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  #1  
Old 07-25-2013, 07:29 AM
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Default Is It Defamation/Slander If I Create A Facebook Page To....

I am a missouri childcare provider. I am considering creating a facebook page where other providers in my area can share with eachother the first names of the parents who leave leave our care without paying. Theres too many parents who are "daycare hoppers" meaning they dont pay their current provider for services rendered, then just move on to the next provider.

Is it defamation of character? slander? Can I get in trouble for creating the page?

According to law, Ive read that it is only defamation if it is NOT TRUE. Soo Im thinking....if I post that a parent didnt pay me and ITS TRUE then I cant get in trouble.

I would be just using first names and maybe give ages of the kids. I wouldnt uses the kids names.


Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2013, 07:32 AM
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I don't know the answer to your questions, but I do know there is a website that does this. I think it's called Provider Watch or something like that.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:44 AM
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I am a SW MO licensed provider. While I doubt it's illegal I don't have this issue because I get a deposit and if they use the deposit then they cannot leave their child with me until paid.

You HAVE to be strict and also consider who you are doing business with. If they seem sketchy, don't accept them.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:47 AM
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There is also the confidentiality issue to consider.... I mean I could see a parent calling licensing saying you were posting personal info that happened between the family and the provider on a public site...kwim?

Maybe you could have a clause in your contract that says that if a parent ever stiffs you, you are going to put it on this FB page...then have them sign it upon enrollment.......you know.....when everyone thinks the arrangement would never end that way (badly)....so they are willing to sign it....

Then IF they do leave without paying, you now have their written permission to post about them.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:13 AM
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My husband is currently working on a web site for providers. Provider Watch ONLY deals with the money aspect.

But we all know that some parents may pay on time, but are a NIGHTMARE with other issues......late, rude, demanding, trouble making, just plain weird etc.

They are able to call for personal references etc on us. We need to be able to do the same! We feel that if parents know that providers talk among themselves, they may behave better!

We are far from being ready to publish yet, but the idea is for providers to be able to put a parent's name on a non-published reference list we will keep protected. A new provider will be able to put in the name of a prospective client in the search. All that will come up is the name and number of the provider who listed the name. The prospective provider can then call the old provider/center to get the low down and then make a judgement herself. The reference may be wonderful or awful, but she can make up her own mind on the information she receives.

The fact is, if a prospective parent asks for references from you, all they are getting is the OPINION of those people you put her in touch with. This will be the same thing.

The parent's name is never listed on the web site. The conversation between two or more providers is nothing more than a conversation between them. But it may help a provider make a decision.

We have been in touch with a lawyer and are making sure we cover ourselves legally.

My husband is hoping to have things going once we make sure we are covered legally.

Do any of you think you would use a service like this?
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:24 AM
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I'm not sure about a FB page, I mean it sounds great right now, and you're completely justified in wanting to do it, I'm just afraid it may come back to bite you in the butt somehow.
I shame them into paying. I've called emerg contacts, I go to their house, I once showed up on a doorstep on a Sunday morning, contract in hand and spoke to a non payers husband. ( he was mortified and promptly wrote me a cheque)
But you're right, there should be some sort of resource for providers to check out before they take someone on. They do referrence checks on us, why shouldn't we on them right?
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:49 AM
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I started something like this in my area years back. I now have clîents pay in advance so it's fizzled out. It was just between myself and maybe 10 other providers I knew and was done through email. We didn't use names. What we did was have codes for everything the code for single mom was 1, single dad was 1.5, 2 parents household was 2 and other arrangement (foster, etc.) was 3. After that code we put the number of children and age and then there were codes for problems. 5 meant non-payment of tuition, 6 was no 2 week notice, 7 was bringing sick children, 8 was showing up late, 9 was hard to handle parents (p) or children (c) and 10 was not following several policies. So a single mother with a 4 year old and 2 year old was a parent who was hard to deal with would have been a 1+2 (4 and 2) = 9 (p). A couple with a one year old who left without paying tuition would be 2+1 (1) = 5.
I know it looks and sounds silly but it's the only way I could think of at the time to do things in a way that was non-emotional and didn't devulge confifdential information.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
My husband is currently working on a web site for providers. Provider Watch ONLY deals with the money aspect.

But we all know that some parents may pay on time, but are a NIGHTMARE with other issues......late, rude, demanding, trouble making, just plain weird etc.

They are able to call for personal references etc on us. We need to be able to do the same! We feel that if parents know that providers talk among themselves, they may behave better!

We are far from being ready to publish yet, but the idea is for providers to be able to put a parent's name on a non-published reference list we will keep protected. A new provider will be able to put in the name of a prospective client in the search. All that will come up is the name and number of the provider who listed the name. The prospective provider can then call the old provider/center to get the low down and then make a judgement herself. The reference may be wonderful or awful, but she can make up her own mind on the information she receives.

The fact is, if a prospective parent asks for references from you, all they are getting is the OPINION of those people you put her in touch with. This will be the same thing.

The parent's name is never listed on the web site. The conversation between two or more providers is nothing more than a conversation between them. But it may help a provider make a decision.

We have been in touch with a lawyer and are making sure we cover ourselves legally.

My husband is hoping to have things going once we make sure we are covered legally.

Do any of you think you would use a service like this?



I would absolutely use the website. I think it's a fantastic idea.
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razzledbrat View Post
I am a missouri childcare provider. I am considering creating a facebook page where other providers in my area can share with eachother the first names of the parents who leave leave our care without paying. Theres too many parents who are "daycare hoppers" meaning they dont pay their current provider for services rendered, then just move on to the next provider.

Is it defamation of character? slander? Can I get in trouble for creating the page?

According to law, Ive read that it is only defamation if it is NOT TRUE. Soo Im thinking....if I post that a parent didnt pay me and ITS TRUE then I cant get in trouble.

I would be just using first names and maybe give ages of the kids. I wouldnt uses the kids names.


Thank you!
As long as whatever you say is 100% true, it's not slander or libel or defamation of character.


So, thus you could say "Suzie stiffed me $200.00 that she owed for xx weeks of care. Be sure you get your money up front" and you can't get into any trouble.


Where I'm at we don't have a FB page, but we have a list that gets circulated and names get added to lists. We list parent's full names and only ages of children. I would NOT list any child's names as they are minors. We put the ages there so that way you knew your probability of rejecting care of the right parent: Example: if you get Suzie Smith with a 3yo and a 2yo you'll definitely know who she is. If you get Suzie Smith with a 1yo, could be a different Suzie Smith.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeko View Post
My husband is currently working on a web site for providers. Provider Watch ONLY deals with the money aspect.

But we all know that some parents may pay on time, but are a NIGHTMARE with other issues......late, rude, demanding, trouble making, just plain weird etc.

They are able to call for personal references etc on us. We need to be able to do the same! We feel that if parents know that providers talk among themselves, they may behave better!

We are far from being ready to publish yet, but the idea is for providers to be able to put a parent's name on a non-published reference list we will keep protected. A new provider will be able to put in the name of a prospective client in the search. All that will come up is the name and number of the provider who listed the name. The prospective provider can then call the old provider/center to get the low down and then make a judgement herself. The reference may be wonderful or awful, but she can make up her own mind on the information she receives.

The fact is, if a prospective parent asks for references from you, all they are getting is the OPINION of those people you put her in touch with. This will be the same thing.

The parent's name is never listed on the web site. The conversation between two or more providers is nothing more than a conversation between them. But it may help a provider make a decision.

We have been in touch with a lawyer and are making sure we cover ourselves legally.

My husband is hoping to have things going once we make sure we are covered legally.

Do any of you think you would use a service like this?
That is FANTASTIC and I would TOTALLY use this!!!!!

There are so many parents I could list.
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2013, 02:18 PM
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This is my opinion only so please don't take offense!

I personally would not do it....but that is just me. It's not that I don't care or don't want to look out for other providers, but I think there are better to ways to prevent these issues.

If the issue is that they aren't paying for services rendered, then I can't emphasize enough to have parents pre-pay!

As far as other common child care-related issues, many can be solved with thorough screening before accepting families, a well-developed contract and the backbone to enforce the policies and procedures.

I'm not saying this prevents 100% of problems, but it does drastically decrease the amount of time you have to deal with the problems with as little loss as possible.

Other issues not covered in the contract in my experience has been because the family was not a good fit for ME and my program. It may very well be that they would be great in someone else's child care and I wouldn't want to deter that relationship from forming with another child care provider.

I personally have had some problems here and there and they were because (1) the family was not a good fit, (2) I didn't screen incoming families properly and (3) because I did not follow through on my policies and procedures. In the second and third scenarios, the only person I could truly blame was myself .

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  #12  
Old 07-25-2013, 02:28 PM
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I am friends with a few providers here in my town and when and if something goes down we call each other to let them know. My friend just called me Monday to tell me that she had to term a DCD for not picking his daughter up for a full 24 hours and owes her money.

Glad she called me because guess who I got a call from on Tuesday?? Yup that dad looking for care for his daughter.........

I personally would not put it out there for the world to see. I think that it would become a tit for tat type of situation........
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2013, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spud912 View Post
This is my opinion only so please don't take offense!

I personally would not do it....but that is just me. It's not that I don't care or don't want to look out for other providers, but I think there are better to ways to prevent these issues.

If the issue is that they aren't paying for services rendered, then I can't emphasize enough to have parents pre-pay!

As far as other common child care-related issues, many can be solved with thorough screening before accepting families, a well-developed contract and the backbone to enforce the policies and procedures.

I'm not saying this prevents 100% of problems, but it does drastically decrease the amount of time you have to deal with the problems with as little loss as possible.

Other issues not covered in the contract in my experience has been because the family was not a good fit for ME and my program. It may very well be that they would be great in someone else's child care and I wouldn't want to deter that relationship from forming with another child care provider.

I personally have had some problems here and there and they were because (1) the family was not a good fit, (2) I didn't screen incoming families properly and (3) because I did not follow through on my policies and procedures. In the second and third scenarios, the only person I could truly blame was myself .

I think screening is good but other businesses don't rely on screening alone. It's a tool but it's not the only key component. My State now requires fingerprinting, cpr, child abuse training, credit continuing ed etc. They don't accept an interview or two to register me. They want PROOF. Proof in a child abuse registry check, criminal check, copies of the documents etc.

When I sign up for a cell phone or tv service the contracts are PAGES long and they check my credit. Why should child care services NOT require such lengths to give a slot or slice of our services? Just because the service we provide is care of kids it shouldn't mean we can't employ the same methods of selection other businesses use to be prosperous.

A rating system for parent compliance is a great idea. I
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spud912 View Post
This is my opinion only so please don't take offense!

I personally would not do it....but that is just me. It's not that I don't care or don't want to look out for other providers, but I think there are better to ways to prevent these issues.

If the issue is that they aren't paying for services rendered, then I can't emphasize enough to have parents pre-pay!

As far as other common child care-related issues, many can be solved with thorough screening before accepting families, a well-developed contract and the backbone to enforce the policies and procedures.

I'm not saying this prevents 100% of problems, but it does drastically decrease the amount of time you have to deal with the problems with as little loss as possible.

Other issues not covered in the contract in my experience has been because the family was not a good fit for ME and my program. It may very well be that they would be great in someone else's child care and I wouldn't want to deter that relationship from forming with another child care provider.

I personally have had some problems here and there and they were because (1) the family was not a good fit, (2) I didn't screen incoming families properly and (3) because I did not follow through on my policies and procedures. In the second and third scenarios, the only person I could truly blame was myself .



I agree 100%. I also think this would look poorly on me as a business owner if I were to post my "bad clients" on facebook. I understand the reason behind it, but I personally wouldn't go there.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:42 AM
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Seems to me all the daycares in your area could put an immediate stop to the daycare hoppers by requiring payment up front, BEFORE services and a two week deposit to cover the last two weeks of care.

No pay? No stay!

Then there would be no need to have such a FB site.
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:57 AM
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The licensed providers in my area have a phone tree. One person calls another until all have been notified. When someone leaves my care, I call Mary, then she calls Sue, and so on.

You screw over a licensed provider in my area, and you'll not find daycare available from any of us.

Works great.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:19 AM
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I don't know what the legal repercussions would be but I am all in favor of a local provider facebook page or network that I can use.

Just about every small business in my area post copies of bounced checks and or a list of people that have stiffed them in plain view next to or behind the register for all to see. I have more than once seen a neighbor or acquaintance posted. If nothing else it should cause them some embarrassment.

It does give the potential for me as a business owner myself to not accept them into care if I see their name posted somewhere.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:34 AM
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I don't know what the legal repercussions would be but I am all in favor of a local provider facebook page or network that I can use.

Just about every small business in my area post copies of bounced checks and or a list of people that have stiffed them in plain view next to or behind the register for all to see. I have more than once seen a neighbor or acquaintance posted. If nothing else it should cause them some embarrassment.

It does give the potential for me as a business owner myself to not accept them into care if I see their name posted somewhere.
Posting names of people who bounced checks where the public is able to see it is against the law (at least it is in my state), as is posting the bad check on the wall until it is redeemed (as some stores still do). I'm surprised that people still do that!
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:51 AM
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I don't know if it was in one of his books or on his website (I'll look for it and post it if I can) but I think Tom Copeland discussed something like this once and I don't think he said it was illegal but he did say it was unethical and unprofessional to have an organized public "blackball" list. Especially if its online! As learned in another thread about a provider who shared her frustration about a DCM on FB and DCM found out (even though she had it set to private, was not on DCM's friend list and didn't share any mutual friends), NOTHING on the internet is private!

ETA:
I found it and he did say it was illegal because it does count as slander. And also because even if it is true for you, one provider may be mad at a parent and say they didn't pay and lie about it. Or a parent may pay you later and you forget to take them off the "list" or to tell the other providers they paid and then it would be considered slander as well. So legally, its more of a hassle.
http://www.tomcopelandblog.com/2012/...owe-money.html

Last edited by Starburst; 07-26-2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: grammar/spelling
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spud912 View Post
This is my opinion only so please don't take offense!

I personally would not do it....but that is just me. It's not that I don't care or don't want to look out for other providers, but I think there are better to ways to prevent these issues.

If the issue is that they aren't paying for services rendered, then I can't emphasize enough to have parents pre-pay!

As far as other common child care-related issues, many can be solved with thorough screening before accepting families, a well-developed contract and the backbone to enforce the policies and procedures.

I'm not saying this prevents 100% of problems, but it does drastically decrease the amount of time you have to deal with the problems with as little loss as possible.

Other issues not covered in the contract in my experience has been because the family was not a good fit for ME and my program. It may very well be that they would be great in someone else's child care and I wouldn't want to deter that relationship from forming with another child care provider.

I personally have had some problems here and there and they were because (1) the family was not a good fit, (2) I didn't screen incoming families properly and (3) because I did not follow through on my policies and procedures. In the second and third scenarios, the only person I could truly blame was myself .

Legal or not, I agree with what Spud wrote. I'd feel uncomfortable using a blackball list on the internet.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2013, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starburst View Post
I don't know if it was in one of his books or on his website (I'll look for it and post it if I can) but I think Tom Copeland discussed something like this once and I don't think he said it was illegal but he did say it was unethical and unprofessional to have an organized public "blackball" list. Especially if its online! As learned in another thread about a provider who shared her frustration about a DCM on FB and DCM found out (even though she had it set to private, was not on DCM's friend list and didn't share any mutual friends), NOTHING on the internet is private!

ETA:
I found it and he did say it was illegal because it does count as slander. And also because even if it is true for you, one provider may be mad at a parent and say they didn't pay and lie about it. Or a parent may pay you later and you forget to take them off the "list" or to tell the other providers they paid and then it would be considered slander as well. So legally, its more of a hassle.
http://www.tomcopelandblog.com/2012/...owe-money.html


He makes a good point in that parents could make a provider screening list as well.

The whole idea makes me uncomfortable.

Laurel
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