.

Once I realized how much "free" time I was giving out and how much I was allowing clients to dictate my schedule I stopped. It took a year to transition all the unwanted families out of care but I'm glad I made the change.

Looking back I still can't help wonder WTH was I thinking???
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:53 AM
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When I first started eons ago, I was open from 5am to 6pm every single day. I rarely every closed other than actual holidays and even then only the big ones like Christmas Day. I stayed open Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve not even closing early. I never charged for any of the time I did take off so of course, I couldn't afford to take any so I was open almost all the time.

I had several parents that would not show up at closing time and I would just wait. I didn't call them or even reach out to their emergency contacts. I just waited for them to show up. I never even said a word. Not one.

Latest one ever was almost 2.5 hours after closing.

Once I realized how much "free" time I was giving out and how much I was allowing clients to dictate my schedule I stopped. It took a year to transition all the unwanted families out of care but I'm glad I made the change.

Looking back I still can't help wonder WTH was I thinking???
WOW! Some parents
I stayed open later than I wanted to in the beginning also. I had a dad go get wasted and forgot his kids. He was 3 hours late. I called the mom and emergency contacts. no one could come to get the kids. I was way too nice about the situation. She apologized and stopped sending them immediately.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:11 AM
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WOW! Some parents
I stayed open later than I wanted to in the beginning also. I had a dad go get wasted and forgot his kids. He was 3 hours late. I called the mom and emergency contacts. no one could come to get the kids. I was way too nice about the situation. She apologized and stopped sending them immediately.
Yes!

I had the drop in who's mom went to the casino and "lost track of time"

I had the mom in an addict recovery program decide to 'indulge a little' then take a nap and not wake up until almost 3 hours after her normal pick up time.

I had a dad that called and said he was "busy" (would not give details other than "busy") and would not be here until after 6PM when I closed. I said I closed at 6 but he said "Well I'm busy. I'll be there when I get there".

So I waited. Didn't say a word. Didn't charge them extra.

Wow and I wonder now why I am so quick to say something direct and immediate now.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:15 AM
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My first client I let walk over me. She started off 4 days per week, mom said she would work up to five days a week. Cool I was fine with that. But a month or so in she would switch days or say only 3 next week not four. I was only charging for days used and not the spot then for her. Over the next few months it went from 2 to 5 days per week. I noticed that mom was looking pregnant but the way she carried and what she wore made it hard to tell. Then they went on vacation for a week then made it two weeks. Mom comes back and only wants a couple days per week. She was then "hiding" new babe in car. Now parents get up to 1 year mat leave at the time so I realized that it was not going to move up on days. A month later she pulled her kid.
A year later phones me up wanting two spots, I said nope sorry no room. Even though i did still have one spot available, and one spot that would be open for a couple months. At that point I had a better contract in place and parents who did not hide their pregnancy from me.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:43 AM
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When I first opened I didnít charge for absences. Children were gone regularly and I was taking a pay cut. That all ended one year when every family was gone most of December and used friends/family for free care. We could barely afford Christmas. To make it worse at least one family was telling people I was closed all of the time and thatís why they were scrambling to find care...I was never closed!
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:43 AM
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I still struggle to find my backbone.
I haven't been doing daycare that long at all, but a couple things stand out to me.
Newborn dcb wasn't on a bottle when he started with me. At the time, we lived right around the corner from where dcm worked, she asked me to text her when he was hungry and she would come nurse him. I stupidly went along with it. There were several times that she got busy and couldn't leave for sometimes 20-30 minutes, and I was left trying to comfort her screaming, starving baby. She knew we were moving outside of town and she had 5 months to get him on a bottle. I kept reminding her that we're moving in X months, etc. It was like 2 months or so before we were moving and he still wasn't on a bottle. Like she had just bought one for him to try. It wasn't working at all and I finally asked her how he was at home and she told me "No one likes to listen to him scream, so I give in and nurse him." Thanks dcm! My kids and myself also do not like to listen to him scream! I worked so hard with him, and he eventually took one. NEVER AGAIN. That was not fair to any of us. Now he's 2.5 years old and mom still gives him an infant bottle at him She had another baby the next year, and I made it clear she needed to be on a bottle on day one.
I also put up with alot of late payments, sick children, late pick ups. I updated my policies this year to include late payment fees and toughened up my illness policy. So glad I did!
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:47 AM
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My very first dcf was a friend from my previous job. She had 2 boys, 1 1/2 and 2 1/2, and told me right off the bat, 'I can only afford 40 a week, for both of them, total'. And she would bring them in at 5 a.m., pick them up at 2. Course back then $40 bought a lot more than it does now. Doesn't that make me sound ancient but it's true.

I've gotten pretty good about most things but still have a hard time if a certain dcm needs to use my shoulder to cry on. ( I'm too much of a softie but a Friday night, maybe a month ago, I asked her how work's been going because I know it gets her down terribly. She was here until 5:45. I close at 5. I just couldn't kick her out; she's a wonderful and giving person. When I was sick she brought me flowers and chicken soup.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:11 AM
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Iím still a newbie so Iím still finding my backbone. Iíve changed a lot this year compared to last year. Didnít have a contract and took 5 days off unpaid. Let the parents dictate everything. Now I have a contract with 10 paid holidays off and 10 unpaid days I may take off. Got strict on my hours, illness policy and potty training policy. I still have issues with enforcing late payment fees, late pickup fees or letting someone switch a day here and there but overall things have gotten a lot better once I stuck up for myself.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:15 PM
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I had a bit of an advantage as I came from a center background. Over the years I watched centers that were consistent with policies both for staff and parents ran better than ones who didn't. When I was at one we had a situation where DCM thought it was DCD's weekend, DCD thought it was DCM's weekend, and both went out of town. This was before cell phones were common. It took 2 hours after closing to get ahold of a emergency contact.

In my home my worst was a DCM came it one evening saying she was having emergency surgery in the morning and DCD had to take her in. Could she please bring them at 5 (hour before I opened)? This DCM worked with my wife and I had cut her some slack a few times to make DW's life easier. I agreed thinking it was really a medical emergency. Grandma came and picked up that afternoon and didn't know what DCM had told me. Turns out the "emergency" was a boob job that had been scheduled for months. Let's just say the next conversation with DCPs was less than pleasant.
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:19 PM
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When I first opened I didn't even have set open and close hours. I would get up super early and not have anyone show up for hours (literally), and of course I never knew when they'd show up in the evening. Fortunately it didn't take me long to realize that was BS and fix it.
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:55 PM
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When I first opened I scheduled interviews during daycare hours. I had a family schedule a tour at 10am and they stayed for 5.5 HOURS!!! I knew within the first 15 minutes I didnt want them as clients but had no idea how to tell them to leave.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:26 PM
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When I first started 10 years ago the parents ruled the roost, told me what to do, when and how and I did as I was so frightened they would leave
4 years in I was broken, I would cry for an hour before starting work and I would cry for an hour when I finished. I hated my job SO much and I couldn't work out how to fix it.
At that time I was working two other jobs so I decided to take a few weeks off from daycare and live off the money from my other two jobs. I hadn't had a break or holiday since I started daycare and I was mentally and physically exhausted.
When I took that two weeks off I literally cried the entire two weeks as I was just so smashed to the ground. I was just coping with living off the small wages from my two part time jobs and I couldn't bare to go back to daycare so I extended my two weeks off to 6 months
I told all my current families I was closing for good and took the rest of the time to change my entire set up, do up contracts and work out whether this was really what I wanted to do 'forever' or if was only until my kids were grown.
I decided I would love my job if I could do it MY way so I reopened with new families, put my bitch pants on and haven't looked back
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:05 AM
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I offered to watch a neighbor's child after her husband left the country to follow his heart. She worked as an overnight manager at WalMart and expected so much from me, including weekends and overnight care while the child slept in my bed with me with the tv on all night (nope - she had a mat on the floor, no tv).

My solution was to close entirely instead of putting my foot down (which was fine, but wouldn't have happened when it did if I'd been less "nice" to her)!

When I reopened, 6 years later, I committed to be firm to my policies and keep my own needs in check. Huge difference.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:31 AM
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I think many newbies (including myself 30+ years ago) get trapped into thinking that the parents own us and our time. That because they are paying..they get to dictate hours and policies.

When you "earn your wings" and grow that backbone...it's a beautiful thing!
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:49 AM
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With my first daycare, I had mostly kids that lived on the same street as me. One of them lived two houses down and I only watched their child 2 days a week. She would consistently show up 15 minutes before she was scheduled to arrive. I was really addicted to a coffee place up the street, so I went to go get coffee each morning and I would come back home at 6:30 a.m. to find her knocking on my door. She wasn't scheduled to arrive until 6:45, but seem to have no issue knocking on the door, waking up my child because we have dogs who bark, and scaring the crap out of my husband who would just be stepping out of the shower. I would frantically apologize to her for not being home, even though she was early. I also only charged them for the two days, so $40, and they never paid me on time. I always had to text and ask for my paycheck, which made me feel like I was poor, since it was only $40. But at that point, $40 was a big deal to me. She would come home, wave at us playing the front yard, and then go into her house and not pick up till after 5pm. I let that go on for way too long.

I kind of got my "revenge" so to speak. Her older son was riding his bike on the sidewalk and let it drop against my car, putting the handlebar right through my tail light. I told them about it and they said to let them know what it cost to fix it. Well, about a few days later, I was driving down the street and a guy backed out of his driveway hitting the same side of the car and scratching it all the way down the back. His insurance paid to fix the car and they actually fixed the tail light as well. So it cost me nothing, but I told her that it would be $150 to fix it. It took a little bit of time to get that money, but they did end up paying it to me. I stopped watching their kid after that. LOL
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:52 AM
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Maybe it is because I worked at a centre and have a strong customer service background (used to confrontation) or because I found this forum really early on (like within the first few months) but I have always had a pretty decent backbone.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:09 AM
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Maybe it is because I worked at a centre and have a strong customer service background (used to confrontation) or because I found this forum really early on (like within the first few months) but I have always had a pretty decent backbone.
I wish Iíd had this forum when I started out!
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:59 PM
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Oh wow, in the beginning I had no organization and allowed parents to walk all over me. I even kept too many kids not really knowing the rules. I kept kids all hours of the day. When I began I worked all year except Christmas and New Years day. I would "ask" parents about being closed and they dictated what choices I made. Now, I "tell"! My interviews are much more in-depth. I worked for 8 long years like this before taking an FCC orientation class meeting some providers from a neighboring counties. They invited me to their monthly FCC support group meetings. This changed my life. All offered so much insight but one became my mentor and still is to this day. I have attended so many FCC events with them locally, state-wide and nationally. This was 18 years ago and it took the next couple years getting my FCC-life in order (52 weeks a year pay with holidays, professional days, personal days, emergency days, vacations, etc). Not that it is perfect now, but it is so much better. Thankfully, I did this before my sons were born. Going into my 26th year now
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:11 AM
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When I started daycare, I had parents who always seemed to need more than 12 hours. At the time, I started unlicensed, and so was unaware of the "rules" of time. I just began the daycare to help some "friends". It seemed to be normal. When I became licensed, I then found out the rules. My hours of operation were 5am to 8pm, since I am near a military base. This one particular parent, started strong, but then I noticed her baby girl had colic. VERY BAD colic. Cried all the time. Mom and dad came later and later and always had an excuse. I kept letting the excuses go, but I was starting to get frustrated that the baby would sit and scream, and I couldn't attend to other children, including her son that was also in care. I gave mom a notice, letting her know I could no longer watch her children, unless she was here less hours. It was just too much for a home with 7 other kids! The next day she brought her child 5am and did not return til almost 930pm that night. Her schedule was 8am-6pm. When I called, no answer. I didn't really press having an alternate get the children. When she arrived, she apologizes and states she got stuck at work because someone called out---BUT she asked for help to her van...apparently forgetting WHY that was a dumb idea! Apparently, she had been shopping since 6pm, and she never told her husband (sitting in car) what she told me (at the door)! Additionally, she decided to go out somewhere before work with the husband, and never even asked! Just assumed herself and her husband could take advantage. It seemed to me that she had been taking advantage of me for a couple months.
THAT NIGHT, I fired her for lying to me about having to work so late.

Next time- I had a set of parents who I found out a couple years after stopping care, they had been abusing children. I never saw it, except, the parents would sometimes NOT show up for care. Now, my contract said dc is to be paid whether or not children attend. Dad shows up after TWO WHOLE weeks no call-no show, and expects care, without paying for #1 a week of care I did the week before the 2 week no show and #2 the two week no show period. Demands I take his children and threatened me. So I take them, and then dad (and then mom) had 10001 excuses why they could not pay til "Monday". Monday came and went as well as other days of the week! No call no show AGAIN. Following week, demanded that I give care. This happened for 1 year like this. But then one day, the mother came to pick up and her child was screaming she didn't want to go home. So she asked me to keep the child, and then to pick up older child from girl scouts. I agreed, even though I knew mom did NOT work those hours. I then brought the children to them. Apparently, that peeved off the dad, bc then next morning, DEMANDED ME TO WATCH THE CHILDREN AGAIN- but told me he had reported me to licensing for spanking and refusing to feed the children! I told him where to go, licensing visits me and sees everything is fine with me, but get this: AS licensing is interviewing me, I get an email stating if I don't take the children, I will be on the receiving end of bodily harm! Licensing and I have to contact the police department at this point. I could not believe how that turned out. And, he never did actually pay! After this family, that was the day I put up with NO MORE BS. I had iron-clad contracts, and did not allow any more families to walk over me.

One woman did try once after, to come 3.5 hours later than her pickup time and I fired her AND charged the fee. I ran into her in store the next day bc she hadn't paid it yet. She said "I'll tell the state that you don't change diapers and my son got a rash" I said "Do it. I dare you to lie to the state. I expect my $$ or I'll be suing you for that and late fees" She paid me a check in the parking lot. Then I said "By the way, you'll need to find other care, as you just made a threat to me. Consider this your immediate termination" She asked me to reconsider, she was sorry, etc. I said "I'm sorry too."
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:26 AM
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When I started daycare, I had parents who always seemed to need more than 12 hours. At the time, I started unlicensed, and so was unaware of the "rules" of time. I just began the daycare to help some "friends". It seemed to be normal. When I became licensed, I then found out the rules. My hours of operation were 5am to 8pm, since I am near a military base. This one particular parent, started strong, but then I noticed her baby girl had colic. VERY BAD colic. Cried all the time. Mom and dad came later and later and always had an excuse. I kept letting the excuses go, but I was starting to get frustrated that the baby would sit and scream, and I couldn't attend to other children, including her son that was also in care. I gave mom a notice, letting her know I could no longer watch her children, unless she was here less hours. It was just too much for a home with 7 other kids! The next day she brought her child 5am and did not return til almost 930pm that night. Her schedule was 8am-6pm. When I called, no answer. I didn't really press having an alternate get the children. When she arrived, she apologizes and states she got stuck at work because someone called out---BUT she asked for help to her van...apparently forgetting WHY that was a dumb idea! Apparently, she had been shopping since 6pm, and she never told her husband (sitting in car) what she told me (at the door)! Additionally, she decided to go out somewhere before work with the husband, and never even asked! Just assumed herself and her husband could take advantage. It seemed to me that she had been taking advantage of me for a couple months.
THAT NIGHT, I fired her for lying to me about having to work so late.

Next time- I had a set of parents who I found out a couple years after stopping care, they had been abusing children. I never saw it, except, the parents would sometimes NOT show up for care. Now, my contract said dc is to be paid whether or not children attend. Dad shows up after TWO WHOLE weeks no call-no show, and expects care, without paying for #1 a week of care I did the week before the 2 week no show and #2 the two week no show period. Demands I take his children and threatened me. So I take them, and then dad (and then mom) had 10001 excuses why they could not pay til "Monday". Monday came and went as well as other days of the week! No call no show AGAIN. Following week, demanded that I give care. This happened for 1 year like this. But then one day, the mother came to pick up and her child was screaming she didn't want to go home. So she asked me to keep the child, and then to pick up older child from girl scouts. I agreed, even though I knew mom did NOT work those hours. I then brought the children to them. Apparently, that peeved off the dad, bc then next morning, DEMANDED ME TO WATCH THE CHILDREN AGAIN- but told me he had reported me to licensing for spanking and refusing to feed the children! I told him where to go, licensing visits me and sees everything is fine with me, but get this: AS licensing is interviewing me, I get an email stating if I don't take the children, I will be on the receiving end of bodily harm! Licensing and I have to contact the police department at this point. I could not believe how that turned out. And, he never did actually pay! After this family, that was the day I put up with NO MORE BS. I had iron-clad contracts, and did not allow any more families to walk over me.

One woman did try once after, to come 3.5 hours later than her pickup time and I fired her AND charged the fee. I ran into her in store the next day bc she hadn't paid it yet. She said "I'll tell the state that you don't change diapers and my son got a rash" I said "Do it. I dare you to lie to the state. I expect my $$ or I'll be suing you for that and late fees" She paid me a check in the parking lot. Then I said "By the way, you'll need to find other care, as you just made a threat to me. Consider this your immediate termination" She asked me to reconsider, she was sorry, etc. I said "I'm sorry too."

WTF you actually had a family not pay you and you kept their kids for a year because of threats. Well I thought I had some issues come through here.
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:10 AM
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WTF you actually had a family not pay you and you kept their kids for a year because of threats. Well I thought I had some issues come through here.
I've called the cops on parents 2 times; first time was the year I opened, 2nd time was 3 years ago (15 years later lol). Both times it was fathers that threatened me and my lively hood in front of children no less (theirs and mine).

The 1st threat from both families was the only one they did as there was immediate termination of care. I had a backbone from day one, because I was a victim of domestic violence way back before I did childcare, and as a single working mom, MOMMA BEAR came out the minute someone busted thru my front door (1st time, 2nd time not only called the cops , but neighborhood manager of the park I lived in because they had just moved there). I will live without $$, I will not live in fear

And don't you dare threatened to have the state shut my business because I won't bow down to your tactics... that goes for any business I own/run
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:14 AM
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WTF you actually had a family not pay you and you kept their kids for a year because of threats. Well I thought I had some issues come through here.
YES! I was pretty young and dumb then. I thought they could "do something" to me/my license or my family. But after a few classes where I got to meet other DCP's and talk with them, eventually I realized this was insane. Looking back, I can't believe I put up with it!
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:19 AM
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I've called the cops on parents 2 times; first time was the year I opened, 2nd time was 3 years ago (15 years later lol). Both times it was fathers that threatened me and my lively hood in front of children no less (theirs and mine).

The 1st threat from both families was the only one they did as there was immediate termination of care. I had a backbone from day one, because I was a victim of domestic violence way back before I did childcare, and as a single working mom, MOMMA BEAR came out the minute someone busted thru my front door (1st time, 2nd time not only called the cops , but neighborhood manager of the park I lived in because they had just moved there). I will live without $$, I will not live in fear

And don't you dare threatened to have the state shut my business because I won't bow down to your tactics... that goes for any business I own/run
100% agree. I don't do care these days, but if I ever did again, I am wiser to people and their games, and won't allow any BS! Everytime I remember that one set of parents, I always feel so dumb because I should have never ever continued care for their children on the basis of feeling threatened. I should have had a backbone.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:57 AM
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I've only done center so it was more standing my ground with unscrupulous employers than parents.

At my first job I would frequently do every job in the center - I subbed in every room, I did van runs (and transported to and from home as well as school), food/supply shopping, bookkeeping, food prep, laundry, cleaning...I opened and closed the building, I was ALWAYS the one there in bad weather because I lived across the street. I was also in college. The only reason I didn't die of exhaustion was because I was in my early 20s.
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